Names Divinely Appointed
12th June 2004, hej,seh,mgh
This Article: (9 Pages)
1) The Covenant with the Fathers of Israel
It would appear that at significant times there was Divine intervention in the naming of children,who were to become signs to the people at critical times in Israel's history or as warnings to the nation of its destiny.
The book of Genesis contains a number of examples of Divinely appointed names. The Angel (or Messenger) of God told Hagar that she was to call her son Ishmael, which meant `El (God) shall hear.' Abram's name was changed to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), which embodies the Divine plan for creation. He was told “For a father of many nations have I made thee.” He was also told that his wife's name would be changed to Sarah, which indicates `Princess' (Gen 17:15). Their son was to be called Isaac (Gen 17: 19), which means `he shall laugh' and we are told that with Isaac “I shall establish my covenant.” Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, was told that his name was to be changed to Israel, which means `Prince of El (God/ Power)' (Gen 32: 28), because “as a prince you have power with God.”
Through this family came the Creator's promise of life and redemption to all mankind, to Jew and ultimately Gentile. Their names embodied the Creator's purpose and covenant to bring blessing upon the faithful.
Prophets' Children as Warning Signs to Israelites
At critical times in the nation of Israel's past, certain prophets were given Divine directives in the naming of their children. Isaiah recorded the following.
“I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts who dwells in Mt Zion.” (Isaiah 8: 18)
When his son was born we read that, “Then said the LORD to me, call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.” (Isaiah 8: 3). The name, which meant, that `in speed to the spoil he hastens the prey', was a prophecy of the Assyrian invasion of Israel. It was to stand as a warning to the Israelites who should have been aware of the significance of Isaiah's son's name.
On one occasion Isaiah had also been told to “Go forth to meet Ahaz, thou and thy son Shearjashub.” Shearjashub's name, had the meaning `the remnant shall return', and should have been a clear warning to Ahaz of an impending invasion of the nation, the scattering and captivity of the people of Judah and their eventual return to their land. Shearjashub's name was profoundly prophetic and most certainly represented the Divine determination of Israel's destiny. Isaiah (salvation from Yah) with his son stood before King Ahaz. Isaiah advised Ahaz to ask for a sign from Yahweh. Ahaz refused to ask a sign of the Lord, but in fact, Isaiah and his son standing before Ahaz were a sign to Ahaz of the nation's destiny, and as a Divine prophecy that salvation was from Yahweh.
Ahaz would have constantly seen Isaiah, a well known prophet in Israel and his two sons, named `a remnant shall return' and `speed the spoil and haste the prey.' Ahaz and Israel saw the signs and the nation's destiny in Isaiah and his two sons, but the people were comfortable and complacent in what they posessed and their religion, and they resolutely refused to recognize and see the disaster that was to come upon the nation because of this complacency.
At a time when the nation had forsaken the worship of their God for other gods, the prophet Hosea was instructed to call his son Jezreel (it will be sown of El/power), his daughter Loruhamah (not having obtained mercy) and his second son Loammi (not my people). The names of these children stood as a sign to the nation and their kings that the bow of Israel would be broken in the `Valley of Jezreel', that God would `no more have mercy on the house of Israel' and `you are not my people.' However, the closing verses of Hosea chapter 1 outline the promise of the revival of Israel, together with faithful Gentiles, at a future time when `great shall be the day of Jezreel.'
It can be seen through these Divinely appointed names that although that generation was unfaithful and would be scattered and destroyed, there would come a time in the future when a remnant of the Jews would be regathered into their homeland and together with faithful Gentiles be blessed, fulfilling the promises made to Abraham.
The names of the children of the two prophets, Isaiah and Hosea, reinforce the message that these two prophets brought to the people. They consistently warned the nation of Israel that the people would be scattered and at a later time regathered out of the nations into their traditional homeland. Consider `They shall be wanderers among the nations' (Hosea 9: 17) `till he come and reign righteousness upon you', (Hosea 10: 12)
In a few words from Isaiah we have a summary of the history of the Jews and their future destiny.
`The ships of Tarshish (shall) ... bring thy sons from afar ... and the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls ... for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually ... that men may bring to you the forces of the Gentiles.' (Isaiah 60: 9-11)
2) The Naming of the Messiah
In the opening chapter of the New Testament, there is again a Divine directive to Joseph, the husband of Mary (Hebrew Miriam). The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said that Mary would give birth to a son. The instruction was clear. `Thou shall call his name Jesus.' This name is more correctly rendered Joshua, which from the Hebrew is `Yahshua' and it has a very significant meaning `Yah shall save.' That the name Joshua and Jesus are the same is shown by the translation of Joshua as 'Jesus' in the New Testament in the reference to Joshua leading the nation of Israel into the promised land (Acts 7: 45 and Hebrews 4: 8)
John the Baptist
Luke's gospel begins with the birth of John the Baptist. While Zecharias whose name signifies, `Yah has remembered', was standing on the right side of the altar of incense, an angel appeared to him and stated, `thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth (whose name means `the oath of El'), shall bear thee a son, and thou shall call his name John (Hebrew Johanan, which means `Yahweh favours') ... He shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.' (Luke 1: 13, 17)
As an aside, if we assemble the names of this family group we can see that the family names depict the following: Yah has remembered (Zecharias) his oath (Elisabeth) giving His grace and favour (John). After John's birth, Zecharias was moved by the holy spirit and prophesied that this child would be ''called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways: to give knowledge of salvation to the people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God ... To give light to them that sit in darkness.'' (Luke 1: 76-79) John the Baptist was to reveal the grace and mercy of Yah, which is what, as we have seen, John's name indicated.
John was to prepare the way for Jesus (Yahshua) as indicated by the message given to Mary.
The angel said to her, Fear not Mary: for thou hast found favour with God ... thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Yahshua/ Yah shall save)'.
After the birth of the child, when Mary and Joseph brought him to the temple, Simeon, a just and devout man, holding the child said:
“My eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2: 30-32)
Simeon looked for the redeemer who would save Israel and he foresaw the redemption of mankind in this child, whose name revealed God's plan of salvation for this world and for both Jew and Gentile. Jesus' (Yahshua's) name embodies the concept of salvation for mankind. It is only through the redeeming work of the Messiah that salvation from death can come. It is available to faithful believers, who trust in the promises made to Abraham, to both Jew and Gentile. Jesus' name embodies the name of His Father, the creator, `Yah', and the concept of salvation in `shua'.
In John's first epistle, John stresses the importance of the Messiah's name. In 1 John 1: 5: 13, he states twice that the faithful believe on the name of the Son of God.
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Building the Ecclesia
The apostle Peter was to be given an important role in the plan of salvation, which Jesus himself specified through a change that he gave to Peter's name. In Matthew 16: 17-18, he says to Peter,
“ Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona... thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my ecclesia.”
In John 1: 42, we read that Andrew brought his brother to meet the Messiah, who, when he beheld him he said,
“ Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas”, which is by interpretation, a Stone.
In Acts 10, Peter was given explicit instructions from the Lord to go to Cornelius, a centurion and a gentile, to whom Peter was instructed to preach the gospel message. Peter was being shown that he was not to despise those who were not Jews. Cornelius and his household received the Holy Spirit and Peter baptised them. Peter's experience marks a significant change. The Gospel message was to be spread to the Gentile world. As his name indicated, Peter was to show that the Gentile world was now incorporated into Israel as spiritual Israel, by adoption through Baptism. The foundation stone had been clearly laid for the building of the ecclesia comprising both Jew and Gentile. The gospel message as demonstrated in the work of Peter was to be extended to the Gentiles.
3) Summary of divine names
This brief survey of divinely appointed names clearly defines the development of the Creator's plan with this earth and the nations. At significant times in history the Creator has intervened to clearly demonstrate man's destiny through prophecy and through the work of those who bore Divinely appointed names that reveal His purpose.
The Abrahamic covenant gave rise to the nation of Israel, which was to become the witness to the world that the Creator had a purpose with this earth. Abraham was faithful and he was given the promise that from his seed a nation would arise and through his seed the earth would be blessed.
At the time of Isaiah and Hosea, the nation of Israel were told that their nation would be scattered and persecuted. They would be dispersed among the nations and in the last days would return to their ancient homeland. This was a result of their faithlessness towards their God. Their return to their land would be a sign to the faithful that the Creator would fulfil His promise to Abraham.
The birth of John the Baptist and Yahshua, marked a most significant change. The time was drawing near to when the Jewish people would be scattered throughout the nations by the invasion of the Roman army. It would be the time when the Jewish hope was to be extended to the Gentiles. The rejection by the Jews of their Messiah culminated in His crucifixion.
The apostle Peter, a Jew, learnt that he was to no longer regard the Gentiles as unclean. They were to be incorporated into the Abrahamic covenant through baptism as shown by Paul's message to the Galatians. `To Abraham and his seed were the promises made ... and if ye be Christ's... then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.' (Galatians 3: 16, 29)
Divine intervention occurred in the naming of prominent people who revealed the purpose of the Creator, firstly to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. Through their names they stood before the people in the nature of prophecy or warning, revealing the Divine will that would be accomplished on this earth.
4) The Significance of Names Today
In our workaday world we observe names on billboards, buildings and vehicles. The names are significant as they promote the name, the product and the company. Companies, businesses, shops and individuals spend large amounts of money advertising and promoting their names and thereby their product or service. This is the usual commercial procedure, whether CBA, NRMA or the Salvation Army. The names have meaning, significance and purpose. As has already been mentioned, Abram in Genesis 17: 5 and Sara in Genesis 17: 15 both had their names changed because it was God's will. The names that they were given are very significant and important in the Divine plan. Abraham means father of a multitude and Sarah, the partner of a mighty one (eg. prince and princess).
Israel Rejected Their God for Other Gods
Divinely appointed human names are important. It is interesting to note that in Jeremiah 19: 6 there is a change of place name from a place of worship to a place of slaughter.
“ The days come,” says the LORD, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the Valley of the son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.”
The prophet explains why this will occur.
“ I will bring evil upon this place ... because they have forsaken me ... and have burnt incense in it to other gods ... and they have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not.” (Jeremiah 19: 3-5)
Israel had been led astray in the worship of many gods. The name of the god Baal which the people had turned to has the meaning of Lord, master or owner. Jeremiah explains that because of their false teachers and their complacency, the people of Israel had forgotten their God and turned to other so-called gods. False teachers
“ think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.” (Jeremiah 23: 27)
The people had rejected the LORD (Yahweh) for the Lord (Baal).
There are some forty gods named in the Bible and the name of the god is significant as it identifies the role of that god, such as Diana, Bel, Beelzebub, Dagon, Jupiter etc. The ancient world worshipped many gods as Paul's experience on Mars Hill demonstrated. The people worshipped those gods because they believed that those gods did certain things for them, such as providing good seasons, wine, victory, prosperity etc. The nations of the ancient world were identifiable by the gods that they worshipped.
5) Names and Titles of the God of Israel
Just as all these ancient gods had a name and a supposed purpose, so too does the God of Israel. Unfortunately, in the translating of the Bible, the significance of the name and titles of the God of Israel has been lost. In the Old Testament the Hebrew in many cases has been translated in such a way that different titles of the Deity have been translated simply as 'God', which does not do justice to the original meaning of the name. Gods' names such as Dagon and Bel have been taken directly from the Hebrew text and transferred into the English text. But this has not occurred in relation to the God of Israel, whose name has been obscured in translating it as, GOD or LORD, and His titles as `God' and `Lord', which obscures the true meanings of these titles.
Fine distinctions exist in the Hebrew for the word translated as `God'. There is not just one Hebrew word translated as `God' but several, and could be any one of the following Hebrew words:
El (or Ail) means supreme power or strength
Eloah means a mighty one and
Elohim. its plural, means mighty ones, or, El manifested in a multitude, each one of which is an Eloah
Tzur, a rock, is a metaphor for strength.
By using a concordance, or online Bible the distinctions can be discovered and the text made more meaningful.
The Hebrew word translated as LORD' should have been translated as the Hebrew 'Yahweh', who is the God of Israel. His purpose is memorialised in His name and it is prophetic of the Creator's intention to manifest His glory in people whom He is taking out of the nations (Acts 15: 14). The word in the original Hebrew signifies `He who will be' and represents that He will be manifested in a multitude, which will reflect His glory. This multitude of people will be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Yahshua the Anointed (Christ), called Jesus (Iesous in Greek) since about the 1600's,
`Lord', in lower case is Adon or Adonai (plural) meaning sovereign, ruler, lord, owner or overseer. Sometimes these words are used in combination such as Lord GOD (Adonai Yahweh) and LORD God (Yahweh Elohim) referring to those who will be mighty ones (saints/the redeemed). This expresses the Deity's purpose to take “out from the Gentiles a people for His name” (Acts 15: 14) who will reflect His glory.
The name of the Deity, Yahweh, occurs some 6800 times in the Old Testament. It is used by the prophets, by the Psalmist, by the Chroniclers and exclusively in the Proverbs. To the faithful, through the ages, the name, has embodied the purpose that the Creator has to fill this earth with His glory and has given the faithful hope of salvation, which will come through the Messiah, who bears the name of His Father, which is Yah will save, as previously indicated.
6) The Names in the New Testament
The fine distinction in the names and titles attributed to the Deity are lost in the Greek of the New Testament. It is generally believed today that the correct address to the Deity for the Christian is `Father'. It cannot be denied that both the Old and the New Testaments present the view of the Creator as father. Old Testament references are few but examples include the following.
They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. (Jeremiah 31:9)
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (Malachi 1:6 )
The Messiah, in the prayer known as the Lord's Prayer, which he taught his disciples, began with `Our Father who art in heaven ...' But the next statement included a subtle message for the faithful. `Hallowed be Thy Name.' (Matthew 6: 9, Luke 11: 2) Yahshua was pointing out to them that `Father' was a relationship, but not His name. In Romans 8: 15 Paul states,
`Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.'
In other places this concept of the Father relationship is used in the New Testament. (eg 2 Cor. 6: 18, Gal 4:6, Eph 4: 6, 5: 20, Col 1: 2, Phil 1: 2, 1 Pet 1: 17 etc) Paul was explaining that it was a privileged position in which they stood. As Israel were the sons of God, so are the faithful sons through adoption.
His disciples would have recognized the significance of that statement `Hallowed be thy name'. There are many references in the N.T. To the names of the Father and His son. The Apostle John in John 17, quoting the Messiah develops the importance of the Name of His Father. `Keep through thine own name those who thou has given me, that they may be one as we are ...(v. 11) ...I have declared unto them thy name (v. 26).' In John 20: 31, we read `but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus (Yahshua) is the Christ (anointed) the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.' Peter declared that `Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' (Acts 2: 21). This same message is given by Paul in his epistle to the Romans (Romans 10: 13). Both Peter and Paul quote directly from the O.T., from Joel 2: 32 which states
`whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance.'
Peter again refers to the prophets in Acts 10: 43.
`To him (Yahshua) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.'
There are many instances where the disciples reveal and recognize the importance of the Deity's and His Son's name, showing that they are familiar with the writings of the O.T. which they frequently quote.
The Messiah's final message, in the book of Revelation to the faithful, contains references to the Name. In Revelation 2: 13, Pergamos is commended because `thou holdest fast my name', in Revelation 3:8 Philadelphia is commended because they had `not denied my name', in Rev. 14: 1 the Lamb stands upon mount Zion with those who have `the Father's name written in their foreheads', in Rev. 11: 18 a reward will be given to `thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great' and in Rev. 22: 4 those who have understanding `shall see his face; and his name shall be written in their foreheads'.
The Messiah, as did the Apostles, frequently quoted from the Psalms and the Prophets. The New Testament records many references to the Old Testament made by Yahshua, Paul and the disciples. In Acts, the Bereans are commended and presented as examples of the faithful because they diligently searched the scriptures, which were the Old Testament writings, as the new had not yet been written. Yahshua specifically exhorted his followers to search the scriptures because they prophesied of him and explained more fully the gospel message and the plan for this earth. From a reading of these writings, the name of the Creator was clearly revealed. In the twenty-first century, the message remains the same. We cannot fully appreciate and comprehend the New Testament without an understanding of the Old Testament. Yahshua's understanding of the scriptures was profound, so much so that he confounded the Jewish teachers with his knowledge when he was just twelve years old.
7) The Deity's Purpose Revealed in His Name
What is the Deity doing for and with His people? Numbers 14: 21 states that `As truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD (Yahweh).' How is this to be achieved? The name embodies the method. It will be through people. Mankind alone has the moral and ethical capability to show forth the mentality of divinity. Hundreds of obscure references are made to the `Name' and some of these demand a certain attitude to the Name. We will examine a few examples from a number of writers.
Jeremiah (14: 9) states that Israel are a people of the name.
`Thou Yahweh are in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name.'
However, these people who had been chosen so that
`they might be unto me for a people and a name, and for a praise and for a glory ... would not hear.' (Jer. 13: 11)
To those who do hear there is a promise.
`Everyone that is called by my name ... I have created for my glory, I have formed him. (Isaiah 43: 7)
The remnant that shall be saved `shall show forth my praise.' (Isaiah 43: 21). The purpose stated in the name is summed up in Isaiah 12: 4.
`In that day shall ye say, Praise Yahweh, call upon his name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.'
There is a benefit in knowing the name and loving the name. The Psalmist exclaims,
`Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name'. (Psalm 79:6)
In Psalm 68: 4, the Psalmist praises Yahweh's name.
`Sing unto God (Elohim) sing praises to his name: extol Him that rides upon the heavens by His name Yah, and rejoice before Him'
The Psalmist also called upon Yahweh, to
`Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.' (Psalm 119: 132)
Yahweh is merciful to those that love his name and will remember His promise to them.
`A book of a remembrance was written before Him for them that feared Yahweh and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine, saith Yahweh of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.' (Malachi 3: 16-17)
For those who hear and heed and
'unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall.' (Malachi 4: 2)
Ezekiel shows that the nation of Israel will be used in God's purpose.
`I do not this for your sakes O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name ... and the heathen shall know that I am He Who Will Be (Yahweh).' (Ezekiel 36: 22-23)
Malachi 1: 11 also prophesies of the time when Yahweh's name will be great among the Gentiles.
“ From the rising of the sun even until the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles: and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen”, says He Who Will Be (Yahweh) of hosts (armies).
These references reveal that the name of the Deity is very important to the Deity and that the class of people who know, understand and reverence His name and that of His Son, have a totally different future to those that despise His name or consider His name to be of no value. Yahweh's purpose to manifest himself through the faithful and to glorify his name is shown in the Messiah's words in John 17: 11.
`Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou has given me, that they may be one, as we are.'
And this is the Deity's name. He will be manifested in a multitude of people, the faithful from all ages, who will reflect His glory and rule over a world at peace in justice and righteousness.
Names of Covenant are ordinary Hebrew words
read left to right
הושׁע יהושׁע ישׁוּע
8) ‘Sons of God’
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and the adversary came also among them. (See also Job 2:1)
The recent translation of this passage by the Jewish JPS committee of the Tanach (Old Testament) translates the Hebrew (ben elohim) above translated as ‘sons of God’ as ‘divine beings’. A Hebrew person reading reads literally ‘sons of mighty ones’. ‘Ben’ is the common word for ‘son’ and ‘Elohim’ is elsewhere translated as the Anglo-Saxon ‘God’ (good).
Why might a Jewish committee be hesitant to translate that the adversary of Job was one of the sons of God?
Was it not Jesus’ claim that he was the son of God? (A title used 47 times in the NT of Jesus) The Jewish leaders’ reaction at that time is recorded in John 10:32-35.
Jesus answered them, “Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
The Jews answered him, saying, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makes thyself God.”
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”
The Jews accusation at that time was that Jesus, in saying he was the son of God (v36), was making himself equal with God. Jesus points out under the Law all are ‘ Gods’ (‘mighty ones’). He is quoting Psalm 82 and the original idea in Exodus 22.
Psalms 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
Exodus 22:28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.
Rulers = the gods. The word translated ‘gods’ here is in the Hebrew exactly the same as the one translated ‘God’ in Job. It is the Hebrew ‘elohim’, and all it means is ‘mighty’ in plural (the “im” extension in Hebrew is plural as ‘s’ is ‘words’). It doesn’t even mean “almighty”.
In Genesis 23:6 Abraham and his household are called by the Sons of Heth ‘Elohim’ It is translated in the AV ‘mighty prince’. In Exodus 15:15 the Dukes of Moab are “El”(ay-il) also translated ‘mighty’. In 2 Kings 24:15 the leaders of Israel are described as “El” (and they were going into captivity!). Ezekiel uses the same word of the Israeli leaders saying literally “He has taken all the ‘El’ of the land”(ch17:13).
In Psalm 29:1 David writes literally, “Oh, ye sons of God give to the Lord glory and strength”. ‘Sons of God (El)’ has been translated ‘mighty’ in the AV. Psalm 89:6 uses the same phrase 'sons of God (El)' of the servants of God.
Job in chapter 41:25– mentions that the “El” that oppose God are afraid - in the AV it reads “the mighty are afraid” it could have been translated ‘the gods are afraid’.
Those who read the Hebrew Psalms and the Law read ‘ben Elohim’, which is a term meaning ‘son of mighty’ and is used of religious leaders (Hebrew ‘Gibbor’ is used of ‘mighty’ warriors), but Jesus was claiming to be Messiah and was self titling himself as the son of God.
It may be that because Christians today still use this term of Jesus– the Jews on the JPS committee decided on “divine beings”.
(Also the JPS committee translated Ezekiel's title as ‘Son of man’ and as ‘mortal’. That also is a title of Jesus. True, Jesus was mortal, in that he died. But ‘son of man’ does not mean mortal or ‘dying’, but rather ‘son of Adam’. Adam had a choice to either obey or not obey. Adam’s sons do also.)
If we do a word search for ‘sons of God’ in ‘Online Bible or E-Sword ’ (free and downloadable from the web) the following will turn up.
Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
We can see why these 'elohim' were not translated ‘mighty’. Remember in the Hebrew there is no distinction from the passages in the Psalms already quoted above. We could translate ‘God’ in all these passages for ‘mighty ones’. (Have you substituted it? – does it still makes sense?). It is clear the references in Genesis are to the sons of Seth, who served their Creator, later corrupting the way. But who were the sons of the mighty ones at creation? If you read the Hebrew, it was not YHWH who created but “the mighty ones”!
We are the ‘sons of God’.
Then we look at the New Testament and we find something surprising– just as David and other O.T writers used the term ‘sons of Elohim’ of the people of God (Israel) in the NT it re-appears! We are the ‘sons of God’ if we serve him! Nothing new here in the New Testament!
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
We are called now the sons of God if we are of the faithful. Just as Jesus is. And just as Israel were.
Paul, without doubt, says it best.
“Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded but fear”. Romans 11:20.
Something to ponder. The sons of God of Job’s day, were just like us, including Job’s adversary! And Jesus says of the twelve including Judas, “have I not chosen you twelve”!! John 6:70.
9) Good God !?
The Anglo-Saxon labels we use for the Diety have conceptions embedded. And they are not the labels He has chosen!
Father: meaning giver of life. Has the idea we are the sons of God. Jesus teaches us to pray “our Father”. Not a name, it is a relationship.
Creator: Based on the account in Genesis.
Lord: Master or overseer –there are many Lords!
God: It means 'good' from Old English and older Norse 'godt'.
But what does ‘good’ mean? For example, is rain good or bad? And are we by using 'God' and not a direct translation of the Hebrew, building our own picture of Deity and ignoring what is written in His word? So is goodness ever associated with Deity? Yes. Yashua claims His Father is good.
“Why call thou me good? None is good but one, God”. (Mark 10:18)
Deity is said to be good only 3 times and associated the characteristic only 14 times. This must be balanced with the fact that 12 times Deity is Jealous ('anq quanna' a term peculiar to Deity). Goodness is only one characteristic amongst many, and another is evil. Many times Deity brings evil on his people (Neh.13:18, Jer.25:29,13:16), so much so that Amos says
Shall there be evil in a city, and Yahweh has not done it? (Amos 3:6 )
Evil is in Deity's power. And Diety is on occasion an adversary. The power of Job's adversary is not their own. It is Deity who afflicts and heals Job (Job 42:10-11). Deity is occasionally an adversary or in Hebrew 'satan'. The Hebrew word 'satan' occurs only 19 times. Often it is untranslated. This label is used of Deity twice which is a staggering 10%: Once at the numbering by David (I Chron. 21:1 cp.2 Sam 24:1) and also Numbers 22:22.
Is 'God' good? ‘God’ is a really convenient 'label'– it's different enough from ‘good’ to be a 'label'. It has brand recognition that crosses cultures and shifts meaning. Our society recognises ‘labels’. Deity, however, has the right to decide His Name. He only has one Name, and that Name is not a ‘label’, it is instead a statement of intent. The list below shows its importance to Deity.
El (or Ail) Occurs 247 times. 212 translated 'God', 15x god, 3x power, 4x goodly, 4x mighty, idol, might, mighty one, strong, great. It means ‘mighty one’ or ‘strength’. If the term ‘mighty’ is substituted where the word 'El' occurs it will make much more sense. 'Good' is a poor translation and obscures the meaning.
Eloah From El, translated ‘God’ 55 times, 5x ‘god’. It is singular in number and of masculine gender and means Powerful or Mighty One.
Elah Chaldee, from Heb. Eloah Occurs Ezra 4:24, 6:18, 7:12-26. Also Eloheen the plural in Jeremiah 10:11. Daniel 2:11 to 6:26 both singular and plural. The Chaldeans knew the Jews worshipped the ‘Mighty One’ (This may be the origin of Allah?)
Elohim: Plural for Eloah 2,470 occurrences. Mostly translated ‘God’, but also ‘angels’, ‘judges’, of Moses (Exodus 7:1), ‘gods’, ‘idols’ (as Heathen think they have power). Where text reads ‘God’, if it is not El, Eloah, or Elah, it is Elohim, which is the vast majority of occurrences. We could read for 'God' mostly as in the Hebrew, as 'mighty ones'.
El Elyon occurs 11 times. Literally “Highest Mighty One”
Adon(singl.) Adonai (Plural)Used over 200 times but mostly it is used in respect of mortal men. ‘Adon’ is ‘ruler’ ‘monarch’ or ‘governor’ or ‘owner’ It is only used 38 times of Deity.
Yahweh,The Name. It occurs an astounding 6,823 times. Yahweh is an assemblage of ordinary Hebrew words. Moses is told the name is “I will be who I will be: tell Israel I will be has sent me, the mighty ones of your fathers….that is my Name for an age and this my memorial for a generation” (Exodus 3:14,15). Moses is told when shown the glory of Yahweh, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of He will be before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Exodus 33:18-19). The Name of Deity is “He will be Mighty Ones”. What is the purpose of Deity? Surely it is the Name!
Yahweh Tz’vaoth He who will be Armies. Occurs 235 times, translated ‘Lord of hosts’. Also Yahweh Elohim Tz’voath, Occurs 28 times: He who will be mighty ones of armies
Shaddai ‘Almighty’ Plural. Heb. nourish or destroyer Usually El Shaddai, best translated as “the strength of destroyers (or nourishers)”.
Tzur Rock'. Metaphor for the immovable power of Deity (Isa 44:8, Habbukuk 1:12 and Exodus 23:22 is translated “adversary”).