What's In A Name | The Institute for Creation Research
What's In A Name

"Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego" (Daniel 1:7).

Peoples in ancient times—especially the Israelites and their implacable enemies, the Babylonians—placed great importance on the names given their children, desiring that their very names constitute a testimony to their character and to the convictions of their parents.

The meaning of all these names is very significant. Each of the four had been given by their parents a name honoring the true God, but the Babylonians wanted them to be identified with one of the false gods. Daniel ("God is my judge") was assigned the name Belteshazzar, which meant "favored by Bel." Hananiah ("beloved of the Lord") became Shadrach ("illumined by Rak," the sun god). Mishael ("who is as God") was called Meshach ("who is like Shak," the Babylonian Venus), and Azariah ("the Lord is my help") became Abednego ("servant of Nego," the god of fire).

These godly young men no doubt bitterly resented these new names. Nevertheless, they did not make an overt issue of this matter, knowing they would forfeit their opportunity for a substantive spiritual witness if they took a belligerent stand on superficialities. When the opportunity came for a real stand against these false gods of Babylon, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar's image and the fiery furnace for Daniel's three friends, and the decree of Darius and the lions' den for Daniel, himself, they did give a true and uncompromising witness, and God honored them for it. In our own witness today against modern paganism, we need constantly to remember that form is secondary, but substance is vital. Our personal names are of only less importance, but it is vital that our stand and conduct honor the name of Christ. HMM

The Latest
NEWS
New Bird Fossil Doesn't Fit Evolutionary Story
Evolutionary scientists continually search for evidence to support their claims of an evolutionary relationship between birds and dinosaurs. Their most...

NEWS
Is Climate Change Activism a Religion?
Hawaiian Senator Mazie Hirono recently stated that people should “believe in climate change as though it’s a religion.” She then very...

NEWS
The Legacies of Phillip E. Johnson
Former University of California law professor Phillip E. Johnson passed away on November 2, 2019. His significant contribution to his many law students,...

NEWS
Ape Spit Radically Different from Human
In their quest to try and find some sort of evolutionary similarity between humans and apes, scientists have compared DNA, proteins, anatomy, behavior,...

NEWS
Do Maillard Reactions Explain Dinosaur Proteins?
How could dinosaur proteins persist over 70 million years inside dinosaur bones? That’s one of the biggest questions that secular paleontologists...