“No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.”
Though we have been using the common name “Abraham” in this series because it is more familiar, our readers should remember that his original name was “Abram.” God changed his name to Abraham to represent what would be done through him because of God’s promises.
His original name, Abram, means “exalted father” in Hebrew. His new name, Abraham, means “father of a multitude” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon).
Abraham’s name now represented how he was being used by God: as the beginning of a nation through whom God would work. We also read that his wife Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah (verse 15).
Abraham and Sarah were not the only people whose names were changed by God. Others include Jacob (changed to Israel), Simon (to Peter) and Saul (to Paul). The Bible also reveals that true Christians will bear a “new name” when they enter the family of God (Revelation 3:12).
To read more about God’s purpose for Abraham, read “Promises to Abraham.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “The Sign of Circumcision.”