Definition of Name in Scripture
Definition of "Name" in Scripture
What does “name” mean in the Books of Scripture written in ancient Hebrew? According to Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, it means:
In biblical times names were given in order to express something about a person, or to express something through him, and not simply to hang a convenient label round his neck. At least six motivations appear in the choice of names. … [One of which, and the most importanat relative to STOSS, is] to reveal the nature of the person, his function, or some other significant thing about him. The preeminent example of this is Jesus (Mt 1:21), named for his saving vocation. Isaiah seems to have seen his own name as significant of his message “the Lord saves” (Is 8:18).In the Book of Genesis, God was known by descriptive labels declaring the ways in which he was known to his people; for example, “the everlasting God” (Gn 21:33; see also 14:18; 16:13; 17:1; 31:13; 33:20). But there was also another label used in Genesis, which appears in most English Bibles as “the Lord” (e.g., Gn 17:1). It was not until the time of Moses that this was revealed as something more than a label: it was a true personal name, Yahweh (Ex 3:13–15) [see I AM That I AM for more details]. The progress of revelation from Genesis to Exodus is declared in Exodus 6:2, 3, which ought to be translated as follows: “I am Yahweh: I showed myself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the character of God Almighty, but as regards my name Yahweh I did not reveal myself to them.”
 Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Names, Significance Of,” in Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 1522–1523.