In Daniel 9:19 we read

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name."

I can see how if the second letter in the name Yerushalem ירשלם was a he ה it would have God's name in it: Yahushalem יהשלם. However, given that this is not a he ה but a resh ר, what does this verse mean? Is there reason for thinking that Jerusalem is a theophoric name?


The point of the context is that God's name will be glorified by Israel being blessed, and by Jerusalem being blessed. As such, I don't think it is necessary to see God's name in "Jerusalem". What is translated "by" in "by thy name" is actually the two prepositions governing "Jerusalem" and "Israel" - the Hebrew preposition "al". It usually means "on/over", and can have various other meanings. Young translates the clause, "for Thy name is called on Thy city, and on Thy people." The word "on" here may indicate support, as in "relying, supported on" (HALOT on Dan 9:18), or it may simply mean "over" (as in "Thy name is called over thy city and over thy people"). Either way, it denotes a close association between God, Israel His people, and Jerusalem, His chosen city. The point here therefore is the same point Moses makes in Num 14:

Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” And Moses said to the Lord: “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”


A rose by any other name.

The notion isn't that it's in the name itself, but rather that there be an association made. Contextually, Daniel is calling for God's mercy on Jerusalem and His people, Israel, who are in ruin. Daniel's petition is that God be merciful not because Israel deserves it, but because God's name (i.e. reputation, etc.) is associated with both Jerusalem and Israel. So them being in ruin leaves people thinking that God is in ruin - because people think of Jerusalem and Israel are directly connected to God. They represent God in some manner. What is emphasised is that Jerusalem is the city of God, but not necessarily that its name is that of God's.

Textual examples of the city being called with God's name (i.e. a direct connection being made between the city and its "representing" God):

Psalms 48:2,9
Isaiah 60:14

Textual examples of the nation/people being called with God's name:

Numbers 11:29, 17:6
Judges 5:13
Samuel II 1:12


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