If you are familiar with Ted Dekker’s Black, Red and White, Elyon is the name used for the mysterious “Creator” in the story. When I read the books I wondered why Dekker made up a crazy name like that for one who was obviously God. Now I understand. Elyon is actually one of God’s Hebrew names.
The name Elyon, also spelled Elyown and Elyowniyn (in Daniel) is translated as “most High,” or “most high God.”
When the name is written with “God” as “most high God” I think the name is strengthened, and is written as Elyon El. El (translated as God) means strong and mighty. Elyon is derived from alah, to go up, to be elevated, and designates God as the high and exalted One. So, put together it would mean the strong and mighty One who is elevated above all others.
USES OF ELYON
Elyon is used in the Old Testament 57 times. It is used for the name of God 32 times; but is also used for other things 25 times.
These other things I refer to give us some insight into the meaning of the name of God. They are all descriptions of something that is elevated or on top, such as: the top basket (Gen 40:7); Upper Beth Haron (a city, I Ki. 18:17); Upper Gate (2 Chron. 23:20; upper outlet (2 Chron. 32:30; upper room (Ezek. 42:5). Hence the word here suggests headship, one on top, or exalted.
Elyon is used four times in scripture with LORD (Yahweh): In Gen. 14:22; Ps. 7:17; Ps. 47:2; and Ps. 97:9. This really puts a personal emphasis to His name, especially to those who know Him personally—like us. He is the most high God and He is ours. He is my God and is over all others.
The name is used in Daniel four times, but is spelled a little different, as Elyowniyn. I don’t know why. Ask a Hebrew student.
Elyon is translated as “most High” (with a capitol H) 18 times. At first I didn’t know why, and then I figured it out. When the name is not used along side of another name like LORD or God, it is always capitalized as “most High,” otherwise it is always as “most high.”
Now the big question is: why different names of God are used? And here in this study we are asking why the name Elyon (most High) is used in certain contexts? Here are six reasons that I would suggest:
SIX REASONS WHY ELYON IS USED IN CERTAIN CONTEXTS FOR GOD’S NAME
1. When it says that He is the owner and creator of heaven and earth. In Genesis 14:19, Melchizedek said to Abraham, “Blessed be Abram of God most High, possessor of heaven and earth.”
2. To encourage us to praise Him. Psalms 9:2 says,
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
3. When it says that God is a great King. Psalms 47:2 says,
For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
4. He is most able to redeem. Psalms 78 35 says,
Then they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
5. He is above the anti-Christ, and in the end will destroy him and give His saints rulership in His kingdom.
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time.
26 ‘But the court shall be seated,
And they shall take away his dominion,
To consume and destroy it forever.
27 Then the kingdom and dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.
Elyon. I really like that name. It’s a lot like Elohim. But I think I like it better. It has a nice ring to it. Don’t you think?