But who named them?
The question is not an idle one. God changed Abram's name to Abraham. He told Abraham to name his son Isaac, and He changed Jacob's name to Israel.
With Jacob, the training period of the Patriarchs came to an end. One of the first responsibilities He left to them was choosing names for their children. Jacob, in turn, let his wives choose. And oh, what names they came up with: names full of joy and hope, rivalry and tension, man and God. Consider:
- Judah - Praise God
- Levi - Connect with my husband
- Asher - Happy
- Dan - Vindication
Including the poignant names of Rachel's two sons, Joseph, "May God add another son to me," and Ben-oni, "son of my pain," on her deathbed. (Jacob changed Ben-oni to Benjamin, son of my good fortune.)
My son and daughter-in-law waited until after my grandson was born to choose his name: Isaiah Jaran Franklin. My son said "Our prayer is that he will grow up to cry out (Jaran) 'The Lord is salvation' (Isaiah) so that all may be free men (Franklin)." I love it!
Jordan's (granddaughter's name) is equally thoughtful. Born nine months after my daughter Jolene's death, she was given Jolene's initials and her middle name: Jordan Elizabeth Franklin. Her birth was a life-affirming gift from God in the midst of grief, and her name reflects that.
Like Abram and Jacob, God has chosen a new name for all of His children (Revelation 2:17).
What name did your parents choose for you? What name(s) did you choose for your children? How does the name reflect on you, your personality, the circumstances of your birth? What name would you choose for yourself?