We are currently starting a small group bible study on the Book of Daniel. The amazing thing is that we have done the study before but this word is so relevant to world events today. I really only want to share one part of the weekly with you because it really spoke to me.
When the 4 Hebrew children were taken into captivity, they each had a Hebrew name that followed the same tradition of specific names for specific meaning. All 4 of them had names that directly related to God.
- Daniel – God is my Judge
- Hananiah – Yah has been gracious
- Mishael – Who is what God is
- Azaraih – Yah has helped
Every time their names were said there was a direct praise or recognition to the Almighty God. While they were in captivity, they were each given a new name based for their Babylonian “home.”
- Daniel – Belteshazzar
- Hananiah – Shadrach
- Mishael – Meshach
- Azaraih – Abed-nego
These names came with their meanings as well. The new names had to do with the pagan gods that were worshiped in Babylon at that time.
- Belteshazzar – Bel will protect
- Shadrach – inspired by Aku
- Meshach – belonging to Aku
- Abed-nego – servant of Nego
So lets look at the names as they line up:
- Daniel – God is my Judge — Belteshazzar – Bel will protect
- Hananiah – Yah has been gracious — Shadrach – inspired by Aku
- Mishael – Who is what God is — Meshach – belonging to Aku
- Azaraih – Yah has helped — Abed-nego – servant of Nego
The names they started with were all in reverence to the One true God then they were shifted to being a mockery to the lives of the people that had to bear the names. To these men, it was shameful to have these names and against the God that was settled deep in their hearts.
While all of this is very interesting, I was reminded of the scripture talking about the Lord giving us a new name that only he will know and he will call us by that name in the new heaven and new earth. It could be a stretch, but I would honestly believe that God would keep up with Hebrew traditions and make those names directly reflect Himself and His glory.
I am not a bible expert but I just wanted to share the connection I made!