🔼The name Dabar YHWH in the Bible
Dabar-Yahweh means roughly Word of the Lord. See below for a discussion of Dabar, and see YHWH for an article on the name Yahweh.
Dabar-Yahweh is one of the few dominant Hebrew names or titles of God in the Bible, although not often enough recognized as such. This beautiful name is introduced as late as Genesis 15:1 where the Word of God is in a vision to Abraham and speaks to him (compare: Elohim occurs in Genesis 1:1, YHWH Elohim in 2:4, and Elyon in 14:18).
God speaks often to people and in many different ways. The Word of God, however, typically conveys formal messages and mostly to prophets. The Word of God gains a pivotal status in the New Testament when He "becomes flesh" in Jesus Christ, now known by the Greek translation Logos.
Other alternatives and pseudo-alternatives are:
- The Word of the Lord YHWH, or דבר־אדני יהוה (Dabar Adonai YHWH), as used by Ezekiel (6:3, 25:3 and 36:4).
- The Mouth of YHWH, or פי יהוה (py YHWH; Exodus 17:1, Leviticus 24:12, Numbers 3:6 etcetera).
- The Speakings of YHWH, or אמרת יהוה (amaroth YHWH; 2 Samuel 22:31, Psalm 105:19, Jeremiah 51:62).
- The Sword of YHWH, or חרב יהוה (hereb YHWH; 1 Chronicles 21:12) or חרב ליהוה (Jeremiah 47:6). This curious term is clearly also part of the same theme; the edge of a sword was known as its mouth (Genesis 34:26, 2 Samuel 2:26), but see our article on the word חרב hereb for more details.
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Dabar YHWH
Where some names of God come uniquely from rare roots, the names Elyon and Dabar come from roots that have truly vast domains of application. The word dabar, however, outdoes even elyon and is a universe of meaning in itself: