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Names and the Nature of God

Robert believes that the Holy Scriptures are the authoritative foundation of knowledge and hold the answer to humanity's ills.


Names have a specific meaning and purpose. In the Bible, name changes indicated a change of status. After God made a covenant with Abram, he and his wife Sarai became "Abraham" and "Sarah" (Genesis 17:4, 17:15). Simon became Peter because he was the first to publicly confess Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God (Matthew 16:13-20). Proper names are inundated with meaning and identify a person's traits. Matthew describes Jesus as "Emmanuel," which means "God with us" (Matthew 1:23).

Biblical Names

Throughout the Bible, individuals are given names at birth that describe their lives or reflect great significance. Solomon, meaning peace, was the first king whose reign had no war. After experiencing captivity, slavery, and imprisonment, Joseph named his firstborn son Manasseh. Manasseh is Hebrew for "causing to forget." "It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household" (Genesis 41:51 NIV). In Biblical times, people called you a child of your father. David was called the son of Jesse (I Samuel 17:12,58).

A Name Identifies

A name identifies everything. Parents delight in giving their child the perfect name. A scientist excitedly discovers the proper title for an element. A naming convention, an agreed-upon method for naming, is used to come up with most names.

Naming Conventions

Parents often use naming conventions to help find names for their children. Some choose to go in alphabetical birth order. Naming a male child after a father or grandfather is prevalent in the United States and many cultures. Some names include the place of birth or residence. Judas Iscariot describes the town of origin of the disciple who betrayed Jesus. The Roman naming convention denotes social rank.

Parents often use naming conventions to help find names for their children.

Parents often use naming conventions to help find names for their children.

Personal Names

A personal name can consist of three or more parts:

  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Surname

A first name is a unique name referred to as a given name. A surname, last name, is shared by many family members. Middle names identify relationships. They are also used to preserve maiden and family names.

A name based on the given name of one's father is called a patronym. A designation based on the given name of one's mother is called a matronym. Patronymic cultures are more dominant than matronymic ones.

Nicknames, Aliases, and Titles

In addition to conventional names, people may have titles, aliases, or nicknames.

  • Nicknames are informal, or pet names, used by friends or family to refer to a person ("Bob" is short for "Robert").
  • Aliases, or fake names, are used to protect or obscure one's identity.
  • Titles designate roles. Members of royal families use titles like King, Queen, Duke, or Duchess to identify authority positions.

God's Name

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:9 to keep God's name Holy and set apart. God can be honored and glorified in many ways. YHVH, the identifying title of God, was written in Hebrew without vowels. There are many interpretations of how to pronounce it. Although there was no "J" or "W" sound in ancient Hebrew, some interpret YHVH as Jehovah. Here are seventeen Holy names, using Jehovah, that talk about God's Holy and Divine Character.

Jehovah - Adonai

Jehovah (YHVH) is God's name. The name Adonai, a Hebrew word that refers to God as Lord, is a title. Adonai indicates that God has all power, authority, and is Master and Lord of all.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:9 to keep God's name Holy and set apart.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:9 to keep God's name Holy and set apart.

Jehovah - El Elyon

El Elyon (ʾĒl ʿElyōn) is a Hebrew epithet that signifies God is "Most High" or "God the Highest."

Jehovah - El Olam

El Olam is a Hebrew title that means "Everlasting God." God is the same today, yesterday, and forever.

Jehovah - El Shaddai

El Shaddai, or Shaddai, translates as God Almighty. It signifies that God is mighty and is sufficient and able to meet any need or handle any situation.

God is mighty and is sufficient and able to meet any need or handle any situation.

God is mighty and is sufficient and able to meet any need or handle any situation.

Jehovah - Elohim

The Hebrew word Elohim is the first word used in the Bible to identify God. The name shows that God started everything. It reveals a living, creative, authoritative, and sovereign God.

Jehovah - Gmolah

Jehovah Gmolah means "The Lord, Our Recompense." It shows that God will repay or reward all who have lost, were harmed, or suffered unjustly.

Jehovah - Jireh

One of the most beloved names for God is Jehovah Jireh. It means "the Lord will provide." One of the first recorded miracles Jesus performed was providing for a wedding banquet host (John 2:2-11). He also afforded nourishment for multitudes of hungry and famished people (Matthew 14:15-21).

As Jehovah - Jireh (Provider), Jesus afforded nourishment for multitudes of hungry and famished people (Matthew 14:15-21).

As Jehovah - Jireh (Provider), Jesus afforded nourishment for multitudes of hungry and famished people (Matthew 14:15-21).

Jehovah - M'Kaddesh

This name means "The Lord Who Sanctifies." M'Kaddesh shows that God sets apart a chosen people. He washes away his people's sins and aids in their maturity, creating a nation of royal kings and priests.

Jehovah - Makkeh

Makkeh or Mekkeh comes from the Hebrew word nakah. Nakah means "to wound," strike, "to beat down," or smite. It reminds us that God has the exclusive right and privilege to smite those whom He chooses.

Jehovah - Nissi

Jehovah Nissi interprets as "The Lord is My Banner." God was with Israel when they went into battle. He was their general and protector. Many have given testimonies of how God has placed and continues to place His shield of protection around them.

God was with Israel when they went into battle. He was their general and protector.

God was with Israel when they went into battle. He was their general and protector.

Jehovah - Qanna

Jehovah Qanna signifies a marriage relationship. It points to God as being a husband to Israel. In the marriage, God is jealous in that he wants his wife, Israel, for Himself and no one else. The bride of Christ, spiritual Israel, consists of Jews and Gentiles.

Jehovah - Rapha

In Hebrew, Rapha means "to mend," cure, thoroughly repair, or make whole. In essence, it means that God is our healer.

Jehovah - Rohi

Psalm 23:1 states that "The Lord is my shepherd." The Hebrew, Yahweh Rohi, also interpreted as Jehovah Rohi, shows the love, care, and mercy that God gives to us as our Shepherd.

God is our Jehovah Rohi (Divine Shepherd) and caretaker.

God is our Jehovah Rohi (Divine Shepherd) and caretaker.

Jehovah - Sabaoth

The Hebrew, Yahweh Sabaoth, interpreted as Jehovah Sabaoth, identifies the strength of God. It translates as the Lord powerful and mighty. God is "The Lord of Armies," robust and strong in battle.

Jehovah - Shalom

Jehovah Shalom signifies that God is our "Prince of Peace." More of a title than a name, Jehovah Shalom reveals a perfect, finished and fulfilled God.

Jehovah Shalom signifies that God is our "Prince of Peace."

Jehovah Shalom signifies that God is our "Prince of Peace."

Jehovah - Shammah

God is always and forever present. He knows us and understands what we need. He is Jehovah Shammah, which means "the Lord is there."

Jehovah - Tsidkenu

Tsidkenu comes from the Hebrew word Tsedek (tseh'-dek), which means "to be righteous," "to be still," or "to be straight." Jehovah Tsidkenu, also called Yahweh Tsidkenu, means "the Lord is our justice" or "Jehovah Our Justice."

All Names

All titles have meaning and or serve as a form of identity. God's Holy name is uniquely set apart and should always be respected and held to the highest esteem. Believers and the people of God love Him not only for the countless things His many names imply but because of who He is.

Because of Who you Are - Vicki Yohe

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References

Genesis 41:51 NIV - Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh .... https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+41%3A51&version=NIV

The Hidden Beauty of the Holy Name of God - YHVH. (2018, January 07). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/dbb45zmkli4

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Robert Odell Jr