In biblical times, a good name meant more than a good reputation. People understood that a name expressed the essence or identity of a person.

In the Near East, a person’s name identified something about their character or circumstances, such as birth or family. Genesis 17:17 provides an illustration of this practice: Sarah and Abraham named their son ‘Isaac,’ which means ‘he laughs.’ When God told 100-year-old Abraham that his 90-year-old wife would give birth, he laughed.

Because names were so significant in biblical times, the power to name someone or something demonstrated authority. Genesis 17:1-5 gives an account of God’s authority when he changed Abram’s name to Abraham. Similarly, Pharaoh conveyed his authority over Joseph when he renamed Joseph as Zaphenath-Paneah (Gen. 41:45).

When God told Moses, ‘I know you by name’ (Ex. 33:17), God was declaring that he recognized Moses for who he was, his character, circumstances, and identity. God still knows each of his believers by name; he completely understands who and what we are.


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Upcoming Tours

We would love to walk with you in the Holy Land. Here are upcoming opportunities:

Nov 01 — Nov 15, 2020
Walking with the Patriarchs
Led by George DeJong
Spring 2021
Israel in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Summer 2021
Ancient Paths to Modern Leadership
Led by George DeJong
Sep 18 — Oct 02, 2021
Israel & Turkey in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Fall 2021
Through the Roof
Led by George DeJong