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Catholic Dictionary




Jehovah is God, the English name for the Hebrew Yahweh. When the latter promised Moses that he would feed Moses' people, he concluded by saying, "Then you will learn that I, Yahweh, am your God" (Exodus 16:12). Jehovah developed into the form used most commonly when he was communicating with the Israelites, whereas God was used where Gentiles were concerned. The admonition "You shall not utter the name of Yahweh your God to misuse it" (Exodus 20:7) ultimately induced the Israelites not to pronounce his name at all but to substitute for it the title "Adonai," meaning "the Lord." Other titles used in the Old Testament for God are El or Elohim or El Shaddai.