'Salvation of Yahweh'

The name ‘Jesus’ means “salvation of Yahweh,” for, in him, the salvation promised to Ancient Israel has arrived in all its glory

An angel appeared to Joseph and informed him that Mary was with child “begotten of the Holy Spirit.” He instructed him to name the child “Jesus.” That name was and is most appropriate. As the angel himself declared, “he will save his people from their sins.”

And this name links him forever to the saving act accomplished by God for His people as promised in the Hebrew scriptures. In every sense, Jesus is the “salvation of Yahweh.”

When his name is spelled ‘Jesus,’ it is the anglicized form of the Aramaic name ‘Yeshua,’ a name that is a shortened form of the older Hebrew name ‘Ye-hoshua’ or Joshua in English.

  • (Matthew 1:20-21) - “Now, when he had pondered these things, behold, by a dream, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David! Fear not to take unto you Mary your wife, for that in her has been begotten is of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, she will bring forth a son, and YOU WILL CALL HIS NAME JESUS, FOR HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.


In the first verse of Matthew’s gospel account, Jesus is identified as the “son of Abraham.” Not only is he the biological descendant of Abraham, but he also came to fulfill the covenantal promises made to the Patriarch, and Matthew demonstrates this in several ways.

For example, the announcement to Joseph is conceptually parallel to the prediction made to Abraham about his firstborn son by Sarah. Isaac was born when he was ninety-nine years old, and Sarah was ninety. Though not a virgin, she was well beyond childbearing age, making her pregnancy and the birth of her son miraculous. And like the angel’s announcement to Joseph, Abraham received his son’s name by divine appointment - (Genesis 17:19).

Just as the angel announced his name, “Jesus,” since he would “save his people from sin,” so likewise, God commanded Abraham to name his son “Isaac” since, through him, He established His covenant “for his seed after him.”

In the Old Testament, the name ‘Jesus’ or ‘Joshua’ appears first in the book of Exodus - “And Moses said to Joshua, choose for us men and go out, fight with Amalek.” That man’s original name was ‘Hoshea,’ the “son of Nun,” one of the twelve men sent by Moses to investigate the land of Canaan. Moses changed his name from ‘Hoshea’ to ‘Joshua’ - (Numbers 13:1-8, Exodus 17:9).

And ‘Hoshea’ means “salvation, deliverance, help.” It is derived from the Hebrew verb for “save, help, deliver” or yasha (Strong’s - #H3467). Note its usage in the following passages:

  • (Exodus 14:30) - “Thus Yahweh SAVED Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians.
  • (Deuteronomy 20:4) - “For Yahweh your God is the one who goes with you …TO SAVE you.”

By prefixing the first syllable from the Hebrew name Yahweh to Hoshea, it became Ye-hoshua.

In several of the later books of the Hebrew Bible, the second syllable of Ye-hoshua is dropped, and the name is contracted to Yeshua. The change reflects Aramaic influences as the result of the Babylonian Captivity - (Nehemiah 8:17, Ezra 2:2).


Thus, the name ‘Jesus’ means more than simply “savior.” It is a combination of the name Yahweh and the Hebrew word for “save” or “salvation.”

And so, his name means “Yahweh saves” or “salvation of Yahweh.” In Jesus, the PROMISED SALVATION OF THE ONE GOD OF ISRAEL CAME TO FRUITION.’

And the angel’s announcement that “he would save his people from their sins” echoes key themes from the ‘Servant’s Song’ in the book of Isaiah:

  • (Isaiah 53:5) – “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our sins; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and WITH HIS STRIPES, WE ARE HEALED.”
  • (Isaiah 53:10-11) – “Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you will make his soul an offering for sin, he will see his seed, he will prolong his days, and the pleasure of Yahweh will prosper in his hand. He will see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by the knowledge of himself WILL MY RIGHTEOUS SERVANT JUSTIFY MANY, AND HE WILL CARRY THEIR SINS.”

The genealogy of Jesus presented in Matthew begins with Abraham, the Great Patriarch and progenitor of Israel. Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, is the “son of Abraham,” the promised “seed” who brings the covenant promises to fulfillment.

And he is the “son of David,” the prophesied “son” and Davidic king who rules on Mount Zion, and the one who establishes the “salvation of Yahweh” and ushers in the long-awaited kingdom of God.

Jesus is the Greater Joshua, the leader who delivers his people from bondage to Satan and leads them to the true and greater ‘Promised Land’ in the kingdom of God. And so, in the truest sense, he “saves his people from their sins.”



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