What’s in a name?

When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.

Names have always been very important, especially in Biblical times. Whenever you read of a child being born, it almost always describes the meaning of that name. In this story, there is no meaning placed on the name John, but we read that it was given to Zachariah when the angel of the Lord visited him. Behindthename.com lists the meaning as “YAHWEH is Gracious”

My Name, Benjamin, comes from the bible as well, the youngest son of Jacob. My name means “son of the south” or “Son of the right hand” – the right hand being the position of power next to the father. I don’t know if that meaning puts any meaning to my life, but there are many people who name children names based on their meaning.

What does your name mean, and does it reflect your life?



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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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