An explanation of its meaning

K J Cronin

Part II Introduction

In what follows I will show that the words spoken by God in Exodus 3:14 are fully comprehensible and that they are arguably the most important words in all monotheistic faith. I will show this first through a detailed analysis of the relevant biblical text and then through a systematic and comprehensive explanation of the meaning of just one word. That word is the Hebrew ehyeh, the word identified by Recanati as the holiest of God’s names and which I will shortly demonstrate to be the name by which God is known to Himself. It is therefore my purpose in what follows to identify and to explain the meaning of what can be most accurately designated the Personal name of God and to fully interpret Exodus 3:14 in the light of that meaning. As far as I am aware there is no other systematic and comprehensive rational explanation of the meaning of this name and this verse than the one that follows.

The translation of the Biblical text is taken from Propp, but with three changes.[46] The first is that while Propp has translated ehyeh asher ehyeh of 3:14a and ehyeh of 3:14b, I have left them untranslated. I have done this not only because I disagree with Propp’s translation, but also because the words that I employ are universally accepted as the transliterated form of the original Hebrew and so are the most universally acceptable starting point in any analysis of this verse. The second change is that I have replaced the Yahweh of Propp’s translation with the Tetragrammaton YHWH. I have made this change only because there is still a debate over how the Tetragrammaton should be vowelised and I do not want this issue to needlessly distract from the point of this paper. The third change is that the bold-type emphasis in the quoted text is my own.