Tom Kovach
July 23, 2008
Obama name shocker: "crooked"
Is there prophetic meaning in Obama's name?
By Tom Kovach

The Holy Bible is full of examples of people who had names with prophetic meaning. In fact, every person in the Bible has a name that carries a meaning relevant to the story. My favorite example is from 1st Samuel 15, where a man named Nabal picked a fight with David's militia. The name Nabal means "fool."

I have written previously about the meaning of the name of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedi-Nejad. (Although it is commonly written as all one word, his family name is actually a compound word.) Every time the president of Iran signs his paycheck, he looks down and reads in Farsi: "the praiseworthy descendant of the one most highly to be praised." Is it any wonder, then, that he has such an enormous ego as to consider himself prophetically ordained to destroy Israel?

In most cultures of the world, the naming of children is taken very seriously. Many cultures do as the Hebrews did during Bible times, attaching prophetic significance to a person's name. That is also the case with the Luo people of the Nyanza province of southwestern Kenya.

That is the ethnic group from which American presidential candidate Senator Barack Hussein Obama descends. The senator's father, a Muslim, gave his son names from the Arabic language. The first name Barack means "blessing." (Oddly, in the Hebrew language, the same word, barak, means "lightning." For the Bible significance, see Luke 10:18.) The senator's middle name means "handsome." But, the last name Obama does not come from Arabic. It comes from the Luo language.

It means "crooked." [1]

Really. Obama means "crooked," "zigzag," or "not in a straight line." So, the meaning of his entire name as it would be understood by diplomats from Africa or the Arab world is: "the blessing from the handsome one that is crooked."

So... is his name prophetic, or mere coincidence?

NOTES:

[1]  Obtaining a reliable translation from the Luo language which is spoken by only 13 percent of the people of Kenya proved difficult. There is no complete Luo-English dictionary. Two professors of African studies at universities in the United States were not able to provide the translation. The staff of the Embassy of Kenya was reluctant to even discuss the Luo language with me, much less provide a translation. (As it turns out, there has been ethnic rioting in the street, because the supporters of the second-place presidential candidate believe the election was "stolen" by fraud. The second-place candidate, and the rioters, came from the Luo tribe. Hmmmmmmmm.) A reliable translation finally came from a professor of linguistics that grew up in Kenya and is a Luo speaker.

© Tom Kovach

 

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Tom Kovach

Tom Kovach lives near Nashville, is a former USAF Blue Beret, and has written for several online publications... (more)

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