The first time I developed an interest in the variegated names of God was when Kachee of KacheeTee.com made a post about 15 Uplifting Bible Verses on the Power & Strength of God’s Arm/Hand. A post that stemmed for the #HallelujahChallenge that took the media by storm a month ago, popularizing the Yoruba name of God, Olowogbogboro, that was hitherto unknown to many and took on a new and more powerful meaning for the few who knew it prior to the time.
Of particular attraction to me, in the comments section of the aforementioned post, was another Yoruba name for God – Asoromaye, meaning “He who prophesizes and it comes to pass.” Maybe because I was believing God for a miracle at the time and had just (re-)read some uplifting verses, it carried great significance for me. In addition, it made me wonder just how many more beautiful names of God were out there, lying hidden from God’s people.
You must know that I have a great love for languages, and among the 250 Nigerian cultures (and languages?) I have an inexplicable love for the Yorubas. A love that first reared its head in childhood, in the form of a wishful dream of getting married to a Yoruba man, and has somehow managed to survive since then. My both parents are Igbo, so I am a full-blooded Igbo gehl and have no knowledge of any erstwhile blood ties to the Yorubas. Where this love for them emanates from remains questionable.
Fun fact: Nobody guesses that I am Igbo when they have to. Okay, that’s me pushing my luck.
I was going to share a verse image to my Instagram page this morning with a caption, “God loves you.” To spice up things a little, I thought to google different ways it could be said across languages. It was while googling how to say it in Yoruba that I came across a list of God’s names in Yoruba, along with their meanings in English – something I have always wanted to learn. I found some beautiful ones, which I intend to share in this post. And just so I do not betray my Igbo bloodline, I also googled names of God in Igbo. To my amazement, I found even more beautiful, some awe-inspiring and mind-boggling names of God, contributed by some amazing persons. I also stumbled on a Vanguard post reviewing a brilliant book by Folorunsho Alakija. A book in which the author attempted to capture over 2,000 names of God across diverse languages. I like how the writer introduced his review of the book:
“Without a wholesome or complete revelation of the vastness of God’s names, a believer is limited and disadvantaged. That ignorance undermines the joy that awaits us- the appropriation of all the benefits and comforts of redemption that rightly belongs to God’s children. Indeed, not understanding or misunderstanding who God is, is a dangerous dereliction….”
A quote credited to Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, who wrote the foreword for the book, and one that aptly captures the essence of this post.
Some Yoruba Names of God:
- Oba ti mbe nibi gbogbo nigba gbogbo – The ubiquitous God
- Onimajemu – Covenant keeping God
- Afunni ma s’iregun – The God who blesses without asking for reward
- Adanimagbagbe – The creator who never forgets the created
- Atogbojule – Dependable God
- Alatilehin – Our succor
- Olowogbogboro – God whose hand is long enough to reach any length
- Oba ti gbobo oba nt’owo Re gb’ase – King from whom kings take directives
- Ibere ati opin – The Alpha and omega
- Olulana – The wonderful way maker
Some Igbo Names of God:
- Omama macha macha – Omniscience
- Dike na agha – Great in battle
- Onye ana akpo oku ozaa – One who answers when called upon
- Nkume nke ebighi ebi – Rock of ages
- Chukwu gara na ala nmuo jiri ugo lota – The God that went into hell and came out victorious
- Agu na eche mba – The great guardian of a people or city
- Ugwu ana atu egwu – The dreaded one
- Ogbara nkiti okwu juru n’onu – Silent but has a lot to say
- Oputa Obie – He settles disputes upon appearance
- Ngalaba ji isi ulo – The pillar of the house
- Oji ji, ji nma – He has the power to share and distribute resources
- Ikuku ama na onya – The air that never gets trapped
- Akata isi ebu e – He that when one remembers one becomes strong
- Otiri nwata ife nalu ya akwa – He that beats a child and takes cry away from him
- Di ezi omume – The father of good deeds
I’m not learned in Yoruba. I can’t pronounce most of those names, but their meanings are very reassuring. My understanding of Igbo set up excitement on my inside as I read the names of God in Igbo. No wonder I overshot my initial decision to share 10 names of God each in Yoruba and Igbo. See why I said that quote was apt? Now, imagine if you infused all these names of God in your prayer and even found scriptures to back them up! I am sure you can already see what I envision! I had a hard time hand-picking a select few. My list is grossly inadequate, but goes a long way to show how much of God there is to know and leverage upon.
What are your favourite names of God in your language? Share with us and their meanings.
Ps: My favourite from the Yoruba section is number 8. I like number 13 the most from the Igbo section, and also number 9.
So much love,
God’s love, and mine. ❤