Jehovah - Importance of Name
The Israelites used the only personal name of God profusely (in prayer, and respectfully in everyday language [see end note] - see King David's words, for example). We are instructed in scripture to call upon that name and to invoke it.
There is nothing wrong with also calling him 'Father,' but to completely ignore the name, as much of Christendom has, is scripturally wrong.
Ex. 3:15 -
"Jehovah ... This is my name for ever; this is my title in every generation."- NEB.
Jehovah, .... This is My name forever, and this is My memorial from generation to generation. - LITV (Green)
"Jehovah, ...This is My name forever and by this I am to be remembered through all generations." - MLB.
"Jehovah ... This is my eternal name, to be used throughout all generations." - LB.
"Jehovah, ....This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." - Darby."Jehovah, .... this [is] My name--to the age, and this My memorial, to generation--generation." - Young's.
1 Chron. 16:8 -
"O give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name; Make known his doings among the peoples." - ASV.
"Give thanks to Yahweh, call his name aloud, proclaim his deeds to the peoples [among the nations- NAB (1991); MLB; GNB; world - LB]." - NJB.
"Give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name; Make known his acts among the peoples." - Darby.
Is. 12:4 -
"And in that day shall ye say, Give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name, declare his doings among the peoples, make mention that his name is exalted." - ASV.
"And, that day, you will say, Praise Yahweh, invoke his name. Proclaim his deeds to the people [nations, RSV, NRSV, MLB, NAB (1991), GNB; worldLB], declare his name sublime." - NJB.
"call his name aloud." - JB.
"And in that day shall ye say, Give ye thanks to Jehovah, call upon his name, declare his deeds among the peoples, make mention that his name is exalted." - Darby.
Zeph. 3:9 -
"For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent." - ASV.
"Yes, then [the last days] I shall purge the lips of the peoples, so that all may invoke the name of Yahweh." - NJB, c.f. JB.
"For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent." - Darby
Joel 2:26, 32 -
"And ye ... shall praise the name of Jehovah your God .... And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered." - ASV.
"You will ... praise the name of Yahweh your God .... All who call on [invoke- REB & NEB] the name of Yahweh will be saved" - JB & NJB.
"And ye shall ... praise the name of Jehovah your God, who hath dealt wondrously with you: .... And it shall be that whosoever shall call upon the name of Jehovah shall be saved" - Darby.
Jer. 16:19, 21 -
"O Jehovah [YHWH] ... unto thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited nought but lies ... and they will know that my name is Jehovah [YHWH]." - ASV.
"and they shall know that My name is Jehovah." - KJIIV & MKJV.
"Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know my hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is Jehovah." - Darby.
Zech. 13:9 -
"They shall call upon my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God." - ASV.
"They shall call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, It is My people, and they shall say, Jehovah is my God." - KJIIV.
"They shall call on my name, and I will answer them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God." - Darby
[Notice the parallelism: "They shall call upon my name" is paralleled with "Jehovah is my God."]
Ezek. 39:7 -
"And my holy name will I make known ... and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah" - ASV.
"... and no longer allow my holy name to be profaned; and the nations will know that I am Yahweh" - NJB.
"I will not suffer my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I [am] Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel." - Darby.
"Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, [O YHWH]. let them be put to shame and perish .... that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH [YHWH], art the most high over all the earth." - KJV.
"Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name .... Let them be ashamed and troubled forever; yea, let them be put to shame, and lost; so that men may know that Your name is JEHOVAH, that You alone are the Most High over all the earth." - MKJV.
Ps. 135:13 -
"Thy name, O Jehovah, endureth forever; Thy memorial name, O Jehovah, throughout all generations" - ASV.
"Thy name, O Jehovah, is for ever; thy memorial, O Jehovah, from generation to generation." - Darby.
"O Jehovah, your name endures forever" - LB.
We are to know and use Jehovah's name, but we must not misunderstand how extremely important it is to Him (and to us). One of God's Ten Commandments, for example commands:
"You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name." - Ex. 20:7, NJB [cf. NRSV, NIV, NEB, REB, GNB, NLV, ETRV].
God certainly didn't say, "Don't ever use my Holy Name"! By direct Bible statements and commands and by the clear, thousand-fold repeated examples of all the prophets of God in the OT we know that God's Holy Name must be known and used by his people - for all generations. Instead, this Scripture shows the extreme importance of that name (would God really punish anyone who deceitfully misuses his name if that name weren't extremely important?) and that it must be used in a manner that shows its great importance.
Notice how two of the most-respected, "orthodox," trinitarian Bible study publications address this extremely important issue:
"Of primary significance is the name of Yahweh [or Jehovah] which he himself made known in his revelation (Gen. 17:1; Exod. 3:14 [and 3:15]; 6:2...). One of the most fundamental and essential features of the biblical revelation is the fact that God is not without a name: he has a personal name [Jehovah or Yahweh], by which he can, and is to be, invoked." - p. 649, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 2, Zondervan, 1986.
And the New Bible Dictionary, Tyndale House Publ., 1984, after telling us on p. 812 that God changed his previously external relationship with mankind by revealing his PERSONAL NAME to his people and thereby established with them "the highly personal relationship to a God who has given his people the liberty to call him by name [Yahweh or Jehovah]," further states:
"The name of God is described as his holy name more often than all other adjectival qualifications [titles, descriptions, etc.] taken together. It was this sense of the sacredness of the name that finally led to the obtuse [dull-witted, stupid] refusal to use Yahweh, leading as it has done to a deep loss of the sense of the divine name in [English-language Bibles]." - p. 813, section d.
Also, the trinitarian Today's Dictionary of the Bible (Bethany House, 1982) says:
"Jehovah, the special and significant name (not merely an appellative title such as Lord [or God]) by which God revealed himself .... The Hebrew name Jehovah is generally translated [in most English Bibles] by the word LORD printed in small capitals to distinguish it from the [honest] rendering of the Hebrew Adonai and the Greek Kurios, which are also rendered "Lord" but in the usual type." - p. 330.
Even trinitarian translator and scholar Jay P. Green writes in the Preface of his The Interlinear Bible:
"The only personal name of God that belongs to Him alone was rendered Jehovah or, in its shortened form, Jah. We preferred the transliteration JHWH (thus Jehovah) over YHWH (or Yahweh) because this is established English usage for Bible names beginning with this letter (e.g., Jacob and Joseph). - p. v, Baker Book House, 1982.
LITV (Green) - Malachi 2:2; 3:16 "If you will not hear, and if you will not set it on your heart to give glory to My name, says Jehovah of Hosts, then I will send the curse on you, .... Then those fearing Jehovah spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And Jehovah gave attention and heard. And a Book of Remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Jehovah, and for those esteeming His name. - Literal Translation Version.
ASV - Ezekiel 39:6, 7 "And I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell securely in the isles; and they shall know that I am Jehovah . And my holy name will I make known in the midst of my people Israel; neither will I suffer my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah." - American Standard Version.
Bracketed information [ ] and emphasis have been added above.
We see that in the very first section of the Jewish Mishnah (Darby's translation) the decree that "a man should salute his fellow with [the use of] the Name [of God]," the example of Boaz (Ru 2:4) then being cited. - Berakhot 9:5.