Names of God - Part 2

SERMON TOPIC: Names of God - Part 2

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 8 March 2015

Topic Groups: NAMES OF GOD, GOD

Sermon synopsis: In Biblical times a name represented the very character or destiny of a person.

God’s name... is a symbol of [His] nature, character, and person... The name of the Lord is the manifestation of His character... it is synonymous with the Lord Himself. (NIV Study Notes)

A look at more of the 'El' names of God:
- El Olam: The Everlasting God
- El Qedem: The Eternal God
- El Qanna: The Jealous God
- El Ha-qadosh: The Holy God
- El Saddiq: The Righteous God
- El Mishpat: The Just God
- El Emeth: God of Truth
- El Ro-iy: The God who Sees
- Download notes (4.81 MB, 947 downloads)

- Download audio (11.76 MB, 1160 downloads)
- All sermons by Gavin Paynter

- All sermons on NAMES OF GOD

- All sermons on GOD

- All sermons in ENGLISH

The names of God



'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague… O, be some other name!

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.

In Shakespeare’s famous “Romeo and Juliet” play, Juliet implies that the names of things or people do not affect what they really are. (Act II, Scene II)

But while there is much truth in this statement today, it is not true of names in Biblical times which were meant to reflect a person’s very character.

In Biblical times a name represented the very character or destiny of a person e.g. Nabal means “foolish” or “foolish man”. (1 Sam 25:25)


May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name--his name is Fool, and folly goes with him.

You will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery…

In Hebrew the name ‘Ishmael’ means “God listens”.


‘Noah’ is derived from the Hebrew name ‘Noach’ meaning “rest, comfort”.

Gen 5:28-29 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed.”

And so the Bible often uses this type of phrase, “He/ she was named ______ because …”

Gen 3:20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

The English name Eve is derived from Eva, in turn derived from the Hebrew Chavah/ Havah - chavah, to breathe, and chayah, to live, or to give life. 1

1 http:// wiki/ Eve_(name)


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. (Matt 1:21)

Jesus or ‘Yeshua’ in Hebrew: means ‘salvation’.

In certain cases names were changed, because the new name was more applicable to the destiny or character of the person involved. And so in Genesis 17:5 Abram (Exalted Father) becomes Abraham (Father of many).


No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome. (Gen 33:28)

Isn't he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times.

(Gen 27:36)

Jacob or ‘Yakov’ in Hebrew means “holder of the heel” or “supplanter”. Later Jacob becomes ‘Israel’ or ‘Yisrael’, which in Hebrew means “one who prevails with God”.

‘Simon’ is the NT Greek form of the Hebrew name ‘Shimon’ which meant “he has heard” (Gen 29:33). Cephas (Aramaic: Képhas) and Peter (Greek: Petros) mean ‘stone’ or ‘boulder’. A boulder is strong and stands firm. The once impetuous and fickle Simon who denies Jesus later becomes a solid apostle in the early church.


“You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter - John 1:42)

And then Joseph who had a ministry of encouragement – was named ‘Barnabas’ by the apostles, which means “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36).

God’s name... is a symbol of [His] nature, character, and person... The name of the Lord is the manifestation of His character... it is synonymous with the Lord Himself. (NIV Study Notes)

We saw that there are 3 primary names for God in Hebrew:





‘El’ is a singular form of the term translated ‘God’. Like our English word ‘god’, it is a generic word that could be used for any heathen god, but also of the true God. Linguists believe that the name ‘El’ has a root meaning of “mighty, strong, prominent”.

The Hebrew word ‘Eloah’ is most likely the singular form of ‘elohim’. ‘Elah’ is the Aramaic equivalent and some believe that ‘Allah’ is the Arabic equivalent.

Elah is the Aramaic word for ‘God’ used in the Aramaic portions of Daniel and Ezra and one verse in Jeremiah (10:11).


‘Elohim’ is probably the plural form of ‘eloah’ and it occurs 2,570 times in the OT. It is the most common name used for God.

It can refer to the true god, pagan gods or even angels. But when the word is used of the true god although it is a plural, it is used with a singular verb, in contravention of Hebrew grammar. This was obviously intentional as it is used with a plural verb when referring to heathen ‘gods’.


Here are some of the ‘El’ titles of God:

El Elyon: God Most High

El Gibbor: The Mighty God

El Gadol: The Great God

El De’ah: The God of Knowledge

El Chay: The Living God

El Ha-kavod: The God of Glory

El Hashamayim: The God of the Heavens

El Shaddai: The all-sufficient God


El Olam: The Everlasting God

El Qedem: The Eternal God

El Qanna: The Jealous God

El Ha-qadosh: The Holy God

El Saddiq: The Righteous God

El Mishpat: The Just God

El Emeth: God of Truth

El Ro-iy: The God who Sees


El Hane'eman: The Faithful God

El Mauzi: God of My Strength

El Sali: God of My Strength or God my Rock

El Tzur: God Our Rock

El Selichot: God of Forgiveness

El Tehilati: God of My Praise

El Rachum: The Merciful God

El Yeshuati: The God of My Salvation...

Immanuel: God with us


“El Olam” is “The Everlasting God” and the term appears first in Genesis 21:33.

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God (El Olam).

Olam literally means ‘forever,’ ‘eternity,’ or ‘everlasting’. When the two words are combined - El Olam - it can be translated as “The Eternal God.” 1

Isa 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God (Eloah Olam), the Creator of the ends of the earth…

1 https:// study/ misc/ name_god.cfm


While we have birthdays and will ultimately die, God has no beginning and will have no end:

Psalm 90: 1-2 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Olam attah El).


El Qedem: God of the Beginning or Eternal God.

He will never die

Hab 1:12 LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, you will never die.

1 Tim 6:16 (God) who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see…

Eternity is not just an extended period of time but rather it is existence above and apart from time.

As the author of time, God is not subject to the control of time and he doesn’t have to work within the constraints of time unless he chooses to do so. He is free to act in relation to time and is equally free to act outside its limitations.








God exists outside of time and sees the future as clearly as the present. (Isaiah 46:10)

I make known the end from the beginning,

from ancient times, what is still to come.

Spurgeon writes in his “Treasury of David”:

God was, when nothing else was. He was God when the earth was not a world but a chaos. If God himself were of yesterday, he would not be a suitable refuge for mortals. The eternal existence of God is here mentioned to set forth, by contrast, the brevity of human life.

So we can take security in the fact that we have the eternal God as our refuge:

Deut 33:27a The eternal God (El Qedem) is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.


The eternal God is able to give us eternal life too.

John 5:21-29 “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it … I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself … Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”


El Qanna is “The Jealous God”.

The Bible compares our relationship with God to a marriage. The term “Jealous God” refers to the protective love God has for us. He will not share our affection with other gods – it is tantamount to adultery in marriage.

Ex 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (El Qanna).

Ex 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God (El Qanna)…

Also see Ex 34:14; Deut 4:24, 5:9; Josh 24:19; Zech 8:2; Nah 1:2.


Israel was God’s ‘wife’:

Ezek 16:8 “Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine.”

The church is Jesus’ bride:

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…


Following other gods is viewed as spiritual adultery:

Deut 6:14-15 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God (El Qanna) and his anger will burn against you…


The marriage covenant is a type of the covenant we have with God:

Jer 31:32 “It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.


We normally think of jealousy with a negative connotation, but Paul speaks of a ‘godly jealousy’ that he has for Christ’s bride:

2 Cor 11:2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.


El Ha-qadosh is “The Holy God” or “The Holy One”.

The fundamental meaning of the term ‘holy’ is ‘set apart’, distinct or different. It refers to divinity, consecration, purity and moral goodness.

It is defined as “… exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness”. 1

Isa 5:16 But the LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God (wə-ha-El Ha-qadosh) will be proved holy by his righteous acts.

Also Josh 24:19, 1 Sam 6:20, 2 Ki 19:22; Job 6:10; Ps 71:22, 78:41, 89:18; Prov 9:10, 30:3; Jer 50:29, 51:5; Ez 39:7; Hos 11:9,12; Hab 1:12, 3:3.

1 dictionary/ holy


Our holy God expects us to be holy i.e. set apart or distinct from the world by our righteous behaviour:

1 Pet 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

2 Tim 1: 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life…

Heb 12:14 Make every effort … to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.


We have “imputed holiness” i.e. we have been made holy by Jesus’ death:

Heb 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Eph 5:25-27 … just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy… and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Col 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation


But there is also an ongoing process by which we are “being made holy”:

Heb 10:14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

This requires a choice we make to set ourselves apart for God:

2 Tim 2:21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.


As God’s holy people are we should truly be ‘set apart’ from the world by the way we live:

Eph 5:3-4 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

1 Thess 4:3-5 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God…


Being holy is not just following a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s being “set apart” for a special purpose”. Paul uses the example of household utensils, where some are only for ordinary use while others are reserved for special occasions.

2 Tim 2:20-22 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. ->


<- Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Are you a special vessel set apart for the Master’s use?


El Saddiq is “The Righteous God”. When we say that God is righteous, we are saying that he consistently does what is right or what ought to be done. Righteousness means “moral goodness, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent and worthy”.

There is only one Righteous God:

Isa 45:21b And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God (El Saddiq) and a Saviour; there is none but me.

And ultimately his righteous principles will prevail on earth as in heaven:

Ps 7:9 O righteous God (Elohim Saddiq), who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.


El Mishpat is “The Just God”. ‘Just’ means based on, or behaving according to, what is morally right and fair. Some synonyms: fair, equitable, even-handed, impartial, unbiased, objective, neutral, unprejudiced, non-partisan and non-discriminatory.

Isa 30:18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice (Eloah Mishpat). Blessed are all who wait for him!

Mal 2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice (El Mishpat)?”


God shows no partiality, bias or prejudice. His judgements are not influenced by our race, nation, gender, age, social class, education level or wealth.

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.


God accepts people who serve him from any nation. After his vision in Joppa, Peter tells the Gentile house of Cornelius (Acts 10:34-35):

Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

He is not influenced by your reputation among men:

But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)- well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. (Gal 2:6)

His judgement is based on our actions, not on preconceived prejudice.

And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth (1 Pet 1:17).


Unlike men, he disregards your outward appearance, and judges on what you are on the inside (1 Sam 16:6-7)

Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.

Like God, we too must be impartial:

Job 32:21 Let me now be partial to no one; Nor flatter any man. (NASB)

1 Tim 5:21I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. (NASB)

We must be fair in our judgements:

Prov 24:23These also are sayings of the wise. To show partiality in judgement is not good.


We mustn’t be racists:

And he [Peter] said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.” (Acts 10:28)

The word translated ‘foreigner’ (Strong’s number G246) is ‘allophulos’, from Strong’s number G243 and ‘phulon’, which has the meaning “a stock, race, of another race or foreigner.”


We should not mistreat foreigners in our country:

Ex 23:9 “Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.”

Lev 19:34 “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”


We must not take bribes which influence our partiality:

You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. (Deut 16:19)

Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness, or partiality, or the taking of a bribe. (2 Chron 19:7)


We should not show favouritism to wealthier individuals who visit the church.

James 2:1-9 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favouritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? … But if you show favouritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.


But we shouldn’t be unfair to wealthier people either. Poor and rich should be treated fairly:

You shall do no injustice in judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbour fairly. (Lev 19:15)


Christian employers or managers must treat their staff fairly, without bullying or threatening or abusing their power:

Eph 6:9 And, masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. (NASB)


El Emeth is “God of Truth”. ‘Emet’ means “firmness, faithfulness, truth” (Strong’s 571).

Ps 31:5 (NASB) Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth (El Emeth).

God does not lie and is reliable:

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?

His judgement is based on truth:

Rom 2:2 Now we know that God’s judgement against those who do such things is based on truth.


Jesus repeatedly used the phrase “I tell you the truth,” and said of himself “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

In contrast he said of Satan (John 8:44b)…


He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Jesus came to bring us truth (John 18:37).

… and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

The truth liberates us (John 8:31-32)

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

The God of truth desires us to be truthful:

Ps 51:6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts…

Eph 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour…

But we must speak the truth in love:

Eph 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

As children of God, we too need to be reliable and people of our word:

Matt 5:37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.


Because he is omnipresent (everywhere at once) we cannot hide from God.

Ps 139:7-12: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

16) EL RO-IY

God is omniscient (all knowledge) and sees everything.

Ps 139:1-6 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

As he transcends time, God even sees the future:

Ps 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

16) EL RO-IY

But the fact that “God sees” doesn’t simply mean that God is aware of what is happening – it implies that he makes a righteous judgement based on what he sees.

Heb 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

To Hagar, God revealed Himself as “El Ro-iy” i.e. “The God Who sees”. When she had run away into the desert, because she was being mistreated by Sarai, the angel of the LORD appeared to her and gave her a promise. (Gen 16:9-10)


Go back to your mistress and submit to her. I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.

Gen 16:13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me (El Ro-iy),” for she said…

I have now seen the One who sees me.

The God who sees everything saw Hagar’s plight and showed mercy on her. And he granted her favour. He will do the same for you.

16) EL RO’IY


Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (

PDF sermon