Why is He Called Yeshua?
Isaiah 46:9-10 states:
“Remember things that happened at the beginning, long ago- that I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me. At the beginning I announce the end, proclaim in advance things not yet done; and I say that my plan will hold, I will do everything that I please to do.” (Contemporary Jewish Bible)
This is certainly a bold statement of proclaiming the end from the beginning. It is apparent that understanding the end involves understanding what has happened long ago. Also intermediate points in time are declared in advance as God says that he will “proclaim in advance things not yet done.” It is evident that at the time the book Isaiah was written, that Yeshua had not yet been born or atoned for sin through physical death. Perhaps God is letting us know that we can know more about the events and true purposes of Yeshua by digging into the past.
So why is He called Yeshua anyway. When most of the world uses the name Jesus Christ, why is some of the world- Hebrew Roots, Messianics, etc… calling His name Yeshua. The answer can be found through re-discovering the beginning, understanding the patterns and practices in naming, and applying this forward in time to the time of Yeshua. It is the premise of this blog to take God’s statements like Isaiah 46 seriously and to dig into what is really being stated, even if this means digging deep below the surface. In order to do so, we must understand the patterns of the “beginning” to apply them forward to discover the more recent past, the present, or the future.
So, let’s look at naming pattern presented in the scriptures. The first human being that God created was named Adam. The word “Adam” in Hebrew means man. Adam was also created out of the ground which is the Hebrew word “Adamah.” So, Adam’s name was defined by his creation. There are many other names that are defined by character traits, certain aspects of the person, or circumstances associated with the person. In some cases, the Hebrew text states exactly why a person’s name is stated the way it is. For example, the Hebrew text will state something like “And the child will be called Mercy, for God has been merciful to me.” This is just an example, but in the actual Hebrew text the Hebrew pairing of the name to a verb or indicator just jumps off the page, because the same Hebrew word is used. Unfortunately, the Hebrew name and verb or indicator is usually changed in the English so that they lose their association. Therefore, we cannot relate the name to a specific verb or indicator, as we can in the Hebrew. The following table shows the pattern played out for many names in the Tanakh or Old Testament. The English form of the specific indicator is underlined. For instance, the name Moshe (or Moses) means to draw out.
|Exodus 2:10||Moses||Out of water drew him|
|Genesis 29:32||Rueben||Surely has looked Yahweh|
|Genesis 29:33||Simeon||Surely has heard Yahweh|
|Genesis 29:34||Levi||I have born to him three sons|
|Genesis 29:35||Judah||I praise Yahweh|
|Genesis 30:6||Dan||Yahweh has judged me|
|Genesis 30:8||Naphtali||I have struggled with my sister|
|Genesis 30:11||Gad||With fortune|
|Genesis 30:14||Asher||In my happiness for sure to call me happy|
|Genesis 30:19||Issacar||Has given Yahweh my hire because I gave my|
|Genesis 30:21||Zebulun||This time will exalt me my husband|
|Genesis 30:24||Joseph||May add Yahweh to me another son|
I think the pattern is clear. There is a clear prescience set for naming in this fashion. This is not to assume that the verb or indicating trait is always given next to the name. However, there are many cases in scripture where it is given this way. Naturally, this table is not complete and there are probably many more examples like this. However, it does show the pattern that is easy to spot in the Hebrew, but absent from the English translations.
Of particular importance in this table is the name Judah or “Yahudah” in the Hebrew. “Yahudah” is the only word in the Tanakh that contains the four letters of the tetragrammaton- YHVH or the Hebrew letters “Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey.” The additional letter in “Yahudah” is the Hebrew letter “Dalet” which means door. This indicates that the tribe of Judah is the door to Yahweh. One can interpret this as all people must go through the line of the Messiah out of the tribe of Judah to reach Yahweh. There is no other way to reach Yahweh, except through the Messiah, who is of Jewish decent. Also, it can be inferred that rejecting the Jewish people or anti-Semitism is also rejecting the door to Yahweh Himself!
If we flip to the first chapter of the Brit Hadasha (New Testament), we can also see that this naming pattern carries forward for the Messiah- Yeshua. The table entry is shown below.
|Matthew 1:21||Yeshua||Which means the Lord saves|
The name Yeshua (also spelled Yashua) in Hebrew means Yahweh saves. This is written in the text in Matthew 1:21 and perfectly matches the pattern presented for naming in the Tanakh. Once again, this insight would be lost from looking at the English only, but knowing the Hebrew enables us to recognize the meaning. Salvation is also a character trait that describes the Messaiah. He is Yeshua; He is the one that saves!
This also provides further meaning to the text in the Tanakh and Brit Hadasha, because we can infer that when the text mentions Yahweh’s salvation, than this is also a specific mention of the Messiah Yeshua. These references are in addition to the many messianic prophesies in the text and aleph tav indicators which are apparent in the Hebrew- see The Greatest Revelation from Revelation.
Also notice that Yahweh’s name is a part of the Messiah’s name. Yeshua starts with “Ya” which is also in Yahweh. “Ya” is also in the names of many of the prophets such as: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) and Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) and key places such as Yarushalyim (Jerusalem). These are the people and places of Yahweh, the God of Isreal. This is where He has left His mark. Remember that in the book of Genesis (Bereshiet), Yahweh left His mark on Abram and Sara. He took a Hebrew letter “hey” from His own devine name and added it to their names to show that they were of Yahweh. They became Abraham and Sarah.
The question for us all is- Is Yahweh trying to leave His mark on us? How can we show that we are His and not of the adversary? I would suggest following the example of Yeshua the Messiah and keeping the commandments of Yahweh. The commandments in the Torah are what Yahweh designed as Holy, pure, and full of liberty (Psalm 119). The world tends to muddy the definition of sin and shun Yahweh’s commandments, but Yahweh’s people need to be steadfast in carrying out His commands to the best of our ability. Even if we receive persecution for various things, like not eating pork, observing the Sabbath, etc…. This is how Yahweh designed us to be set-apart or holy. We should carry out His purpose by being obedient to what He has instructed, His perfect instructions. We should carry these instructions out in obedience, just like Yahweh’s son Yeshua did for our example. Note that Shaul (Paul) was also zealous after the law of Yahweh and carried out His commandments. The Pauline Paradox by 119 Ministries is a great video series, which illustrates this directly from the scriptural text.