God’s name is not actually “God”. That is just one of His many titles. The Bible calls God by many proper names – most commonly YHWH or Yahweh. However, there are many other names for God from the Bible.
“Elohim” (or Elohay) is the first name for God found in the Bible, and it is used throughout the Old Testament over 2,300 times. Throughout the Bible, Elohim is combined with other words to describe certain characteristics of God. Some examples:
- Elohay Elohim – God Of Gods: (Deuteronomy 10:17).
- Elohay Kedem – God of the Beginning: (Deuteronomy 33:27).
- Elohay Marom – God Of Heights: (Micah 6:6).
- Elohay Mauzi – God Of My Strength: (Psalm 43:2).
- Elohay Mikarov – God Who Is Near: (Jeremiah 23:23).
- Elohay Mishpat – God Of Justice: (Isaiah 30:18).
- Elohay Selichot – God Of Forgiveness: (Nehemiah 9:17).
- Elohay Tehilati – God Of My Praise: (Psalm 109:1).
- Elohay Yishi – God Of My Salvation: (Psalm 18:46).
- Elohim Chaiyim – Living God: (Jeremiah 10:10).
- Elohim Kedoshim – Holy God: (Leviticus 19:2, Joshua 24:19).
“El” is another name used for God in the Bible, appearing about 200 times in the Old Testament. El is considered the shortened form of Elohim, and is often combined with other words for descriptive emphasis. Some examples:
- El De’ot – The God Of Knowledge: (1 Samuel 2:3).
- El Echad – The One God: (Malachi 2:10).
- El Elyon – The Most High God: (Genesis 14:18).
- El Emet – The God Of Truth: (Psalm 31:6).
- El HaKadosh – The Holy God: (Isaiah 5:16).
- El HaNe’eman – The Faithful God: (Deuteronomy 7:9).
- El HaShamayim – The God Of The Heavens: (Psalm 136:26).
- El Olam – The God Of Eternity (Genesis 21:33).
- El Yeshuati – The God Of My Salvation: (Isaiah 12:2).
- El Yisrael – The God Of Israel: (Psalm 68:35).
- Immanu El – God Is With Us: (Isaiah 7:14).
“Elah” is another name for God, used about 70 times in the Old Testament. When combined with other words, we see more descriptive attributes of God. Some examples:
- Elah Sh’maya – God of Heaven: (Ezra 7:23).
- Elah Sh’maya V’Arah – God of Heaven and Earth: (Ezra 5:11).
- Elah Yerush’lem – God of Jerusalem: (Ezra 7:19).
- Elah Yisrael – God of Israel: (Ezra 5:1).
“YHWH” (or YHVH) is the Hebrew word commonly translated as “Lord”. It is found more often in the Old Testament than any other name for God (approximately 7,000 times). The name is also referred to as the “Tetragrammaton”. YHWH is the special name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you… this is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations'” (Exodus 3:14-15). Although some pronounce YHWH as “Jehovah” or “Yahweh,” no one really knows the proper pronunciation. The Jews stopped pronouncing this name long ago out of fear of breaking the commandment “You shall not take the name of YHWH your God in vain” (Exodus 20:7). (Modern rabbis typically use “Adonai” in place of YHWH.) Here are some examples of YHWH used in scripture:
- YHWH Elohim – LORD God: (Genesis 2:4).
- YHWH M’kadesh – The LORD Who Makes Holy: (Ezekiel 37:28).
- YHWH Nissi – The LORD My Banner: (Exodus 17:15).
- YHWH O’saynu – The LORD our Maker: (Psalm 95:6).
- YHWH Shalom – The LORD Of Peace: (Judges 6:24).
- YHWH Tzidkaynu – The LORD Our Righteousness: (Jeremiah 33:16).
- YHWH Yireh – The LORD Who Sees/provides: (Genesis 22:14).
There are literally hundreds more names and titles for God in the Bible. I have barely scratched the surface.