Hallowed be Thy Name poses the excellent question, which one?
In Hebrew culture, the name of a person is more than just a form of identification. There is an example in Genesis 49:16 “Dan shall judge his people.” The name Dan means ‘judge.’
Naomi applied the process to herself. “She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” (Ruth 1:20) Mara means ‘bitter.’
Adam means ‘man, red earth, clay or dust.’ “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen 2: 7)
Jewish people delighted to tell me, my name Ron means ‘joy.’ They danced to a joyful song which began ‘Roni, roni.’
The gentile Ruth displayed strong loyalty to the Jewish people. Ruth means ‘friend or companion.’ How wonderfully appropriate?
Mary and Joseph named Jesus according to prophecy. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt 1:21)
A more accurate translation says ‘you shall call His name Yeshua’ which in Hebrew is Yeshua Ben Yosef (Yeshua the son of Joseph).
The Hebrew name Yeshua means ‘Salvation’ and the ‘The Lord, who is Salvation.” Very significant!
It was anglicized to be ‘Jesus’ because the Greek transliteration of Yeshua is Iesous, pronounced ‘ee-ay-sus’. There are strong opinions about which name is the right one. I think Christians in the West can refer to the Lord as ‘Jesus’ without fear of retribution.
His name conveys important aspects of His divine character which fits with the Hebrew custom.
Jesus Himself, underlined the importance of the name when He said to the Father: “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” (John 17: 6)
The Lord prayed this very personal prayer in preparation for His crucifixion.
Yeshua was satisfied that He had faithfully represented the authority, power and character of the Father. He had made His name known, literally. He spoke almost directly from Psalms. “I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.” (Psalm 22: 22)
The ‘name of God’, according to the Ungers Dictionary, ‘indicates the entire administration of God by which He reveals Himself and His attributes to men.”
Truly God reveals Himself to His people (Zech 10:12)
“We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks, For Your name is near; Men declare Your wondrous works.” (Psalm 75: 1)
There is truly great power in His name.
“I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your loving-kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.” (Psalm 138: 2)
The writer of Proverbs puts the question very directly.
“Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!” (Prov, 30:4-6)
A study of Jewish adoration and worship highlights how seriously they regarded ‘the name.’ They write the word God as G-d’ for fear they might take His name in vain. Under no circumstances will they erase that word.
Their reverent observation is well known and even respected by those who realize how so many have died rather than deny or dishonor Him.
The right awareness of the name of God is commanded. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20: 7)
God has made Himself known through numerous names and they all focus on His divine nature and His attributes.
In Genesis 1: 1-3 He is Elohim, the all-powerful creator. In Genesis 16:11-14 He is El Roi, the God who sees.
He introduced Himself to Moses as ‘I am.’ (Exodus 3:14) This is the name Yahweh, which is spelt YHWH, the tetragrammaton (meaning ‘four letters.) It occurs about 6,800 times and in English translations often appears as ‘Lord.’ Basically it means God Self Existent.
It is not possible to provide an exhaustive study of the names of God in this brief review. There are names like El Shaddai (Genesis 17: 1-3) meaning God Almighty, Immanuel – ‘God with us’ (Isaiah 8:8-10), Jehovah-Rohi – ‘The Lord is my shepherd’ (Psalm 23: 1-3) and Jehovah-Tsidkenu – ‘The Lord my righteousness’ (Ezekiel 36:26-27, see also 2 Corinthians 5:21).
These and many others identify the amazing qualities He has revealed to us.
When Jesus taught the model prayer to His disciples he referred them to the overwhelming majesty and awe-inspiring attributes of the Father. Now our Christian faith sees all of that identity summed up in the Lord.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9: 6)
He is the full and complete representation of the Mighty God, Eternal Father. This is the stuff of worship. How is it possible to dwell on Him and not bow down and praise His holy name?