10 Biblical Names of God (and What They Mean for Us Today)

Debbie McDaniel

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Updated Apr 03, 2024
10 Biblical Names of God (and What They Mean for Us Today)

The Bible uses different names of God to convey specific, personal meaning and identity. There's great power in a name. It says who we are, it's what we are known by to all those around us. And there's nothing so powerful as the name of our Lord God. The Bible says the name of the Lord is like a strong tower; the righteous can run to it and be saved. In a world that often feels chaotic and fear-filled, His name is the one to hold close.

God's character, and God's name remains the same through all generations. He is fully trustworthy, always powerful, forever loving, and constantly present with us. Studying what God’s Word says about all that He is can help us to understand his very nature and character even more.

If you need some extra reassurance today, find hope in His powerful name. He is the God of miracles and nothing is impossible for Him. He split the seas, and delivered His people straight through, away from all their enemies. He offered His protection through desert days and lovingly led them in the wilderness to the promised land. He provided a way for us to be saved through His Son Jesus Christ, and He gave us His Spirit to help us today. Don't believe the lie that God is distant, too busy, that He doesn’t care about you, or that He is just waiting for you to mess up so he can tell you all you've done wrong. That's not who his name says He is.

We hold the promise that His love is everlasting, His mercies are new every morning, and His faithfulness is great. Jesus told us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength…” A good way to walk that out daily is to know God’s very character through the power of His name.

Pray these truths back to Him, focus on one each day, or write them down in a place where you can be constantly reminded of His awesome presence in your life.

10 Names of God – Bible Meaning and Relevance Today:

elohim name of god

1. Elohim - “God”

Elohim means “God” – This name refers to God’s incredible power and might. He is the One and only God. He is Supreme, the true God in a world that promotes many false gods and religions. He is the one on whom we can fully rely, He is Sovereign, He is the one we can completely trust. He is the Mighty One over all of nature, this world, and the heavens above, our creative God who has worked wonders by His hands. God reminds that He is Elohim every single day. His amazing power is at work in every sunrise, every sunset, in the way He holds the stars in the sky, and carries His people through difficult times. You can be assured, you are held by an Almighty God, you never have to fear, God’s hands are strong and secure.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1

The name Elohim occurs more than 2,250 times in the Bible. Elohim [yihl\a] (God), a plural of Eloah [;H/l\a], occurs more than 2, 250 times, sometimes with an addition such as "God of Abraham/Israel" but mostly it is free-standing. Next to Lord (Yahweh), Elohim is the major designation for God. Elohim refers to "deity" but comes virtually to be a name for the true God. Elohim sums up what is intended by "god" or the divine.

From the Bible's first sentence the superlative nature of God's power is evident as God (Elohim)speaks a world into existence (Genesis 1:3 Genesis 1:6 Genesis 1:9). His actions also bespeak his power, enabling barren women such as Sarah and Rebecca to conceive (Genesis 18:10 Genesis 18:14 ; 25:21), bringing an oppressed people out of Egypt (Exodus 20:2), and with power raising Jesus Christ from the dead (Rom 1:1-4). Believers, Peter writes, are "shielded by God's power" (1 Peter 1:5). In the name Elohim is fullness of divine power. [Bakers Evangelical Dictionary]

Save this PDF to your phone or share with loved ones - Hope in the Waiting: A 15 Day Prayer Guide for Trusting God

yahweh name of god

2. Yahweh - “The Lord”

Yahweh means “The Lord” – Yahweh is derived from the Hebrew word for “I AM,” it is the proper name of the divine person, coming from the verb which means to “exist,” “be.” When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses was scared. He needed reassurance, he needed to know God was bigger than this problem, that He would carry them through, that even if people wouldn’t listen to him, they would listen to the One who sent him. Because His name carried that much awe and honor. He said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, The God of you fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, “I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:13-14

God’s name, Yahweh, is one of authority. It is one that holds great power, and says to all who hear, “I AM the One, true God, follow me.” God is still the “Great I AM,” for He never changes. We can trust His loving leadership in our lives, just as Moses did. He calls us for his specific purposes, reminding us that He knows our way and He has a plan.

Yhwh, the tetragrammaton because of its four letters, is, strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. It is also the most frequent name, occurring in the Old Testament 6, 828 times (almost 700 times in the Psalms alone). Yah is a shortened form that appears fifty times in the Old Testament, including forty-three occurrences in the Psalms, often in the admonition "hallelu-jah" (lit. praise Jah). English Bibles represent the name yhwh by the title "Lord" (written in capitals to distinguish it from "lord").

In the postexilic period the Jews, for reverence reasons, did not pronounce the name but substituted for it the word adonai (lord), and in written form attached these vowels to the tetragrammaton. The resulting misguided pronunciation of the name yhwh as a three-syllable word, Y [J]ehovah, continued in English Bible translations until early in the twentieth century. Evidence from Greek usage in the Christian era points to the two-syllable pronunciation, "Yahweh."

The theological significance that attaches to the name yhwh is multiple. Judging from the etymology, but more particularly from the context in which the name is disclosed (Exod 3:12, 14; 6:2-8), the name signifies "presence." God is "with, " he is near and among his people. This overtone of presence is reiterated in the naming of the wilderness structure as "tabernacle", and in the promised name Immanuel ("God with us, " Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23). Yahweh is present, accessible, near to those who call on him (Psalm 145:18) for deliverance (107:13), forgiveness (25:11), and guidance (31:3). Yahweh is dynamically near, but as God (Elohim) he is also paradoxically transcendent.

The name yhwh defines him as involved in human struggle. Yahweh's name is forever tied, through the exodus event, with salvation and liberation (Exod 15:1-13; 20:2-3). The salvation promise given in Exodus 6:6-8 is an expansive one, including intimacy with God and blessings of abundance, but is decidedly bracketed first and last with "I am Yahweh." The name yhwh is prominent in salvation oracles (Zep 3:14-17) and in petitions (Psalm 79:5, 9; 86:1). The salvation dimension of the name recurs in the announcement of the incarnation: the one born is to be called "Jesus" for (as an echo of the name yhwh) "he will save his people from their sins" (Matt 1:21). In the name yhwh God's character as the savior of a people is revealed.

Theologically the name of Yahweh resonates with covenant, partly because in the explication of the name in Exodus 6:6-8 the covenant formula is invoked ("I will be your God and you will be my people"). The name yhwh is a name to which Israel can lay particular claim. In covenant, matters such as justice (Isa 61:8) and holiness (Lev 19:2) have an extremely high profile.

The name yhwh is anything but empty. The name carries overtones of presence, salvation defined as deliverance and blessing, covenantal bondedness, and integrity. [Bakers Evanglical Dictionary]

abba name of god

3. Abba - “Father”

Abba means “Father” – Abba is the most intimate form of God’s name, showing us His character as our loving daddy. He is the One who can be fully trusted, the One we can lean on, the One who cares about all that concerns us. Just as a godly father’s presence in our daily lives is one of protection, security, and unconditional love, the constant presence of our heavenly Father is what gives us the strength and covering we need for this life’s journey. This is one of my favorite names of God because in it He conveys His heart for each of us, as His children. He gives us the privilege of being called his own sons and daughters. He provides the way for us to call out to Him and the assurance, beyond a doubt, that He hears and will answer. In our most difficult to painful times in life, we can crawl up into the lap of our heavenly Father, and know that He is for us, and His arms will hold us secure.

“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6

The name Abba Father is the word for God in the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:2)  The epithet is strikingly frequent in John (108 times) and also in Matthew (forty times). The range of meanings includes those of authority and discipline, but also those of compassion, care, protection, and provision.

el elyon name of god

4. El Elyon - “God Most High”

Means “God Most High” – El Elyon is a name used through the Old Testament revealing God is above all gods, that nothing in life is more sacred. He is indeed the Lord Most High, the One who reigns supreme. He is greater than any force of darkness in this world, He is bigger than any problem we might come up against in this life. In daily life struggles and battles, we sometimes just need to be reminded that God is still in control. He never will lose His power and might, though the world feels dark many days, He has conquered death and sin. He is Mighty. He is Lord. He is exalted over all things.

“I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Psalm 7:17

The name El Elyon derives from the root "go up", "ascent", so that El Elyon may be thought of spatially as the highest. Closely linked to temple services, twenty of its forty-five occurrences are in the Psalter. Sometimes the compound is construed as a name: "It is good to make music to your name, O Most High" (Psalm 9:1). El 'Elyon denotes exaltation and prerogative and belongs to "monarchical theology" for it speaks of absolute right to lordship. In the same vein may be found the question, "Who is like you?" (Psalm 35:10). [Bakers Evangelical Dictionary]

el roi name of god

5. El Roi - "God Who Sees”

El Roi means “The God Who Sees” – I love the kindness and care that this name holds as it points to God’s character. He is one who chases after us, who follows us with goodness. He is the one who sees us when we feel lonely, all on our own, or when we just need the reminder that God is close. The name El Roi says to us that God is watching over all, that He sees the affairs of people, and knows when we feel lost and unloved.

When Hagar had run away to a desert place far from those she felt hurt and betrayed by, we see God surround her with so much grace and care. He didn’t leave her alone in her troubles. Nor will He leave us to fend for ourselves through difficult times. This story of God’s name reminds us that He is always close, that He sees us when we feel that no one else does and that He cares.

“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." Genesis 16:13

el shaddai name of god

6. El Shaddai - “God Almighty”

El Shaddai means “God Almighty” – God’s name, El Shaddai, reminds us that He is all-powerful, He is the Mighty One, He is the 9-1-1 (Psalm 91:1) to run to. And we can find refuge and rest in His shadow. This is comforting in a world where we face many battles day by day. Sometimes it’s hard to know who we can trust, we may feel unsafe or uncertain in circumstances surrounding us. We want to know that our loved ones are protected and covered in His care, especially when they’re away from us. This verse and God’s reminder that He is the Almighty gives us the security and assurance that nothing else around us can offer. He is the God who sees all, knows all, and has the power to go before us, walk with us daily, and cover us from behind. Dwelling in God’s presence gives us shelter and rest.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

To Abraham God appears as God Almighty, El Shaddai (Gen 17:1). The designation "Shaddai, " which some think is the oldest of the divine names in the Bible, occurs forty-eight times, thirty-one of which are in Job. The traditional rendering "God Almighty" is debated. A consensus of sorts holds that "shaddai" is to be traced, not to the Hebrew, but to an Accadian word that means "mountain" so that the expression produces a meaning like, "'El, the One of the mountains." If so, El Shaddai highlights God's invincible power. Or, the name may point to his symbolic dwelling. The juxtaposition of El Shaddai and El 'Elyon (Num 24:16; Psalm 91:1) may suggest that El Shaddai is a God who is chief in the heavenly council, whose residence was sometimes broadly associated with mountains (Hab 3:3). [Bakers Evanglical Dictionary]

yahweh yireh name of god

7. Yahweh Yireh - “The Lord Will Provide”

Yahweh Yireh means “The Lord Will Provide” – God will provide for our needs. Every one of them, He is faithful, He is able, nothing is too difficult for Him. Sometimes His timing is different than ours, maybe we feel that He’s forgotten and hasn’t heard our prayers. Sometimes we get our “needs” and “wants” mixed up, and other times He knows what is better for us than we even know ourselves. 

We can trust Him, that His timing is perfect, and that all things are possible for Him even when we can’t see a way out. Abraham found this to be true. Alone with his son Isaac in the wilderness, He knew and trusted that God would provide for a sacrifice in place of his only child. He believed in God’s character and knew Him to be faithful, loving, and the God who will provide. Often it seems, that God tests our hearts like He did Abraham’s that day. He wants to know what we’re willing to lay down before Him before He opens the doors of provision and blessing. May we be found faithful.

“So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” Genesis 22:14

yahweh nissi name of god

8. Yahweh Nissi - “The Lord Is My Banner” 

Yahweh Nissi means “The Lord Is My Banner” – This is the name of God that proclaims His protection, leadership, and deliverance for His people. Just as God brought divine protection for the Israelites against their enemy, the Amalekites, He offers us protection and deliverance today from the enemies we may face in this life. While Joshua and the people fought against their enemy, Moses stood on top of a hill with God’s staff in his hands. The Bible tells the story that even though Moses grew weary when his hands were lifted by those who supported him, the Israelites were winning, and when his hands lowered the Amalekites were winning. It was clear to all who gave them the victory that day. 

Sometimes we spin our wheels trying to battle through our hard days in our own strength. We get weary, we get upset, we get angry, and we end up losing it. God’s reminder is to all Him to be our banner, our protector, that One that is able to lead us and give us supernatural victory against forces and obstacles that come against us. If we allow Him to be in control, He will do more on our behalf, than would ever be possible on our own.

“Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.” Exodus 17:15

jehovah rapha name of god

9. Jehovah Rapha - "Healer"

Jehovah Rapha means "Healer, the Lord who heals you" – This name brings so much comfort and hope to many of us who have prayed for healing and deliverance from disease, illness, brokenness, or painful circumstances. It reminds us that God knows we’re in need of help, He understands we’re in need of healing, and He promises to redeem every broken place in our lives.  He never leaves us on our own to fend for ourselves. Without Him we couldn’t have hope for true freedom and healing, but just as God brought miraculous deliverance from all types diseases and difficulties throughout His word, He promises to act on behalf of His people still today. Sometimes the healing doesn’t come in the timetable or way that we would choose, and that can be hard. But as believers we still have this hope and assurance: we will live forever free in heaven, far away from the burdens we’ve carried here in this life. Jesus promises to make all things new, and God will wipe away every tear.

He said, "If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you." - Exodus 15:26

yahweh shalom name of god

10. Yahweh Shalom - “The Lord Is Peace”

Yahweh Shalom means “The Lord Is Peace” – God is the only One able to give us the peace that passes all of our own understanding. Gideon knew this well from a time that he and his people were surrounded by a fierce enemy. There was nothing about that time that seemed “peaceful.” And yet, God showed up strong on their behalf, He was faithful and brought deliverance straight through fear-filled days. Maybe that’s why Gideon felt so led to build an altar to the Lord and call it, “The Lord is Peace.” In times of greatest darkness, he had seen how true this was. 

The peace of God often doesn’t make sense to a world that would tell us to hurry and worry. A world that seems hard some days, and often so full of struggles. In the midst of it all, He reminds us that He is our true peace, so we never need to fear. No matter what we face.

“Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace.” Judges 6:24

names of god, names of god in the bible

15 Additional Bible Names of God and Jesus Christ

"I Am" ~ Exodus 3:14 John 8:58

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

"Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ~  Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

"Alpha and Omega" ~  Revelation 1:8

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

"The Word" ~ John 1:1 John 1:14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

"Our Righteousness" ~  Jeremiah 23:6

In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

"Creator" ~  Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

"King of Kings, Lord of Lords" ~  Revelation 19:16

On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

"Redeemer" ~ Isaiah 44:6 Isaiah 41:14

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.

Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

"Shepherd" ~ John 10:11 Psalm 23:1

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

"Immanuel" ~  Matthew 1:23

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

"Messiah" ~ John 1:41

He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).

What is your favorite name of God in the Bible and why? Let us know in the comments section! 

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.    Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Rasica, Video Credit: InVideo

This article is part of our Names of God Series featuring the most used names and titles of God found in the Bible. We have compiled these articles to help you study all that God says He is and to help you understand His nature and character. Our hope is that you would focus on these truths and find hope as you rest in the promise of God’s presence, no matter the circumstances.

7 Meanings of Yahweh - God's Name in the Bible
Meaning of Elohim in the Bible
What Does it Mean that Jesus Is the Lamb of God?
What Does Messiah Mean? - Biblical Usage
God Is the Alpha and Omega - Meaning & Understanding

What Is the Meaning of the Name El Shaddai?
Jehovah Jireh: “The Lord Will Provide” Name of God
What Does Yeshua Mean? Biblical Name for Jesus
Jehovah Nissi: "The Lord Is My Banner" Name of God
Son of Man - Jesus’s Favorite Name for Himself

Originally published Friday, 09 September 2022.