“Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” (Psalm 68:18, emphasis mine)
Maybe it should read “yay! for the rebellious also”.
The name “Mary” in its Hebrew form, means “rebellious”, or “bitter”. This being said, I find it amazing to see the way Jesus interacted with several women whose name essentially means the active opposite of what God stands for. It made Him no nevermind. That’s the beauty of God. It doesn’t matter what your name is. If need be, He’ll change even the definition of that which is used to define you to the world. “Gifts” indeed.
Look at Jacob: “Yaqob” means “heel catcher” or “supplanter” (deceiver) in Hebrew. And with him, it started early. It was prophesied that “the elder shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23) Warring with his brother in the womb, it would seem he was destined—from a merely human perspective—to ever grasp for more from an attitude of gnawing poverty. As he was born after Esau, you can understand how when he wrestled with the angel, he said “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32:26). The angel (some say it was God, Himself) did indeed bless him by changing his name to “Israel”, saying “as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed” (verse 28) What a gift. But it cost something. When the angel touched him, he acquired a limp that lasted for the rest of his life.
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1 Samuel 15:23) This is Samuel speaking to Saul. Saul had sought to obtain knowledge by means other than what was proper before the Lord. Whereas Jacob wrestled with God, something that’s not recommended (you can’t win), at least it included God. Saul’s heart was never fully right with the Lord and when he consulted the woman with the “familiar spirit” (1 Samuel 28), effectively bringing up Samuel from his death’s rest to speak with him as opposed to God, it was all over for his kingship. That which had been a gift from God was never truly spent in His service. So the title was bestowed upon David.
While the titles “Czar”, “Tsar”, “Caesar” and “Kaiser” originate from the same etymology (each meaning “king”), the Hebrew name “Sarah” means “queen”, from the word “sar” which means “ruler”. Interesting.
“Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” (1 Corinthians 4:8-9) Paul continues, describing the contrast between the sufferings and hardships he and his fellow apostles had to endure while the Corinthians enjoyed the fruits that came with their toil. As we see with Jacob, there’s always a price to pay.
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:21) As an aside, “Anna” means “favoured” in Hebrew.
Mary, the mother of Jesus was chosen (in spite of the meaning of her name) to receive the greatest gift anyone could ask for: “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
“…that the Lord God might dwell among them.”