The Basics of Judaism: G-d & Torah: Y-H-V-H and SH-A-D-AI:
What is the meaning of Ex. 6:3, "I revealed Myself to Abraham,Isaac, and Jacob as E-L SH-A-D-AI, and didn't make Myself knownto them by My Name Y-H-V-H"?
The commentators explain that the Name Y-H-V-H implies that G-d keeps
His promises, whereas the promises made to the Patriarchs had not yet
been entirely fulfilled. (The Name Y-H-V-H itself WAS known to them
-- e.g., Gen. 15:2.) G-d was best known to the Patriarchs as
SH-A-D-AI ("Almighty") because of His miracles. The commentators
also point out that the Patriarchs saw G-d in visions (va-era: "I
was seen"); He did not make Himself "known" (nodati) to them as He
did to Moses.
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