Jah (pronounced /ˈdʒɑː/) is the shortened name for God YHWH, and Jehovah most commonly used in the Rastafari movement and the world wide preaching of Jehovah's Witnesses, using a relevant language form of the name in upwards of 500 languages. It comes from the Hebrew יָהּ = Yah [jah].
Jah is also an alternative spelling of the name of the Egyptian deity Iah (however, there is no connection between the two).
Jah is often used as a shortened form of the Tetragrammaton. The Tetragrammaton is often translated (especially in older English versions of the Bible) by use of the term "LORD", and the word "Hallelujah" by the phrase "Praise ye the LORD" (Psalm 104:35 KJV and footnote). Thus, partially translated and partially transliterated, the term could be rendered "Praise Jah."
In the original text of the Hebrew Bible, "Jah" occurs 50 times, 26 times alone and 24 times in the term "Hallelujah" (see footnote to Psalm 104:35). In the King James Version of the Bible it is transliterated as "JAH" i.e. all capital letters, in only a single instance: "Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him." (Psalm 68:4). An American Translation renders the Hebrew word as "Yah" in this verse. The complete Tetragrammaton is not always rendered as Jehovah. Rotherham's Emphasised Bible includes 49 uses of Jah. Masoretic Tanach: Psalms 68:19, יָהּ אֱלֹהִים - Yah Elohim.YHWH
In the West Indies, the recent popularity of reggae, and the Rastafari movement's referring to Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as "Jah" or "God," has led to the use of the names "Jah" and "I and I" in Rastafari circles. This term is also used in hip-hop demonstrating the evolution of reggae to hip-hop from the dance hall in Jamaica to rhyme, by such artists as Pigeon John of LA Symphony in California, and Seph1 of Tempo Valley in Hawaii. Used also in popular Rastafari terms such as "Jah" among young Rastas. According to the band P.O.D., they use such terms to refer to elements of the Bible in songs such as "The Messenjah" from Satellite, "Freedom Fighters" from Payable on Death and "Praise Jah & Live". Sizzla explicitly used common Rastafari terms to describe elements of Christianity and Judaism.
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