According to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, Jehovah-jireh (or Yahweh-yireh, YHWH will provide), was a place in the land of Moriah. It was the location of the binding of Isaac, where God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham named the place after the LORD provided a ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac.
In the original Hebrew language, the name is יְהוָה יִרְאֶה. The first word of the phrase is the Tetragrammaton (יהוה), generally translated in English bibles as "the LORD" or "GOD" in capital letters. Jehovah is a Christian anglicized vocalization of this name using the vowels of Adonai.
The early Septuagint translation into Greek gives the meaning as "The LORD hath seen." One Latin version of the Christian Bible rendered the name in Latin as Dominus videt ("The LORD sees"). The King James Version follows this meaning, as quoted above.
Jewish translations of the verse into English include,
And Abraham called the name of that place Adonai-jireh; as it is said to this day: 'In the mount where the LORD is seen.' – Genesis 22:14 (Mechon-Mamre)
However, some modern translations including the NIV render it "the LORD will provide", amplifying the literal meaning along the lines of "the LORD will see to it", and referring to Abraham's earlier words in 22:8, "God himself will provide the lamb".
Considering the passive construction of Abraham's words in verse 14, "In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen", Calvin comments that it teaches "that God not only looks upon those who are his, but also makes his help manifest to them..." John Wesley and Matthew Henry go further, suggesting that "perhaps it may refer to God manifest in the flesh.". The latter interpretation would only be acceptable to Christians whose religion is "Jesucentric". Such an interpretative philosophy renders the old testament as a prelude to the appearance of Jesus and delivers (to the believers in prophecies) further credence.
Other modern usage
"Jehovah Jireh" is the title of several modern songs, including one by Don Moen included on his 1986 debut album Give Thanks; various others have covered it, including thrash metal band Deliverance on their 1989 self-titled debut album. Chandra Currelley performed by another song with the same title in the 2006 play What's Done in the Dark. R&B singer Frank Ocean also uses the name "Jehovah Jireh" in his debut album Nostalgia, Ultra, the song is titled 'We All Try". It is also the title of an 1867 book by William Plumer.
Organisations bearing the name include Jehovah Jireh Children's Homes in Kenya, founded by Manasses Kuria, and local churches such as Jehovah Jireh Samoan Assembly of God in Victorville, California, USA.
- English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible. English Translation by Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton, 1851.
- Biblia Sacra iuxta Vulgatam Clementinam, Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, MCMXCIX, ISBN 84-7914-021-6.
- Genesis 22:14 (NIV)
- Notes on verse 8 in Genesis 22, New English Translation
- Matthew Henry, Commentary on Genesis 22:11–14 (online at CCEL)
- Emil G. Hirsch and M. Seligsohn, Jehovah-jireh in the Jewish Encyclopedia 1901–1906
- John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis 22:14 (online at CCEL)
- John Wesley, Commentary on Genesis 22:14 (online at CCEL)