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I happened to be looking for a certain verse in the Bible that referenced the sons of Issachar, and while doing this I couldn’t help but remember that the names of the people of Israel, in the Old Testament, always had a meaning to them.

Christians are very aware that names and their meanings are of a special importance throughout the Scriptures, especially when it comes to the names associated with our Savior . . . Jesus the Christ. I would venture to say we all know quite well what the name Jesus means and what His title, the name Christ means.

My curiosity perked, I looked to the name Issachar and in doing so came to several names that Bible readers are very familiar with . . . the names of the sons of Jacob. For a proper understanding, one needs to read the whole of chapters 29 and 30 of the book of Genesis to see how these names came about, but for our purposes here, let us consider each of Jacob’s sons and their names and I will supply, based on my research, the brief meaning of each . . .

  • REUBEN – “behold a son”
  • SIMEON – “hearing”
  • LEVI – “joined”
  • JUDAH – “let Him (God) be praised”
  • DAN – “he judges”
  • NAPHTALI – “my wrestling”
  • GAD – “good fortune”
  • ASHER – “happy”
  • ISSACHAR – “man of hire”
  • ZEBULAN” – “dwelling”
  • JOSEPH – “increaser”
Not exhaustive in definition but instead abbreviated to the simplest form, all these names of the sons of Jacob had meaning, and God meant it to be so.
As we note and remember these names of old we pause to recall to mind that there is One who bears a name that is above all names,
  • “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”(Philippians 2:9-11 – NKJV)
Guess we could safely say, “there really is something in a name!”

More About Names

Read Also:  Is There a Remez (hidden message) in Revelation 7? Why is Dan Missing?  This article explains how the list of the tribes in Revelation 7 give a prophetic message.  Very interesting!

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