Author Topic: Understanding the name "I AM that I AM" (Exodus 3:14)  (Read 127 times)

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Offline Jacob Ben Avraham

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Understanding the name "I AM that I AM" (Exodus 3:14)
« on: Sat Jan 14, 2023 - 19:19:04 »
ARASHAT: "Shemot" (names)    EXODUS 1:1-6:1

     We enter into a new era, Jacob/Israel and Joseph are now in the past, yet their legacy continues, in “Am Yisrael” (The People of Israel).   

     ”70 souls” entered Mitzraim (Egypt).  It is interesting that the Hebrew word “Nefesh” is used for “souls” yet the word is in the singular, but why? Is there symbolism here? If we are to read this in English, we would read; “70 soul entered Egypt”. 

      One could say that the word “Nefesh” (Soul) could refer to the whole “Family” of Israel as ONE (Echad) family unit, as we are ONE with Elohim, then all of Israel was ONE as well. 

     As we know, the "Hyksos kings" were ruling when Joseph came to Egypt.  The "Hyksos" were known by the Egyptian title "Heka Khasut" or "foreign rulers of the hill country." They ruled between 1630 and 1530 BCE, during the time of Joseph.  It is believed that they came from Western Asia, others think they were Semites or Hittites

       hundreds of years later, we have a few million Hebrews.  There is a list at the beginning of Exodus of the “B'nei Israel” (the sons of Israel) and they had their children, and their children had children, etc. They remained in the area of “Goshen” along the Nile Delta, farming, and raising cattle, and probably a few became merchants adapting to life in Egypt.  They got used to seeing Egyptian deities and probably understood spoken Egyptian.  Who knows if many became “Egyptianized” did they bow down to the deities? Let's hope not.

     How much did they retain about Adonai? El Shaddai? We don't know, but I am sure that the story of Joseph and how he brought his family to Egypt from Canaan was passed down from family to family.  The story of the famine, and how Yosef preserved life in midst of the famine.  So “B'nei Israel” multiplied, and the land was filled with the "children of Israel”, and now the Egyptians start to get nervous.  In verse 8, problems start;

 ” And there arose a new king over Egypt who knew not Joseph”

This new king had overthrown the Hyksos rulers, and did not personally know Yosef nor knew of his accomplishments to save Egypt.  Some tradition says that in part, the Hebrews had become “Egyptianized” and failed to keep the memory of Yosef alive and what he did. 
     There are a few ideas of who it might have been.  Some believe it might have been “Pharaoh Ahmose or Rameses II"  A little on Egyptian words and etymology, the Egyptian word “meses” or “mose” means “born of” so the name “Moshe” or “Moses” is similar to “meses” (born of) or (Taken from). 

     Since Moses was “Taken from the water, or from the river (The Nile).  We ask what might have been the Egyptian name Moses used?  The Egyptian word for “river” is “iteru” so, his name might have been “Iterumose” or “Iterumeses”  (given ancient Egyptian entomology)  There were many “Rameses” it means “Born of the god RA” “Ahmose” probably (born of “Ah”) “Thutmose” (born of the god Thut) and so on. So many pharaohs took on those names.

     Also, the title “Pharaoh” is exactly that, a title, not a name.  It comes from two Egyptian words; “per” and “o”  “Per” = house, and “O” = great.  So the title “pharaoh” means “of the Great House”  It would be like saying;  “I am going to Washington D.C. to see the White House” What you are saying is that you are going to see the president, who “lives” in the White House. 
     The pharaoh of verse 8 is paranoid and thinks that the Israelites will join up with a foreign enemy to overthrow Egypt again, like in the times of the Hyksos.  Now slavery starts and the Hebrews (the Egyptian word is “Hapiru”) are made slaves, and the time of Hebrew prosperity and freedom is over.

     Yet Elohim hears the cries of his people, and has selected the tribe of Levi, through a couple; Amran and Jochebed, to bring into the world, “Moshe” who would be a sort of “Mashiach” (like Yosef) to lead Israel OUT of Egypt, in God's appointed time.  YHVH has a time for ALL THINGS, we cannot rush God's clock, it ticks slowly for us, yet it ticks out second by second and includes us all in the plan of things.

     The throne of Egyptian changes, and the pharaohs continue to be paranoid, one develops a plan to “curb” the birth rate by killing the baby boys, according to the historian 'Ted Stewart' in his book “solving the Exodus Mystery” the pharaoh who ordered the death of the male infants was “Sesostris III” we see that Moshe is adopted by the daughter of this pharaoh.

 Moshe grows up in the palace and is raised as a “prince of Egypt” and at the same time, “retaining (inside) his Hebrew identity”.  We remember that he kills an Egyptian in defending one of his own.   The Pharaoh that sought his death was “Amenemhet III”. Moshe fled and spent 40 years in Midian, upon returning, he faced the Pharaoh “Amenemhet IV” who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, who pursued the Israelites through the Red Sea, (and didn't quite make it, receiving a very fatal water baptism).  (T. Stewart, Solving the Exodus Mystery, 

     When Moshe fled, there is an interesting verse, 2:15, it says that “Moshe fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian (which is now Saudi Arabia). “And he sat down by a well.”

We can read scripture from a literal standpoint.  Yes, Moshe fled and probably went East then South to get to the land of Midian.  If he took that direct route (no one knows for sure) it would have been a 250-mile hike.  We don’t know how many supplies he took with him, how much water, etc, since he was on the run from Pharoah.  But he arrived might thirsty.   

     A well was a meeting point in those days, so he knew that people would be coming to get water. Sure enough, came Yitro’s daughters to get water and he was there to help and defend the damsels. Yet we need also to look at this from a derashic and symbolic standpoint.  Moshe has made contact with the “well”.  A water well represents life.  Moshe hangs on to life.  One of Yeshua’s titles is “The Living Water”.  We might look at that well symbolically as “Yeshua, the Well of Living Water (Yeshua, HaBeer Mayim Chayim) 

     Adonai Showed grace upon grace to Moshe, since he would be his instrument of redeeming Israel from Egyptian bondage.  The word for “grace” is “Rachem” and “Rachamim” is the plural form; “a large and plentiful amount of grace”  there is “Mayim” in “Rachamim” (spelled with the Hebrew letters) so grace is like plentiful water, and since Yeshua is the “Living Water” He is the author of “grace”. Moshe would be a “Messiah type” who would “take his people out” and that is the meaning of the name “Moshe” (taken out of) so he would live up to his name.
     He is something else interesting.  How does Moshe represent The Messiah? The word “HaMashiach” is spelled in Hebrew;  “Hey, Mem, Sheen, Yod, Chet” and the words “Moshe Chai” (Moses lives) have the “Same Letters!” “Mem, Sheen, Hey, Chet, Yod” in gematria, it equals “363” 

When we add 3+6+3 = 12, which is the number of the tribes that Moshe led from bondage.  1+2=3, and “3” is the number that represents “Elohim” who led the people through the wilderness. So, we can conclude that “Moshe lives in Mashiach, and the Spirit of Mashiach lives in Moshe” He was guided by the Spirit of God for 120 years. 

     Matthew 2:15 states;  “Out of Egypt I have called my son”  Yeshua went down to Egypt with his parents to escape Herod, they spent some years there and then returned to Israel.  Yet also Israel is the son, as he went to Egypt when he was old, and his bones were “carried out” yet Moshe also represents Israel as a nation, and Moshe went out with Israel, and since Moshe symbolizes Mashiach, then, the verse fits both parties (yet primarily, it fits Yeshua first). 

     This Parashah has so much that I wish to concentrate on the “Calling of Moshe” in chapter three of Shemot God calls to Moshe while he is taking care of Yitro's sheep near Mt. Sinai.  A note to mention is that God prepares his servants beforehand, before sending them out on the mission fields, “Midian and the flocks of sheep” were the training grounds and subjects of his training, before leading out “Human sheep” to the land of Midian that “he now knew and was familiar with”

     God calls him saying; “Anochi Elohei Aviyha” (I am the God of your father) so the name “Elohei” is used, then he uses a more personal name in verse 14; “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” if you can really call it a name, it is translated as I AM that or who I AM, which is really not a name at all. So, what is God trying to convey to Moshe? In a way, he is saying, “Is a proper name so important Moe? Just understand that I EXIST! I have existed in the past, the present, and will exist in the future” the word “Ehyeh” is a form of “Haya” or “Havayah” meaning “to exist” or “the essence of being” from this we get the most sacred name of God: YHVH.  The same letters  Y H V rearranged form the words;  Haya=past  Hoveh=present  YiYah=future, so the essence of the name "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" is the "I am the God who exists, have existed, and who will exist" 

     HaVaYaH (re-arrange the letters and we get YHVH) modern translators put in vowels to get YeHoVaH and have changed the Y to J to become JEHOVAH, but that is not the original name, there exists no “J” in Hebrew.

     The other name used in chapter 3 is “Elohim” “Elohim” said to Moshe...Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh...” “Elohim” is the “all-powerful God of Creation, the Triune God (im) who we know, as Messianic believers, as being EL (father) BEN-YESHUA, (Yeshua the Son) RUACH-HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit).

      Elohim has revealed himself to us in human form through YESHUA, and as Moshe leads his people out of the slavery of physical bondage, YESHUA leads us out of the bondage of spiritual slavery of sin, leading us to a new life, in a personal relationship with HIM, as the Israelites entered into a renewed relationship with Elohei starting at Sinai, our relationship starts at Calvary.  We are now joined to “His chosen people” through adoption, both native-born in Israel, and those who are from the diaspora, we are all ONE (ECHAD) in Messiah Yeshua Ben David, Ben Adam, and Ben YHVH.

     We continue to read and we find in chapter 4 that YHVH sends Moshe back to Egypt to lead his people out. We find that God works through people, some very special, others very ordinary.  Yet before sending back Moshe, He prepares him in the desert as a shepherd.  One can divide the life of Moshe into three parts, the first 40 years as prince and general in Egypt, the second 40 years as an outcast, yet an instrument in the hands of YHVH, and the last 40 years as leader of Israel. 
     Before sending him back, there are three signs that YHVH gives Moshe, as “authority”.  When we look at these three signs of authority, we see “Yeshua” in these signs.  The first was the “Mateh” (The staff).  It was common for every household leader to carry a staff, a little more than just a “walking stick”.  The “Mateh” was a sign of leadership and authority.  But this one would be changed into a serpent when Moshe threw it down before Pharaoh.  The serpent was a sign of “kingly authority” in Egypt, as it was a part of the royal headdress that the pharaohs wore.   

     Shepherds carried a “rod” and a “staff” when leading sheep.  The “rod” being a short, heavy club that was used as a weapon, and the “staff” to lead.  Yeshua is the “good shepherd” who leads us, who, “crushed the head of the serpent” at Calvary.   
     The second sign was the sign of “disease and healing of said disease” namely “Tza-arat” (leprosy).  We see in the Prophets that Elisha healed Naaman the Syrian of leprosy, and Yeshua also healed the sick, including lepers.  Even in the desert, those who were bitten by “serpents” were healed by a “bronze serpent on a staff” (again, returning to the staff and serpent).  Yeshua is our healer and heals us of the curse of sin and death.

     The third sign was the “water turned to blood” on dry land (4:9).  This reminds us of our Messiah Yeshua, who when on the cross, was pierced by a roman spear, and out of his side came “blood and water” and this mixture of “blood and water” fell from the cross on dry land.  By his shed blood, we are saved, by Yeshua who is the “living Water”. 

Ben Avraham

Offline TrevorL

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Re: Understanding the name "I AM that I AM" (Exodus 3:14)
« Reply #1 on: Fri Jan 20, 2023 - 04:57:17 »
Greetings Jacob Ben Avraham,
it is translated as I AM that or who I AM
I prefer the translation "I will be who/what I will be" as per Tyndale, RV and RSV margins and AB Davidson.

Kind regards