What's in a Name

Exodus 3:13-15 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 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.

The Egyptians and other unbelieving nations had gods for everything: A god of fire, a god of water, a god of love, a god of the hunt, etc. Moses asked God what His name was - What are you god of? God's reply was "I am that I am" or "I will become what I will become." God Almighty is God of everything and will be whatever He needs to be to meet the needs of man.

God goes on to expound His name as "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." These men who believed God and were chosen by God to be His people became identified with the true God because of their believing and God chose to be known to men as "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

God uses the name JEHOVAH when he is talking about a horizontal relationship with his people. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew God Almighty [El Shadday], the creator of the heavens and the earth; but they did not have a relationship with Him as Lord [Jehovah]. With Moses and the writing of the law man was able to know God in a horizontal relationship. Seven of the redemptive names of God in relation to His people are listed below:

  1. Jehovah-jireh - The Lord will provide - Genesis 22:14
  2. Jehovah-rapha - The Lord that healeth thee - Exodus 15:26
  3. Jehovah-nissi - The Lord our banner - Exodus 17:15
  4. Jehovah-shalom - The Lord our peace - Judges 6:24
  5. Jehovah-ra ah - The Lord my shepherd - Psalms 23:1
  6. Jehovah-tsidkenu - The Lord our righteousness - Jeremiah 23:6
  7. Jehovah-shammah - The Lord is present - Ezekiel 48:35

Other Names

Names that combine the characteristics of creator and lord are Jehovah-Elohiym: The Lord thy God, Jehovah-'elyown: The Lord most High and Jehovah - 'owlam el: The Lord, the everlasting God.

235 times God is referred to in His Word as Jehovah-saba: The Lord of Hosts.

Jeremiah 31:35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

Other names that show a relationship between God and His people:

Jehovah-Chay: The Lord Liveth.
Jeremiah 12:16a And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth;

Jehovah-qadash: The Lord that doth sanctify you.
Exodus 31:13 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.

Jehovah-qana': The Lord is Jealous.
Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Exodus 34:5-7 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Once we understand the names that God has given Himself in His Word we can begin to see the greatness of our God and truely praise Him.
  • Psalms 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
  • Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
  • Isaiah 50:10b let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
  • Malachi 3:16b and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and thought upon his name.

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As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25

December 1996
URL http://www.cortright.org/namegod.htm
Michael Cortright