complete verse (Exod. 3:14-15)

The translation into Pijin (published in 2008) translates Exodus 3:14-15 this way:

14 God answered like this, “My name is like this, I [Myself] I Live Always. You must tell them like this, ‘God who sent me to you, his “taboo” name is I [Myself] I Live Always.’ 15 And you must tell them like this, ‘Yahweh, who is the God of our ancestors before, he is the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and he [himself] he sent me to you.’ My name is Yahweh, and all people must call me by this name always.

Two footnotes in the translation add the following information (also back-translated from Pijin):

3:14: ‘I [Myself] I Live Always’ In the Hebrew language, the words that mean I [Myself] I Live Always, it is the taboo name of God. (…) 3:15: ‘Yahweh’ In the Hebrew language, this name is like YHWH, and it means something like ‘He [himself] he lives always,’ which is a taboo name of God. Before, the people of the line of Israel believed that this name of God was very taboo, so they were afraid to say it, and because of this, the way to say the name was lost. But many people think the way to say this name is, ‘Yahweh.’ In our Bible, we use ‘Yahweh’ to say the name YHWH. In some English Bibles they use ‘Lord‘ to mean YHWH. This is the name that God gave to us to call him, because only God can allow us to use his taboo name.

Bob Carter (former Translation Advisor, Solomon Islands Pijin Old Testament Project) who back-translated the verses and footnotes above, adds this:

“The translation of the Divine Name in verse 14 was decided on many years ago based on what the translation team understood at that time. We would likely not make the same decision now because of new input from scholars. The ‘taboo name’ is an ancient cultural concept having to do with people having a special name that is known or shared with only trusted people, because with the knowledge of the taboo name comes power. At the time of translation, the concept was broad enough to use in this context.”

The original of Exodus 3:14-15 in Pijin:

14 God hemi ansa olsem, “Nem blong mi hemi olsem, Mi nao Mi Stap Olowe. Yu mas talem olketa olsem, ‘God hu hemi sendem mi kam long yufala, tambu nem blong hem nao, Mi nao Mi Stap Olowe.’ 15 An yu mas talem olketa olsem, ‘Yawe, hu hemi God blong olketa grani blong yumi bifoa, hemi God blong Ebraham, an Aesak, an Jekob, an hem nao hemi sendem mi kam long yufala.’ Nem blong mi nao Yawe, an bae evri pipol mas kolem mi long disfala nem olowe nao.

See also tetragrammaton (YHWH) and holy / sacred / taboo.

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