What is the significance of God being called Jehovah-Jireh?
The term Jehovah-Jireh is more appropriately transliterated Yahweh-Yireh, two Hebrew terms combined and used as one of many names of God in the Old Testament. The name is used in Genesis 22:14 as the name of a mountain, during Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son Isaac. After God provided a ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac, Abraham "called the name of that place, 'The LORD will provide'; as it is said to this day, 'On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided'" (Genesis 22:14). Among English translations, only the KJV uses the transliteration "Jehovahjireh" instead of a translation of its meaning, but that term has now become a common reference.
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Very important to the understanding of the term Jehovah-Jireh is the meaning of "Jehovah" itself. This word is actually an Anglicized version of "Yahweh," which is itself a made-up pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton: YHWH. These four letters are the personal name of God, which when translated is usually written LORD. Because Hebrew did not originally include a way to write its vowels and many Jews came to believe that this name of God was too holy to even be spoken, the proper pronunciation of YHWH has been completely lost. "Yahweh" is a way to pronounce the Tetragrammaton using the vowels of another name of God, "Adonai." This name of God is so closely associated with Him that attaching any other characteristic to it is to describe quite literally a piece of God Himself.
Abraham calling the place "YHWH-yireh," "Yahweh will provide," is a beautiful testament to Abraham's faith and God's basic character. He does not abandon His people or those He loves. The mountain upon which Abraham was sacrificing is better known today as Mount Moriah, previously the Temple mount where Solomon's and later temples were built, and now occupied by the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim shrine. That Abraham called the place "the LORD will provide" has continued to be an encouragement to the Jewish people as their religious and political situation remains very complex, little better displayed than by Mount Moriah itself.
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