The 72 letter name of God chart
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What are the 72 names of God?

The 72 Names of God [also called The 72 Letter Name of God, The 216 Letter Name of God or 72 Shemot] involves energetic permutations of letters that create tremendous spiritual vibration. The Zohar tells that by virtue of these Names Moshe split the Red Sea.

At times Kabbalah calls this the ‘Explicit Name’. It is composed of seventy-two sub-name triplets, derived from three adjacent verses each containing seventy-two letters.

Where are the 72 Names of God derived from?

The three verses are written in the book of Shemot by the story of the Sea splitting.

“וַיִּסַּע מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים הַהֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵי מַחֲנֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּלֶךְ מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם, וַיִּסַּע עַמּוּד הֶעָנָן מִפְּנֵיהֶם וַיַּעֲמֹד מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם:
וַיָּבֹא בֵּין מַחֲנֵה מִצְרַיִם וּבֵין מַחֲנֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיְהִי הֶעָנָן וְהַחֹשֶׁךְ וַיָּאֶר אֶת הַלָּיְלָה, וְלֹא קָרַב זֶה אֶל זֶה כָּל הַלָּיְלָה:
(וַיֵּט מֹשֶׁה אֶת יָדוֹ עַל הַיָּם, וַיּוֹלֶךְ יְהוָה אֶת הַיָּם בְּרוּחַ קָדִים עַזָּה כָּל הַלַּיְלָה, וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת הַיָּם לֶחָרָבָה, וַיִּבָּקְעוּ הַמָּיִם”: (ספר שמות, פרק יד, פסוקים יט-כא

“The Divine angel who went before the Jewish camp traveled and went in back of them. The Pillar of Cloud traveled before them and stood in behind of them. It came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. There were cloud and darkness – yet the night was illuminated. They did not come close the entire evening. Moshe spread his hand over the Sea. God moved the Sea with a powerful east wind the whole night – making the Sea into dry land, the water split” (Shemot 14:19-21).

How to get the 72 letter name of God from these verses

Take one letter from each of these verses as follows

1: The letters of the first verse in order each become the first letter of each successive triplet. Starting from the permutation occupying the upper righthand row of the Seventy-two Letter Name: והו
“ויסע מלאך האלהים ההלך לפני מחנה ישראל וילך מאחריהם ויסע עמוד הענן מפניהם ויעמד מאחריהם”.
2: The middle letters of each triplet come from taking the last letters of the second verse going backward.
“ויבא בין מחנה מצרים ובין מחנה ישראל ויהי הענן והחשך ויאר את הלילה ולא קרב זה אל זה כל הלילה”.
3: The last letters of each triplet are made by adding to each one the first letters of the last and final verse.
“ויט משה את ידו על הים ויולך י-ה-ו-ה את הים ברוח קדים עזה כל הלילה וישם את הים לחרבה ויבקעו המים”.

Dividing the 216 letters of these three verses into these sub-name triplets in new permutations is what creates the secret of the 72 Letter Name.

The 72 letter name of God chart

Are they 72 separate names or one big name?

Each of these triplets are not considered full Names unto themselves, but they do create energy vibrations.

Despite varied reports spread about magical charms and powers of these permutations, the truth is that classical Jewish thought does not provide any explanation about each Name alone – even in later traditions of Kabbalah compilations such as the Zohar. The power of the 72 Names of God [or 72 Shemot] is accessed by meditating upon the whole Name in a certain order.

Since this is one of the Names used to create the universe, it appears that its mystery involves an archetype format that is the parameter and common denominator of all reality. It is one format that unites everything. A secret by means of which lack of parameter and abstract form are transformed into matter.

How to use them

Some who hold themselves to be experts in Kabbalah claim that the 72 names are mantras to be recited. This is not true. The 72 triplets [72 Shemot]  are experienced & activated by using thought. One does not need to know how to pronounce them or to understand exactly how and why they work. All that is necessary is gaze at them and meditate upon them in a mystical manner – tremendous power will manifest.

Splitting the Red Sea

The 72 names were used by Moses to split the Red Sea. The 72 names of God [72 Shemot] are derived from 3 verses directly related to the splitting of the Red Sea because that was when God revealed these 72 keys to Moses. Moses channeled tremendous spiritual energy with these 72 names and used that energy in splitting the Red Sea.

Traditional uses of the 72 letter name of God

When the Temple stood, once a year on Yom Kippur the Kohen Gadol would immerse and don white attire. The masses waited outside the Temple in the street. This was the only day he or anyone else would enter the Kadshei Kadashim [Holy of Holies] – known as the ‘Devir’. In it rested the original Aron Habrit [Ark of the Covenant] from the travels of the Children of Israel in the wilderness. דויר/Devir has in it ‘ריו-216’ – the amount of letters in the Seventy-two Letter Name. It was erected around the Even Shetiyah [Corner-stone] – the foundation of all Creation from which everything was woven and set up! The value of ‘השתיה-720/Hashetiyah alludes to the Seventy-two Letter Name. (Torah numerology often discards zeros when taking the basic value of a word…)

The Kohen Gadol would recite the Seventy-two triplets of the Name in a secret format, passed on from Kohen Gadol to Kohen Gadol alone. If he was good he would leave the Devir alive. Rabbinic literature tells that they would “hear the explicit Name out of the mouth of the Kohen Gadol”. “How glorious was the appearance of the Kohen Gadol when he left the Kadshie Kadashim!

When the Romans killed the last Kohen Gadol the secret died with him.

The 72 letter name of God today

However, there is place to meditate upon the Name. And so the Arizal revealed that one should meditate on it throughout the second & third paragraph of Shema. According to the Rashash, these 2 paragraphs act to bring the light down to the 7 lower Sefirot [Chessed, Gevurah, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut]. This means that the 72 Names of God help to bvring the light down to the lower parts of yor soul. The more you feel it in your soul, the more it will manifest in the world.

The 72 letter name of God is meditated on in other places as well. But be careful not to use it improperly. There is no word for energetic ‘buttons’ as people like to believe.

Therefore, if one wants to become accustomed to meditation on the Seventy-two Names for the sake of healing or whatever matter, have them all in mind.

Here they are before you. Use them for what is good & upright not in your eyes – but in the eyes of God your Lord.

You can find out more about Kabbalah Meditation here or to find out about the Tetragrammaton click here

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5 comments

    I honestly believe and understand that the sefer yetzirah explains the 72-letter name in conjunction with the shem ha-mephorash.

    i want to know the nams of GOD

      Besrat Hashem we will try to write an article for that soon

    I want to know the names of God in English phonetic language, also the actual meaning of each one. Please thank you.

      I need to ask my Rabbi

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