And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
3.—I appeared unto Abraham, &c.] He tells him, that He, who had formerly represented Himself to Abraham, and their forefathers, under the name of El-Shaddai, that is, the all-sufficient God, Gen. xvii. 1; and under that of Jehovah, Gen. xii. 7, 8 ; xxii. 14; would now demonstrate Himself indeed to be what the latter name imported, the unchangeable and faithful God. Pyle. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as that God, who was able and powerful to effect that which I promised : I now appear to thee as ready to make good and execute. Bp. Hall. In many places of Scripture God brings in His great name of Jehovah, as an argument of the immutability of His counsel: That which He saith, shall most certainly come to pass, because He that saith it is the Lord Jehovah. By this we see the true meaning of the passage, " By My name Jehovah was I not known to them;" that is, I never made known Myself, nor confirmed My promise to them, as I now do to thee, by saying I am Jehovah. Bp. Beveridge. When God entered into covenant with Abraham, it was by the name of "God Almighty," Gen. xvii. 1; upon which He promised to his seed the land of Canaan, ver. 8. By this name Isaac blessed Jacob, and bestowed on him the blessing of Abraham, chap. xxviii. 3, 4. By this name again Jacob blessed Joseph, chap. xlviii. 3; xlix. 25. God lets them here know, that He, who had made a promise to their fathers by the name .of " God Almighty," would now confirm His covenant to them, and make His promise good by the name of " Jehovah." For this name denotes, not only God's eternal being, but His giving of being to other things, and especially the performing of His promise. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had received promises, but enjoyed not the thing promised. The time was now come, in which God would bring to pass what He had promised; and now they should 1cnow that He is THE LORD. Bp. Kidder.
It means that God having actually given defence and plenty to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was already known to them by the names of " El," Almighty,- and " Shaddai," All-sufficient : but that having not fulfilled to them His promise of giving to them or their seed the land of Canaan, He was not yet known to them by His name JEHOVAH, which imports a God, constant to Hist: word, and " the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever," Heb. xiii. 8. Abp. Tenison.