Each one reveals a unique aspect of God’s character, as well as how He relates to humanity.
Here is a list of 10 of them that explain what they mean (and what they mean for our lives!).
This is one of the most important names of God in the Bible. The name YHWH has no vowels because it was believed that the name of God should not be profaned by the lips of sinful men.
The revelation of this name was given to Moses in Exodus 3:14 as he stood before the burning bush.
According to Britannica, scholars also believe that the most proper meaning of YHWH is “He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists”.
It signifies the self-existent, eternal nature of God and is often associated with His covenant relationship with His people.
The Britannica also tells us that it was the Masoretes, a group of Jewish scribes, who added to “YHWH” the vowel signs of the Hebrew words Adonai or Elohim — which is how we get Yahweh.
Latin-speaking Christian scholars also replaced the “Y” (which does not exist in Latin) with a “J”, forming the Latinized rendering, Jehovah.
Because our God is LORD, we should never take our relationship with Him for granted, treating Him with honour and reverence.
This name which means “Lord” or “Master” is often used to convey the idea of God’s sovereignty and lordship. It is a term of reverence and submission, used to acknowledge God’s authority over all things.
Additionally, the name Adonai appears to be used more by those outside of God’s chosen nation : “In the Old Testament, YHWH is more often used in God’s dealings with the Israelites, while Adonai is used more when He deals with the Gentiles.”
Further usages of the name Adonai in the Bible can be found here.
The name Adonai is a reminder that our God is patient and compassionate, as He reached out to the Gentiles and revealed Himself as the one true God.
Elohim: “Creator, Mighty and Strong”
While YHWH is the personal name of God, Elohim is simply the Hebrew common noun used to refer to “God” in an honorific way, writes Mark D. Futato.
Elohim is also the plural form of Eloah, and is also a term that is used to reflect and accommodate the doctrine of the Trinity.
Nonetheless, it is a name that emphasises God’s majesty, power, and authority as the Creator of the universe, as the name was used in the first sentence of the Bible where God spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1:1).
Elohim reminds us of God’s authority and power, because the God whom we have a personal relationship with is the one who spoke the world into existence.
El Shaddai: “God Almighty”
This name highlights God’s strength, power, and provision. It speaks of God’s ultimate and absolute power over all.
The usage of El Shaddai was first seen in Genesis 17:1 where God appeared to Abram and made a covenant with him.
Truly, God is in control and He is God across nations and generations.
Jehovah Jireh: “The Lord will provide”
This name highlights God’s faithfulness in meeting the needs of His people.
It was what Abraham called God, after He provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice in place of Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 22:14).
We do not need to worry because we can trust that God will provide for us.
Jehovah Rapha: “The Lord who heals”
This name signifies God’s role as our healer and source of physical (2 Kings 5:10), emotional (Psalm 34:18), mental (Daniel 4:34), and spiritual (Psalm 103:2-3) restoration.
This name reflects God’s compassionate nature and His desire to bring wholeness and healing to His people.
Praise God that He is not indifferent towards the brokenness in this world and that He cares for all who are suffering.
Jehovah Nissi: “The Lord is my banner”
This name of God tells us He is the one who leads and protects His people in battles. It serves as a reminder that victory comes through dependence on God and His banner of love, protection and provision.
This name is found only once in Exodus 17:15, where Moses built an altar and named it “Jehovah Nissi”, to commemorate God’s victory for the Israelites over the Amalekites.
As people of God, we can follow God’s leadership and depend on Him as we live our lives because He will never fail us.
Jehovah Shalom: “The Lord is peace”
This name comes from the account of Gideon’s altar, which he built at Ophrah after the Angel of the Lord assured him that he would not die — as Gideon had initially believed he would, since he had seen God (Judges 6:24).
This name speaks of God’s ability to bring peace into our lives, as we recognise Him as the source of true peace even in the midst of life’s turmoil and challenges.
Regardless of what life might throw at us, we can find refuge in our God who is peace and gives peace.
Jehovah Rohi: “The Lord is my shepherd”
This name is used by David in Psalm 23:1 as he pondered on his relationship with God. It portrays God as the caring and guiding Shepherd who leads, protects and provides for His sheep.
The name emphasises the close relationship between God and His people.
Indeed, we are created to follow our Shepherd closely, because He is one who guides and tends to His sheep.
Jehovah Tsidkenu: “The Lord is our righteousness”
This name is found in a prophecy about Jesus in Jeremiah 23:5-6. It reminds us that God alone can provide righteousness to His people.
We are justified through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who became sin for us “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Even in our failures, we can be assured that we are justified in God’s eyes through Jesus’ righteousness.
Have you come to know this Jesus?
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
There are many names of God in the Bible because God cannot be simply encapsulated in a name or two.
Each of these names highlights a unique attribute of God and how He relates to His creation.
Ultimately, we must remember that these are not just names that we learn and study about, but attributes and characteristics of an Almighty God we can know and grow in intimacy with.
Even as we grow in our relationship with God, while we only know “in part”, we can look forward to the Day when we can know Him fully, as we finally see Him face to face.
- What did you learn about the names of God?
- Which name of God spoke to you? Why?
- Take a moment to pray it over yourself, your family, your friends.