Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Transformations: What’s In a Name? Part One
By Brenda Cathcart
Last year, I had the privilege of teaching at a women's retreat during the period of the Counting of the Omer. The theme was transformations and the topic was a combination of meanings of names in Hebrew and what Yeshua taught after His resurrection during the Counting of the Omer. Since this is once again the time of the Counting of the Omer, I’ve broken the teaching into sections and will post them throughout the Counting of the Omer as we count up to the Feast of Weeks.
What’s In a Name? Part One
I’ve been asked to talk about two topics this weekend. The first is about names in the Bible. Names in the Bible have meaning. Some of our names have meaning too. Hopefully, you have discovered the meaning of your name today. But most of your names weren’t chosen for you because of the meaning of that name. My son’s name is Richard. When I was looking at names for him, I picked names that I liked and then I looked at what the name meant. Richard is from the Old Norman and means powerful leader. I liked that! So, I chose the name Richard. My daughter’s name is Rachel and I chose Rachel just because I always liked that name. Her name is from the Hebrew meaning ewe lamb. That meaning didn’t resonate with me nearly as much as the meaning of Richard. But I liked the name anyway so she became Rachel. Have some of you chosen names for your children based on the meaning of the name?
The first man’s name was Adam. His name means man or mankind. Adam was created from the dust of the ground. The word for ground is Adamah. We can read Genesis 2:7 as “The LORD God created Adam from the dust of the Adamah…” (Get your own dirt joke?) So, Adam just means mankind. Paul tells us that Jesus is like Adam, a second mankind.
1 Corinthians 15:45 NKJV 45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
The coming of Jesus is like a re-creation. Paul goes on to tell us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things are made new!”
The first woman’s name was Eve. In Hebrew the name is Chava which means to live. In the sense of a name, it means life giver. The Bible frequently tells us the meaning of the name when it is given.
Genesis 3:20 NKJV 20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
The second topic I’ve been asked to talk about is Jesus’ activities and teaching in the days after His resurrection leading up to His ascension and the Feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples. These two topics seem to be totally unrelated but as you will discover this weekend, all scripture including the names come back to the gospel story.
So what is the gospel story in the creation of Eve? Yes, the gospel story is in the creation of Eve! Let’s read the passage about Eve’s creation in Genesis 2:21-24.
Genesis 2:21-24 NKJV 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Adam was put into a deep sleep. The word for deep sleep is tardemah which comes from the word radam meaning to stun or stupefy into sleep or death. In other words, tardemah is just this side of death. Adam symbolically died to give life to his bride. His bride whom he named life came from out of his flesh. Jesus, the final Adam, did die to give life to His bride. And we are like Eve, both the body and the bride of Christ. And through our testimony, we spread life to the rest of the world.
Ephesians 5:25-32 NKJV 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Out of the sleep and waking of Adam, comes forth Eve or life. Out of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the final Adam, comes forth life.
Paul quotes Genesis in this passage and the word “join” that Paul uses in this quote is the Hebrew word dabaq. It means to cling to, cleave, join, and adhere to. But it also means to pursue hard. Did you notice that it is a man who is to leave his father and mother and join to his wife? He is to “pursue hard” after his wife. Jesus did that for us. He left His Father and His home in heaven to come down to earth, taking on human form, to pursue us. He went so far as to die for us. That is amazing love!
1 John 4:9-10 NKJV 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Romans 5:8 NKJV 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Wow! All that in the creation of Eve! Here’s a simpler one. Let’s just look at the names from Adam to Noah along with their meanings.
Seth: Is appointed
Enos: feeble, frail, mortality
Cainan: A fixed dwelling place
Mahalael: God who is praised
Jared: to descend, comes down
Enoch: to train up
Methusalah: A man sent forth
Lamech: smitten, beaten and tortured
Noach: rest, comfort, quiet peace.
Mankind is appointed to feeble, frail, mortality, a fixed dwelling place. God who is praised comes down to train up as a man sent forth to be beaten, smitten bringing rest, a quiet peace.
Once again, we see the gospel story hidden in the scriptures for us to see. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 25:2: KJV "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter." This is the theme verse of this blog.
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart
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