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Yahweh: another in my occasional series on the different gods worshipped around this complex and fascinating world of ours.
Also known as Jehovah and Elohim, Yahweh is the personal name of God in the Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures. The word is a modern convention for the original Hebrew, transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is lost. The added vowels are thought by scholars to represent the most likely vocalization of this Tetragrammaton. There are many theories about meaning of the name and none is regarded as conclusive but the most likely may be “He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists". In the Bible, Yahweh is the god responsible for delivering Israel from Egypt and giving the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel. Known as a jealous god, Yahweh is supposed to have revealed himself to Israel as a god who wouldn't allow idols or the worship of other gods; "I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or My praise to idols."
Prior to the change to worship of a single deity, the followers of Yahweh, in common with most ancient groups, worshipped many different gods that supplied many varied roles and functions. Pantheism was much more popular amongst the early seekers of answers to the inexplicable than monotheism, which gradually replaced this tolerant form of worship with a power base that could be used to control the gullible and ill-informed.