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Revelation 2:17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

Will this be my new name in heaven? Is this a big deal?

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What is the new name (ὄνομα καινὸν) written on the stone (ψῆφον) in Revelation 2:17?

  • "cHephtsibah" (חֶפְצִי־בָ֔הּ)

In Isaiah 62:4, we learn God will not forsake His people but call their heart "cHephzibah" (חֶפְצִי־בָ֔הּ) = cHephtzi (My Delight is) + Bah (In-her).

Isaiah 62:4 [KJV] "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called #Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married."

The Stone (ψῆφον) of [Revelation 2:17] known in Hebrew as "Even" (אֶ֙בֶן֙) is synonymous with a Hebrew Heart or "Lev" (לֵ֣ב).

In Ezekiel 36:26 [MT] , we read : "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (וְנָתַתִּ֚י לָכֶם֙ לֵ֣ב חָדָ֔שׁ וְר֥וּחַ חֲדָשָׁ֖ה אֶתֵּ֣ן בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֑ם וַֽהֲסִ֨רֹתִ֜י אֶת־לֵ֚ב הָאֶ֙בֶן֙ מִבְּשַׂרְכֶ֔ם וְנָֽתַתִּ֥י לָכֶ֖ם לֵ֥ב בָּשָֽׂר )

"cHephtsibah" (חֶפְצִי־בָ֔הּ) is the new name written on the stone ❤ of God's people.

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  • 1
    many thanks. Excellent answer!
    – Dottard
    Aug 24 '20 at 22:11
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"Name" here means the level of an intimacy of person with God or a level of growth of man in infinite divine Grace, the two being the same. Thus, there is and will be a hierarchy in the Kingdom of Heaven, as there is a hierarchy of angelic hosts. Thus, in earthly realm a man can be called "Andrew", which means "courage[ous]" in Greek, but in reality this man could be a coward; however if the same man through divine grace will really become courageous, then he will be really given the hidden name "Andrew" and it will be a real and new name for him, describing his inner character, which is symbolically expressed by "giving a white stone with an inscription of his name" which only he and the heart-knowing (Acts 1:24) God knows.

That this hidden name describing man's character or heart is known only by man himself and God, is clear: a really courageous man can be regarded as coward by by-standers if this man, for instance, does not respond to an insult, but uses the divinely obtained courage to oppose the rage that started to boil in him through this insult, defeats this rage and only then responds gently and calmly to the offender. This equanimity can be regarded as lack of courage by unspiritual bystanders. But the man himself knows and God knows, that he bears the invisible tablet with the new name of "Courage" in himself, and could of course have smashed the offender's teeth, but did not do so for love of God and His salvific commandments. (I do not speak about sorry cases of loathsome pusillanimous hypocrisy, when a coward "christens", so to say, the ugly baby of his cowardice by the holy name of "Forgiveness", which is spiritually worse than if that person had really beaten up the offender giving a free vent to his just rage).

Thus, this new heavenly name can be received and must be received also in our present earthly life, for we must grow in intimacy with Lord, overcome sins and get more and more full with the infinite grace of Lord, aiming at perfection (Matthew 5:48).

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  • Perfect Levan, unlike the previous two answers, which although on the right track, did not capture the full meaning of the name as it pertains to the heavenly calling as you have. As an aside; here I am up in the early hours of the pre dawn again but with no "tee time" reservation to follow come the morning. Aug 25 '20 at 11:58
  • @OldeEnglish Thanks for the feedback and the up-vote! I also remembered an old custom of Native Americans who gave to e.g. a short sighted child a name "Hawk's Eye", thinking that the name will magically bring the energy of a hawk's sight to this man and the man's vision would be improved by this. A clever superstition, isn't it? Aug 25 '20 at 19:22
  • Yes indeed. The movie "Last of the Mohicans", starring Daniel Day Lewis, was based on this mythical character. The story has been passed around from generation to generation. As a kid in England, like many other kids, I would pretend to be him, particularly after Hollywood's & American TV's glorification of him and would go around wearing a raccoon skin hat with tail and pretend to shoot at a target from long distances. Thanks for rekindling the memory. My wife and I even sold replica's of these hats out of our Kid's Store in Colorado back in the 90's. Aug 25 '20 at 22:41
  • :) I also used to play the "[American] Indians" game in my childhood, my Indian nickname was "Swift-legged Deer"! Aug 26 '20 at 11:25
  • That would have helped with the tennis career, no doubt...... Aug 26 '20 at 13:58
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White stone = pearl

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/Image_of_Revelation.svg

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The mention of "new name" is associated with a "white stone" in the city of Pergamum.

Pergamum is located in modern-day Turkey and was about 110 miles north of the city of Ephesus and is a city known for its temples and altars (61 different altars have been if my memory serves me correctly).

Besides the Zeus altar (now at the Pergamum Museum in Germany) the other famous temple at Pergamum was to the god Asclepius. Asclepius is a god of healing. The Asclepion (the sanctuary to Asclepius) is essentially a day spa/hospital. People from around the known world would travel to Pergamum for healing from Asclepius.

If you were healed, you would honor the god by letting the world know that Asclepius had healed you. At Pergamum, there was a custom that you would write on a piece of marble - a "white stone" - your ailment, your treatment, and your "name." This would serve as a testimony to the healing power of Asclepius.

Here is a picture of the stones archeologists have found at the Asclepion in Pergamum:

enter image description here

"Name" in the ancient world - particularly in Judaism - was your destiny. You were to live up to your name.

Three thoughts from different scholars:

  1. Colin Hemer in The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia writes:

"The new name symbolized the individual's entry into a new life, status, or personality. The idea was familiar in the ancient world, when names were significant and linked with character." (pg. 103)

  1. Ronald H. Worth in The Seven Cities of the Apocalypse and Greco-Asian Culture writes:

"A name change was often given in the case of serious illness. If the patient survived, the new name bore a reference to life or to some Old Testament saint whose life was especially long. A new name, therefore, denoted a new person" (pg. 152).

  1. Ray Vanderlaan of That the World May Know ministry suggests that when you have been granted new life in Christ Jesus you become a "walking testimony" to the miracle that God performed in you. You like the "white stone" will bear a "new name" - a new character - a new life - in the world.

Our job is to be that testimony for others to see.

Your transformed character should - like the white stones with your name in Pergamum - testify to the world that the power of Jesus is real.

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