Names Repeated Twice

Names Repeated Twice

These first four occasions of twice-repeated names are in the Old Testament, and the character responds to the Lord’s voice with, “Here I am.” The final three occurrences of twice-repeated names are in the New Testament. In the three New Testament occasions of twice-repeated names, there was no “Here I am” response from a biblical character, which was a phrase we saw in the four contexts of the Old Testament occurrences.

Plenty of Old and New Testament passages have dialogue where a character’s name is mentioned. But there are occasions—and you can hold them in two hands—when the Lord calls someone’s name twice in a row.

Counting the names that are repeated twice in the Old and New Testaments, we find seven.

The first time was in Genesis 22:11. In Genesis 22, Abraham was preparing to offer his son Isaac on the altar, in accordance with the Lord’s instructions. When he reached out his hand with the knife to kill Isaac, the angel of Yahweh called from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” (Gen. 22:11). And Abraham replied, “Here I am.”

The second time was in Genesis 46:2. In Genesis 46, Jacob had recently learned that his son Joseph was alive after many years of believing Joseph was dead. Jacob began his journey toward Egypt, where he would reunite with Joseph. When Jacob came to Beersheba and offered sacrifices to the Lord, the Lord spoke to him and said, “Jacob, Jacob” (Gen. 46:2). And Jacob replied, “Here I am.”

The third time was in Exodus 3:4. Moses had been keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, and an angel of Yahweh appeared to Moses in the flame of fire from a bush (Exod. 3:1–2). Moses turned aside to see what was happening, and God called to him, “Moses, Moses!” (3:4). And Moses replied, “Here I am.”

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