Unlike today Old Testament parents would give names to their children that reflected the child’s physical appearance, ease or difficulty of birth, their desired relationship with God or their hope for the child’s nature.

Adam – red earth – Gen. 2:7
Eve – life – Gen. 2:18
Gad – good fortune – Gen. 30:10
Gareb – scab – 2 Sam. 23:38
Harumaph – flat-nosed – Neh. 3:10
Ichabod – inglorious – 1 Sam. 4:19
Ishbosheth – man of shame – 2 Sam. 2:8
Daniel – God is my judge – 1 Chron. 3:1
Jeshua – Yahweh is salvation – Neh. 3:19
Job – returning – Job 1:1
Macbenu – lump – 1 Chron. 2:49
Madmannah – dunghill – 1 Chron. 2:49
Orpah – stiff necked – Ruth 1:4
Parosh – flea – Ezra 8:3

The distinction between man’s choice and God’s choice of names is quite apparent. For the purpose of knowledge of who God is and our communion with him, God gave himself several names that describe who his is. In Exodus 3:13-14 Moses asked, “What name shall I tell the sons of Israel you are?” God said, “I AM who I AM.” Thousands of years later Jesus claims this name ‘I AM’ in John 8:28. This is a prophetic name God to God. Jesus expanded the knowledge of the name “I am” by adding “I am the bread of life” John 6:35, “I am the door” John 10:2, “I am the light” John 9:5, “I am the way, truth, life” John 14:6, “I am the beginning and the end” Revelation 21:6.

Another premier name for God found in both the old and new testaments is “the Word” Deuteronomy 30:14 speaks of “the Word” as does John 1:1, “in the beginning was the Word…and the Word (Jesus) was God.”

God’s prophetic word, as well as his presence, is timeless. So we find in the old testament as well as the new. Hebrews 1:8 “But of the Son he (Father) says, ‘Thy throne, O God (Jesus) is forever and ever. (Psalm 45:6) Therefore, O God (Jesus), Thy God (Father) hath anointed thee (Jesus) with the oil of gladness above thy companions.” Isaiah 61:1,3

The word tells us that we must live in the name of Jesus. “In him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28 “…God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name…” Philippians 2:9

By Gordon Kler