*THE NAMES OF GOD IN THE BIBLE*
Often the Bible describes a person by a name. Every name of God is an indication of His personality. We can learn much about Him by studying His Names:
Elohim occurs approximately 2,570 times in the Old Testament. The corresponding Greek word is Theos. Technically, this is not a name. It rather gives a classification just as we might call a man “pastor” when his actual name is Richard. Elohim is plural in form (cf. seraphim, cherubim). This by itself does not prove the Trinity, but it may be a clue of God’s triune nature. Elohim may emphasize God in His role as Creator (Gen. 1:1; Isa.45:18; Jonah1:9), as God of all the earth rather than of Israel alone (Gen.24:7; Isa.37:16;54:5; Jer.32:27), and as Judge of all the earth (Ps50:6;58:11;75:7). Elohim may also emphasize God as personal Savior (Gen17:8; Ex3:6; Jer23:23).
Elohim seems to picture God as Creator, Sovereign, and Savior of all the earth.
*2.EL SHADDAI or SHADDAI*
Gen17:1; Ex6:3, it occurs 48 times in the Old Testament (31 times in Job). The Greek equivalent is Pantokrator Rev1:8;19:6. The term means “Almighty.”
”Shaddad” is Hebrew for ”destroyer”. ”Shad” means ”breast”. ”Shadu” is Akkadian for ”mountain”. Any of these suggestions is plausible. The basic meaning of ”Almighty” could be derived from His power to destroy the wicked, His complete sufficiency as a nourisher, or being strong as a mountain. It is best to follow the LXX (Septuagint translation) and give El Shaddai a basic meaning of “Almighty” regardless of its exact derivation. As El Shaddai, God is omnipotent and sufficient to take care of man.
”Now when Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless” Gen17:1
”And I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty (EL SHADDAY), but by My name, LORD (IHWH or YAHVEH/JEHOVAH), I did not make Myself known to them” Ex6:3
Gen.14:18; it means ‘Most High God’. In the Scriptures it is nearly always used by gentiles or in reference to gentiles. Therefore, this title emphasizes God in His rule over all the earth. Melchizedek calls El Elyon “the possessor of heaven and earth” Gen14:19. Daniel teaches that “the MOST HIGH is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whom He wishes” Dan4:17. The evil King of Babylon and the wicked spirit behind him wanted to be as the Most High Is14:14. As El Elyon, God is the owner of all people and all things.
”And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God MOST HIGH, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God MOST HIGH, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” Gen14:18-20.
Gen21:33; in English, “Eternal God, Everlasting God.” He is the Being who always existed in the past and will always exist in the future
…”he called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God” Gen21:33
Is9:6; it occurs in reference to the Messiah. He is ”Mighty God”. This phrase is used of brave fighting men in the vast majority of references. Messiah is courageous and valiant in battle
Yahweh is the most common title for deity. It is used 5,321 times in the Old Testament and is translated by ‘LORD’ except seven times in the King James Version where it is translated Jehovah. The Greek word is kurios. While Elohim (God) describes Him, God’s real name is YHWH. Out of reverence, the ancient Jews would not pronounce God’s name. Consequently, the vowel sounds have been lost. By tradition the vowels of Adonai have been inserted between the consonants YHWH to form YaHoWai. Germans pronounce J as Y as in ”Johann Sebastian Bach”. They also pronounce W’s as V. Thus, a German would tend to spell the above hybrid with a J and give the W a V sound (JaHoVeh). English speaking peoples should have pronounced the J as Y (e.g., hallelujah), but we added a corrupt J sound to the already corrupted V sound of German. Thus, the combination of YHWH with the vowels of Adonai passed through German with the W sound as V and Y written as J, and through English with the J pronounced as J. The resulting “mutant” from Hebrew, German and English is “Jehovah.” Hebrew does not even have a J in it! In reality we do not know for certain how to pronounce God’s name. Yahweh is a good guess as the ”Yah” sound is prominent in names and words (e.g., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jehosaphat, Johnathan, Hallelujah, etc.)
Conservative theologians do not agree on the derivation of God’s name. Maybe there is none. Some argue for a derivation from an archaic form of the Hebrew word to be (HWH) which in the Qal imperfect or Hiphil imperfect would become YHWH. There is some plausibility to this. When Moses spoke God’s name, He replies, “I AM WHO I AM” Ex3:14-15. Also, Christ claims deity by asserting, “I AM” (see Jn8:58; also Rev1:8). It is possible that God’s name (YHWH) speaks of His self-existence or His being the source for the existence of everything else.
By observing its usage, some contend YHWH refers to the God of covenants. He is a God who enters into special relationships with specific people instead of being just the God of the universe as a whole. If the above derivation is correct, the name YHWH also speaks of a self-existent being. No one caused His existence. He is not dependent upon anybody or anything for sustenance.
There are several secondary names derived from YHWH:
*a.Yahweh-Sabaoth* 1Sam17:45; Ps24:10; James5:4. Yahweh-Sabaoth in English means “LORD of Hosts” or “LORD of Armies.” The Greek is Kurios Sabaoth. It is interesting that God is never called “LORD of Hosts” in the Law of Moses, yet, this title is extremely popular with the prophets. It is used approximately 285 times including 62 times in Isaiah, 77 in Jeremiah, 53 in Zechariah, and 24 in Malachi. The title “LORD of Hosts” teaches that God is a warrior and captain of both angelic and human forces. In His war with the evil one, He will not suffer loss.
”Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted” 1Sam17:45
”Who is the King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory” Ps24:10
*b. Yahweh-Yireh* Gen22:13-14 in English is Jehovah-Jireh. It means, “the LORD will provide.” He is the caretaker for and sustainer of His people.
”And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide”…Gen22:14a.
*c. Yahweh-Rapha* Ex15:26 in English means “Jehovah-Rapha” meaning “the LORD that heals.” He is the source for both spiritual and physical healing.
”For I, the LORD, am your healer” Ex15:26
*d. Yahweh-Nissi* Ex17:15 in English is Jehovah-Nissi and means “the LORD is my banner.” This name has a similar idea to “LORD of Hosts.” The LORD protects, defends, and fights for His people.
”And Moses built an altar, and named it The LORD is My Banner” Ex17:15
*e.Yahweh-Shalom* Judg6:24 in English is Jehovah-Shalom and means “the LORD is our peace.” The LORD sends peace into our lives. In salvation He gives peace with Himself Rom5:1. In growth He gives His peace in our hearts Phil4:7
”Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace” Judg6:24
*f.Yahweh-Rohi* Ps23:1 is Jehovah-Rohi in English and means “The LORD is my shepherd.” The LORD is our guide, our protector, and our provider.
”The LORD is my shepherd”…Ps23:l
*g.Yawheh-Tsidkenu* Jer23:6 is Jeho-vah-Tsidkenu in English and means “the LORD Our Righteousness.” God the Son is our righteousness when we trust in Him 2Cor5:21
”…and this is His name by which He will be called, “The LORD our righteousness” Jer23:6
In the Old Testament the word LORD translates (YHWH). The word Lord (lower case ord) translates Adonai. Adonai is technically not a name. It is a form of address and means “Master.” The word can be used of either human masters or the divine Master. It is used approximately three hundred times of God and teaches us that God is our absolute authority in life.
The greatest privilege for humans is to be able to call God *”FATHER”* if we receive Jesus as Savior believing (accepting, receiving) that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross Jn3.16:
-Jn1:12,13 “But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the SONS of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”
-Rom8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of ADOPTION, whereby we cry, ABBA, FATHER.” In fact ”Abba” means ”daddy”, word for ”father” in Greek is ”pater”
-Gal4:5 “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the ADOPTION OF SONS”.
-Eph1:5 “Having predestinated us unto the ADOPTION of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”
-Mat6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our FATHER which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name…”
-1Jn3:1,2 “Behold, what manner of love the FATHER hath bestowed upon us…“
Earthly fathers would be offended if their children would call them by his name, instead of ”daddy” or ”father”.