The Names of God from a Biblical Perspective

The Bible contains many names that say something about who God is. They say a lot about His holiness and power, but also about how people viewed God in Old Testament times. Often the Hebrew names have a double meaning.

In the ancient Middle East, names were given great importance because they revealed character, identity, and existence. Names of people described who they were, how they acted, and how they lived.

The revelation of the name of a deity and its constant use was vital because it enabled contact with God and getting to know Him. The name was the key to revelation. Here are some Names of God in the Bible.

1. Elohim

Elohim is the first name of God we encounter in the Bible. It means strength or power and is used over 2500 times throughout the Old Testament. The name Elohim comes from the word el, which means strong or mighty.

(Genesis 1: 1) The plural form of El or Eloah shows the triune nature of God. From the first sentence of the Bible, the power of God is evident as (Elohim) creates the world with the power of his word. Genesis 1:26 describes inter-trinity communication. Let us make a being in our image and likeness.

Elohim is combined with other words to describe the specific characteristics of God. A few examples of Names of God.

From Genesis forward, we witness God continually disclosing Himself to humanity, placing himself in agreement with his people (as the Elohim).

In Psalm 139:13, a prayer like that shows the saving nature and compassion of Elohim. This passage shows us that Elohim knows us personally and that he has a well-established plan for each of us. We all carry the fingerprint of the hand of God.

2. Yahweh

According to Jewish tradition, only the high priest was allowed to utter the name of God on the Day of Atonement.

According to the history of the Jewish people, this name was so sacred that people did not even dare say it out loud. The four letters (YHWH) are called tetragrams, and some express it as Jehovah or Yahve’.

It is also the name by which God binds Himself to His people in Israel when He tells Moses to make Him known to the Israelites through YHWH (Exodus 3:14).

Each pronouncement of the name of Yahweh was a brief profession of faith. God became available in worship. By revealing his name, God made it possible for people to establish fellowship with Him. His name, God, gives people graces and puts demanding requirements on them.

Here are some names of God through connections between Yahweh and the qualities that God himself has revealed or experienced by his people:

  • Yahweh Zebaoth: The Lord of Armies (Hosts) (1 Samuel 1:3). This comparison from the war life describes Yahweh as the commander in chief of the heavenly angel armies, as well as the war army of Israel. God is the real leader and keeper of Israel.
  • Yahweh Shalom: The Lord is Peace (Judges 6:24).
  • Yahweh Makkadeshem: The Lord who sanctifies you (Exodus 31:13).
  • Yahweh Roi: The Lord, my shepherd (Psalm 23:1).
  • Yahweh Zidkenu: The Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6).
  • Yahweh Rophecha: The Lord, your doctor (Exodus 15:26).
  • Yahweh Elohim Israel: The Lord God of Israel (Genesis).

When some Jewish leaders challenged Jesus for claiming to have seen Abraham (John 8: 56-59), He replied, “Truly, I assure you, before Abraham was there, I was there.”

In Romans 10: 9, Paul writes, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and you trust in your heart that he was raised from the dead, you will be saved.

For we have fallen short of his glory, and we deserve his judgment. But God the Father sent His Son to take that judgment upon Himself for all who believe in Him.

Jesus, the Son of God, led a sinless life. God loves us so much that he let his Son take our sins at the cross so that we can have a new covenant with him (Yahwe).

3. Abba

The word “Abba” occurs three times in the Bible, each in connection with the common name for “father” (Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6). The Lord Jesus used it in the garden of Gethsemane and Christians use it in the power of the Spirit of God.

In his humanity, Jesus needed to see the Father; to listen to him; to speak to him; to be surrounded by his love.

The Father was always with him (John 8: 16-29). Jesus was able to say, “I am not alone” (John 16:32). If Jesus needed it, we must reasonably desire a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father.

It is the key to true worship as it is the Father himself who seeks worshipers. He expects us to have a profound relationship in spirit and truth with each of his children.

4. El-Elyon

El Elyon means the “Most High” and is found in Genesis 14:19 as the name of the God of the priest Melchizedek.

We realize from this story in Genesis 14 that Melchizedek, the Highest, served El Elyon as a priest to his people. Abraham understood that El Elyon was the same God who had revealed Himself to him and called him from Ur.

Elyon expresses safety, protection, stability, and security for the believer who seeks and calls on Him. ‘Elyon’ is a place of protection for Israel; a shelter for every believer who shields in Elyon, the Highest, and takes refuge in Him (Psalm 91: 1-9).

El-Elyon indicates exaltation, entitled, and belongs to “monarchical theology” as it speaks of the complete right to lordship. (Psalm 35:10).

5. El Roi

He is the God who sees everything; He knows our past, present, and future. The name is found in one place in the Old Testament (Gen 16), he comforted Hagar, an Egyptian slave, in her need; encouraged and gave her a great promise. “You are El-Roi,” meaning, did I see him who sees me? (Genesis, 16:13).

We must also remember to praise and honor the Eternal who sees our daily battles. Even when we are in the desert, we can be sure that He will never forget us, nor leave us without a future.

If we remain faithful to Him, then He will bless us greatly. If God took care of a servant, who didn’t even belong to a tribe of the chosen people, and of her Son, who was not the Son of the promise, then how much more will El Roi do to the Christians?

6. El Shaddai

Genesis 17:1: the LORD appears to Abraham and says to him, “I am El Shaddai, the Almighty,” when he promised him at the age of 99, that he and his wife would have a son.

Miraculously, God went beyond the laws of nature to fulfill this promise. This name of God is understood to refer to God as the Almighty. God reveals Himself to the patriarchs to give them comfort and to confirm the covenant with Abraham.

Years passed, and Isaac, the Son of Abraham, already had two sons. He called Jacob to ask El Shaddai to bless him. Thus, confirming that Shaddai indicates the power to bless.

Gen 28: 3-4: May Almighty God (Shaddai) bless you, make you fruitful and multiply you, so that you may become a multitude of peoples. Also that I give the blessing of Abraham, to you and your descendant. Likewise, God affirmed to Jacob that His name is Shaddai (power to bless).

Gen 35: 11-12: God also said to him, I am the God Almighty (Shaddai) be fertile and multiply.

Job chapter 38: through questions to Job, God made him think of the creation of the earth and that not only did he create them, but also provides them with food. In this way, Shaddai made Job understand both His power and His wisdom. Through other questions to Job, God reveals to him that Shaddai also uses His immense power together with His wisdom to govern.

In modern-day Christianity, El Shaddai allows us to be tried and afflicted to empty ourselves and thus be able to fill ourselves more with Him and His blessings; this is what happened with Job.

7. Yahweh Yireh

This name was given to God by Abraham in Genesis 22:14.

In obedience to God’s command, Abraham offered his Son Isaac on the altar as a sacrifice. Before Abraham could kill his Son, God stopped him and provided a ram instead. The redemption that God provided that day on Mount Moriah motivated Abraham to call the place Yahweh Jireh: God is indeed powerful and faithful to supply all our needs.

The name Yahweh Jireh is a promise of saving us from sin. We must die of our sinful nature (Romans 6:23), but Yahweh Yireh has offered a sacrifice in our place, his only beloved Son, the lamb who washes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

The meaning of Jehovah Jireh is not related to natural material prosperity, but is fulfilled in the person of Christ through his sacrifice on Calvary, for He is the sacrificial Lamb God provided to redeem his people and was sacrificed in our place.

8. Yahweh Nissi

Jehovah Nissi means “the Lord is my flag,” from the original Yahweh-nisi.

Moses gave this name to God after the defeat of the Amalekites. So Moses erected an altar and called him Jehovah Nissi, emphasizing God’s leadership that guarantees victory for his people (Exodus 17:15).

The people of God used to fight under the law against flesh and blood. Today, the believer fights the battle of good faith and wages a spiritual struggle in the power of the Holy Spirit against the evil forces of the invisible world. Ephesians 6.10-20 says that we should put on the full armor of God and become strong in the Lord through his power and strength.

9. Jehovah Rapha

Jehovah-Rapha (Yahweh Rapha) means “The Lord healeth” in Hebrew.

Jehovah Rapha (Exodus 15:26) instructs the Israelites that they should pay attention to Lord your God and do good before Him, obey his commands and keep all his commandments.

“I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” Jehovah Rapha has the power to heal physically (2 Kings 5:10), emotionally (Psalm 34:18), mentally (Daniel 4:34), and spiritually (Psalm 103:2-3).

Jesus Christ showed that He is the Great doctor who heals the unwell. In Galilee, Jesus went to different towns healing every sickness among the people (Matthew 4:23). Moreover, Jehovah Rapha also describes healing in nations (2 Chronicles7:13).

What a comfort it is to know that God is Jehovah-Rapha who can heal our bodies and restore and repair our relationship with Him.

Revelation 21:4-5 promises that their tears will be wiped and death shall not be known any longer, nor shall there be any sorrow, crying, or suffering, for the former things have passed on.

And he who sat on the sovereignty said, “See, I am making new all things.” God’s identity as Jehovah Rapha makes this future healing and restoration a trustworthy promise.

10. Yahweh Shalom

The Lord Our Peace (Judges 6:24) – the name given by Gideon at the altar built after the Angel of the Lord had assured him that he would not die as he thought it would inevitably happen, later having seen Him.

In the book of Isaiah (54:10), we find shalom for the restored relationship with God. That true peace will come when God makes his peace covenant with his chosen.

God will destroy the unrighteous (described as the thorns and thistles in his vineyard) unless they make peace with Him (Isaiah 27: 5). To that end, he will give his Prince of Peace and it will be endless. That peace will be the fruit of righteousness and the effect of that righteousness is rest and security forever (Isaiah 32:17).

Conclusion

In conclusion, on several occasions, we see that God revealed Himself in a particular way in His Word, following a given situation which produced in the hearts of people of that time a desire to seek God with a deep thirst to know Him.

God is omnipotent. God is omnipresent. Whatever name that is uttered from the mouths of believers, God is God.

Additional GospelChops Articles

Tags: ,
 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.