The Lord has many names in the Bible. You may have heard of the one "El Elyon" which means Most High (Deuteronomy 26:19).
El Elyon, God Might High, or sometimes LORD Most High is used through Scripture to refer to the LORD, Creator of heaven and earth. Psalm 57:2 says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” The Hebrew words translated Hebrew “God Most High” are Elohim or (El) Elyown, which means Most High God (Genesis 14:22; Psalm 78:35). In the title LORD Most High, the Hebrew words are Elohim Yahweh. God Most High or LORD Most High means there is no idol, god, or created being that should be worshiped or exalted over the Lord because He is superior in every way.
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Where Do We See El Elyon in Scripture?
In Daniel 4:2 God Most High is translated from the Hebrew Yahweh Illay which means the highest Lord. The Hebrew word al or el is used alone to mean God Most High. In the New Testament, the Greek words Theou hypistou (Luke 8:28; Hebrews 7:1) are translated Most High God. All of these words describe that the Lord is to be the highest possible object in the worship of the people of God. Human-made gods cannot compete with the Lord on any level and are not to be worshiped (Deuteronomy 27:13; Revelation 9:20).
When the Lord revealed Himself to Moses, he said in Exodus 3:14, “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Here we get the name Yahweh translated as Jehovah. The self-description of the Lord means He is incomparable and self-sufficient. The Lord is not similar to anyone or anything.
1 Samuel 5:1-8 helps Bible readers understand He is God Most High. After the Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant, they set it beside their idol Dagon. The next day Dagon fell over bowing before the Lord Most High. The Philistines set their idol back up, and the next day Dagon fell down again, this time breaking its head and hands. The Lord Most High in this story is proving there is no idol or anything that can stand beside or above Him.
God Most High invites humanity to know Him. To know the Lord, man must recognize He exists (Hebrews 11:6). People must then acknowledge Him concerning everything (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 46:9-11). Man cannot know the Lord while trying to place Him alongside other false gods in their lives. Only then can man love, obey, and worship Him as the only covenant Lord over their lives.
The critical way to know God Most High is through knowing Jesus Christ, God Most High who came in the flesh to die the death we deserved (John 14:6; 20:28; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Whether sinners acknowledge the Lord Most High or not, He exists so we can enjoy Him as God Most High in our lives only when we seek Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
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Other Names of God
God’s true character is incomprehensible to us as human beings. But we try to capture a small aspect of his nature through different names or titles. Below are some other names of God, from Blue Letter Bible, that we see in Scripture, all of which help us to understand Him a bit better.
Yahweh-Jireh means the Lord will provide (Genesis 22:14).
Yahweh-Rapha means the Lord, who heals (Exodus 15:26).
Yahweh-Nissi means the Lord Our Banner (Exodus 17:15).
Yahweh-Shalom means The Lord Our Peace (Judges 6:24).
Yahweh-Tsidkenu means the Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 33:16).
Yahweh-Rohi means the Lord Our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1).
Yahweh-Shammah means the Lord is There (Ezekiel 48:35).
Yahweh-Sabaoth means the Lord of Hosts.
El Roi means God of Seeing (Genesis 16:13).
El-Olam means everlasting God (Psalm 90:1-3).
El-Gibhor means Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).
How the Different Names of God Help Us Know the Lord
The name of God is YHWH. Ancient Hebrew does not have vowels, so we are not precisely sure how to pronounce YHWH. The majority of Hebrew and Christian scholars pronounce it Yahweh, with Yehowah being the second most popular possibility.
YHWH is as close to a personal name as the Lord has revealed to people in His Word. YHWH was revealed to Moses in Exodus 6:3, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.” YHWH refers to the self-existence being linked to “I AM THAT I AM” in Exodus 3:14. The Lord told Moses in Exodus 3:15; 15:3, “this is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”
The title El Eloyon is a title of supremacy over the world (Psalm 83:18; 97:9) and demonstrates the victory of the people of God over all the nations (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 47:2-3; Deut. 26:19; 28:1). Elyon finds its Greek equivalent in Hupstitos (Hebrews 1:7), the name of his power which supernaturally worked in the virgin’s womb to produce the incarnate Son of God (Luke 1:35). The “Son of the Most High God” terrified a legion of demons and cast them out with a word (Mark 5:7).
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How Can Remembering God Is El Elyon Change How You Understand Him?
The Lord Most High should cause the people of God to be in reverent fear. Few people today have considered what it would mean for such a God to be angry with them (Psalm 90:11). We ought to loathe the thought of provoking the Lord. 1 Corinthians 10:22, “Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?”
The infinite resources of the power of God are for those who fear Him, not against them. We may fear Him with childlike confidence in our heavenly Father. Meditate today on the power of the King and say with Revelation 15:3-4:
“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
‘Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.’”
Not only should the Lord Most High lead us to reverent fear but also humble praise (Psalm 95:1-6). All creation displays the power of God to awaken our adoration. Proud sinners do not stoop to praise the Lord, but humble men acknowledge that his “dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation.” Perhaps today you are weighed down with many troubles. Even the godly may say, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).
The Lord Most High calls the people of God to faithful service to the Lord. Whatever influence you may have, dear reader, it all belongs to the Lord. God entrusted dominion to humanity as His image-bearers (Genesis 1:26), not independent gods but as representatives of the Creator. You are a steward entrusted with the Master’s possessions, charged to do his will for His glory and your good. Even if you are a “master” on earth, remember that you, too, have a Master in heaven (Ephesians 6:9). Your greatest wisdom in any situation is to obey the commands of the all-wise Lord cheerfully and to be faithful and focused on serving Him.
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The Lord’s Infinite Power
The Lord Most High calls the people of God to submission in sorrows. When bad news strikes our lives, the grace of God, as 1 Samuel 3:18 says, enables them to respond by saying, “So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, ‘It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.’” God has both the right and the power to do with the people of God as He sees best. Though the omnipotence of God grates against the sufferer’s ears when they are in rebellion against their Maker, this truth enables the people of God to repent of bitter complaints, put their hands over their mouth, and bow to the majesty of God (Job 40:1-5; 42:1-6). Bowing before the Lord who ordains both the good and evil in His righteousness, one finds new hope in the faithfulness and mercy of God (Lamentations 3:21-20, 37-38).
The Lord is infinite in power to accomplish the will of God and to enforce the full rights of His authority. He has demonstrated that power in the work of creation where his mere word of command brought the world into existence and gave it order (Genesis 1:3). God’s power is seen in creation, where he made the whole universe out of nothing.
The Lord Jesus is the embodiment of divine power. Jesus is the divine Son of God.
In Christ, the Almighty came to man in the flesh, and his life on earth was a veiled expression of omnipotence. Through the Holy Spirit, his virginal conception was a miracle far greater than that granted to Abraham and Sarah, and the angel assured Mary of this in Luke 1:37. When Jesus grew into a man, God anointed Him: “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38) to heal and do “mighty works” (Matthew 11:5, 20-21, 23). The Lord Jesus controlled the storms of nature with his mere word, prompting his disciples to exclaim, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27; Psalm 77:19).
In the mystery of God’s will, the Lord gave the greatest revelation of His power and sufferings in Jesus Christ. At Calvary, we find no miracle such as the Jews sought, but Christ crucified is the power of God wedded to the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23-24) before, by the shame and pain of the cross, the Lord Jesus conquered sin and Satan (Romans 6:1-7; col. 2:14-15). Though God’s Son was crucified in human weakness, he rose from the dead in “the power of God” (2 Corinthians 13:4) to live by the energy of the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:4; 8:11), which presently energizes his people to live by faith (Ephesians 1:19-22).
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Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon.