When you call out God's name what do you mean? Who is God? How do we know who He is and how we should respond to Him? We know by learning His names and titles!
When someone speaks your name, you will normally quickly come to attention thinking, "who said that, what do they want?" We do this because our name is the most personal thing we have; it is our identity, who we are to ourselves and others. So what about God? Have you ever considered that God has many names? Do these names tell us about who He is and who we are? What do these names mean? How do we respond to these names now? Well, that is what we are trying to do in this article. I posted an outline of the different names of God, and it has been one of our most popular articles. So I decided to redo that lesson, go into the original languages, and do a careful study of what the major names are, what they mean, and how do we respond to them.
As I was doing this study, I was thinking of grade school and how much I hated learning grammar. And here I was some 25 plus years later doing what I used to hate most, but this time enjoying it! Because, I was learning more about my Lord and Savior whom I love!
So do you remember learning basic grammar in grade school, such as verbs? You probably thought what does this have to do with anything, and hated it all the way, as I did. Do you remember the verb 'to be' and all of its forms, such as "I", "I'm", "I am" and so forth? Do you know that this is the most common word in our daily language that is spoken? Just try to hold a conversation without using any of the verb forms 'to be' or any of its declensions. That is, you cannot use the word "I', or "me". Try it! I bet you will not be able to do it! What does this have to do with the names of God? Well, it conveys our name, our identity, who we are, how we perceive ourselves, and how we relate to others. In turn our understanding of God is delivered to us through the verb 'to be', because it conveys the power of 'name'.
To get to know more about 'to be' let me ask you this:
Q: Who are you? What are you? What do you want? What is your essence, your being?
You may go, "Huh?" But think about it. Try to be philosophical, asking these age old questions that have been sought since the advent of human thinking. When we do this it, it gives us a perspective of how important our name is, and more so how important God's names are.
Now consider this:
Q: What is the 'essential' difference between us (humanity) and God, what the philosophers call "ultimate reality"?
A: Our 'being' is who we are beyond our skin and bones and what we see in the mirror. Our being is our essence, our soul, our ultimate reality, and most philosophers today would say, "It is the same". Thus, there is no real difference between us and God. This attitude and philosophy is demonstrated by how most people live their lives. It is demonstrated in that people think they are in control and have dominion in the universe. In a sense, the philosophers and society are right; in the ultimate sense they are way off! They are right because we both are 'beings'. They are wrong in that One is Supreme; the other (us) is created and therefore is not Supreme.
The real difference is what the word 'to be' or 'being' means. What does it do? Yes, this may be philosophical mumbo jumbo to you, but this is important stuff because we have to know who leads us in life. Do we do it ourselves, by our self-will and self-driven rebellious nature, or is there a governing purpose for our existence? In other words, what is our purpose and the meaning of life? Are you lord or is there a Lord? Most people live their life as if they are the Supreme Being in the universe, when the true Supreme Being is knocking on our door (Rev. 3:20).
Going back in ancient Greek times when Scripture was being penned, through to the modern academic classrooms of today, the over-arching concern of philosophers was 'diversity versus unity'. This is the question, "What was being?" They pondered, "What ever is; is", meaning for anything to be real, it must "be". This means God cannot be an idea or thought, He must be real. And in then a French philosopher named René Descartes (1596-1650), asked the same of humanity: do I exist, do I matter, is there meaning in the universe? His conclusion was, "I think, therefore I am" (He was also the one who invented geometry and basic engineering principles, so you can thank him for all of your high school homework!), that we as humans have to be real too. This idea of 'being' and 'to be' was most extraordinarily expressed in Shakespeare's Hamlet, "to be or not to be". To die or not to die, to live or not to live, will it be the end of existence or not, will I be judged by God or not, asked Hamlet.
So why talk about all this philosophical stuff? Because, when we look at the names and titles of God, they mean 'being'. These names and titles that we are talking about declare to the world who He is while answering our deepest questions of who we are and what is our relationship to God, ourselves and each other. And as a bonus, God uses His titles as a help to clarify our deepest longing, and as an assault to our reasoning and mindsets when we refuse His love. Even during our quest for ultimate truth and meaning God answers us in His Names! Thus, all the philosophical thinking and wonder has been answered. And the final answer of this "being" stuff; that there is one God and we are not it!
So what about us? Do we care about our being, who we are, our place in the universe? We should because there are life essential questions that are at the root of who we are and how we react to the world. How we behave, treat others and serve God will be rooted in how we perceive ourselves in the ultimate reality of our being. Thus, how we see ourselves in Christ, who we are in Him, will determine all that we do and how we react in life. So this stuff does matter, as we will see when we examine the names of God.
So what about the names?
In traditional European culture, it was common to name children from the parents' lineage. And a nickname was given to them for their profession, which over the centuries evolved into the last names we have today. In the OT times it was common to name children from their character, as a child, and change their name if they went through a new character, such as, Abraham means "father of multitudes," Joseph means "God will increase," and the name Jesus means "Jehovah is salvation." Names that told of a great change include Jacob to Israel, or Saul to Paul, or Simon to Peter.
Jacob was born grasping his brother's heel and in his early life lived up to his name of being a deceiver and grasper of what was not his (Gen 32:33). Then a major conflict emerged in Jacob's life so his whole worldview, passions and reason in life transferred from being self-centered to God-centered. Thus, his name was changed too. During Jacob's 'WWF' (TV's wresting sensation) experience, the angel could have taken out Jacob in a microsecond, but allowed a struggle to take place to give a subordinate perspective to the self-driven patriarch. This act was his turning point and a vivid illustration on the importance of names.
Why the name history lesson? Because again, if you did not understand all of the 'to be' stuff, understand this; names are very important! Just think how you respond to seeing your name in print, or being said. It was even more powerful in ages past, especially in the Bible. As names convey power, authority, position, and character; thus it is with the names of God Himself. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through His names that reveal His character as recorded to us in Scripture. Remember, God is beyond our comprehension and understanding as He encompasses the entire universe through all space and time. Thus, there are no names that can fully describe the Eternal One; yet God has revealed much about His nature through His Names. His names convey some of His character, attributes and power, in a way we can understand and relate to Him. By us understanding His names, it will give us a glimpse into who He is and how we are to respond to our Lord.
Names of God from the Old Testament: (These are done as abstracts)
ELOHIM: This is the first name of God recorded in the Bible (Genesis 1:1). It is rendered as 'God' in most English translations. This is a plural noun, meaning more than two. It is used with singular verbs; the dual form 'Eloah' is used in Job. The first part, "El", means God and is attached to His might, power, majesty, glory, and authority. The second part "Ohim" means His plurality nature, so we can clearly see in this first Scripture God is introduced as the Almighty Trinity. Elohim occurs 2,570 times in the OT, 32 times in Genesis (Gen). Elohim means several things: 1. God as Creator, Preserver, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Transcendent, Mighty and Strong. This name implies God's control over all things, His stamp on every stray molecule, pure sovereignty over the universe. If not for this, everything in the universe would be the same, and there would be no diversity. Ecclesiastes (Eccl.), Daniel (Dan.), and Jonah used Elohim almost exclusively. (Gen. 17:7, 6:18, 9:15, 50:24; 1 Kings 8:23; Jeremiah 31:33; Isaiah 40:1) 2. Even though this name is a 'plural' meaning more than one, it may not in and of itself prove the Trinity (the Trinity is proven by several means and arguments; which I will explain when we do the New Testament names), although it definitely testifies to it! This means there is unity in diversity, that without this name God would not be known to us as stable and unifying, and to our understanding He would be chaos to us. 2. Because of the nature of this name, Elohim, meaning unity in diversity, and again communicating to us His triune nature, has cause many theological debates over the millennia. Critics to the Trinity say this refers to God's kingship, and ancient kings often referred to themselves in plural form (plural of majesty); however there are other words that can be used to say this. But as a title for God, this 'plural of majesty' tells us of His total diverse, yet unifying, nature. 3. This name encompasses all of the God characteristics, all of the essence, all of the fullness. This name puts the emphasis on His 'fullness' meaning we are to fully realize His Godhood and sovereignty over the entire universe, including ourselves.
Thus for us today we must never think of God as one-dimensional, that we can control Him by a simple understanding or category. Nor can we fully understand Him in a simple slogan, such as God is just Love. We cannot reduce God down to our choosing or understanding, but we can know Him as He revealed Himself to us. God is complete and "full'!
YAHWEH: LORD in our English Bibles (all capitals) essentially means, "to be" (why I was talking about that "to be" stuff!)"! It has been the main name of God in the mindsets of the Jews and then the Christians for the past four millenniums. Yahweh is the covenant name of God, occurs 6823 times in the OTwith its first use in Gen. 2:4 (Jehovah Elohim) and comes from the verb "to be", "havah", similar to "chavah" (to live). He is "The Self-Existent One," "I AM WHO I AM" or 'I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE" as revealed to Moses at the burning bush, Exodus 3. The name of God, too sacred to be uttered, is abbreviated and written down in Hebrew Scripture as (. . . . ) or written "YHWH" without vowel points. God Himself gives the spelling of this name with the four consonant letters as "YHWH", called the 'tetragrammaton'. Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings use 'Jehovah' almost exclusively.
The love of God is conditioned upon His moral and spiritual attributes. (Dan. 9:14, Psalms 11:7, Leviticus 19:2; Habakkuk 1:12). Note Deuteronomy 6:4- 5, known to Jews as the Sh'ma, uses both "YHWH" and Elohim to indicate one God with a plurality of persons.
For us today this name Yahweh is the 'Ultimate Supreme Being', showing us the quintessential fact of the universe that God is God and we are not. We cannot be "I am", as there is only One "I am", and because we were created we also can not be God! Thus we are not to live our lives as we are a god!
JEHOVAH: Referring to 'Yahweh', the actual name 'Jehovah' is not in the Hebrew Bible. It is a combination of the constants of Yahweh and the vowels of 'Adonai'; Thus in English, it becomes Jehovah. The Ancient Hebrew used no vowels (The actual pronunciation of YHWH was lost or never existed. Oral traditions and common speaking passed down vowels through the centuries.) Jehovah first appeared in the 6th-7th century A.D. Jewish scholars and the 'Masoretes' wanted to make the Hebrew more readable by adding vowels, so they changed YHWH to JHVH because there was no 'J' in the Hebrew and some believed that the 'J' sound must have been the secret pronunciation. Around the same time, Jewish leaders combined the vowels of Adonai with the Tetragrammaton 'YHWH' to remind the synagogue reader to pronounce the name as Adonai. That means they left the consonants for Yahweh (YHWH), but put with them the vowels for Adonai (a, o, a). Thus, we get YaWhoWa, which transforms into the English Jehovah (which became popular in the 19th century for Christians) we have today.
ADONAI: 'Lord' in our English Bibles (Capitol letter 'L ', lower case, 'ord'. Adonai is plural like Elohim, the singular is "adon") comes from the semantic languages, similar to 'Adonis' which meant prince of the 'god's', or a man in a very high authority such as a Pharaoh, who was considered a god too. It referred to their sovereignty, to someone who ruled who is all powerful. Thus, God rules with pure sovereignty and not by our will or poles! The Jews used this name as a substitute in daily talk to discuss God, referring to 'YAHWEH' because that name cannot be uttered! ADONAI means "Master'' or "Lord" 300 times in the OT and is always plural when referring to God. The reference may also be to a human lord where it is used 215 times to refer to men. The first use of Adonai is Gen. 15:2 (also found in Exodus 4:10; Judges 6:15; 2 Samuel 7:18-20; Psalms 8, 110; 114:7, 135:5, 141:8, 109:21-28). It is used heavily in Isaiah (Adonai Jehovah), 200 times by Ezekiel (Ezek.), and ten times in Dan. 9.
This was the title given to Jesus (see NT listings). This name is important because it tells us that Jesus cannot be our Savior without being our Lord! We must be willing to surrender and bow to His Lordship. If we do not, our will becomes our god, and we can have only one God! If not we set up ourselves to be lord and master, when this would be the ultimate in foolishness! This name also gives us a sense of command and our devotion, reverence and awe to our Lord, that we have to yield to Him and His authority, power, as well as His love. Yet we live in a society (America) that is very anti-authority and have since our US revolution! Thus, we have some surrendering to do (Gal. 2:20-21)!
Adonay HaAdonim: "Lord Of The Lords" (Deuteronomy 10:17). Our God is the supreme Lord and Master of the universe. He is the ultimate Ruler and the Lord over all the powers and authorities that have or ever will exist.
The other "El" Compounds (by the way there are dozens more I have not included!) These names convey the importance that we get to know God. He is Elohim, Eloah, Elah and El. He is the source of all power, might and strength!
EL: God ("mighty, strong, prominent") is used 250 times in the OT (Gen. 7:1, 28:3, 35:11; Numbers 23:22; Joshua 3:10; 2 Samuel 22:31, 32; Nehemiah 1:5, 9:32; Isaiah 9:6; Ezek. 10:5. El is linguistically equivalent to the Moslem "Allah," but the attributes of Allah in Islam are entirely different from those of the God of the Hebrews and us Christians. Thus, the only thing shared is the root of the word in ancient times. This name reminds us of God's might and strength. When we feel alone and frustrated, we have a God who is there able and willing to lead us to the promised land!
EL SHADDAI: El Shaddai means God's power; 'El Shaddai, "Almighty God," probably meant originally the "god of the mountain(s)" (Gen. 17:1). The term Shaddai occurs alone 31 times in Job as a designation for God. (This name was made popular by the Amy Grant song in the 80's.) This name literally means, "God is Almighty" or "God is All-Sufficient." It is most often translated as "All Mighty" in the English Bibles. In ancient Semitic cultures a version of this name referred to God as a powerful mother. You have probably seen pictures of the ancient statues of a god who had dozens of breasts. Those idols of the heathen are called "sheddim." In Hebrew it means a God who is "Over Power", "One who thunders" as a strong God such as the Viking's Thor and his hammer. Nothing can overcome God's omnipotence! This name is further used 48 times in the OT, 31 times in Job. God came to Job after Job's laments and frustration, "Who are you Job, did you create the universe? I am all powerful, you are not!" This name is first used in Gen. 17:1, 2. (Gen. 31:29, 49:24, 25; Proverbs 3:27; Micah 2:1; Isaiah 60:15, 16, 66:10-13; Ruth 1:20, 21) and in Revelation 16:7, "Lord God the Almighty." The Septuagint uses Greek "ikanos" meaning "all-sufficient" or "self-sufficient."
For us this means God should overwhelm us by His singular mighty power and majesty. He redeems, yet He is overpowering. Thus, we should see God as God, not some old man figure, or divine bellhop! We should be in utter awe of Him. Because God has and is absolute sovereign power, we have no right or cause to argue or fight with God as Job leaned (see Psalm 2).
There are several more "EL" compounds used in scripture. We will briefly look at all of them: Q: How can you better understand these names so you are able to grow closer in your walk with Christ?
El Elyon (also Elyon, El Elyon, Elyon), meaning the "Most High," or "The Most High God" is found alone as a designation for God in Genesis 14:18, Numbers 24:16, Deuteronomy 32:8, 2 Samuel 22:14, Psalms 9:2, Isaiah 14:14, and Lamentations 3:35,38. Height points to God's power and position. Have you acknowledged God's power and position over your life and the life of the church? Or do you run your life and your church as if you are in charge?
El Olam means "God's eternity" or "the everlasting God" (Genesis 21:33). Have you realized that God is beyond the confines of what we perceive in the universe? Beyond the furthest galaxy, transcending time and thought. Yet He is intimate with us to know the numbers of hair on your head! Thus, even though He is beyond your comprehension and reach, He reaches for you!
El Bethel: This expression take place three times: (Genesis 31:13) Where God identified himself to Jacob, in Genesis 35:7, and where Jacob built an altar at Bethel in memory of his vision there (Jacob's Ladder, Genesis 28:10-22). Have you recognized who He is?
El Kedem: "God of the Beginning" (Deuteronomy 33:27). God always was and always is "being". He is before all things in space/ time and in priority. This name revels to us that God must be first before all else in our life and affections!
El Tz'vaot: "God Of Hosts", or "God of Armies" (2 Samuel 5:10). God is a mighty warrior and is the commander in chief of the armies of Heaven and His people on earth. Does He have control over you, are you willing to march to His leading? If not what is in the way?
El Mishpat: "God Of Justice" (Isaiah 30:18). God is perfectly just and will bring perfect justice to the world. There for we should trust Him when we see injustice (and still act, remember our responsibility!), because in the end they who cause injustice will get their reward.
El Selichot: "God Of Forgiveness" (Nehemiah 9:17). We might be slow to forgive, but it is God's nature to forgive (once we repent!). It is God's desire to be a forgiving God, so let's take advantage of it by being forgivers ourselves.
El Marom: "God Of Heights" (Micah 6:6). This name signifies supremacy of His power and position. God is supremely exalted, so let us praise Him.
El Mikarov: "God Who Is Near" (Jeremiah 23:23). God is not a distant God who put the world together and abandoned us, who is on permanent vacation as the Deists in the 16-19 century taught. He is near to us and His creation. So let the walls come down that hinder you with fear, so you can receive His love!
El Chasdi: "God Of My Kindness" (Psalm 59:11, 18). God is kind and calls us to make us kind to each other. Christ's life and sacrifice is the supreme example of God's kindness. So are we kind to each other as we are called to be?
El Mauzi: "God Of My Strength" (Psalm 43:2). God desires to make us strong and persevere through adversity. When we realize that we are weak; then, He is able to make us strong. Have you accepted His strength?
El Tehilati: "God Of My Praise" (Psalm 109:1). God is supremely worthy of our praise, so let's give it constantly. In worship God is the main subject of our honor and praise. It is not a show where we entertain each other, because He is the audience and the focus.
El Yishi: "God Of My Salvation" (Psalm 18:47, 25:5). Salvation is in, and from, a Person, Christ, not in any belief or religious system. God's nature and will is to save what is lost: us. Thus, our Salvation is personal, but we serve Him as a collective.
El Elohim: "God Of Gods" (Deuteronomy 10:17). There are other so-called "gods", principalities and powers, but God is the only Most Powerful 'Supreme One' and is mightier than all. Therefore you should have nothing in your way in your life that blocks you from His intimacy. Not money, time, career, nothing!!!
El Tzur: "God Of Rock" (2 Samuel 22:47). A Rock is strong, solid, dependable, enduring, useful as a weapon or for defense. God is our eternal defense on whom we can depend.
El Kol Basar: "God Of All Flesh" (Jeremiah 32:27). God is the God of all humanity. There are no god's of various peoples such as a god of the Midianites or the Canadians. God created all things living, and He demands that they conform to His plans.
El HaRuchot LeKol Basar: "God Of The Spirits Of All Flesh" (Numbers 16:22). God created us with a mind, body and spirit. He claims lordship over all three. Does your claim of lordship over yourself get in the way of growing closer to Christ?
El HaNe'eman: "The Faithful God" (Deuteronomy 7:9). Everything God says and does is 100% reliable. He is completely trustworthy. So do you trust Him? Really, do you through all things at all times?
El HaGadol: "The Great God" (Deuteronomy 10:17). God is great in all ways, including His nature, attributes, and deeds. So we can completely trust Him!
El HaKadosh: "The Holy God" (Isaiah 5:16). God is unique. He is distinct from creation. There is no one and nothing like Him. This means He is set apart and pure. How can this characteristic influence you to be set apart for Him?
El Yisrael: "The God Of Israel" (Psalm 68:36). God chose Israel to be a light to all the nations of earth and is forever uniquely connected to His Chosen People. This name also implies responsibility, that God sets us apart for a reason and purpose to make Him known and give Him glory.
El HaShamayim: "The God Of The Heavens" (Psalm 136:26). God created the heavens. His throne is in Heaven, and He rules over the heavenly hosts. But He is not in no means limited to His creation or Heaven. That is God is not a little old man living high up on a mountain top, He is beyond the scope of space and time! Have you realized how big our God is, and how small your problems are?
El Sali: "God Of My Rock" (Psalm 42:10). God is my defender, my stronghold, and my protection from all attacks. Thus, there is no need for us to retaliate a wrong for a wrong or seek payback or revenge, He is our defender!
El Simchat Gili: "God, The Joy Of My Exaltation" (Psalm 43:4). God is the source of fabulous joy, if we choose to receive it. So do you choose Him?
El Rah'ee: "The God Who Sees" (Genesis 16:13). God sees and knows all. So why try to lie to and evade Him?
El HaKavod: "The God Of Glory" (Psalm 29:3). God Himself is beautiful and is the basis of all beauty and creativity. Do you take the time to enjoy Him, His creation as well as the beauty, the splendor and wonder of our adventure in this life?
El De'ot: "The God Of Knowledge" (1 Samuel 2:3). God is all knowing and the source of all knowledge. Thus, all of the knowledge we have has come from Him. We may think we are smart with our accumulated wisdom and sciences, but we have nothing, no science no knowledge with God giving it to us!
El Olam: "The God Of Eternity", or "The God Of The Universe" (Genesis 21:33). God is eternal. He is the Maker of time, space, eternity, and the universe. He is without beginning and without end.
El Emet: "The God Of Truth" (Psalm 31:6). God is the source of ultimate reality. Everything connected with Him is true and real. The answer to all of the philosophers' quests!
El Emunah: "The Faithful God" (Deuteronomy 32:4). God is completely reliable. You can trust Him completely, in this life and with your eternal destiny.
El Yeshuati: "The God Of My Salvation" (Isaiah 12:2). God Himself is the source of salvation. We fell by sin and invoked the wrath of a just, pure and holy God. We deserved death and His anger, yet He steps in to save us from Himself (God's wrath) and ourselves (our willful disobedience and sin)!
El Chaiyai: "The God Of My Life" (Psalm 42:9). God is the source of all life. He gives life, takes life (including eternal life), because it is His. So, have you realized where you belong?
El Echad: "The One God" (Malachi 2:10). He is the only true God, the ultimate Mighty One. There is one God and guess what? You are not it!
El Roi: "the God who sees me." This expression of God appears only in Genesis 16:13, which refers to how Hagar finds protection and provisions in the desert at the spring Beer-lahai-roi. She addressed Yahweh with this title, which means the God who opens our eyes. He has opened your eyes, but have you seen?
El Rachum: "The God Of Compassion" (Deuteronomy 4:31). God's nature is kindness and is full of compassion and feeling for His people. We may complain to God in times of stress and confusion, "Why did this happen…?", but He is completely free of any cruelty or meanness.
El Chanun: "The Gracious God" (Jonah 4:2). God's nature is gracious, giving and generous, even when we don't deserve it. That is what grace is all about!
El Kana: "The Jealous God" (Deuteronomy 4:24). God is extremely protective towards His people and doesn't want to share our praise and devotion with other "gods." His very name and character is "Jealous" (Exodus 34:14). How do you spend your devotions and time?
El Tzadik: "The Righteous God" (Isaiah 45:21). Everything God does and says is right. Even though there is much unrighteousness in the world, He is completely fair and just in all His doings. So we can rest our fears away in Him. If not today or tomorrow, eventually He will make everything right (Rom. 8:28).
El Yeshurun: "The God of Yeshurun" (Deuteronomy 33:26). This name means "righteous" and is also another name for Israel. God is forever uniquely connected to Israel. He is righteous and calls Israel to be righteous.
El Gibor: "The Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6). God is the strongest force in the universe. Thus, even further reason for our trust and obedience!
Elah Sh'maya: similar to 'HaShamayim', "God of Heaven" (Ezra 7:23). God created the heavens and is Lord of it all. His throne is in Heaven, and He rules over the heavenly hosts, but is not solely contained in Heaven.
Elah Sh'maya V'Arah: "God of Heaven and Earth" (Ezra 5:11). God is the ruler over the entire universe. There is nothing that is not under His control, care or power. Have you surrendered yourself to His love, care and power?
Elohim Kedoshim: "Holy God" (Leviticus 19:2, Joshua 24:19). God is revealed to us as unique, special, one of a kind, and pure. There is no one and nothing like Him, never was, and never will be. He is distinct from everyone and everything else in the universe. This name also testifies to His holiness, that God is pure and free from any wrong. That is why Christ had to appease His wrath and take our place.
Elohim Chaiyim: "Living God" (Jeremiah 10:10). God is alive and the giver of life. He created life and everything that is living. His desire is to give us abundant, eternal life. Do you live a life with gratitude to what you have, your blessings? Even if you cannot see them in the deepest darkest times of despair, His care is still there!
ELAH is Aramaic for "god (small g)." Elah" appears in the Hebrew Bible in Jer. 10:11 (which some parts are in Aramaic, and is plural, "gods"). In Daniel (the Aramaic sections), Elah is used both of pagan gods and of the true God, also plural. Elah is equivalent to the Hebrew Eloah, which is dual, while Elohim is three or more. The gods of the nations are called "elohim." The origin of Eloah is vague. Elohim is the more common plural form of El. Eloah is used 40 times in Job between 3:4 and 40:2, but fewer than 15 times elsewhere in the OT. It is mostly in the poetic literature.
The descriptive names of God: When "YHVH" / Jehovah is combined with other words, the different attributes and characteristics of the LORD are revealed.
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-JIREH: "The Lord will Provide," "God my Provider"(Gen. 22:14), from "jireh" ("to see" or "to provide," or to "foresee"). God always provides; we can rest and trust Him when times of hardship come. This name was revealed to Abraham when he was about to present Isaac as a sacrifice and the Lord stopped him and provided a lamb, which was the substitute for Isaac. This preludes the work of Jesus on the cross. The name Jehovah-Jireh gives us the comfort that the Lord God provided us His Son for our redemption and is our provider for all that we could ever need.
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-ROPHE: (Rapha)"The Lord Who Heals", "God my Healer" (Ex. 15:22-26), from "rophe" ("to heal"). It implies spiritual and emotional as well as physical healing (Jer. 30:17, 3:22; Isa. 61:1). God heals body, soul and spirit: all levels of man's being. In Exodus 15:22-26, the Israelites came to Marah in the desert and could not drink the water because it was bitter. Here are discourses of the name Jehovah-Rapha. The Lord made a covenant of healing with His people and said if they would obey Him and keep all His commandments, He would be their God (health) and healer continually "... for I am the Lord that heals you" (Exodus 15:26).
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-NISSI: "The Lord Our Banner," "God my Banner." The Hebrew word "Nissi" means banner, as in battle flag, my protective covering, and my victory (Ex. 1:15, God on the battlefield, from a word which means "to glisten," "to lift up:" see Psa. 4:6). This name was given to Moses. When he lifted up his arms, they were winning the battle with the Amalekites. When he became tired, they started to lose; so Joshua held Moses' arms up, which meant they became victorious in battle. And, through prayer, this lasted for an entire day as the battle was fought (Exodus 17:15f).
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-M'KADDESH: "The Lord Who Sanctifies" or "God my Sanctifier" (Lev. 20:8); "To make whole, set apart for holiness." The Lord declared He would be the Sanctifier of Israel, if they would obey Him (Exodus 31:13). The word M'kadesh means sanctifier and was also connected to being set apart for service, such as a sacred object but more so a person belonging wholly to the Lord.
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-SHALOM: "The Lord Our Peace", "God my Peace" (Judges 6:24). "Shalom," translated "peace" 170 times, means "whole," "finished," "fulfilled," "perfected" and is related to "well," or "welfare" (Deut. 27:6; Dan. 5:26; I Kings 9:25 8:61; Gen. 15:16; Ex. 21:34, 22:5, 6; Lev. 7:11-21). Shalom means that kind of peace that results from being a whole person in right relationship to God and to one's fellow man. This name was revealed to Gideon (Judges 6:23-24), when the Lord made him who was the least of all of the tribes, clans and people a great warrior by showing him that only through dependence upon the Lord and reliance upon His name can he/we know His peace. This is our assurance that God will bring about triumph over all our enemies and situations.
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH ELOHIM: "LORD God" (Gen. 2:4, Judges 5:3, Isa. 17:6, Zeph. 2:9, Ps. 59:5, etc.). This is a very powerful revelation of who God is as the 'Strongest One' who is the entirety of all Being, in all reality and existence. He is the Mighty One who is all-powerful and has all of the resources and control of the universe to meet all of our needs.
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU: "The Lord Our Righteousness", "God my Righteousness" (Jer. 23:5, 6, 33:16), from "tsidek" (straight, stiff, balanced - as on scales - full weight, justice, right, righteous, declared innocent), "the God Who is our righteousness". God reveled to Jeremiah that a "righteous Branch" of David would come, and "Judah shall be saved"(Jeremiah 23:6). In this name we are told that God / Jesus is our righteousness and that only through Him who declares us righteous can we live righteously.
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-ROHI: "The Lord Our Shepherd" Psa. 23, from "ro'eh" (to pasture), "God my Shepherd." In Psalms 23, God is revealed as our Rohi - our Shepherd. This was reveled as David stated, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1). The name Rohi tells us of the close intimacy we can have with God, as well as His pure leadership, and once we know our Lord as Shepherd, we will see the promises of Psalms 23 a reality in our daily walk.
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH: "The Lord is There" (Ezek. 48:35), "The Abiding Presence." The Hebrew translation is speaking of God's abiding presence. The Lord calls us to walk with Him daily. The word "abide" means to stay, not to visit.This name gives us the comfort that our God is wonderful. We serve Him because He first loved us.
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH-SABAOTH: "The Lord of Hosts," the commander of the angelic host and the armies of God (Isa. 1:24, Psa. 46:7, 11; 2 Kings 3:9-12, Jer. 11:20, in the NT: Rom. 9:29; James 5:24, Rev. 19: 11-16).
"YHVH" / JEHOVAH O'saynu: "The LORD our Maker" (Psalm 95:6). The LORD is our Creator. Since He is our Maker, He deserves all that we have and all that we are.
Other Names and Titles of God:
SHEPHERD: Gen. 49:24; Psa. 7:18, 23, 79:13, 80:1, 95:7, 96:13.100:3; Isa. 40:11.
EL ELYON: 'Most High" (from "to go up") Deut. 26:19, 32:8; Psa. 18:13; Gen. 14:18; Num. 24:16; Psa. 78:35, 7:17, 18:13, 97:9, 56:2, 78:56, 18:13; Dan. 7:25, 27; Isa. 14:14.
ABHIR: 'Mighty One' ("to be strong"), Gen. 49:24; Deut. 10:17; Psa. 132:2, 5; Isa. 1:24, 49:26, 60:1.
KADOSH: "Holy One" Psa. 71:22; Isa. 40:25, 43:3, 48:17. Isaiah (Isa.) uses the expression "the Holy One of Israel" 29 times.
SHAPHAT: "Judge" Gen. 18:25
KANNA: "Jealous" (zealous). Ex. 20:5, 34:14; Deut. 5:9; Isa. 9:7; Zech. 1:14, 8:2.
PALET: "Deliverer" Psa. 18:2.
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 Maschiach, or Messiah).
GAOL: "Redeemer" (to buy back by paying a price), Job 19:25, for example, the antitype corresponding to Boaz the Kinsman-Redeemer in the Book of Ruth.
MAGEN: "Shield" Psa. 3:3, 18:30.
EYALUTH: "Strength" Psa. 22:19.
TSADDIQ: "Righteous One" Psa. 7:9.
EL-OLAM: "Everlasting God" (God of everlasting time), Gen. 21:33; Psa. 90:1-3, 93:2; Isa. 26:4.
EL-BERITH: "God of the Covenant" (Judges 9:46).
EL-GIBHOR: Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)
ZUR: "God our Rock" (Deut. 32:18; Isa. 30:29).
Messiah: Malachi calls Messiah "The Sun of Righteousness" (Malachi 4:2). Isaiah calls Messiah "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibhor), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6).
'Attiq Yomin: (Aramaic), "Ancient of Days," Dan. 7:9, 13, 22.
MELEKH: "King" Psa. 5:2, 29:10, 44:4, 47:6-8, 48:2, 68:24, 74:12, 95:3, 97:1, 99:4, 146:10; Isa. 5:1, 5, 41:21, 43:15, 44:6, 52:7, 52:10.
The Angel of the Lord: " Gen. 16:7ff, 21:17, 22:11, 15ff, 18:1-19:1, 24:7, 40, 31:11-13, 32:24-30; Ex. 3:6, 13:21, Ezek. 1:10-13, seen in the theophanies or pre-incarnate appearances of the Son of God in the OT (See I Cor. 10:3 NT).
FATHER: Num. 1:9, I Sam. 16:6, Ex. 4:22-23, 2 Sam. 7:14-15, Psa. 2:7, Isa. 63:16, 64:8; Mal. 1:6.
THE FIRST AND LAST: Isa. 44:6, 48:12.
Immanu El: "God Is With Us" (Isaiah 7:14). God desires to be with us. He is a God of relationships, as a Trinity, as why He created us. He created us out of His nature to share Himself with humanity and for people to be in relationship with each other to give Him glory and honor. Remember He will be with us forever.
More names and titles for God:
"HaShem": The Name (Leviticus 24:16)
"God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob": (Exodus 3:15)
"The Great, Mighty, Awesome God": (Deuteronomy 10:17)
"Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace": (Isaiah 9:6)
"Holy One": (Habakkuk 1:12)
"Holy Spirit": (Psalm 51:11)
"Spirit of God": (Genesis 1:2)
"The Spirit of the LORD God": (Isaiah 61:1)
"The Spirit of the LORD", "The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding", "The Spirit of Counsel and Strength", "The Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the LORD": (Isaiah 11:2)
"Holy One of Israel": (Psalm 78:41)
"Upright One": (Isaiah 26:7)
"Light": (Psalm 27:1)
"Light of Israel": (Isaiah 10:17)
"Light to the Nations": (Isaiah 42:6) This name is pointing out the responsibility God entrusts to His People (Jew's then, Christians now). God has chosen one group to model His character and glorify Him as a testimony to all people, to be His lamp to the rest of the world.
"Our Dwelling Place": (Psalm 90:1) A name of great comfort and relief to His weary people!
"Fortress": (Psalm 91:2)
"Stronghold": (Psalm 18:2)
"Tower of Strength": (Psalm 61:3)
"Refuge": (Psalm 46:1)
"Hiding Place": (Psalm 32:7)
"Strength": (Psalm 46:1)
"Shield": (Psalm 18:30)
"Rock": (Habakkuk 1:12)
"Rock of My Strength": (Psalm 62:7)
"Rock of Israel": (2 Samuel 23:3)
"Stone": (Psalm 118:22)
"Stone of Israel": (Genesis 49:24)
"Cornerstone": (Psalm 118:22)
"My Portion in the Land of the Living": (Psalm 142:5)
"The Portion of My Inheritance": (Psalm 16:5)
"My Cup": (Psalm 16:5)
"Branch": (Zechariah 6:12)
"Star": (Numbers 24:17)
"Crown and Diadem": (Isaiah 28:5)
"Potter": (Isaiah 64:8)
"Tent Peg, Bow of Battle": (Zechariah 10:4)
"Husband": (Isaiah 54:5)
"Maker": (Psalm 49:2)
"Creator": (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
"Creator of Israel": (Isaiah 43:15)
"Shepherd of Israel": (Psalm 80:1)
"Messenger of the Covenant": (Malachi 3:1)
"Redeemer": (Psalm 19:14)
"Redeemer of Israel": (Isaiah 49:7)
"Deliverer": (Psalm 144:2)
"My Loving kindness': (Psalm 144:2)
"Savior": (Isaiah 45:15)
"The King": (Isaiah 6:5)
"King of Israel': (Zephaniah 3:15)
"King of Glory": (Psalm 24:7)
"Lord of All the Earth": (Micah 4:13)
"Ancient of Days": (Daniel 7:9)
"The Most High": (Deuteronomy 32:8)
"Covenant to the People": (Isaiah 42:6)
"Shiloh": (Genesis 49:10)
"The Angel": (Genesis 48:16)
"The Arm of the Lord": (Isaiah 53:1)
"Ruler in Israel": (Micah 5:2)
"Messiah the Prince": (Daniel 9:25)
© 1990, 2001 R.J. Krejcir Ph.D. Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org/