The origin of the name Jehovah Rapha can be traced back to two Hebrew words used in the Old Testament, which in combination can mean “God who heals.”
“Jehovah,” which is derived from the Hebrew word Havah can be translated as “to be,” “to exist,” or “to become known.” The Hebraic translation of Rapha (râpâ) means “to restore” or “to heal.”
Jehovah-Rapha is also recognized as Yahweh-Rapha.
When does God first reveal Himself as Jehovah-Rapha in the Bible?
God first revealed Himself as Jehovah-Rapha to the Israelites after their exodus out of Egypt.
After three days of wandering in the Desert of Shur, the Israelites were in desperate need of water. They discovered a river, however, the waters were unfit to drink. As a reflection of the quality of the water and their emotional disposition, the Israelites named the river Mahra (bitter).
God divinely cleansed the waters by instructing Moses to throw a piece of wood into the water, thereby making it drinkable.
Following this miracle, God declared HImself as Jehovah Rapha to His people by proclaiming, “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)
This promise was also a gesture of assurance from God to the Israelites, who had borne witness to the 10 plagues that God had released over all of Egypt prior to their release from slavery.
In what ways does God heal as Jehovah-Rapha?
The varying manifestations of God’s tremendous healing power as Jehovah-Rapha can be found in the following biblical passages to combat the following:
- Sickness and infirmity (Psalm 41:3)
- Healing from mental affliction (Jonah 2:5-7)
- Spiritual fatigue (Psalm 23:3)
- Emotional suffering (Psalm 147:3)
- Anxiety or worry (John 14:27)
Old Testament References to God as the Healer
The following are a few biblical references that refer to Jehovah-Rapha in the Old Testament:
Psalm 103:3: “(W)who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,”
Psalm 147:3 : He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Isaiah 30:26:“The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.”
Jeremiah 30:17: “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.”
Jeremiah 33:6: “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”
Hosea 6:1:“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
Jehovah-Rapha in the New Testament
- Healing a man with leprosy (Matthew 8:1-4)
- Forgiving and healing a paralyzed man (Mark 2:5-12)
- Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41-44)
- Restoring the eyesight of two blind men (Matthew 9:27-31)
- Healing a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (Luke 8:42-48)
- Healing of a multitude of people from touching Jesus’ garment in Gennesaret (Mark 6:53-56)
Jesus’ healing incorporated the qualities that Jehovah-Rapha bestowed upon the Israelites of the Old Testament – healing from physical ailment as well as spiritual healing through forgiveness (James 5:14-16).
Is the name Jehovah-Rapha applicable to us today?
We can call upon Jehovah-Rapha today to heal us of our physical ailments and to provide redemption for our sins. Through the power of the blood of the Great Physician – Jesus Christ –, we can rise from our old sinful life as new creations in eternal fellowship with God.
Additionally, as the Israelites were cleansed of their bitter hearts and resentment at the river Mahra, so we can ask God to examine our hearts and cleanse them of bitterness, pride, and other afflictions of the heart that are rooted in sin (Psalm 51:10).
A Prayer to Jehovah-Rapha
Father God, we need your healing. I lift up my need to you, Jehovah-Rapha for healing from past hurts and physical pains that cause harm to my spiritual growth. I reach out to you and receive the healing that you alone can provide. I need whole body healing Lord. Fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit to help bring healing to others. May my scars minister to those who need encouragement. Help me to walk in wholeness and newness of life today and forever more until I have a perfected, holy, fully healed body in your presence in heaven. Amen.
- Beingwoven.org, “Jehovah-Rapha – יְהֹוָה רָפָא”
- openbible.info, “What does the Bible say about the Great Physician?”
- Christianity.com, “How do we know the gospels show us the real Jesus?”
Madeline Twooney is a Christian writer and blogger. She is British but grew up in Australia and now lives in Germany with her husband and their one-eared pussycat. Madeline has written articles for SheLoves, Converge, and Ruminate Magazine, and is a freelance contributor for YMI Magazine. In her spare time, she gets creative as a freelance Special Effects Makeup artist, and she dances to Sister Sledge whilst cooking. You can contact Madeline at [email protected] or Tweet her at @MTwooney.
Photo Credit: Getty/Jantanee Rungpranomkorn