YHWH Sees (YHWH Will Provide)
Most of YHWH's compound names and titles arise out of some historic incident, and portray God in some aspect of His character meeting human needs. Naturally, all of these names are significant because of their relation to the name "YHWH". As we've already learned, the name "YHWH" reveals God as the Covenant-Keeping Eternal I AM, the Self-Existent One, the Holy God, and the God of Revelation.
It isn't enough that we simply know these names as some sort of rote learning exercise. If we truly desire to know YHWH on an intimate and personal level, then we must study these names and designations and their significance in the historical settings in which they're given. Only then, may we even come close to grasping all that the Elohim of Heaven and Earth wants us to know about Himself. Why else would He inspire these revelations about His character and His interactions with His creation?
Pronounced Yä-wá' (or Yod-Há-Väv-Há') Yir-á', the compound name appears in the Old Testament only once in Genesis 22:14 by Abraham to memorialize God's intervention in the sacrifice of Isaac by providing an animal substitute for the sacrifice of his son: "And Abraham called the name of the place, '-Yireh,' as it is said to this day, 'On the mountain provides.'"
The word "jireh" is a transliteration of a Hebrew word which means "to see" or "to foresee". In the Hebrew Bible, it is translated "to see" or "to appear", and it is often used to refer to certain people who could foresee prophets as in...
- 1 Samuel 9:9 "Formerly, in Yisra'el, when a man went to inquire of Elohim, he spoke thus, 'Come, let us go to the seer [jireh],' for the prophet of today was formerly called a seer [jireh]." (TS98)
- 2 Kings 17:13 "Yet Yahweh-testified to Israel, and to Judah, by every prophet, and every seer [jireh], saying, 'Turn you from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.'" (WEB)
- 1 Chronicles 9:22 "All these who were chosen to be porters in the thresholds were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer [jireh] did ordain in their office of trust." (WEB)
- See also 1 Samuel 9:11,18-19; 2 Samuel 15:27, 24:11; 1 Chronicles 21:9, 25:5, 26:28, 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29, 12:15, 16:7,10, 19:2, 29:25,30, 35:15; Amos 7:12.
Obviously, there might be some confusion as to how the word "to see" can then also be translated to "provide", unless we consider the nature of Almighty God [El Shaddai]. As the 19th Century Anglican pastor H. W. Webb-Peploe wrote in "The Titles of Jehovah":
"...with God, to see is also to foresee. As the One who possesses eternal wisdom and knowledge, He knows the end from the beginning. . . . From eternity to eternity He foresees everything. . . . Thus with God foreseeing is prevision. As the Jehovah of righteousness and holiness, and of love and redemption, having prevision of man's sin, and fall, and need, He makes provision for that need. For provision, after all, is merely a compound of two Latin words meaning "to see beforehand". And we may learn from a dictionary that "provide" is simply the verb and "prevision" the noun of seeing beforehand. Thus to God prevision is necessarily followed by provision, for He certainly will provide for that need which His foreseeing shows Him to exist. With Him prevision and provision are one and the same thing." (emphases added)
Thus, "YHWH Sees" becomes "YHWH Provides" or "YHWH Will Provide".
In the circumstance of the compound name in Genesis 22:14, YHWH-Jireh is significant because it commemorates a great deliverance. Naming the place "YHWH-Jireh" serves as a perpetual reminder of the marvelous, awe-inspiring grace of YHWH.
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