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Why did Jehovah often name/rename people?


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Have you ever pondered on why Jehovah would often select the name of an adult or a child ? - for example Abram (Genesis17:5 )and Isaac Genesis (17:19). Well, I got to thinking about it one day and the meaning of some of the names in isolation didn’t tell me too much. Sometimes they gave an indication of what the child/ adult would grow up to be or do - but not always. I started to look up the meanings of all the names of the Patriarchs from Adam  down to Judah. . . and as I jotted them down in a line, something quite wonderful and faith strengthening came to light. Something that shows without question, that Jehovah is the one true author of both the bible and the Ransom - promised right from the Garden of Eden! I guess I am not the first to note this message (in BOLD letters reading down the page) but it is well worth sharing!

Adam -               A MAN

Seth    -               APPOINTED

Enosh -              FRAIL; MORTAL; HUMAN

Cainan -             TREASURED POSESSION

Mahalahleel -    REFLECTION OF GOD

Jared -                TO DESCEND

Enoch -               TRAINED; DEDICATED

Methuselah -      ONE SENT

Lamech -             MADE LOW

Noah -                  BRINGING COMFORT

Shem -                 RENOWNED

Arpashad -          HEALER

Cainaan -             AQUIRES; PURCHASES

Shelah -               RELEASE FROM; FREEDOM

Eber -                   ANGER; STRIFE

Peleg -                 DIVIDES; SEPARATES

Reu -                    FRIEND(s) OF GOD

Serug -                (From) BRANCH

Nahor -                DRY; BARREN

Terah -                 WILD GOAT (s)

Abraham -           FATHER OF A GREAT MULTITUDE

Isaac -                 HE WILL LAUGH; REJOICE

Jacob -               (when) GRIPPED BY THE HEEL

Judah -                TO THE GLORY OF GOD

 

 

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Hi Sister Teresa,

 

That was a nice list you put together, thank you. :)

Your post made me think of today, in which so many names have no meaning or if the name does have a meaning, the parents did not give that name because of it's meaning, but just because they liked the name or a relative had that name. But in ancient times it was customary that names had a real meaning. So parents and even their relatives would meditate heavily on making the right choice of a name for the children. And then later, sometimes even adults would have their name changed in some way to express how their condition or situation in life had changed,  like the example of Naomi meaning “My Pleasantness", but later because of how she felt about her life insisted that she should be called Mara. She said,  “Do not call me Naomi. Call me Mara [meaning “Bitter”]

 

But it appears that when Jehovah chose a name for someone, this was to give even more meaning, more significance! For example, Jehovah would give names that had a prophetic significance. Imagine if you were given a name that would express the out-workings of Jehovah's purpose for the future! Now that's a name!  What would some of Jehovah's servants names be today if Jehovah gave them a name? Here are some fun possibilities: :D

 

Vernalee: meaning "Salvation at Armageddon"

Mandi: meaning "A Promised New World"

Teresa: meaning "The Wonderful 1000 year Reign"

Neil: meaning "Removal of the Wicked"

 

On a more serious note, at other times Jehovah would give a new name to someone to indicate his approval or blessing. And then there were situations where Jehovah would change the name of someone to show what their new role would be, like Sarai "Contentious" changed to Sarah "Princess", as Jehovah would bless Sarah and kings would come from her lineage.

Quote

*** w09 2/1 p. 13 What Is in a Name? ***
God himself changed the names of certain adults for prophetic purposes. For example, he changed the name of Abram, meaning “Father Is Exalted,” to Abraham, meaning “Father of a Multitude.” True to his name, Abraham did become the father of many nations. (Genesis 17:5, 6) 

 

*** it-2 p. 466 Name ***
 Because of his perseverance in grappling with an angel, Jacob was told: “Your name will no longer be called Jacob but Israel [Contender (Perseverer) With God; or, God Contends], for you have contended with God and with men so that you at last prevailed.” (Ge 32:28) This change in name was a token of God’s blessing and was later confirmed. (Ge 35:10)
 

*** w10 7/1 p. 4 What Knowing God’s Name Involves ***
Sometimes Jehovah gave a new name to a person who was to have a new role. The barren wife of Abraham received the name Sarah, meaning “Princess.” Why? Jehovah explained: “I will bless her and also give you a son from her; and I will bless her and she shall become nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” (Genesis 17:16) Clearly, understanding why Sarah received a new name would involve understanding her new role.

 


Edited by Beggar for the Spirit
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3 hours ago, Dages said:

I'm wondering if Jehovah will rename some of us in Paradise... maybe the new scroll writers ? 

I’ve wondered that before. It would be a privilege to be named by Jehovah but I want to keep my name. I’m named after my dad and would love to name my son after me. Plus, I’m not Jewish. It’s a part of my American heritage and would like to pass that down, to at least my first child in the new world. I wouldn’t mind giving any other children a Hebrew name if we’ll be speaking that in the new world.

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Besides of that... we read the translation in our own language. But the original language is Hebrew. And Hebrew is a very rich language. Adding a vowel to a word could mean something completely different, and many words could be explained in many ways. 

 

So Jehovah replaced the names of some of his people to give it a proper meaning. Jacob got called Israel which means wrestle with God. Cause he had wrestled with an angel (sort of speaking with God).

 

 Abram means "high father" while Abraham means "Father of a multitude". 

 

so Jehovah gave the right name with the right meaning to indicate that person. 

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6 hours ago, Brother Jack said:

I’ve wondered that before. It would be a privilege to be named by Jehovah but I want to keep my name. I’m named after my dad and would love to name my son after me. Plus, I’m not Jewish. It’s a part of my American heritage and would like to pass that down, to at least my first child in the new world. I wouldn’t mind giving any other children a Hebrew name if we’ll be speaking that in the new world.

So you would call him Jack ? I don't know much about this tradition, is it like when you put "Junior" in the end, or add some number like Firstname Familyname III (3) ?

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8 hours ago, Brother Jack said:

I’ve wondered that before. It would be a privilege to be named by Jehovah but I want to keep my name. I’m named after my dad and would love to name my son after me. Plus, I’m not Jewish. It’s a part of my American heritage and would like to pass that down, to at least my first child in the new world. I wouldn’t mind giving any other children a Hebrew name if we’ll be speaking that in the new world.

When we all start speaking one language (assuming the original language spoken by Adam?), perhaps we will all be renamed in accord with that language, or get that language's version of our old names. Just a thought.

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4 hours ago, Dages said:

So you would call him Jack ? I don't know much about this tradition, is it like when you put "Junior" in the end, or add some number like Firstname Familyname III (3) ?

Yes.

2 hours ago, Bjern said:

perhaps we will all be renamed in accord with that language, or get that language's version of our old names. Just a thought.

Well, if that would be the case, I hope that my name sounds good and makes sense in Hebrew. My name sounds silly in Spanish.

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I sort of would like to keep my name. (It mean blessed, or something like that) For those of us who are privileged to go through the end of this system, it would be sort of special, down through the ages. But, I have my suspicions. 

I will  be happy, whatever....

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My mother named me, said to mean 'helper of mankind'. She was always opposed to the Truth, even disowned me for it, so I don't think it was her intention or will for me. It would be awesome to think Jehovah inspired her.

But regardless of our given name, the name that matters the most is the one we choose for ourselves or that Jehovah gives us as one of His Witnesses.:)

.

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