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There are several places in scripture that mention Israel receiving a new name that God is going to give them, but what’s so special about a name change? On the surface a name change seems to have very little significance, but as we dig into this subject, we’ll see that the name change is in response to hundreds of years of being a “byword” among the nations.
What Is A Byword?
Let’s start by looking at a few verses that reference Hebrews becoming a byword among the nations where they were driven.
“And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.” – Deuteronomy 28:37
“Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:” – 1 Kings 9:7
“Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.” – 1 Chronicles 7:20
“Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.” – Psalms 44:14
In order to get a little bit more context, let’s look at the definition of “byword” in English, then we’ll look at what it means in Hebrew.
English Definition of Byword
- Byword – one that personifies a type (stereotype), one that is noteworthy or notorious, epithet, a frequently used word or phrase.
- Epithet –
Hebrew Definition of Byword
- Mashal – parable, proverb, discourse, taunt, taunt-song
- It is a frequently used word.
- It can be used to describe, as it does denote the color black.
- It is used as a term of abuse, contempt, and hostility.
The world has been calling black people the “N” word for over 400 years as a means of tearing us down mentally. However, The Most High is going to call us by a new name in order to build us up again.
A New Name For Israel
There will come a time when we will no longer be referred to as the “N” word by the world. The new name that God will give us will be the name that the world will call us.
“And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.” – Isaiah 62:2
Not only will we receive a new public name, but we’ll also receive a new secret name that only God and the individual will know.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” – Revelation 2:17
Finally there will be one more set of new names revealed upon the return of Christ:
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” – Revelation 3:12
Overall, there are a lot of new names given out:
- Israel will receive a new name that everyone knows.
- Each individual will receive a new name that only they and God know.
- Christ writes his new name on each person.
While we don’t know what these names will be, we can safely assume that they will have a significant meaning. All throughout the Bible, people are named based on personality, physical appearance, and sometimes prophetically. We’ve touched on the point of the name change of Israel is to counter the “N” word that we’ve been called for hundreds of years, but the personal name change may be linked to the byword aspect of it as well.
- During slavery we were forced to take the name of the slave owner(s). Many of us still carry the names of those that enslaved our ancestors, and so it makes sense that Christ would break that link to our bondage to the Gentiles. By renaming us, he’s reclaiming us as his own.
The New Name of Christ
This brings us to the final point… the new name of Christ. We can’t agree on what to call him now. Here are just a few of the names I’ve seen people argue about:
God isn’t bound by semantics and I fully believe that if someone who has no clue what to call him due to the confusion on his real name… if they prayed to God while acknowledging that they don’t know which name is right, he’d honor their prayer. In short, we’re all 100% wrong about his name. His current name won’t even matter once this is all said and done, because he’s going to tell us his new name.
What Are Your Thoughts?
- Why do you think Christ is going to give Israel a new name?
- Why is our new name going to be a secret?
- Why is Christ going to give himself a new name?
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“And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” – John 8:45-47