Posted by: Tricia | March 27, 2012

What’s in a name?

It’s always been important to us to choose names for our children that not only appeal to us, but whose meanings remind us of what we believe is important.  There are so many wonderful names to choose from, but for us, a name takes on so much more depth when the meanings and origins are considered.

Elliott Keene – “The Lord is my God/Wise one”

Evan Nehemiah (our son lost after 14 weeks of pregnancy) – “God is good/God has comforted”

Jude David – “Praise & thanks be to God/Beloved”

We have been blessed with the chance to name three boys already and each time we find that during our quest for a name we learn more about God, who He is, and how great His love is for us.  And, it’s really a lot of fun, too!

So, without further ado, we have decided to name the newest addition to our family

Benjamin Donald Welch

(Hi! My name is Benjamin!)

To add a little more depth to why we chose the name Benjamin here is some of what we discovered about the Benjamin of the Bible during our search.

The story of Benjamin (the youngest son of Jacob) and his people is a fascinating story that winds its way throughout the bible. Just as Benjamin would by birth be considered the least of his brothers his tribe would also be considered this way. And in fact the blessing Jacob gave him was almost a curse saying he would “ravin like a wolf” and “share the spoils at night”. This was true of the tribe in it’s early days. And in fact for its great sin the other tribes nearly wiped out all of Benjamin, leaving only 600 men.

Still God provided a way for these men to find wives and to continue on as a people. There is a definite turning point for the tribe as they eventually fulfill prophecy becoming a light and servant to the tribe of Judah (the house of David and Jesus) and after this point writers seem only to refer to the tribe in a positive way for the righteous things they do (as if their sins were completely forgiven!) On several occasions in the old testament the people of Benjamin choose to stay with Judah (the only tribe that does as the other 10 tribes move north), shunning their own safety or turning down the possibility of power. They protect Judah and God’s people. One of several instances is Esther and her uncle Mordecai (of the tribe of Benjamin) whose strategy stopped the slaughter of the whole tribe of Judah at the hand of Haman.

Deuteronomy 33:12 tells us that the Lord would dwell between the shoulders of Benjamin. This prophecy (which is truly a sign of redemption for the people of Benjamin) comes true as Solomon places Jerusalem and the temple in Benjamin’s territory on Mount Moriah (or in the shoulders of Mount Moriah). It was this very mountain where Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrafice and where Christ himself would die. This is a very important place to God and it is in little Benjamin’s territory.

Another way that Benjamin figures prominently into God’s word and the salvation of his people is the fact that Saul of Tarsus (named after King Saul from the tribe of Benjamin) was of the tribe of Benjamin as well. In many people’s minds this would have given him less authority to be God’s messenger since he was not of the House of David. But on the road to Damascus Jesus himself (via a vision) appointed Saul as his apostle and renamed him Paul (meaning small or little). Although Paul was “the least” and even was an enemy to the church God utterly changed him and used him as arguably the greatest missionary of all time taking the gospel to Gentiles and Jews alike in his own time and even still today through all of his writings. Yes even Saul, persecutor of the church was used greatly by God.

So… all this is to say that when we hear the name Benjamin it reminds us of this simple fact:

God uses the least, the smallest, the weakest, even those who were his enemies to do the greatest things. And by doing this he reserves all glory for himself.

As for the middle name, Donald; we could not be more pleased for Benjamin to share a name with his Grandfather, Don Welch.

  What an amazing man he was, truly living out a life that was pleasing to the Lord.  Words cannot express how difficult it is to know that our boys will never personally know their Pop.  But, it is our hope that they will learn over the years more and more about the kind of man that he was and what he stood for.  And, it is our desire that each of our boys will possess the same character that he had.  He would be so proud of each of them…an amazing man indeed.

(Elliott at his Pop’s grave – 2009)



  1. I meant to tell you this in person, but here goes. I love the name, the meaning and the honoring of Don. Beautiful!

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