How Many Times Does God's Word
Reference the Use of His "Name"?
During the course of this study, I became aware of phrases referencing, not just God's actual name, but the use of His name. So, I thought it worthwhile to investigate just how many times God's Word talks specifically about His "name". In so doing, I gained even greater insight into how YHWH feels about His name and I discovered that He's serious about us knowing His name and that He's quite concerned about how, when, where, and why His name is used. In the Old Testament, the Bible specifically references God's "name" almost 200 times.
- YHWH wants people to know Him by knowing His name!
At least 16 times YHWH says that His reason for doing certain things was so people would "know [His] name", "fear [His] name", or that His name would be "declared":
- Exodus 9:16 "...but indeed for this cause I have made you stand: to show you My power, and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth;" (WEB)
- Psalm 9:10 "Those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, Yahweh, have not forsaken those who seek You." (WEB)
- Jeremiah 16:21 "Therefore see, I am causing them to know, this time I cause them to know My hand and My might. And they shall know that My Name is !" (TS98)
- Malachi 4:2 "But to you who fear My name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings. You will go out, and leap like calves of the stall." (WEB)
- See also 1 Kings 8:42-43; 2 Chronicles 6:33; Nehemiah 1:11; Psalm 61:5, 83:18, 86:11; Isaiah 52:6; Jeremiah 29:3; Ezekiel 20:44, 36:23, and 39:7.
- YHWH cares deeply about where and in whom His name dwells!
More than 50 times YHWH refers to a place for His "name to dwell" or His name being in a person or place:
- Exodus 23:21 "Pay attention to him, and listen to his voice. Don't provoke him, for he will not pardon your disobedience, for My name is in him." (WEB)
- Deuteronomy 16:11 "And you shall rejoice before your Elohim . . . at the place where your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell." (TS98)
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 "if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (WEB)
- Nehemiah 1:9 "but if you return to Me . . . yet will I . . .bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause My name to dwell there." (WEB)
- See also Exodus 20:24; Numbers 6:27; Deuteronomy 12:11, 14:23, 16:2, 16:6, 26:2; Ezra 6:12; 2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 5:5, 8:16-19, 8:29, 9:3, 11:36; 2 Kings 21:4, 21:7, 23:27; 1 Chronicles 22:8-10, 28:3; 2 Chronicles 6:5-10, 6:33, 7:16, 7:20, 33:4, 33:7; Numbers 1:9; Isaiah 43:7, 63:19, 65:1; Jeremiah 7:10-14, 7:30, 14:9, 15:16, 25:29, 32:34, 34:15; Daniel 9:18-19; and Amos 9:12.
- YHWH cares about His name's reputation!
At least 19 times YHWH references doing something for the sake of His name:
- 1 Samuel 12:22 "For Yahweh will not forsake His people for His great name's sake, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you a people to Himself..." (WEB)
- Psalm 23:3 "He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." (WEB)
- Ezekiel 20:22 "Nevertheless I withdrew My hand, and worked for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them forth." (WEB)
- See also 1 Kings 8:41; 2 Chronicles 6:32; Psalm 25:11, 31:3, 79:9, 106:8, 109:21, 143:11; Isaiah 48:9, 66:5; Jeremiah 14:7, 14:21; Ezekiel 20:9, 20:14, 20:44, and 36:22.
- YHWH cares about how His name is used!
More than 30 times YHWH says, not only that He is holy, but that His name is holy or worthy of glory:
- 1 Chronicles 16:10 "Glory you in his holy name; Let the heart of them rejoice who seek Yahweh." (WEB)
- Psalm 29:2 "Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due to his name. Worship Yahweh in holy array." (WEB)
- Psalm 111:9 "He has sent redemption to His people. He has ordained His covenant forever. His name is holy and awesome!" (WEB)
- Isaiah 57:15 "For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite." (WEB)
- See also Leviticus 20:3, 22:2, 22:32; 1 Chronicles 16:29, 16:35, 29:16; Nehemiah 9:5; Psalm 30:4, 33:21, 97:12, 99:3, 103:1, 105:3, 106:47, 138:2, 145:21, 148:13; Isaiah 12:4, 47:4; Ezekiel 20:39, 36:20-22, 39:7, 39:25, 43:7-8; and Amos 2:7.
- And finally, YHWH simply cares about people knowing His name!
The phrases "My name" and "Your name" (apart from the other more specific verses already provided) appear at least 58 times:
- Exodus 3:15 "And Elohim said further to Mosheh, 'Thus you are to say to the children of Yisra'el, " Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Yitshaq (Isaac), and the Elohim of Ya'aqob, has sent me to you. This is My Name forever, and this is My remembrance to all generations."'" (TS98)
- Leviticus 19:12 "'You shall not swear by my name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh." (WEB)
- 2 Samuel 7:26 "Let Your Name be magnified forever, saying, Yahweh of hosts is God over Israel..." (WEB)
- 1 Chronicles 17:24 "So let it stand fast, and Your Name be great forever, saying, ' of hosts, Elohim of Yisra'el, is Elohim to Yisra'el...'" (WEB)
- 2 Chronicles 14:11 "...Help us, O our Elohim, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this crowd..." (TS98)
- Isaiah 42:8 "I am , that is My name, and My esteem I do not give to another, nor My praise to idols." (TS98)
- See also Exodus 6:3; Numbers 6:27; Deuteronomy 18:19-20; 2 Samuel 22:50; 1 Kings 8:33-48, 2 Chronicles 6:20-38, 14:11, 20:8-9; Psalm 89:24, 91:14; Isaiah 29:23, 41:25, 43:7, 48:11, 49:1, 52:5-6, 65:1; Jeremiah 12:16, 14:14-15, 23:25-27, 27:15, 29:9, 29:21-23, 34:16, 44:26; Zechariah 5:4, 13:9; Malachi 1:6, 1:11, 1:14, 2:2, and 2:5.
It's obvious that these aren't mere casual references to God's name, but that He cares deeply about how, when, where, and why His name is used. As Christians, shouldn't we care just as much as He does about how we address and worship the Most High God?
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