Matthew 6:9, (DRB):

Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

In the Lord's prayer, what is the meaning of "hallowed be thy name"?

What is the Name of God?

Is there a difference between God and His Name?

Isn't the Name of God already Holy?

  • See John 8:38-45 and Romans 2:24.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 21:38

4 Answers 4


What is the meaning of "hallowed be thy name"?

Jesus mentioned the sanctification of God’s name as the first request in his model prayer. God’s name embraces the full scope of His excellence, majesty, and holiness. In another prayer, Jesus addressed God as “Holy Father.” (John 17:11) Since God is holy, all principles and laws that originate with him are holy. In spite of this, in the garden of Eden, Satan slyly questioned God’s right to set standards for humans. By lying about Jehovah, Satan slandered God’s sacred name.​—Gen. 3:1-5.

Jesus, on the other hand, truly loved the name of God. (John 17:25, 26) Jesus contributed to the sanctification of the divine name. (Read Psalm 40:8-10.) By his perfect life course on earth, Jesus proved that it is reasonable and righteous for God to set standards for his intelligent creatures. Even when Satan subjected Jesus to an agonizing death, Jesus remained completely loyal to his heavenly Father. By being loyal, Jesus proved that a perfect human could maintain perfect obedience to God’s righteous standards.

We can show we love God's name by our conduct. God requires that we be holy. (Read 1 Peter 1:15, 16.) This means that we worship only God and that we obey him with our whole heart. Even when we are persecuted, we do our best to live according to His righteous principles and laws. By performing righteous deeds, we let our light shine and thus bring glory to God’s name. (Matt. 5:14-16) As holy people, we prove by the way we live our lives that God’s laws are good and that Satan’s accusations are false. When we make mistakes, as we all do, we genuinely repent and turn away from practices that dishonor God.​—Ps. 79:9.

On the basis of Christ’s sacrifice, God forgives the sins of those who exercise faith. He accepts as his worshippers those who dedicate themselves to him. God declares anointed Christians righteous as his sons and those of the “other sheep” righteous as his friends. (John 10:16; Rom. 5:1, 2; Jas. 2:21-25) So even now, the ransom enables us to have a righteous standing with our Father and to share in the sanctification of his name.

What is the name of God?

In the Bible, God says: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” (Isaiah 42:8)ASV Although he also has many titles, such as “God Almighty,” “Sovereign Lord,” and “Creator,” he honors his worshippers by inviting them to address him by his personal name.—Genesis 17:1 ASV; Acts 4:24 WNT; 1 Peter 4:19 ASV. Jesus is never called "God Almighty" nor "Sovereign Lord" nor "Creator".

Many translations of the Bible contain God’s personal name at Exodus 6:3 ASV, AKJ, KJ, DBT, ERV, WBT and YLT. That passage says: “I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah, I was not known to them.”

Jehovah is a rendering of God’s name in English that has been used for centuries. While many scholars prefer the spelling “Yahweh,” Jehovah is the form of the name that is most widely recognized. The first part of the Bible was written not in English but in Hebrew, a language that is read from right to left. In that language, the divine name appears as four consonants, יהוה. Those four Hebrew characters—transliterated YHWH—are known as the Tetragrammaton.

Is there a difference between God and his name?

The Bible acknowledges: “There are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords.’” (1 Corinthians 8:​5, 6) Yet it clearly identifies the one true God by his name, Jehovah.​—Psalm 83:18.

God has just one personal name. It is written יהוה in Hebrew and is usually rendered “Jehovah” in English. * Through his prophet Isaiah, God stated: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” (Isaiah 42:8)ASV. This name appears about 7,000 times in ancient Bible manuscripts​—far more frequently than any other term for God or, indeed, anyone else’s personal name. *

Although the Bible refers to God by only one personal name, it uses many titles and descriptions for him. The following list of some of those titles and descriptions shows how each one reveals an aspect of Jehovah’s nature or his personality.

Derived from Arabic, the word “Allah” is not a personal name but a title meaning “God.” Bible translations in Arabic and other languages use “Allah” as an equivalent for “God.”


Genesis 17:1

Has irresistible power. The Hebrew expression ʼEl Shad·daiʹ, “God Almighty,” occurs seven times in the Bible.

The Alpha and the Omega

Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13

“The first and the last,” or “the beginning and the end,” meaning that there was no Almighty God before Jehovah and there will be none after him. (Isaiah 43:10) Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

Ancient of Days

Daniel 7:​9, 13, 22

Had no beginning; existed for an eternity before anyone or anything else came into being.​—Psalm 90:2.


Isaiah 40:28

Brought all things into existence.


Matthew 6:9



Genesis 1:1

An object of worship; a strong One. The Hebrew word ʼElo·himʹ is plural, indicating Jehovah’s majesty, dignity, or excellence.

God of gods

Deuteronomy 10:17

The supreme God, in contrast with the “worthless gods” worshipped by some.​—Isaiah 2:8.

Grand Instructor

Isaiah 30:20, 21

Gives beneficial teaching and direction.​—Isaiah 48:17, 18.

Grand Maker

Psalm 149:2

Brought all things into existence.​—Revelation 4:​11.

Happy God

1 Timothy 1:​11

Characterized by joy and happiness.​—Psalm 104:31.

Hearer of prayer

Psalm 65:2

Personally listens to each prayer offered to him in faith.

I Am That I Am

Exodus 3:​14, King James Version

Becomes whatever is needed to fulfill his purpose. This phrase has also been translated “I Will Become whatsoever I please” or “I Will Become What I Choose to Become.” (The Emphasised Bible, by J. B. Rotherham; New World Translation) This description helps to explain the personal name, Jehovah, given in the verse.​—Exodus 3:​15.


Exodus 34:14, King James Version

Tolerates no rivalry in worship. This term has also been translated “does not tolerate rivals” and “known for requiring exclusive devotion.”​—God’s Word Bible; New World Translation.

King of eternity

Revelation 15:3

His rulership has no beginning or end.


Psalm 135:5

Owner or master; Hebrew ʼA·dhohnʹ and ʼAdho·nimʹ.

Lord of hosts, Lord of Sabaoth

Isaiah 1:9, King James Version; Romans 9:​29, King James Version

Commander of vast forces of angels. The title “Lord of Sabaoth” can also be rendered “Jehovah of armies” and “Lord of the [heavenly] armies.”​—Romans 9:​29, New World Translation; NET Bible, footnote.

Most High

Psalm 47:2

Occupies the supreme position.

Most Holy One

Proverbs 9:​10

More holy (morally clean and pure) than any other being.


Isaiah 64:8

Has authority over individuals and nations, just as a potter has authority over clay.​—Romans 9:​20, 21.

Redeemer, Repurchaser

Isaiah 41:14; King James Version

Recovers or buys back mankind from sin and death through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ.​—John 3:​16.


Psalm 18:​2, 46

A secure refuge and source of salvation.


Isaiah 45:21

Delivers from danger or destruction.


Psalm 23:1

Cares for his worshippers.

Sovereign Lord

Genesis 15:2

Has supreme authority; Hebrew ʼAdho·naiʹ.

Supreme One

Daniel 7:​18, 27

The highest sovereign.

Place names in the Hebrew Scriptures Some place names in the Bible include God’s personal name, but these are not alternate names for God.

Place name




Genesis 22:13, 14

“Jehovah Will Provide.”


Exodus 17:15

“Jehovah Is My Signal Pole,” or “my Banner.” (Today’s New International Version) Jehovah is a God around whom his people can rally for protection and help.​—Exodus 17:13-​16.


Judges 6:​23, 24

“Jehovah Is Peace.”


Ezekiel 48:35, footnote, American Standard Version

“Jehovah Is There.”

Reasons to know and use God’s name God must feel that his personal name, Jehovah, is important, because he included it thousands of times in the Bible.​—Malachi 1:​11.

God’s Son, Jesus, repeatedly stressed the importance of God’s name. For instance, he prayed to Jehovah: “Let your name be sanctified.”​—Matthew 6:9; John 17:6.

Those who come to know and use God’s name take the first steps in building a friendship with Jehovah. (Psalm 9:​10; Malachi 3:​16) Such a relationship enables them to benefit from God’s promise: “Because he has affection for me, I will rescue him. I will protect him because he knows my name.”​—Psalm 91:14.

The Bible acknowledges: “There are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords.’” (1 Corinthians 8:​5, 6) Yet it clearly identifies the one true God by his name, Jehovah.​—Psalm 83:18.

  • 1
    This answer might have a semblance of credibility if the inspired NT writers shared your concern and used the name Jehovah as well. But the NT NEVER uses this name. Therefore, by your own analysis, the NT writers did NOT reverence or hallow the name of God the Father! This answer fails by its own criteria.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 10:33
  • @Dottard. Aramaic Bible in Plain English says “The Spirit of THE LORD JEHOVAH is upon me, and because of this he has anointed me to preach The Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal broken hearts and to proclaim liberty to captives, vision to the blind, and to restore the crushed with forgiveness,”
    – user35499
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 10:56
  • 2
    I am talking about the original Greek NOT a translation of a few hundred years after Christ. Can you point to any place in the GNT where Jehovah is used? No!
    – Dottard
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:00
  • @Dottard what did the word LORD replaced? Of LUKE 1:6 “the commandments and legal requirements of Jehovah” Support The Complete Jewish Bible, by David H. Stern, 1998, uses capital and small capitals for the word “ADONAI” in this verse and most of the other verses where “Jehovah” appears in the text of Luke in the New World Translation. In the introduction to the Complete Jewish Bible, the translator explains: “The word ‘ADONAI’ is used . . . wherever I, as the translator, believe ‘kurios’ is the Greek representation of the tetragrammaton.”
    – user35499
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:04
  • @Dottard. What is the name of the "tri-une" God that you sometimes mention on some of your answers. Was Jesus praying to the "tri-une" God in Matthew 6-9? Can you cite a verse where Jesus and the apostles prayed to the "tri-une" God?
    – user35499
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 11:20

The statement in Our Lord's model prayer of "hallowed by your name" is probably a rather indirect allusion to the commandment (Ex 20:7) which says: "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who takes His name in vain."

Jesus also prayed the opposite in John 12:28, He prayed Himself, “Father, glorify Your name.”

Thus, the faithful are taught not only to treat our heavenly Father with great respect but also to treat his name with reverence - not using it carelessly or in common undignified speech. Jesus also warned against mindless repetition in Matt 6:7 -

And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

We also find closely related instruction in Isa 8:13 -

It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy.

Barnes suggests the following:

Hallowed be thy name - The word "hallowed" means to render or pronounce holy. God's name is essentially holy; and the meaning of this petition is, "Let thy name be celebrated, venerated, and esteemed as holy everywhere, and receive from all people proper honor." It is thus the expression of a wish or desire, on the part of the worshipper, that the name of God, or that God himself, should be held everywhere in proper veneration.

Ellicott makes the deep observation:

Hallowed be thy name.—The first expression of thought in the pattern prayer is not the utterance of our wants and wishes, but that the Name of God—that which sums up all our thoughts of God—should be “hallowed,” be to us and all men as a consecrated name, not lightly used in trivial speech, or rash assertion, or bitterness of debate, but the object of awe and love and adoration. The words “Jehovah, hallowed be His name,” were familiar enough to all Israelites, and are found in many of their prayers, but here the position of the petition gives a new meaning to it, and makes it the key to all that follows.

  • +1. The emphasis being, of course - as you have made clear - that the 'name' to be hallowed is 'Father', not Jehovah, a name exhibited to Israel as a nation of natural persons under law by nature and not born again (unless as individuals).
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 17:30
  • ....and the "titular" Father's name is ??? ...JEHOVAH !!! Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 22:10
  • @OldeEnglish - can you provide a NT verse for that?
    – Dottard
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 22:14
  • @Dottard- Nice try ! Your "pride" may well eventually be your downfall, which would be a crying shame for one so learned. Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 22:26
  • @OldeEnglish - I do not disagree that one of the Father's names is Jehovah (eg, Isa 63:7-16). But the NT is also at pains to show that Jesus also had the same title (as I have shown on several occasions on this site). The difficulty I have is trying to make the Father (only) Jehovah without also the Son being Jehovah as well.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 22:32

Matthew 6:9, what is the meaning of “hallowed be thy name”? Matthew 6:9, (DRB):

Thus, therefore, shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. In the Lord's prayer, what is the meaning of "hallowed be thy name"?

It is a petition to God, to help us avoid to say or do something that will bring dishonor to God's holy name "Jehovah". We certainly do not want to be like some people that blasphemed Gods' name during Paul's times, and which prompted him to write;

Romans 2:21-24 (NASB)

21 "You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast [b]in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written."

This is the paramount purpose that God will sanctify his name, is evident from the first request in Jesus model prayer."Let your name be hallowed/sanctified "is a petition to God to act to clear and sanctify his name that has been profaned among the nations, God will act to clear his name and sanctified it by doing away with all wickedness.

God does away with wickedness-Sanctifies His name.

Ezekiel 36:23 (ASV)

23 "And I will sanctify my great name, which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, saith the Lord Jehovah when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes."

Revelation 19:11-19 The (NET Bible) has the following subheading.

The Son of God Goes to War


The prophecy in Revelation chapters 16 and 19:11-19 speak of a time in the future that Satan and his demons will inspire the nations of the world and gather them to do battle in defiance to the establishment of God's Kingdom. The attack will result in the death of millions of people when the rider on the white horse (Jesus) does battle with them

Revelation 16:11,14-16 (KJV)

11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. 14 "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."

Revelation 11:15 (KJV)

15 "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

Psalms 37 :9-10 KJV

9 "For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

Mathew 5:5 KJV

5 "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."

What is the Name of God?

Psalm 83:18 (KJV)

18 "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth."

Is there a difference between God and His Name?

The" Name" constitutes a distinctive designation of a person, it can mean a person’s reputation or the person himself. Humans are the only creatures that can name,and this is evident in the scriptures when God gave Adam the project to name the animals.

David said to Goliath I come in the name of "JEHOVAH"

1 Samuel 17:45 (ASV)

45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin: but I come to thee in the name of JEHOVAH of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast [a]defied.

LORD is Jehovah in the KJV

1 Samuel 17:45 (KJV)

45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

My KJV Bible red letter edition in the Dictionary-Concordance states that; "Wherever the words "LORD" or "GOD" appears in large or small capital letters in the OT the original Hebrew text uses YHWH. Now sometimes written "Jehovah."

The title "God" or "Father" is neither personal or distinctive , for example Satan is called "the god of this world", and at Philippians 3:19 one can makea god of his belly.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)

4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

Philippians 3:19 (KJV)

19 "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."

Just imagine how absurd it would be for David (1 Samuel 17:45) to approach the Philistine Goliath and say to him " I come to thee in the name of the "God" or "Father", certanily such expressions would not be sufficient enough to identify the God "JEHOVAH" that David worshipped.

  • @OzzieOzzieJews (Jesus included) worship what they know, John 4:22. Jews know who Jesus was referring to in Matthew 6:9 "our Father". Isaiah 63:16 ASV For thou art our Father, though Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us: thou, O Jehovah, art our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is thy name. Your answer helps clear some obfuscations.
    – user35499
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 9:01
  • Perfect ! I have voted your answer and Alex's up. Not only that, I have voted someone of the very highest esteem down. Never thought that I would have felt it necessary to do that. Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 22:17

There are some other bible scriptures which can give some context to your questions:

Ezekiel 36:23 And I will sanctify my great name, which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, saith the Lord Jehovah, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. (ASV)

Gods name Jehovah or Yahweh, is often replaced by LORD in many bible translations but it is mentioned thousands of times in the old manuscripts. The meaning of that name was told to Mozes.

Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (KJV)

and later in

Exodus 6:3 To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I appeared as El Shaddai, but I did not make my name Yahweh known to them. (The New Jerusalem Bible)

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible says about Exodus 3:14:

I am that I am - אהיה אשר אהיה Eheyeh asher Eheyeh. These words have been variously understood. The Vulgate translates Ego Sum Qui Sum, I am who am. The Septuagint, Εγω ειμι ὁ Ων, I am he who exists. ... As the original words literally signify, I will be what I will be, some have supposed that God simply designed to inform Moses, that what he had been to his fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he would be to him and the Israelites; and that he would perform the promises he had made to his fathers, by giving their descendants the promised land. It is difficult to put a meaning on the words; they seem intended to point out the eternity and self-existence of God.

You make the interesting remark that gods name is already holy. But as rendered in several bible scriptures (See also Ezekiel 36:23) God considers it profaned or blasphemed:

Romans 2: 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (NIV)

Jesus also emphasized the importance of knowing God and his name.

John 17:25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (ESV)

Which is important because:

Romans 10:13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (NIV) [see also Joel 2:32]

But Jesus also emphasized the importance the difference between just knowing the name and knowing God.

Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (NIV)

So probably therefore some modern translations take some freedom in rendering the verse in Mathew 6:9

Mathew 6:9 You should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, help us to honor your name. (Contemporary English Version)

  • Excellent ! You have my vote. Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 22:32

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