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Names of God

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 15, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. What does your name mean to you?
    1. Do you know the meaning of your name?
    2. Why did you give your children their names?
  2. Every name associated with God has meaning.
    1. Why is there more than one name of God in the Bible?
    2. How many names, titles, and descriptions do you have?
    3. The context determines the name, title, or description used.


  1. Old Testament
    1. Over 80 names
    2. There are three primary names
      1. El
        1. Often as Elohim
        2. Eloah also appears in Scripture, mostly in the Book of Job.
        3. Elah“This Aramaic word is the equivalent of the Hebrew ‘eloah. It is a general term for ‘God’ in the Aramaic passages of the Old Testament, and it is a cognate form of the word ‘allah, the designation of deity used by the Arabs. The word was used widely in the Book of Ezra, occurring no fewer than 43 times between Ezra 4.24 and 7.26” (Nelson’s Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, page 158).
        4. Comes from two Hebrew words:
          1. El – Mighty One; All-Powerful One
          2. Alah – To Swear, To make covenant
            1. Used about 2,570 times
            2. Plural
        5. Mark Hanstein:“While some see a trinitarian allusion here, in actuality it is a plural of majesty. Scholars mention the Hebrew conception was often too use a plural term to express a concept which could not be adequately expressed by the singular. With the term Elohim we have a plural off majesty, of incomprehensibility, of intensification” (To The Unknown God, page 28).
        6. Signifies the totality of His nature
        7. From Hanstein:
          1. He is sovereign in that He is the Creator
            1. Gen 1.1“…the fact that the verb ‘created’ in Genesis 1:1 is in the singular number in the Hebrew text, and yet has a plural noun for its subject, gives evidence in the well written text that the plural noun refers to one being, God” (Hugo McCord, Getting Acquainted with God, page 10).
            2. The Bible refers to God as the Creator and never says that man creates.
            3. Isa 45.18
          2. He is sovereign in that He is the Absolute Ruler
            1. Deu 32.39
            2. Isa 45.5
          3. He is sovereign in that He is the Source of all things
            1. Psa 68.7–10
        8. El often used with other words to emphasize an attribute of God
          1. El Shaddai
            1. God Almighty
            2. Shaddai also appears in some Hebrew names:
              1. Zurishaddai – Num 1.6
              2. Ammishaddai – Num 1.12
            3. Gen 17.1, 8, 15, 22
            4. Gen 18.9–14
            5. Used interchangeably with the tetragrammaton:
              1. Ruth 1.21
              2. Psa 91.1–2
          2. El Elyon
            1. The Most High God
            2. Gen 14.19
            3. Psa 9.2
            4. Dan 7.18, 22, 25
          3. El Olam
            1. Everlasting God
            2. Gen 21.33
            3. Psa 90.2
            4. Isa 40.28
          4. El Roi
            1. The God Who Sees
            2. Gen 16.13–14
          5. Application: Compare and what do you conclude?
            1. Deu 6.13
            2. Matt 4.10
        9. Often when you see a name in the Old Testament with “el” either as a prefix or a suffix, it is a reference to God.
          1. Elijah – My God is Jehovah
          2. Samuel – Name is God, God is exalted 
      2. Jehovah
        1. Or Yahweh
          1. 6,823 times in Old Testament
          2. “To exist, to be”
            1. “I am who I am”
            2. “I will be who I will be”
              1. God simply is!
              2. He does not owe His existence to anyone or anything.
              3. Exo 3.14
        2. What the name Jehovah or Yahweh tells us:“Though the definition of the name ‘Yahweh’ was plainly given to Moses and to Israel, yet it belonged then, and still belongs, to the deep things of God. No human can comprehend the nature of a being who had no begetter; not explainable is it how a being could exist who had no beginning, who is his own cause for being. Everything else must have a cause, and ultimately the cause for everything is God, but for God there was no cause. He is the uncaused Cause” (Hugo McCord, Getting Acquainted with God, page 16).

          “The fact that we cannot explain how or why God exists does not weaken the fact that he is. If something is, something always was, for out of nothing, nothing comes. Something therefore always has been. To reason that, since everything is caused, God himself would have to have had a cause, appears logical until one surveys an unending, an infinite series of causes, each of which is contingent on a cause back of it. Then one’s reason tells him there had to be an original, an uncaused Cause, else nothing ever could have gotten started. If in his reasoning one never gets back to a first cause which itself was uncaused, then no explanation is possible how anything came to exist. Logically therefore, a first Cause must exist who himself was not caused, namely, the self-existent one, Yahweh” (McCord, page 17).

        3. Now consider John 8.58:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8.58).
          1. What was Jesus claiming?
          2. After considering John 1.1–3; John 8.58; Mic 5.2, and that Jesus came in fulfillment of Isaiah 40.3 (Cf. Matt 3.3), McCord said:“Jesus Christ is then of the same nature as his Father and is no less God, and is no less Yahweh, the self-existing one” (Page 18).
          3. Do we really know who took on a human body and lived here?
        4. The Old Testament also uses the name Jehovah in conjunction with modifiers to specify a certain quality about Him:
          1. Jehovah–jireh
            1. Jehovah who provides
            2. Gen 22.14
          2. Jehovah–rophe
            1. Jehovah who heals
            2. Exo 15.22–27
          3. Jehovah–nissi
            1. Jehovah is my banner
            2. Exo 17.15
          4. Jehovah–M’Kaddesh
            1. Jehovah sanctifies
            2. Lev 20.7–8
          5. Jehovah–shalom
            1. Jehovah is peace
          6. Jehovah–tsidkenu
            1. Jehovah our righteousness
            2. Jer 23.6
          7. Jehovah–rohi
            1. Jehovah is my shepherd
            2. Psa 23.1
          8. Jehovah–shamma
            1. Jehovah is there
            2. Eze 48.35
          9. Jehovah–sabbaoth
            1. Jehovah of the armies of heaven
            2. 1Sa 17.45
      3. Adonai
  2. New Testament
    1. Theos
    2. Kurios
    3. Despotes
    4. Father
  3. [Did not complete this class. Will do it as sermons]