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Hebraic Roots of the Scriptures (Part 2)

Revive Israel, Featured Blog by Asher Intrater, August 7, 2019

Hebrew Names

Because of the historic split between Judaism and Christianity, the consistency of the biblical plan has often been missed. One way to start to grasp the consistency is simply to recognize the Hebrew roots of the names of some New Covenant figures. 

Jesus’ name is Yeshua, ישוע . Yeshua is a shortened form of Joshua or Yehoshua יהושוע in Hebrew which means “YHVH saves.” The name Yeshua should connect us with:

  • The name of YHVH.

  • The name of Joshua the conqueror

  • The word for salvation.

Another example is the name of Yeshua’s mother, which is not Mary in the Hebrew but Miriam, מרים. Miriam was the first prophetess, a leader of worship and dance, and the sister of Moses. Many Jewish girls took on that name.

Anna, the praying prophetess in Luke 2, is actually Hannah, named after חנה, the praying mother of Samuel. Simon Peter is Shimeon שמעון, like the second son of Jacob. Emanuel is three words: עם with, אנו us, אל God. Christ is Messiah, Mashiach, משיח meaning anointed one, particularly prophet, priest and king. 

Zebulun and Zebedee

We could share hundreds of word and name associations, some obvious, some less. Here is one you might have missed. In the gospels, two of the three lead disciples were the Zebedee brothers, John (Yokhanan) and James (Jacob, Yaakob). This name is connected to the tribe and son of Jacob, through Leah, Zebulun. The word “Zebed” means endowment gift. Genesis 30:20 –

God has endowed (zebed) me with a good endowment (zebed) gift; this time my husband will give me an endowment (zebel) because I have given him six sons; therefore she called him Zebulun.

Zebedee and Zebulun are basically the same root word in Hebrew. In some sense, the disciples of Yeshua could have been called the sons of Zebulun.

The tribe of Zebulun lived in the area of the Sea of Galilee. The Zebedee family also lived there. Yeshua started His ministry in the area of Zebulun with the sons of Zebulun-Zebedee.

This fulfilled God’s promise: Matthew 4:13-15 – Yeshua left Nazareth and came to live in Kephar Nahum beside the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was said by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled, “the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.” (Isaiah 9:1)

The name Zebed or Zaved or Zavadya appears many times in the Scriptures. For example, in the list of names in chapter 10 of the book of Ezra alone, the name appears 6 times. 

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