Salvation: Yeshuah יְשׁוּעָה (Strong’s 3444)
Root: From Yasha “to save”, יָשַׁע (yod, shin, ayin) [sounds like y’shu-a)
Salvation is a word we often hear bantered around during Sunday service… but what does it really mean? Take theology out of it and it means deliverance from harm, ruin or loss. Theologically it also means the same thing, with the harm/ruin/loss being death. Salvation, in the Judeo-Christian sense, is to be saved from death…it takes you beyond death and into eternity. Who brings salvation? Jesus, whose name is pronounced Yeshua in Hebrew.
What makes this so perfect is that Yeshua, in Hebrew, means “salvation”. Really, there is no better name to have given Him!
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Yeshua [Salvation]. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Songs of Salvation
We are called to claim God’s salvation through song:
1 Chronicles 16:23
Sing to YHWH, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation [Yeshua-tow] from day to day.
Many of God’s greatest followers took that to heart, singing songs that magnified the Lord. Notice how each of their songs highlight the word salvation:
Song of Moses:
“YHWH is my strength and song,
And to me He has become salvation [li-yeshua];
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will extol Him.
YHWH is a warrior; YHWH is His name.”
1 Samuel 2:1
“My heart exults in YHWH; My horn is exalted in YHWH,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
because I rejoice in Your salvation [bi-yeshua-teka].
There is no one holy like YHWH,
Indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.”
2 Samuel 22:50-51
“Therefore I will give thanks to You, O YHWH, among the nations, and I will sing praises to Your name.
He is a tower of salvation [yeshua-ot] to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed [li-m’schiach-ow- His Messiah], to David and his descendants forever.”
And I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation [b-yeshua-teka].
I will sing to YHWH, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Habakkuk 3:12-13a, 17b-18
In indignation You marched through the earth; In anger You trampled the nations.
You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for the salvation of Your Anointed (Meshiach or “Messiah” in Hebrew)…
…Though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in YHWH, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Isaiah speaks of Salvation the Servant
Of all the prophets Isaiah speaks of the coming Messiah more than any other. The Messiah is God’s salvation for His people. He is to be a light to the nations, a suffering Servant, the Lamb of God, and a Salvation for the people, that lasts forever:
He [YHWH] says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation [Yeshua-ti] may reach to the end of the earth.”
“My righteousness is near, My salvation [yishi] has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait for Me, and for My arm they will wait expectantly.
Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
But My salvation [w’yishuati] will be forever, and My righteousness will not wane.”
Yeshua is Salvation
At the crucifixion of Yeshua many mock Him while He hangs on the cross for not being able to save Himself. The wordplay between Yeshua (meaning salvation) and “to save” is lost in English translation. Ultimately it’s ironic that a man named Salvation appears to not be able to save himself:
Those who passed by heaped abuse on Him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, come down from the cross and save Yourself!”
In the same way, the chief priests and scribes mocked Him among themselves, saying, “He who saved others cannot even save Himself!”
And, in a way, there is truth in that. Could He have miraculously escaped the cross? Theoretically, yes… but Yeshua was so good and perfect that He could not make Himself do it; because of His goodness He could not abandon His purpose. Having been made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation for all:
During the days of Jesus’ earthly life, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered, and having been made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him…
It is for this reason that He willingly offered Himself to die… to be Salvation for everyone:
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The perfect name for our Saviour
Whenever you come across the word Salvation in your Bible, as an exercise, try saying the Hebrew word Yeshua or, if you prefer, Jesus. In every instance it will make perfect sense!
“Behold, God is my Yeshua, I will trust and not be afraid;
For YHWH is my strength and song, and He has become my Yeshua.”
“Therefore My people shall know My name. In that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I Am.’ How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness; who announces Jesus, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Every Hebrew name is heavy with meaning… Yeshua (Jesus) is no exception. He was named exactly what he was: the Salvation of us all.
Next week: Healer