Name Above All Names

“But after he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).

The English name ‘Jesus’ comes from a Latin transliteration of a Greek rendering of the Savior’s name;  however, ‘Jesus’ was not Greek, Latin or English, he was an Israelite.   The angel refers to Joseph as a ‘son of David’, thus Jesus’ human lineage as found in Matthew and Luke was from the Tribe of Judah making him Jewish.   When Joseph took his infant son to be circumcised and named, he did not name him ‘Jesus’.  When his parents wanted him for dinner, they did not call him ‘Jesus’.   His brothers and sisters did not call him ‘Jesus.’  His friends and relatives in the Galilee did not call him ‘Jesus.’  His disciples and the Jewish leaders of the day did not call him ‘Jesus.’  They called him Yeshua.

Most Bibles have a footnote after the name of ‘Jesus’ directing the reader to the bottom of the page.  Generally, the footnote reads  something like “the name Jesus comes from a Hebrew word that sounds like Joshua and means God saves.”  In the Hebrew language there is no letter “J” so even Joshua would be incorrect as it would be Yoshua.

“I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him” (John 5:43)

“God saves” could be translated Yahshua, יהשוה, – The Yah coming from Yahweh and the shua meaning ‘salvation’.  This is sometimes  considered a rendering of Messiah’s name since Yeshua did say that he came in his Father’s name.  By having Yah in his name, however, he would have caused an even greater uprising with the Jewish rulers of his day since they had stopped using the memorial name of God.   Though he was called a blasphemer and that could suggest he used his Father’s name as his own, I personally believe that he respected his Father’s  name as well as the culture in which he lived.  He did not toss יהוה around to prove he was God’s Son.  He used his actions and teachings.

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins … (Matthew 1:21).

A more accurate rendering of the passage in Matthew 1:21 would be “You are to give him the name Yeshua because he will yesa his people from their sins.”  Just as the character of the “I Am that I Am”  is embedded in the יהוה, so too would the character of  salvation be embedded in the Savior’s name, Yeshua.

Using a Hebrew dictionary,  the common word for ‘salvation’ is yeshua.   This is the name that  was most likely given to Joseph and used by all who knew God’s Son while he walked on earth. This is the name and spelling that will be used in this book.  There are many different ideas about the spelling of  Yeshua’s name, but because yeshua is the literal Hebrew word for salvation and found in Scripture, it is the one I will use for the name of God’s Son.

“The LORD (Yahweh) is my strength and my defense he has become my Yeshua…” (Exodus 15:2).

“The LORD (Yahweh) is my light and my Yeshua – whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1).

“Sing to the LORD (Yahweh)  a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked Yeshua for him” (Psalm 98:1).

Throughout their generations the Israelites looked for yeshua.  They knew that God would make provision for their salvation because they understood the binding of Isaac and the substitute ram.  They knew that God and His salvation would be Himself because the Scriptures revealed God working His yeshua on behalf of the people. When this occurred in the physical body of Yeshua,  some accepted him, many did not.  Even though they had the prophecies of Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, many struggled with the idea that the Word had actually become flesh in a man from Galilee, a Nazarene (John 1:14).  His physical presence didn’t match the voice they heard from the prophets.  This could be compared to having a phone conversation with someone who you later meet and they don’t look anything like you expected. 

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Messiah) …” (Colossians 1:19).

It is important to know the actual name of the Messiah given to his parents by God.  There is power in his name (John 17:11, Acts 4:7).   There are answered prayers in his name (John 16:23).  There is protection in his name (John 17:11-12).   There is life in his name (John 20:31).  Repentance and forgiveness will be preached in his name (Luke 24:47).  Miracles will be done in his name (Mark 9:39). There will be persecution because of his name (John 15:21).  He will return when the Jews call on his name (Luke 13:35).  These are all things that have been done in the name of Jesus, but with the God-given name of Yeshua and the acceptance of his Biblically Jewish heritage, his name may bring even more repentance, power, life, miracles, and life from the dead.

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Yeshua is LORD (Yahweh) to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Philippians is clear that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Yeshua, not only as Lord, but as Yahweh in the flesh.  This means that everyone will confess salvation in the person of Yeshua as coming from Yahweh and no one else.  Though for many centuries the name of Yeshua has been hidden away just like the name of God, the time is now for the restoration of all things and the purifying of our lips which includes the Hebrew, Jewish name of the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is a word picture.  When word pictures are put together, unique meanings to words appear.   Here are the word pictures for the name of Yeshua: Yod, Sin, Vav, Ayin

ישוע

Yod י –  A Closed Hand means ‘a finished work’.

Shin ש  – A Tooth and means ‘to consume.’ Shin has also come to represent the Shekinah or the ‘Divine Presence of God.’

Vav ו –   A Nail means ‘to bind or tie together, and’

Ayin ע –  An Eye means ‘to see and understand.’

The Hebrew word picture for yeshua: “See the binding, the finished work, the divine presence of God.”

©2010 Tent Stake Ministries (from Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.)

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