In parshas Shlach Moshe changes Yehoshua's name.

  1. Does this mean his name really changed? IE was he called up to the torah as Yehoshua? Were his kids "ben Yehoshua"?
  2. Are there any other examples in tanach of a person (human) changing someone else's name (not giving them a nickname) permanently?

Related: יהושע too soon


2 Answers 2


Pharoh changed Yosef's name to Tzofnas Paaneach. ויקרא פרעה שם יוסף צפנת פענח Breishis 41:45.

Nevuchadnetzar changed the names of Daniel, Chananya, Mishoel, and Azarya to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego respectively. (Daniel 1:7)

In practically every time Yehoshua is mentioned after his name was changed it says Yehoshua so I believe that yes his name was really changed.

  • I Divrei Hayamim 7:27: "נוֹן בְּנוֹ, יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בְּנוֹ".
    – jake
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:34
  • Wouldn't "practically" be the important word there?
    – Double AA
    Jun 14, 2012 at 20:38
  • Tzidkiyahu was a name given by Nevuchadnetzar (his real name was Matanya) Jun 14, 2012 at 23:24
  • Another example: Gideon was called "Yerubaal" (Judg. 6:32) - whether by his father or by the populace, I'm not sure - and he's thereafter referred to by that name by his contemporaries, children and successors. (The last mention of the name "Gideon" is right after his death - Judg. 8:35.)
    – Alex
    Jun 15, 2012 at 0:28
  • I don't think this is addressing the question. The stress is not on people giving other people nicknames, it is on changing another person's name permanently. None of your examples seem to be permanent changes.
    – user1552
    Jun 15, 2012 at 13:25

According to the opinion that accepts the notion of belief in Gilgulim, every person is a reincarnation of a soul that existed previously in the world at some point. Therefore, any time that a new name is created, a soul's original name is being changed. In general, those who follow the custom of naming children after their relatives are not going to be able to create new people (which is possible since it isn't forbidden to create a new name, and by doing so, you are creating a new individual. Creating a new individual is a fulfillment of Imitatio Dei, since He created and named an individual in the beginning of Genesis. Hashem gives names to all of the stars (Psalms 147:4), and it says elsewhere that Hashem would multiply the B'nai Yisrael exponentially like the amount of stars in the night sky.) In conclusion, changing a name is not forbidden because a name that is created is actually a God-given name that already existed but had simply not yet been revealed.

  • 2
    −1, this doesn't seem to answer the questions that were asked at all (among other flaws).
    – msh210
    Jul 13, 2012 at 21:11

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