The Meaning of Deuteronomy 6:4 Explained

Deuteronomy 6:4

KJV: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

YLT: Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah;

Darby: Hear, Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah;

ASV: Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah:

What does Deuteronomy 6:4 Mean?

Context Summary

Deuteronomy 6:1-19 - How To Treat God's Words
Obedience is still the one condition of true prosperity and success. Lands still flow with milk and honey; and they live long who live well. Lives are measured by heart-throbs, and not by figures on the dial.
Deuteronomy 6:4 is reckoned by pious Jews as one of the choicest portions of Scripture. They write it on their phylacteries and repeat it, with other verses, at least twice a day. Note the various methods for maintaining the religious atmosphere: (1) by meditation; (2) by the religious training of children; (3) by pious discourse and conversation; (4) by the persistent study of Scripture. When books are scarce, use wall-texts; but never substitute stray snippets, however sweet, for the whole meal of Scripture.
Let us not forget how many of our present privileges and spiritual advantages must be credited to the prayers and the tears, the labors and the sufferings, of those who have left these precious inheritances to us, their children and heirs! We drink of cisterns we never hewed! [source]

Chapter Summary: Deuteronomy 6

1  The end of the law is obedience
3  An exhortation thereto
20  What they are to teach their children

What do the individual words in Deuteronomy 6:4 mean?

Hear Israel Yahweh our God Yahweh [is] one
שְׁמַ֖ע‪‬ ! יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה ׀ אֶחָֽד‪‬

שְׁמַ֖ע‪‬  Hear 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine singular
Root: שָׁמַע 
Sense: to hear, listen to, obey.
! יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
יְהוָ֥ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ  our  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, first person common plural
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
יְהוָ֥ה ׀  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֶחָֽד‪‬  [is]  one 
Parse: Number, masculine singular
Root: אֶחָד  
Sense: one (number).