In the process of Creation G-d eventually calls names of different things:

וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה ...׃
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.

וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָרָקִיעַ שָׁמָיִם...׃
God called the expanse Sky.

וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לַיַּבָּשָׁה אֶרֶץ וּלְמִקְוֵה הַמַּיִם קָרָא יַמִּים וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי־טוֹב׃

God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering of waters He called Seas. And God saw that this was good.

What does it mean G-d called something a name?

  • I do not think we know the answer to these questions. Presumably. they mean what they are, the sky is the sky, the wind is wind, the earth is earth and so on. Of course, the creation account in Genesis is a parable.
    – Turk Hill
    Oct 26, 2019 at 23:24
  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17407/170
    – msh210
    Oct 27, 2019 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


Rav Hirsch says that calling by name is this case expresses the setting up of the mission and purpose of the item which is called by the names involved.

In any case, where Hashem dowes call something by a name it always expresses a mission, a calling for the one to be so called, as Abraham, Israel etc. It is accordingly here also to be taken in the pertinent sense of our sages who say: קרייא רחמנא לנהורה ופקדיה אמצוותא דיממא קרייא רחמנא להשכה ופקדיה אמצוותא דלילה "Hashem called to the Light and appointed it to the tasks of the day, and Hashem called to the darkness and appointed it to the tsks of the night". He directed both to their separate provinces.

  • Any ideas on calling names after they were already presented like שמים or ארץ?
    – Al Berko
    Oct 27, 2019 at 0:20

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