Yahweh and Jesus – The Name of El Olam

Yahweh and Jesus – The Name of El Olam

Yahweh and Jesus – The Name of El Olam.

“And Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba; and there he called on the name of the Lord, El-Olam, the Everlasting God.” (Genesis 21:33).

El-Olam is a powerful and mysterious name of God meaning God Everlasting. Our God is a God of timeless qualities, and eternal constancy of character and holiness. God has no birthday. He doesn’t have a beginning, and His existence will never have an ending. If you are looking for someone with the Big Picture, then our God with His eternal perspective is Who you’re looking for. Only God can put everything and everyone into its proper context.

El-Olam is another compound name of God. El is simply the generic name for God, a shortened form of Elohim. Olam means eternity. But the ancient rabbis have brought up an interesting point about this name. They pointed out that olam is connected to alam, which means hidden. So they believed that El-Olam reveals a mysterious nature of God, that El-Olam is a secret name for God. It is certainly a mystery that something exists that had no beginning and will have no ending. It is surely a mystery that God exists in infinity, that He created time itself, He invented chronology, and is thus outside of time. We indeed worship a God who is outside our understanding, a God who was and is and is to come, a God of yesterday, today and forever. It is a comfort that we can trust in His everlasting wisdom and power.

In calling the Lord the Everlasting God, Abraham is expressing his faith. A faith in his God, that in His everlasting power He would fulfill His stated purpose to develop a great nation through Abraham, a family that will stand the test of time. This first appearance of El-Olam above turns out to be a powerful statement of trust and faith. Have you noticed how our biblical pioneer of faith, Abraham, is involved in so many of the names of God? We’re not done yet. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is El-Olam, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom…”  (Isaiah 40:28).

Gospel Fulfillment. “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end,’ says the Lord, ‘who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8). Jesus is A to Z, because He is eternal. He was there at the beginning, He is here now, and He’ll be there at the end. He is the originator of all things, and the fulfillment of all things. He was the starting point of history, and He is its destiny. He is the origin of life, and He is the goal of life. He is the prototype of humanity, and its final glory. He embraces all the eternal truth of God’s knowledge, from the first letter of His first word to the last letter of His last word, from the beginning of time to the conclusion of time, from Creation to Restoration. Jesus is the essence of everything in God’s Reality.

In the middle of the prophetic word in Isaiah 9, we are offered four titles of the Messiah that end up being a fascinating character description. Isaiah wrote this well before the truth of the Triune God became well-defined. And so the titles here don’t necessarily reflect the roles of the Messiah in the Trinity as much as describe his character. There are various ways one could translate this passage. Nonetheless, these four titles are all true in the life of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father.

“Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NKJV).

“Wonder-Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (NJB).

“The Mighty God is planning grace; the Eternal Father; a peaceable ruler.” (Tanakh, JPS).

“Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” (NAB).

Another way of expressing the literal meanings might be:

Miraculous Advisor, Champion God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Wholeness. 

Another translation reads:

Wonderful Counselor is the Mighty God! The Everlasting Father is a Prince of Peace! (Dr. Brian Simmons)

When Isaiah refers to Eternal Father, what kind of Father was he thinking of? This might be surprising, but the Father in the Hebrew Bible was recognized as being the Creator and the Maker; the Molder and the Shaper; the Protector and the Provider; the Redeemer; the Head of the household of the world. Most of all, the OT father was a person, or Person, of love and mercy… “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” (Ps. 103:13)In  the OT, the role of the father is not applied to an austere, distant taskmaster, a person who exists merely to punish or judge. The image of the father inevitably involves compassion and kindness. If Jesus is the Eternal Father, we couldn’t find a more apt title for Him. One reading of the gospels and we are convinced that Jesus, in this biblical sense, was fatherly in all He did. Jesus, the Eternal Father, Father Everlasting.

Jesus Christ is everlasting, He is the incarnation of El Olam, God Eternal. 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8).

“So my Father, restore me back to the glory that we shared together when we were face-to-face before the universe was created.” (John 17:5).

“Father, I ask that you allow everyone that you have given to me to be with me where I am! Then they will see my full glory – the very splendor you have placed upon me because you have loved me even before the beginning of time.” (John 17:24).

“I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Rev. 22:13).

“After your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in His eternal glory with Christ Jesus, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever.” (1 Peter 5:10).