NAMES of GOD & Why they are Important
In the first phrase of the Hebrew Bible and fourth word in English Bible translations of Genesis is ‘God.’ It is natural by our very soul and human conscience to ask and search for God. It is His will that we ‘ask… seek… and knock (Matt. 7:7)’ until we discover truths concerning our Creator. Names of God, or what He has been called by faithful disciples and prophets, or by what He declared to them, is significant because they teach us about the nature and attributes of God. The following is not an exhaustive biblical list, but contains many of His most precious and important titles or names.
“Our Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts (LORD OF HOSTS) is His name, the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 47:4)”
The LORD appeared to MOSES and reveals Himself
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law… and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. …The bush was burning but not consumed… God called to Moses from within the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said… you are standing on holy ground. Then He said, ‘I AM the GOD of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob… I have seen the affliction of My people… And Moses said to God, ‘If the people of Israel… ask me, ‘what is His name? Then what shall I tell them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM;’ ‘thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM’ has sent me to you…’ The And God said to Moses, ‘I am Yahweh (the LORD), and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them. I also established My covenant with them… (Exodus, chapters 3 to 6)’.”
LONGEST known NAME of GOD
After “the Lord said to Moses, ‘Cut two tablets of stone… and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself to Me there on the top of the mountain…’ the Lord descended in the cloud… and proclaimed the NAME OF THE LORD: ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.’ So Moses made haste and bowed to the earth and worshiped… (Exodus 34:1-8; name 34:6-7).”
Hebrew for His first declared Name: Elohim
According to Lockyer’s All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible, “Elohim… is found some 3,000 times, and in over 2,300 of these references the term is applied to God… In the first two chapters of Genesis Elohim occurs 35 times in connection with God’s creative power. This striking name for ‘God’ is found most frequently in the books of Deuteronomy and the Psalms (26 times in Psalms 68).” This is not surprising since in Deuteronomy declares what ‘the Lord God’ has done for Israel and the ‘commandments of the Lord.’ And as Moses loved and declared the Lord, David did so in song and declaration exceedingly.
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible states of Elohim or Elohiym: ‘of the supreme God… exceeding, great, mighty, God.
Yehovah / JEHOVAH
William Tyndale translated the Hebrew ‘Y’ into the English ‘J’ and thus, we received in English the spellings: ‘Jehovah’ and ‘Jesus.’ In Genesis 6:5 we find that ‘the LORD’ “saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth.” And in Genesis 15:2 we see Abram (Abraham) crying out to the ‘Lord GOD.’
Strong’s defines Yehovah “from 1961 (hayah) the self-Existent or Eternal: Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.” In the Hebrew Yehovah is YHVH.
Lockyer reports, “The first time El is used in Scripture is in connection with Melchizedek who is described as a ‘priest of the Most High El (Gen. 14:18).’ Perhaps the most sacred and expressive use of El is in the Calvary Psalm where Christ appeals to El in His agony, ‘My God, My God (prophesied in Psa. 22:1).’ Thus in the New Testament crucifixion narrative we have Jesus crying with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi (Mark 15:34).’ In His extreme weakness He prayed ‘My Strength, My Strength,’ for El denotes God as ‘the Strong One and first and only Cause of things, and being in the singular emphasizes the essence of the Godhead… El is frequently combined with nouns and adjectives to express the divine name with reference to particular attributes… Isra-el, Beth-el, El Shaddai…”
El Shaddai translates as God Almighty. Shaddai occurs 48 times in the Old Testament. Strong’s defines it as almighty and powerful. Concern rabbis have said that the word Shaddai is made up of two particles meaning ‘sufficient’ or ‘self-sufficient.’ In English it is also translated as “Lord God Omnipotent (Rev. 19:6).”
‘God Most High;’ Heleyon or Eleyon means ‘Highest.’ This is in relation to God’s place of dominance and location – Highest Heaven at the most significant place on His throne.
Adonai is in the Old Testament about 300 times and translates as Lord. But it is also translated as ‘Master.’ Job 28:28 says ‘the fear of the Lord (Master) is wisdom.’ Deut. 10:17, ‘Lord of lords,’ could also be ‘Master of masters.’ “Thou shall have no other gods (masters) before Me (Exodus 20:3).” “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).”
Those who love Him call God their LORD and Master, and count it a privilege to be “servants of the Most High God (Acts 16:17; Lev. 25:55; Psa. 113:1).”
‘God the Father (2Tim.1:2)’; ‘God our Father (Eph. 1:2)’; ‘Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9; note Isaiah 11:2 – Spirit of the Lord: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, Fear of the Lord);’ ‘Father of glory (Eph. 1:17);’ ‘Father of Lights (James 1:17).’
Many Jewish prayers call God the KING OF THE UNIVERSE. ‘The Lord is King forever (Psalm 10:16).’ “O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God (Psa. 84:3).”
JAH is a short form of YHVH or Jehovah. ‘Sing unto God… extol Him that rides upon the heavens (clouds) by His name JAH, and rejoice before Him (Psa. 68:4).’ This term occurs over 40 times in the Hebrew Bible, but is translated ‘Lord’ in English.
Other names: Rock of our Salvation; my Shield; my Shepherd; the Judge; Lord of lords; Living God, Ancient of Day, the Lord of hosts.
EL ROI: God sees, or the Lord who sees (Gen. 16:13)
EL Olam: God of Eternity or Everlasting God (Isa. 40:28)
Jehovah-Shammah: The Lord is there (Ezek. 48:35)
Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord provides (Gen. 22:14)
Jehovah M’Kaddesh: The Lord who Sanctifies (Lev. 20:8)
The Hebrew Kodesh is related to Sanctify; Kodesh is used for ‘Saint,’ ‘Holy,’ ‘Holy one.’ Holy is found about 700 times in the Holy Scriptures. “It is written, ‘Be holy, for I AM holy (Lev. 20:26; 1 Peter 1:16)’.”
Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord my Banner (Exo. 17:15)
Jehovah-Rophi: The Lord our Healer or Physician (Exo. 15:26)
Jehovah-Shalom: God is Peace (Judges 6:24)
Jehovah-Tsidkenu: Lord our Righteousness (Jer. 23:5)
Jehovah-Hoseenu: The Lord our Maker; “O come, let us worship and kneel before Jehovah our Maker (Psa. 95:6).”
“Fear the Lord your God… love Him… serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul… keep His commands… For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bride (Deut. 10:12, 17).”