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on the statue of Athene in the atrium of the temple of Isis 1 has been refuted by Tholuck. The view, which claims a Chaldean origin for the name Jehovah, is untenable, and as Père Lagrange shows, the Jews themselves did not at any time, not even when they offered their children to Malik (Moloch), identify their God with this national deity of the Chaldeans.3

The only satisfactory explanation of the origin of the present form of the sacred name is the traditional one which claims for it a Hebrew origin, and that at least its full significance was revealed to Moses on Mount Horeb. It is not improbable, however, that a common element of the Divine name, known to the immediate posterity of Adam, remained in the names used by different peoples, even when they had fallen away from God and began to worship strange gods. Indeed, it seems certain that the sacred name Jehovah was not revealed for the first time to Moses, but only its full significance. This opinion is held by Rosenmüller, Hengstenberg, Cajetan, and others. The name of God, when it occurs in Genesis, expresses, according to this view, the knowledge of it as a proper name. In Exodus, however, it is more than a mere appellative, for, as revealed to Moses, it expressed the essential attributes of the God of the Covenant. Hence, Maimonides understand's it as signifying essence and truth. For this reason it is not necessary to explain the use of the name Jehovah in Genesis as a case of prolepsis or anticipation on the part of the sacred writer, but rather that the name was in use and spoken by the persons represented as using it. How the Divine name was pronounced by the early patriarchs we cannot say for certain, especially as Hebrew is only one of the languages spoken after the breaking up of the human family and its division in the use of divers tongues. On the other hand, God expressly told Moses that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and was only known to them as El Shaddai (God Omnipotent). But He was certainly known to the Patriarchs as Elohim. It should follow, therefore, that in limiting the Patriarchs' knowledge of sacred names to El Shaddai God was referring

1 Cf. Plutarch, De Iside, 9.

Cf. Vigouroux, l.c., p. 1229.

3 Religions Sémitiques, 1905, pp. 100 et seq.

This point is important, as the so-called higher critics profess to trace its use in Genesis to the work of a Redactor.

not to the mere appellative term but to its practical significance. Omnipotence was the attribute which He wished the Patriarchs to think of, while Jehovah, though known to them, was not to receive from God its full meaning until a later date.

The various Divine names in use among the Jews served to keep in relief certain attributes of the Divinity, and especially those which were exercised in their behalf. He was known to them as Eloah (singular) and Elohim (plural), the God Who by His Providence rules the world. Their name for the God of armies was Jehovah Sabaoth. As Most High He was known as Elyon. Hebrew praises were offered and promises made to Jah, hence the combination Alleluia or Halleluia.1 As the Omnipotent Benefactor He was to the Patriarchs El Shaddai. He was also known to the Hebrews as El Roi (God Omniscient) and as El Olâm (God Eternal). But none of these names expressed so perfectly as the Tetragrammaton the absolute and incommunicable nature of God. With this name and with it alone is associated the fundamental distinction between God and His creatures. Material things, in the concrete, are composed of matter and form, have integral parts and possess many potentialities which are impossible in God. But potentialities of this kind do not point to the ultimate difference between God and His creatures. Angels are not composed of parts, and are, therefore, without the potentialities associated with matter. The ultimate reason of the distinction between God and created spirits is the identity of the Divine existence with the Divine essence. God alone is self-existent, or rather He is Pure Existence. Angels, in common with all creatures, receive existence from an extrinsic cause. God alone is His Own existence, or His existence is intrinsic to Him. In creatures existence and essence are really distinct. This is a fundamental question in Christian philosophy, and is, according to a recent decree of the Sacred Congregation of Studies, embodied in the teaching of St. Thomas."

It is true that the incommunicable character of the ineffable name serves to explain the absolute independence of God and the identity of His Being with His Substance. He alone is indeterminate Being, inasmuch as He possesses

1 This word is compounded of Hallelu, 'praise ye,' and Jah, 'God.'
2 Cf. Del Prado, O.P., De Veritate Fundamentali.

Thesis III, S.S.C., die 27 Julii, 1914.

the fullness of being. All creatures are determined in their essences to a certain finite mode of existence. Being, as such, is only realized in God. Being, the transcendental, has not, as such, a concrete existence, but exists determined in creatures, in one or other of the suprema genera, in substance or accident. But in God the reason of being is also the reason of substance.

The ineffable name serves also to explain the eternity of God. It abstracts from time conditions, and so cannot be predicated of creatures which are subject to change. When a creature is said to be, there is always at least an implied antithesis introduced. Thus, when it is said John is, the predication of the verb is made in contrast to his past or future existence. Absolutely speaking, then, the verb to be can only be predicated of being without succession, and unlimited by time conditions. In this sense it can only be said of God that He is. To say, therefore, of God that He is, ever was and ever shall be, cannot contain the full connotation of His nature. Neither can it represent His absolute eternity. A necessary element, and one essential to the definition of God's eternity, is duration without succession. Hence, Boetius, in his definition of absolute eternity, claims for it not only full but also simultaneous possession of being.

The foregoing considerations are associated with the study of the name Jehovah. At the same time they do not present us with an ultimate analysis of the Divinity. An element more fundamental is to be found, as we have said, in the identity of essence and existence in God. The ultimate metaphysical constituent of God may then be placed in pure existence. With this idea is connected, although perhaps it is not so fundamental, the notion of asseity. But to both we can trace the reason of the absolute, necessary, and infinite in God. The ultimate concepts of pure existence and asseity are expressed in the ineffable name as far as is possible to do it by a human word.

Interesting as is the study of the ineffable name which was revealed by God Himself, no less interesting are the names which we ourselves apply to God, especially as they are closely associated with our limited knowledge of Him.

1 With the notions of pure existence and asseity are closely associated those of immutability and fidelity. As El Shaddai was to the Jews the Omnipɔtent and Beneficent, so Jehovah was to them the God of the Covenant. Hence the importance of the revelation of this sacred name to Moses as a credential of his mission to the Israelites in Egypt.

It is one of the capital errors of Agnosticism that we cannot have any certain knowledge of God. In like manner, Positivists confine our domain of certitude to sensible phenomena. Kant and the Modernist school deny the validity of the claim to establish a relation between the speculative intellect and God. Traditionalists and Fideists at least weaken, if they do not altogether deny, the native mental powers of the individual who is made to the image and likeness of God,' and who, since this image fundamentally belongs to the illuminative side of his being, is certainly endowed with powers of knowing the Prototype to Whose image he is made..

The connexion between our knowledge of God and the names which we apply to Him is so intimate that the errors to which we have referred lead to corresponding errors regarding the Divine names-either as to their representative character or as to their origin. If man, by the natural powers of his mind, can know God he can also name Him, so that if his concepts of God be true so also must be the Divine names.

Apart from the use of onomatopoeic words, which are based on the physical or psychic relations existing between terms and their objects, a name must possess a certain fixed value. Once it is conveniently adopted to represent a particular concept its representative character must be acknowledged. To deny the relative value of a name is equivalent to a denial of the corresponding mental image, and consequently of the objective truth which it represents. Even Modernists could hardly deny the relative value of a name, even though they may question the static value of the concepts which we form of God. According to them, a term remains true only in so far as it represents an original concept. But a new thought-term--according to the laws of evolution which they adopt-will often be necessary in order to represent a change in the manifestation of the object in the domain of consciousness. Consequently, a new name should be adopted to represent the new concept, or at least the old one should receive a new connotation.

This teaching is opposed to two fundamental truths, of which one was enunciated by the greatest of philosophers when he wrote, anima est quodammodo omnia, a principle which is based on the law of relativity existing between our minds and the essences of things which are unchangeable.

The other is a truth of revelation, in the light of which we see that this law of relativity extends even to God Himself. 'Man,' says Sacred Scripture, Iwas made to the image of God.'1

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But, one may ask, what is the precise value of our concepts of God, and the corresponding value of the Divine names? As we have seen, our concepts of God are true as are also the names introduced to represent them. Yet the names, though they truly represent God, do not give us an adequate and full representation of Him. Like the concepts, they are imperfect and analogous, for human intelligence can only know God as He is represented in the world of creation, as the First Cause in Its effects, and therefore in an imperfect way. Besides, in creation God does not exercise the fullness of His energy.

Our knowledge of the First Cause is, however, distinct and not confused. In this it differs from the a posteriori knowledge which we frequently have of secondary causes. Although we may know a great deal about such causes, yet it often happens that we cannot point to the precise individual. Thus, in examining a work of art, we may know that it is the work of a great artist, but who the individual artist is we may be unable to say. In such cases the name, like the knowledge, must be indefinite and generic. But the First Cause stands distinct and absolute, for God is sole cause in the act of creation, and indeed in every operation of the secondary cause He must, in order to preserve His distinctiveness of activity and operativeness, be the Prime Mover, even in the operations of His free agents. For this reason our names for God are definite and not confused."

To acquire a distinct notion of the First Cause, the mind must by reflex thought remove the imperfections associated with our direct but a posteriori knowledge of God. The direct concept can give us only a confused knowledge of Him, and one which is, in a certain way, Pantheistic. The mind must also by a reflex act remove the limitations in those perfections which in the abstract imply no imperfection and which are applied to God with

1 Gen. ix. 6.

2 To preserve the distinctive character of God's operations the Thomists hold that the motion of God in His creatures must be a physical premotion. In like manner, they consider this premotion necessary for the validity of the argument, from motion, of God's existence.

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