Posted by: Pastor Terry Hagedorn | July 4, 2009

The 23rd Psalm–The YHWH PSALM


Pastor Terry Hagedorn, Calvary Baptist Church, Reedsville, WV

The Twenty-third Psalm is the favorite Psalm of most believers. Probably because it is the most personal Psalm–the personal pronouns “I”, “me”, “my”, or “mine” occur eighteen times in the Psalm’s six verses.

There are three primary names for God revealed to us in His Holy Word: El (Plural: Elohim), Adonai, and Jehovah. The first two names, El and Adonai, are titular in nature.

Elohim is used 2,570 times, it refers to God’s power, intelligence, and wisdom. (Gen. 1:1, Psalm 19:1) There are four compounds of the name El: Elyon, the strongest strong One. (Gen. 14:17-20); El Roi, the strong One Who sees. (Gen. 16:13); El Shaddai, the breasted one–comforter, sustainer, and nurturer. (Gen. 17:1, Psalm 91:1); and, El Olam: the everlasting God. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Adonai, the second of these titles, means “Master, Lord” (Mal. 1:6). It is the New Testament counterpart of Kurios, “Lord”.

Jehovah, the self-existent One, the God of the Covenant. It is God’s most common name–occurring 6,823 times in the Bible. It is the combination of the vowels from Adonai and the Tetragrammeton, YHWH, the Hebrew verb, “I am” or “to be”. The Jews purposely omitted the vowels from this name for God, YHWH, in order to prevent the profane use of the Holy Name (Ex. 20:7).

Additionally, there are nine combinations of His personal Name,

Jehovah, that reveal His nature and character:

2. Jehovah Rohi: The Lord my Shepherd. Ps. 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

3. Jehovah Jireh: The Lord will provide. Gen. 22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

4. Jehovah Rapha: The Lord our Healer. Ex. 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, … I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

5. Jehovah Maccaddeschcem: The Lord thy Sanctifier. Ex. 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

6. Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord our Righteousness. Jer. 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

7. Jehovah Shalom: The Lord is Peace. Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

8. Jehovah Shammah: The Lord who is present. Ezek. 48:35 …and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

9. Jehovah Sabaoth: The Lord of hosts. Isaiah 6:3 Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

10. Jehovah Nissi: The Lord, my Banner. Ex. 17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

The Name, Jehovah, and all of its nine combinations are contained or implied in the Twenty-third Psalm:


The LORD (Jehovah) is my shepherd (Jehovah Rohi); I shall not want (Jehovah Jireh). 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul (Jehovah Rapha): he leadeth me (Jehovah Maccaddeschcem) in the paths of righteousness (Jehovah Tsidkenu) for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (Jehovah Shalom): for thou art with me; (Jehovah Shammah) thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies (Jehovah Sabaoth): thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever (Jehovah Nissi).

Isn’t it wonderful to have such a personable personal Savior? I feel like the little boy in Sunday School who was called on to recite the Twenty-third Psalm. He boldly stood up and triumphantly started his recitation, “The Lord is my shepherd; I got all I want…”


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