In the Bible, as throughout the Semitic world, a name carries significance beyond that of its meaning or its use as a title. Because of the vitality ascribed to words, a name signifies first and foremost existence. Everything and everyone has a name (Eccl. 6:10), and the very naming brings them into being (Isa. 40:26; Gen. 2:19). The name represents the person (Num. 1:2; Acts 1:15, “persons”) and the personality (“fool”; 1 Sam. 25:25). Because a name is a social reality, kept by memory and through posterity (Ps. 72:17), to cut off a person’s name means not only death but the very obliteration of one’s existence (e.g., l Sam. 24:21; Ps. 9:5; Ps 109:13).
Myers, A. C. (1987). The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (747–748). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.
Published on Thursday, May 1, 2014 @ 5:40 AM CDT