Some of you following my blog about taking God’s Word, the Bible, seriously, might be wondering where I'm leading with our study on the significance of words and understanding the original meanings intended.
When I write about taking each word seriously I’m not talking about just taking the gist of what the Word says, but rather, to be as the Bereans did. (Acts 17:11 the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.) I believe we are to take careful account of the nuances of the particular word choice used by the Holy Spirit in the original Hebrew and Greek in the Old and New Testament. Don't you?
When I was a new believer I read the Bible as a story book. But decades of being a Christian has taught me that the depth of meaning of any particular passage runs deep. My purpose in delving into the importance of the meaning of each word, the choice of names—for both people and places-- used and even the numbers the Holy Spirit had written down, must bear significance.
But what practical significance does that have on my life, you might ask? For one, knowing the meaning of names will help us know God better. If you knew that one of God's names is Jehovah Jireh and that this means the "Lord will Provide," you will know that the God of this Universe means to be your provider in every way.
Understanding the words chosen will not only help us to grasp the true meaning of passages, (2 Peter 1:20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things) but it can enrich our lives in many ways.
Let’s examine more names.
Have you ever read genealogies and wonder what significance it has to you? Or wonder how it might have shed light on the story of redemption? After all, Jesus did profess on the road to Emmaus that all scriptures testify of Him? (John 5:39 These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.)
The following example of names in Genesis chapter 5 is not the only instance of where names testify of Jesus’ coming. Other instances, which I will touch upon in weeks to come, will show the importance of names in the Bible.
Most Christians may already know that Adam means “Man”. But have you considered the genealogy of Noah, (whose name means “Rest” or “Comfort”)? To expedite matters, below is the genealogy of Noah. If we put the meanings of the names in the genealogy beside each it would be thus:
The List of Names in the Genealogy:
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort
Hidden within the genealogy of Noah in Genesis is God’s redemption plan! Did a group of Jewish rabbis deliberately "contrived" to hide the "Christian Gospel" in a genealogy within their venerated Torah? I think not. Especially since the rabbis are not pro-Jesus in any way.
To summarize, if we were to string the names above together it would read:
Man appointed mortal sorrow, the Blessed God shall come down, teaching His Death shall bring rest or comfort.
So, who was the “Man” who was appointed (ordained) to have “mortal sorrow”? (Isaiah 53:8 says, By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.) Can you guess who this Man appointed to mortal sorrow is?
Indeed did the Blessed God come down in the form of Jesus! What comfort is this news to us, Believers, who know that teaching about HIS Death bring comfort of salvation and rest for our souls as we rejoice with unbelievers who turn to Christ. And to think even a string of names hides the redemption story. Might there be other treasures in scriptures we have overlooked?
Next week let’s look at the name “Adam” and study its significance in the story of redemption. Till we meet again, friends.