God is identified with different names of different languages. Most people name God for what he had done for them at that moment.
God did several wonders in people’s lives. It is no wonder he is called the Omni Potent God (He does everything). Out of excitement and joy, people identify him with what he has done for them.
In the Bible, God provided a ram for sacrifice for Abraham instead of using his son. This act excited Abraham to name the mountain Jehovah Jireh meaning God will provide.
This same formula applies to some of Jehovah’s names mentioned in the old testament. While some are given by people, some names were given by God himself. There are up to nine Jehovah names of God in the Bible. They are;
- Jehovah Nissi
- Jehovah Raah
- Jehovah Rapha
- Jehovah Shammah
- Jehovah Jireh
- Jehovah Tsidkenu
- Jehovah Mekoddishkem
- Jehovah Shalom
- Jehovah Sabaoth
All these Jehovah names of God have their meaning and the story behind the name. But before I get to that lane, you should know what Jehovah means and its origin.
The Origin of Jehovah
Jehovah is the tetragrammaton of the Hebrew word YHWH. YHWH is the tetragrammaton of Yahweh. Yahweh was the name revealed to Moses in the Exodus.
From the 6th to 10th century, Latin-speaking Christians replaced the Y with a J since Y is not in Latin alphabets. Therefore, the Latinized Jehovah became the tetragrammaton of Yahweh.
Before Yahweh was Latinized, it was held up high by the Jews that it was sacred. It can only be mentioned by the High priest on the special day of atonement when he enters the holy place.
When it appears in the holy book, they pronounce the name Adonai (they still do it). However, the meaning of the name ‘Jehovah’ is from the book of Exodus 3:14. It means eternal, unchanging, self-existent God, “I am that I am” ( ehyea asher ehyeh).
The name Jehovah exhibits God’s nature in respect to man. He is the only almighty, true, and holy God.
The meaning of Jehovah names of God
Jehovah Nissi (The Lord is my banner)
Nissi is derived from the word ‘Nes’ meaning banner. Jehovah Nissi was found in the Bible once in Exodus 17:15. It was when the Amalekites attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses stood on top of a hill with the staff of God in his hand.
The same staff he used to make water for the Israelites when they complained of being thirsty. The wonderful thing about the war is whenever Moses raises the staff, the Israelites would win, but if he brings it down, the Amalekites would win.
He was helped by Aaron and Hur to keep his hand steady till sunset, and the Israelites won. Moses made an altar and named it Jehovah Nissi meaning, the Lord is my banner.
The Israelites didn’t win the battle because of the number of good warriors within them not did they win through a beautiful battle plan. Their winning goes to God who shielded them from the hands of their enemy through Moses Staff.
Jehovah Raah (The Lord is my shepherd)
Rô’eh from which Raah was derived means shepherd. Others claim that the meaning can also be a friend. You can get Jehovah Raah from the Bible in Psalms 23:1.
Right there, King David was recounting how God was taking care of him, always there for him, his companion, and his friend.
Other references in the Bible are; Genesis 48:15, Genesis 49:24, Psalms 80:1, etc.
Jehovah Rapha (The Lord who heals)
Rapha means ‘to heal’ ‘to restore’ ‘to make healthful’ It was first seen in the Bible in Exodus 15:26, where God declared himself as the Lord who heals.
It was at that time when the Israelites were rescued from the hands of Pharaoh. Using Moses, God divided the red sea so the Israelites could pass.
They came to Marah to drink water, for they were thirsty, but the water was bitter. That’s why it was called Marah, meaning bitterness. They complained to Moses and Moses to God. God instructed Moses to bring a piece of wood and put it in the water.
Moses did as he was told, and the water became tasteless. God then gave them instructions saying, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
Other Bible references of Jehovah Rapha are; Jeremiah 30:17, Jeremiah 3:27, Isaiah 30:26, Psalms 103:3.
Jehovah Shammah (The Lord is there)
Shammah is derived from the Hebrew word ‘sham’ meaning ‘there’. It was a symbolic name for the earthly Jerusalem and it means ‘God had not abandoned us’.
The name is found in Ezekiel 48:35. It was the name given to the city in Ezekiel’s vision and they are the final words in the book of Ezekiel.
Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord is our righteousness)
Tsedek is the word Tsidkenu was derived from. It means to be stuff, to be straight or righteous in Hebrew.
The name was first used in Jeremiah 23:6 in the Bible. It was one of the prophecies of God through Jeremiah. In the prophecy, a king would be raised of David, a righteous branch whose rule would be just and right to the land.
“In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.”
The Bible reference of the name is also Jeremiah 33:16.
Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord who sanctifies us)
Mekoddishkem is derived from the Hebrew word’ quaddash’ which means ‘sanctify’, ‘holy’, or ‘dedicate’. To sanctify is to be free from sin, the action of making something holy.
The name was used in Exodus 31:13. It was an instruction God passing to the Israelites through Moses that the Sabbath day must be observed for it is holy.
God made it known to them that it is the sign between the Israelites and him (God) for he is the Lord who makes them holy.
The name can also be found in Leviticus 20:7-8
Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will provide)
Jireh is a Hebrew word that means provide. The story behind is a popular one though. It is the story of the sacrifice of Abraham. It occurred in Genesis 22:14.
It was the test of faith of Abraham’s by God. God instructed Abraham to take his son as a sacrifice. Without grudges, Abraham took his son to Mount Moriah to kill.
When asked by his son, Isaac, where is the sheep for sacrifice? Abraham simply told him God will provide.
Abraham built an altar and bound his son to it. When he raised his knife to strike his son, an angel of the Lord called him and asked him to stop.
He showed him a ram stuck in a thicket by its horn. He took the ram and used it as a burnt offering. Abraham did this following his belief that God can raise his son from death.
Later, Abraham named the mountain Jehovah Jireh meaning God will provide.
Jehovah Shalom (The Lord is peace)
Shalom is a derivative of the word ‘shâlêm’ which means ‘be complete’ or ‘sound’. Shalom is translated as ‘peace’ or ‘absence of strife’.
The name was used in Judges 6:24. It happened that the Israelites angered God by worshipping other gods except him. He left them in the hands of Midianites who torture them and destroy every plant and animal they see.
The Israelites cried unto God for help and God heard them. The angel of the Lord visited Gideon, son of Joash the Abiezrite. The angel told Gideon he was chosen to defeat the Midianites by God.
Gideon asked for a sign from the angel to be sure he (Gideon) was not alone, and the angel of the Lord burnt the meat and the unleavened on the rock with just the tip of his staff.
Gideon built an altar for the Lord there and named it the Lord is peace.
Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord my hosts)
Sabaoth means armies or hosts. It denotes general supremacy over every army, whether spiritually or physically.
The first Bible reference of the name is in 1 Samuel 1:3. “And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.”
The man referred to in this passage is Elkanah, the husband of Hannah and Peninnah. He goes to Shiloh every year to sacrifice to the lord of the host.
Other Bible references of the name are; Psalms 24:9-10, Psalms 84:3, Isaiah 6:5, 1 Samuel 17:45, 2 Samuel 6:18, 1 Kings 19:14, 2 Kings 3:14, 1 Chronicle 11:9, Psalms 48:8, Psalms 80:19, Isaiah 1:24, etc.
Jehovah’s names of God have their meaning. And just as some are given by the people who saw his wonders, others were given by God Himself to the people to tell them of his capabilities. But in all, they all depict the good deeds of God.