The name of God used most often in the Hebrew Bible is the Tetragrammaton YHWH (Hebrew: ????). It is frequently anglicized as Jehovah and Yahweh and written in most English editions of the Bible as "the Lord" owing to the Jewish tradition of reading it as Adonai ("My Lords") out of respect.
Like other Hebrew proper names, the name of God is more than a mere distinguishing title. It represents the Hebrew conception of the divine nature or character and of the relation of God to His people. It represents the Deity as He is known to His worshipers, and stands for all those attributes which He bears in relation to them and which are revealed to them through His activity on their behalf. A new manifestation of His interest or care may give rise to a new name. So, also, an old name may acquire new content and significance through new and varied experience of these sacred relations.
The word El () appears in Assyrian (ilu) and Phenician, as well as in Hebrew, as an ordinary name of God. It is found also in the South-Arabian dialects, and in Aramaic, Arabic, and Ethiopic, as also in Hebrew, as an element in proper names. It is used in both the singular and plural, both for other gods and for the God of Israel. As a name of God, however, it is used chiefly in poetry and prophetic discourse, rarely in prose, and then usually with some epithet attached, as "a jealous God." Other examples of its use with some attribute or epithet are: El 'Elyon ("most high God"), El Shaddai ("God Almighty"), El 'Olam ("everlasting God"), El ?ai ("living God"), El Ro'i ("God of seeing"), El Elohe Israel ("God, the God of Israel"), El Gibbor ("Hero God").
Adonai () occurs as a name of God apart from its use by the Masorites as a substituted reading for Yhwh.
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