In 1982 a song was released by Amy Grant called "El Shaddai." Some of you probably remember it. This was the first time I began an interest in studying the meaning of Hebrew names.
The song begins with "El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Eloyn na Adonia, age to age you’re still the same, by the power of your name." So in essence, the writer is saying – One of might, strength and power, you are an all sufficient God, the most-high God, Lord, Lord, Lord, my master, you are the same yesterday, today and forever, all by the power of your name!
There are many benefits to knowing and relying on the names of the Lord. God uses many names in the Bible which explain His character and the way He cares for us. The names God chooses in scripture are meant to reveal His true nature towards us. In Hebrew, names have meaning and knowing a person’s name can reveal important information. I am not a Hebrew scholar by any means, however I like to use a good Hebrew lexicon dictionary and a concordance to look up words and find their root meaning. They make a concordance based on the English translation, for those of us who do not know Hebrew. It’s important not to rely only on the meaning given in the phrase without looking at the context of the passage too.
Today, let’s look at the word "El". It is an alternative term for the one true God, which comes from a root word meaning "might, strength and power". "El" is almost always officially recognized by an additional word that further defines who God is.
I want to share with you some of the most powerful compound names of God which follow El, their associated meaning and where you can find them in the scriptures.
- El Elyon – God is supreme, or the most-high God! (Genesis 14:18-22, Psalm 78:35)
- El Sali – God is our Rock! (2 Samuel 22:47, 23:3)
- El Ro’I – God who allows me to see Him, understand Him and to know Him through His word and deeds! (Genesis 16:13, Psalm 23)
- El De’ot – God of Knowledge! (1 Samuel 2:3)
- El Ha’Oneh oti Beyom Tzarati – The God who answers me in the day of trouble! (Genesis 35:3)
- El Yeshuati – The God of my salvation! (Psalm 88:1, Isaiah 12:2)
- El Chaiyai – The God of my life! (Psalm 42:9)
- El Nashah – The God who forgives and forgets! (Genesis 4:51)
- El Chanun – Gracious God! (Exodus 34:6, Jonah 4:2)
- El Kana – Jealous God who demands love, worship, honor and praise! (Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 4:24)
- El Tzadik – Righteous God! (Jerimiah 12:1)
- El Shaddai – The all-sufficient God! (Genesis 17:1, Exodus 6:3)
- El Hakavod – God of glory, respect or honor! (Psalm 29:3)
- El Olam – Eternal or everlasting God! (Deuteronomy 33:27)
- El Emet – God of truth! (Psalm 31:5)
- El Echad – One God! (Deuteronomy 6:4, Malachi 2:10)
- El Rachum – God of compassion! (Psalm 78:38)
- El Palat – The God who delivers! (Psalm 18:2)
The names of the Lord will bring inspiration, especially on a bad day. You can simply read these major names each day briefly noting what great things the Lord has done for you.
Kathy Davis serves as our Administrative Coordinator. When she's not keeping the staff in line and the church running, she enjoys camping and spending time with her grandchildren. Read more about Kathy here.