Names in the Bible often reflect the qualities of a person or the ambitions and desires of the person who gives the name. For example, Jesus’ name is a contraction of the two Hebrew words “yeho”, which is a word that comes from “YHWH” / “Yahweh”, and “shua” which means “salvation” or “save us!”. When someone in the Bible is involved in something significant, it is not uncommon for that person to be given a new name. For example, Abram was given the new name Abraham, which means “father of many” when he was promised to be the father of many nations, and Jacob was given the new name Israel, which means “wrestle with God”.
“5No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.” (Ge 17:5)
“27And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.” (Ge 32:27–29)
“20And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”” (1 Sa 1:20)
“25Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him.” (1 Sa 25:25a)
“21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”” (Mt 1:21)
“9And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.”” (Mk 5:9)
“42He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).” (Jn 1:42)
“36Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,” (Ac 4:36)
“3To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (Jn 10:3)
- What does your name mean?
- What does Jesus’ name mean?
- Has God fulfilled His promise to Abraham?
- What does Jacob’s new name “Israel” say about Israel and the Jews?
- Was Peter really a solid rock?
Additional Bible Verses
Gen 17:15-16, Ex 2:10, Mark 3:17, Luke 6:15, Acts 13:9