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Bible Names And Meanings

Names in the Bible are significant. Bible names and meanings demonstrated a person’s character and traits. Sometimes a name indicated what kind of life the person would have.

In Part 1 of this series we listed some Bible names and meanings, from Aaron to Elijah. In Part 2 we will continue to study more Bible names and meanings. Our list is not all inclusive of every name in the Bible.

The Bible names and meanings we are listing include many of the Bible’s main characters. The people in our list played an important role in God’s redemptive plan to save mankind from sin and eternal separation from God.

Bible Names And Meaning

Bible Names And Meanings – Elisha to Enoch

Elisha – From the Hebrew name אֱלִישַׁע (‘Elisha’). It is a contracted form of אֱלִישׁוּעַ (‘Elishu’a) meaning “my God is salvation”.  Elisha was a prophet and miracle worker in the Old Testament. He was the attendant of Elijah and succeeded him after his ascension to heaven.

Elizabeth – From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע (‘Elisheva’) meaning “my God is an oath”. It is derived from the roots אֵל (‘el) referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava’) meaning “oath”. The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron. The Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist. 

Emmanuel – From the Hebrew name עִמָּנוּאֵל (‘Immanu’el) meaning “God is with us”. It is derived from the roots  עִם  (‘im)  meaning “with”, and אֵל (‘el) meaning “God”. This was the name of the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, and fulfilled by Jesus.

Enoch – From the Hebrew name חֲנוֹך (Chanokh) meaning “dedicated”.  Enoch is a descendant of Adam, and in Genesis 5:22 it says that Enoch walked with God. Then in Genesis 5:24 “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” 

Bible Names And Meanings – Eve to Hagar

Eve – From the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah). It was derived from the Hebrew word  חָוָה  (chawah)  meaning “to breathe”, or the related word חָיָה (chayah) meaning “to live”. According to the Old Testament Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were the first humans. God created her from one of Adam’s ribs to be his companion. At the urging of the serpent she ate the forbidden fruit and shared some with Adam, causing their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Gabriel – From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri’el) meaning “God is my strong man”. It is derived from  גֶּבֶר (gever) meaning “strong man or hero” and אֵל (‘el) meaning “God”. Gabriel is an archangel in Hebrew tradition, often appearing as a messenger of God. In the Old Testament he is sent to interpret the visions of the prophet Daniel. In the New Testament he serves as the announcer of the birth of John to Zechariah, and the birth of Jesus to Mary.

Gideon – Means “feller of” or hewer” in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge in the Old Testament book of Judges. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites and defeated them. He also killed their two kings.

Hagar – Possibly means “flight” in Hebrew, though it could also be of unknown Egyptian origin. In the Old Testament she is the Egyptian concubine of Abraham and the mother of Ishmael, the founder of the Arab people. After Abraham’s wife Sarah finally gave birth to a child, she had Hagar and Ishmael expelled into the desert. God heard their crying and saved them.

Bible Names And Meanings – Hannah to Israel

Hannah – From the Hebrew name חַנָּה (Channah) meaning “favour” or “grace”. It is derived from the root  חָנַן  (chanan). In the Old Testament Hannah is the wife of Elkanah. Her rival was Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah, who had children while Hannah remained barren. After pleading her case to God she finally became pregnant with Samuel, who went on to become one of Israel’s greatest prophets.

Isaac – From the Hebrew name יִצְחָק (Yitzchaq) meaning “he will laugh” or “he will rejoice”. It is derived from צָחַק (tzachaq) meaning “to laugh”. The Old Testament explains this meaning by recounting that Abraham laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah would become pregnant with Isaac (Genesis 17:17). Later Sarah laughed when overhearing the same prophecy (Genesis 18:12). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham’s faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Isaac later became the father of Esau and Jacob. 

Isaiah – From the Hebrew name יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (Yesha’yahu) meaning “YAHWEH is salvation”. It comes from the roots יָשַׁע (yasha’) meaning “to save” and יָה (yah) referring to the Hebrew God. Isaiah is one of the four major prophets of the Old Testament, and the author of the Book of Isaiah. He lived in the 8th century BC, at a time when Assyria threatened the Kingdom of Judah. 

Israel – From the Hebrew name יִשְׂרָאֵל (Yisra’el) meaning “God contends”. It is derived from the roots שָׂרָה  (sarah) meaning “to contend or to fight”, and אֵל (‘el) meaning “God”. In the Old Testament Israel, who was formerly named Jacob wrestles with an angel. He becomes the father of 12 sons, which became the founders of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Bible Names And Meanings – Jabez to Jesus

Jabez – Means “sorrow” in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Jabez is blessed by God after praying “the prayer of Jabez”. He prayed for God to bless him, and that God would multiply his territory. He also prayed that God’s hand would be with him, and that God would keep him from harm and pain.

Jacob – From the Latin Iacobus, which was from the Greek Ιακωβος (Iakobos), which was from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya’aqov). In the Old Testament Jacob (later called Israel) is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and the father of the twelve founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was born holding his twin brother Esau’s heel, and his name is explained as meaning “holder of the heel” or “supplanter”, because he twice deprived his brother of his rights as the firstborn son.

Jeremiah –  From the Hebrew name יִרְמְיָהוּ (Yirmiyahu) meaning “YAHWEH will exalt”, from the roots רוּם (rum) meaning “to exalt” and יָה (yah) referring to the Hebrew God. This is the name of one of the major prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Lamentations (supposedly). He lived to see the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in the 6th century BC.

Jesus – Jesus is the English form of Ιησους (Iesous). Ιησους is the Greek form of the Aramaic name יֵשׁוּעַ  (Yeshu’a).  Yeshu’a is itself a contracted form of Yehoshu’a (Joshua). Yeshua ben Yoseph, better known as Jesus Christ, is the son of God. Jesus means “YHWH is salvation” or “the Lord is salvation”.  Christ is from the Greek word “Christos” and is the equivalent of the Hebrew word “Messiah” meaning  the “annointed one”. Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah.

We will have even more Bible names and meanings in the 3rd and final part of this series.

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