before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Meaning of a Name - The Ed Word (Edward)

Today is my son Edward's birthday.  He is now 1 year of age.  Though Tirzah and the rest of us often call him "Bubber", Edward's full name is much longer and filled with meaning for us.  


The name of our little guy is Edward Borden Benjamin Myers

Edward comes from the Old English ead meaning "blessed, rich" and weard, meaning "guardian, watcher".  

In Hebrew, Ed is a proper name meaning "witness".  It is the name given to a great altar built by the two and a half tribes (Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh) on the east side of Jordan, as a testimony to future generations that the LORD IS GOD (Numbers 22).  We desire for our son to become a bold witness for Christ, whose life will so given for Christ that it will alter the course of history as those who come after see what God has done!

I also appreciate that in the heart of the name is the word WAR.  We are in a great conflict of spiritual warfare.  I call him my little warrior, and desire him to grow to "be strong in the LORD" (Ephesians 6:10), and "turn the battle to the gate" (Isaiah 28:6).  We love having both our children join us each week at we minister at the abortion mill!  And my prayer for my son/warrior is that he will gain a great desire to defend those who are weak, be a hero for the fatherless and widow, win souls to Christ, do battle in the heavenlies, and that the Lord will mightily use him to "brake the jaws of the wicked, and pluck the spoil out of his teeth" (Job 29:17)!

Edward is the middle name of my father's father, Harold Edward Myers.  His birthday was March 27th, only 5 days earlier than Edward's (in fact, the 27th was one of the possible due dates we were given for Edward'a arrival).  Grandpa Myers taught me so much about life and family, God's creation, hard work, and integrity, and is now in Heaven with his blessed Redeemer.  Grandpa Myers was the one to lead my father to salvation in Jesus, and my father led me.  And I pray daily for Edward to come to saving faith in Christ alone!

Edward is a name that carries a royal weight.

King Alfred the Great's eldest son was named Edward.  In the last hours of Alfred's life, he called for Edward, to give him a last charge as king:

"Thou my dear son, set thee now beside me, and I will deliver thee true instructions.  I feel that my hour is coming.  My strength is gone; my countenance is wasted and pale.  My days are almost ended.  We must now part. I go to another world, and thou art to be left alone in the possession of all that I have thus far held.  I pray thee, my dear child, to be a father to thy people.  Be the children's father and the widow's friend.  Comfort the poor, protect and shelter the weak, and, with all thy might, right that which is wrong.  And, my son, govern thyself by law.  Then shall the Lord love thee, and God Himself shall be thy reward.  Call thou upon Him to advise thee in all thy need, and He shall help thee to compass all thy desires."

History tells us that this son, who succeeded Alfred, became a good and just ruler, and gained such renown, that the name Edward remained in popular use even after the Norman conquest, when Norman names replaced English ones.  In fact, eight other monarchs of England were given the name of Edward in honour of that son of Alfred.

One of those "Edward kings" (and my favorite), was Edward VI, by some called "the British Josiah", whose short life of fifteen years and brief reign of only six years, nevertheless burned brightly for the Scriptures and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and altered the course of England's history.  When preparations for his coronation were being made, it is said that three swords were brought out to be carried in the procession, as emblematic of his three kingdoms.  The young Edward said, "There was one yet wanting."  The nobles inquired what it was and he answered, 

"The Bible.  That book is the sword of the Spirit, and to be preferred before these swords.  That ought in right to govern us, who use them for the people's safety by God's appointment.  Without that sword we are nothing, we can do nothing, we have not power.  From the Bible we are what we are this day.  From it we receive whatsoever it is that we at present do assume.  He that rules without it is not to be called God's minister or king.  Under the Bible, the word of God, we ought to live, to fight, to govern the people and to perform all our affairs.  From it alone we obtain all power, virtue, grace, salvation and whatsoever we have of divine strength."  O, that our son Edward would treasure that Sword, and wield it faithfully!

Edward Ruthledge was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Though he was cautious to come to the decision to separate from Britain, Ruthledge, at age 26, became the youngest of the 56 signers, to pledged his life, fortune, and sacred honour to see his fledgling nation free from the tyranny of George III.

Borden means "from the boar valley".  This is interesting, since my dear wife Deana's name means "from the valley".  We desire for our son to take on the challenges and dangers of life with an incorrigible trust in the living God, no matter his outward circumstance.

The father of the Borden family came to England circa the Norman conquest, following King William the Conqueror, and was granted land and named a Baron in recognition of his assistance in the Battle of Hastings. 

We named our son after the stalwart young millionaire, William Whiting Borden (1887-1913), who forsook the world and followed Jesus Christ to the mission field.  Though he died at age 25 in Cairo before ever reaching his beloved China, the incredible life of dogged love for souls and daring givenness of William Borden has caused multitudes of Christians since to be moved to the mission field.  We desire for our son to be ready for God's call to missions, and to "Say No to Self, Yes to Jesus every time."  


It is special to us that in Borden, our son Edward is named after a William, since we lost his older brother, William Livingstone Samuel, before birth.  Each and every child is a blessing to be cherished, welcomed, and valued as the "heritage of the LORD" (Psalm 127:3).

Benjamin is Hebrew, meaning "son of the right hand".  Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob, and Joseph's brother, whose family became a tribe.  A few of the heroes that came from the tribe of Benjamin are Ehud, Jonathan, Mordecai, and the apostle Paul.  "Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of  man whom thou madest strong for thyself" (Psalm 80:17).  

My mother's father is named Benjamin Russell Markley, Jr.  He too, has taught me an incredible amount about diligence, character, heritage, and service for the Lord.  At 91, he is still with us, and we plan to visit him this weekend.  Both I and my son Edward have the middle name of Benjamin.   

There were three signers of the Declaration of Independence named Benjamin:
Benjamin Franklin - Pennsylvania  
Benjamin Rush - Pennsylvania
Benjamin Harrison - Virginia

   Of these three signers, my favorite is Benjamin Rush, who was a staunch Christian, a passionate patriot, and being an early Abolitionist, he founded the first abolitionist society in America.  Even while King George outlawed such groups.  Rush was also a scientist and dedicated physician, who risked his own life to stay and care for hundreds of patients during an epidemic in Philadelphia, even as many other doctors were fleeing for their own safety. Dr. Rush wrote a powerful defense of the use of the Bible in public schools, which later became a widespread tract.  He served under three U.S. Presidents of different parties.  Benjamin would find a man who followed Biblical principles, and would stand with him.  He said once "People have alternately called me an Aristocract and a Democrat.  I am neither.  I am a Christocrat."

We are humbled and grateful for the honour of receiving and raising this son, and do seek God's wisdom and direction as we train our children to know, fear, love, and serve God with all their hearts!  

Happy Birthday, Edward!  Love you, Bubber!

1 comment:

  1. Precious. It's our privilege to call Edward our grandson. Thanks for taking the time to write this honorable tribute.

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