What’s In A Name?

Do you feel you’re filled to enough and then some with all things Christmas right about now?  Even so, will you stay with me for one more serving of the season?

“A well-loved child has many names,” claims an old proverb.  And we know that the Heavenly Father certainly loved His Only Begotten Son – Jesus has literally hundreds of Names given Him in the Bible.  Go on this hunt armed with a yellow marker, and highlight each of His Names you read.  Your heart will thrill, and His Presence will hover close.

The Christmas season brings many of His Names into rich focus.  Together let’s explore the depths and delights of His Names in Isaiah 9:6:

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor*, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Wonderful

There is controversy over whether this Name is Wonderful, or as newer versions of the Bible present it, Wonderful Counseller.  Let’s dig in, shall we?

Of eleven various versions of the Old Testament that I checked, four place a comma after Wonderful and seven do not.  The majority of my commentaries, admittedly old, separate the two words as individual Names.

The Hebrew dictionary states: “On the basis of the sentence structure involved, it is probably best to translate the Name as Wonderful, Counsellor.”

I conferred with an amazing friend, who reads his Bible in its original languages, and who memorizes the Psalms in Hebrew, as an authority on this verse.  This is what he told me:

“Hebrew is written without punctuation or vowels, so you must examine the word endings, which show the form of the word, and the sentence structure – how the word is used and placed in the sentence.  Wonderful, in this verse, is a noun, not an adjective.  Adjectives have different endings than nouns.  Wonderful does not modify Counsellor.  Wonderful does not describe Him here – it is Him!  Wonderful is His Name.”  And His Name shall be called Wonderful.

Counsellor

Do you ever need guidance and don’t know who to turn to?  Take it to the Lord in prayer!   His Name is Counsellor.  With Him is wisdom and strength, He hath counsel and understanding (Job 12:13).  He not only has all the answers – He IS the Answer!  And no appointment is necessary. Come to the throne in your time of need for grace and counsel (Hebrews 4:16).  Counsellor is His Name.

Mighty God

Or as the Hebrew has it: God, The Mighty One.  This Name is spoken only of Jehovah God, and is applied here to the Messiah as none other than God Himself!

This Name becomes more interesting.  Mighty is an adjective here.  And it attributes maleness to the One named.  Unto to us a Son is given.  And He is Mighty God.

Furthermore, the word Mighty informs us that He is “strong enough to fulfill His assigned responsibility.”  “ALL power,” He said, “is given to Me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).  He created and maintains the universe and rules over all, and, not only is His power not depleted – it is not diminished!  He is strong enough to fulfill His assigned responsibility.  And His power is ever available to His children – to you and me.  Mighty God is His Name.  Hallelujah!

Everlasting Father

The literal Hebrew here is this:  “My Father until….”  The Name is one word in the original, translated My Everlasting Father.  Everlasting.  Without Beginning.  Without End.  Without limit.  Without measure.  Without bounds.  Ever continuing.  Only God is Everlasting.  This Name is a strong statement to the divinity of Jesus Christ.  Jesus, the Messiah, is The Everlasting Father – God for ever.  His Name is Everlasting Father.

Prince of Peace

Perhaps this Name surprised me the most.  “For unto us a Child is born” – and so He is a Prince.  But a Prince Who bears responsibility; Who has dominion, a kingdom.  He is The Prince of Peace.  There is no end to His government or His peace (Isaiah 9:7).

One of the definitions for the Hebrew word peace is Perfection of Completion.  Attributed only to Jehovah, the Self-Sufficient One, deficient in nothing!  According to the Hebrew, as Prince of Peace, Jesus will deliver, restore, complete, and finish His work in our behalf, and for His Name’s sake.  And we know that He did just that!  “It is finished,” He cried on the cross, and it was! (John 19:30).  The Prince of Peace is His Name.

He is Wonderful beyond knowing, but we can know Him.

If we lack wisdom, He is ever available as Counsellor.

When we are weak, He is our Mighty God.

He is our Everlasting Father.

Our Prince of Peace will return and complete His will to perfection.

Thank you for staying with me for this last offering of the Christmas season.  When you have a quiet moment and are able to reflect on the depths of the meanings of His Holy Name, that Name above all names (Philippians 2:9), join Mr. Spurgeon and say, “My soul it doth dance at the sound of His Name!”

Jamie Tamez

1 Timothy 1:17

* KJV spelling

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