I’m currently delving into the names of God so I picked up this eBook by Ken Hemphill, The Names of God. I’ve never given any thorough study to the Hebrew names of God in the Old Testament so I thought this book would be a good place to start.
I have to admit I had a difficult time concentrating and following this text. Some parts were academic and dry, listing the number of times each word appeared in the Bible. Other parts wandered away from the main points to tell stories or chase the author’s rabbits. For instance, in too many chapters, he gave the message of salvation, which is an honorable goal, but I seriously doubt a non-Christian would be reading a book on the Hebrew names of God. It was things like this that created unnecessary distractions from the main point of each chapter.
Still, the names of God are a worthy study so I’ll include a list of them here for your perusal:
Elohim: Powerful God
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth.
El Elyon: God Most High
Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.”
El Shaddai: Almighty God
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.
Yahweh: Israel’s Covenant God
God replied to Moses, “I am who i am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.”
Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Provides
Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
Jehovah Rophe: The Lord Heals
He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”
Jehovah Nissi: The Lord Is My Banner
Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). 16 He said, “They have raised their fist against the Lord’s throne, so now the Lord will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”
Jehovah Mekadesh: The Lord Who Sanctifies You
I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, because they have defiled my sanctuary and brought shame on my holy name by offering their children to Molech.
Jehovah Shalom: The Lord Is Peace
And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.
Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Is Our Righteousness
And this will be his name: ‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’
In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.
Jehovah Rohi: The Lord Is My Shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
Jehovah Shammah: The Lord Is There
“The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The Lord Is There.’”
“Once we understand that we can do nothing in ourselves to accomplish God’s will, it will radically transform our prayer lives.”
“Abraham had to come to the end of his own strategies to provide an heir before he could receive God’s promised heir.”
“Shaddai may be derived from the Hebrew word shad, which can be translated as ‘breast.’ In this case, the term Shaddai could signify the one who nourishes or supplies. Thus when it is linked with El, it would mean, ‘the one mighty to nourish’ or ‘the one mighty to supply.’”
“Actually, in this passage in Judges, before Gideon doubts his own suitability to accomplish the deliverance of Israel, he appears to call into question the presence and power of the Lord. Gideon wants to know why Israel is experiencing so many disasters if God is on their side. His thinking is simple. If God is with them, the Midianites should not be pillaging their fields. The people of Israel should not be living like animals in caves. He is correct in thinking that it is incongruous for the people of God to be living in such defeat and abject poverty, but he is wrong to conclude that their situation points to the weakness of God.”
“I find it exciting and challenging to think that God would use the same man who was questioning His provision and presence to be the deliverer through whom He would reveal His supernatural activity.”
“The fundamental idea behind the word shalom is wholeness in one’s relationship with God. Shalom defines a harmony of relationship based upon the completion of a transaction, the giving of satisfaction. . . . Shalom expresses the deepest need and desire of the human heart. In our experience, it means a sense of contentment, a freedom from guilt, and a satisfaction with life itself.”
The Names of God