Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Am that I Am

The name which the Grand Architect directed Moses to use, (Exod. iii. 14,) that he might identify himself to the Israelites as the messenger sent to them by God. It is one of the modifications of the Tetragrammaton, and as such, in its Hebrew form of eheyeh asher eheyeh (the e pronounced like a in fate,) has been adopted as a significant word in the high degrees of the York, American, and several other Rites. The original Hebrew works are actually in the future tense, and grammatically means I will be what I will be; but all the versions give a present signification. Thus, the Vulgate has it, I am who am; the Septuagint, I am he who exists; and the Arabic paraphrase, I am the Eternal who passes not away. The expression seems intended to point out the eternity and self existence of God, and such is the sense in which it is used in Masonry.