NAMES OF GOD
In the English language we basically have one name for God. But in Hebrew there are many names for the one God. In an English translation, a particular Hebrew name for God may lose its basic meaning by just being translated God. I would say it’s like the difference between black and white and color TV with the full splendor of the image being represented by color. (Dan 2:20) . . . “Blessed be the name of God . . . Happy study of God’s names!
- YAHWEH - The name Yahweh (or Jehovah) means “I am that I am” and means God is self-existent in His nature and Being . . . always was and always will be. In the Old Testament Yahweh occurs 6,519 times. This would be the covenant name of God for His people. (Exo 3:14-15) And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever . . .
- ELOHIM - The plural form of EL, meaning “strong one.” This name occurs 2,570 times in the Old Testament. It is a plural of majesty and intimates the Trinity. It is especially used of God’s sovereignty, His creative work, and His mighty work for Israel: (Gen 1:1) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- ADONAI - Translated “Lord” in our English Bibles. In the Old Testament Adonai occurs 434 times. The first use of Adonai is in Genesis 15:2: But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?"
- EL SHADDAI - God Almighty or "God All Sufficient." Used 48 times in the OT. (Gen 17:1) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
- EL ELYON - “The Most High God.” Stresses God’s strength, sovereignty, and supremacy. (Gen 14:19) And he (Melchizedek) blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
- EL OLAM - "Everlasting" God. This is a seldom-used name for God. However, it indicates that God exists for all eternity. He is the God of all ages. (Gen 21:33) Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.
- EL ROI - “The God who sees me” – Hagar’s name for God when He saw her affliction. (Gen 16:13) Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?"