Ancient Israel: Names of God
The names of God revealed to ancient Israel in Old Testament times
The Sovereign Ruler. Genesis 15:2 - "But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless" Adonai is a plural possessive noun meaning "my Lords" - Adonai reveals God's mastership, ownership, kingship, sovereignty and rulership over man. - Whenever adon is used in the Bible for men it is translated as 'master', 'sir', or 'lord'. For example Abraham's servant Eliezer says 'my master Abraham'. - David reveals Yahweh as talking to Adonai in the Psalms 110:1. - The Bible says that the fear of Adonai is wisdom.
Isaiah 40:10 "Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him."
The Highest One. Genesis 14:19 "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth"
- Reveals God's relationship with those who are not Abram's seed.
- God is the highest of those created in His image. Gen 1:26 says he created man after his own likeness, "Likeness" means exact duplication in kind"
- Balaam (gentile) referred to God as El Elyon, When Moses spoke of God's sovereignty over the nations he referred to God as El Elyon. The Book of Daniel was written in Babylon and mentions God throughout as El Elyon.
- Other mentions of higher are:
Deuteronomy 26:19 Nation high above all nations,
Psalm 89:27 King higher than other kings,
Ezekiel 41:7 Chamber higher than other chambers
- A different word is used when it says that the heavens are higher than the earth (Isaiah 55:9), and the clouds are higher than a man (Job 35:5).
The God of Times and Seasons.
Genesis 21:33 "Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God."
- God is eternal and in every age, every generation, and within every new season to work His eternal purpose. El Olam is the God who works His will not all at once but through varied times and seasons.
- Age to age, generation to generation, forever speaks of a season that has a beginning and an end.
- God had a purpose before the ages that he would bring a redeemer, out of the fall of man He would bring about a greater glory for Himself and his fallen children.
The God who Sees Me.
Genesis 16:13 "And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?"
- God sees our hearts, He knows all things. He sees when we are in need and when we cry out to Him he hears.
- God also sees the wicked who do not think that God sees them. He not only sees them but knows their thoughts and intents.
Isaiah 29:15 - "Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?"
The One Who Blesses.
Genesis 17:1 "When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."
- El is the male God who is omnipotent and Shaddai is the female plural, which reveals both male and female in God.
- Shad means breast, and as the breast nourishes the child and imparts the life of the mother, so El Shaddai speaks of God as the bountiful nourisher, and blesser of mankind.
- El Shaddai sets aside the laws of nature to bountifully bless.
- The Greek goddess Artemis (Diana) was created with multiple breasts.
- Abraham was advanced in years and wondered about God's promise that he would bear a son, and God revealed himself as El Shaddai, who can set apart the laws of nature to abundantly bless.
- He is also the God of the wrath of the almighty.
The All Powerful.
Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
- Elohim is translated "God" in the English Bible and is a plural noun, although it is used with singular verbs and adjectives. For example in Genesis 1:1 it says that Elohim (plural noun) created (singular verb) the heavens and the earth.
- Every nation has Elohim (false gods), but Jehovah is the true Elohim.
- In Genesis 6 Elohim is concerned with creation and orders Noah to bring two of every animal into the Ark, it was Jehovah who ordered Noah to bring seven of every clean animal, because he is concerned with his covenant is man and redemption.
Gen 6:13 "And God (Elohim) said to Noah...And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every kind.. to keep them alive"
Gen 7:1-2 "Then the LORD (Yahweh) said to Noah," Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal.."
The Living One. Exodus 3:14-15 "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations."
YHVH (Jehovah) was the name of the God of Israel. Translated LORD in the English Bible, the Hebrew name contained only four letters YHVH. Since no vowels have passed down to us in history we do not know how the four letters were pronounced. The name was spoken by the high priest once per year on Yom Kippur, the Great Day of Atonement.
Genesis 4:26 "Then men began to call on the name of the LORD."
- Jehovah is the Hebrew word Yahweh which comes from the root "hayah" which means to be, to exist, or have life.
- Isaiah 43:10-11 There was no god before Yahweh or after Yahweh.
- Psalm 102:27 Yahweh's years had no beginning and will have no end.
- Yahweh is the name of the living Elohim
- To know the name Yahweh was a special revelation, impossible to know if He was not revealed, Exodus 6:2-3. Yahweh is the God of revelation.
- Every nation had gods (elohim) but Yahweh was the God of Israel and the only living God. Psalm 86:11 David says that Yahweh alone is Elohim. Also in 2 Chronicles 14:11 Israel cried out to "Yahweh our Elohim."
- Exodus 3:15 Yahweh is his name forever.
The LORD will Provide.
Genesis 22:14 "And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided."
- When the LORD sees a need He makes provision. He will see to it.
- Provision comes from two Latin words meaning to "see beforehand"
- Regarding Genesis 22 one medieval rabbi put it this way: God will manifest Himself to His people.
"In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided"
"God will provide himself a lamb"
- John 8:56-58 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."
- Exodus 12:23 - "For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you."
The LORD who Sanctifies.
Leviticus 20:8 "And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you."
- The Bible says that our approach to Him is based on blood atonement because He is holy. Because of the blood God makes us holy, he sets us apart, and redeems us.
- God is holy and sanctifies His people:
Exodus 31:12-13 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you."
- Jesus said His followers would be sanctified by the Word
John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
The LORD is my Banner.
Exodus 17:15-16 "And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner; for he said, "Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."
- In the ancient world a banner was a physical object like a pole or ensign to signal the people.
- God will over come all the enemies of Israel and his messiah will be a banner to Israel and the gentiles.
Isaiah 11:10 "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."
The LORD Who Heals.
Exodus 15:26 "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you."
- God is the healer.
- Man's rebellion brought sin and sickness.
- God heals all sin and sickness.
Psalm 103:2 "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases"
- God heals backsliding Israel and all backsliders.
Jeremiah 3:21 "A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping [and] supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, [and] they have forgotten the LORD their God. Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal your backslidings."
The LORD my Shepherd.
Psalm 23:1 "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."
- The LORD is our shepherd, he leads, protects, and cares for His people.
He is a shepherd to Israel:
Jeremiah 31:10 - Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
- Man's need for the shepherd:
Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."
- Prediction of the Messiah to Come as a Shepherd:
Isaiah 40:10-11 "Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."
The LORD of Hosts. Isaiah 14:22 "For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD."
- The LORD is commander of the armies in heaven.
Psalms 24:10 - Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
- David and Goliath
1 Samuel 17:43-45 "And the Philistine said unto David, [Am] I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied."
- The Lord of Hosts will fight for His people
Isaiah 31:4 - For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, [he] will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.
- The Lord of Hosts is dreadful among the Gentiles
Malachi 1:14 "But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen."
The LORD is Peace.
Judges 6:23-24 "Then the LORD said to him, "Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die." So Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The-LORD-Is-Peace."
- When Gideon built his altar there was no peace in Israel, only God's promise.
- The LORD brings peace, wholeness, contentment, and prosperity.
- Jesus is called the Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6 - "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
The LORD is There.
Ezekiel 48:35 "and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE."
- God revealed through Ezekiel that in Heaven (New Jerusalem) His name will be Yahweh Shammah.
- David acknowledged that the LORD is ever present:
Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah."
- Jesus promised His disciples that He would be with them always:
Matthew 28:20 "lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Revelation 21:1-3 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."
The LORD our Righteousness.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of Righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
- The LORD is a righteous (straight) God, and the source of righteousness.
- The LORD is our source for righteousness
Ezekiel 36:25-27 "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
- In the New testament Jesus is our source for righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 "For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
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