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    What Does Your Name Mean? By PI Girl, Leah

    A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1).

    In this passage, “a good name” is referring to a good reputation…but in Hebrew culture, the name itself was just as important as the person and reputation it represented.

    Names were meant to describe the individual. Often, parents chose names based on their hopes for the future of their child. There were many times when God changed the names of those who followed Him to better suit the plan He had for their lives. Simon became Peter, meaning “a rock.” Abram became Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.”

    Likewise, when we are “born again” we receive a new name — Christian, meaning, “follower of Christ.”

    I once heard a story of young man who died from a motorcycle accident. While I personally didn’t know him, I knew many people who did and heard his story. At the time of his death, the boy had been in a relationship with a young woman who was an atheist. While her boyfriend’s death had been hard on her, from the tragedy she gathered comfort from the Savior and became a Christian. The boyfriend’s name was Jesse. Jesse means “God exists.”

    How cool is that?

    On the other hand, not everyone was given a name of honor. Take Jacob, for example. His name means “supplanter” or “usurper”–one who wrongfully seizes the place (throne) of another. And boy, does his name fit him! In Genesis 25, we see that Jacob exchanged stew for his starving older brother’s birthright, and in chapter 27, we see how Jacob tricks his near-blind father into bestowing that birthright upon him.

    So, must we always live up to our names? Some people may need to live their name down. For instance, my name, Leah, means “weary.” I certainly don’t want to go through life as a weary person…and many times when I go through somewhat weary spells, it feels as if I will. It’s something I have to fight–I have a name to live down. Ironically, my middle name is Kay, which means “Joyful.” This gives me hope as I strive for an attitude of joy through the weariness I sometimes face.

    Although Jacob’s story begins with him living up to his wretched name, ultimately he lives it down when he receives the name Israel, meaning “Prince of God.” Israel is very much like a prince. He later fathers a vast nation chosen by God, much like the eldest prince is chosen by the king to lead. This vast nation also takes the name Israel.

    So what does your name mean? If it’s honorable, do you live up to it? If it’s not so honorable, can you/do you live it down? What if your name doesn’t seem to have much of a meaning at all?

    If your name is like Brooke, meaning “stream,” you may be dismayed at first. It doesn’t seem to carry much importance. But what about for ancient civilizations? Streams and other small bodies of water were at the center of all cultures. People couldn’t survive without the water that these streams provided.

    Do a little research on your name. If you have the name of a Biblical character, read their story and learn about the type of person they were.

    Also, take the time to meditate on the name of God. The Bible calls Him many names, and each shows a different face of our Lord.

    A few of the many names of God:

    Jehovah-tsikenu: Jehovah our righteousness
    Jehovah-m’kaddesh: the Lord who sanctifies
    Jehovah-shalom: God our peace
    Jehovah-shammah: the Lord who is here
    Jehovah-rapha: Jehovah heals
    Jehovah-Jireh: the Lord my provider
    Jehovah-nissi: Jehovah my banner

    Get to know Him better by getting to know His names. Strive to imitate them. Strive to be a David, a man after God’s own heart. And strive to create for yourself a holy image so that one day your name will be remembered for all the good that you’ve done.

    Some common names and their meanings:

    Haley: “Hero”
    Diana: “Divine”
    Sarah: “Princess”
    Sheila: “Blind”
    Jenna: “Small Bird”
    Caitlin: “Virginal Beauty”
    Jessica: “Wealthy”
    Kara: “Friend”
    Makayla: “Who is like God?”
    Elizabeth: “My God is a vow”

    Written by PI Girl, Leah

    85 COMMENTS

    1. Abigail- My Father is Joy
      Rachel- Ewe
      Hannah- Favor or Grace
      Rebekah- To Join Together

      Behind the Names.com will provide meanings to all kinds of names. 🙂 Thank you for this. And my name is Hannah.

    2. man…my name is french. Véronique. BUT my name is french for my mom’s name! Sooo :
      “This was the name of a legendary saint who wiped Jesus’ face with a towel and then found his image imprinted upon it.”
      Meaning:”true image”
      I decided to look up my middle name too :
      “Fruitful place, park.”…hmm…interesting..

      Lol coolio! nice post!!

    3. My parents named all of my siblings(and me of course) names that have special meanings, and we all really seem to fit them. My older sister’s name, Kharis, means “grace” in Greek, and she has definitely lived up to her name. My name, Anastasia, means “resurrection” or “new life” and I was reborn at a very early age. My little sister’s name, Zoe, means “life” and boy IS she full of life! 😉 My little brother’s name, Nathanael, means “gift of God” and he loves to give gifts to others as well. My littlest sister, Shiloh, has a name meaning “peaceful” and she is very peaceful(for the most part) and cuddly. I plan on doing something like this when I grow up and have children of my own!!!

    4. My name is Ashley, which just means from the ash tree meadow or ash tree clearing…
      but, being extrememly trustful and faithful, i definately live up to my middle name: Faith! I love my middle name!
      (even though my first name is extrememly common… i have three friends with the same name!!!!)

    5. My name is really Elizabeth, though I am better known as Lizzie. Another translation of Elizabeth is “Consecrated unto God”. I really love that, because I promised my heart to God and I am forvever His. 🙂

    6. Just to let you guys know, Jehovah comes from when Jews thought saying YHWH was too holy. They stripped the vowels off of YHWH and put on the vowels of Adonay (which means Lord in Hebrew). Jehovah is not an accurate pronunciation of His Name. It is YHWH.

      • I’m Jewish, and I would like to know where you found this. It’s very cool. Also, the Jews still believe that the name of G-d is sacred, so I would be careful about saying his true name too freely. Some of them can be a little touchy.

      • My middle name is Marie too… my first name is Alexis which means defender/helper. So for me, Marie, in my case, means Defender of Sea of Sorrow. My name fits quite well with me, since I tend to argue for my friends who are hurting…. (i’ve been told I should be a lawyer) lol 🙂

    7. My name is loosely translated as “little Mary” (as in the Virgin), but it also holds more personal meaning. My parents were Vietnamese refugee and became close friends with a nun at a refugee camp in Malaysia. Her name is Maureen, and my mom named me after her. :3

    8. Mary: star of the sea, rebellion, sea of bitterness, or wished-for child. The Vigrin Mary.
      -interesting because after having two boys my parents prayed for a daughter and got me:)

      Elizabeth: God’s promise, God is my oath

    9. My name is Hannah, Grace of God. I really like my name, both my sister and I are named from the Bible. Cassia (Cassi) is a spice like Murhh or frankenscence(?) or something and Hannah was the mother of Samuel. I love my name!

    10. Jessica- Wealthy or God’s Grace
      Laura- laurel (which is a sweet bay tree symbolic of honor and victory)
      Christine- Follower of Christ

      WOW!!!! I do have God’s grace over me. Laura, my first middle name, makes sense because I do love to win and I’m very competitive. Christine is so true because I AM a follower of Christ!!! This is SOOOOOOOOOOO TRUE!!!

    11. Ashley~ means Ash tree/wood or clearing. At first I was like wow how exciting a tree but then I thought. a tree is almost always a sytmbol of life. This is supported by the Chinese meaning of Ashley which is light of the world (who is obviously in Christianity Jesus Christ but I take it to mean that I am to spread Him, the light of the world) As well as this The Ash is a tree of the olive family. It was cultivated during the Biblical times for the hardness of its wood. The wood of the ash tree was used as fuel and to carve images.
      (ISaiah 44:14)Then on a blog I really resignated with was this girl who after years of frustration because her name wasnt as nice or Biblically related as her friends, much like me who said this: “Ashley: She who rests in a place of sustenance, where she is spared from the famine, a place filled with resilient trees that produce manna and rain honey on God’s people.”
      Ive always hated my name and then I realized God uses all of our names for a purpose

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