The Meaning of Yahweh: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the word Yahweh mean, and how is it seen in religious texts? We’ve got you covered with all of the information about the word Yahweh.

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The word Yahweh can be seen in numerous forms throughout different religious texts around the world. This article will tell you all about what Yahweh means.

What Does the Word Yahweh Mean?

According to Britannica and Christianity, the word Yahweh is that name of God in the Bible used by the Israelites in its Hebrew form. The name Yahweh is the biblical pronunciation of YHWH, which was revealed in the book of Exodus in the Old Testament via Moses. These letters are known as something called the tetragrammaton, which contains the Hebrew consonants Heh (twice), Yod, and Waw.

In Exodus 3, when God speaks to Moses through the burning bush, He tells Moses to free the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt and tell everyone that He is “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob[.]” (Exodus 3:15)

In Exodus 3:14, God’s name Yahweh is used interchangeably with “I am.” Therefore, His divine name is translated to “I am.”. People sometimes think the proper meaning of Yahweh is “He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists,” which translates to “Yahweh Asher Yahweh.” In the first book of Samuel, the name Yahweh Teva-ʿot is also used, meaning “He Brings the Hosts into Existence” in reference to Israel’s heavenly court. 

Yahweh was previously only spoken by priests in a Jerusalem temple to refer to the God of Israel. After the 6th century BCE Babylonian Exile, people who practiced Judaism used Yahweh because they did not want the common noun Elohim to replace Yahweh. Later, the word Adonai was used, too. This word means Lord and translates to Kyrios in the Greek version of Hebrew scriptures known as the Septuagint.

How the Word Yahweh Changed Over Time

The word Yahweh has been altered over the years as the Bible has been translated. First, the Masoretes added vowels to YHWH with Latin letters. They replaced the letter Y with an I or a J, since the letter Y does not exist in Latin. Therefore, scholars were left with the Latinized name of Yahweh: “Jehovah,” or “JeHoWaH.” 

Throughout the Renaissance and Reformation periods, Christian scholars used the word Jehovah almost exclusively. However, the term Yahweh made a comeback in the 19th and 20th centuries. The St. Clement of Alexandria and Greek transcriptions used Yahweh, so many Christian scholars began to use it again as well. The word Yahweh is sometimes shortened to Yo, Yah, or Yahu.

It is believed that people knew God’s personal name before Moses’ time. It is likely that people from Moses’ tribe of Levi knew His name, including his mother, who is known as Jochebed or Yokheved. This name is based on Yahweh, so it is inevitable that other people knew the name Yahweh before Moses.

What Are Translations of the Word Yahweh?

God has many different names around the world, although not all of these names refer to a Christian God. There are many different forms of worship and belief systems worldwide, but most places have a name for an almighty force. 

Take a gander at this list of translations of God to learn how people in other countries might say the word God:

  • Lithuanian: Dievas‎ (masc.)
  • Luo: Nyasaye‎
  • Greek: Θεός‎ (masc.)
  • Lao: ພະເຈົ້າ‎
  • Esperanto: Dio‎
  • Chickasaw: Chihoowa‎
  • German: Gott‎ (masc.)
  • Czech: bůh‎ (masc.)
  • Russian: бог‎
  • Polish: Bóg‎ (masc.)
  • French: Dieu‎ (masc.)
  • Portuguese: Deus‎ (masc.)
  • Swahili: Jalali‎
  • Finnish: jumala‎, Jumala‎
  • Bulgarian: Бог‎ (masc.)
  • Romanian: Dumnezeu‎ (masc.), dumnezeu‎ (masc.)
  • Middle Persian: yẕdt’‎ (yazd)
  • Italian: Dio‎ (masc.)
  • Swedish: Gud‎ (masc.)
  • Old Prussian: Dēiws‎ (masc.), dēiws‎ (masc.)
  • Catalan: Déu‎ (masc.)
  • Hebrew: אלהא‎
  • Mandarin: 天神‎ (tiānshén)
  • Serbo-Croatian: božanstvo‎ (neut.)
  • Syriac: ܐܠܗܐ‎
  • Luhya: Were‎
  • Urdu: خدا‎ (khudā)
  • Scottish Gaelic: Dia‎ (masc.)
  • Asturian: Dios‎ (masc.)
  • Armenian: աստված‎
  • Kikuyu: Ngai‎
  • Dutch: god‎, God‎ (masc.)
  • Turkish: Allah‎, Tanrı‎
  • Macedonian: бог‎ (masc.)
  • Tagalog: Diyos‎
  • Hindi: भगवान‎ (bhagavān), परमेश्वर‎ (parameshwar), परमात्मा‎ (paramātmā)
  • Georgian: ღმერთი‎
  • Danish: Gud

What Are Synonyms of the Word Yahweh?

Since Yahweh a traditionally Hebrew term, some people might not be familiar with its meaning. If you’re looking for a new word to use in place of Yahweh to describe an almighty force, you can try one of these synonyms for God from Power Thesaurus:

  • all powerful
  • allah
  • almighty
  • author
  • celestial being
  • christ
  • creator
  • creator of the world
  • deity
  • demigod
  • demiurge
  • divine being
  • divineness
  • divinity
  • father
  • genius
  • god
  • goddess
  • godhead
  • godhood
  • golden calf
  • graven image
  • hero
  • holiness
  • holy spirit
  • idol
  • immortal
  • infinite spirit
  • jah
  • jehovah
  • jesus
  • jesus christ
  • lord
  • maker
  • master
  • messiah
  • most high
  • numen
  • our Lord
  • power
  • providence
  • redeemer
  • sacred cow
  • soul
  • spirit
  • supreme being
  • totem
  • tutelary
  • universal life force


The word Yahweh is the name of God given to Him in the Bible by the Israelites. This Hebrew name is a biblical pronunciation of YHWH. People call God by many different names, but Yahweh is thought the be His original name.


  1. God synonyms – 532 Words and Phrases for God | Power Thesaurus 
  2. 7 Meanings of Yahweh and Why It’s Such an Important Name for God | Bible Study Tools 
  3. What is the Tetragrammaton? YHWH and Yahweh Meaning and Usage | Christianity 
  4. Yahweh | YHWH, Adonai, Elohim, Meaning, & Facts | Britannica