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.” 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.”
We are told that we will have new names, and Jesus will write God’s name and the name of the new Jerusalem upon us as well as Jesus’ new name.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. Revelation 2:17
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. Revelation 3:12
Names in Nehemiah 3
In Nehemiah 3, we see some interesting names. Below are the names of those who were unified in rebuilding the walls and gates with their meanings.
- 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 = “praised of Jehovah.”
- Verse 10: Hattush means “assembled.”
- Verse 12 & 15: Shallun and Shallum mean “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 strong 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.
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
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!