Benajmin Netanyahu

The Meaning of Benjamin Netanyahu’s name

In Jewish Culture and History by Dr. Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

It has been about a year since Israel’s heated elections ended. The general public both those who distrusted and those who supported the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have come together to meet new challenges.

Just for the record, I voted for another candidate. I believed that Israel was in need of a different direction then the one promoted by Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet. Yet I accepted the results of these democratic elections and committed to continue to build a stronger and better Israel for all of its citizens and residents in the hope that one day we will be able to live in peace with our neighbors.

Today in order to honor the office of prime minister I would like to discuss the Hebrew meaning of the name – Benjamin Netanyahu.

Benjamin (בנימין) is grammatically speaking a compound word. That means that it consists of several words. Ben means “son” (בן) and yamin (ימין) means “right”. So the basic meaning of the name Benjamin is a son of the right.

Netanyahu (נתניהו) is also a compound word. Natan (נתן) means “he gave”. Yahu (יהו) is a shortened version of YHWH (instead of יהוה only יהו), the covenant name of the God of Israel. So the translation of the current prime minister’s last name means something like “YHWH gave”. In fact, of the cities in central Israel is called Natanya (it is connected to the same root word for giving).

It is very important to learn the basics of Hebrew. Once you do you will discover riches of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament that you have not yet imagined. As a modern Christ-follower you have become an heir to the great faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob alongside of the Jewish people. This means that the language of Israel is also part of your heritage! Own it. Learn it. Enjoy it!

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