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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Blessed be the Name

Shmai Yisrael Adonai Eloheynu Adonai Echad!
(Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One

Sometimes things just sound better in Hebrew. Lately I've been making a list of common Bible terms and names that I love and translating them.
It's sort of exciting to hear the words that Jesus spoke *in the way that He spoke them*! It's neat to hear the language that was spoken in the temple or in the streets at that time. I like the feel of the words on my tongue, I like the way they roll off my lips. The words feel so weighty and sweet!
The disciples would have known the Holy Spirit as "Ruach haKodesh" (Roo-awk ha co-desh).
Here are some other "names of God" translated for us.
Adonai- Lord - Master
Adonai Echad - the Lord is one
Adonai haElyon - the Lord Most High

Adonai Shalom - the Lord of Peace
Adonai Tzidkeynu - the Lord our Righteousness

Adonai Tzvaot - the Lord of Hosts

Adonai Yeshuateynu - The Lord our Salvation

Adonai Yeera - the Lord our Provider
Adonai Shammah- the Lord is Present
Yahweh Sabaoth - The LORD of Hosts, LORD Almighty, King of Glory
Elohim- God - The One and Only True God
Yahweh- LORD - He that is who He is, The eternal I AM

Adonai- Lord - Master

El Shaddai- God Almighty - The All-sufficient One

El Elyon- Most High - Possessor of heaven and earth

El Olam- Everlasting God - God over eternal things

El Gibbor- Mighty God - The Only All Powerful God

During this study, I realized that our use of "Jehovah" is just an English word made up to try to fill in the gaps. Some folks think "Yahweh" is more accurate, but it isn't necessarily any better. The name of God (HaShem-the Name) is translated to mean "I AM Who I Am" as far as I can tell... and the representation of that name is 4 letters: Yod Heh Vav Heh. No one really knows how to pronounce the Name anymore, because it was considered too sacred, too holy, for common use. We can only guess at what vowels were there!

The name was only spoken at certain times, after the priest had gone into the Holy of Holies... and in response to hearing this name, everyone would fall down and worship and exclaim something like, "blessed be the Name of the Lord" (Baruch haShem!). After the Babylonian captivity, however, the name hadn't been spoken in more than a generation, and no one quite knew how to say it, so they substituted "Adonai" because they didn't want to address God by a nonsense word instead of His real name. Adonai is the name that Moses used to address the Burning Bush.

When Jesus prayed, "Father, glorify Thy Name" on His way into Jerusalem, the voice of God was heard to answer from heaven, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." Wow...God is saying something here! His name, which had been lost to the people, was about to be glorified again.
One thing I discovered that made my heart race with excitement was seeing that the inscription that was hung on the cross reads, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" in English. In fact, it was written in four Hebrew words:
Yeshua Hanetzeret V’melech Hayehudim. Those Jews weren't upset that Jesus was being called their king!! They were upset because the sign over Jesus named Him to be God, not just a king! (Remember that the name of God is represented by YHVH). In John 8:28 Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM." It was just as Jesus said it would be. Those soldiers unknowingly wrote the name "I AM WHO I AM" over Jesus. Powerful stuff! It was just as God the Father said it would be... He had glorfied His name and was about to glorify it again.

As I was studying this, I was reminded of a verse in revelation about a white stone with a new name written on that no one knows but the one the Lord gives it to. (which of course led to a whole other study!) It seems that the white stone mentioned in Revelation may harken back to the something the High Priest used to carry... the Urim and Thummim. They were two precious stones used for determining somehow the will or direction of God. The Urim was a light or white stone that had the name of God written upon it, (which none but the High Priest knew). The theory is that the Thummim had the names of the 12 tribes inscribed upon it, but that is not as certain.
So perhaps when the Lord promises to give believers the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name upon it, perhaps He is saying that once again God is glorfying His Name, not just to the High Priest, but to all of us, giving every one of His sons and daughters His precious Name. We all are priests and ministers in His Kingdom, and can receive the haShem, the Holy Name!

This study also led me to examine the name of Jesus. Jesus is a unique word that translators came up with. Jesus isn't Hebrew any more than it is English. On first glance, I thought the Hebrew name for our Lord was "Joshua" but that's an English thing. (I guess the English had trouble pronouncing y sounds, so they made them all j's!) I'd seen the name "Yeshua" many times, and had been told that was Hebrew for Jesus. Was Jesus' name the same as what we would translate "Joshua"? Somehow that didn't seem exactly right to me, so I kept digging. What I discovered is that Joshua is another Hebrew name, not exactly the same as the one used for the Son of God. Joshua's name means, "God is Salvation". Jesus' real name means simply, "Salvation" because He is God!

I won't bore you with the in's and out's of the translators and the transliteration errors that they openly admit (none of this is a secret, it's all open history). The name of "Jesus" was given to us when those same translators who turned "Yeshua" into Joshua went back and translated the name from the Greek "Iesous"... which itself was an attempt at phonetic transliteration! (Same with Christ... that's not His name either, it's the Greek word "Christos" which means "annointed one". Christ is a term meaning anointed, ie, "by the touch or laying on of hands appointed and consecrated to do or be." It's a beautiful word study, a beautiful picture to see of the Father sending His son to save the world, I highly recommend that you study that yourself!! Christ was the Greek word picked to relate to "Messiah" (Meshiach) or the promised One who will save His people. Jesus' last name wasn't Christ, it was benJoseph to his friends, or perhaps ben I AM would be more accurate! Calling Him "Christ" is fine, millions do it, but to me it's sort of the same as just calling Him "King" or "Master" or "Saviour", using His title instead of using His name, so it feels less intimate!)

From what I am able to discern, it appears that it would be proper to pronounce the original name of our Lord (as His parents and brothers and sisters and disciples would have called Him) "Yahshua" (yahSHUa). Yeshua (yeSHUa) is also fine, but please remember that Joshua isn't originally Yeshua, it's

It isn't really important how you pronounce it, or if you use the English Jesus, the Spanish Jesus (hayzoos), the Greek Ieosos (yousoos), or the Hebrew Yeshua/Yahshua... He knows Who He Is, and He knows when you're talking to Him! The important thing is just that we talk to Him!

I can hear the other children calling, "Yeshua, come play with us!" or His mother saying, "Yeshua, where were you?" or His dad asking, "Yeshua, will you help me with this table?" I can even hear myself saying, "Baruch haShem Adonai Yeshua Meshiach! Baruch haShem El Elyon! Baruch haShem Ruach haKodesh!"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, LA! Wow, you did a lot of research on His name. :) Some neat things to think about here.
Love you!!

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