A Name Ain’t Just a Name

Mesu Andrews BFFs

BIBLE NAMESIf you’ve read more than two chapters of the Old Testament, you’ve probably realized a name ain’t just a name. There’s a whole discipline, called Etymology, devoted to the study of names.

Giving names is an honor God bestowed on man while his fellowship was yet unbroken by sin. What a privilege our God gave Adam, when every animal paraded before man to be given a name:

“Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.”        Genesis 2:19-20

But God also had a purpose for allowing Adam to name the animals. When the man saw he had no “counterpart” as did the animals…

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.’”         Genesis 2:22-23

The Hebrew word for woman sounds like man, and the Hebrew word for man sounds like Adam. You see, Creation was created, but the names weren’t all that creative, were they?  😀

Getting More Creative

Cain came along and got more creative–unfortunately. Etymology on his name is uncertain. Cain could have meant possession, acquisition, or fabrication. All apt descriptions of the violent son of Adam and Eve, who killed his brother and was then driven away to build the first city—his ancestors becoming metal-workers.

Abel’s name, too, is foggy (pun intended), meaning breath, vapor or meadow. Also appropriate since his life was but a breath, cut down in his prime by Cain, who was jealous of his good-standing with God.

Scholars agree, however, that Noah’s name means rest. Interesting, isn’t it, that the man who worked for 100 years on an ark and saw the devastation of the whole world would be named rest?

Name Changes

What about those men—and one woman—whose names God changed? Did He always change their circumstances with the name, or was it simply a few letters’ difference?

  • Abram became Abraham, meaning father of a multitude.
  • Sarai became Sarah, meaning princess.
  • Jacob (deceiver) became Israel, meaning he strives with God.

Jesus was also in the habit of renaming folks:

  • Simon, the Galilean fisherman, became Peter (Cephas), meaning the rock.
  • Saul, the zealous Pharisee who persecuted the early church, became Paul, meaning small or humble.

As with all things, I believe God had a purpose for each change of name. Abram needed the assurance of not just ONE son, but that he’d grow into a nation. Sarai hadn’t been acting very honorably toward Hagar and needed to be reminded that she was of noble character–a princess whose descendants would one day rule nations. Jacob needed to realize that his striving hadn’t just been against men. He also been contending with God–forcing God into Jacob’s plan his whole life–but God would bless Israel in His time and in His way.

Simon was anything but a rock, when Jesus called him Cephas, but Peter became the very cornerstone of the early Church. And the arrogant Pharisee, Saul–well, perhaps he needed the constant reminder that he must remain small and humble in order to effectively minister for the Lord.  😉

A New Name

Guess what? You and I will get a name change in heaven—a secret for my Savior and me to share. An intimate name. Something He’s chosen specifically for each of us…

“…To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”       Revelation 2:17

My New Grand-Babies’ NamesTRINA--NAME CONTEST

Our family is doubly blessed this year. Both our daughters are expecting. Our youngest, Emily, is scheduled for a C-section on August 18th. She’s having a little girl and will name her Charleigh Rae (after two grandfathers, Charley and Ray).

Our oldest daughter, Trina, is expecting a boy and is due May 31st—but they’re keeping the name a SECRET!!!

That’s where the fun starts!

Grandbaby BOY Bonham Contest!

I promised y’all that our next contest would be one in which EVERYONE could participate. So here’s how it works:

  • Enter as many times as you’d like.
  • Your guesses will count for either the baby’s FIRST or MIDDLE names.
  • If no one guesses correctly, all entries will be included in a random drawing for the winner.
  • If more than one person guesses correctly, all correct entries will be included in a random drawing for the winner.
  • The winner may choose any ONE of the three prizes being offered:

BONHAM FAMILY 2013Tips and Hints

There are a lot of names out there, so to narrow the field, let me tell you a little about my kids/grandkids:

  • Daddy’s name: Jason David Bonham
  • Mommy’s name: Katrina Kay Bonham
  • Three sisters: Emilie Grace, Audrey Joy, Piper Faith

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