Naming something was reputed to give one some authority over it, and defining anything gives one more personal control over one's reactions because of this.
The principle was well understood to the Initiated who leave the Old Self behind when "Born into the Light" (in whatever initiation experience or tradition). To commemorate this transition, a new NAME is chosen or bestowed.
Genesis One is attributed to Elohim (Gods United), Genesis 2 is the same for the 1st 3 verses, but when the Day is created, it is by YHVH (The Creative Process of Seed, Womb, Action, Stabilization) . Now, although the Bible's narrator (Moses, so to speak) calls the Deity YHVH Elohim, Adam and Eve (ADM and HVH) refer to HIM as Elohim. By Genesis Chapter 4, it is YHVH alone, without the Elohim, who questions Cain.
YHVH brings the Flood in Genesis Chapter 6,1 -8 when suddenly it shifts to The Elohim, as the transition is YHVH judges Noah (Nature's Rest) to have followed in "the footsteps of the Elohim". While it switches back and forth, the two names no longer get conjoined, and when the flood is over and a sacrifice is made, the smoke is inhaled into the nose and lungs of the anthropomorphic YHVH . Basically, Creation is associated with ELOHIM, Judgement with YHVH in Genesis. ELOHIM is rather like ELOIM, or Gods, El plural. Just as both Abram becomes AbraHam, Sari becomes SaraH, The Gods of Canaan become Our God through the Heh, or womb which Earths it's identity.
In the Bible, God has Adam NAME all the animals to establish dominion. Avram becomes Abraham (YOD, in the Creation formula) after being Initiated at God's hand. Isaac's initiation experience (the Binding of Isaac) is thrust upon him, not chosen, and he has no initiation, no NAME change, but remains rooted in the Land (HEH, in the formula), Jacob travels, experiences his awakening at Beth El, and after wrestling with the Angel, is renamed Israel (Vau, the Active "Son" stage), and his son Joseph brings the Tribe to fruitful plenty in the foreign land of Goshen (final HEH, fruition) among the Egyptians.
In initiating a 5 year old Jewish child into leaving the home for school and synagogue, the letters of Prayers or the NAME of God was written in honey on a cracker, and the child licked it off, that his 1st experience with The NAME should be sweet. This would be followed by his 13th birthday, when he would be Initiated as a "Man" in his Bar Mitzvot. His next would be as a husband, then a father, then retiring from Business Life to become a scholar after the age of 40, till his death, and final initiation. While Judaism, like most ancient religions, is quite sexist, it was permissible to translate the words of God into the vernacular for women, and in particular Ester and other Biblical Heroine's stories were translated and told from the "bimah" during selected Holy Days. The women sat separately, with underage children, in a shielded balcony. My own experience up in that loft as a child is remembered as pure chaos upstairs, with kids screaming and ladies gossiping, and the black suited men with their big beards and hats downstairs all praying, but not in unison!
Many traditions have tribal birth names, or new names adopted upon completion of religious or maturity rites. Marriage is another Life Cycle Event in which Names are often changed to indicate a shared identity. Divorce, as well.
The most sacred names may well be YHVH/ Yahova, the "later" manifestation of the Alahym / Elohim, the Creative Gods of the 1st Genesis story. This can be followed in importance by ADNI/ Adonoi/ Lord and Ehyeh / I Am. Rabbi Yehuda Halevi aka Judah Halevi, Rabbi Abraham Aben Ezra and Moses ben Jacob Cordovero, (probably following Rabbi Moses de Leon) all seemed to favor a Truly Hidden Name, which NEVER APPEARS in writing except as a Magical Sigil, perhaps Aleph Heh Vau Yod. There is also a lot of discussion of the Name of 72 or Shemhamphorasch aka שם המפורש, WHICH HAS 216 LETTERS, derived from 3 successive passages of Exodus of exactly 72 letters each. The Name of 42 is figured by spelling out the 3 principle letters Yod Heh and Vau, not repeating the 2nd Vau. see The Al Shaddai El Shem for more at http://chuckfurnace.com/alss_01_cover.htm ;
FOR FURTHER STUDY: Adam Falls, expelled by a Blade of Fire, and "dissolves" into Cain (Destructive / Strong transformer), Hessu (Destroyed / that which evaporates and leaves it's center) and Seth (Transformative / basis, foundation of things). Noah (Nature's Rest) is dissolved through Water into his 3 sons, Shem (Bright & Upright), Ham (Dark, Curved, heated) and Japheth (Expansive,extended, wide, Mercury/ Transformer). Seth/ Sheth can only be born after Abel's sacrifice and Cain's banishment by invoking Elohim alone, without the YHVH aspect. However when Seth has his son Enoch, it is by invoking YHVH without the Elohim aspect.
In the Bible, God is called by many different NAMEs and titles, and it is instructive to notice which aspect of God's, Wisdom, Mercy and Justice are invoked by different Names. My favorites are The Shield of Abraham, The Terror of Isaac! This distinction carries over into Qabalah and Medieval Magick as well as liturgical prayers. Read more about the Names of God in Al Shem Shaddai, at http://chuckfurnace.com/alss_01_cover.htm ;
look for Richard Andree, Ethnographische Parallelen und Vergleiche (1878)translated;
Chanting, painting and visualizing them is great practice for meditation and Magick.
RESOURCES: Joel M. Hoffman 's IN THE BEGINNING: a Short History of the Hebrew Language, 2004; http://www.businessinsider.com/origins-of-popular-jewish-surnames-2014-1 ; http://scribalishess.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/el-shaddai-and-the-gender-of-god/?; though I would point out Men as well as Women have breasts, and male combat strength (mighty) comes from those muscles in men;