What’s In A Name?
by Christine Egbert
In hebraic thought one’s name is one’s destiny. With that in mind, let’s trace (biblically) the name of our Messiah, Yeshua, which is a transliteration (a foreign word or name spelled with the closest corresponding English letters) from His original Hebrew name, spelled with the Hebrew letters yod, shin, vav, and ayin. To begin our linguistic journey, we must go to Numbers 13:16, for there it recounts how Moses changed the name of Oshea, the son of Nun, to what transliterates into English as Yehoshua, rendered most often in our English Bibles as Jehoshua.
FROM OSHEY TO YEHOSHUA
By adding the tiny Hebrew letter “yod”, which corresponds to our “Y”, Moses changed, not only Oshea’s name to Jehoshua, but the meaning of Osha’s name, “Deliverer” or “Salvation” to “Yahweh Delivers” or “Yahweh Saves.” Now all languages develop contractions, like when “cannot” becomes “can’t” and “Samuel” becomes “Sam.” The contracted form of Yehoshua is Yeshua, which means “he will save.” In spite of the fact that names starting with the Hebrew “yod” have been transliterated into English using a 500 year old “J” (which, much to my chagrin, I recently learned was originally pronounced as a “Y”), in this article I will use the “Y.”
HOW DO WE KNOW HIS NAME WAS CONTRACTED?
So how do we know that the contracted form of Yehoshua is Yeshua? The proof can be found in Nehemiah 8:17 (KJV)
Neh 8:17 “… for since the days of Yeshua, the son of Nun, unto that day had not the children of Israel done so…”
Thus, Oshea became Yehoshua by adding a “yod”, and later got contracted to Yeshua by dropping the “ho” sound. Besides Nehemiah 8:17, where it specifically mentions Yeshua, the son of Nun, the Hebrew name Yeshua can also be found (according to my e-Sword) a total of 30 times in the Old Testament. Here are just a few of those passages, all quoted from the KJV:
Ezra 2:2 “Which came with Zerubbabel: Yeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel…”
In Ezra 3:2 “Then stood up Yeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests…“
Neh 7:7 “Who came with Zerubbabel, Yeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani…”
1Ch 24:11 “The ninth to Yeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah…”
2Ch 31:15 “And next to him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Yeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests…”
The Angel Gabriel
So when the angel Gabriel told Mary (Miriam in Hebrew) to name her child Yeshua, she understood why. Because the Hebrew name Yeshua literally means “he will save.”
Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name YESHUA for he shall save his people from their sins.”
So why have I taken the time to write an article on a subject which most of you who’ve returned to the Hebraic roots of your faith probably already know? I’ll tell you why. Because others are watching us, and because a lie is being spread on Face Book and throughout the Internet by a Baptist pastor named Steven Anderson, as well as many others, who claim the name Yeshua is not the real name of our Messiah, but a name that comes from modern Hebrew, and is less than 200 years old. Sadly, those foolish enough to fall for poor scholarship are not likely to be convinced by this article. But that’s okay, because I feel so much better having written it.