"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." (Exodus 3:14)
When Moses ascended the Mountain of YHVH the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob revealed his identity and name that Moses was to carry to the House of Israel in Egypt. In this apocalyptic event God revealed his name I AM THAT I AM-- or rather in Hebrew Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. I AM is also one of the only two accepted translations of the word ehyeh that is found in Exodus 3:14. The word ehyeh of Exodus 3:14 is a first person singular of the verb and is identified as the name by which God revealed himself to all Israel. As such Ehyeh is referred to as the name of God and is translated into English as I AM.
One of the most important truths established in the scriptures is that God is unchangeable. That he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The foundation stone of the name of God is a consistent pattern and theme through all Israelite Scripture. Not only was it the name by which God revealed himself to Moses but it was also the name declared by Messiah Yeshua/Yehoshua (Jesus) to the people of his time in Jerusalem:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM (EHYEH)." (John 8:56-58)
The name of God is a foundation stone in the covenant God made with Israel. If the Book of Mormon is an Israelite record of a Torah Observant people then the foundation stone of the name and identity of God must also be consistent with the record of the Fathers and God's revelation of himself. As God has declared through his prophets, he is unchangeable:
"For I am YHVH, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Malachi 3:6)
On cursory reading of the Book of Mormon it would appear that this detail was left out. OR WAS IT?
A MYSTERY HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
In reading the Book of Mormon through the eyes of a Western Gentile based culture, we often miss the nuances of the Hebrew language and culture. In doing so, we miss many of the plain and precious truths of the Book of Mormon communicated by Jews to Jews. In 3 Nephi 11 a voice from above declares Jesus as the Messiah:
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning. (3 Nephi 11)
of which the prophets testified
that should come into the world
and behold Ehyeh
the light and the life of the world
and I have drunk out of that bitter cup
which the Father has given me
and have glorified the Father
in taking upon me the sins of the world
in which I have suffered the will of the Father
in all things from the beginning"
This same revelation of Ehyeh, the being who revealed himself to Moses, is also demonstrated in revelation of Yehoshua to the Brother of Jared:
13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.
14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. (Ether 3)
And when he had said these words
behold YHVH showed himself unto him
“Because you know these things
you are redeemed from the fall
therefore you are brought back into my presence
therefore I show myself unto you
he who was prepared
from the creation of the world
to redeem my people
the Father and the Son
in me shall all mankind have life
and that eternally
even they who shall believe on my name
and they shall become my sons and my daughters
In true Israelite fashion, the same being who declared himself to Moses in the Burning Bush also declares himself to the Nephites and is identified as the same being who appeared to the Brother of Jared. According to the tradition passed down through the School of the Prophets and into some modern Jewish traditions EHYEH is the deepest and most sacred name of God.
© 2018 Robert Kay
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