Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” Genesis 29:32
Abraham had Isaac. Isaac had Esau and Jacob. Where were the descendants like the stars in the sky? Jacob provided the answer. His wives gave birth to twelve sons and at least one daughter—enough to found the twelve tribes of Israel. But who named them?
The question is not an idle one. God changed Abram's name to Abraham. He told Abraham to name his son Isaac, and He changed Jacob's name to Israel.
Jacob let his wives choose. And oh, what names they came up with: names full of joy and hope, rivalry and tension, man and God. Consider:
- Judah - Praise God
- Levi - Connect with my husband
- Asher - Happy
- Dan - Vindication
Rachel, so long barren, chose poignant names for her two sons: Joseph, "May God add another son to me," and Ben-oni, "son of my pain," on her deathbed. Jacob changed Ben-oni to Benjamin, son of my good fortune.
My son and daughter-in-law waited until after my grandson was born to choose his name: Isaiah Jaran Franklin. My son said "Our prayer is that he will grow up to cry out (Jaran) 'The Lord is salvation' (Isaiah) so that all may be free men (Franklin)." I love it!
Jordan's (granddaughter's name) is equally thoughtful. Born nine months after my daughter Jolene's death, she was given Jolene's initials and her middle name: Jordan Elizabeth Franklin. Her birth was a life-affirming gift from God in the midst of grief, and her name reflects that.
In my book, An Apple for Christmas, an orchard grower named MacIntosh Cortland named his twin daughters Pippin and Margil. All of their names reference a different variety.
Like Abram and Jacob, God has chosen a new name for all of His children (Revelation 2:17).
www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/ and www.facebook.com/darlene.franklin.3.
To celebrate her new release, Darlene is giving away one ebook copy of An Apple for Christmas to one of this post's commenters (once a minimum of 5 commenters has been reached). The winner will be announced in next week's Weekly Windup post (09/14/15).
Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?
Also available in the 8-1 anthology Christmas Traditions: