Judges 13:17–18 (MEV): Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we can honor you when your words come true?”
The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name? It is too wonderful.”
Manoah is the father of the biblical strongman Samson. His wife was visited by the angel of the Lord. This we know as a Theophany, or a preincarnate visit from Jesus. Manoah boldly asked for the angel’s name. It is answered.
I find it interesting that this is written long before the kings and prophets, and specifically Isaiah. It draws a particular target to a specific verse.
Isaiah 9:6 (MEV): For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The two words translated to wonderful are related and come from the same Hebrew root. The first usage in Judges is striking as the particular form of Hebrew hints at something secretively wonderful. Even the answer given to Manoah is ripe with intrigue.
The second usage is subtly different. It offers the idea of a miraculous wonder. Again, given the way Isaiah writes, that idea is clearly conveyed in the text a human child is born, a divine Son is given.
I also hear that particular verse in Isaiah with the conman between wonderful and counselor. With the list provided, His name is too wonderful.
Philippians 2:9 (MEV): Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name,
It is the Name above every other Name. It is also the only Name by which anyone can be saved… That is rescued from perdition.
Acts 4:12 (MEV): There is no salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
There is no other. When the Angle of the Lord said His name was too wonderful, it wasn’t a braggadocios boast. It was a simple truth. Jesus is exalted above all.
He is the example for us and how to conduct ourselves.
Philippians 2:5–11 (MEV): Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
He didn’t just teach us what servant humility looks like. He took on the dirt body we humans have. He submitted Himself to death, the penalty for our sins. (He didn’t have any.)
That Name is too wonderful. There are no words that can adequately explain all that it encompasses.
Yet… Every tongue will confess His Name and honor His position. For those under the earth, there is no benefit. But you are reading this now, there is great benefit available for you. By calling on His name, you can receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.