117. Does God have any other names?

When asked this question about the other names of God, it is important to discuss the question of ethnocentrism and the desire of each race of people to think that their name for God is exclusive to the revelation of God. The monotheistic religions mostly trace themselves back to the story of the Bible and the Hebrews.

The Hebrews had many names of God (YHWH – see question 114), and each of the many names of God describes a different aspect of His many-faceted character. Here are some of the better-known names of God in the Bible:

EL, ELOAH: God ‘mighty, strong, prominent’ (Genesis 7:1; Isaiah 9:6) – etymologically, ‘El’ appears to mean ‘power,’ as in ‘I have the power to harm you’ (Genesis 31:29). ‘El’ is associated with other qualities, such as integrity (Numbers 23:19), jealousy (Deuteronomy 5:9), and compassion (Nehemiah 9:31), but the root idea of might remains.

ELOHIM: God ‘Creator, Mighty and Strong’ (Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33) – the plural form of ‘Eloah’, which accommodates the doctrine of the Trinity. From the Bible’s first sentence, the superlative nature of God’s power is evident as God (Elohim) speaks the world into existence (Genesis 1:1).

EL SHADDAI: ‘God Almighty,’ ‘The Mighty One of Jacob’ (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5) – speaks to God’s ultimate power over all.

YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH: ‘LORD’ (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14) – strictly speaking, the only proper name for God.

YAHWEH-JIREH: ‘The Lord Will Provide’ (Genesis 22:14) – the name memorialised by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

YAHWEH-RAPHA: ‘The Lord Who Heals’ (Exodus 15:26) – ‘I am Jehovah who heals you’ both in body and soul. In body, by preserving from and curing diseases, and in soul, by pardoning iniquities.

YAHWEH-NISSI: ‘The Lord Our Banner’ (Exodus 17:15), where ‘banner’ is understood to be a rallying place. This name commemorates the desert victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17.

YAHWEH – M’KADDESH: ‘The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy’ (Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28) – God makes it clear that He alone, not the law, can cleanse His people and make them holy.

YAHWEH-SHALOM: ‘The Lord Our Peace’ (Judges 6:24) – the name given by Gideon to the altar he built after the Angel of the Lord assured him he would not die as he thought he would after seeing Him.

YAHWEH-ELOHIM: “LORD God” (Genesis 2:4; Psalm 59:5) – a combination of God’s unique name YHWH and the generic “Lord,” signifying that He is the Lord of Lords.

YAHWEH – TSIDKENU: ‘The Lord Our Righteous-ness’ (Jeremiah 33:16) – As with YHWH – M’Kaddesh, it is God alone who provides righteousness to man, ultimately in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who became sin for us ‘that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him’ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

YAHWEH-ROHI: ‘The Lord Our Shepherd’ (Psalm 23:1) – After David pondered his relationship as a shepherd to his sheep, he realised that was exactly the relationship God had with him, and so he declares, ‘Yahweh-Rohi is my Shepherd. I shall not want’ (Psalm 23:1).

YAHWEH – SHAMMAH: ‘The Lord Is There’ (Ezekiel 48:35) – the name ascribed to Jerusalem and the Temple there, indicating that the once-departed glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 8—11) had returned (Ezekiel 44:1-4).

YAHWEH – SABAOTH: ‘The Lord of Hosts’ (Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 46:7) – Hosts means ‘hordes,’ both of angels and of men. He is Lord of the host of heaven and of the inhabitants of the earth, of Jews and Gentiles, of rich and poor, master and slave.

EL ELYON: ‘Most High’ (Deuteronomy 26:19) – derived from the Hebrew root for ‘go up’ or ‘ascend,’ so the implication is of that which is the very highest. El Elyon denotes exaltation and speaks of absolute right to lordship.

EL ROI: ‘God of Seeing’ (Genesis 16:13) – the name ascribed to God by Hagar, alone and desperate in the wilderness after being driven out by Sarah (Genesis 16:1-14). When Hagar met the Angel of the Lord, she realised she had seen God Himself in a theophany. She also realised that ‘El Roi’ saw her in her distress and testified that He is a God who lives and sees all. Thus Ishmael and Hagar were preserved.

EL-OLAM: ‘Everlasting God’ (Psalm 90:1-3) – God’s nature is without beginning or end, free from all constraints of time, and He contains within Himself the very cause of time itself. ‘From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.’

EL-GIBHOR: ‘Mighty God’ (Isaiah 9:6) – the name describing the Messiah, Christ Jesus, in this prophetic portion of Isaiah. As a powerful and mighty warrior, the Messiah, the Mighty God, will accomplish the destruction of God’s enemies and rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15).

ADONAI: ‘Lord’ (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15) – used in place of YHWH, is more often used in God’s dealings with His people, while ‘Adonai’ is used more when He deals with the Gentiles. This idea that God is the God of the Gentiles leads us to a further discussion about the other names of God. Refer to the source of this list at; http:// www.gotquestions.org/names of God.html.

Each Tribe or race of people on earth have within their history stories of the revelation of the true creator God and they each have names derived from their linguistic background. For the Maori of New Zealand God is ‘Io’ and ‘Io – Roa’ is the everlasting One. ‘Io – Matua’ is the Parent or Father. ‘Io – Te Whiwhia’ is the giver of life to all. ‘Io – Mataaho’ is the radiant One.

The Chinese have ‘Shang-di’ as the name for the Supreme Creator God. The Santal people of West Bengal, India called their Supreme God ‘Thakur Jiu’ literally meaning the genuine One. The Ethiopian Gedeo people called their Supreme Creator God ‘Mangano.’ Like the Hebrews they did not feel close enough to Mangano to worship Him and so they sacrificed to Sheit’an. To the Korean people the Supreme Creator God is ‘Hananim.’ The Karen of Burma testified to the first missionaries that their ancestors used to worship ‘Y’wa’ but because they disobeyed ‘Y’wa’ and listened to the language and talk of ‘Mu-kaw-lee’ (Satan) that they were suffering. To the Lahu of Southern China and Northern Burma the Supreme Creator God was ‘Gui’Sha’ and they had ancestral stories of losing the book of God because they stored it on rice paper and one day they had the idea to eat the rice paper to store the words of ‘Gui’Sha’ inside of them. From that time onwards they had lost the words of ‘Gui’Sha.’

The myriad names of God are revealed in the myriad of languages spoken on earth. God’s revelation to each race of people is testimony to the fact that each race has their own linguistic name for the Supreme Creator God.