Who is “YAH”?
Sometimes instead of saying “YHVH” or Yahweh or Yehowah, I simply write “Yah”. Why do I do that? Is there a Biblical basis for that? Who is Yah? Is it being disrespectful to call our great Creator “Yah”? Is it like a nickname and therefore too casual?
I have a couple sermons on “What is our Creator’s name?” – given in October 2011. You may wish to follow-up this sermon with a study into those sermons.
We all say “Yah” without even realizing it. There is no “J” sound in Hebrew. What appears as a J in English is pronounced as a “Y” in Israel and even in much of Eastern Europe. So even Jerusalem is “Yerushalayim” or variants of that, in Hebrew.
Take the word “hallelujah”. Notice the “Jah” at the end of the word. We all pronounce it correctly in this case as “Yah”. It means “PRAISE Yah.”
Yes, Yah is an acceptable shortened form of YHVH, the most personal name of our Creator.
Your English Bibles translate it as YAH, several times. It is Strong’s word # 3050. You can look it up in Strong’s concordance under that number. I’ll quote some, to verify that saying “Yah” is Biblical. Where you see “YHVH” in my text, your English Bibles will have it as “the LORD”. I preserve the name of God in the Hebrew. The KJV only has it as “Jah” in Psalms 68:4 but NKJV and others list more. KJV usually translates Jah or Yah as “Lord”. Here are a few of the many times where the original Hebrew actually mentions “YAH”. You’ll miss it in most English Bibles though, where most simply translate the name “Yah” as “the Lord.”
Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
'For Yah, YHVH, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.'"
Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Extol Him, who rides on the clouds,
By His name Yah,
And rejoice before Him.
Trust in YHVH forever,
For in Yah, YHVH, is everlasting strength.
11 I said,
"I shall not see Yah,
YHVH in the land of the living;
I shall observe man no more among the inhabitants of the world.
There are many, many more places where ‘Yah” is used, but not translated as such, but translated “the LORD”.
The first time YAH is used in the original Hebrew is Exodus 15:2
“YAH (the LORD) is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father's God, and I will exalt Him.”
In the original Hebrew, YAH shows up next in Exodus 17:16.
Many times it is found in the phrase “Hallelujah, praise be to Yah”. Remember that “praise be to Yah” is what “HalleluYah” means! It amuses me that people who are so insistent that somehow it is wrong to say “Yah” or “YHVH”, will say his holy name over and over as they say or sing “Hallelujah”, without even knowing what they’re doing or saying. Oh well.
“Bless YHVH o my soul, Praise YAH”
But you’ll miss it in your English Bibles…. But YAH is used a couple dozen times in the scriptures. So if I write “Yah” sometimes in referring to our awesome Creator, you know I have Biblical precedent and I’m not being flippant with His holy name. Absolutely not.