What Is God’s Name in the Old Testament?

God was known by several names in the Old Testament. Which one is accurate?

Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S., examines many of the different names referring to God in the Old Testament.

I am sometimes surprised at how easy it is to answer some alleged Bible contradictions. And this one is rather easy. Imagine if someone came up to me and said, “What is your name? Is it Bodie or Mr. Hodge?” Well the answer is simple: it is both.

Should we assume that God has only one name and all others are contradictions in Scripture? That would be absurd. God often gave new names to people, such as Jacob becoming Israel or Abram becoming Abraham and so on. The names have meaning too. For example, Abram means “exalted father” and Abraham means “the father of a multitude.” The latter name obviously reflected the promise God made to Abraham about having countless offspring. So having more than one name is no contradiction at all.

God often revealed things by the name He gave for Himself. For example, Jehovah-Jireh means “the Lord provides.” In fact, the name Jehovah is derived from YHWH, the name God revealed to Moses. It is from a root word translated as “I AM” in the title “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). This helps us understand that God is the ultimate authority in all matters at all times and existence is predicated upon Him. In fact, there are a number of names that God reveals to us in Scripture. Here are some from the Old Testament:

Some Old Testament Names of God (Not exhaustive)1

Name Brief meaning Reference
Elohim God (Majestic plural yet used with singular verbs for God) Genesis 1:1
El God (singular) Genesis 7:1
El Shaddai God is sufficient/almighty Genesis 17:1
El Elyon God Most High Deuteronomy 26:19
El Roi God sees Genesis 16:13
El Olam God everlasting Genesis 21:33
El Gibbor Mighty God Isaiah 9:6
Jehovah “I AM WHO I AM” or Yahweh or “to be”; In English Bibles translated as “Lord Genesis 2:4 (Jehovah Elohim specifically here)
Jehovah-Magen The Lord my shield Psalm 3:3
Jehovah-Tsaddiq The Lord is righteous 2 Chronicles 12:6
Jehovah-Jireh The Lord provides or the Lord sees Genesis 22:14
Jehovah-Rapha The Lord heals Exodus 15:26
Jehovah-Nissi The Lord is our banner Exodus 17:15
Jehovah-M’Kaddesh The Lord sanctifies Leviticus 20:7
Jehovah-Shalom The Lord is our peace Judges 6:24
Jehovah-Rohi The Lord is our shepherd Psalm 23:1
Jehovah-Shammah The Lord is there Ezekiel 48:35
Jehovah-Sabaoth Lord of hosts Isaiah 1:24
Jehovah-Tsidkenu The Lord is our righteousness Jeremiah 23:5
Jehovah-Hoseenu (Asah) The Lord our Maker Psalm 95:6
Judge (Shaphat) The Judge Genesis 18:25
Mighty One (Abir) Mighty One Genesis 49:24
Branch (Tsemach) The Branch Jeremiah 23:5
Holy One (Kadosh) Holy One 2 Kings 19:22
Jealous (Kanna) Jealous Exodus 34:14
Deliverer (Palet) or (Rhuomai Greek) Deliverer 2 Samuel 22:2 and Romans 11:26
Savior (Yeshua) Savior Isaiah 43:3
Redeemer (Ga’al) Redeemer Job 19:25
Shepherd (Ra’ah) The Shepherd, overseer Genesis 49:24
Stone (Eben) of Israel Stone Genesis 49:24
Strength (Eyaluwth) Strength Psalm 22:19
Adonai Master or Lord (as plural); in English Bibles translated as “Lord” Genesis 15:2
Rock (Tsur) of Israel Rock Isaiah 30:29
King (Melekh) King Isaiah 41:21 [of Israel]; Psalm 74:12
Father (Ab) or (Abba Greek) Father Malachi 1:6 and Galatians 4:6
First (Ri’shon) and Last (Acharon) or (Protos and Eschatos in Greek) First and Last Isaiah 48:12 and Revelation 1:11
Immanuel God with us Isaiah 7:14