Overview of the Names of God
It seems quite natural that God would reveal Himself to us, since He wants us to ‘know and understand’ Him (Jeremiah 9.23-24). Abraham and his early blood-relative descendants learned about God through His walk with them, as God said to Moses in Exodus 6.2-3a. While we will find this revelation of El Shaddai/God Almighty repeated throughout Scripture, God begins in Exodus 6.3b to reveal Himself as the overcoming Lord, whose name, Jesus (John 17.11-12), means the same thing, which Apostle Paul acknowledges in Philippians 2.9-11 and Apostle John acknowledges in Revelation 19.11-16.
God first defined Himself to Moses in Exodus 3.14: ‘I AM WHO I AM.’
- In the Hebrew, this is four alphabet consonants that transliterate as YHWH.
- This is a tetragrammaton defined as ‘known directly, without apparent thought or effort’.
- God told Moses that the Hebrews in Egypt would instantly know Who Moses was speaking for and about when He mentioned YHWH.
- Has God engrained His name within mankind or did He just do this for the Hebrews in this occasion? Do Romans 1.19-20 and Jeremiah 31.33-34 help?
- Another way of writing YHWH is JHVH, which we pronounce Jehovah.
- Middle-Ages Jewish commentator, Moses Maimonides, stated that, “All the names of God which occur in Scripture are derived from His works except one, and that is Jehovah, and this is called the plain name, because it teaches plainly and unequivocally of the substance of God. In the name Jehovah the personality of the Supreme is distinctly expressed. It is everywhere a proper name denoting the person of God and Him only.” (The Exhaustive Dictionary of bible Names, page 84)
All other names of God are derived from His works. For example: Jehovah-
- Elohoy = a personal name meaning My LORD; Judges 6.15; 13.8.
- Eloheka denotes Jehovah’s relationship to His people and their responsibility to Him; Exodus 20.2.
- Gmolah = the God of recompenses; Jeremiah 51.7.
- Heleyon reveals God as the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity; Psalm 97.9, 47.2; Isaiah 57.15.
- Hoseenu refers to God’s ability to fashion something out of what already exists (Hebrews 11.10, Ephesians 2.22), not to His ability to speak and create out of nothing.
- Jireh = the Lord is provision, will see and provide; Genesis 22.14.
- Makkeh = the Lord shall smite you; Ezekiel 7.9.
- M’Kaddesh = the Lord sanctifies (makes holy); Leviticus 20.8.
- Nissi = the Lord is my banner or ensign/standard; Exodus 17.8-15.
- Rohi = the Lord is my Shepherd, tender of the flock; Psalm 23.1.
- Rophe = the Lord is healing, both physical and spiritual; Exodus 15.22-26.
- Sabaoth/Tsebaoth (Greek/Hebrew) = the Lord of hosts; 1 Samuel 1.3; Jeremiah 11.20.
- Shalom = the Lord is peace; Judges 6.24.
- Shammah = the Lord is present; Ezekiel 48.35.
- Tsidkenu = the Lord is righteous/straight; Jeremiah 23.5-6, 33.16.
Which ‘work’ of God have you experienced? Which do you need to learn?
Copyright by Maurice L. Painter; all rights reserved.