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.
ADONAI: “Lord” (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15) – used in place of YHWH, which was thought by the Jews to be too sacred to be uttered by sinful men. In the Old Testament, YHWH is more often used in God’s dealings with His people, while Adonai is used more when He deals with the Gentiles.
YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH: “LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14) – strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. Translated in English Bibles “LORD” (all capitals) to distinguish it fromAdonai, “Lord.” The revelation of the name is first given to Moses “I Am who I Am” (Exodus 3:14). This name specifies an immediacy, a presence. Yahweh is present, accessible, near to those who call on Him for deliverance (Psalm 107:13), forgiveness (Psalm 25:11) and guidance (Psalm 31:3).
YAHWEH-JIREH: "The Lord Will Provide" (Genesis 22:14) – the name memorialized 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 Righteousness” (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 realized 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. The name is expressive of the majesty, power, and authority of God and shows that He is able to accomplish what He determines to do.
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 realized she had seen God Himself in a theophany. She also realized that El Roi saw her in her distress and testified that He is a God who lives and sees all.
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).
There are so many more- and they all confirm who God is. Because He is the Name above EVERY name.
With four kids, you often find yourself calling for "whatever your name is" when the situation is urgent. I feel for the people who out of "love for cute names that sound the same" have to call out names that sound the same.
"Joe! I mean Bo! I mean Mo!"
You done messed yourself up, momma!
Paco and I have always taken great caution when naming our kids. It's funny how many people you realize you despise in life as their names are quickly taken off the "list" of possibilities. We also try not to name our kids something that's super common, in order to avoid the 5th grade embarrassment of twenty-seven "Sarah's" in the room. (Not that Sarah is a terrible name!)
We've just always been keen to good, unique, and creative names for the kids. (Without trying to ruin the child's future with forty-eight letters, or names easily made fun of).
"What's the big deal?" People ask me often. "Just pick a name you like"
Except it isn't that straightforward.
You're going to call this kid- in fact everyone EVER - will call this kid by their name- for the rest of their life.
While it sounds proposterous, let's think for a moment of the exaggerated example of naming your kid " failure".
Everytime you ask a question, greet him or her, affirm, encourage, or rebuke this kid- you'll be calling them a failure. Over and over and over again.
I know I know- that's a little bit of an over-reach right?
Or is it?
Now I'm not here to bash all the parents who chose names to fit a particular letter pattern, or a family name, or any other naming tradition. But I do want to point out the significance of naming your child something of value.
In the Bible, names were given. Names were changed.
By God and for God.
We see Abram changed to Abraham. Which literally became "father of nations" to which- he was not- but would become. Along with his wife, Abrahams new name from God affirmed the promise given to him.
We see Jacob given the name Israel. Because he literally wrestles with God over a blessing. But you know what? He wrestled until he got what he wanted! And God granted him a name change.
Gideon was called out by God- as a "man of valor". But we can see by reading the description in the word, that he was anything and everything but valiant. He was actually quite the coward. But God saw the promise that laid within Gideon, and called it out anyways.
We see in Jeremiah that a false prophet was given the name Pashur- telling everyone he encountered from then on, that he lied about what God said. God revealed his destiny with the change of his name.
As believers, we are also promised a New name, in revelation, after having overcome the trouble of this world to the end! That my friends is good news! That means there is promise - and destiny- waiting on the other side of glory for those who hang onto Jesus!
(Come on somebody!)
Now think for a moment.
Of your son or daughter. Or even yourself. What is your name? What does your name mean? Do you see those characteristics?
I watch my kids, and see the things we purposefully prayed for and chose as qualities for their lives- portrayed daily- although given by a name.
Teaghan is one we get questions about often. Her name literally means "pretty little girl". I know as her mom I am biased- but people stop us everywhere to tell us how beautiful she is. We affirm that characteristic each time we say her name.
Adalynn's middle name means "kind, prettiest of the sisters". And I'm not going to play favorites. But she holds a different quality than the other girls. She is the most kind-hearted baby you will meet this side of heaven. Not because I say- but because others continue to tell me. Why? I firmly believe it's in her name. We are literally calling forth the qualities and promises for their lives.
There's power in spoken word. That's why the Bible is clear that faith comes when we HEAR the word. And that our tongue has the power of life and death. And why we need to SPEAK to the mountains and watch them fall into the seas.
The enemy knows the power of a cry and a shout- which is why he will do his best to keep you silent- be it from shyness, or oppression.
But as parents- we rattle off at the mouth when we need to summon a child! You're shouting out destiny and future for your son or daughter!
I wanted to write this post not to describe the power in a name- though that's happening. I wanted to share with everyone who has been following our story, and watching God move, know what name we've chosen for the baby. I also wanted to share the meaning of the name.
Just like God chose the name John for Zachariah's son, and just as Jesus would be called Emmanuel- because He is with us- there is a reason for the name we've chosen.
Before you turn your nose up at our decision- please know we've prayerfully considered and thought through this choice. Though we are walking by faith and believing for a miracle- we are not naive to think it may be one of the only decisions we make for this baby.
The baby will be called Esther Jubilee.
Esther wasn't our first choice. We know close friend who just named a daughter this (love you Coriell's!) and that kinda breaks a Curzio-cardinal rule. But when the prayer warrior of the century calls you at 10pm to tell you God showed her the baby's name- you listen.
Esther translates to a few root words. (I'm going to cite quite a few resources- so please know- I'm not a scholar!)
The name Esther is a common off-the-shelf Persian word, meaning Star. But to a Hebrew audience the name Esther, the way it was written, had far more meaning than simply the word "star" in the language of their abductors.
The name Esther reminded them of a compound of אסון (ason), meaning evil, harm, from the assumed root אסה ("sh), plus the word תר (tor) meaning a circle or plait or תר (tor) meaning dove; both from the verb תור (tur), to spy or search out. In that way, the foreign name Esther would have looked to mean "She Searches Out Evil" to a Hebrew audience.
Then there is the word אסר (asar), meaning to tie, bind, gird, with among its derivatives אסור (esur) meaning bond, band, and אסר (issar), binding obligation.
And finally we list the root סתר (satar), hide or conceal, with among its derivatives סתר (seter) and סתרה (sitra) both meaning hiding place, and מסתר (mistar) hiding place. That way, the name Esther would have sounded like "I Am A Hiding Place".
Stars also, play a major role in the Bible. Astrologists agree with the Bible that stars were created to serve as signs (Genesis 1:14). God promises Abraham that his offspring would be like the stars (Genesis 15:5) and Daniel reports that those who lead the many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever (12:3).
Paul explains that Abraham's offspring is Christ and whoever is in Christ (Galatians 3:29), and when the magi come to look for the newborn Christ and say that they saw His star in the east (Matthew 2:2), they might have simply referred to the Book of Esther and the other Scriptures that Israel left them after they went back to Canaan: by saying "We read your stuff and we totally dug it."
Esther also carries the meaning "myrtle". Which is not as common a word today.
Myrtle is a type of shrub or plant. It's evergreen - and doesn't wither or die in adverse weather conditions. Think of the crowns made for ancient Olympians. It was the plant that was used to crown the heads of victors, as they defeated all odds in the Olympic Games.
Some scholars also believe, that the branch brought back to Noah, by the Dove, after the cataclysmic event of the flood, signaling dry land and safety- was in fact a piece of myrtle branch. As olive as myrtle branches were both synonymous in those days with bearing essential oils for various uses.
We are believing and confessing and calling forth the promises of this baby, with the name Esther. We believe that with her testimony, rather than cowering down to evil- she will seek out the enemy. She will spy out the land, and know full well where her help comes from. She will be a shining star to medical professionals both near and far, with the miraculous healing that takes place on her head. She will shine forth as a sign to this generation, and this culture, as a testimony of the true, living God. Her life will shine brightly and lead people to the Saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We are believing that she will also be a victorious overcomer of anencephaly- and that she will be crowned on her beautiful and perfect head- with a crown of life!
I find it ironic - and just like Jesus- to have this name mean "I am a hiding place", when at the last ultrasound, she was hidden from the camera's view. The words of the doctor were that she was "hidden". And he didn't even know!
But God did!
And she will remain in the secret place until He has finished His work in her- and when she arrives, she will become a hiding place and safe refuge for the broken and hurting- to find Jesus as the Rock who bursts forth with water for their dry and thirsty souls.
We are also believing that she will be the sign for many, just like to Noah, that hope has come. That the raging, and roaring seas of destruction and doom have come to an end and are now draining away. That God is making all things new, and that there is safety in Him!
Jubilee is a name Paco picked. After weeks of agonizing over name choices- he threw this one out. I quickly googled the meaning to search out it's "promise" before agreeing.
One click, and I knew it was a fit! Perfect at that!
Jubilee is a celebration of God's people, every 50 years. Many believe that 2015 is a year of Jubilee. But regardless - it will be her name.
Jubilee was a celebration. It was a time when debts were forgiven, slaves were made free, and when God's mercies were manifest.
Jesus also began his public ministry during a year of jubilee. This was when He performed miracles that we see recorded in the Bible.
It means Joy and freedom and the manifestation of God's mercy to His people.
That word "manifest" isn't exactly used in everyday jargon.
The word we would see as more familiar, would be "conjure". A witch or a wizard would "conjure" up a spell, or a stew, or a potion- from nothing. But keep in mind- these are counterfeits. And yet people so quickly believe in their power.
But don't be fooled!
The real power is that which can create something from nothing! The God who made man, and woman, and breathed life into their mortal bodies. The God who makes dirty broken vessels into jars of clay for storing His glory! He manifests His presence- just POOF! And it's there. Nothing and then something. That's the only "Big Bang" I believe in. The manifestation of Gods power. And it happened at the Jubilee.
This baby will be a celebration. People all across the globe will celebrate the victory of her life- and the glory will go to the only one worthy of the praise! We believe that as people share her story, that God will Manifest His mercy- and the spiritually bound will be set free! That those indebted to sin, will experience forgiveness and that Gods mercies would manifest to His people and the Globe! We believe that just as Jesus performed miracles for people to see and marvel at in the year of jubilee, that she will be a miraculous sign for people to see Gods power and goodness on display. And we believe that God will manifest His mercy upon her- and create something from nothing- a brain and skull where previous scans showed emptiness and blank space!
God is up to something and I am thrilled to be a part of it!!!
So now- would you pray for her by name? Call out her destiny and promise and future with us, before she even enters this world? Esther Jubilee will be a testimony of the Power of the living, reigning, sovereign God. Start telling your coworkers. Start telling your families. Start telling your friends and the mailman and the grocer and the bank teller. Start telling the strangers you see- that God is alive - and He's doing a miracle- and that His power will be seen in Esther Jubilee!!! And more than that- His power can be seen in their very lives too. If only they would call on His name.