Living the Word of God

The Attributes (Names) of the Lord God

Child of God, you must believe that God is all things to you. To help you process that belief, His attributes are listed below. Some people have called these the names of God, but truly, these are His attributes. Thanks to Blue Letter Bible for furnishing these attributes.

  • El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty) First mentioned in Genesis 17:1

El is another name that is translated as “God” and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God’s character. Another word much like Shaddai, and from which many believe it derived, is shad meaning “breast” in Hebrew (some other scholars believe that the name is derived from an Akkadian word Šadu, meaning “mountain,” suggesting strength and power). This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child. Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, He is our sustainer.

  • El Elyon (The Most High God) First mentioned in Genesis 14:18

El is another name that is translated as “God” and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God’s character. Elyon literally means “Most High” and is used both adjectivally and substantivally throughout the Old Testament. It expresses the extreme sovereignty and majesty of God and His highest preeminence. When the two words are combined…El Elyon …it can be translated as “the most exalted God.”(Psa 57:2)

  • Adonai (Lord, Master) First mentioned in Genesis 15:2

Adonai is the verbal parallel to Yahweh and Jehovah. Adonai is plural; the singular is adon. In reference to God the plural Adonai is used. When the singular adon is used, it usually refers to a human lord. Adon is used 215 times to refer to men. Occasionally in Scripture and predominantly in the Psalms, the singular adon is used to refer to God as well (cf. Exd 34:23). To avoid contravening the commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Exd 20:7), sometimes Adonai was used as a substitute for Yahweh (YHWH). Adonai can be translated literally as, “my lords’ ” (both plural and possessive).

  • Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah) First mentioned in Genesis 2:4

Yahweh is the promised name of God. This name of God which (by Jewish tradition) is too holy to voice, is actually spelled “YHWH” without vowels. YHWH is referred to as the Tetragrammaton (which simply means “the four letters”). YHWH comes from the Hebrew letters: Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay. While YHWH is first used in Genesis 2, God did not reveal Himself as YHWH until Exodus 3. The modern spelling as “Yahweh” includes vowels to assist in pronunciation. Many pronounce YHWH as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.” We no longer know for certain the exact pronunciation. During the third century A.D., the Jewish people stopped saying this name in fear of contravening the commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Exd 20:7). As a result of this, Adonai is occasionally a substitute for YHWH. The following compound names which start with “YHWH” have been shown using “Jehovah.” This is due to the common usage of “Jehovah” in the English of these compound names in the early English translations of the Bible (e.g., the Geneva Bible, the King James Version, etc.).

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known”…this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Nes (nês), from which Nissi derived, means “banner” in Hebrew. In Exd 17:15, Moses, recognizing that the Lord was Israel’s banner under which they defeated the Amalekites, builds an altar named Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). Nes is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. In battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point.

  • Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd) First mentioned in Genesis 48:15

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known”…this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Rô’eh from which Raah derived, means “shepherd” in Hebrew. A shepherd is one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Eze 34:11-15). An extend translation of this word, rea’, is “friend” or “companion.” This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people. When the two words are combined…Jehovah Raah…it can be translated as “The Lord my Friend.”

  • Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals) First mentioned in Exodus 15:26

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Rapha (râpâ’) means “to restore”, “to heal” or “to make healthful” in Hebrew. When the two words are combined…Jehovah Rapha…it can be translated as “Jehovah Who Heals.” (cf. Jer 30:17; Jer 3:22; Isa 30:26; Isa 61:1; Psa 103:3). Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of His people.

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Shammah is derived from the Hebrew word sham, which can be translated as “there.” Jehovah Shammah is a symbolic name for the earthly Jerusalem. The name indicates that God has not abandoned Jerusalem, leaving it in ruins, but that there will be a restoration.

  • Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)  First mentioned in Jeremiah 23:6

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Tsedek (tseh’-dek), from which Tsidkenu derived, means “to be stiff,” “to be straight,” or “righteous” in Hebrew. When the two words are combined…Jehovah Tsidkenu…it can be translated as “The Lord Who is our Righteousness.”

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known”…this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Mekoddishkem derives from the Hebrew word qâdash meaning “sanctify,” “holy,” or “dedicate.” Sanctification is the separation of an object or person to the dedication of the Holy. When the two words are combined…Jehovah Mekoddishkem…it can be translated as “The Lord who sets you apart.”

  • El Olam (The Everlasting God) First mentioned in Genesis 21:33

El is another name that is translated as “God” and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God’s character. Olam derives from the root word ‘lm (which means “eternity”). Olam literally means “forever,” “eternity,” or “everlasting”. When the two words are combined…El Olam…it can be translated as “The Eternal God.”

  • Elohim (God) First mentioned in Genesis 1:1

Elohim is translated as “God.” The derivation of the name Elohim is debatable to most scholars. Some believe it derived from ‘êl which, in turn, originates from the root word, ‘wl (which means “strong”). Others think that Elohim is derived from another two roots: ‘lh (which means “god”) in conjunction with ‘elôah (which means “fear”). And still others presume that both ‘êl and Elohim come from ‘eloah.

  • Qanna (Jealous)  First mentioned in Exodus 20:5

Qanna is translated as “jealous,” “zealous,” or “envy.” The fundamental meaning relates to a marriage relationship. God is depicted as Israel’s husband; He is a jealous God, wanting all our praise for Himself and no one else. (cf. Exd 34:14)

  • Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide) First mentioned in Genesis 22:4

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Jehovah-Jireh is a symbolic name given to Mount Moriah by Abraham to memorialize the intercession of God in the sacrifice of Isaac by providing a substitute for the imminent sacrifice of his son.

Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known”…this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Shalom is a derivative of shâlêm (which means “be complete” or “sound”) Shalom is translated as “peace” or “absence from strife.” Jehovah-Shalom is the name of an altar built by Gideon in Ophrah.

Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Sabaoth (se bâ’ôt) means “armies” or “hosts.” Jehovah Sabaoth can be translated as “The Lord of Armies” (1Sa 1:3). This name denotes His universal sovereignty over every army, both spiritual and earthly. The Lord of Hosts is the king of all heaven and earth. (Psa 24:9-10; Psa 84:3; Isa 6:5).

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