Names of God Study
Who is the God of the Bible and how did He reveal Himself?
The Names of God show us what God is like. Many scriptures do not give us His name but rather make reference to the Name of God. These verse are speaking to the general attributes and characteristics of God.
Proverbs .18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Salvation comes then from calling on the name of the Lord.
Names make us unique and tell us something about the people who named us. God revealed His character and qualities through His names. One web site lists over 625 names of God. We will not deal with all these but reflect on a sample of them.
Elohim is used 2,570 times in the Old Testament, 32 times in Genesis 1 alone. In English it is translated by the word God. The word is believed to show that Elohim is a God who creates. He is the creator God.
That's the Hebrew word from two root words: El, which means strength and unlimited power. And the last part of is allah, which means to keep a promise. Elohim is also a plural noun.
Elohim is plural in Hebrew but there is one God as this word is used with a singular verb. Hebrew has two forms of the plural. The first being two items and the second form meaning more than two. The second form is used for Elohim. Because the singular form of the verb is used with Elohim in the Hebrew, God revealed Himself to be a singular God.
This name used for God refers to Him as Creator, Preserver, Transcendent, Mighty and Strong.
Genesis 1:1 What do we learn about God in the very first verse in the Bible?
Genesis 1:2 What part of God was involved in creation according to this verse?
What does John 1.1- 3 teach us?
What do Genesis 1:26, 27 tell us about Elohim and the creation of man?
Note: Let us, on our image. His image, He created. What is His image? Remember that God is spirit and not physical so what characteristics do we share with God?
What was God’s creation like? Compare Gen 1:10, 12, 18, 21, and 25 with Gen 1:31. God was proud of His work.
What did man do to God’s creation? What did God believe He had to do to correct it? What do these verses tell us about Elohim? Gen 6: 11 - 13. What is your life like?
Where is God and how do we compare Him to other gods? Deuteronomy 4:39
Why did God give decrees and commands? Deuteronomy 4:40
What did Solomon reveal about God when he prayed before God when he dedicated the temple in Jerusalem? 1Kings 8:23, 27, 28, 32
What did God claim through the prophet Jeremiah? Jeremiah 32:27
“I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. There is, indeed, nothing too difficult for me.
Yahweh ~ The Self-Existent One. This name comes from the verb to exist, to be. It was considered so sacred that the Jews would not even speak this word. Instead they used the word “Adonai” meaning Lord. Hebrew was not written with any vowels, just consonants until about 1000 years ago. The vowels for adonai were used with the consonants of YHWH to create the reading that we now have - Yahowah. or Jehovah. It is the personal covenant name of Israel's God translated LORD.
The name Jehovah is used some 6,800 times in the Bible.
Exodus 3:13 - 15 IAM (Always in present never a past or future with God)
Isa 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
Compound names for God that use YHWH
3. Yahweh Jireh (Yireh): “The Lord will provide.” Stresses God’s provision for His people
How can this name of God calm our fears of inadequacy or insufficiency?
4. Yahweh Nissi: “The Lord is my Banner.” Stresses that God is our rallying point and our means of victory; the one who fights for His people. What kind of battles do you have? Is there a particular event that was a special victory for you?
Ex. 17: 8 - 16 - What does this story teach us about God’s power to protect His people?
How does God help us when our enemies surround us? Ps 23:5
5. Yahweh Shalom:“The Lord is Peace.” Points to the Lord as the means of our peace and rest.
What does shaloam mean? Strong’s defines it safe, that is, (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, that is, health, prosperity, peace: - X do, familiar, X fare, favour, + friend, X greet, (good) health, (X perfect, such as be at) peace (-able, -ably), prosper (-ity, -ous), rest, safe (-ly), salute, welfare, (X all is, be) well, X wholly.
Judges 6:24 What was the occasion for this Name of God to be expressed by Joshua?
6. Yahweh Tsabbaoth:“The Lord of Hosts.” This expression of God is referenced about 270 times in the Old Testament starting in I Samuel with the story of Samuel and later David used this term frequently in the Psalms. It is a military figure portraying the Lord as the commander of the armies of heaven. In NIV it is translated LORD Almighty.
1 Samuel 17:45 - David’s reply to Goliah’s taunting. Do we have boldness because God is JHWH- Tsabbaoth? Do we believe that we can call on the army of God? What can they do for us?
What was Elisha’s experience with the Lord of Hosts protecting him? 2 Kings 6:12 - 23 Do we need to fear or will God protect us with His mighty army?
II Sam 5:10 used the expression “LORD God of Hosts” - “YHWH Elohim Tsaba” Is this expression of God true for you as well?
What was Isaiah’s experience with the Lord of hosts? Isaiah 6:3 - 6
7. Yahweh Maccaddeshcem or Yahweh M'Kaddesh: “The Lord your Sanctifier.” Portrays the Lord as our means of sanctification or as the one who sets believers apart for His purposes. This idea is most nearly rendered by the words sanctify or hallow, and the word holy stands for that which is hallowed or set apart. The term sanctified or separated, however, means more than position or relationship in regard to Jehovah. It means participation in the nature of Jehovah, His character and works. It is not without grounds that the word holy, although primarily meaning set apart, has come to represent moral and spiritual qualities.
Leviticus 20:7, 8 "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am Jehovah your God .... I am Jehovah which sanctify you"
What does it mean to be Holy? Is there anything we can do to be sanctified?
What was a sign of holiness? Ex. 31:12 - 17
8. Yahweh Tsidkenu: “The Lord our Righteousness.” Portrays the Lord as the means of our righteousness.
Jeremiah 23:5,6 Who do these verses refer to?
What was the effect of Abraham’s faith? Genesis 15:6
9. Yahweh Ro’i: “The Lord my Shepherd.” Portrays the Lord as the Shepherd who cares for His people as a shepherd cares for the sheep of his pasture.
How does God take care of you? Psalms 23:1
What feeling do you have from the picture given in Isaiah 40:11
10. Yahweh Shammah: “The Lord is there.” Portrays the Lord’s personal presence in the millennial kingdom (Ezek. 48:35).
Psalm 139:7 asks, "Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?" And what is the answer? God is omnipresent. He's everywhere.
Can we hide from God? Jeremiah 23:23, 24
Can we depend on God to be with us? Matthew 28:20
As a believer how does God help us? John 14:16,17
11. Yahweh Elohim: Lord God This combination of names combines the “Self-existent one” with the Creator God. The creator always existed, even before the creation of the world. He is still at work in the world.
What can we learn about Jehovah Elohim from Genesis 2:4?
The Israelites celebrated the defeat of their oppressors by the Lord. In Judges 5:3 - 5 Do you have a victory that you can write a song for, or express in poetic form to express your gratefulness to God?
12. Yahweh Elohim Israel: “The Lord, the God of Israel.” Identifies Yahweh as the God of Israel in contrast to the false gods of the nations. (Exodus 5:1)
Is He just the God of Israel? Can you call him the Lord God of (my family name)?
13: El: - Singular form of Elohim - Almighty, Strong one. This word “El” is translated "God" some 250 times and frequently in circumstances which especially indicate the great power of God.
What does Numbers 23:22 tell us about the God who brought Israel out of Egypt?
What does Deuteronomy 10:17 teach us about “El” ?
What does Isaiah claim about God, “ El”? Isaiah 46:22 If you have not yet accepted what this verse says, do not delay in calling out to this God and ask Him for salvation.
There are a number of names of God that use El as a part of His name.
14: El Shaddai: “God Almighty.” 48 times in the OT, First used in Gen. 17:1, 2.
According to Nathan Stone in Names of God, “the title Shaddai signifies one who nourishes, supplies, satisfies. Connected with the word for God, El, it then becomes the "One mighty to nourish, satisfy, supply." Naturally with God the idea would be intensified, and it comes to mean the One who "sheds forth" and "pours" out sustenance and blessing. In this sense, then, God is the all-sufficient, the all-bountiful....It is God as El who helps, but it is God as Shaddai who abundantly blesses with all manner of blessings, and blessings... So we see that the name Almighty God speaks to us of the inexhaustible stores of His bounty, of the riches and fulness of His grace in self-sacrificing love pouring itself out for others. It tells us that from God comes every good and perfect gift, that He never wearies of pouring His mercies and blessings upon His people. But we must not forget that His strength is made perfect in our weakness; His sufficiency is most manifest in our insufficiency; His fullness in our emptiness, that being filled, from us may flow rivers of living water to a thirsty and needy humanity.”
What command did the Almighty God give to Abraham? Gen. 17:1 How can we be like Abraham and obey God’s command? What do we need to do to become perfect?
What kind of things does God Almighty want us to experience? Genesis 28:3, 4
Why do you think God waited to reveal Himself as YHWH? Why do you think He revealed Himself first as El Shaddai? Exodus 6:2, 3
14. El Elyon: “The Most High God.” Stresses God’s strength, sovereignty, and supremacy
Genesis 14:19, 20 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high(Elyon) God,(El) possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high(Elyon) God,(El) which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. Who said these verses and what happened to cause these words to be said?
Based on what we learned about the names of God, paraphrase these two verses indicating what God is like based on His Name. Psalms 91:1,2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High (elyon) shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.(Shaddai) I will say of the LORD,(YHWH) He is my refuge and my fortress: my God;(Elohim) in him will I trust.
What causes us to worship the God most High? Ps. 9:1, 2
What will God give to his saints (children) in the future? Daniel 7:18 - 22 Is this something you are look forward to?
15. El Olam: “The Everlasting God.” Emphasizes God’s unchangeableness and is connected with His inexhaustibleness Genesis 3:22; 21:33;Ps 93:2; Isaiah 9:6; 26:4; 40:28
Psalm 90:1-2 says, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hast formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." What can we learn from these verses?
Psalm 90:4 says, "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." Well, what do all these verses mean?
Jesus is our El Olam. He is the King of the Ages. Hebrews 1:8 says, "But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom."
16. El Roi: “The God Who Sees” El Roi was first revealed in the Bible by Hagar. She was Sarah's handmaiden, who became pregnant with Abraham's child so, in their minds, they could fulfill the promise of God. Soon after the child was conceived, things became very difficult between Sarah and her. So much so, that Hagar fled out into the wilderness. Friendless, homeless, pregnant, not knowing what would become of her, she laid down by a fountain in the wilderness. There, an angel appeared to her to give her comfort and to speak of God's grace and mercy.
Genesis 16:13 says: "And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?" Did you know that God sees you right now? What does God see in your life? Someone who loves and follows Him?
Psalm 33:18- 20 What does God do when He sees our condition?
Does God know our every activity? How does that affect our actions and attitudes? Psalm 139:2 - 3
17. Adonai: “Lord” The name Adonai is translated in our Bibles by the word Lord in small letters, only the first of which is a capital. Used as a name of God, Adonai occurs 300 times in the Old Testament always plural when referring to God, when singular the reference is to a human lord. Used 215 times to refer to men. . It confirms the idea of a trinity as found also in the name Elohim. When we call God Adonai, we are saying that He is the Master. He alone is worthy, nothing and no one else. He is worth all that we have and all that we are.
When did Abram address God as Lord? What was his concern? Do we have any concerns we can bring to the Lord? Genesis 15:1,2
What does Deuteronomy 10:17 tell us about our great Lord? Can we really make a “deal” with God?
Psalms 8:9 shows the Psalmist worshiping God. Lets’s take time to worship Him. One way to worship His is to read scripture to Him in prayer.
Psa 135:5 I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.
Ex. 4:10; Judges 6:15; 2 Sam. 7:18-20;Ps 97:5, 114:7, 109:21-28, 136:3, 141
Isaiah 6:1,Romans 10:9
This study is by no means exhaustive. There are many other names that the scripture uses. These are representative of the words used for God in general and Father specifically. A further study of the trinity, Christ and the Holy Spirit will help to understand the God of the Bible. Also there are many character qualities which also help us to understand God which we have not looked at in this short study.
Resources for further study:
Bible, e-Sword - electronic computer software that allows an easy search of the Bible.
J. I. Packard - Knowing God
Paul Little - Your God is Too Small
A. W. Tozer - The Knowledge of the Holy
Henry Blackaby - Experiencing God - Lists 350+ Names / Expressions of God
Nathan Stone - Names of God - http://www.ldolphin.org/nathanstone
Many songs tell of his attributes and names - El shaddai, Majesty, Oh Lord You are my God, A Mighty Fortress Is our God, Father - I adore you,
Memorized these names to use in worship and praise. Memorize verses which speak of the attributes, character and mighty works of God.
Summarize the names of God to see what He is like. Pantheism has many gods. The God of the Bible is one and has many sides to show his greatness. He is all in One God. Blessed be the name of our God.
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