Biblical Name Meanings

Names have meaning in the bible. When reading the Bible, listening to sermons or teachings, it can be helpful to know the meanings of the names. Many names describe nations, people, and ancient history. Some describe expressions of hopes, revelations of divine purposes, and prophecies of the future. Some are part of genealogical histories, as it was common in Jewish customs to keep a family history. Sometimes names indicated certain circumstances with their birth or family line. Characteristics and traits of people were an important aspect of names in ancient Israel. For example, the name Nabal means “senseless and fool”, and Abigail indicated that this is what her husband amounted to (1 Sam 25:25). Sometimes names pointed to occupations, sometimes to a symbolic or a prophetic feature. Sometimes place names have become personal names (e.g. the name Eden, from the Garden of Eden). Sometimes names were given to show family relationships (e.g. uncle, father). Names sometimes had a special meaning (e.g. praise, additional, rebellion, bitterness). Sometimes names were of a type of plant or had characteristics of natural phenomenon (i.e. thunder, lightning, rain). Sometimes names were related to animals or their characteristics.

Lists of biblical names (links open in a new tab to the Wikipedia page for that alphabetical letter):