What Does it Mean that God Is Jehovah-Rapha?

God is known by many names in the Bible. Each name reveals a certain aspect of His character. Jehovah-Rapha is one such name found in the Old Testament and means “The God who heals” in Hebrew.
Madeline Twooney
What Does it Mean that God Is Jehovah-Rapha?

Jehovah-Rapha Meaning

The origin of Jehovah Rapha can be traced back to two Hebrew words, 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. The 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:

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

The prophet Isaiah foreshadowed the healing ministry of Jesus in Isaiah 61:1. This was confirmed by the Apostle Matthew in Matthew 8:17.

In the New Testament, Jesus is known as the Great Physician (Mark 2:17). The 4 gospels record the various healing miracles that Jesus performed, including the following:

- 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).

Sources:

Gotquestions.org, “What does it mean that God is Jehovah-Rapha?

CBN.com, “Jehovah-Rapha”

Beingwoven.org, “Jehovah-Rapha – יְהֹוָה רָפָא

openbible.info, “What does the Bible say about the Great Physcian?”

ligonier.org, Jesus, 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/Arkira


Originally published July 10, 2019.