GOD, MY HEALER – Jehovah-rophe

   Exodus 15:26  …for I am the Lord that healeth thee. 

Jehovah-rophe can be translated two ways – “I am the Lord thy Physician,” or “I am the Lord that healeth thee.”  The setting in which the name Jehovah-rophe first appears is the wilderness. The Lord had been leading Israel in the wilderness for three days without water.  Since the Lord God was not lost, He must deliberately have been keeping them from water. He will use this occasion to prove Himself in a new way.  He had appeared to Abraham as the Provider; now He is ready to show Himself as the Healer.  Phil. 4:19 says, “And my God shall supply all yourneed according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Any sick person will quickly acknowledge that he needs his body to be healed.

The people must have been excited when they came to the river, Marah. What disappointment when they found the waters were bitter!  They might have wondered why God would trifle with them in their time of need.  They knew they were in desperate need of water; God knew they were in desperate need of a new revelation of Himself! He had revealed himself as Jehovah-jireh (the Provider); now it is time to reveal Himself as Jehovah-rophe (the Healer).God would show the people that he had a provision for them that they had not previously known. There God “proved them” and made a “statute and ordinance” – a promise for health to those who were obedient.  He told Moses to cut down a tree and cast it into the water.  When it fell into the waters, they became sweet.  Ex. 15:25, 26 tells the incident in this way:

            …He cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently harken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

Although this is the occasion on which the name Jehovah-rophe was first used, God had healed previously; he had removed barrenness in Rachel (Gen. 30:11) and also in Abimelech’s household (Gen. 20:17).  This incident, however, was the one by which God showed himself in covenant to heal.  The word rophe appears numerous times in the Old Testament.  It was used to mean to restore, heal, cure or as a noun meaning physician in both a physical and spiritual sense.

There is no record of God healing Moses, but it seems that Moses lived in health.  Deut. 34:7 records, “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.”   Moses was used by God to perform a healing miracle for his sister, Miriam (Deut. 24:8,9). Another Old Testament miracle of healing was performed by Elisha in the healing of Naaman (2 Ki. 5:1-19).  The nature of Jehovah-rophe is also shown by His adding fifteen years to the life of Hezekiah (2 Ki. 15:1-8), and by Elijah raising the widow’s son (1 Ki. 17:17-24). David recognized God as Jehovah-rophe when he wrote in Ps. 103:1-3, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases Although it is not stated explicitly, healing would seem to be a function of the Shepherd in Ps. 23.  A shepherd is certainly interested in keeping his sheep healthy and in curing wounds

Definitely Jesus, the Good Shepherd, often performed physical healings as well as emotional healings.  He said that was one of the reasons he came.  He quoted Isaiah 61:1,2:   The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised . . .

Matt. 4:23 says of Jesus, “(he went about) . . . and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”  Jesus sent John’s disciples with a message to John, “Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up . . .”  (Matt. 11:4).

Jesus showed the Jehovah-rophe role of the Father in his ministry.  In fact, he bore witness that he was doing what the Father had done.  “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19).

When Jesus was crucified, the atonement was made; God provided the Lamb.  In that act, Jesus was Jehovah-jireh.  And by the stripes that He suffered, He was Jehovah-rophe.  As was prophesied in Is. 53:5, “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  Peter confirms both Christ’s atonement and his healing, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Pe. 2:24).

God says in Ex. 15:26 “I am the God that healeth thee.”   Jesus suffered the stripes that we might be healed. John tells us “Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).   James gives the “formula” and promise for healing, “Is any sick among you?  Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up . . .” (Ja. 5:14, 15).

It is the opinion of this writer, that it must hurt the loving heart of God to have his children so ready to seek other remedies for their healing rather than trust in Him for the remedy He has provided.  In our culture where medical help is generally readily available, it is easy to turn to “man” rather than to turn to God.  Science has made great strides in perfecting methods from both natural sources (herbs, for example), drugs, vaccinations, even surgery to help the body heal itself.     Although it is not a focus of this paper to discuss the role of physicians for Christians, this writer is often asked about that issue.  This writer chooses to look to Ps. 118:8, 9, “Ít is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man; It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” for her own healing.  And for many years, I walked in the healing power of Jesus; however, in the last three years, I have been under the doctor’s care for serious issues.  Jesus made no judgement against the woman with an issue of blood even though the scriptures note that she had spent all on physicians.  Jesus healed her without rebuke, when she came to him (Lu. 8:43-48).  There are two scriptures which are an encouragement as prayers are made for those who are under the care of  the medical community.  They are Ps. 54:4,”Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul,” and Ps. 118:7, “The Lord taketh my part with them that help me…”.  Also there is an incident in the Old Testament in which one might interpret that the use of medicine was signified.  It is in this scripture, “And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs . . . and they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered”  (2 Ki. 20:7).  This incident is also related in Isaiah 38:12.

God said, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physicain there?  why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered”  (Jer. 8.22).  It is a delight to trust in the Lord, live in accordance with His will, and lean on Him for the benefits He wants to give to His people.

Prov. 3:5-10 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase; So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.



37 Responses to GOD, MY HEALER – Jehovah-rophe

  1. Thank you for writing on this topic. When trusting God for healing it is often hard to make choices about certain medicines, natural or traditional routes, and all in the context of trusting in God (not man) for healing. The scripture references you offered were very helpful. Thank you. God bless 🙏🏻

    • oneta hayes says:

      Leila, I believe it is always wise to go to the Healer first. He healed me and let me get by with Him only for more than 55 years, but after a long illness, I finally chose to go have surgery. I felt very bad for having done that, but then I had a heart attack and a aortic disection during which I was unconscious. God took care of me, but I was placed in a hospital and my recovery was through the medical community. I’m sure God was as much in control when that happened as he was in other times that he healed me miraculously and immediately. My advice is to do the things that you feel at peace about. God can give peace in the midst of storm. And it can be a great blessing to ride out the storm with His blessing whether he heals directly or whether he heals through doctors and medicine. Be blessed, dear one. You are precious to your Father.

      • Yvonne says:

        Thank you for great encouragement I needed to hear that. I’m trusting God for healing whether through medicine or a super natural miracle I know God is the only source of healing, God’s hands are upon the body to heal all sickness and diseases.

        • oneta hayes says:

          That is his promise. I’ve had a lot of medical help since I wrote the essay on God, the Healer. Along the way I have learned even more about the detailed care of my Physician Lord and how wonderful that He does work through the hands of man/woman also. Blessings to you Yvonne.

    • Margo says:

      Absolutely beautiful ,truth I need healing,from a nerve related spasms and its depressing and so frustrating at times,I believe that God loves and care for his children and has done everything needed for health and living. Scriptures used is very good,I will have to take time to study them.God Bless you and use you.

  2. everydaydew says:

    Great epistle, It did bless my soul.
    Thank you

  3. Harryson says:

    The Balm of Gilead indeed..nice one.

  4. JOY journal says:

    Wonderful thoughts. I look forward to reading more of your work. 🙂

  5. I have been planning to embark upon a scriptural search on God’s Healing power and examples of it. I am impressed with what you have written. I too, rely mostly on God for healing. There are times — when I have bronchitis or pneumonia as well as times when I am dealing with much more serious problems – I see the doctor. I do believe God put knowledgeable doctors in our presence for those times when we need them. I think all knowledge is allowed by him for the benefit of those who can utilize it without giving the knowledge itself too much power – and that can be in any walk of life.

    Thank You so much for sharing – your post has brightened my day!
    May God Bless, Keep and Heal you of all afflictions!

  6. Jesus the Healer, the Great Physician, the One who heals with no bad side effects, but instead – everlasting joy! Thanks for your blog. God bless.

  7. Cindy says:

    Thank you for explaining Jehovah Rophe, the God that heals. I love the 12 names of God and right now am relying on this one for my daughter. Thank you Lord Jesus for healing her.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Cindy. I have prayed for that the power of Jesus flow to your daughter as it did for the woman who touched the hem of his garment and that on-lookers will be amazed at her restored health.

  8. Darren says:

    Thank you for explaining many things about Jehovah-rophe, God my healer. I know that however we are restored it is through him. He alone is my healer. He has enabled people to have knowledge of medical things but ultimately it all comes from Jehovah-rophe. I am experiencing the hardest time I can remember. For more than a month I have had blocked ears with loud ringing in one. I know God is my healer but I am struggling as I wait upon him.

    • oneta hayes says:

      God let me have my healing so easily for 79 years, since then it has been a steady march through medical procedures. One thing I know “He is Healer” and sometimes he does it one way, sometimes another. It is much more humbling when one has to go to doctors. But there is always a reason. For me it was/is that I have so much to learn. May God bless you and help find a way to bring peace and healing to the ear situation. I am finding it very troubling to be losing hearing. The ringing I have gotten used to. Doesn’t bother so much. Thanks for the comment, Darren.

  9. Vanessa Forbes-Brandon says:

    Thanks for the word of God!

  10. Jerry Alvillar says:

    Well written study bases on the eternal foundation if God’s Word thank you!
    The Lord reward you.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thank you very much. My blog is not very big but this post has been read hundreds of times. I believe it is the reason God “taught” me to blog. Word Press shows me how many times it has been looked at but few people leave me a message. So I feel confirmed again about God still having a purpose for me – even now at 86 years old. Blessings to you.

  11. Denise R. says:

    So beautifully written! I felt the power of the True Living God while reading your writings. Thank you for knowing the Word of God and sharing; Not taking anything from it, nor adding anything to it!

  12. KaShiim Clemon-Marion says:

    Oh. But there is record of God healing, (Jehovah Rophe) Moses… and God healed Moses due to the swift action of Mose’s wife in reverence to God! Exodus 4:24-26.

    [Excerpt from Wikipedia, see below]
    Jehovah Rophe; GOD our Healer, GOD our Physician.
    The verses in question are Exodus 4:24–26, the context is Moses, his wife Zipporah and their sons reaching an inn on their way from Midian to Egypt to announce the plagues to the Pharaoh:
    Leningrad Codex text:

    24. ויהי בדרך במלון ויפגשהו יהוה ויבקש המיתו׃25. ותקח צפרה צר ותכרת את־ערלת בנה ותגע לרגליו ותאמר כי חתן־דמים אתה לי׃26. וירף ממנו אז אמרה חתן דמים למולת׃ פ


    24. And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.25. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, “Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.”26. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

    New Revised Standard Version translation:

    On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the LORD met him and tried to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched his feet with it, and said, “Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then she said, “A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.”

    The standard interpretation of the passage is that God wanted to kill Moses for neglecting the rite of circumcision of his son. Zipporah averts disaster by reacting quickly and hastily performing the rite, thus saving her husband from God’s anger. (Shemot Rabah 5:8).

    • oneta hayes says:

      You are right on your recounting of this story, but I do not see that as a miracle healing. There is nothing about God healing Moses. Rather God decided not to kill him in answer to Jipporah’s need. I thought you might be referring to God restoring Moses’ hand when it, by a miracle, became leprous. But that was really just a part of the miracle God was using for a sign. Thank you for your detailed response. I appreciate it. And I enjoy having other information to store in my storehouse of thought.

      • Devi Ramrattan says:

        Where do I find the words Jehovah Rophe or Rapha in the bible

        • oneta hayes says:

          I do not think this name is an English word and not in an English translation. It stems from Exodus 13:26 where God says he is the God who heals. My research indicates that “rephe or rapha” means Healer. Thanks for reading. I value your input if you can enlighten me further on this issue.

  13. Larry K says:

    I need God for He Heals

  14. vermavkv says:

    Very nice topic..
    Thanks for sharing..

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