Salvation of Yahweh

An angel appeared to Joseph informing him that Mary was with child “begotten of the Holy Spirit,” and he instructed him to name the child ‘Jesus.’ As the angel declared, “he will save his people from their sins.” His name links him to the saving act accomplished by God for His people as promised in the Hebrew Bible.

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

  • (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.


The very first verse of Matthew identifies Jesus as the “son of Abraham.” This is more than one name among many in a genealogy. Not only is he the biological descendant of Abraham, but he also came to fulfill the promises made to the Patriarch, and Matthew’s gospel 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. That occurred when he was ninety-nine years old, and Sarah was ninety. Though not a virgin, she was well beyond childbearing age, making her pregnancy miraculous.

And like the angel’s announcement to Joseph, Abraham received his son’s name by divine appointment:

  • (Genesis 17:19) – “And God said, Nay, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son; and YOU WILL CALL HIS NAME ISAAC, and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.

Just as the angel announced his name, “Jesus,” the one who “saves his people from sin,” so 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. Later, Moses changed it from ‘Hoshea’ to ‘Joshua’ - (Numbers 13:1-8, Exodus 17:9).

Hoshea’ means “salvation, deliverance, help.” It is derived from the Hebrew verb for “save, help, deliver” or yasha (Strong’s - #H3467); for example:

  • (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 for God or Yahweh to Hoshea, the name 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 growing Aramaic influences on the Jewish people following 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 meaning “save” or “salvation.” Thus, his name means “Yahweh saves” or “salvation of Yahweh.”


And the angel’s announcement that “he will save his people from their sins” echoes key themes from the so-called ‘Servant’s Song’ in the book of Isaiah, and deliberately so:

  • (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.

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

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


Suffering Servant

The Living Word