And God said unto Moses, I am that I am
This signifies the real being of God, his self-existence, and that he is the Being of beings; as also it denotes his eternity and immutability, and his constancy and faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, for it includes all time, past, present, and to come; and the sense is, not only I am what I am at present, but I am what I have been, and I am what I shall be, and shall be what I am. The Platonists and Pythagoreans seem to have borrowed their (to on) from hence, which expresses with them the eternal and invariable Being; and so the Septuagint version here is (o wn) : it is said F26, that the temple of Minerva at Sais, a city of Egypt, had this inscription on it,
``I am all that exists, is, and shall be.''And on the temple of Apollo at Delphos was written (ei) , the contraction of (eimi) , "I am" F1. Our Lord seems to refer to this name, ( John 8:58 ) , and indeed is the person that now appeared; and the words may be rendered, "I shall be what I shall be" F2 the incarnate God, God manifest in the flesh: thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto
or as the Targum of Jonathan has it,
``I am he that is, and that shall be.''This is the name Ehjeh, or Jehovah, Moses is empowered to make use of, and to declare, as the name of the Great God by whom he was sent; and which might serve both to encourage him, and strengthen the faith of the Israelites, that they should be delivered by him.
F26 Phutarch. de Iside & Osir.
F1 Plato in Timaeo.
F2 (hyha rva hyha) "ero qui ero", Pagninus, Montanus, Fagius, Vatablus.