3, Headnote to Genesis: “…With Genesis begins also that progressive self-revelation of God which culminates in Christ. The three primary names of Deity, Elohim, Jehovah, and Adonai, and the five most important of the compound names, occur in Genesis; and that in an ordered progression which could not be changed without confusion….”
N1 p3 to Genesis 1 “1 IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” “Elohim (sometimes El or Elah, English form “God,” the first of the three primary names of Deity, is a uni-plural noun formed from El = strength, or the strong one, and Alah, to swear, to bind oneself by an oath, so implying faithfulness. This uni-plurality implied in the name is directly asserted in Gen. 1.26 (plurality), 27 (unity); see also Gen. 3.22. thus the Trinity is latent in Elohim. As meaning primarily the Strong One it is fitly used in the first chapter of Genesis. Used in the O.T. about 2500 times. See also Gen. 2.4, note; 2.7; 14.18, note; 15.2, note; 17.1, note; 21.33, note; 1 Sam. 1.3, note.
“(1) The primary meaning of the name LORD (Jehovah) is the “self-existent One.” Literally (as in Ex 3:14), “He that is who He is, therefore the eternal I AM:” But Havah, from which Jehovah, or Yahwe, is formed, signifies also “to become,” that is, to become known, thus pointing to a continuous and increasing self-revelation. Combining these meanings of Havah, we arrive at the meaning of the name Jehovah. He is “the self- existent One who reveals Himself.” The name is, in itself, an advance upon the name “God” (El, Elah, Elohim), which suggests certain attributes of Deity, as strength, etc., rather than His essential being.
“(2) It is significant that the first appearance of the name Jehovah in Scripture follows the creation of man. It was God (Elohim) who said, “Let us make man in our image” (Ge 1:26); but when man, as in the second chapter of Genesis, is to fill the scene and become dominant over creation, it is the Lord God (Jehovah Elohim) who acts. This clearly indicates a special relation of Deity, in His Jehovah character, to man, and all Scripture emphasizes this.
“(3) Jehovah is distinctly the redemption name of Deity. When sin entered and redemption became necessary, it was Jehovah Elohim who sought the sinning ones Ge 3:9-13 and clothed them with “coats of skins” Ge 3:21 a beautiful type of righteousness provided by the Lord God through sacrifice Ro 3:21-22. The first distinct revelation of Himself by His name Jehovah was in connection with the redemption of the covenant people out of Egypt Ex 3:13-17. As Redeemer, emphasis is laid upon those attributes of Jehovah which the sin and salvation of man bring into exercise. These are: (a) His holiness Ü”>Le 11:44; 19:1; 20:26; Hab 1:12-13; (b) His hatred and judgment of sin De 32:35-42; Ge 6:5-7; Ps 11:4-6; 66:18; Ex 34:6-7; (c) His love for and redemption of sinners, but always righteously Ge 3:21; 8:20-21; Ex 12:12-13; Le 16:2-3; Isa 53:5-6,10 Salvation by Jehovah apart from sacrifice is unknown to Scripture.
“(4) In his redemptive relation to man, Jehovah has seven compound names which reveal Him as meeting every need of man from his lost state to the end. These compound names are: (a) Jehovah-jireh, “the Lord will provide” Ge 22:13-14 i.e., will provide a sacrifice; (b) Jehovah-rapha, “the Lord that healeth” Ex 15:26. That this refers to physical healing the context shows, but the deeper healing of soul malady is implied. (c) Jehovah-nissi, “the Lord our banner” Ex 17:8-15. The name is interpreted by the context. The enemy was Amalek, a type of the flesh, and the conflict that day stands for the conflict of Ga 5:17 the war of the Spirit against the flesh. Victory was wholly due to divine help. (d) Jehovah-Shalom, “the Lord our peace,” or “the Lord send peace” Jg 6:24. Almost the whole ministry of Jehovah finds expression and illustration in that chapter. Jehovah hates and judges sin Ge 2:1-5. Jehovah loves and saves sinners Ge 2:7-18 but only through sacrifice Ge 2:19-21 see also Ro 5:1; Eph 2:14; Col 1:20.
(e) Jehovah-ra-ah, “the Lord my shepherd” (Psa 23.). In Ps. 22 Jehovah makes peace by the blood of the cross; in Ps 23. Jehovah is shepherding His own who are in the world. Cmt. on Joh 10:7; (f) Jehovah-tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness” Jer 23:6. This name of Jehovah occurs in a prophecy concerning the future restoration and conversion of Israel. Then Israel will hail him as Jehovah-tsidkenu–“the Lord our righteousness.” (g) Jehovah-shammah, “the Lord is present” Eze 48:35. This name signifies Jehovah’s abiding presence with His people Ex 33:14-15; 1Ch 16:27,33; Ps 16:11; 97:5; Mt 28:20; Heb 13:5
“(6) Lord God (Heb. Jehovah Elohim) is the first of the compound names of Deity. Lord God is used distinctly: (1) of the relation of Deity to man (a) as Creator Ge 2:7-15; (b) as morally in authority over man Ge 2:16-17; (c) as creating and governing the earthly relationships of man Ge 2:18-24; 3:16-19,22-24; and (d) as redeeming man Ge 3:8-15,21. (2) of the relation of Deity to Israel Ge 24:7; 28:13; Ex 3:15; 4:5; 5:1; 7:6; De 1:11; 4:1; 6:3; 12:1; Jos 7:13,19; 10:40,42; Jg 2:12; 1Sa 2:30; 1Ki 1:48; 2Ki 9:6 See other names of Deity, Cmt. on Ge 1:1 Cmt. on Ge 14:18 Cmt. on Ge 15:2 Cmt. on Ge 17:1 Cmt. on Ge 21:33 Cmt. on 1Sa 1:3”
N2 p. 23 to Gen. 14 “18,. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” “‘Most High’ or ‘most high God’ (Heb. E; Elyon). ‘Elyon’ means simply ‘highest.’
“(1) The first revelation of this name (v. 19) indicates its distinctive meanings. Abram, returning from his victory over the confederated kings (Gen. 14.1-17), Is met by Melchizedek, King of Salem . . . the “priest of the most high God” (El Elyon), who blesses Abram in the name of El, Elyon, “possessor of heaven and earth.” This revelation produced a remarkable impression upon the patriarch. Not only did he at once give Melchizedek ‘tithes of all’ the spoil of the battle, but when the King of Sodom offered other of that spoil to Abram, his answer was: ‘ I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD [Jehovah], the most high God (El Elyon], the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet,’ etc. (Gen. 14.18-23).
“(a) The LORD (Jehovah) is known to a Gentile king (Melchizedek) by the name ‘most high God’ (El Elyon); (b) a Gentile is the priest of El Elyon and (c) His distintive character as most high God is ‘possessor of heaven and earth.’
“Appropriately to this Gentile knowledge of God by His name ‘Most High,’ we read that ‘the Most High divided to the nations [i.e., Gentiles] their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam,’ etc. (Deut. 32.8). As ‘possessor of heaven and earth,’ it was the prerogative of the Most High to distribute the earth among the nations according to whatever principle He chose. That principle is declared in Deut. 32.8. To the same purport is the use of the name in Daniel, the book of Gentile prophecy (Dan. 3.26; 4.17, 24, 25, 32, 34, 35; 5.18, 21).
“(2) As ‘possessor of heaven and earth,’ the most migh God has and exercises authority in both spheres: (a) the heavenly authority of El Elyon (e.g., Deut. 4.35, 37 [“35 Unto thee it is shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is note else beside him. 37 And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power oout of Egypt;]; Isa. 14.13, 14 [“13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” 14 I will ascend above the heithts of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”]; Mt. 28.18); (b) the earthly authority of El Elyon (e.g., Deut. 32.8 [“When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”]; Psa. 9.2-5 [“”I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. 3 When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at they presence. 4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. 5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.”]; 21.7; 47.2-4; 56.2, 3; 82.6, 8; 83.6, 7, 16-18; 91.9-12; 2 Sam. 22.14, 15; Dan. 5.18). See, for other names of Deity: Gen. 1.1, note; 2.4, note; 2.7; 15.2, note; 17.1, note; 21.33, note; 1 Sam. 1.3, note.”
N1 , p. 24 to Gen. 15.2. “And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus.”
“‘Lord’ (Heb. Adon, Adonai).
“(1) The primary meaning of Adon, Adonai, is Master, and it is applied in the Old Testament Scriputres both to Deity and to man. Thelatter instances are distinguished in the English version by the omission of the capital. As applied to man, the word is used of two relationships: master and husband (Gen. 24.9, 10, 12, ‘master,’ may illustrate the former; Gen. 18.12, ‘lord,’ the latter). Both these relationships exist between Christ and the believer (John 13.13, ‘master’; 2 Cor. 11.2, 3, ‘husband).
“(2) Two principles inhere in the relation of master and servant: (a) the Master’s right to implicit obedience Joh 13:13; Mt 23:10; Lu 6:46; (b) the servant’s right to direction in service Isa 6:8-11. Clear distinction in the use of the divine names is illustrated in Ex 4:10-12. Moses feels his weakness and incompetency, and “Moses said unto the Lord Jehovah, O my Lord Adonai, I am not eloquent,” etc. Since service is in question, Moses appropriately addresses Jehovah as Lord. But now power is in question, and it not the Lord (Adonai) but Jehovah (Lord) who answers (referring to creation power)–“and Jehovah said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? . . Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth.” The same distinction in Jos 7:8-11. See, for other names of Deity: Cmt. on Ge 1:1 Cmt. on Ge 2:4 Ge 2:7 Cmt. on Ge 14:18 Cmt. on Ge 15:2 Cmt. on Ge 17:1 Cmt. on Ge 21:33 Cmt. on 1Sa 1:3.
N2 p24 to Gen. 15.2. “And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus.” “”Lord God” (Heb. Adonai Jehovah). When used distinctively, this compound name, while gathering into one the special meanings of each (Cmt. on Ge 2:4 Cmt. on Ge 15:2) will be found to emphasize the Adonai rather than the Jehovah character of Deity. (The following passages may suffice to illustrate this:) Ge 15:2,8; De 3:24; 9:26; Jos 7:7; Jg 6:22; 16:28; 2Sa 7:18-20, 2Sa 7:28-29; 1Ki 2:26; Ps 69:6; 71:5; Isa 7:7. See, for other names of Deity: Cmt. on Ge 1:1 Cmt. on Ge 2:4; Ge 2:7; Cmt. on Ge 14:18 Cmt. on Ge 15:2 Cmt. on Ge 17:1 Cmt. on Ge 21:33 Cmt. on 1Sa 1:3”.
N1 p. 26 to Gen. 17.1. “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”
“‘Almighty God’ (Heb. El Shaddai)
“(1) The etymological signification of Almighty God (El Shaddai) is both interesting and touching. God (El) signifies the “Strong One” Cmt. on Ge 1:1. The qualifying word Shaddai is formed from the Hebrew word “shad,” the breast, invariably used in Scripture for a woman’s breast; e.g. Ge 49:25; Job 3:12; Ps 22:9; Song 1:13; 4:5; 7:3,7; 8:1,8,10; Isa 28:9; Eze 16:7. Shaddai therefore means primarily “the breasted.” God is “Shaddai,” because He is the Nourisher, the Strength-giver, and so, in a secondary sense, the Satisfier, who pours himself into believing lives. As a fretful, unsatisfied babe is not only strengthened and nourished from the mother’s breast, but also is quieted, rested, satisfied, so El Shaddai is that name of God which sets Him forth as the Strength-giver and Satisfier of His people. It is on every account to be regretted that “Shaddai” was translated “Almighty.” The primary name El or Elohim sufficiently signifies almightiness. “All-sufficient” would far better express both the Hebrew meaning and the characteristic use of the name in Scripture.
“(2) Almighty God (El Shaddai) not only enriches, but makes fruitful. This is nowhere better illustrated than in the first occurrence of the name Ge 17:1-8. To a man ninety-nine years of age, and “as good as dead” Heb 11:12. He said: “I am the Almighty God El Shaddai . . . I will . . . multiply thee exceedingly.” To the same purport is the use of the name in Ge 28:3-4.
“(3) As Giver of fruitfulness, Almighty God (El Shaddai) chastens His people. For the moral connection of chastening with fruit bearing, see Joh 15:2; Heb 12:10; Ru 1:20. Hence, Almighty is the characteristic name of God in Job, occurring thirty-one times in that book. The hand of El Shaddai falls upon Job, the best man of his time, not in judgment, but in purifying unto greater fruitfulness Job 5:17-25. See, for other names of Deity: Cmt. on Ge 1:1″ Cmt. on Ge 2:4 Ge 2:7 Cmt. on Ge 14:18 Cmt. on Ge 15:2 Cmt. on Ge 21:33 Cmt. on 1Sa 1:3.”
N1 p32 to Gen. 21.33. “And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheeba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.”
“‘Everlasting God’ (Heb. El Olam).
“(1) The Hebrew “Olam” is used in Scripture: (a) of secret or hidden things (e.g. Le 5:2 “hidden”; 2Ki 4:27, “hid”; Ps 10:1, “hidest”); (b) an indefinite time or age Le 25:32, “at any time”; Jos 24:2 “in old time”). Hence the word is used to express the eternal duration of the being of God, Ps 90:2. “From everlasting to everlasting”), and is the Hebrew synonym of the Greek “aion,” age or dispensation. Cmt. on Ge 1:26, note (4).
“(2) The ideas therefore of things kept secret and of indefinite duration combine in this word. Both ideas inhere in the doctrine of the dispensations or ages. They are among the “mysteries” of God Eph 1:9; 3:2-6; Mt 13:11. The “everlasting” God (El Olam) is therefore that name of Deity in virtue of which He is the God whose wisdom has divided all time and eternity into the mystery of successive ages or dispensations. It is not merely that He is everlasting, but that He is God over everlasting things. See, for other names of Deity: Cmt. on Ge 1:1 Cmt. on Ge 2:4 Ge 2:7 Cmt. on Ge 14:18 Cmt. on Ge 15:2 Cmt. on Ge 17:1 Cmt. on 1Sa 1:3.”
N1 p. 319 to I Sam. 1.3. “Jehovah (Lord) of Hosts, Heb. Jehovah Sabaoth. For the distinctive meanings of Jehovah, Cmt. on Ge 2:4. Sabaoth means simply host or hosts, but with especial reference to warfare or service. In use the two ideas are united; Jehovah is LORD of (warrior) hosts. It is the name, therefore, of Jehovah in manifestation of power. “The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of glory” Ps 24:10 and accordingly in the Old Testament Scripture this name is revealed in the time of Israel’s need. It is never found in the Pentateuch, nor directly in Joshua or Judges, and occurs but rarely in the Psalms; but Jeremiah, the prophet of approaching national judgment, uses the name about eighty times. Haggai in two chapters uses the name fourteen times, Zechariah in fourteen chapters calls upon the Lord of hosts about fifty times. In Malachi the name occurs about twenty five times. In the utmost extremity, the Psalmist twice comforts his heart with the assurance “the Lord of hosts is with us.” Ps 46:7,11. The meanings and uses of this name may thus be summarized:(1) The “hosts” are heavenly. Primarily the angels are meant, but the name gathers into itself the idea of all divine or heavenly power as available for the need of God’s people Ge 32:1-2; Isa 6:1-5; 1Ki 22:19; Lu 2:13-15. (2) In use this is the distinctive name of Deity for Israel’s help and comfort in the time of her division and failure 1Ki 18:15; 19:14; Isa 1:9; 8:11-14; 9:13-19; 10:24-27; 31:4-5; Hag 2:4; Mal 3:16-17; Jas 5:4.
See other names of Deity, Cmt. on Ge 1:1 Cmt. on Ge 2:4 # Ge 2:7 Cmt. on Ge 14:18 Cmt. on Ge 15:2 Cmt. on Ge 17:1 Cmt. on Ge 21:33.