They Knew God’s Name
THE first piece of literature known to have been written and published in England’s American colonies was the Bay Psalm Book. Its original edition was printed by Stephen Daye in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the year 1640. That early publication contained the Bible book of Psalms, translated from Hebrew into the English language as spoken and written at that time.
A noteworthy feature of the Bay Psalm Book was the use of the divine name in some verses. Hence, anyone reading that publication as far back as some 350 years ago was in a position to know the name of our Creator. In that edition, for instance, Psalm 83:17, 18 reads: “Confounded let them ever be, and terriblie troubled: yea, let them be put unto shame, and bee extinguished. That men may know; that thou whose name IEHOVAH is only, art over all the earth throughout advanced the most high.”
Of course, the most high God requires more than our acknowledgment that his name is Jehovah (Iehovah). In the Bay Psalm Book, Psalm 1:1, 2 says that a “blessed man” does not walk in the advice of the wicked, “but in the law of Iehovah, is his longing delight.” The revised New England Psalms of 1648 says: “But he upon Jehovah’s law doth set his whole delight.”
Here the 20th-century New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures reads: “Happy is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked ones, and in the way of sinners has not stood, and in the seat of ridiculers has not sat. But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night.”
To be truly happy, a person must reject the counsel of wicked ones. He must not follow the example of sinners and cannot join in company with godless ridiculers. Among other things, he needs to avoid the association of those whose advice and conduct could lure him into sexual immorality, drug abuse, and other activities contrary to God’s law. Yes, genuine happiness depends on learning about the true God, whose name is Jehovah, and applying his law as revealed in the Bible.