Alexandr Loginov © 2017

Flamy name of

Holy and awesome is his name
(Psalm 111:9)


One of the most common religious taboos is prohibition on utterance of the name Yahweh, the Biblical God of Israel. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord [Yahweh – יהוה], your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name”. (Ex. 20:7 see also Deut. 5:11) The ban was grounded on the sensible requirement to avoid the sacred name in perjury or false covenant. The adverb “falsely” [lash-sháv – לַשָּׁוְא] can be interpreted as “vain”, “deceitful” and “idle”. The Bible texts confirm this very exegesis of the commandment. “Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God”. (Lev. 19:12; see also Lev. 6:2-5; Is. 48:1; Jer. 5:2, 7:9; Hos. 10:4; Zech. 5:4, 8:17; Mal. 3:5). With the same restriction the name Yahweh was freely used in the swear: “As surely as the Lord who rescues Israel lives, even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan, he must die.” But not one of them said a word.”(1 Sam. 14:39; see also 1 Sam. 19:6; Ruth 3:13, etc.). Believers in their prayers invocated aloud to their God. “Give praise to the Lord [Yahweh – יהוה], proclaim his name” (Is.12:4); “Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder” (Zeph. 3:9). The short form of the Tetragrammaton – Yahu,1 was widely used in deriving of theophoric names of the ancient Jewish people, for instance: Hosea – Hoseahu, Isaiah – Isaiahu, etc. In the Judaic convention (in Halakha and Hagada) the Tetragrammaton is named שם המיוחד – Shem Ha-Meyuhad, «the proper name, for the God of Israel only”. However, by the beginning of I Thd. A.D. in the ritual Judaism practice there had appeared some restrictions to calling on the name the Tetragrammaton – priests were only allowed to use it in worship service in the Temple. Some centuries later it was banned completely, and instead of Yahweh they used Adonai or Ha-shem. The pronunciation itself of the four-letter item as the Tetragrammaton as “Yahweh” was offered by the German scientist G. Ewald, and it gradually became dominant in the modern Bible studies.

Beside the short form there exists the full form of the name Yahweh, with the particular sacral significance. “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord [Yahweh], in your presence”.  (Ex. 33:19), - here the deity is called by the proper name Yahweh (יהוה), but one more, particular name is mentioned. It could be learned by only the chosen few at the moment of mystic admition, vision of “gloria”. In religious literature this name was designated with the term Shem ha-Mephorash (שֵם הַמְפוֹרָש). The literal meaning of Shem ha-Mephorash is “the name which is clearly articulated...”, as it is defined in Brockhaus and Efron Jewish Encyclopedia or “name in detail”. This term is used by cabalists and means the secret name of the God. It has 72 words, which were declared the names of angels. These names were “specified” with the most bizarre and tricky method. It was based on 72 letters of Biblical Neo-Hebraic in three verses Exodus214:19-21. They gave the roots to the “names” supposedly making Shem ha-Mephorash. In order to get the root of the first “name” they linked the first letter of the first word of the verse Ex. 14:19 with the last letter of the last word of Ex. 14:20 and added the first letter of the first word of Ex. 14:21. The root of the second “name” they received the same way: to the second letter of the first word of Ex. 14:19 they added the next-to-last letter of the last word of the verse Ex. 14:20 and completed with the second letter of the first word of the Ex. 14:21. The same method was used to create the roots of the other “names” which had never existed. Then to the roots they added “godly” suffixes “-iach” and “-el” and received the names of 72 angels supposedly making together the full name of Yahweh.

The 72 invented words are very difficult to remember and, moreover, to repeat aloud correctly, and their creators probably considered the difficulty of the “super name” to be the attribute of gnosis. However, the exceptionally cumbersome artificial construction contradicts the sacred name itself, as Shem ha-Mephorash “means literally the name, clearly articulated…”, the other variants of interpretation are “explained”, “obvious”, “distinct”, “comprehensible”… And how can we consider comprehensible a name of 72 invented words?

Judaic mentors kept to the commandment “to insulate Torah” (Talmud, Avot 1:1), that means they tried to keep adherents of different faith from the information of their doctrinal statement, and the “Name in detail” with the description of the deity must have been hidden in secret with particular care. The statement that Shem ha-Mephorash is presented as a combination of 72 angel names, which is set out in some cabalistic texts, is such protection from curiosity of the profanes.

The fictitious angel name offered by the Middle Ages cabalists only confirms existence of the real “Name in detail” which was tried to hide behind an ornate myth. This name is known by every reader of the Bible, it is represented in the famous scene of Moses’s meeting with the God of Israel who showed his worth in the wonder of Burning Bush. “Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Ex. 3:13-14). In the Judaic original of the name-epithet “I am who I am” they use the verb hаjаh היה – “be”, “exist”, and it is pronounced as ehyeh asher ehyeh (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה). In Septuagint the self-name Yahweh is interpreted as Eγω είμι ό ων. Here we see the name-epithet characterizing the deity in accordance with the conceptualization of believers. All ancient gods had such names-epithets.  For instance, Zeus was called Thunderer (like Jupiter had a name Fulgurator – “Fulminating”), Apollo was “Kithara player” (Kithared), the name-epithet of Demeter was “Fruit Benefactress”, the Egyptian Ptah was “He who is behind the southern wall”, Anubis was “The First of western inhabitants”, etc. Yahweh also had the name-epithet presented Exodus 3:14.

Many exegetes and biblical scholars interpreted the phrase “I am who I am” as reflection of absolute and transcendent existence of the God. Though, such interpretation of the Yahweh name-epithet of the God does not seem valid. “The translators created so-called Septuagint, much to delight of all philosophizing theologians of the Middle Ages, described the famous self-description of the Biblical God ’ehyeh ’asher ’ehyeh in terms of Greek ontologism ego eimi ho on (I am who I am). But the Judaic verb “hayah” does not mean “be” but “be actually present”; it does not characterize some essence but existence. And here the question is about life but not esse; about reality but not essence… The entire idea of Egyptians, Babylonians and Yahud in their utter achievements is not philosophy as the object of the idea is not “genesis” but “life”, not “essence” but “existence”, and it does not use “categories” but indiscrete symbols of human self-awareness-in-the-world. It quintessentially excludes technical and methodical “correctness” of true philosophy” / Sergei Averintsev. Greek "Literature" and Middle Eastern “Philology”/. The mystical characterization of Yahweh, given by the author of Exodus, cannot be explained through the notions appeared some centuries later and used in a different cultural and religious environment.

Quite long ago in Biblical exegetics they offered a version that the full name of Yahweh is presented in Ex. 3:14 in a contorted form. “In its real form the phrase is meaningless.3 However, initially its meaning revealed the content of the tetragram. Later the phrase became subject to editing, that is why it is necessary to restore its initial form to elicit its original sense”. /Vestel Y. “Ineffable Name”. Such contortion was not at all unusual, it occurs repeatedly in Old Covenant texts, and they even received a certain name - Tiqqun soferim «corrections of scribes». The cause of willful contortion of the name-epithet Yahweh is not a secret. In ancient times they believed that to know the entire true name of the deity means to obtain supernatural abilities, and articulation of the name only enchants unprecedented power. Such conceptualization, which can be viewed as magic superstition though, continued in Judaism for quite long. “In the Temple was to be found the Foundation Stone on which were engraved the letters of God's Ineffable Name. Whoever learned the secret of the Name and its use would be able to do whatever he wished.” (Toledoth Yeshu, 5) / /.  It is impossible for Yahweh adepts with their extra care of the holy name to entrust it to any text reader including an adherent of different faith. The tabooed name of Yahweh is directly affirmed in Genesis: “Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there ” (Gen. 32:29). Such refusal to divulge the name of the deity of the Moses adepts is presented in Judges: Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?” He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding… Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord. “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!” (Judg. 13:17-18, 21-22). Though it is referred to an angel, he is the incarnation of Yahweh himself and the bearer of his holy name. “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.” (Ex. 23:20-21; also “In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them.” Is. 63:9).

In both citations the author asks a rhetorical question: “What do you ask about My Name?” which is directed to the readers – his contemporary adherents. For them the sacred name Yahweh seemed highly valuable religious information. The author eluded that for such gnosis they had to have the particular right, which only priests had. It is highly unlikely for them to share the exclusive information with profanes, that is why we can assert that in Ex. 3:14 the name-epithet Yahweh was written down in a contorted or incomplete form.

It is long since appearance of Exodus with the contorted variant of the vast name-epithet Yahweh, and its true sounding seems completely impossible now to restore. However fortunately, it is not so. Authors of Biblical texts “gave the information away” in artistic presentations of their deity, and thereby prompted the wishing to unravel the ancient mystery.

The first prompt is in the same third chapter of Exodus, where Yahweh says about himself: “I am Existing”. Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Madian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”  (Ex. 3:1-5).

The wonder with the nonburning bush was explained long ago. There is a natural plant which does not burn on fire. It is widely common in Europe and Asia, including the Middle East; the English for it is dittany (lat. Dictamnus albus). This plant gives off volatile oils, and in windless weather and in hot sun it can inflame, but the plant itself stays hurtless. Such flame undoubtedly impressed witnesses of the unusual natural phenomenon, but anyone could see it.  Why to describe the effect of volatile oils overheating as a supernatural phenomenon of the God? We can admit the Ex. author’s naivety, who with no true mystic experience took a natural strange thing for a wonder. Though he had a definite reason to identify Yahweh with a burning bush.

The second prompt is the description of the deity visitation in Judg. Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock to the Lord. And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord. “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!” (Judg. 13:19-22). In real material altar flame, like in the burning bush, it was the prosopopoeia of Yahweh, and like in the burning bush the angel stayed harmless on fire.

Now let us consider the description of the God of Israel in Ezekiel which occur twice in the text and are repeated almost literally. “Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.  Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.” (Ezek. 1:26-28). “In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came on me there. I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man. From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. ” (Ezek. 8:1-3). As we see Ezekiel presented Yahweh as an anthropomorphical creature of beyond with the main peculiarity of absorption into its own flame.

In another famous Biblical vision presented in Daniel, Yahweh is similized to a spiritual elder sitting on the burning throne.  “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”  (Dan. 7:9-10).

In Daniel the God of Israel can be on fire and gift His just men with flame invincibility “Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace… Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (Dan. 3:19-21, 24-25).

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to worship the golden calf were not at all injured in glowing furnace. Moreover, there supernaturally appeared the fourth character who is likened to “the God’s son” by the author. That was the name of the proof against fire character in the translation of Theodotion, the Judaist proselyte in II century A.D., who used the earlier versions of Daniel. The variant of Theodotion translation Hieronymus used in his Vulgate, and it is presented in classical KJV (version NIV – son of the gods, follows the later Masoretic version of the text). Apparently, the “God’s son” was a the fiery angel – the incarnation of Yahweh himself (like in Judg. 13:19-22), who freely lived in hottest flame.

Thus, Yahweh like other deities of that time beside a personal name (Yahu) had also a name-epithet. The variant we know is presented in Exodus 3:14 – “I am who I am”, is very indeterminate, but initially the name-epithet of a deity must be clear to believers. The reason of the name’s contortion could only be a responsible decision of the author to conceal the holy epithet from readers of the text.

But we have the larger part of the sacred name-epithet, and we know its meaning: “...The phrase אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה most likely meant "He who is Alive” /Brockhaus and Efron Jewish Encyclopedia/. And what was removed from the name-epithet in Ex. 3:14 then? Let us take the description of Yahweh given above and see what unites all of them – the deity is described as one living in flame as at home. Then the sacred name-epithet of the deity must mention the most important attribute of Yahweh, and it sounded as “He who lives in fire”, or “Living in Flame” as more poetic-sounding.

The Biblical Hebrew for the name together with the word “fire” - אֵשׁ (esh), makes אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה בָּאֵשׁ Ehye asher Ehye ba-esh. It is the sacred name of Yahweh.

It is interesting that in Bible this secret and for many centuries forgotten name Yahweh was mentioned, but is used to characterize a person who progressed to religious and moral goodness. “You who are far away, hear what I have done; you who are near, acknowledge my power! The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil – they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them.” (Is. 33:13-16).

Isaiah on behalf of the deity promised the men of God a supernatural ability “to live in consuming flame”. But the case is not about afterlife destiny as transfer to some weird fire mixture of paradise and hell, some after world mansion of eternal flame which is only safe for Yahwism followers. No, the prophet promises to grant the ability even in mortal life. If to understand the prophet’s words literally, some puzzle questions will occur: why to live in consuming flame? What is good in it? But if Living in Flame was the sacred name of Yahweh, Isaiah’s words can be understood: he tells about the sanctified approaching and even assimilating with their deity. The ancient daunting image of “eating flame4 in the prophet’s conceptualization became linked with the idea of moral perfection, so to say flaming model of sainthood.5

Conceptualization about life in flame as the most significant award for religious asceticism explains also the mystic tale about the ascension of Elijah the Prophet. “When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal… As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.” (2 Kings 2:1, 11-12). When Elijah found himself on the chariot of fire, he continued to live; he became the deity like and also The Living in Flame, so he was granted the gift of immortality.

Precisely this conceptualization was also stated in Book of Zechariah (VI B.C.). The author on behalf of Yahweh promises depopulation of the larger part of humanity, and the rest are promised immersion into fire; it will not kill them, though but proselyte to Yahwism. “In the whole land,” declares the Lord, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” (Zech. 13:8-9). New Israel as it appears from the text, will be formed with the humanity remains after the purifying fire of Yahweh.

According to the prophet Zechariah (VI B.C.), Yahweh could cover the entire capital of Judaea with his redemptive flame. “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it, declares the Lord, and I will be its glory within.” (Zah. 2:4-5). The wall of supernatural fire for the whole nation is surely not hope for real flame, but artistic metaphor (see also Obad. 17-18, 21), which, though, ascend to the antique legendary about the redemptive fire granted to The Living in Flame its chosen votarists.

Prophet Zechariah promised the fire presence of Yahweh in Jerusalem – “I will be famed in the centre of it”, and it is presented in Talmud, but it is carried back to the glorious past. “The Master says elsewhere that in Jerusalem were two perpetual miracles: the rain never extinguished the fire on the outer altar, and the smoke was always straight in spite of the winds, in whichever directions they might blow.” (Yoma: Chapter 1). / Cit. ex: The author of the utterance thought that before the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans one had been able to eye-witness the overwhelming force of fire with Yahweh himself.

In Bible, however, we can find one fragment which seems a forcible argument against the hypothesis in focus. In 1 Kings prophet Elijah “traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.  There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19:8-12). Prophet Elijah turned out a religious castaway in his Motherland and ran away to Horeb to meet Yahweh. The God started to talk to him and, for some reason, calling himself He, explains what manifestation of his presence in the world must be. Yahweh specially clarifies that he is not in “the breaking rocks” wind, or earthquake, or fire, or “gentle whisper”. This explanation is rather unusual.

Is it possible for the readers the text was for could seek the God in an earthquake and fire? Yes. They could. Again and again in Old Covenant texts of theophany Yahweh was described as volcanic explosion. “…You stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.” You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. ” (Deut. 4:10-12). “The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.” (Ps. 18:7-8). “Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.  As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him” (Ex. 19:18-19). At the time of the volcanic explosion Moses conducted an initiation (see 1 Cor. 10:1-2) of a large group of escape slaves into worship of the deity Living in Fire.6 It did not happen on Sinai (Horeb) with no volcanoes functioning in the historic time; this peninsula was considered the localization of Sinai mountain as late as in the middle of I Thd. A.D. The volcano was in the country of Madian on the north-west of Arabia (see Ex. 3:1, Gal. 4:25), there the Madian Yahweh priests proselyted Moses. When former Egyptian slaves together with their leader left the outskirts of Sinai (Horeb), after some dangerous adventures they could settle on the territory of the ancient Palestine.

The Yahweh neophytes remained adepts of the volcano deity and worshiped him at heights (probably, they were waiting for an underground fire to get away from the mountain tops). Religious zeal was maintained with tales about unprecedented power of the underground god of volcanoes and earthquakes; unlike other gods represented in motionless statues, Yahweh was “alive”, and manifested himself with terrible rumble, ruinous earth tremor, streams of lava – “eating fire”, and burning hot ashes pour with choking sulfur odor. Correspondingly, natural disasters causing thousands of people’s deaths (see foe example, Gen. 19:24-25, Deut. 29:23, Jer. 49:18), ascribed Yahweh and declared fair and necessary extermination of hopeless sinners. “I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me…”  (Am. 4:11).

Natural disasters happened relatively rare, and priests and prophets had to constantly remind about their deity might. “In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.” (Ezek. 38:19-20 и т. п.).

But there was no the key concept in Yahweh worship, which is religious contemplation of fire-breathing sanctity during a volcano explosion, so believers used to hear about the power of their deity for centuries but never witnessed his destroying fire. They could think that he cancelled the testament and left his stubborn nation. “This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and ravines, a land of drought and utter darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’” (Jer. 2:5-6). With no observation of threatening power of Yahweh, the ancient Jewish people gradually turned to traditional Semitic gods of Canaan worship. “…It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law. ” (Jer. 16:11). “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (1 Kings. 19:10).

In response to the religious crises Yahweh templar cult was introduced, the same as in other Middle-Eastern religions. The image of the deity created by the witnesses of Madian volcano explosion – rumbling flame at the top of the mountain – was also rejected; they tried to represent Yahweh as the lord of the entire environment but not only underground fire. “The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.” (Ps. 103:2-4).  Because of that many Biblical texts mention an underground deity who can shake earth and split mountains, alongside with the later descriptions of Yahweh as the lord of the entire Universe.

It is to overcome archaic conceptualization about the Lord, the author of 1 Kings purposely explains: “after the earthquake there is fire, but the God is not in it”; there is no need to seek the deity in material volcanic ash.”7 But such clarification shows that there was conceptualization of Yahweh as The Living in Fire! And it remains, according to the above Biblical portrait of the fire deity, but now his fire was supposed to be supernatural.

Still surviving apocryphal works help us imagine how the God of Israel was pictured in Judaic tradition of I Thd. A.D.. Some of them are dedicated to Enoch, a Biblical character, who is supposed to be taken alive to the heaven, like the prophet Elijah. In the so-called Ethiopic Book of Enoch (named for the place of discovery of the ancient text), Yahweh was literally The Living in Flame of the celestial palace hidden behind the fire wall. “And the vision was shown to me thus: Behold, in the vision clouds invited me and a mist summoned me, and the course of the stars and the lightning’s sped and hastened me, and the winds in the vision caused me to fly and lifted me upward, and bore me into heaven.8 And I went in till I drew nigh to a wall which is built of crystals and surrounded by tongues of fire: and it began to affright me. And I went into the tongues of fire and drew nigh to a large house which was built of crystals...” (chapter 14; translated by R. H. Charles). / / As we see, the after world hall of The Living was bounded by everlasting fire.  The flamy image of Yahweh is also described in The Second Book of Enoch (there is only the later translation of this Judaic apocryphal work into Old Slavic preserved). “Listen my children, for it is not from my own lips that I am reporting to you today, but from The Lips of The Lord, I have been sent to you. For you hear my words, out of my lips, out of my lips, a human being created exactly equal to yourselves; but I have heard from The Fiery Lips of The Lord. For The Lips of The Lord are a furnace of fire, and His angels are flames which come out. But you, my children, see my face, a human being created exactly like yourselves; but I am one who has seen The Face of The Lord, like iron made burning hot by a fire, and it is brought out, and it emits sparks and it is incandescent. You gaze into my eyes, a human being equal in significance as yourself; but I have gazed into the eyes of the Lord; shining like the rays of the sun and terrifying the eyes of a human being.” (chapter 39).  / Cit. ex:

The Book of the Palaces apocryphal work (its other name is Hebrew book of Enoch with approximate dating V-VI centuries A.D.) tells how Enoch himself was liken to Angel Metatron and passed into a living fire. “As soon as the Holy One, blessed be He, took me in (His) service to attend the Throne of Glory and the Wheels (Galgallim) of the Merkaba and the needs of Shekina, forthwith my flesh was changed into flames, my sinews into flaming fire, my bones into coals of burning juniper, the light of my eye-lids into splendour of lightings, my eye-balls into fire-brands, the hair of my head into dot flames, all my limbs into wings of burning fire and the whole of my body into glowing fire.” (15:1). /Cit. ex: tr. by H. Odenberg/

The frightening image of Yahweh was critically reexamined in many texts of gnostic Christians, who considered the World Creator an imperfect and even fierce after world substance principally different from good everlasting Deity. No wonder that the image of the deity creating destroying fire was looked at exceptionally negatively by Gnostics, and the reasons they gave were taken from the written and oral tradition of Yahweh followers. For instance, the description in the so-called Gospel of Judas correlates clearly with the above given description of the flamy face of Yahweh in The Second Book of Enoch: “And look, from the cloud there appeared an [angel] whose face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with blood. His name was Nebro, which means ‘rebel’; others call him Yaldabaoth”. (tr. by R. Kasser, M. Meyer, and G. Wurst, in collaboration with Fr. Gaudard). / /

It is fair to assume that the authors of some gnostic text knew the sacred name-epithet of Yahweh. In The Apocryphon of John there is a tale about genesis of the creator and the archon of the material world, identified with Yahweh. The mother of this imperfect deity, Sophia (Wisdom), is one of the celestial hypostasis of Pleroma - Kingdom of Heaven, made a mistake having given birth to ugly Demiurge and gave him the name of Yaldabaoth. Further Demiurge is told about as follows: “He created for himself an aeon of fiery, luminous flame, in which he now dwells.” (Codex III, Nag Hammadi Library, tr. by M. Waldstein and Fr. Wisse) / /. Demiurge’s characteristic in Acts of John Apocrypha agrees completely with the name-epithet of Yahweh – The Living in Fire.

The flamy deity of Israel was taught about the gnostic preacher Apelles whose opinion is known from the retelling (purposely confusing and controversial) of heresy scholars of growing orthodoxy. “But Apelles, sprung from these, thus expresses himself, (saying) that there is a certain good Deity, as also Marcion supposed, and that he who created all things is just. Now he, (according to Apelles) was the Demiurge of generated entities. And (this heretic also main-rains) that there is a third (Deity), the one who was in the habit of speaking to Moses, and that this (god) was of a fiery nature, and that there was another fourth god, a cause of evils.” (Hippolytus of Rome. The Refutation of All Heresies. VII, 26, 1-5; tr. by J. H. MacMahon). “More readily was doubt felt about the Son than about the Father, until Marcion introduced, in addition to the Creator, another god of goodness only. Apelles made the Creator of some nondescript glorious angel, who belonged to the superior God, the god (according to him) of the law and of Israel, affirming that he was fire.” (Tertullian. The Prescription Against Heretics, 34; tr. by P. Holmes). “Apelles tells us that our souls were enticed by earthly baits down from their super-celestial abodes by a fiery angel, Israel’s God; and ours, who then enclosed them firmly within our sinful flesh.”  (Tertullian. On the soul. 23; tr. by P. Holmes).

But not only “heretics” provide validation of the hypothesis about The Living in Fire in early Christian writings. The sacred name Yahweh is mentioned by Ephrem the Syrian, one of the great doctors of Church of IV century, whose writings were very common in the Christian East, and significantly contributed to framing of canonical orthodoxy. In his work Commentary on Exodus Ephrem points that the wonder of the burning bush is only analogy to the secret name The Living in Fire. The bush which was unsuitable even as an image of dead gods was able to depict within itself the mystery of the living God. Moses, this is a sign to you; as you saw God dwelling in the midst of the fire, by fire must you serve the God who dwells in the fire”. (Tr. by Ed. G. Mathews, Jr.). Ephrem the Syrian directly says that the burning but incombustible plant symbolized “the mystery of the living God”, and later mentions the secret openly – Yahweh is “The Living in Fire”.

Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus Flavius contain validation of the hypothesis about the sacred name of Yahweh. In this book the Jewish historian, among other things, tells how a high priest’s garments looked like. He came out of the noble priestal kin, and his detailed description of ceremonial clothes of the high priest of the Temple is the most valuable information. In particular, Josephus Flavius tells about the headwear of the high priest which was a kidar – a turban of a special form, and a gold slab with the holy name of Yahweh. “…While the flower which it produces may be thought comparable to the broad petals of a poppy. It was, then, on the model of this plant that was wrought the crown extending from the nape of the neck to the two temples; the forehead, however, was not covered by the ephielis (for so we may call the calyx), but had a plate of gold, bearing graven in sacred characters the name of God” (Ant, III, 7, 6; tr. H. St. J. Thackeray).

This description is close to the Old Covenant tale about the headwear of high priest: «“Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: Holy to the Lord. Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the Lord» (Ex. 28:36-38). However, Josephus Flavius directly pointed that the holy name was carved on the forehead metal plate (the name of God in sacred characters). Does it turn out that the author of Exodus divulged the sacred name Holy to the Lord (קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה – kodesh li-Yahweh)?

Certainly, it did not happen. The sacred thing is a ceremonial term which meant “devoted to Yahweh”; that was also the name for a tithe (see Lev. 27:32), and sacrificial meat (see Ex. 29:30-33, Lev. 9:17 etc.), and the objects for religious rituals. Moreover, Old Testament contains a vaticination that this kind of sacred thing will be even cooking pots of Jerusalem citizens: «On that day Holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them» (Zech. 14:20-21). The author of Exodus mentioned the title Holy to the Lord to point to the sacred name minted on the diadem which was actually considered a sacred thing of Yahweh, however, he cited it on purpose. Contemporary readers of the text knew perfectly well how the name sounded, and did not need further information.9 Yet, Josephus Flavius was writing his work soon after destruction of The Temple and, more likely, wanted to preserve as much information about details of temple worship as possible for future generations (e.g. the headwear of the high priest he described in more detail than in the Bible). The historian only mentioned that the sacred name of Yahweh was written on the diadem, but he did not tell how it was pronounced.

But Josephus Flavius left behind exceptionally valuable information about the appearance of the sacred diadem. “Furthermore, the head-dress [of the high priest] appears to me to symbolize heaven, being blue; else it would not have borne upon it the name of God, blazoned upon the crown – a crown, moreover, of gold by reason of that sheen in which the Deity most delights(Ant., III, 7, 7, Translated  by Henry St. John Thackeray). Josephus Flavius compared the diadem with a flower (see The Jewish Antiquities III, 7, 6), and pointed that it expresses the “sheen in which the Deity”. The Judaic the diadem really means tzitz – “flower” (צִּיץ, Strong's Number H 6692a), and according to Josephus Flavius, it resembled the corona of a flower. But the initial meanings of the word tzitz were “spark”, “gleam”. It is expected that the “flower” did not represent some after world sparkling, but the fire erupted from the volcanic vent of Horeb. And the escapists from Egypt took for a supernatural wonder. The flower with gold “petals” on the high priest’s forehead,10 symbolized the sacred thing of Israel, the tabooed name of its deity – The Living in Fire.

Let us come back to the phrase Shem ha-Mephorash, which, as we have ascertained, meant the sacred name of Yahweh, The Living in Fire. Now there appeared a chance to learn important information about the use of the name-epithet in temple rituals. “Shem ha-Mephorash means literally the name clearly articulated, i.e. that name of the God which the high priest articulated distinctly on the Day of Atonement reading Lev. 16, 30, at the time of confession of sins (Yoma, IV, 2)”. /Brockhaus and Efron Jewish Encyclopedia, Yom Kippur is the main holiday of Judaism, and the most suitable moment to articulate the sacred name Yahweh. “I beseech thee, [Name],11 I have committed iniquities, transgressed, and sinned before Thee, I and my house, and the sons of Aaron, Thy holy people: I beseech Thee, [Name], forgive the iniquities, transgressions, and sins which I have committed, transgressed, and sinned, I and my house, and the sons of Aaron, Thy holy people, as it is written in the Torah of Moses Thy servant: 'For on that day shall he make atonement for you, to cleanse you from all your sins, that ye may be pure before Jehovah.” (Talmud, Yoma, IV, 2; tr. by M. L. Rodkinson) / /

The sacred name of Yahweh sounded in The Temple by the high priest only once a year, at the time of Yom Kippur. In that case, the attendees did not repeat it aloud, but in response to the prayer of the chief cohen, they said: “Blessed the glorious, kingly name of him for all eternity”. Consequently, the sacred name was called during the prayer on Yom Kippur, and it was widely known by not only The Temple priests, but also by all Yahweh worshipers, thereby, it remained tabooed for free articulation12 and spelling in religious texts. The only legal way to mention The Living in Fire was his metaphoric descriptions found repeatedly in the Bible.

Also it is necessary to accept that the popular variant of “the name in detail” - Shem ha-Mephorash - is not exactly correct. Firstly, the word Shem – “name” – needs to take the definite article ha - ה, and then the word is understood as “that very name”, or “the Name with the capital letter”, i.e. the name-epithet of the flamy deity which is not called. Probable, the tradition of Shem ha-Mephorash with no article came to stay on purpose, in order not to call the God’s name in “vein”. Secondly, that was possibly the same reason to contort the pronunciation of the last syllable, instead of “-ash” there must have been “-esh”.

That exactly – Ha-Shem ha-Mephoresh, the form of the sacred name in numerous sources, both medieval and contemporary. The text of anathema (herem) of heretics drawn up by a Judaic community in Venice in XVI century contained the name of “mystic Shem ha-Mephoresh”. Such variant of vocalization is used in modern literature dedicated to Judaic mysticism and, in particular, to Kabala, for example: “Those four Letters are ‘Yud Heh Vav Heh,’ and we refer to it as Shem ha-Meforesh, meaning ‘the name distinction and excellence’”. In its turn, with the variant of vocalization of the last vowel by the letter “e” Ha-Shem ha-Mephoresh rhymes with the sacred name Ehye asher Ehye ba-esh. So there is a distich composed on the single rhythm, where the first line is logically followed by the second one:

הַשֵם הַמְפוֹרָש

אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה בָּאֵשׁ


Ha-Shem ha-Mephoresh –

Ehyeh asher ehyeh ba-esh


It was only the high priest who articulated Ha-Shem ha-Mephoresh on the holiday of Yom Kippur, addressing to Yahweh with pleas for the nation forgiveness. This distich is the first lines of the prayer and, at the same time, the formula of the short “article of faith” of Yahweh adepts. It can be expected that in such a prayer there was personal claim to Yahweh, for the sacred and tabooed name was only articulated  during a special appeal of the high priest to the deity, that is why the variant articulated on Yom Kippur, must take personal claim:   

Your revealed name –

The Living in Fire!


There is one more important detail: this prayer claim has a noticeable similarity with the beginning of Lord's Prayer, the main Christian prayer.


Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be Your name...


It is extremely improbable that similarity of the sacred claims to Yahweh, which we found, and the first lines of Lord's Prayer is accidental. In addition, it was quite long ago, when the Biblical scholars noticed similarity of the prayer Lord's prayer with the ancient variant of the prayer Kaddish (קַדִּישׁ), which was read in Aramaic in synagogues as far as I century A.D.:


May His great name be exalted and sanctified

in the world which He created according to His will!

May He establish His kingdom

and may His salvation blossom and His anointed be near

during your lifetime and during your days

and during the lifetimes of all the House of Israel,

speedily and very soon!

May His great name be blessed

for ever, and to all eternity!


As we see, the prayers are similar in the form, but there is no direct appeal to the God in Kaddish; there no “His great name”; the prayer seems beheaded. Who is “He” the believers appeal? In Kaddish there is neither Yahweh nor any other deities’ names. This is a very weird peculiarity of the prayer, but is is easily explained, though – Kaddish used “the great name” which was tabooed for commonplace, “profane” articulation. As we know from Talmud, the direct appeal to the deity with his sacred name was permitted only to the high priest, and it happened in the Temple during the holiday of Yom Kippur. In this case, Kaddish, being quite short, is actually devoted to glorifying of “the great name”, which can only be understood as Ha-Shem ha-Mephoresh. Also the benison that believers said in the Temple during Yom Kippur in response to the sacred name articulated (see Yoma, IV, 2), was the same as in the last line of Kaddish! Then, there is the only conclusion that the beginning of the prayer Kaddish was articulated some special way by the high priest himself, and it was made as the sacred formula of glorifying Yahweh: “the revealed name – “Living in Flame”!


This sacred formula lets unravel the mystery of “the great name of three simple letters”, which is mentioned in the famous cabalistic treatise Sefer Yetzirah – Book of Formation (neo hebraic ספר יצירה). This text dated back earlier than IV century A.D., tells about creation of the material and another worlds, and it happened with the letters of Hebrew alphabet. The God, according to Sefer Yetzirah, combined letters in various sequence and, and thus, created the Universe. “He chose three simple letters and fixed them in His great Name. And He sealed with them the six edges [of the world]… Three mother letters: א מ ש (alef, mem, shin) – a great mystery, hidden and ineffable, and sealed with six seals. And from it goes out fire, and water and air, and it is divided into male and female... Three mother letters: א מ ש (alef, mem, shin). And from them were born three fathers from whom everything was created”.

The “great Name” can only be understood as the deity’s sacred name; it means, the author of Sefer Yetzirah thought it had three letters - Alef, Mem, Shin. Then, it seems that the hypothesis about The Living in Flame” (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה בָּאֵשׁ) as “the great Name” turns out deadly contradicting to cabalistic conceptualization.

But if to attempt to reconstruct this brief three-letter “name” through sorting combinations of ש; א ;מ, the results received do not correspond the sacred name. Could the letters act as abstract symbols, and did not need to make words from? However, in my opinion, the ancient cabalistic mystery can be unraveled after all.

Here is the first prompt, from the characteristic of Sefer Yetzirah in On-line Jewish Encyclopedia:  “The lexicon (especially in the first chapter) reminds the dictionary of mystic works of so-called sifrut ha-merkava (the literature of the chariot)”. Merkava is the fiery whirlwinds of The Living in Flame Yahweh: “His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.” (Dan. 7:9), and the same image of the deity is given in the works of mystic cabalists of I Thd. A.D. In particular, there is a description how a religious visionist addresses to Yahweh with a request “not to be lured into fire and flame, whirlwind and storm that rage around You, o You, Frightful and High”. (Fragment from the work by Merkava Rabbah  from Merkava Shlema work collection; cit. ex: Шолем Гершом - Основные течения в еврейской мистике. М., 2004, С. 87). Actually, cabalists also considered the God to be The Living in Flame, and in the secret name with three letters we need to seek the word “fire” (esh,  אֵש). It is tolled about in в Sefer Yetzirah: “He made the letter Shin king over Fire. He tied a crown to it and combined it with the other letters. With them He formed heaven in Space, winter in Time and the head in Soul…” (Chapter 3. Mishna 9).

The second prompt: “According to Sefer Yetzirah, all real substances in three layers of genesis – in the world, in time and in a human body (“world”, “year”, “soul”) appeared due to the combination of 22 letters and especially due to the combination of the letters in pairs…” You cannot make a pair with three letters, but it is possible to combine two pairs if to use one of the letters twice.

The next steps are simple. The first pair of the sacred letters in the full “flamy” name is the word “fire” אֵש. To determine the second pair from “Three mother letters”, one needs to find the “half” for letter Mem. It is either Mem + Alef, or Mem + Shin in various sequence. But it is not necessary - Shem ha-Meforesh begins with Shin+Mem and forms the word “name”. That is all, the words, which were used to create the Universe, according to Sefer Yetzirah, are found.



 שֵׁם  אֵשׁ



We see that the name formed from “Three mother letters”, corresponds in sense to the sacred formula of Yahwism: The revealed name is The Living in Flame. But the most striking is that, “the Name in detail” begins and ends with the words forming the short great name (which must be called Ha-Shem, “this Name”), and repeating the sacred description of Yahweh. The short great name of Yahweh appeared symmetrical, two words with two syllables, one of them starts, and another “closes” with letter Shin. Such surprising balance could definitely be considered by Judaic mystics as an attribute of supernatural origin of the sacred formula.


הַ שֵם הַמְפוֹרָש

אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה בַָּ אֵש


Now it becomes clear why cabalists understoodthree simple lettersas a symbol of the celestial judgment: “Three mother letters: א מ ש (alef, mem, shin). Their basis is the scale of acquittal and the scale of guilt, and the tongue of law holds the balance between them.” “The tongue of the scale of law” is letter Shin ש: if it bends to Mem, it forms the word “Name”, which can only mean the God’s blessing; if it bends to Alef, it makes the word “fire” with the meaning of punishing flame of Yahweh.

It is fair to assume that the brief “Name – Fire”,13 but not the wordy “Name in detail”, could be inscribed on the corona of the diadem of the high priest. The gold slab on the forehead with the fire of Yahweh on it was rather small in size, and it could have enough place and be noticeable for believers only four letters of the true sacred the Tetragrammaton:


1 It is highly likely that the name of the God of Israel was exactly articulated as Yahu. At any rate, it is the only variant of the Tetragrammaton which occurs repeatedly in Elephantine Papyri, the records of the military post of Judaist contractors, who served in the Egypt fortress (the end of V B.C.). The Judaist contractors, having lived long before the ban on use of the sacred name, called their Yahu. Also the self-designation of Yahud is Yehudim, which is based on the name of the deity Yehu (Yahu), but not Yahweh.

2 Obviously, the text was chosen by its title, Exodus in Judaism is called Shmot – “Names”.

3 This “senselessness” of the name-epithet Yahweh served as a base to its apophatic interpretation, which was founded on admition that a human mind is not able to gain an insight into the God on principle, and all the attributes applied to the God will be incomplete and insufficient.  Such interpretation supporters thought that Yahweh in Ex. 3:14 introduced himself to Moses indefinitely and mysteriously on purpose in order to point to his incomprehensibility for humans. Philo of Alexandria: “And God said, "At first say unto them, I am that I am, that when they have learnt that there is a difference between him that is and him that is not, they may be further taught that there is no name whatever that can properly be assigned to me, who am the only being to whom existence belongs”. (Mos. I, 75; tr. by Ch. D. Yonge).

4 “When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates” (Gen. 15:17-18). “…For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God”. (Deut. 4:24) “Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.” (2 Kings 1:10 etc). “On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.” (Ps. 11:6-7). “Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies; your right hand will seize your foes. When you appear for battle, you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.” (Ps. 21:8-9). “The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame…” (Ps. 10:17). “See, the Lord is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.” (Is. 66:15). And etc.

5 So-called Second Isaiah, the unknown author of оf VI B.C., also promised the Yahweh adepts тоже invincibility in fire power. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior”. (Is. 43:2-3).

6 The hypothesis about “volcanic origin” of Yahweh worship was offered by researchers of Bible quite long ago, and validated by many authors. Here are some works where the given hypothesis is proved: Charles Beke, Mount Sinai, a Volcano (1873), Eduard Meyer, Die Israeliten und ihre Nachbarstämme (1906). Jakob. E. Dunn, A God of Volcanoes: Did Yahwism Take Root in Volcanic Ashes? (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 38.4, 2014). Glen A. Fritz, Was Mount Sinai a Volcano?/

7 “…Tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks” (1 Kings. 19:11) there is no wind in nature. Why did the author allow such exaggeration? But in the Judaic original of the text they do not say about wind, but use the word רוּח – ”spirit”, “breath”. It could be the citation from the ancient legendary, in which they tried to describe emission of volcanic gases and ashes "before" by the God, i.e. at the very beginning of volcanic explosion?

8 Philo of Alexandria: “For it is impossible for even so slight a portion of the earth to touch the heaven, by reason of the cause before mentioned, that no centre can ever touch the circumference; in the second place, because the ether is sacred fire and an unquenchable flame... If, then, these things are so, was it not necessary that those men who were endeavoring to mount up to heaven must have been stricken with thunderbolts and burnt up, their high-minded and proud designs being unaccomplished by them?” (On the confusion of tongues. XXX. 156-158, Tr. вy Ch. D. Yonge). / /

9 “For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his head.” (Wisdom of Solomon, 18:24; King James version).

10 The chief priest wore The Sacred diadem throughout the year, and on Yom Kippur only he took off all ritual paraphernalia and put on white clothes before entering the Holy of Holies of the Temple. There he heated on coal some special producing “incensing smoke” incense. That smoke symbolized Yahweh presence, and, to my mind, was the prototype of the holy volcano’s explosion.  In the case, as the believers thought, in Holy of Holies there appeared the fire of the deity who could not be seen behind the smoke. If the diadem stood for the flame of Yahweh, it is clear why the chief priest did not wear it – on Yom Kippur it symbolized the nation, and the flaming Name was before him. On all other days the diadem was on the head of the chief cohen, and it showed Yahweh followers the image of their deity.

11 An English translator substituted here the unique name Shem ha-Mephorash by the artificial “name” Jehovah. But in Russian translation by N. Pereferkovich (Н. Переферкович) it is said that during the holiday of Yom Kippur the high priest would utter a special sacred name. See: Талмуд, критич. пер. Н. Переферковича. М, 2004 – 2005, Т. 2 (Кн. 3 и 4) : Мишна и Тосефта. - Репр.: СПб., 1903 г., С. 334.

12 There is one more reference to articulation of “the Name in detail”. “In interpretation of Numbers 6, 27 Sifre, ad locum, instead of the Biblical word “My name” uses the term Shem ha-Mephorash”. / The Sifre is halakhic midrash to  Deuteronomy and Numbers, and what is involves is the line: “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” (Num. 6:27). Obviously, here they understand the sacral service on the holiday of Yom Kippur, but there could be some other special rituals when Yahweh was called by his true name – The Living in Fire.

13 “See, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire.” (Ex. 30:27). The metaphor Isaiah seems a little weird – how can a name come? But if “name” meant continuation – “fire”, the Yahweh reader immediately understood the author’s idea: it is referred to a stream of fire, or more exactly, to “the tongue” of а glowing avalanche which was considered the supernatural manifestation of Yahweh.