In biblical times, names were filled with meaning sometimes expressing a particular trait of the person or something that happened. For example, the name “Jacob” means “heal holder” or “heal catcher.” Jacob and Esau were twins, and Jacob was born holding onto Esau’s heal. Sarah (Abraham’s wife) named Isaac, “he laughs,” because she laughed when God told Abraham that she would have a son in her old age. And the name above all names, Jesus, means “Jehovah is Salvation.”
The Bible promises those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior that they will have new names. In fact, Jesus will write God’s name upon us as well as Jesus’ new name.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:17, NLT)
“All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God – the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.” (Revelation 3:12, NLT)
In Nehemiah 3, we see some interesting names. Below are the names of those who were unified in rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem.
- Verse 1: Eliashib, the high priest, means “God restores”
- Verse 2: Zaccur, next to Eliashib, means “mindful.”
- Verses 4, 6, & 30: Meshullam means “friend.”
- Verses 4 & 21: Meremoth means “elevations.”
- Verse 4 & 29: Zadok means “righteous.”
- Verse 6: Jehoiada means “Jehovah knows.”
- Verse 7: Malatiah means “Jehovah delivered.”
- Verse 7: Jadon means “thankful.”
- Verse 8: Uzziel means “my strength is God.”
- Verse 8 & 30: Hananiah means “God has favored.”
- Verse 9: Rephaiah means “healed of Jehovah.”
- Verse 10: Jedaiah means “praised of Jehovah.”
- Verse 10: Hattush means “assembled.”
- Verse 12 & 15: Shallun and Shallum means “retribution.”
- Verse 13: Hanun means “gracious.”
- Verse 14 & 31: Malchijah means “my king is Jehovah.”
- Verse 16: Nehemiah means “Jehovah comforts.”
- Verse 17: Rehum led the Levites. His name means “compassion”
- Verse 17: Hashabiah means “Jehovah has considered.”
- Verse 18: Bavai means “my goings.”
- Verse 19: Ezer means “treasure.”
- Verse 23: Benjamin means “son of the right hand.”
- Verse 23: Azariah means “Jehovah has helped.”
- Verse 24: Binnui means “built up.”
- Verse 25: Palal means “judge.”
- Verse 25: Pedaiah means “Jehovah has ransomed.”
- Verse 29: Shemaiah means “heard by Jehovah.”
- Verse 31: Malchijah means “my king is Jehovah.”
If we were to put the meanings of the names together as they appear in the chapter, we might have something like this.
God Is Great and Awesome!
God restores His people.
His people are mindful of Him
for He is their friend.
the righteous and
Jehovah knows them.
Jehovah delivered His people, and
His people are thankful.
God is strength and
has favored His people.
They are healed of Jehovah and
praised of Jehovah,
for they have assembled in unity.
Retribution has vanished, for
God is gracious.
Jehovah comforts His people, for
My king is Jehovah.
Retribution is God’s alone;
yet, God shows compassion when His
people return to Him.
Jehovah has considered
His people’s goings, and
their rebuilt lives are His treasure.
He has elevated
His son of the right hand.
Jehovah has helped,
Jehovah has ransomed
the righteous, and they are
heard by Jehovah.
God has favored His people, for
Our king is Jehovah!
Although the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt, they were destroyed years later. Nehemiah’s crumbled wall was found in 1960. However, one day, a new Jerusalem will come down out of heaven from God. Read about it in Revelation 21. God gave John a vision of the new Jerusalem, and He gave Isaiah a song about it.
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in YAH, the LORD,
is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:1-4, NKJV)
May your mind be focused on God and be kept in perfect peace as you meditate on the One True God, the I AM, the Rock of Ages!