"(:13) And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? (:14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel I AM hath sent me unto you. (:15) And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." - ASV (compare JB; LB; and NEB)
"Strictly speaking, Yahweh [or `Jehovah' in traditional English form] is the only `name' of God .... Elohim [the Hebrew word translated `God' in English] says, `this is my name for ever' (Ex. 3:15). Yahweh [Jehovah], therefore, in contrast with Elohim [`God'], is a proper noun, the name of a person .... He [Moses] inquires, `when ... the children of Israel ... shall say, what (mah [in Hebrew]) is his name? What shall I say unto them?' (Ex. 3:13). The normal way to ask a name is to use the [Hebrew] pronoun mî; to use mah invites an answer which goes further, and gives the meaning (`what?') or substance of the name. [[For an example of this, see Ex. 13:14 in the NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament. Mah, exactly as in Ex. 3:13, clearly has this meaning and is even translated in the NRSV; RSV; REB; NAB; NJB; JB; NIV as "what does this mean?" Perhaps an even better parallel is the use of mah at Ezekiel 37:18 where mah is rendered as "what you mean" in KJV; NASB; RSV; NRSV; REB; NAB; NJB; JB; NIV; etc. Also carefully examine the use of mah at Gen. 37:10; Ex. 12:26; Deut. 6:20; 29:24; Josh. 4:6, 21; 1 Sam. 4:6, 14; 15:14; Ezek. 17:12; 18:2]]
"This helps to explain the reply, namely, `I AM THAT I AM'; and He said, `Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM [ehyeh] hath sent me unto you' (Ex. 3:14). By this Moses would not think that God was announcing a new name, nor is it called a `name'; it is just the inner meaning of the name Moses [and the Israelites already] knew. We have here a play upon words; `Yahweh' is interpreted by ehyeh. M. Buber translates `I will be as I will be' and expounds it as a promise of God's power and enduring presence with them in the process of deliverance. That something like this is the purport of these words, which in English sound enigmatical, is shown by what follows, `Yahweh [`Jehovah'] the God of your fathers .... this is my name for ever' (15). The full content [meaning] of the name comes first, the name itself follows." (The New Bible Dictionary, 2nd ed., Douglas, 1982, Tyndale House, p. 430, is nearly identical to the above quote also.) - [Material in brackets and emphasis added by me – RDB.]
In its commentary to Exodus 3:14, the JPS Tanakh, Jewish Study Bible, Oxford Edition states:
"God's proper name disclosed in the next verse is YHVH (spelled yod-heh-vav-heh. In Heb., in ancient times, the "vav" was pronounced "w"). But here God first tells Moses its meaning; ehyeh-asher-ehyeh, probably best translated as "I will be what I will be" meaning: "My nature will become evident from my actions."
“The name of God
“Israel’s ancestors knew God as ‘the LORD’, Yahweh (or Jehovah) (Genesis 2:4; Gen 12:1; Gen 26:2; Gen 28:21; Gen 49:18), but the name meant little to the Israelites of Moses’ time. God’s revelation to Moses in the ‘I am’ statement of Exodus 3:14 was an explanation of what the name Yahweh should have meant to God’s people.” - Bridgeway Bible Commentary.
“God had made Himself known to Abraham as Jehovah (Genesis 15:7). But here [Ex. 3:14] He gives the explanation of His name Jehovah. The patriarchs knew the name Jehovah, but the blessed significance of that name was not known to them.” - Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible.
NET Bible fn. for Ex, 3:14,15 - “First the verb “I AM” [ehyeh] was used (v. 14) in place of the name to indicate its meaning and to remind Moses of God’s promise to be with him (v. 12). Now in v. 15 the actual name is used for clear identification: “Yahweh…has sent me.” This is the name that the patriarchs invoked and proclaimed in the land of Canaan.”
So we see that Moses is really asking at Ex. 3:13, "when the children of Israel shall say `what is the meaning [mah] of his name?' What shall I say to them?" Therefore, what is given in Ex. 3:14 is not his name at all (which they all knew already) but the meaning (or "explanation") of his personal name "Jehovah." That name (which even Moses knew at this time - his mother's name, in fact, at Ex. 6:20, means "Jehovah is glory" according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance) is plainly stated in Ex. 3:15 and obviously is to be known and used as God's personal name forever by all his true worshipers. Contrast the 7000 times that "Jehovah" is clearly used as God's name in the scriptures with how many times "I AM" (or ehyeh) is clearly used for God's name (none)!
In addition were the following alternate readings in footnotes: American Standard Version - "I WILL BE"; NIV Study Bible - "I WILL BE"; Revised Standard Version - "I WILL BE"; New Revised Standard Version - "I WILL BE"; New English Bible - "I WILL BE"; Revised English Bible - "I WILL BE"; Living Bible - "I WILL BE"; Good News Bible - "I WILL BE."
"The writer [of Exodus 3:14-15] ... explains it [the meaning of God's name] by the phrase EHYEH asher EHYEH (Ex. iii., 14); this can be translated `I am that I am' or more`exactly 'I am wont to be that which I am wont to be' or `I will be that which I will be .'" - p. 995, 14th ed., v. 12.
And, among the most important of the early translations of the Hebrew Bible are the Greek versions of the Jewish Aquila and Theodotion in the second century A.D. [100’s]
According to Jesus' Words Only it appears that they both have translated the Hebrew ehyeh asher ehyeh of Exodus 3:14a and the ehyeh of 3:14b into Greek as "esomai hos esomai" and "esomai" respectively, which in turn translate into English as "I will be who I will be" and "I will be." -
THE NAME OF GOD AS REVEALED IN EXODUS 3:14
An explanation of its meaning, K J Cronin:
"... Jeffrey Tigay, who in his comments on Exodus 3:13-15 in the Jewish Study Bible states that there is a Divine name in Exodus 3:14, but he doesn’t identify which part of the verse it is. He proffers 'I Will Be What I Will Be' for the translation of ehyeh asher ehyeh and interprets its meaning to be, 'My nature will become evident from My actions', which is similar to the first of the six interpretations in Exodus Rabbah 3:6. He proposes ehyeh asher ehyeh as the explanation of the meaning of the name YHWH, as did Maimonides, and the ehyeh of 3:14b as a shortened form of ehyeh asher ehyeh, as did Halevi, and as the first person singular imperfect form of the verb root hayah, as have several other exegetes considered above, and to mean 'I Will Be', as was first proposed by Aquila and Theodotion. He understands YHWH to be the corresponding third-person form of hayah, as did Rashbam and Ibn Ezra, and to mean 'He Will Be'. His interpretation thus draws from a wide variety of sources and from diverse approaches to the interpretation of the verse, as one would expect of a study Bible."
Although it takes some effort to further check out the meaning of ehyeh, it is worth it. With a good Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible you can prove to yourself that ehyeh should be translated "I will be" (or a similar rendering) at Ex. 3:14.
2 Samuel 7:14 in the annotated list is quoted in the New Testament scriptures at Hebrews 1:5. Notice that when ehyeh (2 Sam. 7:14) was translated into the NT Greek by the inspired Bible writer at Heb. 1:5, he didn’t write ego eimi (“I am”) but ego esomai (“I will be”)! (Esomai is also used at 2 Sam. 7:14 in the Septuagint, the ancient Greek OT.)
Ezekiel 11:20 in the list is also quoted in the NT at Heb. 8:10. Ehyeh in Ezekiel 11:20 is translated as "I will be," of course, and the quoting of this word by the NT writer in Heb. 8:10 is esomai ("I will be") not ego eimi ("I am"). (Ego esomai is used at Ezek. 11:20 in the Septuagint also.)
Conversely, the trinitarian United Bible Societies and trinitarian scholar Delitzsch both translated the Greek "I will be" of Rev. 21:7 into the Hebrew ehyeh. - See their Hebrew New Testaments.
"It has been rendered, `I WILL BE that I WILL BE' as an indication of God's sovereignty and immutability" and "the translation ... that probably comes closest to the intention of God at this point is, `I will be there'."
Ex. 3:14 (Greek Septuagint)
"And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING [Ho On; pronounced `Ha Own']; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING [Ho On] has sent me to you." - Ex. 3:14.  Yes, the Greek words used in the Septuagint here are not ego eimi, but HO ON [o Wn]! - See pp. 83, 84, Marshall.
"I am HE WHO IS; and thou shalt say to the children of Israel, `HE WHO IS sent me unto you!'" - pp. 25, 46, On the Two Cities. (Also see p. 84, Marshall's New Testament Greek Primer.)
(Click here for part 4)