Jehovah-shammah

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Jehovah-shammah is a Christian transliteration of the Hebrew יְהוָה שָׁמָּה meaning "The LORD is there", the name given to the city in Ezekiel's vision in Ezekiel 48:35. These are the final words of the Book of Ezekiel.

The first word of the phrase is the Tetragrammaton יהוה, the sacred name that, according to the Hebrew Bible, God revealed to the Jews as a chosen people. It is generally translated in English bibles as "the LORD" or "GOD" in all capital letters. Jehovah is a Christian anglicized vocalization of this name.

Contents

Biblical context

In the vision of restoration seen by the prophet Ezekiel as recorded in chapters 40 to 48, the city (Jerusalem) is depicted as square (4,500 long cubits to a side [2,331 m; 7,650 ft]) and as having 12 gates, each bearing the name of one of the tribes of Israel. (Eze 48:15,16,31-34) The visionary city of Ezekiel’s prophecy is to belong to “all the house of Israel.” (Eze 45:6) The name Jehovah-shammah, or “Jehovah Himself Is There,” would signify a representational presence of God like that expressed in other texts, such as Psalm 46:5; 132:13,14; Isaiah 24:23; Joel 3:21; and Zechariah 2:10,11, where Jehovah is spoken of as though residing in an earthly city or place. Compare 1 Kings 8:27: "Will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you."

Christian interpretation

Easton's Bible Dictionary identifies the city in Ezekiel's vision as Jerusalem, and as a type of the gospel Church.[1]

Commentaries such as that of Matthew Henry draw attention to the similarities of the vision of the holy city, the new Jerusalem, in the closing chapters of the Christian Bible, Revelation 21-22; these include the square plan, the twelve gates, and the presence of God.[2] Jehovah-Shammah is therefore understood not merely as a name but as a description of the future reality.[3]

Charles Spurgeon–a British Particular Baptist Pastor, still known as the "Prince of Preachers"–preached his New Year sermon in 1891 on this text in Ezekiel, declaring:[4]

It is esteemed by the prophet to be the highest blessing that could come upon a city that its name should be, JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH, The Lord is there.

The phrase is also the title of a Christian hymn written published in 1816; its theme is God's protection of Jerusalem, the eternal home of the saints.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Jehovah-shammah in Easton's Bible Dictionary at CCEL
  2. ^ Ezekiel XLVIII in Matthew Henry's Commentary.
  3. ^ Ezekiel Chapter 48 in Jamieson, Faucett & Brown. Online at CCEL.
  4. ^ Jehovah-Shammah: A Glorious Name for the New Year, January 4th, 1891, Metropolitan Tabernacle. Available online at the Spurgeon Archive.
  5. ^ "Jehovah Shammah" in A Selection of Hymns, from Various Authors, 1816, online at CCEL