What Does Jehovah Jireh Mean


You have probably seen or heard the word Jireh someplace, somewhere before. Perhaps in songs, prayers, the Bible or other religious texts. Originally known as Yahweh-Yireh, it is one of the names that are attributed to God. God is known by many names, each one heavily pregnant with meaning. 

Some of these names were given to God by men of the Bible days, based on their experiences with Him. This name particularly has its root in one of the most memorable stories of Scripture, and that story is set to change and alter the way you see things. What then is the meaning of God’s name, Jireh?

What Does Jireh Mean?

The name ‘Jehovah Jireh’ means ‘God will provide’. There are times when someone does something for us and we can’t help but say things like, “Thank you, you’re a lifesaver!” because of the depth of gratitude that we feel towards them at that moment.

In the same way, Jehovah Jireh is a name born out of someone’s revelation of God’s overwhelming capacity and willingness to provide for needs. Whose story was it and to whom was this side to God revealed in Scripture?

Where Does The Name Jireh Come From?

The first mention of Jehovah Jireh in the bible is in Genesis 22:14 by Abraham on mount Moriah, when God provided a ram for sacrifice in place of his son Isaac. This famous story was the beginning of the nation of Israel; God’s chosen people and eventually, everyone who has been marked as a child of God by salvation.

Abraham’s Jireh story begins in Genesis 12:1-3 when God promised Abraham that his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky. He also said to Abraham that He would give them a land and would be their God forever. Abraham believed His words true and true.

Then in Genesis 22:2, God gave Abraham a very contradictory instruction. He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

To understand how precious Isaac was to Abraham, we must recall that Abraham and Sarah, his wife, were 100 and 90 years old respectively when they had Isaac. They had probably waited more than 80 years to have a child and just when they had given up, God gave them Isaac. God knew that Abraham treasured Isaac greatly and asked for him.

What was Abraham’s response? He did not hesitate, but according to Genesis 22:3, he packed all he would need for the sacrifice and Isaac, took two servants, and set out for Moriah. When they were almost there, he left his servants behind and went on with Isaac. Along the way, Isaac realized they had wood but no sacrifice and asked his father what they would use as an offering. Abraham in faith replied, “God himself will provide the sacrifice.”

When they got to Moriah, he made a wooden altar and placed his son on it. At the moment he was about to plunge the knife into his son, God’s voice came in Genesis 22:12 saying “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

Abraham looked up, probably in relief, and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket nearby that God had provided. He sacrificed it in place of Isaac, and called the place Jehovah Jireh. According to 2 Chronicles 3:1, centuries later, King Solomon also built God’s temple on mount Moriah.

What Can We Learn From The Jireh Story?

This story might not make sense to the superficial reader, but here are a couple of things that makes it so special to our generation:

  • Abraham’s willingness to give God his most treasured.

God didn’t ask for Isaac to emotionally toy with Abraham, but to show His love to him. And as treasured as Isaac was to Abraham, he didn’t refuse to give him up. He was surrendered to God. 

This also meant that Abraham loved God above everything He had. He was a wealthy man by possessions, but God left all of that to ask for what He knew Abraham cherished the most, to gauge where his heart really was.

Someone once said that anything we can’t sacrifice for God is an idol because consciously or not, we have placed and prioritized that thing above God.

Money, fame, or even relationships should never be exalted above God in our lives. We must be willing to give up our all if God demands it.

  • Abraham’s unwavering faith.

According to Hebrews 11:19, he believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead if He wanted to, and that God knew best at that point in time. He didn’t doubt God’s word of giving him descendants as many as the stars in the sky for one second. That was why he didn’t hesitate in giving Isaac to God. 

Abraham’s faith in God was unshaken, knowing that he could do all things through Christ who strengthens him (Philippians 4:13). This unwavering faith was counted unto him as righteousness in God’s eyes

Many of us are prone to doubt God’s Word forgetting that He said that heaven and earth would pass away but His word remains. God cannot lie, and if He said something to you, He will surely do it.

  • His revelation of Jehovah Jireh.

When Abraham called the place “God will provide”, he did it as a sign to himself and generations to come that the Lord indeed provides. 

God is both willing and able to provide all our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19), we just have to trust Him.

Today, Abraham is known as the father of faith. It is a title well deserved for the first man who chose to believe God’s promise to him, no matter what happened.

Why Do We Call God Jehovah?

The name Jehovah is simply the Latin form of God’s name Yahweh (YHWH) which means “I Am”.

Yahweh is the name God used to introduce Himself to the Israelites in the beginning. God personally revealed this name to His people and that is why it is used and referenced greatly today. This name is so holy and sacred.

Does Jehovah Mean Jesus?

One of the foundations of the Christian faith is the doctrine of the Trinity; the Father is the Son and the Son is the Spirit. One of the names of God is Elohim which is plural but refers to One God.

John 1:1 tells us that Jesus the Word is also God. So when we call God Jehovah, we also refer to Jesus because they are One all in all.

Final Thoughts

Today in Jewish culture, Abraham’s story is read at every Rosh Hashanah (New Year) service. 

Just like a sheep was provided for sacrifice on Mount Moriah, the lamb of God gave Himself as a sacrifice for us all on mount Calvary.

Just like Abraham did not withhold his son from God, the Lord “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

The Jehovah Jireh meaning is much more than something born from a test of faith, or God’s divine provision. It is the unveiling of God’s unwavering and undying love for mankind. God will provide not just because He can, but because He loves us deeply and passionately.