Exodus 3:13-14 are two of the most familiar verses in the Old Testament: “Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ” God reveals his name here in the first person (ehyeh – I AM), but most of the time the Old Testament has the divine name in the third person (Yahweh). Biblical names typically have meanings, so what is the meaning of this name for God?
People can go up to my website for a detailed discussion of this. I favor the second view: “I am he who causes to be all that is,” arguing for a hiphil, a causative, vocalization of the verbal name phrase.
Also a youtube video I created.
This episode builds off Part 2a and our discussion of the Kenite Hypothesis. The episode essentially asks this question: How would a literate ancient Jew, with knowledge of 1 Enoch and the Hebrew Bible, understand the biblical writer’s linkage of the Kenites (relatives of Abraham and Moses) to Cain the murderer, whom the writer of Enoch associated with the sins of the Watchers? The answer may surprise you, and even bless you.
Exodus 3:1 puts Moses in Midian, a land that, as we saw in Part 1, is closely tied to occupants known as Kenites. The Kenites, in fact, overlap in biblical thought with the Midianites (Judg 1:16; 4:11). Midian is also connected with the idea that Yahweh, the God of Israel, came to his land “from the South,” where “South” is defined as Edom, Teman, Paran, and Midian (Hab 3:3-7; Deut 33:1-2; Judg 5:4-5). It is for this reason (and some archaeological data) that many scholars and archaeologists believe that the Kenites / Midianites transmitted the knowledge of Yahweh to Moses (and, hence, Israel). This episode explores the coherence of this idea.