The Name of Names
By G.T. Haywood
1. ELOHIM occurs 2,200 times in the Old Testament. Its first occurrence connects it with creation and gives it its essential meaning of the Creator. It shows forth His relation to mankind as His creatures. Notice 2 Chronicles 18:31, where Elohim (God) is contrasted with His name Jehovah; to Jehoshaphat He was JEHOVAH, his covenant God, while to the Syrians He stood only in the relation of Creator (Elohim) to His creatures, because he had made no covenant with them as a nation at anytime. Elohim is God, the living WORD, the power of creation (John 1:1-3, Col. 1:15-17, Rev. 3:14; 4:11). He first assumes a creature form, though spiritual in nature, (Gen. 12:7; 12:24-30; Isa. 6:1, 5) afterwards the human form, for the purposes of redeeming mankind (John 1:14; Heb. 2:9, 14, 16, 17; Phil. 2:7; Rom. 8:3). That Elohim, in His creature form spiritually, who appeared to the Patriarchs and Prophets is the same who appeared in a human form 1500 years ago to Israel can be seen by reading the following Scriptures: Gen. 17:13; Exodus 6:2; with John 8:56-58; Isa. 6:1, 3, 5, 9, 10 with John 12:29; 40, 41, 44, 45.
2. JEHOVAH, while Elohim is God as the Creator of all things. Jehovah is the same God in covenant relation to those who he has created. Jehovah means the Eternal, the Immutable One. He who WAS, and IS, and IS TO COME. The Divine Definition is given in Gen. 21:33, where Abraham called on the name of JEHOVAH, the everlasting God. He is especially, therefore the God of Israel: and the God of those who are redeemed, and are thus now “in Christ.” Like Thomas we can truly say, “My Lord and my God.”
Jehovah is indicated (in A.V.) by small capital letters. “LORD”; and by “God” when it occurs in combination with Adonai, in which came Lord God–Adonai Jehovah.
The name Jehovah is combined with ten other words, which form what are known as “the Jehovah Titles.”
They are as follows in the order in which they appear in the Hebrew Canon:
* Jehovah-Jireh Jehovah will see, or provide. (Gen. 22:14)
* Jehovah-Ropha Jehovah that healeth thee (Ex.15:26)
* Jehovah-Nissi Jehovah my banner (Ex. 17:15)
* Jehovah-Mekaddishkem Jehovah that doth sanctify you (Ex. 31:13)
* Jehovah-Shalom Jehovah (send) peace. (Judg. 6:24)
* Jehovah-ZebaothJehovah of hosts. (I Samuel 1:3, and frequently.)
* Jehovah-Zidkknu Jehovah our righteousness (Jer. 23:6)
* Jehovah-Shammah Jehovah is there (Ezek. 43:35)
* Jehovah-Elyon Jehovah most high (Psa. 7:17)
* Jehovah-Rol Jehovah is my shepherd (Psa. 23:1)
3. JAH is Jehovah in a special sense and relation. Jehovah as having BECOME our Salvation. The word Jah occurs forty-nine times in the original Hebrew version of the Old Testament but is translated “LORD” in every place but one (Psa. 68:4). Its first occurrence in the original is in Ex. 15:2, He Who IS, and WAS, and IS TO COME.
4. EL is essentially the Almighty, though the word is never so rendered. EL is Elohim in all His strength and power. It is rendered, or translated “God” as Elohim is, but EL is God the Omnipotent. Elohim is God the Creator putting His omnipotence into operation. It is sometimes transliterated in the proper names, Immanu-el, Beth-el, etc., where it is translated as explained in the margin.
5. ELOAH is Elohim, who is to be worshipped. Eloah is God in connection with His will rather than His power. The first occurrence associates this name with worship (Deut. 32:15, 17). Hence it is the title used whenever the contrast (latent or expressed) is with false gods or idols. Eloah is essentially “the living God” in contrast to inanimate Idols.
6. ELYON first occurs in Gen. 14:18 with El and is rendered “the most high (God).” It is the EL and Elohim, not as the powerful Creator, but as “the possessor of heaven and earth.” Hence the name is associated with Christ as the Son of “the Highest” (Luke 1:32; Matt. 28:18.) It is Elyon as possessor of the earth, Who divides the nations “their inheritance.” In Psa. 82:18, He is “over all the earth.” The title occurs thirty-six times in the Old Testament, but is translated “God.” Elyon is the dispenser of God’s blessings in the earth; the blessings proceeding from a Priest Who is the King upon His throne (compare Gen 14:18-23 with Zech. 6:13; 14:9). Melchizedek abideth a priest forever: without beginning of life or ending of days. Now Christ abideth a Priest forever. A priest is a mediator between God and man. Melchizedek and Christ, are both said to abide a priest forever, and there is but one Mediator between God and man! Who is Melchizedek? (Heb. 7:1, 2, 3, 8, 15, 16, 24, 25; I Tim 2:5.)
7. SHADDAI is in every instance translated “Almighty,” and is indicated by small capital letters (ALMIGHTY.) It is God (El) not as a source of strength, but of grace; not as Creator, but as Giver. Shaddai is the All-bountiful. This title does not refer to His creative power, but to His power to supply all the needs of His people. Its first occurrence is in Gen. 17:1, and is used to show Abraham that He who called him out to walk alone before Him could supply all his needs. Even so it is in 2 Cor. 6:17, where we are called to “come out” in separation from the world. It is always used in connection with El (God).
8. ADON is one of the three titles (ADON, ADONAI, and ADONIM), all generally translated “Lord;” but each has its own peculiar usage and association. They all denote headship in various aspects. They have to do with God as “over-lord.”
* ADON is the Lord as Ruler in the earth. It is always translated “Lord” in the authorized version of the Bible, and printed in small letters.
* ADONAI is the Lord in His high relation to the Earth; and as carrying out His purpose of blessing in the earth. In this respect it is always equivalent to Jehovah. Indeed, it was from an early date so used, by associating the vowel points of the words Jehovah with Adon, thus converting Adon into Adonai.
* ADONIM is the plural of Adon, and never used of man. Adonai carries with it all that Adon does, but in a greater and a higher degree; and more especially as owner and proprietor. An Adam may rule others who do not belong to him. Hence (without the article) it is often used of men. But Adonim is the Lord Who rules His own.
Now having given the names and titles of the Great God of Heaven in their original terms, and the purpose and meanings of the use of each separately, which one of these do we find not incorporated in the Name of JESUS? The Psalmist declared, “Thou hast magnified thy WORD above all thy name.” “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. And the WORD became flesh.” His name shall be called JESUS. And He has been given a name that is above every name, both in heaven and in earth. (See Psa. 138:2; John 1:1-14; Isa. 9:6; Matt. 1:21-23; Eph. 1:21-23; Phil. 2:9.)
Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain; my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. (Deut. 32:1-3)\ Eld. G.T.H.
This article “The Name of Names” by G.T. Haywood is excerpted from The Voice in the Wilderness, No.19, c. 1917.