High Lights- What’s In A Name?
Parashah Vayishalach (and he sent)
Isaiah 62;1 For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be still, until her righteousness emanates like bright light, and her salvation blazes like a torch. 2 Nations will perceive your righteousness and all the kings your honor; and you will be called by a new name (SHEM), which the mouth of HASHEM will pronounce (NAQAB). 3 Then you will be a crown of splendor in the hand of HASHEM and a royal diadem in the palm of your God. 4 It will no longer be said of you “Forsaken One,” and of your land it will no longer be said “Desolate Place”; for you will be called “My Desire Is In Her,” and your land “Inhabited,” for HASHEM’s desire is in you, and your land will become inhabited. 5 As a young man takes a maiden in marriage, so will your children settle in you; and like a bridegroom’s rejoicing over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. 6 Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted guardians (SHAMAR); all the day and all the night, continuously, they will never be silent. ‘You who remind (ZAKAR) HASHEM, be not silent! 7 Do not give Him silence, until He establishes and until He makes Jerusalem a source of praise in the Land.
–Shem (shame)- an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character.
The Isaiah text we open with is weighty with all the might and glory of God’s design and promise for His people. When the light of Yeshua, our Salvation shines forth from His city, His land and from within His people…Israel shall no longer be called forsaken and desolate. She will be given a new name pronounced (Naqab- to puncture; literally to perforate, figuratively to specify, designate.) by God Himself. Not only is she taken joyfully in Marriage, but He posts guardians over her, whom will constantly call her “to mind” before Her groom.
Zakar (zaw-kar)- to mark (as to be recognized); to remember; to mention; to think on.
So, what’s in a name? Is a name an identity? Does it consist of character? Is it a legacy? Is it a label? Is a name a destiny? Can a name be an objective? Can it be an assignment? Can a name be a reputation?
What does it mean biblically when there is a change of a name? What does it mean when God gives you a new name?
There is a resounding theme of sound in the Isaiah text. It is God assigning and declaring this new name, the guardians (the word Shamar- to hedge about with thorns; guard and protect; attend to. is used, not necessarily meaning a physical being appointed to guard, more that He will attend to and guard Jerusalem.), the protection of God that will be seen over Israel will bear witness and make mention that He is keeping His promises and will continue to do so until Israel is known as a praise over the whole earth. That God Who loves and chooses her is making the truth and infinity of His word evident as He lifts her up and keeps her safe, inhabited, desired and fruitful in a world of desolation, drought and death. His fidelity to Israel will testify to His honor, Israel’s miraculous prosperity amid chaos glorifies His Great Name.
Genesis 32;20 He similarly instructed the second, also the third, as well as all who followed the droves, saying, “In this manner shall you speak to Esau when you find him. 21 And you shall say, “Moreover- behold your servant Jacob is behind us.'” (For he said, “I will appease him with the tribute that precedes me, and afterward I will face him; perhaps he will forgive me.”) 22 So the tribute passed on before him while he spent that night in the camp. 23 But he got up that night and took his two wives, his two handmaids, and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 24 And when he took them and had them cross over the stream, he sent over his possessions. 25 Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. 26 When he perceived that he could not overcome him, he struck the socket of his hip; so Jacob’s hip socket was dislocated as he wrestled with him. 27 Then he said, “Let me go, for dawn has broken.” And he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 28 He said to him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Jacob.” 29 He said, “No longer will it be said that your name is Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with the Divine and with man and have overcome.” 30 Then Jacob inquired, and he said, “Divulge, if you please, your name.” And he said, “Why then do you inquire of my name?” And he blessed him there. 31 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel- “For I have seen the Divine face to face, yet my life was spared.” 32 The sun rose for him as he passed Penuel and he was limping on his hip.
–In the Torah Portion Vayishalach we find Jacob on the run again. He ran from home as instructed by his mother Rebecca to escape the wrath of his brother Esau who sought his life. He runs from Laban as instructed by God after Joseph is born to establish his place and assignment in the land of promise. It seems at this point he has no where left to run as Esau approaches him with 400 men whom his sent ones (Malak-messengers also translated as angels) report, mean business. [Genesis 32;4 Then Jacob sent angels ahead of him to Esau his brother to the land of Seir, the field of Edom. 7 The angels returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother, to Esau; moreover, he is heading toward you, and four hundred men are with him.” 8 Jacob became very frightened, and it distressed him. So he divided the people with him, and the flocks, cattle and camels, into two camps.]
Jacob is faced with the very thing which caused him to flee in the first place…the sin of his past. The deception of his father and whatever merit the reasoning behind it may hold…the wronging of his brother in taking his firstborn blessing (i.e. the double portion.)
Because of these sins he in turn has tasted deception from the hand of Laban who placed Leah in the bridal veil instead of Rachel which has cost Jacob years of hard labor and trial. Yet all this time he has trusted in God and been resourceful in all his dealings with man. By the usage of his talents and God given traits he has prospered and been blessed by God. Now he faces his past, the things which God wishes to free him from before he enters into the Promised Land.
Before he can take up his covenant assignment and place in the land he struggles with “a man”(Iysh). Could this “man” be a mortal being? Jacob later identifies “him” as Divine. Could this be just any ole angel? “He” has the authority to change Jacob’s name. The authority of this divine manifestation is clear to Jacob as they grapple (Abag) till dawn, and he seeks a blessing. It is as Jacob nears what he must see as the ‘fight’ of his life, that he finds himself “face to face” with the Lord, who challenges him, encourages him, blesses him and gives him a new name.
The name Jacob, heel-catcher; i.e. sup planter…. which is connected with the sin of his past is replaced with Israel, the title which embodies the covenant promise. Interestingly, it seems important enough for Jacob to inquire of the name of this “man”, who does not divulge it. God allows him to taste true humility as he falls completely on the Lord for assistance as he limps up to Esau, physically injured but spiritually revived. Shedding his identity as sup planter and embracing a new destiny as Israel (Yisrael- he will rule, as God).
What past sins have we been running from? Is there anyone we have not yet faced and repented to? Ask the Lord to speak to your heart and by the Spirit according to His will, be willing to listen to what the Lord will reveal to you.
Genesis 17;1 When Abram was ninety years old, HASHEM appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai (God Almighty); walk before Me and be perfect. 2 I will set My covenant between Me and you, and I will increase you most exceedingly.” 3 Abram threw himself upon his face, and God spoke with him saying, 4″As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You shall be a father of a multitude of nations; 5 your name shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations;6 I will make you most exceedingly fruitful, and make nations of you; and kings will descend from you. 7I will ratify My covenant between Me and you and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your offspring after you; 8 and I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojourns- the whole land of Canaan- as an everlasting possession; and I shall be a God to them.
15 And God said to Abraham, “And as for Sarai your wife- do not call her name Sarai, for Sarah is her name. 16 I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son through her; I will bless her and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples will rise from her.”
-God appears to Abram as a very specific Name. El Shaddai- God Almighty. He comes with the authority of the supreme, absolute and all-powerful identity of El Shaddai when he changes Abram’s name to Abraham, giving him part of God’s own identity- the Yud Hey Vav Hey- in adding the Hey to the end of his name. He does the same for Sarai as He changes her name to Sarah (again investing some one His own Name on to hers, by adding the Hey at the end.) He comes with not only a change of name which expands the original meanings of both names (Abram- high father to Abraham- father of a multitude; Sarai- princess to Sarah- princess of nations) but the Lord comes with this advancement of assignment at the re-confirmation of the covenant, just prior to the visit of the “three men” who would announce the promised birth of Isaac, the son of the covenant, father of Israel, picture of the Messiah Yeshua. It is El Shaddai Who reminds us in this age, when doubt and disaster loom fresh in our minds and in the world around us…that He is Strong enough and far beyond Capable enough to handle all of it on our behalf, if we would but lower our knees and drop our chins before Him and place everything in His Almighty hands.
Revelation 2; 16 Therefore, turn from these sins. Otherwise, I will come to you very soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. To him winning the victory I will give some of the hidden man. I will also give him a white stone, on which is written a new name (ONOMA) that nobody knows except the one receiving it.”
–Onoma (on-om-ah)- a “name” literally or figuratively (authority or character).
For the times we find ourselves alive I find it very encouraging to take note that there will be battle, challenge, obstacle, offense and snare… but along with all of it, perseverance and victory. If one can season oneself now for the challenges that are sure to come, equipping ourselves with the value in the lessons the Lord is teaching us right now through trials we can be more prepared when that Day comes. When it comes, the Victory in trusting in Yeshua through all things, we are promised sustenance from heaven and a new name…I pray that our character in this world can be a model for those around us as we imitate our Messiah and strive to be more and more like him. Put on His Great Name and let him shine through you now that when there is drought, hunger for righteousness, famine and woe He will return and see your lamp, uncovered and well lit.
Genesis 35;1 God said to Jacob, “Arise- go up to Beth-el and dwell there, and make an altar there to God Who appeared to you when you fled from Esau your brother.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Discard the alien gods that are in your midst; cleanse (TAHER) yourselves and change (CHALAPH) your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Beth-el; I will make there an altar to God Who answered me in my time of distress, and was with me on the road that I traveled.” 4 So they gave to Jacob all the alien gods that were in their possession, as well as the rings that were in their ears, and Jacob buried them underneath the terebinth near Shechem. 5 They set out, and there fell a Godly terror on the cities which were around them, so that they did not pursue Jacob’s sons.
9 And God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 Then God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. You name shall not always be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” Thus he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a congregation of nations shall descend from you, and kings shall issue from your loins. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give to you; and to your offspring after you I will give the land.” 13 Then God ascended from upon him in the place where He had spoken to him. 14 Jacob set up a pillar at the place where God had spoken with him- a pillar of stone- and he poured a libation upon it, and poured oil upon it. 15 Then Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Beth-el.
–The first thing we need to establish after reading the text above is: where did these plural alien gods come from? [Genesis 34;27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and they plundered the city which had defiled their sister. 28 Their flocks, their cattle, their donkeys, whatever was in the town and whatever was in the field, they took. 29 All their wealth, all their children and wives they took captive and they plundered, as well as everything in the house.] Post horrific rape of Dinah comes the slaughter of the Shechemite men and plunder of the city. We should recognize that apparently all the sons who were able bodied took part in the plunder, noting that in previous verses the Torah are specific, “Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi…” When they plunder they take the surely numerous pagan idols as well. Perhaps they thought they could use the precious metals in a different way, perhaps to melt them down for future use as an offering to God in some way? The Lord makes it clear, He does not want anything to do with these objects and one can not make the profane holy no mater how you dress it up. One can not take a pagan holiday, practice, or anything else and transform it into something precious by doing it in God’s name, with the “right heart”.
The Lord is about to bring Israel to Beth-el, a place where He speaks to His chosen and guides them toward their next step in life’s journey but He asks that they shed all their idols first.
Jacob seems to understand that this means not only the items from their possession but anything associated with “the world” they just came from. They remove the clothing and jewelry that could be bound up in pagan worship (keeping in mind clothing is key in identification at this time). Additionally they are to cleanse themselves.
Taher (taw-hare)- to be bright; to be pure (physically sound, clear, unadulterated); Levitically, uncontaminated; morally, innocent or holy.
It is the removal of the imitation of idolatry, the separation from the world and its own traditions and practices, the donning of God’s established design and His purposes for us aside from our own plans and customs which makes a person set- apart, holy, and clean in His sight.
This change is to be made with intention and with severity and with urgency.
Chalaph (khaw-laf)- to slide by; to hasten away; pass on; spring up; pierce or change.
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RdJvQg7YqI )
Once these idols and all connection to them are shed, again God “appears” with a blessing and officially changes Jacob’s name to Israel. The blessing is the same He gave the first man after his creation…it is as if from this point on Israel is a new creation [Genesis 1;27 So God created Man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea, the bird of the sky, and every living thing that moves on the earth.]
When one truly does shed a former self, dying to all that was once associated with a sinful name; when a person become truly set apart for God according to His design never bowing to a culture which would deign to paste His great Name onto even the hint of idolatry…it does feel as if you are “starting from scratch”. You really have to begin a new, the changes will be so evident and so deep, they will be so vast and powerful that you might find yourself ‘alone’ at some point. But God promises HE will be with you on the road which you travel and protect you from distress, He will give you a charge, a purpose, an identity, a calling and goal…unadulterated by the world, shining bright! The glimmer and shimmer of the corrupted gold you bury will be replaced by the armor of truth and the Honor of His Name as your banner.
Isaiah 56; 3 A foreigner joining ADONAI should not say, “ADONAI will separate me from his people”; likewise the eunuch (barren one) should not say, “I am a dried-up tree.” says: ” 4 For here is what ADONAI says: “As for the eunuchs who keep My Shabbats, who choose what pleases Me and hold fast (CHAZAQ) to My covenant: 5 in My House, within My Walls, I will five them power and a name (SHEM) greater than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting (OLAM) name that will not be cut off (KARATH) . 6 And the foreigners who join themselves to ADONAI to serve him, to love the name (SHEM) of ADONAI, and to be His workers, all who keep the Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to My covenant, I will bring them to My Holy Mountain and make them joyful in My House of Prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for My House will be called a House of Prayer for all peoples.
-Chazaq (Khaw-zak)- to fasten upon; to seize; to be strong (figuratively courageous); strengthen; fortify; repair; to bind.
Karath (kaw-rath)- to cut (off, down or asunder); to destroy or consume; specifically, to covenant (by cutting flesh and passing through the pieces).
Olam (o-lawm)-concealed; the vanishing point; eternity.
The Isaiah text above is an incredible statement from the Lord to ALL people who take hold of His covenant with strength (chazaq). These people will be given a good name from the sons and daughters of God Most High. The Hebrew covenant language speaks of an eternal name that will not be destroyed. The text is specific about the sign of the covenant, the Sabbath. Those who join themselves to the Lord to be his workers and servants will also keep and safeguard the Sabbath. The Feasts of the Lord, which our master Yeshua observed, are considered Shabbat’s as well. The text goes on to state that there will be burnt offerings in that Day. The attachment to these Sabbath’s themselves are united with this Everlasting Name the Lord will give His people in that Day, and the stranger who is not an Israelite or a Jew is openly included in this opportunity and blessed invitation. The Sabbath and Feasts are not Jewish Dates to observe, they are for the Lord and His people called by His Name. [Leviticus 23;2 Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: HASHEM’s appointed festivals that you are to designate as holy convocations- these are My appointed festivals. Leviticus 26;2 My Sabbaths shall you observe and My Sanctuary shall you revere- I am HASHEM.]
(Sabbath on Sunday? Article: http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Rm%2014%20&%20Sabbath.pdf
Genesis 35;16 They journeyed from Beth-el and there was still a stretch of land to go to Ephrath, when Rachel went into labor and had difficulty in her childbirth. 17 And it was that when she had difficulty (QASHAH) in her labor that the midwife said to her, “Have no fear, for this one, too, is a son for you.” 18 And it came to pass, as her soul was departing- for she died- that she called his name Ben Oni, but his father called him Benjamin. 19 Thus Rachel died, and was buried on the road to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. 20 Jacob set up a monument over her grave; it is the monument of Rachel’s grave until today.
–Qashah (kaw-shaw)-to be in dense; tough or severe.
Rachel is going to pass from this world and the final act she will do is giving birth to her second son. She gives him the name Ben Oni- son of my trouble. This name is the picture of the first coming of Yeshua the Messiah who came humble riding upon a donkey, the suffering servant. [Isaiah 53;3 He was despised and isolated from men, a man of pains accustomed to illness. As one from whom we would hide our faces; he was despised, and we had no regard for him. 4 But in truth, it was our ills that he bore, and our pains that he carried- but we had regarded him diseased, stricken by God, and afflicted!] Jacob, the father, changes the name his mother had given at first to Benjamin- Son of the Right Hand. This name is the picture of the return of Yeshua, who will come from the right hand of the Father, riding a white horse as conquering King.
[Revelation 19;11 Next I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the one called Faithful and True, and it is in righteousness that he passes judgment and goes to battle. 12 His eyes were like fiery flame, and on his head were many royal crowns. And he had a name written which no one knew but himself. 13 He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood, and the name by which he is called is, “THE WORD OF GOD.”]
Tereo- to guard; hold fast.
Logos- something said; a motive; the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ)
Periasmos- experience (of evil), solicitation, discipline, provocation; adversity; temptation.
Grapho- to “grave”, especially to write; figuratively to describe.
To the one who guards the Word, the one who holds fast to the Torah in Flesh, Yeshua the Messiah…He will engrave upon you the Name of God and the Kingdom, the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 3;10 Because you did obey(TEREO) the message (LOGOS) about persevering, I will keep (TEREO) you from the time of trial (PERIASMOS) coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test. 11 I a coming soon; hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 12 I will make him who wins the victory a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he will never leave it. Also I will write (GRAPHO) on him the name of my God and the name of my God’s city, the new Yerushalayim coming down out of heaven from God, and my own new name. 13 Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.
We are to live a life as if we have the identity of the Lord within us, with His own charge upon us. We are to exist, not as though we can perform any handiwork by our own merit, but with the understanding and purpose that comes from knowing we have the responsibility to uphold His reputation, His character, His Name. As parents carefully and painstakingly consider and ask God to help them choose the names of their children, along with this name should come a goal, a role, an assignment, a divinely ordained hope for their future. This is what our Father has done for us. As He said to Abraham, walk before Me and be perfect. His destiny is ours as well. To take the Word and message to the world and wear Him as our classification. His Own Covenant People. So what is in a name? If it is Name of our Lord Yeshua, everything! The Lord asks us to come as children, and to encourage and invite all men in His Name, to know Him.
Matthew 18;1 At that moment the talmidim (disciples) came to Yeshua and asked, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” 2 He called a child to him, stood him among them, 3 and said, “Yes! I tell you that unless you change and become like little children, you won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven! 4 So the greatest in the Kingdom is who ever makes himself as humble as a child. 3 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me; 6 and whoever ensnares one of these little ones who trust in me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in open sea! 7 Woe to the world because of snares (SKANDALON)! For there must be snares (SKANDALON), but woe to the person who sets the snare (SKANDALON)!”
-Skandalon (skan-dal-on)- “scandal”; trap-stick; snare (cause of displeasure or sin); occasion to fall (of stumbling); stumbling block; offence; thing that offends.
There is trouble on the horizon, there is hardship at hand…it is IMPOSSIBLE that there will not be challenges for believers now and in the future but we are equipped and honored with the Name of our Lord Yeshua upon us. It is the proximity to the Word and Living Torah of the Lord that will allow us to identify the snares the destroyer wishes us to fall into.
Luke 17;1 Yeshua said to his talmidim (disciples), “It is impossible that snares (SKANDALON) will not be set. But woe to that person who sets them!
Matthew 13;40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up in the fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all the things that cause people to sin (SKANDALON) and all the people who are far from Torah; 42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where people will wail and grind their teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let him hear!
–We have the most amazing wealth of trustworthy promises for that Day when Messiah Yeshua reigns. New identity, new names, new clothing, standing as immovable pillars in the House of our King! Persevere! Remain steadfast and strong! Count on Him alone! Always keep our victory in your sight, because we know His Name, and He knows ours! We have a place and assignment with Him, allow the trust and acknowledgment of this fact to be the only authority and power in your life.
I Corinthians 15;51 Look, I will tell you a secret- not all of us will die! But we will all be changed! 52 It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed. 53 For this material which can decay must be clothed in imperishability, this which is mortal must be clothed with immortality. 54 When what decays puts on imperishability and what is mortal puts on immortality, then this passage in the Tanakh will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
–Avinu Malkeinu, my Father my King…
I bow at Your feet and beg for Your mercy. Mercy for this nation and this generation. Mercy for my household and my soul. I ask that You reveal Yourself to all those who can not see you, now…
that You open the ears of all those who do not hear You, now…that You open the hearts of all men to know that You desire to Place Your Name upon us…that we be Your servants in delight for eternity.
Thank You for Your Word, thank You for Yeshua. I pray that in any of our efforts You never be dishonored or ashamed of us, but rather turn Your face toward us for blessing.
Lord I ask that in the Day of Your glory and eternal reign, our names and roles be called before You.
That we be granted a humble place among Your legion to forever praise You.
Everything in Yeshua’s Name, by the Power of the Holy Spirit and according to Your Will do I ask these things….
Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
Stone Edition Tanach
Complete Jewish Bible