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God's Names

Some of His names and where they originated

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 9:10 (New American Standard Bible)

Although I am not a linguist or language scholar, I find the origins of names fascinating. The Bible contains many names for God, the earliest ones in Hebrew and Aramaic, the later ones in Greek. Christians believe in a triune God, or "the trinity" of God. This trinity is made up of "the father" (God), "the son" (Jesus) and the "Holy Spirit".

This study will outline some of God's names and their origins.

  • El:
  • This most fundamental form of the word "God" in Hebrew appears in the Tanakh or Hebrew bible. It is typically used in the poetic passages, and appears over 200 times in the Old Testament, mostly in Psalms and the Book of Job. (1)
  • Elohim:
  • This word is a plural noun. It appears over 2,500 times in the Old Testament. It is most associated with God as "The Creator" and appears as the third word in the Hebrew text in Genesis and throughout the Hebrew bible. (2) God as the Creator, Preserver, Transcendent, Mighty and Strong. Jonah use Elohim almost exclusively. (3)
  • El Elyon:
  • The Most High God. Referenced eight times in the Psalms as well as numerous times in other books of the Old Testament.
  • El Olam:
  • The Everlasting God, or God Everlasting. Forever. (4)
  • El Roi:
  • The God Who Sees. Hagar, in Genesis, used this name for God.
  • El Shaddai:
  • The All Sufficient One, or God All Sufficient.
  • Adonai:
  • Lord or Master. Used over 300 times in the Old Testament. (5)
  • Jehovah (Yahweh or abbreviated YHWH) :
  • LORD (all capitals), the covenant name of God. It occurs over 6,800 times in the Old Testament. (6)
  • Jehovah-jireh:
  • The LORD will Provide. In Genesis 22:14: Abraham called the name of that place "The LORD Will Provide", as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided."
  • Jehovah-mekoddishkem:
  • LORD whom Sanctifies. From Leviticus 20:8: You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
  • Jehovah-nissi:
  • The LORD is my banner. In Exodus 17:15: Moses built an altar and named it "The LORD is My Banner;"
  • Jehovah-raah:
  • The LORD is my Shepherd. From Psalm 23: The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
  • Jehovah-rapha:
  • The LORD as your Healer. In Exodus 15:26: And He said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer."
  • Jehovah-sabaoth:
  • The LORD of Hosts. From Psalm 46:7: The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
  • Jehovah-shalom:
  • The LORD is Peace. In Judges 6:24: Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
  • Jehovah-shammah:
  • The LORD is There. From Ezekiel 48:35: "The city shall be 18,000 cubits round about; and the name of the city from that day shall be, 'The LORD is there.'"
  • Jehovah-tsidkenu:
  • The LORD is our Righteousness. In Jeremiah 33:16: 'In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness.'
  • Yesha:
  • (Y'shua) "Savior" Isa. 43:3. Jesus is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew "Joshua." The latter is a contraction of Je-Hoshua. ("Christ", the anointed one is equivalent to the Hebrew Maschiah, or Messiah). (7)
  • Immanual:
  • The WORD:
  • The WORD is God. In John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • Alpha and Omega:
  • The Beginning and the End, The First and the Last. From Revelation 1:8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." In Revelation 21:6: 'Then He said to me, "It is done I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. "'From Revelation 22:13: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." In Revelation 2:8: "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this"
  • Derived from the Hebrew "Joshua" (Y'shua) or "Je-Hoshua" meaning JEHOVAH Is Salvation.

1. Wikipedia entry "El in the Tanakh".
2. Wikipedia entry "Elohim".
3. Lambert Dolphin, "The Names of God" copyright 1982-2005
4. John J. Parsons, "Hebrew Names for God" Hebrew for Christians, copyright 2005
5. Lambert Dolphin, "The Names of God" copyright 1982-2005
6. Lambert Dolphin, "The Names of God" copyright 1982-2005
7. Lambert Dolphin, "The Names of God" copyright 1982-2005

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