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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names

Jeshua

By Jeff A. Benner

Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city; Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: (KJV, Ezra 2:1-2)

The name Jeshua appears 30 times in the Hebrew Bible and is found in the books of 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah. This name is the Latinized form of the Aramaic name ישוע (yeshua, Strong's #3442). While we may pronounce the Latin letter "J" as "dg," when this letter first appeared around the 15th century it had a "y" sound, as it still does today in Slavic languages. The name Yeshua/Jeshua is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew name יהושוע (yehoshua, Strong's #3091), which means "Yah is salvation."

The Latinized form of Yehoshua is Joshua, and as previously mentioned, the Latinized form of Yeshua is Jeshua. In the Greek Septuagint, the 2000 year old Greek translation of the Tanach / Old Testament, both Yeshua and Yehoshua are transliterated as Iesous. As there is no "Y" in Greek, the letter "I" is used and as there is no "Sh" in Greek, the letter "S" is used instead. When the Greek New Testament was written, the Greek name Iesous was used for both Yeshua/Jeshua and Yehoshua/Joshua, but when the Greek Iesous was Latinized it became Jesus, which is the Latinized form of the Greek Iesous, which is the Greek form of the Aramaic Yeshua, which is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew Yehoshua. Due to this confusion with this name, some translations of the New Testament may have Jesus, but another translation may have Joshua, such as can be seen in these two translations of Acts 7:45.

Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles… (KJV)

Which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered on the possession of the nations… (ASV)

It should be kept in mind that all of these names; Jeshua, Joshua, Jesus, Iesous, Yeshua and Yehoshua, are the very same name, all coming from the Hebrew name Yehoshua.




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