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Verse 2

Exodus 6:2. I am the Lord That is, Jehovah, on which word the emphasis is laid, and it is to be wished that it had been always preserved in this translation, and especially in such passages as this, the sense of which entirely depends on the word. It signifies the same with, I AM THAT I AM, the fountain of being and blessedness, and of infinite perfection. By my name Jehovah was I not known unto them As it is certain that God declared himself to these patriarchs by the name Jehovah, as may be seen Genesis 15:6-7; Genesis 22:14; Genesis 22:16, some of the best and most accurate writers conclude that the latter part of this verse ought to be read interrogatively, thus, And by my name Jehovah was I not known unto them? The original words will well bear this translation, and it would entirely remove that apparent contradiction which is implied in our version. At the same time it would greatly improve the sense and force of the passage. But if we do not read it in this manner, we must not understand it of the name itself, but of the power and virtue which the name expresses. And then the meaning of the passage will be, that though God had revealed himself to the patriarchs as the El-shaddai, the Almighty, or All-sufficient, yet they did not live to see the accomplishment of his promises; and therefore, though they believed, yet they did not experimentally know that he was a God of unchangeable truth; nor had they experienced that all the powers of nature were in his hand, and that he could change them as he pleased, and even communicate the power of doing so to man. But it was to Moses that God first showed his power of making alterations in nature, or working miracles and prodigies. What makes this sense of the passage probable is, that the knowing of Jehovah is spoken of in this way, Exodus 7:5, And the Egyptians shall know that I am Jehovah, when I stretch forth my hand on Egypt. Thus, Henry observes, “The patriarchs knew this name, but they did know him in this matter by that which this name signifies.” God would now be known by his name Jehovah, that Isaiah , 1 st, A God performing what he had promised, and so giving being to his promises. 2d, A God perfecting what he had begun, and finishing his own work. In the history of the creation God is never called Jehovah till the heavens and the earth were finished, Genesis 2:4. When the salvation of the saints is completed in eternal life, then he will be known by his name Jehovah, Revelation 22:13; in the mean time they shall find him for their strength and support, El-shaddai, a God all-sufficient, a God that is enough.

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