The Tetragrammaton (four letter holy "name" of G-d) is found over 6,600 times in the Torah, including with the patriarchs who preceded Moses.
In Sh'mot / Exodus 3:15 we are told "G-d then said to Moses, 'You must [then] say to the Israelites, 'Hashem (Tetragrammaton), the G-d of your fathers, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, sent me to you.' This is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations."
Here we are told that the patriarchs knew G-d by this title (not really a name) and the elders of Israel would certainly recognize the holy name when Moses used it.
The word is translated (above) as name but it really means renown.
The Tetragrammaton (the four letter holy name of G-d) consists of four letters:
yod / י
heh / ה
vav / ו
heh / ה
None of those letters individually is a name of G-d.
G-d's holiest name is not really a name at all. None his names are really names -- they are human efforts to describe the indescribable.
The word here more properly means:
This is what G-d will be known as forever -- His reputation - a G-d who is with the Jewish people now and forever. He will be (ever faithful)....
R' Aryeh Kaplan (Z"L) in his translation (The Living Torah) wrote: "The Tetragrammaton denotes the level where past, present and future are the same (Tur, Orach Chaim 5; Rabbi Eliezer of Garmiza on Sefer Yetzirah 1:1)."
This particular "name" (or description) of G-d means "I shall be" (not "I am").
G-d was telling Moses to tell the Jews that He would always be with the Jews -- and was with them in their slavery in Egypt...
The tetragrammaton (four letter name for G-d) is in the third person singular imperfect of the verb "to be" -- as in ''causing to be'' or ''causing to exist."
Do keep in mind that since Hebrew is written without vowels (consonants only) the proper pronunciation (hidden) could modify the meaning of the word...
Given that the patriarchs knew G-d's holy name, as did the elders of Israel who recognized it when used by Moses -- how do we explain the verse:
"I revealed Myself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as G-d Almighty (El Shaddai), and did not allow them to know Me by My name HaShem (Tetragrammaton)."
But they DID know His holiest name -- so is this a mistake -- or perhaps a less than enlightening translation?
G-d did not allow them to know Him by His holy name, but they obviously knew it.
While the Tetragrammaton was never used in speech before the time of the Patriarchs, it is used in connection with them (B'reshit / Genesis 15:7 with Abraham for example)...
So what did G-d mean that the patriarchs did not know Him by His holiest name?
Well, there is a way to know and a way to know.... Consider that you may know a piece of information, but in the Torah we also know that when a man "knows" his wife they have sexual intercourse.
The word has a depth of meaning -- particularly in Hebrew. This is yet another term that loses quite a lot in (mis)translation.
What G-d is telling Moses is that while the patriarchs used this name, they did not know of its power and importance.
Rabbeinu Bahya on Sh'mot 6:3 tells us
"He had not employed the powers inherent in the use of His four-lettered holy name. in His relations with them. According to the opening word וארא, “I have become visible,” in our verse, the word נודעתי used as a contrast is strange; we would have expected the Torah to write לא נראתי להם, I have not become visible to them, by My (holiest name).
"the patriarchs as a rule experienced their visions at night. It was appropriate therefore to apply the expression “vision” from the root ראה “to see” to their experiences of encounters with G’d. G’d wanted to contrast the fact that Moses had been granted a revelation of His presence while he was fully awake already the first time he had had a communication from G’d..."
Moses' knowledge of G-d was a different level than that of any other, and this is the meaning in Sh'mot / Exodus 6:3.
The Tetragrammaton was known before Moses, but not its inner significance (see the Ramban and / or Ibn Ezra). Again, quoting R' Kaplan:
"This was because the Patriarchs received their prophecy from the level associated with the name El Shaddai, while only Moses received it from the level associated with the Tetragrammaton (Moreh Nevukhim 2:35; Ralbag; Milchamoth HaShem 6)."
Someone asked: "What is the Jewish view of the death(s) of the uncircumcised? The significance? A little background to my question. Genesis 17:14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
(recently pointed out to me) Exodus 4:24-26, (paraphrased by me) the L-rd met Moses to put Moses's son to death because he had not been circumcised, it appears."
And to the prince of tyre, in Ezekiel 28, who figuratively sits in the seat of G-d, claiming to be G-d, magnified in his heart as being G-d.
“The deaths of the uncircumcised you shall die at the hand of foreigners, for I have spoken," says the L-rd G-d.”
My question also entails - how could the prince of tyre, unless being a code name for someone else, die the deaths of the uncircumcised, unless he were a Jew, who had broken the everlasting covenant made on Mt. Sinai - by claiming himself to be God? And cut off from the Jewish people.
There is no significance – apples and oranges.
B’reshit / Genesis 17 and Sh’mot / Exodus 4 are both speaking of the covenant of circumcision (Brit Milah / בְּרִית מִילָה).
Y’chezekel / Ezekiel 28 has nothing to do with the covenant of circumcision (Brit Milah) – so you are jumping to an erroneous conclusion that they are the same thing. They are not.
As you mention, this chapter is speaking of the prince of Tzor who was egotistical – a god himself! He even had a throne that symbolized him ruling over the sky and ocean! G-d is prophesying the downfall of this king and nation – who are uncircumcised (the Greeks and Romans did not circumcise their people).
Thus it is the death of the uncircumcised.
The Artscroll footnote indicates that in Ezekiel 28 the circumcision referred to is of the heart.
“This refers to those of uncircumcised heart, meaning that they persist in their wickedness and refuse to accept the truth.” See also Ezekiel 44:7. Artscroll, Stone Edition T’nach.
B’reshit / Genesis 17 and Sh’mot / Exodus 4 do refer to the mitzvah of Brit Milah (the covenant of circumcision). In B’reshit / Genesis we are told that a Jew who does not observe this positive mitzvah will be kareit / כָּרֵ֥ת – cut off. This term normally refers to being spiritually cut off from G-d and the Jewish people (not physical death).
To be כרת / kareit -- cut off from G-d, is very rare. It is even rarer in the world today as many people do not know what is expected of them. G-d judges us not only with mercy, but He judges us based on who we are (our personal abilities and limitations as well as our understanding of what He expects from us).
In the case of Abraham and Moses both of them were very holy and also in direct communication from G-d. Thus they were held to a very high standard if they did not observe the mitzvot on purpose. Consider
"[Therefore] keep the Sabbath as something sacred to you. Anyone doing work [on the Sabbath] shall be cut off spiritually from his people, and therefore, anyone violating it shall be put to death. 31:15 Do your work during the six week days, but keep Saturday as a Sabbath of sabbaths, holy to God. Whoever does any work on Saturday shall be put to death. 31:16 The Israelites shall thus keep the Sabbath, making it a day of rest for all generations, as an eternal covenant. It is a sign between Me and the Israelites that during the six weekdays God made heaven and earth, but on Saturday, He ceased working and withdrew to the spiritual." Sh'mot / Exodus 31:14-17.
We then hear of a man who went out to collect would on Shabbat – this was a willful and defiant act – and as a result he was put to death.
Rashi, quoting the Talmud (Sanhedrin 41a), says that the mekoshesh eitzim – the individual who desecrated Shabbat by gathering wood, was warned by witnesses that it was a death penalty offense, yet he ignored them and continued collecting wood. Thus the man's actions were done to willfully disobey G-d. It was a pĕsha' / פֶּֽשַׁע --- a wilful wrongdoing in defiance of G-d (you know it is wrong, you know G-d forbids it and you defy Him). You have a man who willfully, knowingly, in defiance of G-d did this knowing that the penalty was death.
The issue in both situations: Moses not circumcising his son and the man picking wood on Shabbat have to do with knowing there is a mitzvah which commands something -- and willfully not obeying said mitzvah.
WILLFUL DEFIANCE is the issue here. Willful defiance of something you learned directly from G-d and agreed to do! This is very different from a person today who may not fulfill a mitzvah (even on purpose) because they are removed from having been told THEMSELVES to do this mitzvah.
The death possibility for Moses for not circumcising his son before leaving Midian had nothing to do with circumcision itself, it had to do with willful defiance of G-d and his mitzvah of not observing the COVENANT of circumcision – the very first covenant G-d made with Abraham and thus the Jewish people.
The Christian bible has nothing whatsoever to do with Judaism. It is as pertinent to a Jew as the Koran or Book of Mormon is to the average Christian. Unfortunately tens of millions of dollars are spent annually by Christians to try to convert Jews to their faith.
Sadly, many Jews are raised without knowledge of Judaism (secular), or in homes which may observe some mitzvot, but fail to teach their children diligently.
So just how reliable is the Christian bible?
Christian "scholars" themselves attest to the fact that it is totally unreliable. There are no "full papyri of the GT" dating earlier than about the 16th century of the common era (CE).
"What do survive are copies of the copies some 5,366 of them in the Greek language alone, that date from the second century down to the sixteenth. Strikingly, with the exception of the smallest fragments, no two of these copies are exactly alike in all their particulars. No one knows how many differences, or variant readings, occur among the surviving witnesses, but they must number in the hundreds of thousands." (The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, page 27).
So how reliable do you think it would be if 5,366 fragments are all different except for the smallest fragments that don't even make up entire words? The Greek text used today (what you like to call the "new" testament) today bears no resemblance to those early, contradictory fragments.
The Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction and Commentary (The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries) by I. Howard Marshall:
Modern Greek texts of Acts are essentially based on the Egyptian manuscripts, Codices, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
There are many differences (additions and omissions of words, changes of words, and so on) in the version of the text found in Codex Bezae and other manuscripts which mainly come from the western area of early Christendom; this form of text can be traced back to the second century.
Arguments that it represents the original text of Acts, or a second edition of the text by the original author, have failed to produce conviction.
It is generally thought that it represents an early scribal revision of Acts although on occasion it may preserve the original wording of Acts when the Egyptian text goes astray. But the whole matter is far more complicated than the present brief summary indicates.
The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, a book written to prove the validity of the Christian bible says:
"A study of 150 Greek [manuscripts) of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings... It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the New Testament in which the [manuscript] is wholly uniform."
The earliest papyri has been dated to around 125 CE (although some apologists have dated them earlier -- there is no consensus).
• P52 -- a fragment of John 18 (written ca. 125 CE)
• P90 -- a fragment of John (ca 175 CE)
• P66 -- portions of John 1, 6, 15-16, 20-21 (ca. 200 CE)
• P64; P67 -- fragments of Matthew 3, 5, 26 (ca. 200 CE)
There are no papyri of the Christian bible containing more than one gospel date only after 200 CE.
The oldest one appears to be P52 which contains a snippet from what appears to be part of John 18:31-33. It cannot be proven to pre-date Josephus. The Harvard Theological Review writes:
"Paleography (dating things by handwriting) is not the most effective method for dating tests. . .the real problem is thus in the way scholars of the New Testament have used and abused papyrological evidence. . .I have (shown) that any serious consideration of the window of possible dates for P52 must include dates in the later second and early third centuries. thus, P52 cannot be used as evidence to silence other debates about the existence (or non-existence) of the Gospel of John in the first half of the second century. Only a papyrus containing an explicit date or one found in a clear archaeological stratigraphic context could do the work scholars want P52 to do. As it stands now, the papyrological evidence should take a second place to other forms of evidence in addressing debates about the dating of the Fourth Gospel."
Take a look at an early papyrus which is said to be of the Christian bible. Let's talk about P75. Most scholars date P75 to the 3rd century. It is sometimes called "the most significant" papyrus of the Christian bible yet discovered (in the 1950s).
Yet P75 has Luke 3:18-24:53 -- yet Luke 22:43–44 is missing.
Besides missing Luke 22:43-44 there are differences in P75 from than the text in the Codex Sinaiticus. It is NOT THE SAME. Luke 8:21 it reads αυτον instead of αυτους.
αλλα ρυσαι ημας απο του πονηρου (but deliver us from evil) (Luke 11:4)
is not even in P75.
Also missing is: "And Jesus said: Father forgive them, they know not what they do." (found in Luke 23:34 in modern Christian bibles) Luke 16:19 is different from modern Christian bibles.
Even a cursory reading of the Christian bible used by Christians today shows one contradiction after another.
Even the current Christian bible is full of contradictions which most ignore, but when one realizes how none of the early sources match up it is a scary thought indeed that 2.4 billion people believe in this religion without actually researching the "facts."
Sophiee Saguy has been countering false missionary claims about Judaism and the T'nach (Jewish bible) for nearly twenty years. You may find her on FaceBook and at the Messiah Truth forum.