The name of God in the Old Testament
The name El, The name by which the simplest is called God in the Old Testament is the name of ‘El’
Equivalent word has the same form it came from other Semitic languages, and means a god or gods in the broadest sense. Because of this general nature then the word is often associated with certain adjectives and designations.
For example, Deuteronomy 5:9 recorded ‘I the Lord (Yahweh) your God (Elohim), is God (El) are jealous. El is a proper noun, the name of ‘Allah Akbar’ Canaanites whose son was the Ba’al. Plural form of El is Elohim, and when used as a plural, translated ‘gods’.
The name Elohim, the singular is’ Eloah which means’ enclosed fear ‘and thus refers to God as He is strong and powerful, or is the object of fear. Elohim name rarely appears in the singular, except in poetry. Plural forms as this is considered as a form of intensive and thus may provide clues to the existence of full power.
Although it is a plural form (‘elohim), Elohim can be used as a singular form, which means God the Most High.
The word is from the point of grammar a noun is considered usual, contains a definition that covers everything including the concept of God, which is different from man (Numbers 33:19) and the other created things. The use of this name refers to its relationship with the cosmic world and the universe (Genesis 1:1), because there is only one God the Almighty and true, and He is the Person; ‘elohim approaching nature proper noun, while the abstract and conceptual qualities are not lost .
The name Elyon, Elyon’s name means: ‘to the above, elevated’ and pointed to God as high and exalted Him (Genesis 14:19-20, Numbers 24:16, Isaiah 14:14). This name is mainly found in poetic form. The name was also used to refer to idols (Psalm 95:3, 96:5), to designate human beings (Genesis 33:10, Exodus 7:1), and of the ruler (Judges 5:8, Exodus 21:6, 22:8-10, Psalm 82:1). Elyon which also means that God The Most High, is a title of God, as worshiped by Melchizedek. Elyon found in Numbers 24:16, Psalm 7:17 this designation coupled with Yahweh.
The name Adonay, is very closely connected with the name El, Elohim, or Elyon. The word Adonay is derived from the word ‘dun’ (din), or ‘adan’ which both mean to judge, rule and thus refers to God as a powerful ruler, to whom all must face, and man is a servant to Him. In earlier times Adonai is the name commonly used to refer to the God of Israel. But then replaced with the name Jehovah or Yahweh. All the names mentioned it refers to God as He is the high and exalted.
The name Shaddai / El-Shaddai, a name derived from the word Shaddai ‘Shadad’ which means full power, and pointing to God as the owner of the power in heaven and on earth. But there are also others who argue that the name comes from the word ‘shad’ meaning ‘master’. The name is different from the Elohim, the God of creation and the universe, in the sense that the name Shaddai refers to God as the subject of all forces in nature and use everything that exists in nature as a tool or means for the work of divine grace.
Although emphasizing the greatness of God, this name does not represent God as an object of fear or trepidation, but as a source of blessing and peace. With this name of God came to Abraham, the father of the faithful. Exodus 6:2 says: “I have appeared unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name Yahweh I have not declared themselves.”
The name Yahweh, Yahweh is the Hebrew word sometimes translated Jehovah. The original Hebrew manuscripts do not affix vowel signs during the period of “Tetragrammaton” (4 letters) YHWH is considered very holy to be pronounced ‘adonay’ (my God) is used as a substitute when recited, and the vowels of words this coupled with the letters YHWH die, forming ‘Jehovah’ a form of the first time introduced at the beginning of the 12th century AD.
Yahweh’s name also means God revealed Himself as the God of grace. The name is considered to name the most sacred and most exalted among other names, as God is not likely to change. The Jews have their own fears to mention this name, because they always remember to Leviticus 24:16, “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death”.
Because fear is so in reading the Scriptures of the Jews to replace it with ‘Adonai’ or ‘Elohim’. Exodus 3:14 says: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” or it could also mean: ‘I’ll be what I will be’. If interpreted with such an understanding, hence the name refers to a state that does not change God.
Nevertheless, the subject matter is not the existence of God does not change in essence, as He has not changed in terms of His relationship to His people, but that name contains a guarantee that God will belong to the people of Israel at the time of Moses, just as God the Father God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The name emphasizes God’s covenant faithfulness (Exodus 15:3 “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name”, Psalm 83:19, Hosea 12:6, Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord, that’s my name; I will not give My glory to another or my fame to the sculpture “), and thus the name was not used to anyone, except for the name of the God of Israel. Exclusive nature of the name comes from the fact that the name never appears in the plural or with a prefix.
The name Yahweh Tsebhaoth, “Lord of the Worlds” is the title of God, the name is not on the books of the Pentateuch, first appeared in 1 Samuel 1:3 as a title by which God is worshiped in Shiloh. This name was used by David when he faced the Goliath of the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:45) and David use it again as the climax of the song of victory is glorious (Psalm 24:10).
The name is commonly used in the Prophets (88 times in Jeremiah), and used to show that God is the Saviour of all times and protector for his people (Psalm 46:7,11).
Tsebhaoth literal meaning is the army, which at first might be referred to the Israeli army. (Compare with 1 Samuel 17:45 “But David said to the Philistine,” You come at me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to thee by the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel all the rows that you challenge it “). But soon expanded into a whole host of heaven, prepared to carry out God’s command.