taken from


                                                         Names of God




                                                        Nathan Stone


"And the name of the city from that day shall be Jehovah-shammah" (Ezekiel 48:35).

The meaning of the name Jehovah-shammah is Jehovah is there. In the light of its

setting and significance it is a most fitting name with which to climax the Old

Testament revelation of God, By His various names Jehovah had revealed Himself

in the power and majesty and glory of His person and as meeting every need of that

 man whom He had made in His image and for His glory. His name Elohim revealed

Him not only as Creator and Ruler, but as covenanting to preserve His Creation.

The name Jehovah revealed Him in special relationship to man. For since that

name indicates absolute self-existence, and therefore One who is infinite and

eternal, it could be revealed only to creatures who could apprehend and

appreciate the infinite and eternal. And since the name Jehovah sets God

forth in His moral and spiritual attributes, the special relationship between

Him and the crowning work of His Creation, the man made in His image,

was a moral and spiritual one. That moral and spiritual relationship was broken

by man's disobedience and sin and fall. After that, the names of God compounded

with Jehovah reveal Him as providing redemption for fallen, sinful man, and

depicting every aspect of that great transaction of redemption by which man is

fully restored to God-healing, victory, peace, sanctification, justification,

preservation, care, and guidance. Jehovah-shammah is the promise and pledge

of the completion of that purpose in man's final rest and glory, for man's end is to

glorify God and enjoy Him forever. For, as Paul says, "Whom he did predestinate,

them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he

justified, them he also glorified" (Romans 8:30), a past tense, but speaking the

language of eternity.




The name Jehovah-shammah is found in the last verse of the Book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel began his prophecies at a time when the nation Israel was at the lowest ebb

of its history, spiritually and nationally. The sun of its strength and glory had long

set, and the night was fast closing in. Every one of his prophecies was uttered in

captivity where he had been taken several years before the destruction of Jerusalem.

The last great vision and prophecy was uttered in the twenty -fifth year of the

captivity and fourteen years after Jerusalem had fallen, the Temple destroyed,

and only a poor, miserable remnant left in the land. Israel's spirit was broken, and

Ephraim's crown of pride was laid low in the dust. It appears they had been delivered

from bondage in Egypt only to go into bondage in Babylon. By the rivers of Babylon,

 the psalmist tells us, they sat and wept, as they remembered Zion. Song had departed

from them. They hung their harps upon the willows. 'How shall we sing Jehovah's

song in a strange land?" they answered their captors when they demanded of them

one of the songs of Zion. In the land of their humiliation and sorrow they had time

to reflect upon their follies and to realize the pleasantness of their heritage now

laid waste and the beauty of Jehovah's sanctuary now destroyed. Then they vow:

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not

remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not

Jerusalem above my chief joy" (Psalm 137:5, 6).


Perhaps with the passing of the years, or with the easing of the conditions of

captivity, enthusiasm for Zion was beginning to wane. At any rate, the Ezekiel

who twenty -five years before had prophesied to the early captives in Babylon

the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, now brings this prophecy of hope

and consolation which predicts the restoration of land and people in a measure

far beyond anything they had ever experienced in the past, or could have

imagined. The pledge of all this is the name Jehovah-shammah. Jehovah is



The Jehovah who had departed from the old Temple, desecrated by the

abominations of His people (Ezekiel 10:18, 19; 11:22-24) and destroyed by

His judgments, now returns by the same way into a new and glorious city and

Temple, purged of all the old abominations and oppressions, and characterized

by righteousness, justice, and holiness. The glory of Jehovah would fill this

new place, and His presence would dwell and abide there forever (Ezekiel 43 :1-7).

Ezekiel heard a voice saying to him: Son of man, this is the place of my throne,

and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children

of Israel forever." All this vision Ezekiel was commanded to take back from

Jerusalem, where he had been taken in spirit, to the captives in Babylon, for

their heartening and hope.





The uniqueness and glory of Israel's religion as contrasted with the religions of the

surrounding nations had always been the presence of a holy God dwelling in their

midst. The condition of His continued presence among them was to be their

faithfulness to a covenant by which they promised to be a holy people to this

holy God. This again was in striking contrast to the surrounding nations whose

worship was as cruel and licentious as their gods.


Jehovah had promised His presence among His people from the beginning.

Whatever the outward symbols or manifestation, the Presence was real and felt,

"Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee

into the place which I have prepared," He said to Moses (Exodus 23:20). In v. 23,

this angel is "my Angel." He is the angel of Jehovah who appeared to Moses at

the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), and who announces Himself to Moses as the

"I am that I am"-Jehovah Himself (Exodus 3:14, 15). In answer to Moses' plea

to continue with His people in spite of their great sin and provocation, Jehovah

says: "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." And Moses

continues: "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein

shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it

not in that thou goest with us?" (Exodus 33:14-16). Moses reminds the children

of Israel as they are about to enter the Promised Land "because he loved thy fathers,

therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out with his presence"

(Deuteronomy 4:37, ASV). And in a wonderful passage of Scripture, Isaiah

remarks: "In all their affliction he was af flicted, and the angel of his presence

saved them: in his love and pity he redeemed them; and he bare them and carried

them all the days of old" (63:9). In a beautiful psalm, which tells of David's desire

and purpose to build a house for Jehovah to dwell in, we read: "Arise, O Jehovah,

into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength . . . . For Jehovah hath chosen Zion;

he bath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever: here will I dwell;

for I have desired it" (132:8, 13, 14).


Both tabernacle and Temple were the place of His abode and His visible manifestation

in Israel. The New Testament makes it quite clear that these Old Testament edifices

were figures of the true, the pattern of things in the heavens (Hebrews 9:23, 24).

Everything about them was highly typical of God's presence and glory. Of their free

and willing gifts the children of Israel erected these costly and beautiful buildings.

As soon as the tabernacle in the wilderness was completed and dedicated, we are told

that the glory of Jehovah filled it, and the cloud of Jehovah was upon the tabernacle

by day, and there was fire therein by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel,

throughout all their journeys (Exodus 40:34-38).


David desires to build a "house" for Jehovah to dwell in because all these centuries

since they had first entered the land Jehovah had "walked in a tent and in a tabernacle"

(II Samuel 7:5 -7). And when that magnificent Temple was built by his son Solomon

on the very site of Mount Moriah, where Jehovah had revealed Himself to Abraham

as Jehovah-jireh, a great and dramatic scene ensued. At the end of Solomon's great

prayer of dedication, the fire, fitting symbol of Jehovah's presence and power, came

down from heaven, consumed the sacrifices on the altar, 'and the glory of Jehovah

filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of Jehovah, because

the glory of Jehovah had filled Jehovah's house" (II Chronicles 7:1 -3).


The fullness of Jehovah's presence was the hope and end of all prophetic e xpectation.

After the glorious prophecy of Messiah's universal reign in the eleventh chapter, Isaiah

pens a beautiful psalm of praise in chapter 12 which ends with the words: "Cry out and

shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."

Also speaking of a future fulfillment, Jeremiah says: "At that time they shall call

Jerusalem the throne of the Lord" (3:17). "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city

of God," says the psalmist of Zion (Psalm 87:3). Of the city trodden under foot and

despised, Isaiah says: "They shall call thee The City of Jehovah, The Zion of the

Holy One of Israel" (60:14). In Psalm 46, that great psalm of confidence, Jehovah

is represented as "the indwelling Helper." Here mention is made of "the city of God,

the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her . . . .

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." Whereas all about in

the earth is turmoil and tumult, war and ruin, there is safety, security, tranquility,

in the city of Jehovah's constant presence.


But to return to Ezekiel's vision and prophecy, was the fullest meaning of the name

Jehovah shammah to be realized in any earthly habitation? "Will God," asks King

Solomon on the very occasion of the dedication of the Temple, "will God in very

deed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain

thee; how much less this house that I have builded!" (1 Kings 8:27).


The orthodox Jewish interpretation of this vision has always been a strictly literal one.

Its fulfillment is to be realized in an earthly Jerusalem, a temple rebuilt and the

sacrificial system restored. Then Messiah is to come and reign as the Son of David

with Jerusalem as His throne and the spiritual and political center of the earth. So

Jehovah-shammah is realized.  Some Christian interpreters have also supported

the view of a strictly literal interpretation and as having no other significance.

Others have interpreted the vision only in a typical, spiritual sense, as having no

literal fulfillment whatever in an earthly Jerusalem and a restored, national Israel.

There are still others who combine the two interpretations and declare that the

vision has both a literal fulfillment and a wider, spiritual and final fulfillment.

Israel will indeed be restored to their land and resume their worship. Messiah,

the Prince, will indeed appear for their salvation and the setting up of His

kingdom when every knee shall bow before Him and every tongue confess

Him as Lord. But there is an even fuller, a final application to be made of this

prophecy, that of a new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness,

a home eternal in the heavens. For it is quite obvious that even though Ezekiel

was bidden to carry this vision back to Babylon for the hope and encouragement

of the captives there, it had a much larger significance than could ever have been

realized by their return. And as a matter of fact, nothing in the program of this

vision was adopted by them when they did return.





It has been seen that the fulfillment of this name was limited in the Old Testament

both in its manifestation and scope. Every manifestation of God's presence in the

midst of His people, though real, could only be but a shadow of a glorious reality

to come. As to its scope, it was limited to the nation Israel.


In the New Testament dispensation it has a wider scope in that it is more spiritual

than symbolic, and more personal rather than national. For now it has been fulfilled

ideally in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  As man and representing the human

race "the whole fullness of God was pleased to dwell in him" (Colossians 1:19,

margin). He was the effulgence of God's glory and the very image of His substance

(Hebrews 1:3, ASV). "The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us," says

John, "and we beheld his glory" (John 1:14). Thus He became "God with us," the

Immanuel of Isaiah 7:14, the Child, the Son, the mighty God, the everlasting

Father of Isaiah 9:6 . The One who in the Old Testament came in occasional,

mysterious appearance as the Angel of Jehovah, the Angel of His Presence,

the Angel of the Covenant, the Angel in whom is Jehovah's name, became

in Christ both the Presence itself and the Temple in whom the Presence resided

so that in Him and of Him it could be said Jehovah-shammah, Jehovah is there.


This Presence is now in believers as living temples of God. "Know ye not that

ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you"

(I Corinthians 3:16).  "What agreement hath a temple of God with idols?" Paul

further says to the Corinthians: "For ye are a temple of the living God; even as

God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and

they shall be my people" (II Corinthians 6:16).


Like Israel of old, the Church as a whole, as the Body of Christ, is also called the

habitation of God. Of the true Church it can be said, "Jehovah is there." Speaking

of the Gentiles, Paul calls them no more strangers but fellow citizens together

with believing Jews, with the saints, and of the household of God, built on the

same foundations of apostles, prophets, and Christ the chief cornerstone. He

describes it as a building fitly framed, growing into a holy temple in the Lord,

a habitation of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22). Christ promised His abiding

presence to His Church (Matthew 28:20), being present even where two or three

should be gathered in His name.  It will certainly have a larger fulfillment yet

for Israel in a millennial kingdom. Of a restored Israel and Palestine, where

every man shall dwell safely under his own vine and fig tree, when the mountains

of the house of Jehovah shall be established (Micah 4:1-6), and Messiah,

The Branch, the beautiful and glorious Branch of Jehovah, shall build the

temple, and bear the glory and rule as prince and priest upon His throne, with

counsels of peace (Zechariah 6:12, 13), there can be no doubt unless the plainest

prophecies are so spiritualized as to rob them of all sens e and understanding,

and destroy the meaning and integrity of prophecy.


But, as already indicated, the name Jehovah-shammah has a final and eternal

fulfillment. This was intimated by the Lord Jesus in His parting discourses to

His disciples. He spoke abo ut the many mansions in His Father's house from

which He would return to take His disciples to Himself that they should be

with Him there (John 14:2, 3). "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast

given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory" (John 17:24).

The ideal of life even in the Old Testament was never conceived of as being

fully realized on earth. "As for me," says the psalmist, "I will behold thy face

in righteousness: 1 shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness" (Psalm

17:15). "My flesh shall rest in hope," for "in thy presence is fullness of joy;

at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:9, 11). And the

New Testament declares that our "citizenship is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20).


The ideal and future life was often pictured under the figure of a city. Even the

psalmist must have had in mind something of what Ezekiel saw in his vision,

something more than the earthly Zion he knew, when he wrote: "There is a river,

the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the

tabernacles of the most High" (Psalm 46:4). The great cities of the world are

built on the banks of broad, deep streams, but Jerusalem had no river. It is an

ideal, a heavenly Jerusalem in which this saying finds its final and fullest realization.

Abraham looked for a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God

(Hebrews 11:10). He saw the final fulfillment of the promise "afar off." He desired

a better country than any earthly Canaan could be, that is, a heavenly country, as

his true home, for he confessed himself a stranger and pilgrim on the earth

(Hebrews 11:13-16). The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us: "Ye are

come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,

and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the

first-born who are enrolled in heaven" (Hebrews 12:22, 23, ASV). And of that

city the Book of Revelation says that there was no temple there. There was no

further need of any outward symbol of Jehovah's presence, "for the Lord God,

the Almighty, and the Lamb are the temple thereof" (Revelation 21:22).


The ideal and eternal character of this city of God, the place of His full and

glorious presence, finds its most sublime expression in Revelation 21 and 22.

"I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth are

passed away; and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem,

coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a brid e adorned for her

husband. And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the

tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell [or tabernacle] with them,

and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their

God" (Revelation 21:1-3). In that beautiful city, foursquare with its precious

stones, its crystal river, its delectable fruits, and tree of life with its leaves for

the healing of the nations, all will be light, and love, and holiness, and worship,

and joy, and safety. There shall be no more curse, no adversary, no defilement,

no sorrow, for every wicked doer shall be cut off from that city of the Lord or

Jehovah. Then will be realized the full and final rest of the redeemed, the

Sabbath rest of creation restored. The glory of Jehovah will be fully manifested

in the Lamb that was slain. He will be seen and known in the full meaning and

beauty of all the names by which He had revealed Himself to man's imperfect

apprehension. And we shall join in saying "unto him that sitteth on the throne,

and unto the Lamb be the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion

forever and ever" (Revelation





























Copied from  Names of God by Nathan Stone

Courtesy of Moody Press     Chicago