Take Not the Name in Vain
Protection Against Profaning "The Name"
R' Richard Pustelniak
May 12, 1995

A Limited View
Personal Application for His People
Profane Worship
Profane Living

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Warning: The truths contained in this teaching are not for the faint of heart, or the lukewarm! You can be sure that haSatan (the adversary) will do all he can to keep you from understanding and applying the concepts and truths contained herein, but it is our prayer that every one who receives these notes will carefully consider and apply the contents to their lives.

I. Introduction

bible iconYou shall not take the name of the L-rd your G-d in vain, for the L-rd will not hold {him} guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Ex 20:7)
A. A Limited View

The phrase, "You shall not take the name of the L-rd your G-d in vain..." has been very carefully honored by the people of G-d through the centuries. We have carefully guarded "The Name", so as not to profane It, or treat It as common.

We have so carefully guarded "The Name" that we have completely forgotten how to pronounce it. Therefore, we simply refer to our G-d by the epithet, HaShem (Hebrew, for "The Name").

(Note: "The Name" is not J_hovah or Y_hweh! These pronunciations come from a misunderstanding of the vowel points which were placed within "The Name" by the scribes of the Masoretic Text (See note 2). These vowel points were intended to tell the reader which word to substitute for "The Name" when publicly reading the scripture (i.e. Ad_nai, El_henu, etc. The incorrect pronunciations of "The Name" are actually offensive to our people, and definitely should not be used when sharing the "Good News" with them.)

Even the phrase "I Am," which has been accepted as the general meaning of "The Name" was carefully revered, even until the time of the Messiah, so that it would not be spoken in reference to a mere man.

bible iconAnd G-d said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Ex 3:14)
bible iconY'Shua therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" They answered Him, "Y'Shua of Nazareth." Y'Shua said to them, "I am {He."} And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, "I am {He,"} they drew back and fell to the ground. (Jn 18:4-6)

We even guard other names (even foreign ones) which refer to our G-d as we are doing in this document (ex. L-rd, G-d, etc.).

We have concentrated so completely on this one aspect of not profaning "The Name" that we have come to believe that to take "The Name" of the L-rd in vain is to use it as a curse word.

bible iconOh, that You would slay the wicked, O G-d! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take {Your name} in vain. (Ps 139:19,20)

Yes this is a very important consideration, but we have failed to recognize that the words "in vain" mean "for nothing", "empty", of "no effect," etc. With this in mind we now have the sensitivity to move on...

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B. Personal Application for His People

In a very strong and intrinsic way, to become identified with HaShem is to take His name. We must be very careful how we bear "The Name."

bible iconThe L-rd will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the L-rd your G-d and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the L-rd, and they shall be afraid of you. And the L-rd will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the L-rd swore to your fathers to give you. (Deut 28:9-11)
bible iconYour words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O L-rd G-d of hosts. (Jer 15:16)
bible icon"On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name," says the L-rd who does this thing. (Amos9:11,12)
1 All Scripture references are from the New King James version, unless otherwise specified.
2 The Masoretic Text is the original set of manuscripts from which the King James Version is translated, and which are the base manuscripts for the Hebrew Bible read in Synagogues around the world.

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