Monday, February 22, 2016

I AM ?!

"What's your name?" Moses asks God in his encounter with the burning bush.  God replies, "Elyeh-Asher-Ehyeh."  This is how Robert Alter puts the Hebrew in our alphabet in his fine translation of The Five Books of Moses.  Alter says that the most plausible construction is "I-Will-Be-Who-I- Will-Be," but that it could also be "I-Am-That-I-Am" or "I-Am-He-Who-Endures."  There is a lot of theological speculation about the meaning of this name.
Carey Walsh says that the name protects as it reveals Divinity.  Moses wants to get to know God.  God initiates an intimate relationship with Moses, but there will always be an element of mystery.  The Divine remains elusive.

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