The Lord’s Prayer 3: “Hallowed Be Thy Name”

Articles 2 Comments

How can the name of God be "hallowed"? Actually, the sense of the word might better be expressed in English by "sanctify." The whole phrase could be translated, "May your name be sanctified."

This is more than a mere formula of praise. How can the name of God be “hallowed”? Actually, the sense of the word might better be expressed in English by “sanctify.” The whole phrase could be translated, “May your name be sanctified.”

Sanctity of God

The sanctity of God is a well-known biblical theme (e.g., Isa. 6:3) and seems to be related to God’s justice. Compare Ezekiel 38:23:

I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

יתקדש (yit·ka·DESH, “be hallowed” or “be sanctified”), the Hebrew word Jesus probably used in the prayer he taught his disciples, is parallel to והתקדשתי (ve·hit·ka·dish·TI, “I will show…my holiness”) in Ezekiel 38:23. This verse from Ezekiel formed the basis for a number of ancient Jewish prayers. One of these is that of Rabbi Ezekiel which appears in  Ta’anit 64b in the Jerusalem Talmud. When the much-needed rains came, he would bless the LORD: “May your name be magnified, sanctified and exalted, our King, for every drop that you send us.”

Premium Members
If you are not a Premium Member, please consider becoming one starting at $10/month (paid monthly) or only $5/month (paid annually):

One Time Purchase Rather Than Membership
Rather than a membership, you may also purchase access to this entire page for $1.99 USD. (If you do not have an account select "Register & Purchase.")

Login & Purchase
To read the next article in this series, click here.

  • Brad H. Young

    Brad H. Young

    Brad H. Young is the founder and president of the Gospel Research Foundation, Tulsa, Oklahoma. A founding member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, he is professor of New Testament Studies in the Graduate School of Theology at Oral Roberts University. Young earned M.A. and Ph.D.…
    [Read more about author]

  • Online Hebrew Course

    Do you want to learn Hebrew? Check out our online Hebrew course Aleph-Bet: Hebrew Reading and Writing for Christians in 17 Easy Lessons.