My Beloved and My Well-Beloved

That Matthew considered “My Beloved” to be a name of Jesus (Yeshua‘) is clear because of the way in which he quotes Isaiah:

Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen;
My Beloved in whom My soul is
well-pleased;
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. (Matthew 12:18 quoting Isaiah 42:1)

Isaiah 42 is the beginning of the passages in Isaiah that talks about God’s suffering servant. In Isaiah, God said that He had chosen His servant to accomplish His purposes in the world.

The Greek word agapētos describes something to be truly grateful for, something beautiful and desirable. It has the connotation of being precious because it is the only one. In Genesis 22, Isaac was the only (yakhid in Hebrew) true son of God’s promise to Abraham. The Greek translation of Genesis 22 uses the word agapētos (Gen. 22:2, 12, 16). This name of Jesus carries a deeper meaning: not only did God love Jesus deeply because He was His only Son, He must have loved us deeply to choose to give up One so precious as Jesus for us.

Picture of the Hebrew text of Isaiah 5:1 where Isaiah called God dodi meaning "My Beloved."

Isaiah called God My Beloved in Isaiah 5:1

My Beloved in Hebrew:

Dodi

Strong’s Concordance number: 1730

Bible reference: Isa. 5:1

Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill. (Isaiah 5:1 KJV)

My Well-Beloved in Hebrew:

Picture of the Hebrew text of Isaiah 5:1 where Isaiah called God yedidi meaning "My Well beloved."

In Isaiah 5:1 Isaiah called God yedidi meaning “My Well beloved”

Yedidi

Strong’s Concordance number: 3039

Bible reference: Isa. 5:1

Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill. (Isaiah 5:1 KJV)

The Greek Old Testament uses the words ēgapēmenos and agapētos to translate Isaiah’s pet names for God.

My Beloved in Greek:

Ho agapētos mou

Strong’s Concordance number: 27

Bible reference: Matt. 12:18

Beloved in Greek:

Picture of one of the names of Jesus, Beloved, in the Greek text of Ephesians 1:6

Beloved in the Greek text of Eph. 1:6

Ēgapēmenos

Strong’s Concordance number: 25

Bible reference: Eph. 1:6 (The NIV calls Him “the One He loves”.)

. . . to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)

Several church fathers used this name for Jesus.

The Greek translation of the Old Testament uses ēgapēmenos in place of the Hebrew Jeshurun, which is a special name that God has for His people. In that translation, God calls His people “beloved.” One of the biblical names for God is God of Jeshurun (Deut. 32:15; 33:26; Isa. 44:2). In the New Testament God called Jesus “My Beloved Son” and He is also the “Son of His love.”

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