Exodus 31:13; Leviticus 20:7, 8
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Jehovah Mekoddishkem (variant Jehovah M’kaddesh) – It is a name of God we don’t often encounter, and probably couldn’t pronounce it the right way if we had to speak it aloud! This name of God is found only twice in the Bible, Exodus 31:13 and Leviticus 20:8. We will use both as our featured Scripture:
Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you....Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. And you shall keep My statutes and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”
I am not a Hebrew scholar, and I had a bit of a struggle trying to find the exact Hebrew word that translates into Mekoddishkem (or M’kaddesh).
- We know from previous studies that Jehovah (or YaHWeH) means “the self-existing One” or “I AM ”.
- But Mekoddishkem was harder to pin down. My e-Sword app has an option for King James Version Plus, which ties every Bible word or phrase to its Hebrew or Greek word. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions says the word for “…who sanctifies you…” is קדשÑ (qâ-dash, pronounced kaw-dash’ ) and meaning “…to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate….” Now qâ-dash does not even look much like Mekoddishkem or M’kaddesh! But when I considered the pronunciation, kaw-dash’, that did look a lot like kaddesh in M’kaddesh!
Let’s consider these two Scriptures:
- Exodus 31:13 has to do with the Sabbath: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”
✡ The Sabbath is one of the two main signs of Jehovah’s covenant with His chosen people, the Israelites! Why Israel? ✞ The main reason is Israel brought forth the Savior, Jesus Christ! ✞ Another reason is God wanted to show what a theoc- racy looked like! A theocracy is a nation, a people governed by God! ✡ The other sign was circumcision! Here is What God told Abraham in Genesis 17:8 through 11: “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep...: Every male child among you shall be circumcised...in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the cov- enant between Me and you.”
The Israelites were to be sanctified (consecrated, dedicat-
ed, separated, a holy people) unto the LORD! And it wasn’t
their choice to be God’s people.
God chose them, and sanc-
tified them unto Himself!
- But the Israelites (and we) have a part in sanctification, as shown in the second part of our featured Scripture, Leviticus 20:7 and 8:
“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. And you shall keep My statutes and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” ✡ God called the Jews, separating them from the rest of the world, and consecrating them unto Himself. ✞ It is the same with us! For Jesus said in John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him....” ✡ But the people of Israel whom He called had to agree and respond to His calling and volitionally separate themselves unto their God! ✞ We also must agree and respond to His calling! As Paul wrote in Romans 6:11, “Likewise you also, reckon your- selves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (See also Mark 8:34-37; Gala- tians 2:20; James 4:4; I John 2:15-17).
So, in this sense, sanctification is in two parts:
- God calls His people to be separated unto Himself!
- We respond by separating ourselves unto Him!
This is Jehovah Mekoddishkem!