The sacred Hebrew Tetragrammaton, the mystic four-letter word used of the Deity, is composed of the four Hebrew consonants Y-H-W-H, usually translated “JEHOVAH” in the American Standard Version (Exodus 17:15).
The true and original pronunciation of it has been totally and completely lost.
That loss came about because the Jews took a very strict and almost fanatical view of the third commandment (Exodus 20:7), and decided not to pronounce the name at all.
That way they could keep from taking God’s name in vain! This occurred about 300 B.C.
When they came to that word in reading, they pronounced the word “[ADONAY],” meaning Lord; and thus when the Septuagint (LXX) was translated, they rendered it “Lord,” which is the rendition found in the AV.
The American Standard Version renders it Jehovah.
The Tetragrammaton is derived from a root word, meaning “To be,” and is related to “I AM THAT I AM” of Exodus 3:14.
The word means that God is the Absolute, the Uncaused One, Holy and Eternal.
There are no less than Ten combinations of the name Jehovah in the Old Testament.
- “Jehovah hath healed thee” (Exodus 15:26)
- “Jehovah who sanctifies you” (Exodus 31:13)
- “Jehovah of hosts” (1 Samuel 1:3)
- “Jehovah Most High” (Psalms 7:17)
- “Jehovah my Shepherd (Psalms 23:1)
- “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14)
- “Jehovah is my banner” (Exodus 17:15)
- “Jehovah is peace” (Judges 6:24)
- “Jehovah is there” (Ezekiel 48:35, margin)
- “Jehovah is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:6,16)
Hosea’s emphasis upon that holy name in this passage indicates that Israel had slipped away from any real recognition of the true God.
Further Study regarding the Tetragrammaton