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The Meaning of Biblical Names

July 17, 2014

Matthew 1:23 – “They shall call his name Immanuel, which translated means, ‘God with us’.”

Scripture regularly uses names to convey a much deeper meaning.  The name, Yeshua, means “Salvation of Yahweh”.  Immanuel means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).  Yeshua gave James and John, the sons of Zebedee, the name Boanerges which means, “Sons of Thunder” due to their wishing to call down fire from heaven (Luke 9:54).  Isaac means “Laughter”, given because his mother, Sarah, laughed when told she would bear a child at her old age of ninety (Genesis chapters 17-18).  Even Simon was given the name Cephas (Petros) which can playfully mean “Rocky” – perhaps a commentary on his tendency to put his foot in his mouth time and time again – but which literally means a small, easily movable pebble or rock (as opposed to Petra which denotes a huge, unmovable boulder or mass of rock (Matthew 16:18).

The Jewish Journey
For instance, in Hosea the names of his sons and daughters convey the journey that Israel will take in its relation to Yahweh:
• Hosea’s first son is named Jezreel [yizreʽêʼl יִזְרְעֵאל H3157] meaning Yawheh will sow or plant: as in Yahweh will plant the Jews within the land of Canaan, today called the State of Israel.

• Hosea’s second born, a daughter, is named Lo Ruchamah [lôʼrûchâmâh לאֹ רֻחָמָהH3819], meaning without compassion or not pitied: as in Yahweh will not have pity or compassion upon the northern tribe peoples because of their blatant sins against him.  They will be attacked by the Assyrians but he would have compassion, at least for a short while, on the peoples of the southern tribes of Judah [yehûdâh יְהוּדָה H3063], meaning on those who are praised.

• Hosea’s third child, a son, is named Lo Ammi [lôʼ ʽammı̂y לֹא עַמִּי H3818], meaning not my people.  For a time, Yahweh will abandon even the southern tribe peoples to Babylonian attack and capture. Again, after refusing to acknowledge Yeshua as their Messiah,  the Jews additionally would be even both Lo Ruchamah and Lo Ammi, and would be deported throughout the entire world – but with the promise that they would eventually be restored to fellowship in the end days.

The Plan Of  Redemption
Genesis 5:2-10 – “When Adam was 130 years old he became the father of Seth.  When Seth was 105 years old he became the father of Enosh.  When Enosh was 90 years old he became the father of Kenan.  When Kenan was 70 years old he became the father of Mahalaleel.  When Mahalaleel was 65 years old he became the father of Jared.  When Jared was 162 years old he became the father of Enoch.  When Enoch was 65 years old he became the father of Methuselah.  When Methuselah was 187 years old he became the father of Lamech.  When Lamech was 182 years old he became the father of Noah.”

The ten generations listed in Genesis Chapter Five give a detailed account of Yahweh’s plan of redemption.  The ten names are: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah.

• ADAM [אָדָם H121] = ruddy i.e. a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.)
– ʼâdâm (aw-dawm’); From H119 and H120

• SETH [שֵׁת H8352] = Is Appointed To, to place, to appoint
– shêth (shayth) From H7896 shiyth (sheeth)

• ENOSH [אֱנוֹשׁ H583] = Feeble, Frail, Mortality
– ʼĕnôsh (en-oshe’) a mortal, From H582 and H605; ʼânash (aw-nash’) to be frail, feeble

• KENAN [קֵינָן H7018] = A Fixed Dwelling Place
– qêynân From H7064 (qên / kane); contracted from H7077 (qânan)

• MAHALALEL [מַהֲלַלְאֵל H4111] = God Who Is Praised
– mahălalʼêl (mah-hal-al-ale’ ) From H4110 mahălal; and H410ʼêl, praise of God

• JARED [יֶרֶד H3382] = Comes Down, Descends
– Yered (yeh’-red) From H3381, to descend, to go or come down

• ENOCH [חֲנוֹךְ H2585]= To Instruct, Train Up
– chănôk (khan-oke’) From H2596 chânak (khaw-nak’), to discipline, to train up

• METHUSELAH [מְתוּשֶׁלַח H4968]= A Man Sent Forth
methûshelach (meth-oo-sheh’-lakh) From H4962, a man, and H7973, a missile of attack, a spear, a weapon.   Methuselah may also come from Muth, [מוּת H4191] which means: death; and from shalak [שָׁלַך H7993], which means: to throw, fling, cast, bring down. The name Methuselah, therefore, can also mean: his death shall bring.

• LAMECH = To Be Beaten, Smitten, And Tortured [לֶמֶךְ H3929]
– lemek (leh’-mek) From H4347; makkah

• NOAH = Bringing Rest, A Quiet Peace [H5146 נֹחַ]
– nôach (no’-akh); rest The same as H5118 nôach (no’-akh) or H5117 nûach (noo’-akh)

Together, they compose the statement: (A)Mankind (S)is appointed (E)to feeble, frail, mortality; (K)a fixed dwelling place.  (M)God who is praised (J)comes down (E)to instruct (M)as a man sent forth (L)to be beaten, smitten and tortured; (N) bringing rest, a quiet peace.

Another way of stating this is: Man is appointed mortal sorrow.  The blessed God shall come down teaching that His death shall bring the despairing comfort and rest.

The Completion Of The Plan
Revelation 7:4-8 – “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.”

Likewise, the Hebrew meanings of the ten generations mentioned in Revelation Chapter Seven tell the completion of the plan.  The ten names are: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manassah, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.

• JUDAH [Ἰούδας G2455] = He Shall Be Praised.
– Ioudas, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, also the Southern kingdom. From H3063 יְהוּדָה Yehudah; praised

• REUBEN [Ῥουβήν G4502] =Behold A Son
– Rhoubēn, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the oldest son of Jacob. From H7200 רָאָה raah and H7200 רָאָה raah.

• GAD [Γάδ G1045] =An Invader, A Troop
– Gad, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H1410 גָּד Gad: a fortunate one

• ASHER [Ἀσήρ G768] = Call Him Blessed and Happy
– Asēr, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H836 אָשֵׁר Asher: the happy one

• NAPHTALI [Νεφθαλίμ G3508] =My Wrestling, My Tortuosity
– Nephthaleim, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H5321 נַפְתָּלִי Naphtali: to show oneself cunning or astute

• MANASSAH [Μανασσῆς G3128] = Causing To Forget
– Manassēs, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H4519 מְנַשֶּׁה Menashsheh. also a king of Judah

• SIMEON [Συμεών G4826] = Hearkening
– Symeōn, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H8085 שָׁמַע shama, to announce.

• LEVI [Λευί G3017] = Joined
– Leui, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H3878 לֵוִי Levi

• ISSACHAR [Ἰσσαχάρ G2466] = He Will Bring Reward, Be Hired
– Issachar, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H3485 יִשָּׂשכָר Yissaskar; there is recompense

• ZEBULUN [Ζαβουλών G2194] = Dwelling, Habitation
– Zaboulōn, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H2074 זְבוּלוּן Zebulun

• JOSEPH [Ἰωσήφ G2501] = Adding Yahweh, Let Him Add
– Iōsēph, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H3130 יוֹסֵף Yoseph; he increases

• BENJAMIN [Βενιαμ(ε)ίν G958] = Son Of The Right Hand
– Beniamin, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, from H1144 בִּנְיָמִין Binyamin

Together, they compose the statement: (J)Behold, (R)a Son, (G)whose fortune has come. (A)They are happy and blessed (N)after wrestling and striving, (M)forgetting their past troubles, (S)hearing and obeying, (L)united as one. (I)Their recompense for their labor (Z) is to dwell with God, and He will (J)increase and add to them many (B)sons of His right hand.

Another way of stating this is: I will praise the Lord for He has looked on me and granted good fortune. Happy am I because my wrestling God is making me to forget. God hears me and is joined to me. He has purchased me a dwelling. God will add to me the Son of His right hand.

Dan and Ephraim are not mentioned. Dan means “judged”.  All things are made new! Yeshua is the believer’s righteousness, and His righteousness is perfect. Those in Yeshua do not receive judgment. There is no condemnation in Ha’Mashiach.

Ephraim means being “fruitful in the land of my affliction”. Those in Yeshua no longer belong to Egypt – the world. They have been transferred to the Kingdom of Yahweh! They are living in a new kingdom, and are under a new government!

Conclusion
Both the Genesis and Revelation accounts of the generations tell a story.  The Genesis account lists each son in birth order.  The Revelation account, however, does not, and even leaves two of the twelve sons out!   The Genesis account gives us Yahweh’s plan of redemption.  The Revelation account outlines the completion of the plan.

Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The stage is being set. History is moving extremely quickly towards the prophesied one world government, the one world financial system, and the rise of both the Antichrist and the False Prophet. The birth pangs are just over the horizon. Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.

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