What Are the Names of God?

Kevin Zuber
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The God of the Bible, the God Christians worship, goes by different names throughout the Scriptures. Let’s explore the different names He is given throughout the Bible.


Genesis 2:4 (cf. Gen. 2: 5, 7, 8)
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.

Exodus 3:4–5, 14–15
When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

The name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is “Yahweh.” This name appears over six-thousand eight-hundred times in the Old Testament. In an English translations the name is commonly rendered “the LORD” using all capital letters (L O R D) to distinguish it from another name, Adonai (“Lord”). The four letters of the Hebrew name YHWH are called the “tetragrammaton” (“four-lettered”). This name was considered too sacred to be pronounced and so the vowels for Adonai were placed around the letters YHWH which effectively made the name unpronounceable. It is from this non-name that the appellation “Jehovah” was devised.

This name expresses his self-existence and is his “covenant name” by which he is identified specifically with the people (nation) of Israel.

Yahweh Sabaoth

Psalm 24:10 (Isaiah 9:7)
Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

Haggai 2:6–9 (Zechariah 4:6)
For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

Luke 2:13
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying.

The term “hosts” (Hebrew ṣābā, ṣebā’ōth) refers to armies or to the vast number (as in an army) of the angels in heaven. In Luke 2:13 the term “hosts” is strateia which like ṣābā’, ṣebā’ōth refers to an army. In these references the terms are meant to indicate the transcendent power and authority of Yahweh as he is the Lord over the vast army of heavenly angels who do his bidding in either judgment or praise.

Yahweh Yireh

Genesis 22:14
Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”

The term “Yireh” (Hebrew yir’eh) is from a root that means “to see” (Hebrew rā’â) and in certain forms, as in Genesis 22:14, has the notion of “to see” in a sustaining way. This name is appropriate for God since it was he who “provided” the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

Yahweh Shalom

Judges 6:24a
Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The Lord is Peace.

The Hebrew term “Shalom” (šālôm) is the term for “peace.” In order to reassure Gideon of God’s presence and favor, the angel of the Lord accepted Gideon’s offering of meat and bread in a blaze of fire (Judg. 6:21). However, this manifestation unnerved the timid Gideon who cried out in fear (Judg. 6:22). He had to be reassured by the Yahweh who calmed him with the words, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” (Judg. 6:23). The altar built and named by Gideon was an expression of his faith in God, and his new-found understanding that the one who has the presence and favor (grace) of God need not fear for he is at peace with God.

Yahweh Tsidkenu

Jeremiah 23:6
“In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”

The term “Tsidkenu” (from the Hebrew ṣedeq, ṣedāqâ) means “our righteousness.” The context of this naming is the messianic promise of the Davidic “Branch” (Jer. 23:5a; cf. Jer. 33:15; Isa. 4:2; Zech. 6:12–13). The reign of the coming Messiah will be a reign of wisdom, justice and righteousness (Jer. 23:5b) in which the reunited nation (both Judah and Israel are mentioned) will “be saved” and will “dwell securely” (Jer. 23:6a). This name (“our righteousness”) indicates the source of the salvation and security which he brings. (See under “Justification.”)


Genesis 31:13a
I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me.

Psalm 77:14
You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.

The name El is the basic name for the, or a “deity” and is normally translated as “God.” Often, when the one true God is meant the context or surrounding terms (e.g. “the God of heaven” Ps. 136:26; “the living God” Josh. 3:10; Ps. 84:2 ) or the use of the article (“h”; e.g. Gen. 31:13, Hebrew hā’êl) will make this clear. The God who had met Jacob at Bethel was Yahweh, the God of the Patriarchs (cf. Gen. 28:13, 19)—the true God. He is the God who “works wonders,” that is, has power and strength.


Genesis 1:1–4
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:26–27
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

The name “Elohim” appears over two-thousand times in the Old Testament and is often translated simply “God” as it is in Genesis 1. In Hebrew the ending “-im” usually indicates a plural noun. When used of God this ending is a “plural of majesty” or a “plural of intensity.” This name for God appears first in Scripture, at the head of the creation account where the transcendent power of God is displayed in the creation of the universe and everything in it. The plural form of this name is not a proof of his Triunity but it is harmonious with later revelation that does reveal that God is Triune.

El Elyon

Genesis 14:18–20, 22
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth.

Psalm 91:1–2, 9
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

The term or name “Elyon” comes from a root term (Hebrew ‘ālâ) that means “to ascend,” or “to go up.” When it is used of God—“God Most High”—it refers to his elevated status above all of creation. By extension it refers to his absolute sovereignty. This sovereignty is revered by all who know him and at the same time it is an endless source of comfort because he is a place of refuge.

El Olam

Genesis 21:33
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.

Isaiah 40:28
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

The Hebrew term ‘ôlām means “lasting,” or “eternal” (see under “Eternity/Infinity”). This name means he is the everlasting God; the thought is equivalent to his eternality.


Genesis 15:2 (CF. 15:8)
Abram said, “O Lord god, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

Exodus 4:10a
Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent.”

The term “Adonai” (Hebrew ’adōnāy) is the generic title “lord.” In the Old Testament it is a title used as a general term of respect for anyone in authority (e.g. a husband, Gen. 18:12; a master, Exod. 21:4–8; a king, 1 Sam. 22:12; a governor, Neh. 3:5; and others). It is used as a name for God, but usually in a context with other divine names or with descriptions which indicate that the one being referred to is the true God.

When the names Adonai and Yahweh (YHWH) occur together in the Hebrew Bible, the convention of translating YHWH by “the LORD” would be confusing (“the Lord [Adonai] the LORD [YHWH]) and so in such cases LORD becomes GOD—using the capitals G O D.

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