“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Names are powerful. Culture has shifted over time and Westerners don’t seem to have as much depth and value for the potential in a name...besides the hipsters and Hollywood stars who seem to always name their kids the weirdest names in history (lol jk). Biblical Israel had a rich value for names...and ultimately it was reflective of God, who hides prophetic potential, identity, and function in a name. Good news is it’s not just for Bible times. Your name carries prophetic potential for your life!
I remember a while ago my friend gave a message similar to this very subject. It was on the genealogy from Adam to Noah. Yes, I know, very intriguing…
But check this out.
If you define the names of Adam all the way to Noah (found in Genesis 5) there’s a message hidden.
Adam - “man”
Seth - “appointed”
Enosh - “mortal”
Kenan - “sorrow”
Mahalalel - “The Blessed God”
Jared - “Shall come down”
Enoch - “Teaching”
Methuselah - “His death shall bring”
Lamech - “The Despairing”
Noah - “Rest, or comfort.”
The message is:
“Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.”
You mean the gospel of Jesus Christ is hidden in a genealogy written thousands of years before He came to earth?! Oh yes.
(this came from a teaching by Chuck Missler, you can find it here)
When my friend shared this, I was honestly blown away on a bunch of different levels. Like, the gospel was announced far before it’s time, the reality of God, and, for the sake of here and now - the message hidden in the meaning of a name!
It opened up a whole world of possibilities.
Let’s look at 3 different ways that prophetic potential is hidden in a name:
1. Hidden messages from God
Just like we saw in the genealogy from Adam to Noah - there can be hidden messages from God in name meanings.
Let me just say this, though, as a word of caution - we don’t want to go so deep into name meanings that we lose the basic meaning of the scripture and get off into weird doctrines that have nothing to do with Jesus.
The filter through which we look at everything is Jesus.
He is the Word of God. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
So let’s stay in line with Jesus and the overall counsel of the Bible.
That being said, I was nerding out on the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 recently.
The first 6 names go like this:
Abraham - “father of many nations”
Isaac - “laughter”
Jacob - “supplanter”, came to mean “deceiver” by connotation
Judah - “praise”
Perez - “breach, breakthrough”
Zerah - “a rising (as the sun) of light”
Here’s the messages -
“The Father laughs (at the) deceiver”
“Praise (gives birth to) breakthrough (like the) rising of a new dawn!”
These messages confirm what scripture says that God laughs at the enemy (Ps. 2:4) and that praise can awaken the dawn! (Ps. 57:8)
2. Name meanings carry prophecy for the individual
Matt. 1:21 tells us the reason Jesus was named “Jesus” was because He would save His people from their sins.
Did you know the name Jesus means “The LORD saves”?
In other words, His name carried a prophecy of what He would do and be for the people!
That’s just one name (the name above all names!) and you could look at many of the people in the Bible and see that their name meaning carried prophetic destiny, identity and function for their life.
Let’s talk about you though!
Did you know your name has a prophetic message hidden within it?
“But what if my parents didn’t know anything about this or even know God when they chose to name me?”
All I can say is God is bigger than all of that.
I also want to say that it’s not the same for everyone. Meaning, your name will have a significance for your life, but if someone else has your name, it doesn’t mean they have the same meaning.
In other words, there were plenty of people named Jesus in His day, but there was only one Savior!
My wife’s name is Rochelle. It means “little rock.” We like to say she’s a chip off the old block of Jesus. As a rock, Jesus is a firm place to stand and rely on. Honestly, my wife is one of the most steadfast people I know! She’s even keeled and reliable.
Another example includes a play on words. William Seymour was the leader of the Azusa street revival in the early 1900’s. Amazing power of the Holy Spirit was demonstrated in that revival. I believe that his name has a prophetic message: During this revival, it was the will of I AM for the church to see more! (read that again and then say his name William Seymour...you’ll get it).
3. Redemptive value in seeming negativity
“Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.”
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
The name Jabez means “he will cause pain” or “he makes sorrowful.”
Ayyyyyyy. That’s a potentially rough name.
But there’s always redemptive value when God is involved.
Either there’s a name change or a reversal of the meaning.
Jabez could’ve taken his name as his identity in a negative way and became what he was called - and as a result literally wreak havoc and pain on everyone in his life.
In his case, he cried out to God that his life wouldn’t fulfill the meaning of his name. And God granted it to him!
I’d like to say that Jabez still caused pain, except on the devil and his wicked plans!
That’s a prophetic reversal! Jabez - the one who causes pain on darkness everywhere he goes!
What about for us? We, who’ve been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and given new life in Christ, have the opportunity to enter into prophetic redemption in seemingly negative names.
My middle name is Wayne. It means “wagon maker, or wagon driver.” It came to mean by connotation to carry burdens. And so you could look at it like the one who carries the burdens of the people around them, etc.
Prophet James Goll actually has the same middle name - Wayne! We were talking about it one time and he shared with me this very principle. Instead of looking at it like you are weighed down by carrying burdens around, you have the ability to go to the foot of the cross in prayer and lay those burdens down!
In other words, the redemptive way to see it is that the name speaks of the ability to transfer burdens to the Lord through prayer! Instead of being weighed down, we get to lay them down! What a tremendous help we can be!
Turn it around and prophesy the positive potential!
I hope this gives you insight into the messages hidden in name meanings in scriptures as well as in your name! I pray that your study of the Word goes deeper and that God speaks to you about what He intended for you in your name!
You may even want to use this tool as a way to prophesy to people around you!
Here’s some helpful resources:
> Blue Letter Bible (go to concordance/interlinear, click the name in its original language for definition)
> Think Baby Names
> Online Etymology Dictionary
...and Google...I usually compare many sites to get a more comprehensive perspective.
What is the prophetic message hidden in your name?