Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"What's in a Name?"

I have long been interested in the meaning of people's names.  Parents may pick a name for their child because they like the sound of it, or to honor a significant person or family member.  But all names have an origin and a meaning, and for some reason, I like finding that out.

As an illustrator, that has translated into creating paintings based on the meaning of names.  I started with my own daughter.  Her name means "noble strength."  We chose her name before we found out the meaning, but were delighted once we did because it fit her perfectly.  Here's the painting I did for her:

I've also done this one, which I've given as a gift to both a Caitlin and Karey, because their names both mean "pure."

I've also been working on the name Joseph, which means "God will provide."  I used Joseph of Egypt as the focal character in this sketch to demonstrate the way God used Joseph, despite his many trials, to provide for both Egypt and the house of Israel during the great famine.  

Did Jacob and Rachel know their son would do that when they held him as an infant and gave him his name?  Well, Jacob was a prophet, so maybe he did.  But I'm sure there were many times Joseph wondered why all those terrible things happened to him, and how it was that God would provide.  Sitting forgotten in the dungeons of a foreign land, he could never have imagined the miraculous change of circumstances that would follow, and how all his trials were leading up to a very significant purpose.

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