All the Names of God and Their Meanings

There are many denominations and different titles that designate God the Father in the bible, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. These names reveal some of the attributes that God has and with which He wanted to reveal himself in his dealings with man. Let’s see the most important ones.

 

He. It is a generic word used in the ancient Semitic languages ​​to speak of God. It is the name of the most important God among the Canaanites. The Bible also speaks of Him as the God of Israel. In plural it is Elohim that is united to the verb in singular form. Sometimes it appears in combination with a noun.

 

Elyon. Elyon in Hebrew means getting up. Express the idea of ​​”Most High”, “Exalted”. This is what Genesis calls it: “Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought bread and wine, for he was a priest of the Most High God.”

 

Shadai. It is the name used for God in the stories of the ancestors of Israel: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel, etc. Its etymology is not certain: God of the Mountain, Almighty God, Mighty One of Israel. It refers to the maximum and sovereign power of God.

This title suggests the abundant goodness of God, the temporal and spiritual blessings with which he enriches his people. Others believe that Shaddai comes from a root meaning “to be violent,” “to plunder,” “to devastate.” Then, applied to God, it would mean “show power” as “Almighty God” or “Almighty God.” This name appears for the first time in Genesis: “Yahweh appeared to Abram, and said: I am El-Shaddai.”

 

Elohim This is a general title for “God,” which appears more than 250 times in the Bible. It is part of the plural of “El”, by which some have understood an allusion to the Holy Trinity, based on the words: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness”, from the book of Genesis. It certainly refers to the one true God. It is the simplest and oldest form. Moses, David and Isaiah had a special preference for this name.

 

Adonai This word comes from a Hebrew root that means to govern. It is used to refer to the owner of a property, the head of the family, or the governor of a province. It appears about 300 times the Hebrew word adon in the Old Testament. It is usually translated “Lord”. It is used in place of YHWH, which was considered too sacred by the Jews to be pronounced by sinful men.

 

Yahweh It is derived from YHWH, the most common divine title in the Old Testament (it appears 5,500 times). The sacred word YHWH is called Tetragrammaton, that is, “four letters”, referring to the four consonants that compose it. (In the ancient Hebrew only the consonants of the words were written.) The Jews, by a feeling of reverence, considered the title so sacred that they did not even read the Scriptures. This name specifies immanence, a presence. Yahweh is present, accessible, close to those who invoke him for his liberation, forgiveness, and guidance. This is what the psalm says: “Let those rescued by Yahweh say so.”

 

Yahweh Sebaot (in Hebrew, army). Appearing 250 times in the Bible (18 times only in the 18th chapter of Zechariah), the “Lord of Hosts” is a common name for God. Perhaps it is the most sublime of the divine titles. Suggests full control and lordship over the entire universe. A beautiful example of this is found in Ps 24, where it literally reads: “Who is this King of glory? Yahweh of the armies; he is the King of glory. ”

 

Besides the mentioned names, other titles abound in the Holy Book, such as Ancient of Days, Creator, Deliverer, Father, Saint, Yo-soy, Judge, King, Lawgiver, Light, Rock, Redeemer, Fort of Israel, etc.