In Exodus chapter three, Moses asks the Lord how he should respond if the children of Israel ask him what is His name.
Exodus 3:13-15. Then Moses said to God, I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? what shall I say to them?
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. Moreover God said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.
Here memorial is used for ‘zeker’ which for consistency and application should have been translated remembrance. Keep in mind that the Lord is preparing to bring the congregation out of bondage with a great deliverance. On this historic occasion, the people are given a name for them to call out in all generations for deliverance from their enemies.
This inconsistency translating zeker is repeated in Hosea chapter twelve. After declaring his controversy with Judah, the Lord again declares Himself as Deliverer of Israel in:
Hosea 12:5. even the Lord God of hosts, the Lord is His memorial (zeker).
Again zeker is translated memorial, rather than remembrance, when the point is to call on the name of the Lord to be remembered.
This is the language of covenant. When Moses first asked for a name, the Lord declared Hayah hayah, I Am That I Am. Hayah is the Hebrew root from which is derived YHVH. In the same way that the name of remembrance is shortened to I Am, YHVH is shortened:
Psalm 68:4. Sing unto God, sing praises to His name, extol Him that rides upon the heavens by His name Yah (Yahu), and rejoice before Him.
Yahu is incorporated into many Hebrew names such as Elijah in English translations. In Hebrew though the name is Yahu, Eliyahu for Elijah, Yirmiyahu for Jeremiah, etc. Thus the name of remembrance for the people of God to cry out for deliverance is Yahu!
Exodus 6:2 & 3. The Lord declared unto Moses; I am the Lord and I appeared unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by the name of God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name YHVH was I not known to them.
This becomes all powerful when we acknowledge that when God remembers from heaven, actions result on earth. In Genesis God remembered Noah (8:1), Abraham (19:29), and Rachel (30:22). Prayers were answered and promises were kept.
When we acknowledge our forgetfulness, especially in times of rest and plenty, we can understand what God has provided for us.
Psalms 111:4. For He has made His wonderful works to be remembered, the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
Now that the difference between memorial and remembrance has been set before our understanding, we can consider one of the Lord’s most important and final commandments.
Luke 22:19. He took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave unto them saying this is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me.
The practice of breaking bread in fellowship became the foundation of Christian fellowship in the book of Acts. Paul writes:
1 Co 11:23-25. For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner also the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink, in remembrance of Me.
This is a true definition of Christian leadership in the Holy Spirit; to receive from the Lord and deliver unto the congregation. Paul was not a participant at the last supper and had not been welcomed into the fellowship of the church in Jerusalem due to his fearful reputation. Yet the new communities were established in the breaking of bread in fellowship. The breaking of bread is not given to practice as a memorial before God, but a remembrance in the Lord’s sight. Jesus said:
Matthew 18:20. “when two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
This gathering together is initiated by the proper breaking of bread. Continuing in 1 Co 11, Paul warns that not breaking bread properly is to bring damnation on to yourselves. To allow breaking bread to become empty ritual, or to completely neglect the act as obsolete is to deny the very presence of the Lord into your fellowship.
1 Co 11:30. for this cause many have become infirm and many have died.
From Luke 24 we know that the presence of the Lord in fellowship is essential to a right understanding of His word. After his resurrection, Jesus meets with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and has a conversation which is given to us as a memorial.
Luke 24:30, 31. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
After the breaking of bread they knew him for their eyes were opened.
Luke 24:32-35. And they said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us? So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those with them gathered together, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon. And they told about the things on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
This is the Lord’s remembrance. This is to know Him. Now is the time for believers to enter into the ministry of the burning heart. To break the bread of sincerity and truth. To call on the name of the Lord in remembrance of His mercy.
2 Peter 3:1 Peter said; I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.
John 6:33. For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world.
The name of remembrance is used to call on the Lord, especially for deliverance from enemies. Furthermore, to show that this name is a new revelation, the Lord tells Moses:
Exodus 6:3. And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name YHVH was I not known to them.
Yet this Holy Name of God manages to be inserted by scribes into narratives found in the book of Genesis 141 times. Since that time, there has been much controversy over the use of this name. Rabbis teach that use of the Name should be avoided completely for fear of using the name in vain. Out of consideration for this concern, most English translations render YHVH simply as The Lord.
This difficulty was anticipated and dealt with by the Lord Jesus Christ in a most innovative way. When Jesus spoke of God, He routinely referred to Him as “The Father”. He taught His disciples to pray: “Our Father”.
The apostle Paul encourages us to be just as intimate with the Father, teaching us:
Romans 8:15. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
While Paul teaches us to be set free from a spirit of slavery and address God as Daddy, it is fear itself that has lead many to avoid the name of remembrance given to Moses.
The Tree of Life translation has gone full circle and replaced The Lord with Adonai. Adonai is derived from the word Adon, which is lord in a common form. For example, Sarai addressed Abram as “my Lord”, Rebekah addresses Abraham’s head servant the same way when he comes seeking a wife for Isaac. Adonai is in fact sanctified, being used only in reference to The Lord, but it is not the Holy Name of remembrance given to Moses in Exodus 3. You will need a concordance to know when Adonai is actually used in the original text and when it is substituting for YHVH. In the Tree of Life Version (TLV), Psalm 103:1 becomes:
Bless Adonai, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.
For anyone who has been taught the English language, this statement implies that the holy Name of God is Adonai. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as the substitution has been made for YHVH. The holy Name of God has been replaced by a Hebrew word that is derived from the common word Adon, for my Lord.
Leviticus 10:10. You are to make a distinction between the holy and the common and between the unclean and the clean.
Ezekiel 44:23. They will teach My people the difference between the holy and the common and explain to them the difference between the unclean and the clean.
Psalm 135:1(TLV) Halleluyah! Praise the Name of Adonai. Give praise servants of Adonai.
Adonai does not appear in this verse. More importantly the Hebrew halal Yah is found and translated Halleluyah. This expression is used frequently in the Psalms and is simply translated Praise the Lord. Yah is a contracted form of YHVH and used 41 times in the Old Testament. Typically it is also translated “the Lord” beginning at:
Exodus 15:1 The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: Tree of Life substitutes: Adonai is my strength and song…
So Adonai replaces Yah in most verses, with the exception of when it is preceded by halal. I suppose Halleli Adonai would be pretty awkward, and Halleluyah is one of the most familiar expressions in all of Christianity. Of course, so is Praise the Lord!
The question being asked then, is it appropriate for the original text to be mistranslated to satisfy a tradition of men.
Ephesians 2:14-17. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to The Father.