Blog Archive

Thursday, July 9, 2009

YHWH Yireh / YHWH Will See to It

For July, each post examines an Old Testament name of God.

YHWH Yireh / YHWH Will See to It
(pronounced: "yahd hay vahv hay YIR-eh"
Also: Jehovah-Jireh / The LORD Will Provide)

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place YHWH Will See to It. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the YHWH it will be seen."
~ Genesis 22:13-14 (author)

"But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
~ Luke 12:30-32 (NKJV)

This is among the names of God most familiar in Christiandom. With all due respect to far more educated scholars, few of them adequately translate it to do it justice. It is commonly known as Jehovah-Jireh, and translated, "The LORD Will Provide."

It's not terribly significant to me whether someone translates YHWH / YHVH as Jehovah, Yahweh, or LORD. (I'm a nut for accuracy over tradition, so I go with YHWH.) But to translate Yireh as "will provide" is just too small for me to accept.

Yireh attaches a prefix to the word raah, which means "to see." The context means "will see to it" or "will look after it."

To sum this up as merely "provide" narrows the scope of what the Lord did. Yes, He provided a ram for Abraham, so that he might sacrifice it instead of his son Isaac. But Abraham's vision and faith was far lager than the provision of a ram. In Hebrews 11:17-19 we learn:

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead.

To provide is to simply supply or give (Hebrew kul or nathan) and be done. To see to something or look after it begins before the need exists and continues to be involved.

Yes, we need to trust the Lord to provide for all our needs, of body, heart, mind, and soul. But Jesus calls us to live in such dependence on God that we have no worries or anxiousness or fear. (In fact, the instruction Jesus gave more than any other one is some form of "Fear Not.") He assures us that our loving Father in heaven wants us to seek only the Kingdom of God—to dwell in His presence—and not even think about what we need Him to provide.

More on this tomorrow as we look at the name, "Father."

Feedback appreciated! Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. fantastic post! I love the way He cares for us so completely.

  2. I think in our society we are quick to associate the word provide with financial things. I praise God that like T. Anne mentioned, his provision is so complete and like you mentioned, it is beyond the intial caring for and extends to continued involvement.
    ~ Wendy

  3. I love the artwork you found for this post.

  4. T. Anne, a verse I didn't think to include but which comes to mind now is Isaiah 65:24: "It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear."

    Wendy, His face *provides* so much more than His hand.

    Rosslyn, I scanned that image from the children's book THE WHITE RAM - A Story of Abraham and Isaac (Holiday House). I was privileged to meet the author at the Festival of Faith and Writing writer's conference in Grand Rapids last year. Mordicai Gerstein is a masterful illustrator (I kept an original sketch he did in his session!) and delightful storyteller.

  5. I so needed to read this today. What an encouragement! Thank you, Anne, for sharing it.

  6. Such a wonderful post my friend, love you.

  7. Angela, I'm so glad to have the right words for you here. I pray I'll continue to do so.

    Thanks Denise! Love you too!

  8. I can never hear enough of how much I need to completely trust in My Lord. It is especially powerful in such uncertain times.


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