Biblical Names For Baby
The Largest and Most Complete Source of Biblical Baby Names  


 


Introduction

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
Acknowledge him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3.5-6
 

"But in all that happens, my one desire and my one joy should be to know: Here
is the thing that God has willed for me."

Thomas Merton

The names in this book are mostly English forms of ancient Hebrew and Greek names. Different translators have at times preferred different forms. With such variants, I have chosen the most popular form.

The original Bible sources used are the King James Version (KJV), the Revised Standard Version (RSV), and the New International Version (NIV). 

All of the names may be found in the Bible, though some, like Alexander, are known from other historical sources as well. Very obscure biblical names have been excluded.
Each entry is supported by a biblical citation showing the earliest known use of the name.

Genders
A boy or girl of today might be given many biblical names with little regard to the original gender of the name. In fact, many parents already do this: if they like a name, they use it - and they don't let a detail like gender stand in their way! There are also biblical names such as Daniel, traditionally masculine, that have been adapted into female versions such as Danielle.

The following terms are used to indicate genders:

Concubines
Many biblical women are described as concubines. In the polygamous society of the ancient Hebrews, concubinage was not immoral. They were wives of lower status. Many of them were slaves or foreign captives, though free Hebrew women could elect to become concubines. Sometimes a childless wife would offer her husband one of her slaves or maids as a concubine, in the hope of getting an heir. Some famous biblical triangles of this type existed, including Rachel and Jacob and the concubine Bilhah, and Sarah and Abraham and the concubine Hagar.

Pronunciation
A simple phonetic pronunciation key is provided. It does not offer every possible or correct pronunciation. Other pronunciations may be preferred.

Variants  
The name variants are of two types: (i) common spelling forms in different English translations, and (ii) popular derivatives and alternates, including selected foreign language derivatives and alternates. It is important to note that some of the variants may not be biblical. An example occurs with Elizabeth, where one of the variants is Isobel. Some sources say this is merely a medieval Spanish form of Elizabeth. Others say that Isobel is from a completely different root, and may be Roman-Egyptian in origin. 

Who are the Coptic Orphans?  
The Copts are the Christians of Egypt. Coptic Orphans - a charity that has received a stack of awards, including one from US President Barack Obama, is delivering practical aid to thousands of children.

From the Coptic Orphans web site:
"When most people think of “orphans,” they think of children in orphanages who have no family at all. In fact, many orphanages in Egypt are filled with children who have families, only because their widowed mothers cannot afford to feed them. This is an injustice.  Coptic Orphans focuses on the children most likely to face the deadly combination of poverty and social injustice, but who have the greatest potential to change their lives and the lives of others. Through child sponsors and a network of hundreds of village-based volunteers, churches, and organizations, our programs help children stay in school (and stay with their families) until we unlock their full potential. We make a covenant with orphaned families in Egypt to stay with a child until the end of their highest education, as long as they also work hard to make full use of every possible educational opportunity they have."


Please consider Coptic Orphans.
 



~ A ~


Aaron
arr-ron (as in arrow) (male)
Hebrew: Enlightener, teacher. Other interpretations: Mountain, messenger. Eldest son of Amram and Jochebed. His brother was Moses and his sister was Miriam. Aaron was the divinely-appointed spokesman of Moses, and he persuaded the Israelites to trust his brother. He also became the first high priest of the nation. His low point came when Moses climbed Mount Sinai to get the Ten Commandments. While Moses was gone, the Israelites made an image of a calf to worship. Aaron did not stop them. The excuse he gave to Moses was unconvincing (but very human): "They gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!" His wife was Elisheba and his sons were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Variants: Aharon, Ahron, Arend, Ari, Arny, Aron, Haroun, Ron, Ronny. [Exodus 4:14]

I Name Thee Aaron...


Aaron Copland, a versatile and prolific American composer, won the Pulitzer prize for music. His extensive work, which is noted for its highly distinctive American character, includes ballets, symphonies, operas and film scores.


Abdeel ab-deel (male)
Hebrew: Servant of God. Father of Shelemiah, an official under King Jehoiakim. [Jeremiah 36:26]

Abel a-bel (male)
Hebrew: Breath, vapour.
(May be linked to an Akkadian word meaning son.) Second son of Adam and Eve, the first human parents. Abel was a keeper of sheep, the world's first shepherd. He found favour in the eyes of God and was the first human being to please God after his parents' catastrophic fall from grace. Cain, his brother, resented his good standing with God. In a fit of jealousy, Cain slew Abel, thereby making him the first murder victim in history. Variants: Abelard, Abeles, Abell, Abi, Able, Hevel, Nab. [Genesis 4:2]

Abihail ab-be-hale (modern male and female)
Hebrew: The father is strength, father of strength. A clan chief. The father of Zuriel. Others with this name: (i) Wife of Abishur. Mother of Ahban and Molid. (ii) Son of Huri, a descendant of Gilead. (iii) Daughter of Eliab. She married King Rehoboam of Judah. (iv) Father of Esther. [Numbers 3:35]

All Greek To Them


One of the first translations of the Hebrew Old Testament was made in Egypt twenty-two centuries ago. It was translated into Greek, the accepted international language of that time. The finished work came to known as the Septuagint, a word meaning seventy, for the number of scholars who worked on it.


Asarelah az-sar-rel-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Virtuous. A Levite singer under Asaph. Variants: Jesarelah, Jesharelah. [1 Chronicles 25:2]

Ascah az-kar (female)
Hebrew: Anklet.
Daughter of Caleb and grand-daughter of Hephunneh. She married her uncle Othniel. A bold woman for her time and culture. She told her husband to ask her father for some land. This request was granted, but Ascah was still unsatisfied. She also wanted water rights over the land. Her husband was frightened to ask for more. So she asked Caleb herself, and he gave her the rights to both the upper and lower springs. Variants: Acsa, Acsah. [Joshua 15:16]

Asenath azzi-nath (female)
Hebrew: Devotee of Neith (Egyptian equivalent of Athena, the pagan Greek goddess of wisdom). This is a very old name, known to have existed in Egypt as long as four thousand years ago. Asenath was the daughter of Potiphera, a priest. Pharoah married her to Joseph, by whom she had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. [Genesis 41:45]

Ashbea ash-be-ar (male)
Hebrew: I appeal. Head of a family in Judah. A descendant of Shelah. [1 Chronicles 4:21]

Asher ash-ah (male)
Hebrew: Happiness, luck. Son of Jacob by the concubine Zilpah, Leah's maid. He had a brother Gad, half-sister Dinah, and half-brothers Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali. He is one of the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel; in this case, the Asherites. Variants: Aser, Asser. [Genesis 30:13]

Asherah ash-ah-ra (female)
Hebrew: Straight, continuous. A pagan goddess associated with the delusive worship of Baal. Variants: Ashtaroth. [1 Kings 16:33]

Ashtoreth ash-toe-reth (female)
Hebrew: Star.
A pagan goddess associated with the blasphemous worship of Baal. She was chief goddess of the Phoenicians. Known as Ishtar to the Assyrians, and Astarte to the Greeks and Romans. [Judges 2:13]

Asiel az-ze-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Created by God. A Simeonite. Forefather of Jehu. [1 Chronicles 4:35]

Asriel az-ri-el (male)
Hebrew: Help of God. Son of Gilead and a descendant of Joseph through Manasseh. His brothers were Abiezer, Helek, Shechem, Hepher and Shemida. Others with this name: A son of Manasseh by his concubine. [Numbers 26:31]

Atarah at-tar-ra (female)
Hebrew: Crown. Mother of Onam. Her husband was Jerahmeel. [1 Chronicles 2:26]

Catholics Get More


The Catholic and Protestant versions of the Bible are not identical. The traditional Bible of the Catholic Church contains seventy-three books, while the traditional Bible of the Protestants has but sixty-six.


Athaliah ar-thal-le-ar (female)
Hebrew: Afflicted, punished by God.
A daughter of royalty. Her father was King Ahab and her grandfather was King Omri. She married King Jehoram of Judah. Her mother was the wicked Jezebel. Like her, Athaliah was drawn to the blasphemous worship of Baal. After the death of Ahaziah, her son, she ruled for six years. To hold power she killed her own grandsons, preventing possible rival claims. But one of them, Joash, escaped. He was installed as king and Athaliah was slain by her own guards. Others with this name: (i) A son of Jeroham. (ii) Father of Jeshiah. [2 Kings 8:26]

Augustus or-gust-tus (male)
Latin: Venerable, majestic. More a title than a name. Augustus Caesar was emperor of Rome when Jesus Christ was born in the province of Judea. His personal name was Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus, or Octavian for short. His grand-uncle was the famous Julius Caesar. The name (or title) appears just once in the Bible. [Luke 2:1]

Azaliah az-zar-lee-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has provided. Other interpretations: Near to God, God has made his goodness known. Son of Meshullam. Father of Shaphan, a scribe under King Josiah. [2 Kings 22:3]

Azaniah az-zan-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: God has provided, set aside. Other interpretations: God has heard. Father of Jeshua, a Levite who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. [Nehemiah 10:9]

The World's Most Popular Names


The Bible is the world's richest single source of personal names. The most popular Christian (or first) names are, for girls, Mary, and for boys, John. Other very popular names include David, Hannah, James, Joseph, Mark, Elizabeth, Anna and Luke.


Azarael az-zar-rail (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Whom God helps, God is my help. A Levite musician in the procession at the dedication of Jerusalem's walls. Variants: Azarel. [Nehemiah 12:36]

Azareel az-za-reel (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Whom God helps, God is my help. A warrior who joined forces with David at Ziklag. Others with this name: (i) A temple musician in David's time. (ii) A prince of the Danites who served under David as a captain of the army. (iii) A son of Bani who divorced his foreign wife. (iv) A priest who lived in Jerusalem. Variants: Azarel. [1 Chronicles 12:6]

Azaria az-zar-ree-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God helps, whom God helps. A very popular name in the Bible. The first was the son of Zadok, Solomon's high priest. Others with this name: (i) An officer at the court of King Solomon. Son of Nathan. (ii) Tenth king of Judah - see Uzziah. (iii) A son of Ethan the Wise. (iv) A son of Jehu with Egyptian ancestry. (v) The son of Jonanan. A high priest under Abijah and Asa. (vi) A high priest, the son of Hilkiah. (vii) An ancestor of Samuel. (viii) A son of Obed who became a prophet in the reign of Asa. (ix) Two sons of King Jehoshaphat with the same name, one also called Azariahu. (x) Ahaziah, who appears to have been known as Azariah also (just to confuse matters!) (xi) A son of Jehoram who helped overthrow the wicked queen Athaliah. (xii) A high priest under Uzziah who resisted his efforts to assume the holy functions of the priests. (xiii) Son of Johanan. A tribal prince. (xiv) Two obscure Levites. (xv) A chief priest under King Hezekiah. (xvi) A Levite assistant to Ezra. (xvii) Chief of a returned family. (xviii) Son of Maaseiah. He helped rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. (xix) A priest who, with Nehemiah signed the covenant. (xx) An opponent of Jeremiah. (xxi) A captive taken to Babylon. His name was changed later to Abednego. (xxii) A prince of Judah. Variants: Azariah, Azariahu, Azriel, Ozias, Uzziah. [1 Kings 4:2]

A Bitter Tale


Produced by the Clarendon Press in 1717, this edition of the Bible refers to Luke 20 as "The parable of the Vinegar." The word they meant to use was Vineyard.


Azaziah az-za-zee-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Whom God strengthens. A Levite harp player under King David. Others with this name: (i) Father of Hoshea, a tribal prince. (ii) A Levite temple custodian under King Hezekiah. [1 Chronicles 15:21]

Azel az-zel (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Distinguished, noble.
A descendant of Saul through his son Jonathan. [1 Chronicles 8:37]

Aziel az-zeel (male)
Hebrew: God is my strength. Other interpretations: Whom God comforts. A Levite harp player. Variants: Jaaziel, Jehiel. [1 Chronicles 15:20]

Azriel az-ree-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is my help, help of God.
A chief of the Manasseh tribe. Others with this name: (i) A Naphtalite tribesman. (ii) The father of Seraiah. Variants: Azaria. [1 Chronicles 5:24]

Azzan az-zan (male)
Hebrew: Very strong, most powerful. A chief among the Issachar in the time of Moses. His son was Paltiel. [Numbers 34:26]


~ B ~

I Name Thee Barack...


   Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office.


Barak barr-rak (male)
Hebrew: Lightning, shine. The son of Abinoam of Kedesh, Barak was a general and the commander of the army of Deborah, the prophetess and judge of Israel. Barak defeated the Canannite army led by Sisera, who for had oppressed the Israelites for many years. His victory over Sisera was followed by a forty-year long peace. He is mentioned in the the Book of Hebrews as one who had achieved great things by the power of his faith. Variants: Barac, Barack, Baraq.  [Judges 4:6]

Barakel bara-kel (male)
Hebrew: God blesses, blessed of God. The father of Elihu, a friend of Job. Variants: Barachel. [Job 32:2]

Bariah bar-ri-ar (male)
Hebrew: Fugitive.
One of the sons of Shemaiah. A descendant of David and Solomon. His brothers were Hattush, Neariah and Shaphat. [1 Chronicles 3:22]

Barnabas barn-ar-bus (male)
Greek, from Aramaic: Son of comfort
, son of persuasion. An early Christian convert from Cyprus who sold his property to assist the work of the church at Jerusalem. He is described as "a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and faith." Acts 14 calls him an apostle. Some say he wrote the New Testament's Letter to the Hebrews. He travelled with Paul, who regarded him as an exemplary Christian. Variants: Barnaba, Barnabe, Barnaby, Barney, Burnaby. [Acts 4:36]

I Name Thee Bartholomew...


Bartholomew Diaz, a Portuguese sea captain and explorer, was the first European to find a way around the bottom of Africa and into the Indian Ocean. He discovered and named the Cape of Storms, later called the Cape of Good Hope.


Bartholomew bar-thol-lo-mew (male)
Greek, from Aramaic: Son of Tolmai, son of Talmai.
One of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. Very little is known of him. Bartholomew may have been the surname or alternative name of Nathaneal. Tradition says he preached the news of Christ in India and later in Armenia, where he was martyred. Variants: Bardo, Bart, Bartel, Bartleot, Bartholomaus, Bartholomieu, Bartle, Bartlemay, Bartlett, Bartley, Bartold, Bartolome, Barton, Bate, Batly, Bertel, Mewes, Tolly, Tolomey. [Matthew 10:3]

Bartimaeus bart-tim-may-us (male)
Greek: Son of Timaeus.
A blind man healed by Jesus Christ near Jericho. [Mark 10:46]

Barush bar-roosh (male)
Hebrew: Blessed.
Son of Zabbai and an assistant to Nehemiah in the reconstruction of Jerusalem. Others with this name: (i) A priest who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. (ii) Son of Colhozeh and a descendant of Perez. (iii) Son of Neriah. Friend and faithful secretary of the prophet Jeremiah. A controversial figure, admired and feared. The Book of Baruch and other works are attributed to him. Variants: Baruch. [Nehemiah 3:20]

Basemath baz-zee-math (female)
Hebrew: Pleasing, fragrant.
Daughter of Elon the Hittite. A wife of Esau. She was also known as Adah. Others with this name: (i) Yet another wife of Esau. This one was the daughter of Ishmael and a sister to Nebaioth. (ii) A daughter of Solomon. Her husband was the tax collector Ahimaaz. Variants: Bashemath. [Genesis 26:34]

Tom Thumb's Bible


Published in Scotland in 1670, the diminutive Thumb Bible was small enough fit snugly into the palm of a man's hand.


Bathsheba bath-she-ba (as in math) (female)
Hebrew: Daughter of Sheba. Other interpretations: Daughter of the oath, excess of pleasure, seventh daughter. The origins of this name are much disputed. A daughter of Eliam who married Uriah the Hittite. While Uriah was away at war, David forced Bathsheba to sleep with him. Even more shameful, he had Uriah killed so he could marry her. Together they had four sons: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon, who succeeded to the throne. Bathsheba was famed for her beauty and intelligence. Variants: Barsabe, Bathshua, Batsheva, Sheba, Sheva. [2 Samuel 11:3]

Bathshua bath-shoo-ar (as in math) (female)
Hebrew: Daughter of wealth.
Daughter of Shua and the wife of Judah. She bore three sons, Er, Onan and Shelah. Variants: Bathsheba, Shua. [1 Chronicles 2:3]

Bebai be-bay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Fatherly.
Head of a family returned from captivity in Babylon. Others with this name: The father of Zechariah. [Ezra 2:11]

Bedeiah be-di-ar (male)
Hebrew: Servant of God. A son of Bani. [Ezra 10:35]

Beker bek-er (male)
Hebrew: First born.
Other interpretations: Young camel. Second son of Benjamin. His sons were Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth and Alemeth. Others with this name: A son of Ephraim. Variants: Becher, Bered. [Genesis 46:21]

Ben ben (male)
Hebrew: Son. A Levite musician in the time of David. The word ben is also used to show family descent, e.g., Ben-Hur means son of Hur. [1 Chronicles 15:18]

Benaiah ben-nay-ar (male)
Hebrew: God has raised, built up. Other interpretations: Son of the Lord. A Levite musician in the time of David. Others with this name: (i) Son of Jehoiada. Captain of David's elite bodyguard. He also served Solomon as general of the army. (ii) One of David's mighty warriors. (iii) A Simeonite prince. (iv) Several obscure Levites and priests. (v) One of the temple overseers in the days of King Hezekiah. (vi) Father of Pelatiah. (vii) Four captives returned from Babylon. [1 Chronicles 27:5]

Benjamin ben-ja-min (male)
Hebrew: Son of my right hand. The meaning of the name suggests power and special blessings. The youngest son of Jacob and Rachel, and a grandson of Isaac. Rachel, who died during his delivery, named him Benoni, "son of my sorrow". This was later changed by Jacob to Benjamin. His brother was Joseph, who rose to high office in Egypt. His ten half-brothers were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali. He also had a half-sister, Dinah. Benjamin was one of the founders of the Twelve Tribes; in his case, the Benjamites. Members of this tribe included King Saul and Paul the apostle. Others with this name: (i) A great-grandson of the first Benjamin. (ii) One who married a foreign wife in the days of Ezra. Variants: Bannerjee, Ben, Benji, Benmajee, Benny, Berihert. [Genesis 35:18]

I Name Thee Benjamin...


Benjamin Franklin, inventor, printer, statesman, author, scientist. He proved lightning was electricity and invented the lightning rod and the bifocal glasses. He was also a signatory of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.


Bera bear-ra (male)
Hebrew: Gift?
King of Sodom, a city destroyed by God because of its wickedness. Some scholars say that the original meaning of the name was son of evil, which is a lot less jolly than gift. [Genesis 14:2]

Beraiah bear-ray-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Made by God. A son of Shimei. His brothers were Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, Elienai, Eliel, Zilethai, Adaiah and Shimrath. [1 Chronicles 8:21]

Berekiah bear-ree-ki-ar (male)
Hebrew: God blesses, blessed of God.
A son of Zerubbabel. His brothers were Hananiah, Meshullam, Hashubah, Ohel, Hasadiah and Jushabhesed; his sister was Shelomith. Others with this name: (i) Father of the musician Asaph. (ii) A Levite of Jerusalem. (iii) A door-keeper, or guardian, of the ark. (iv) A son of Meshillemoth. (v) Father of the architect Meshullam. (vi) Father of the prophet Zechariah. Variants: Berakiah, Berechiah, Berachaiah. [1 Chronicles 3:20]

Beri bear-ree (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Wisdom.
Other interpretations: Well. An Asherite. [1 Chronicles 7:36]

Bernice bur-neice (female)
Greek: Bringing victory, victorious. Eldest daughter of Herod Agrippa. She married her uncle and had an incestuous liaison with her brother Agrippa. Later she was briefly wed to Ptolemy of Sicily and also had affairs with the Roman emperors Vespasian and Titus. Variants: Barrie, Bernelle, Berenice, Bernita, Bunni, Nicia, Nixie, Pherenice, Vernice. [Acts 25:13]

The King's Bible


Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible was first published in 1952. Thirty-two scholars worked on it. Their goal was to modernise the 17th century language of the hugely popular King James Version (KJV), and to modify certain passages in the light of new discoveries in biblical scholarship and archaeology. In this they continued the cause of earlier Bible revisions such as the English Revised Version (ERV) of 1885 and the American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901.


Bethuel beth-u-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Child of God. Other interpretations: Abode of God. A son of Nahor by Milcah. His brothers were Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash and Jidlaph. His children were Rebekah, the wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob and Esau, and Laban, the father-in-law of Jacob. He also had three half-brothers, Tebah, Gaham and Tahash, and a half-sister, Maacah, the offspring of Nahor's concubine, Reumah. Variants: Bethul. [Genesis 22:22]

Bezai bez-zay (male)
Hebrew: Conqueror.
The head of a family returned from captivity in Babylon. Others with this name: Another member of the same returned family, perhaps a century later. [Ezra 2:17]

Bilhah bil-ha (female)
Hebrew: Timid, modest. Other interpretations: Silly, weak. A maid given by Laban to his daughter Rachel, the second wife of Jacob. When Rachel remained childless, she gave Bilhah as a concubine to Jacob. She bore him two sons: Dan and Naphtali, both the founders of tribes. Variants: Baila. [Genesis 29:29]

Heathen England?


The translation of the Bible into English took place rather slowly. Bibles existed in the French language by the 12 century and in Italian and Spanish by the 13th. But the English had to wait until the 14th century for a complete New Testament - and as late as the 16th for a full Bible - in their native tongue. Does this tardiness suggest a certain spiritual indifference? Not at all. In 670 A.D., the monk Caedmon translated parts of the Old Testament into Old English. About thirty years later, Bishop Aldhelm and the Venerable Bede also translated portions.


Bilshan bil-shan (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Eloquent, well-spoken.
A captive returned from Babylon. [Ezra 2:2]

Binea bin-nee-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Fountain, spring.
A descendant of King Saul. [1 Chronicles 8:37]

Boaz bo-az (male)
Hebrew: Beautiful.
Other interpretations: Quick, strong. A wealthy man of Bethlehem. He married the widowed Ruth. [Ruth 2:1]

Bohan bo-han (male)
Hebrew: Thumb.
A descendant of Reuben. His name was given to a stone that marked the tribal boundary of Judah and Benjamin. [Joshua 15:6]

Bukkiah buk-ki-ar (male)
Hebrew: Wasting
. A son of Heman. He served under his father as a temple musician. His brothers were Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamtiezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir and Mahazioth. [1 Chronicles 25:4]


~ C ~

Caesar see-sar (male)
Latin: Hairy.
Other interpretations: Elephant, dark, beautiful. Surname of the Roman general, Caius Julius Caesar and of the first emperor, Augustus Caesar. It was adopted by later rulers as an imperial title. [Matthew 22:17]

Cain and Abel: The Real Story?


Cain, in the first act of murder, killed his brother Abel. The motive, says the Bible, was his jealousy of Abel's good standing with God. But according to Muslim tradition, there's more to the story. Cain had a twin sister Aclima. Abel had a twin sister also, Jumella. Adam, their father, wanted the brothers to marry each other's twin. But Cain did not approve. To settle the matter, ritual offerings were made to God. Cain offered the fruit of the ground, and Abel, sheep from his flock. The Bible says, "And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard" - which meant Abel should marry Aclima. Outraged, Cain slew Abel.



Cain kane (male)
Hebrew: Possession. Eldest son of Adam and Eve, the first human parents. Cain was a tiller of the earth. He became jealous of his brother Abel and killed him, the first murder in human history. When God asked Cain where Abel was, he answered with the infamous words, "am I my brother's keeper?" When his crime was discovered he fled to the Land of Nod. [Genesis 4:1]

Caleb kay-leb (male)
Hebrew: Bold, brave.
Other interpretations: Able, triumphant. Son of Jephunneh. One of the spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. Only he and Joshua returned with reports favourable to settlement. He was given land near Hebron. His daughter was Acsah. Others with this name: A son of Hezron. His brothers were Jerahmeel and Ram. Variants: Cal, Cale, Chelubai. [Numbers 13:6]

Canaan kay-nun (male)
Hebrew: Lowland, plain. Other interpretations: Purple. Son of Ham and a grandson of Noah. He was cursed by Noah, upset because Ham had seen him lying drunk and naked in a tent (just what this offence had to do with the hapless Canaan is not clear). He founded the Canaanite nation. Their lands lay along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. His sons were Sidon and Heth. Variants: Chanaan. [Genesis 9:18]

Candace kan-dase (female)
Greek: Queen of servants. A queen of Ethiopia. Candace may have been more a royal title than a name, such as the title Pharoah. She is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles because her treasurer, an unnamed eunuch, was an early Christian convert. Variants: Candance, Candase, Candida, Candide, Candis, Candra, Candy. [Acts 8:27]

Carmi kar-my (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Vine dresser.
Son of Reuben. Founder of the Carmites. His brothers were Hezron, Pallu and Hanoch. Others with this name: Father of Achan. Great-grandson of Judah. [Genesis 46:9]

Carshena kar-sheen-nar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Distinguished.
One of the seven wise princes of Persia and Media who advised King Ahasuerus. [Esther 1:14]

Cephas see-fus (male)
Greek, from Aramaic: Rock, stone.
Name given to Peter by Jesus. [John 1:42]

Chloe
klo-e (female)
Greek: Green plants, growing. A Christian woman of Corinth. She advised Paul of disputes within the local church. Also the name of the pagan Greek goddess of budding plants and crops; hence the meaning of the name. [1 Corinthians 1:11]

Claudia clau-dee-ar (female)
Latin: Lame, limping. A Christian woman of Rome who joined with Paul in sending greetings to Timothy. The name is the female form of Claudius. Variants: Claudella, Claudette, Claudina, Claudine, Clodia, Gladys. [2 Timothy 4:21]

Claudius
clau-dee-us (male)
Latin: Lame, limping.
Claudius Caesar, the fourth emperor of Rome. He reigned with unanticipated talent from A.D. 45 to 54. He was physically lame; hence his name. Others with this name: A captain of the Roman garrison in Jerusalem, Claudius Lysias, who rescued Paul from a mob of angry Jews. [Acts 18:2]

I Name Thee Clement...


Clement Attlee, a British political leader, served as Deputy Prime Minister under Winston Churchill in the darkest days of World War II. In 1945, he became Prime Minister and launched a broad programme of social reform.


Clement clem-ment (modern male and female)
Latin: Mild, merciful, kind. A Christian who worked with Paul. Some believe that in A.D. 88 he was appointed as the fourth Bishop of Rome, or Pope. He is remembered by Catholics as St Clement I. Thirteen papal successors adopted his name. He may have written the Epistle to the Corinthians. Variants: Clem, Clemens, Clemon. Female forms include Clemence, Clementia, Clementine. [Philippians 4:3]

Cleopas klee-o-pas (male)
Greek: Distinguished, renowned father.
One of two disciples to whom the resurrected Jesus Christ appeared on the road between the towns of Jerusalem and Emmaus. Nothing more is known of him. [Luke 24:18]

Conaniah con-nan-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: God has founded, made by God.
A Levite temple official under Hezekiah. Others with this name: A Levite in Josiah's time. [2 Chronicles 35:9]

Cornelius cor-neel-le-us (modern male and female)
Greek: Of a horn.
A Roman centurion of Caesarea who, with his household, became the first Christian converts among the Gentiles. Variants: Cornell, Cory, Neil. Female forms include Cornela, Cornelia, Nell, Nellie. [Acts 10:1]

Cosam coz-zam (male)
Hebrew: Diviner, seer.
An ancestor of Jesus Christ. [Luke 3:28]

Cush kush (as in bush) (male)
Hebrew: Black. Son of Ham and grandson of Noah. Cush had six sons: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, Sabteca and Nimrod. His brothers were Egypt, Put and Canaan. Cush was also the name for the country of Ham's descendants, identified in some Bibles as Ethiopia. [Genesis 10:6]

Cushi kush-shy (as in bush) (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Ethiopian.
A messenger sent by Joab to tell David that the rebel Absalom was defeated. Others with this name: (i) An ancestor of Jehudi. (ii) Father of Zephaniah the prophet. [2 Samuel 18:21]

Cyrenius sigh-ren-nee-us (male)
Greek: Of Cyrene.
Roman governor of Syria when Jesus Christ was born. Variants: Quirinius. [Luke 2:2]

I Name Thee Cyrus...


Cyrus Vance, American political leader who served as U.S. Secretary of State from 1977 to 1980. In the 1990s he worked as a UN peace advocate in troubled Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Cyrus sigh-rus (male)
Hebrew: Sun.
Other interpretations: Throne. Son of Cambyses. Called Cyrus the Great, he founded the Persian Empire. In 539 B.C. he captured Babylon and liberated the captive Jews, encouraging them to return to their own land. The prophet Daniel was one of his advisers. Variants: Cy. [2 Chronicles 36:22]
 


~ D ~

Dalphon dal-fon (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Swift. One of the ten sons of Haman the Agagite killed by the Jews. His brothers were Parshandatha, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Aridai, Arisai and Vaizatha. [Esther 9:8]

Dan dan (male)
Hebrew: He judges.
Son of Jacob by the concubine Bilhah, Rachel's maid. Rachel chose this name because, "God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son." Dan had a brother Naphtali, a half-sister, Dinah, and half-brothers, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Gad and Asher. He was one of the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel; namely, the Danites. Their territory was called Dan. [Genesis 30:6]

I Name Thee Daniel...


Daniel Boone, American pioneer and explorer, famous for his wilderness knowledge and survival skills. Boone was admired by many, including the Shawnee Indians, who liked him so much they adopted him into their tribe.



Daniel dan-yel (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Judge, judgment of God,
God is my judge. The second son of King David. Others with this name: (i) A priest who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. Son of Ithamar. (ii) Fourth of the Bible's great prophets. Taken captive to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel was given the pagan name of Belteshazzar. He rose to high office in Babylon, but never abandoned the faith of Israel. Even when cast into a pit of lions, his resolute trust in God preserved him. He made important prophecies, some of which impressively resembled later historical events. Daniel may have written the Old Testament book that bears his name, but many scholars have dated the work at much later than his lifetime. He died in his eighties. Variants: Dan, Dani, Danil, Danson, Danny, Dennel. Female forms include Dana, Danella, Danelle, Danice, Danielle, Danya. [1 Chronicles 3:1]

Dara dar-ra (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Pearl of wisdom. Descendant of Mahol and a son of Zerah. Famed as a wise man. His brothers were Zimri, Ethan, Heman and Calcol. Variants: Darda. [1 Kings 4:31]

Darius dar-ee-us (male)
Persian: King.
The name or title of several Persian rulers. Three are mentioned in the Bible: (i) The greatest of the Persian kings, Darius Hytaspes. He allowed the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple. (ii) The last king of the Persian Empire, Darius the Persian. Defeated by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C. (iii) Darius the Mede. Took Babylon from Nebuchadnezzar. May be the same person as Cyrus. [Ezra 4:5]

Dathan day-thun (male)
Hebrew: Of a spring.
Son of Eliab the Reubenite. With his brothers Korah and Abiram, he conspired against Moses, for which the earth swallowed him up. [Numbers 16:1]

I Name Thee David...


David Livingstone, English explorer and missionary, journeyed into the interior of Africa and discovered the Victoria Falls. His name is often linked with Henry Stanley, who greeted him most famously, "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"


David day-vid (male)
Hebrew: Beloved of God.
Other interpretations: Chief, ruler. Youngest son of Jesse and a great-grandson of Boaz. He was a glorious warrior and Israel's greatest king. As a mere boy armed with a slingshot, he killed the terrible giant Goliath. He was also a musician and poet, and wrote many beautiful Psalms. The prophet Samuel predicted his rise to the kingship. He overcame various opponents, including the insanely jealous King Saul, the hostile Philistine nation, and the rebellious Absalom, his third son. David welded the tribes of Israel into a single kingdom and ruled it for thirty-three years. Solomon, a son, succeeded him on the throne. The Davidic dynasty endured for over four centuries. Other sons of David were Amnon, Daniel, Adonijah, Shephatiah, Ithream, Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama (a second), Eliada, Eliphelet (a second). A daughter, Tamar, is named also. His wives were Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah and Bathsheba. David is named in the New Testament as an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Variants: Dab, Dabney, Dafyd, Dai, Dakin, Daud, Dave, Davi, Davin, Davis, Davyd, Dawe, Dawes, Dawood, Dawson, Deakin, Devi, Devlin, Dewer, Dewey, Dow, Tab, Taffy. [1 Samuel 16:13]

Deborah deb-bor-ra (female)
Hebrew: Bee. Other interpretations: To speak well. The beloved wet nurse of Rebekah. She was buried under a tree called the "oak of weeping". Others with this name: The great prophetess and judge of Israel. Her husband was Lapidoth. She was widely admired for her wisdom. With Barak, she planned the divinely-assisted defeat of the Canaanites at Mount Tabor. She and Barak sang a victory song, preserved as the Song of Deborah in the Book of Judges. She has been called the greatest of Israel's judges and Gideon's peer. Variants: Deb, Debbie, Debera, Debi, Debir, Debora, Debra, Deva, Devera, Devora, Devra, Dovra, Dvera. [Genesis 35:8]

I Name Thee Deborah...


Deborah Kerr, English actress. She went to Hollywood and starred in many classic movies, including The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, King Solomon's Mines, Qou Vadis, From Here to Eternity, The King and I and Night of the Iguana.


Dedan dee-dan (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Low.
Son of Raamah, grandson of Cush and great-great-grandson of Noah through Ham. Dedan's brother was Sheba, and his uncle was the mighty Nimrod. The descendants of Dedan, known as the Dedanites, became an important Arabian nation. Others with this name: Son of Jokshan and grandson of Abraham. [Genesis 10:7]

Delilah del-lie-lar (female)
Hebrew: Dainty, delicate. Other interpretations: Desire, leader, poor, hair. The origins of this name are very uncertain. She was a Philistine from Sorek who had a love affair with Samson, discovered the secret of his supernatural strength, and conspired in his downfall. The name has become associated with feminine treachery, especially in matters of the heart. Variants: Delila, Lila. [Judges 16:4]

Demetrius dem-meet-re-us (male)
Greek: Belonging to Demeter
(pagan Greek goddess of agriculture, called Ceres by the Romans). A disciple of the early Christians, praised by the Apostle John. Others with this name: An Ephesian silversmith who incited a mob against Paul because the local trade in silver images of the pagan Greek goddess Artemis had fallen off due to his evangelism. [Acts 19:24]

Dibri dib-bri (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Speaker.
A Danite whose grandson was stoned for blasphemy. [Leviticus 24:11]

I Name Thee Dinah...


Dinah Craik was an English writer. She is best known for John Halifax, Gentleman, which tells of a poor orphan boy who, through his own efforts, improves his social lot. She also wrote children's books, including The Little Lame Prince.


Dinah di-nar (female)
Hebrew: Judged, vindicated. Eldest daughter of Jacob and Leah. Her brothers were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. She also had six half-brothers: Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. Dinah fell afoul of the lustful Shechem, who abducted her for his devious purposes. She was rescued by Simeon and Levi. Variants: Deanna, Deanne, Dena, Dina. [Genesis 30:21]

Dorcas see Tabitha

Drusilla drew-sill-ar (female)
Greek: Watered by dew. Other interpretations: Soft-eyed. Youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa. Her sister was Bernice. Originally married to King Azizus of Emesa, she later married Felix, the Roman governor of Judea. She was reputedly very beautiful. Variants: Dru, Drucie, Drucilla, Drusa. [Acts 24:24]

Dumah dew-ma (male)
Hebrew: Silence. Sixth son of Ishmael and a grandson of Abraham. He was one of the twelve Arabian princes. His brothers were Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. His sister was Mahalath, a wife of Esau. [Genesis 25:14]



~ E ~


Ebenezer
eb-ben-neez-za (male)
Hebrew: Stone of help.
Although not the name of any person in the Bible, it has become accepted as a male name over time. Ebenezer was a town in which the Ark of God was at one time kept by the Israelites. It was also the name of a stone set up by the prophet Samuel to memorialise God's help in defeating the Philistines. Variants: Eb, Eban, Eben. [1 Samuel 4:1]

Eber e-bur (male)
Hebrew: Across, beyond.
The son of Shelah and a great-great-grandson of Noah. Eber had two sons, Peleg and Joktan. Others with this name: (i) The chief of a Gadite clan. (ii) Son of Elpaal. (iii) Son of Shashak. (iv) A priest and head of one of the families returned from Babylon. Variants: Heber. [Genesis 10:24]

Eden e-den (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Delight. A temple porter, the son of Joah, who lived in the time of King Hezekiah. This was also, of course, the name of the famous garden in which God placed the first created human beings, Adam and Eve. [2 Chron 29:12]

Ela e-la (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Oak, terebinth
(a type of shady, aromatic tree, also known as the turpentine tree). Father of Shimei, one of King Solomon's supply officers. Variants: Elah. [1 Kings 4:18]

Elah e-lar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Oak, terebinth (see above). An Edomite chief. A descendant of Esau. Others with this name: (i) Son and royal successor of King Baasha of Israel. He was killed by Zimri. (ii) Father of Hoshea, the last king of Israel. (iii) Son of Caleb. (iv) A chief of the Benjamites, returned from captivity in Babylon. Variants: Ela. [Genesis 36:41]

Elam e-lam (male)
Hebrew: Age.
A son of Shem and grandson of Noah. His brothers were Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. The mountainous region called Elam was named after him. Others with this name: (i) Son of Shashak. (ii) Son of Meshelemiah. A doorkeeper of the temple in David's time. (iii) Three ancestors of captives who returned from Babylon. (iv) A clan chief who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. (v) A priest in the dedication ceremony at the wall of Jerusalem. [Genesis 10:22]

Elasah e-la-sar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has formed, whom God has made. A priest who married a foreign wife. Son of Pashhur. Others with this name: Son of Shaphan. He was a messenger for the great prophet Jeremiah. [Ezra 10:22]

Elberith el-ber-rith (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God of the covenant.
A pagan god worshipped at Shechem, possibly the same as Baal-Berith. Variants: El-Berith. [Judges 9:46]

Eldaah el-dar (male)
Hebrew: Called by God, God has called. The youngest son of Midian and a grandson of Abraham and Keturah. His brothers were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch and Abida. [Genesis 25:4]

Eldad el-dad (male)
Hebrew: God has loved, beloved of God.
One of the seventy elders of Israel in the days of Moses. He had the gift of prophecy. [Numbers 11:26]

Elead el-le-ad (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has spoken. Other interpretations: Praised of God. A cattle rustler who was killed by the men of Gath during a raid on their herds. [1 Chronicles 7:21]

Eleadah el-le-ar-dar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has adorned, God has blessed.
A descendant of Ephraim. [1 Chronicles 7:20]

Eleazar el-le-az-ar (male)
Hebrew: God has helped, help of God.
A son of Aaron. He became the chief priest after the death of Aaron and assisted Moses and Joshua in important tasks such as the division of the land of Canaan. His only son was Phineas. Others with this name: (i) A son of Abinadab. He guarded the ark of the covenant. (ii) Son of Dodai. One of David's greatest captains and warriors. (iii) Son of Mahli. (iv) Son of Phineas. A custodian of the temple treasury. (v) A priest. (vi) An ancestor of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Variants: El, Elzaro, Elie, Ely, Lazar. [Exodus 6:23]

Elhanan el-han-nan (male)
Hebrew: Grace of God. Son of Jair. A great warrior who killed Lahmi, the brother of the Philistine giant Goliath. Others with this name: Son of Dodo. One of David's elite royal bodyguard. [2 Samuel 21:19]

I Name Thee Eli...


Eli Whitney, American inventor of the cotton gin, which made cotton a viable crop. Though not a trained engineer, Whitney was very skilled with his hands. He invented machines that made mass production possible in many industries.


Eli e-li (male)
Hebrew: Ascending, going up, on high. A descendant of Aaron through Ithamar. A high priest and judge of Israel for forty years. He was a virtuous man who lived to the age of ninety. Unfortunately his sons Phinehas and Hophni, who succeeded him in office, were debauched and irresponsible. The ashamed father was unable to correct them. [1 Samuel 1:3]

Eliab el-li-ab (male)
Hebrew: God is the father. Son of Helon. Chief of the Zebulon tribe at the time of the great census in the wilderness. Others with this name: (i) Son of Pallu. His sons were Nathan and Abiram. (ii) Son of Jesse and hence, a brother of David. His daughter Abihail was wed to King Rehoboam, David's grandson. (iii) A Levite musician in David's time. (iv) A Gadite chief who joined forces with David. (v) An ancestor of the prophet Samuel. Variants: Elihu, Eliel. [Numbers 1:9]

Eliada el-li-ar-dar (male)
Hebrew: Known of God.
A younger son of King David. Others with this name: (i) A celebrated Benjamite general who served under King Jehoshaphat. (ii) Father of Rezon. Variants: Beeliada, Eliadah. [2 Samuel 5:16]

Eliam el-li-am (male)
Hebrew: People of God.
Father of Bathsheba. See Ammiel. Others with this name: Son of Ahithophel. A warrior under David. [2 Samuel 11:3]

Elidad el-li-dad (male)
Hebrew: Loved by God.
A Benjamite chief. He assisted in the allocation of lands to the tribes of Israel. [Numbers 34:21]

Eliel el-li-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God, my God
. Other interpretations: God is God. A chief of the Manasseh. Others with this name: (i) An ancestor of Samuel the prophet. (ii) Two chiefs of the Benjamites, a son of Shimei and a son of Shashak. (iii) Two of David's warriors. (iv) A Gadite who joined with David at Ziklag. (v) A Levite chief. (vi) A Levite official of the temple. [1 Chronicles 5:24]

Eliezer el-li-ez-zer (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Help of God, God is help. The chief servant of Abraham. Abraham waited so long for the birth of a son that he feared Eliezer would become his heir by default. Others with this name: (i) A son of Beker and grandson of Benjamin. (ii) Son of Moses and his wife Zipporah. (ii) A priest who assisted in the return of the ark to Jerusalem. (iii) Son of Zicri. (iv) Son of Dodavahu. He prophesied against King Jehoshaphat. (v) One of Ezra's messengers to the Israelites. (vi) Three Jews who divorced their foreign wives. (vii) An ancestor of Jesus Christ. [Genesis 15:2]

Elijah el-li-jar (male)
Hebrew: God is God.
One of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament. Elijah was born in Gilead and was miraculously fed bread and meat by wild ravens. He restored a widow's dead son to life and killed the false prophets of Baal, turning the people of Israel away from idolatrous worship. He opposed and prophesied against the wicked King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Elijah did not die as others; instead, he was taken directly to heaven in a chariot of fire. He appears again in the New Testament in the guise of John the Baptist, but Jesus Christ perceives his true identity. Later Elijah is seen standing on the Mount of Transfiguration "in glory" with Moses and Jesus. Others with this name: (i) Two men who divorced their foreign wives. (ii) Son of Jeroham. Variants: El, Eli, Elias, Elio, Eliot, Elis, Elisio, Elison, Elliot, Ellis, Ellison, Elsen, Ely, Elyas, Elye, Elyot, Ilija, Ilya. [1 Kings 17:1]

Blame The Media


In the so-called Printers' Bible, King David declares, "The printers have persecuted me without cause..." The word they (the printers) got mixed up was printers; it should have been princes.


Eliphaz el-lif-farz (male)
Hebrew: God his strength. Other interpretations: God is gold, precious. A son of Esau by Adah, the daughter of Elon. A grandson of Isaac. He had six sons: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, Kenaz and (to his concubine Timna) Amalek. Others with this name: The leader among Job's three friends who sought to comfort him. He was later rebuked by God for saying the wrong things to Job. [Genesis 36:4]

Elisha el-lee-sha (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is generous, God is my help.
Apprentice and successor of the prophet Elijah. He witnessed Elijah ascending on a chariot of fire to heaven. Elisha continued the work of Elijah for sixty years, especially resisting the blasphemous worship of Baal. He opposed King Jehoram, son of the depraved Ahab and Jezebel. He encouraged the rebel Jehu to usurp the throne of Ahab. He performed miracles, including the resurrection of the dead. He also performed a miracle akin to the later feeding of the five thousand by Jesus Christ, though only one hundred diners were accommodated. He prophesied during the reigns of Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Joash. [1 Kings 19:16]

Elishama el-lee-sha-ma (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has heard, whom God hears. Son of Ammihud and grandfather of Joshua. Others with this name: (i) A name shared by two sons of King David. (ii) Son of Jekamiah. (iii) Father of Nethaniah and grandfather of Ishmael. (iv) A priest under Jehoshaphat. (v) A scribe under Jehoiakim. Variants: Elishua. [Numbers 1:10]

Elisheba el-lee-she-ba (female)
Hebrew: God is her oath, promise of God. Daughter of Amminidab, a prince of Judah, and the sister of Nahshon. She married Aaron, the brother of Moses. Thus she linked the principal royal family and priestly family of the time. [Exodus 6:23]

I Name Thee Elizabeth...


Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a leading American activist in the cause of equal rights for women. She set up the first Woman's Rights Convention and served as first president of the National Woman Suffrage Association.


Elizabeth el-liz-za-beth (female)
Hebrew: God is her oath, promise of God. Wife of Zechariah the priest. God told the elderly Zechariah that his equally elderly wife would have a son filled with the Holy Spirit, despite her former childlessness. The son she conceived and bore was John the Baptist. During the pregnancy, she spent three months with her also pregnant cousin Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus Christ. Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron and, says the Bible, "righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." Variants: Bab, Babette, Bess, Beth, Betsey, Bettina, Bette, Betty, Elese, Elisa, Elisabeth, Elise, Elisheba, Elisheva, Eliza, Elsa, Elsbet, Else, Elspet, Elspeth, Elsye, Helsa, Isabel, Libbie, Lilian, Lilla, Lisa, Lisbet, Liz, Liza, Lizabeth. [Luke 1:5]

Elizur el-lee-zur (male)
Hebrew: God is his rock.
A prince of the Reubenites who helped Moses in conducting the great tribal census. His father was Shedeur. [Numbers 1:5]

Elkanah el-kan-nar (male)
Hebrew: Provided of God. Other interpretations: God has possessed. A grandson of Korah, the rebel who conspired against Moses. His brothers were Abiasaph and Assir. Others with this name: (i) Father of the great prophet Samuel and husband of Hannah. (ii) Chief official of the court of King Ahaz. (iii) A warrior who joined David at Ziklag. (iv) Several obscure Levites. All descendants of Kohath. Variants: Elkonah. [Exodus 6:24]

Elnathan el-nay-thun (male)
Hebrew: Gift of God.
Father of Nehushta and grandfather of King Jehoiachin of Judah. Others with this name: (i) Son of Acbor. He became a servant of King Jehoiakim. He urged his master not to destroy the prophecies of Jeremiah. (ii) Three members of a party sent on a mission by Ezra, all of whom shared the name. [2 Kings 24:8]

Elon e-lon (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Oak. Elon the Hittite. The father of Basemath, second wife of Esau. Others with this name: (i) Second son of Zebulon. His brothers were Sered and Jahleel. (ii) A judge of Israel. [Genesis 26:34]

Enoch e-nock (male)
Hebrew: Dedicated, sanctified, educated. Son of Cain and first grandson of Adam and Eve. The first city was named after him. His son was Irad. Others with this name: Son of Jared. He was a holy man who "walked with God." His son was Methuselah, who reached the overly ripe old age of nine hundred and sixty nine years and became the Bible's oldest man. Enoch himself lived to only three hundred and sixty five years, a short life by the sensational standards of Genesis. [Genesis 4:17]

Enosh e-nosh (male)
Hebrew: Mortal. Son of Seth. Second grandson of Adam and Eve. His older brother was Enoch and his son was Kenan. Enosh lived for nine hundred and five years. His name suggests fear of death, a consequence of the sin every human being inherited from his parents. Variants: Enos. [Genesis 4:26]

I Name Thee Ephraim...


Ephraim McDowell, a famous doctor who worked in the rough and ready world of the American frontier. Despite the primitive conditions, McDowell pioneered new techniques in surgery, including the first operation to remove a tumorous ovary.


Ephraim ef-fram (male)
Hebrew: Bountiful, very fruitful, double fruit.
Youngest son of Joseph and his Egyptian wife Asenath. He and his brother Manasseh were tribal founders. His descendants, called the Ephraimites, occupied the rich central uplands of Palestine, with Manasseh's lands to the north. Ephraim was adopted as a son and blessed by Jacob, his grandfather. His tribe became large and influential. Variants: Efim, Efraim, Efrem, Efron. [Genesis 41:52]

Ephron ef-fron (male)
Hebrew: Like a fawn. Son of Zohar, a Hittite. Ephron sold the grieving Abraham the field known as Machpelah, in which to bury his dead wife Sarah. [Genesis 23:8]

Eran er-ran (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Watcher
, vigilant, guardian. Son of Shuthelah and grandson of Ephraim. He was the forefather of the Eranites. [Numbers 26:36]

Eri er-ri (modern male and female)
Hebrew: My watcher, watching.
A son of Gad. His brothers were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Arodi and Areli. [Genesis 46:16]

Esau e-saw (male)
Hebrew: Hairy.
Eldest son of Isaac and Rebekah, a grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob. He was given the name Esau because at birth he "came forth red, all his body like a hairy mantle". He was an accomplished hunter. Isaac, who like eating the beasts he killed, was fond of him. For his part, Esau was fond of red pottage (a kind of thick broth). In fact, he sold his birthright to his brother Jacob in return for some pottage and bread. Thus the expression a mess of pottage, meaning a contemptible or worthless reward, has entered the language. His wives were Adah and Oholibamah, Basemath, daughter of Elon and Basemath, daughter of Ishmael. He had five sons: Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah. His descendants were the Edomites. Variants: Edom. [Genesis 25:25]

Eshban esh-barn (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Pleasant. Son of Dishon and a great-grandson of Zibeon. His brothers were Hemdan, Ithran and Keran. [Genesis 36:26]

Eshton esh-ton (modern male and female)
Hebrew:
Effeminate. A descendant of Judah. [1 Chronicles 4:11]

Esli es-lie (modern male and female)
Greek: Shy, reserved. Ancestor of Joseph, husband of Mary. [Luke 3:25]

I Name Thee Esther...


Esther Morris, a pioneer in the fight for women's rights. She was the first woman in America to become a justice of the peace. In 1869, her home state of Wyoming, as a result of her efforts, was the first to give women the vote.


Esther es-ter (female)
Hebrew, from Akkadian: Venus, morning star. A Jewish orphan living in the city of Susa in Persia. Esther was her Persian name. Her Hebrew name was Hadassah, which means myrtle (a type of aromatic plant). She was adopted and raised by her cousin Mordecai, an official under King Ahasuerus. She married Ahasuerus and became his queen. But Mordecai offended the King by refusing to bow before Haman, the new prime minister. In revenge, Ahasuerus decided to butcher the captive Jews of Persia. Esther intervened, persuading him to spare the Jews and instead to destroy the scheming Haman. The seventeenth book of the Old Testament bears her name. Variants: Eister, Essa, Essie, Esta, Estee, Estella, Estrella, Etty, Heddy, Heidi, Hester, Hettie, Trella. [Esther]

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

Ethan e-thun (male)
Hebrew: Strong, powerful.
Other interpretations: Enduring, guaranteed. A wise man in the time of Solomon. Others with this name: (i) Son of Zerah and grandson of Judah. His brothers were Zimri, Heman, Calcol and Dara. (ii) A descendant of Gershon. (iii) A Levite singer, a descendant of Merari. Variants: Etan, Ethe. [1 Kings 4:31]

I Name Thee Ethan...


Ethan Allen, hero of the American Revolution, founded the Green Mountain Boys, a Vermont militia troop in 1770. This group captured Fort Ticonderoga, the first victory for the American side in the Revolution.


Eunice u-niss (female)
Greek: Good victory. Daughter of Lois and mother of Timothy, a leading assistant and beloved friend of the apostle Paul. Eunice was married to a pagan Greek. She was probably converted to Christianity by Paul. She lived at Lystra and taught Timothy as a child to understand the Old Testament scriptures. Variants: Niki, Nikki, Unice. [Acts 16:1]

Euodia u-oh-de-ar (female)
Greek: Prosperous journey. Other interpretations: Fragrant, sweet. A Christian woman of Philippi. Variants: Euodias. [Philippians 4:2]

Eve eve (female)
Hebrew: Life, living, breath of life, mother of all life. The first woman and second human being created by God. Her husband was Adam, the first human being. Eve was made from the rib of Adam. Satan, in the guise of a serpent, tricked her into eating the fruit of the tree which God had forbidden. She gave Adam some of the fruit to eat also. For this sin, the parents of humanity were expelled from the paradise of Eden. Adam gave Eve her name. Variants: Eva, Evaline, Evita, Evleen, Evonne. [Genesis 3:20]

I Name Thee Eve...


Eve Balfour, an English agriculturalist born in 1898, was a pioneer of modern organic farming. Way ahead of her time, she promoted the (now fashionable) idea of sustainable agriculture through a series of field agriculture trials over a thirty year period.


Evi ev-vi (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Desire.
One of five kings of Midian killed by the Israelites. His lands were taken by Reuben. [Numbers 31:8]

Ezbai ez-bay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Shining, radiant.
Father of Naarai, one of David's great warriors. [1 Chronicles 11:37]

Ezekiel ez-zeek-ke-el (male)
Hebrew: May God give strength
, strength of God. One of the great Hebrew prophets. As a young man he was taken captive to Babylon. After five years there he received his call to prophecy. Little is known of his personal life except that he was married and his wife died unexpectedly. Ezekiel warned the Jews against the blasphemous worship of false idols. He said that ungodly practices would bring disaster upon the nation. But he also prophesied that Israel would be divinely restored to glory and spiritual wholeness. These events were perceived in rich visions which, according to Ezekiel, he saw when the Spirit lifted him up. The twenty-sixth book of the Old Testament bears his name. Variants: Ezechial, Ezell, Haskel, Hehezkel, Zeke. [Ezekiel]

Ezra ez-ra (male)
Hebrew: Help.
The priest and scribe who came from Babylon to reform the religious and social life of Jerusalem. Temple rituals had been forgotten, immorality was rife, and the priesthood had intermarried with pagans. Learning of this, Ezra tore out his hair in anguish. He persuaded Jerusalem's people to return to the law of Moses. He instituted a mass divorce court where many pagan wives were "put away". Ezra also worked with Nehemiah, acting as his chief priest and aide. The fifteenth book of the Old Testament, which he may have wrote, is named after him. Tradition asserts that he was also wrote 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles and possibly the Nehemiah as well. He was a descendant of Aaron. Others with this name: Another priest who returned from Babylon. Variants: Azariah, Esdras, Esra, Ezar, Ezer, Ezri. [Ezra]

I Name Thee Ezra...


Ezra Pound, a famous American poet who wrote mostly incomprehensible poetry and was widely imitated by other poets, including T.S. Eliot, who tried to write even more obscure verse - a quite difficult thing to do.


Ezrah ez-ra (male)
Hebrew: Help. A man of the tribe of Judah. His sons were Jether, Mered, Epher and Jalon. Variants: Ezra. [1 Chronicles 4:17]

Ezri ez-ri (male)
Hebrew: My help.
An agricultural overseer who served under David. Son of Kelub. [1 Chronicles 27:26]

 


~ F ~


Felix fe-licks (male)
Greek: Happy. Originally a Greek slave with the name Antonius. He was granted his freedom by the Emperor Claudius, who renamed him Felix. He became the Roman governor of Judea and held Paul captive for two years, hoping the apostle would offer bribery to get out. Four popes and many saints were called Felix. It may be the male form of Felicia, the Roman goddess of luck and happiness. [Acts 23:26]

I Name Thee Felix...


Felix Mendelssohn, a German musical composer. He wrote his first music at the tender age of just ten years. Every bride and groom knows his famous Wedding March, just one of some two hundred works in an immensely productive career.


Festus fes-tus (male)
Greek, from Latin?: Joyful, happy.
Festus Porcius, successor of Felix as the Roman governor of Judea. An able and fair administrator. He sent the imprisoned Paul to Rome to appeal before Caesar. On the way Paul escaped from custody. [Acts 24:27]

 

~ G ~


Gabriel
gab-ree-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Man of God, strong man of God.
A messenger angel who appears in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Luke. Announcing the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah, he said, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God and I was sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news." He also announced the destined birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary. Variants: Gabe, Gabryel. Female forms include Gabby, Gabriela, Gabrielle. [Daniel 8:16]

I Name Thee Gabriel...


Gabriel Fahrenheit, a German physicist, invented the famous temperature scale which bears his name. He also developed a mercury thermometer which was more accurate than existing alcohol thermometers.



Gaddiel gad-dee-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Fortune of God.
Son of Sodi. One of the twelve spies sent out to inspect and report upon the land of Canaan. [Numbers 13:10]

Gaius guy-us (male)
Greek: Lord, master.
A Macedonian friend of Paul who travelled with him to Ephesus and was trapped there by an angry mob. Others with this name: (i) A Christian from Derbe who travelled with Paul from Macedonia to Asia. (ii) A Christian of Corinth who gave food and shelter to other Christians and who was baptised by Paul. (iii) A Christian friend of John to whom his third letter was addressed. Variants: Caius. [Acts 19:29]

Gamaliel gam-ma-li-el (male)
Hebrew: Recompense, reward of God, my reward is God.
Son of Pedahzur. A prince of the Manasseh. He helped organise the great tribal census in the wilderness. Others with this name: An eminent rabbi or teacher. One of his pupils was Paul, then called Saul. When angry Jews wanted to kill the early Christians, Gamaliel called for restraint. Variants: Gamliel. [Numbers 1:10]

Gedaliah jed-da-li-ar (male)
Hebrew: God is great
, God is my greatness. Son of Shaphan. Secretary to King Josiah. Appointed governor of Judea. He became a friend and protector of the prophet Jeremiah. He was murdered by Ishmael, son of Nethaniah. His death is commemorated by the Jews even today. Others with this name: (i) A Levite harpist, one of the sons of Jeduthun. (ii) A priest who married a foreign wife. (iii) A prince, the son of Passhur, who had Jeremiah imprisoned. (iv) Grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah. Variants: Gedalia, Gedelio. [2 Kings 25:22]

Gehazi ja-haz-zi (male)
Hebrew: Valley of vision.
Servant and messenger of the great prophet Elisha. Despite his admirable loyalty to the prophet, he lusted for worldly riches. It earned him the curse of leprosy. [2 Kings 4:12]

Gemalli jem-mal-lee (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Camel owner, rider, driver.
Father of Ammiel one of the spies sent out by Moses to inspect and report upon the land of Canaan. [Numbers 13:12]

Gemariah jem-ma-ri-ar (male)
Hebrew: Perfected by God.
Other interpretations: Achievement of the Lord, God has done it. The son of Shaphan the scribe. With Elnathan and Delaiah, he urged King Johoiakim not to burn the scrolls of Jeremiah. Others with this name: Son of Hilkiah. He served King Hezekiah as an ambassador to Babylon. [Jeremiah 36:10]

Gershom gur-shom (male)
Hebrew: Exile, to cast out, stranger.
Eldest son of Moses by his wife Zipporah, born in Midian. Others with this name: (i) A descendant of Phinehas. (ii) The father of Jonathan, who became the priest of the idolatrous Danites. Variants: Gershon. [Exodus 2:22]

Gershon gur-shon (male)
Hebrew: Exile, to cast out, stranger. Eldest son of Levi. Forefather of the Gershonite clan. His brothers were Kohath and Merari. Variants: Gershom. [Genesis 46:11]

Geshem jes-shem (male)
Hebrew: Rain.
An Arab who, with Sanballat and Tobiah, scoffed at the idea of rebuilding Jerusalem's walls. Variants: Gashmu. [Nehemiah 2:19]

Gideon gid-de-an (male)
Hebrew: One who cuts down, destroyer, mighty warrior.
Other interpretations: Maimed. Son of Joash. One of the greatest warriors in the history of Israel. His army numbered only three hundred men, yet defeated far larger forces. In the dead of night, Gideon used psychological tactics to rout the sleeping enemy. He also destroyed the temples of the pagan god Baal. Gideon was as a judge of Israel for forty years. He fathered a total of seventy-one sons. Despite this colossal issue, only two survived: Jotham and Abimelech (who murdered the rest). Also known by his surnames, Jerub-Baal and Jerub-Besheth. Variants: Gidi. [Judges 6:11]

Chapter and Verse


The books of the early Bible lacked chapter and verse markers. The division of the Bible into chapters was completed by either Cardinal Hugo de Sancto-Caro in 1236, or by Stephen Langton, an archbishop of Canterbury who died in 1228. Scholars disagree over who was first. The further division of the Old Testament into verses was done by Rabbi Mordecai Nathan, and of the New Testament, by the French printer Robert Stephens. According to tradition, Stephens completed his task in 1544 while - of all things - travelling on horseback.


Gideoni gid-de-an-nee (male)
Hebrew: One who cuts down, destroyer, mighty warrior.
Other interpretations: Maimed. A chief or prince of the Benjamites. [Numbers 7:60]

Goliath go-lie-ath (male)
Hebrew: Splendour, magnificence. Other interpretations: Foreigner, exile. The gigantic warrior of the Philistine army. For forty days, Goliath, who stood at least three meters tall, declared that he would fight any man of Saul's opposing Israelite forces. Only the young David, a shepherd boy, accepted. He killed Goliath with a single stone from a slingshot and then cut off the giant's head. The Philistines were so astounded they fell immediately to a panicky retreat. Goliath was a native of Gath, a city famous for its giant soldiery. [1 Samuel 17:4]

Gomer go-mer (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Complete, finished, God accomplishes it. First son of Japheth and a grandson of Noah. He had three sons: Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah. His brothers were Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras. Forefather of the Cimmerians. Others with this name: A daughter of Diblaim. She married the prophet Hosea. Mother of Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah and Lo-Ammi. [Genesis 10:2]




~ H ~


Hadad
ha-dad (male)
Hebrew: Fierce, brave. Eighth son of Ishmael and a grandson of Abraham. He was one of the twelve Arabian princes promised by God. His brothers were Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. His sister was Mahalath, one of Esau's wives. Others with this name: (i) Two of the early Edomite kings. (ii) An Edomite prince who fled from David to the Pharoah of Egypt. He later opposed King Solomon. His son was Genubath. (iii) A pagan god of Syria, Ben-Hadad. [Genesis 25:15]

Hadoram had-dor-ram (male)
Hebrew: Strength, power. Son of Joktan. A descendant of Noah through Shem. His brothers were Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. Others with this name: (i) Overseer of the forced labourers in the time of David and Solomon. (ii) A son of King Hamath who was sent as an ambassador to David. Variants: Adoniram, Joram. [Genesis 10:27]

Hagar hay-gar (female)
Hebrew: Emigration, flight.
The Egyptian maid of Sarah. When Sarah had been childless many years, she offered Hagar to her husband Abraham as a way to get an heir. Thus Hagar became the mother of Ishmael, forefather of the Arab nations. After Sarah unexpectedly conceived and bore Isaac, a son of her own, she resented the presence of Hagar and Ishmael in the house of Abraham. She complained to Abraham, who banished the concubine and her son to the wilderness. [Genesis 16:1]

Haggi ha-guy (male)
Hebrew: Festive, happy. Son of Gad and grandson of Jacob. His descendants were the Arelites. His brothers were Ziphion, Ezbon, Shuni, Areli, Eri and Arodi. [Genesis 46:16]

Haggiah ha-guy-ar (male)
Hebrew: Festival of God.
Other interpretations: The Lord's feast. Son of Shimea the Levite. He fathered Asaiah. [1 Chronicles 6:30]

Ham ham (male)
Hebrew: Hot.
Other interpretations: Swarthy. Youngest son of Noah. His brothers were Shem and Japheth. From these sons, says the Bible, "the whole world was peopled." Ham displeased Noah because he saw him lying drunk and naked and told his brothers about it. He had four sons: Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan, all founders of nations. [Genesis 6:10]

One For Trivia Night


Here's one for trivia night: which Bible verse contains all the letters of the alphabet, except the letter J? Answer: Ezra 7:21 (true at least of the King James and the Revised Standard versions of the Bible.)


Haman ha-man (male)
Hebrew: Renowned, famed.
Haman the Agagite. Son of Hammedatha. King Ahasuerus of Persia appointed him prime minister. He plotted to destroy the Jews because Mordecai, a Jewish official, refused to bow to him. Esther, the Jewish wife of Ahasuerus, foiled the plot. Haman died on the gallows he had raised for Mordecai. [Esther 3:1]

Hamutal ham-mu-tal (female)
Hebrew: Like the dew. The daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. She married King Josiah of Judah and was the mother of two later kings, Jehoahaz and Zedekiah. [2 Kings 23:31]

Hanameel ha-nam-me-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Gift of God. A cousin of Jeremiah who sold the prophet a field. Variants: Hanamel. [Jeremiah 32:7]

Hanan ha-nan (male)
Hebrew: Gracious.
A son of Shashak. His brothers were Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, Iphdeiah and Penuel. Others with this name: (i) A son of Azel. (ii) Son of Maacah. One of the mighty warriors under David. (iii) A temple servant returned from the Babylonian captivity. (iv) A Levite teacher of the Law under Nehemiah. (v) Three persons who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. (vi) Son of Zaccur. A tithe-keeper. (vii) Son of Igdaliah. Apparently wealthy and a "man of God". [1 Chronicles 8:22]

Hananiah han-nan-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: God is gracious. A son of Zerubbabel. His brothers were Meshullam, Hashubah, Ohel, Berekiah, Hasadiah and Jushabhesed. His sister was Shelomith. He had two sons, Pelatiah and Jeshaiah. Others with this name: (i) A son of Shashak. (ii) A temple musician, the son of Heman. (iii) A commander of the army under Uzziah. (iv) The father of Zedekiah, a prince under Jehoiakim. (v) Grandfather of Irijah, the sentry who arrested Jeremiah. (vi) The original Hebrew name of Shadrach, a friend of the prophet Daniel. He survived the fiery furnace. (vii) A priest with a foreign wife. (viii) Two men who helped to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. (ix) An official of Jerusalem who was "faithful and God-fearing". (x) One who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. (xi) A priestly official under Joiakim. (xii) A false prophet of Gibeon who opposed Jeremiah. [1 Chronicles 3:19]

Haniel han-ne-el (male)
Hebrew: Grace of God, favour of God.
Son of Ephod. A prince of the Manasseh. He helped Moses with the division of Canaan among the tribes. Others with this name: Son of Ulla, a descendant of Asher. Variants: Hanniel. [Numbers 34:23]

Hannah han-nar (female)
Hebrew: God has favoured, God has blessed. One of the two wives of Elkanah. She remained childless while Peninnah, Elkanah's other wife, had children. Peninnah resented the fact that Elkanah still loved Hannah despite her barrenness. She taunted Hannah cruelly. But Hannah did not lose her faith. She prayed for a son and God answered, blessing her with three sons and two daughters. One was Samuel, the glorious warrior and judge of Israel. Variants: Chanah, Chani, Hanita, Hanna, Hanny, Nan, Nana. [Samuel 1:2]

I Name Thee Hannah...


Hannah Glasse, born in England in 1708, wrote one of the earliest known collected recipe books, called The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. It was published in 1747 and is regarded a classic of culinary literature.


Hanoch han-nock (male)
Hebrew: Initiation. Other interpretations: Dedicated. Son of Midian and a grandson of Abraham and Keturah. His brothers were Ephah, Epher, Abida and Eldaah. Others with this name: Eldest son of Reuben. His brothers were Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. Variants: Henoch. [Genesis 25:4]

Hanun han-non (male)
Hebrew: Gracious.
A king of Ammon. Son of Nahash. He mistreated the servants of David, thinking them spies. David destroyed him in battle. Others with this name: (i) The architect of the Valley Gate in the wall of Jerusalem. (ii) One who helped rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. [2 Samuel 10.1]

Haran har-ran (male)
Hebrew: Rugged, mountainous, mountain climber. Son of Terah and a descendant of Noah through Shem. His brothers were Abraham and Nahor. His son Lot survived the destruction of Sodom. Milcah and Iscah were his daughters. Others with this name: (i) A son of Caleb by the concubine Ephah. His son was Gazez. (ii) A son of Shimei. [Genesis 11:27]

Havilah hav-vil-lar (male)
Hebrew: Circle. Other interpretations: Sandy ground. Son of Cush and a great-grandson of Noah through Ham. His brothers were Nimrod, Seba, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteca. Others with this name: A son of Joktan. [Genesis 10:7]

Hazaiah haz-zay-ar (male)
Hebrew: Whom God sees, God sees.
Son of Adaiah. A descendant of Judah. [Nehemiah 11:5]

Haziel haz-zee-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God sees, vision.
A Levite in the time of David. [1 Chronicles 23:9]

Helah hel-lar (female)
Hebrew: Rust. One of the two wives of Asshur, the other being Naarah. She had three sons: Zereth, Izhar and Ethnan. [1 Chronicles 4:5]

Heldai hel-day (male)
Hebrew: Worldly.
One of David's mighty warriors. Others with this name: A noble Jew who returned from the Babylonian captivity with precious metals for the crown of Joshua. Variants: Heled, Heleb, Helem. [1 Chronicles 27:15]

Crazy About... Bibles?


A bibliomaniac is not a person crazy about the Bible; rather, it is a person crazy about collecting books - any books. A bibliolater, on the other hand, is a person crazy about the Bible, so much so that their adulation becomes a form of worship.


Helez hel-lez (male)
Hebrew: Strong.
Son of Azariah. Father of Eleasah. Others with this name: One of David's mighty warriors. Variants: Palti, Paltite. [1 Chronicles 2:39]

Helkai hel-kay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Portion, share.
A priest under Joiakim. [Nehemiah 12:15]

Helon hel-lon (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Brave, strong.
Father of Eliab. [Numbers 1:9]

Henadad hen-na-dad (male)
Hebrew: Favour of Hadad.
Head of a family who returned from captivity in Babylon. His descendants helped to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. [Ezra 3:9]

Heresh her-resch (male)
Hebrew: Carpenter.
Other interpretations: Silent, mute. The meaning of this name is uncertain. One of the captives returned from Babylon. [1 Chronicles 9:15]

Hermes herm-eeze (male)
Greek: Stone, rock, boundary marker. Pagan Greek god of messages, commerce and travel, known as Mercury to the Romans. The name was shared by two Christian friends of Paul mentioned in the New Testament's Letter to the Romans. One was known as Hermas, the other, Hermes. Paul was mistaken for the pagan god Hermes by a crowd in Lystra. Doubtless he was unimpressed by their acclaim. Variants: Hermas, Mercurius. [Acts 14:12]

Herod hair-rod (male)
Greek: Heroic, brave.
Other interpretations: Guardian, protector. Herod the Great, Roman tetrarch (administrator) of the province Judea who later became its puppet king. A cruel and insane ruler. He had the male infants of Bethlehem killed because he feared the prophesied birth of a king, that is, Jesus Christ. Others with this name: (i) Herod Antipas, son of the former. He had John the Baptist executed to fulfil the wishes of his grand-daughter Salome. His wife was Herodias and his half-brother was Herod Philip. (ii) Herod Philip, son of Herod the Great. The first husband of Herodias. Variants: Agrippa. [Matthew 2:1]

Herodias hair-rod-di-es (female)
Greek: Heroic, brave (feminine form of Herod). Scheming and spiteful grand-daughter of Herod the Great. She married her uncle Herod Philip and later, his half-brother, Herod Antipas. John the Baptist rebuked her for these marriages. She resented John and plotted his death. She induced her daughter Salome to ask Herod, who had rashly promised the fulfilment of any wish, "Give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter." [Matthew 14:3]

Heth heth (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Fear, awe.
Second son of Canaan and a great-grandson of Noah through Ham. He founded the great Hittite nation. [Genesis 10:15]

Hezekiah hez-zee-ki-ar (male)
Hebrew: God has strengthened, strength of God.
Twelfth king of Judah who ruled for twenty-nine years. He struggled against idolatry and restored the temple of Jerusalem. Yet his faith, put to test, proved weak. Instead of trusting God to save Judah from Assyrian aggression, he sought to protect it by his own devices. As a result of his meddling, Judah lost its independence and was forced to pay heavy tribute to Assyria. Others with this name: One who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. Son of Neariah. Variants: Hesketh, Hezeki. [2 Kings 18:1]

Hezion hez-zee-on (male)
Hebrew:
Sight, vision. Father of Tabrimmon and grandfather of Ben-Hadad, a king of Syria. He may be the same person as Rezon. [1 Kings 15:18]

Hezrai hez-ray (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Enclosure.
One of David's mighty warriors. Variants: Hezro. [2 Samuel 23:35]

Hezron hez-ron (male)
Hebrew: Surrounded. A son of Reuben. His brothers were Hanoch, Pallu and Carmi. Others with this name: Son of Perez and a grandson of Judah. [Genesis 46:9]

Hilkiah hil-ki-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God my portion, the portion of God. Father of Eliakim, the head steward of King Hezekiah. Others with this name: (i) Four fairly obscure Levites. (ii) A high priest under King Josiah. (iii) Father of the great prophet Jeremiah. [2 Kings 18:18]

Hirah hi-ra (male)
Hebrew: Noble.
A friend of Judah from Adullam. [Genesis 38:1]

Hiram hi-ram (male)
Hebrew: Noble.
A king of Tyre. Son of Abibaal. A friend of both David and Solomon. He was a capable ruler. His daughter married Solomon. Others with this name: A skilled artisan or architect who helped Solomon in the construction of the temple. Variants: Huram. [2 Samuel 5:11]

I Name Thee Hiram...


Hiram (Hank) Williams, an American country music singer and composer, wrote over one hundred songs, including "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Hey, Good Lookin". Few if any did as much as Williams to create the modern country music sound.


Hizki hiz-ki (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Strong. An obscure Benjamite. Variants: Hezeki. [1 Chronicles 8:17]

Hizkiah hiz-ki-ar (male)
Hebrew: Strength. Son of Neariah and a descendant of Solomon. His brothers were Elioenai and Azrikam. Others with this name: (i) An ancestor of the prophet Zephaniah. (ii) One who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. Variants: Hezekiah, Hizkijah. [1 Chronicles 3:23]

Hodaviah ho-da-vi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Give praise. Son of Elioenai, a descendant of Solomon. His brothers were Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah and Anani. Others with this name: (i) A chief of the Manasseh. (ii) Son of Hassenuah. (iii) A Levite. Variants: Hodevah. [1 Chronicles 3:24]

Hodesh ho-desh (female)
Hebrew: New moon. A wife of Shaharaim. Her sons were Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, Jeuz, Sachia and Mirmah.[1 Chronicles 8:9]

Hodiah ho-di-ar (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Splendour of God, magnificence of God. The identity (and the sex) of Hodiah is not clear. She or he was either the sister or brother-in-law of Naham. Some biblical scholars say she was the wife of Ezra. Variants: Hodijah, Hodiya.[1 Chronicles 4:19]

Hodijah ho-di-jar (male)
Hebrew: Splendour, magnificence.
The name of three Levites, including a tribal chief, in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. Variants: Hodiah, Hodiya. [Nehemiah 8:7]

Hoglah ho-glah (female)
Hebrew: Quail. A name unlikely to catch on in English-speaking countries. Daughter of Zelophehad. Her sisters were Mahlah, Noah, Milcah and Tirzah. As Zelophehad had no sons, a law was devised enabling his daughters to be his heirs. [Numbers 26:33]

Hosah ho-sar (male)
Hebrew: Refuge.
A Levite temple porter in the days of David. [1 Chronicles 16:38]

A Sign, A Sign!


Jesus Christ performed thirty-three miracles during His time on earth. But Jesus was not the only miracle-worker of the Bible. Far from it! As early as the Book of Exodus, Moses turned Aaron's staff into a serpent in front of the Pharaoh of Egypt.


Hosea ho-zi-ah (male)
Hebrew: Help, salvation. Son of Beeri. He was a prophet who warned Israel to abandon the blasphemous religious practices of Baal and return to the true faith of Moses. The twenty-eighth book of the Old Testament bears his name. His wife was the unfaithful Gomer. His sons were Jezreel and Lo-Ammi; his daughter was Lo-Ruhamah. Variants: Hoshal, Osee, Osia, Osias. [Hosea]

Hoshama ho-shar-ma (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Whom God hears.
A son of Jeconiah of Judah, the captive king. His brothers were Shealtiel, Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah and Nedabiah. [1 Chronicles 3:18]

Hothan ho-thun (male)
Hebrew: Seal. The father of Shama and Jeiel, both of whom became mighty warriors under David. [1 Chronicles 11:44]

Hur hur (male)
Hebrew: White, chalky.
Other interpretations: Hole. A warrior who helped the weary Moses hold his hands aloft during the battle between Joshua and Amalek. This gesture enabled the Israelites to win. Others with this name: (i) Grandfather of Bezalel. Jewish tradition says this person was the husband of Miriam. (ii) One of the five kings of Midian who perished with Balaam. (iii) Father of one of King Solomon's supply officers. The son was known as Ben-Hur, which means son of Hur. (iv) Father of Rephaiah, who helped Nehemiah re-build the ruined walls of Jerusalem. [Exodus 17:10]

Hushai hu-shay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Haste, bustle.
One of David's most prominent generals. Also his friend and trusted adviser. [2 Samuel 15:32]

Hushim hu-shim (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Haste, bustle. Either a son or descendant of Dan. Others with this name: One of the wives of Shaharaim. She had two sons by him, Abitub and Elpaal. Variants: Shuham. [Genesis 46:23]


~ I ~


Ibri
ib-bri (modern male and female)
Hebrew: A Hebrew. A Levite, the son of Jaaziah. [1 Chronicles 24:27]

Ibzan ib-zan (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Famous.
A judge of Israel for seven years. He fathered thirty sons and thirty daughters. [Judges 12:8]

Imlah im-lar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Full, fullness.
Father of the minor prophet Micaiah. [1 Kings 22:8]

Immanuel im-man-nu-el (male)
Hebrew: God is with us.
The name of Jesus Christ in prophecy. Isaiah prophesied that a child of this name would be born to a young virgin of the house of David. Matthew's gospel says that the foretold child was Jesus, born to the Virgin Mary, a descendant of David. Variants: Emanuela, Emmanuel, Imanuel, Mani, Manny, Mano, Manuel, Manuela. [Isaiah 7:14]

I Name Thee Immanuel...


Immanuel Kant, one of the most famous philosophers of all time. His book, Critique of Pure Reason, influenced generations of thinkers. 


Imna im-na (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Lagging, lax.
Other interpretations: God protects, defends. Head of an Asherite clan. [1 Chronicles 7:35]

Imri im-ri (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Talkative, God speaks.
Other interpretations: Tall. A son of Bani of the tribe of Judah. Others with this name: Father of Zacchur, who helped rebuild the fallen walls of Jerusalem. Variants: Imric, Imrie. [1 Chronicles 9:4]

Ira i-ra (male)
Hebrew: Watchful.
Other interpretations: Stallion. A senior court official in the time of David. Others with this name: Two of David's mighty warriors, one being the son of Ikkesh. [2 Samuel 20:26]

Irad i-rad (male)
Hebrew: Fast, fleet. Son of Enoch and grandson of Cain. Father of Mehujael. [Genesis 4:18]

Iram i-ram (male)
Hebrew: Citizen.
An Edomite tribal chief. [Genesis 36:43]

Irijah i-ri-jar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God sees, seen by God.
The guardian of the gate who arrested the prophet Jeremiah as he sought to leave Jerusalem. [Jeremiah 37:13]

I Name Thee Isaac...


Isaac Asimov, an American chemist and writer. His literary output was colossal. From 1950 to 1988, he wrote four hundred books. These included: The Human Body, The Collapsing Universe, Foundation's Edge and I, Robot.


Isaac i-zak (male)
Hebrew: Laughter, he who laughs. So named because it was thought amusing that his elderly parents, Abraham and Sarah, should produce a child. At his birth Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me." Isaac was greatly loved by his father. As a test of faith, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice his son. At the last moment an angel intervened and saved the boy's life. Isaac's wife was Rebekah, by whom he had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. His half-brothers were Ishmael, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. He became Abraham's sole heir, although he was not the eldest. He lived for one hundred and eighty years. Variants: Ike, Isaacus, Isaak, Isac, Isacco, Isak, Itzik, Izaak, Izak, Yotzchak, Zak. [Genesis 17:19]

Isaiah i-zi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Salvation of God.
Son of Amoz. First of the major prophets, often called the prince of the prophets. The 23rd book of the Old Testament, which bears his name, contains his admonitions and prophecies. At sixty-six chapters, it is one of the longest books in the Bible. He prophesied during the reigns of four kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Isaiah denounces both the Jewish people and other nations for their sins against God. He warns nations not to oppose the chosen people of God and not to defy the will of God. He urges the Jews to turn away from sin and seek the mercy of God. He also speaks of the coming of the Christ, a saviour who will purify the faith. Little is known of the prophet's personal life. Variants: Ikaia, Isa, Isaias, Issa, Yeshaya. [Isaiah]

Iscah is-car (female)
Hebrew: Who looks.
Daughter of Haran and sister of Lot. Her sister was Milcah, wife of Nahor. Her uncle was Abraham. [Genesis 11:29]

Ishbah ish-bar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Praise.
A clan chief, the father of Eshtemoa. Son of Mered and Bithiah, an Egyptian princess. [1 Chronicles 4:17]

Ishbak ish-bak (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Leaving. Son of Abraham by Keturah. His brothers were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian and Shuah. His half-brothers were Isaac and Ishmael. [Genesis 25:2]

Ishbi ish-be (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Who lives, dweller. A giant warrior who attacked David. He was killed by Abishai. His full name was Ishbi-Benob, dweller at Nob. [2 Samuel 21:16]

Ishi ish-hi (male)
Hebrew: Saving, restorative, healthy.
Son of Appaim. Father of Sheshan. Others with this name: (i) Father of Zoheth and Ben-Zoheth. (ii) A descendant of Simeon. (iii) A clan chief of the Manasseh. [1 Chronicles 2:31]

Ishiah ish-hi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Loaned.
Other interpretations: God exists. A son of Izrahiah and a chief of the Issachar. His brothers were Michael, Obadiah and Joel. Variants: Isshiah. [1 Chronicles 7:3]

Ishijah ish-hi-jar (male)
Hebrew: Loaned.
Son of Harim, he divorced his foreign wife in the days of Ezra. [Ezra 10:31]

Ishmael... or Isaac?


According to Muslim belief, when Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his beloved son, the son he (almost) sacrificed was Ishmael, the eldest, regarded by Muslims as the forefather of the Arabs. But according to the Jewish version, told in the Book of Genesis, the son chosen for sacrifice was Isaac, Ishmael's half-brother.


Ishmael ish-my-el (male)
Hebrew: God hears, whom God hears.
Eldest son of Abraham. His mother was Hagar, the Egyptian maid of Sarah, whom Abraham took as a concubine when Sarah had been childless for many years. His half-brothers were Isaac, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. God said of Ishmael, "I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation." His sons became tribal princes of Arabia. They were Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah, collectively known as the Ishmaelites. Arab Muslims claim descent from Ishmael. He died at the age of one hundred and thirty seven years. Others with this name: (i) A descendant of Saul and Jonathan. (ii) Father of Zebadiah. (iii) Son of Jehohanan. (iv) Son of Nethaniah. (v) Son of Azel. [Genesis 16:11]


Ishmaiah
ish-may-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God hears.
A man of Gibeon who joined forces with David at Ziklag. Others with this name: A chief of the Zebulunites. Variants: Ismaiah. [1 Chronicles 12:4]

Ishmerai ish-mer-ray (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God keeps, protects. One of the sons of Elpaal. His brothers included Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, Izliah and Jobab. [1 Chronicles 8:18]

At Last! An English Bible!


In 1380, John Wycliffe translated the New Testament into English. Two years later he completed an Old Testament translation. William Tyndale produced the first printed edition of the New Testament in English in 1525. Three thousand copies were made. Tyndale also began work on the Old Testament, but the Catholic Church, displeased with his unauthorised translations, damned him as a heretic and executed him. Just ten years later the first complete printed Bible in English appeared, the work of Miles Coverdale. His edition was also the first to be given royal approval. Its title page says, "Set forth with the King's (i.e. Henry VIII) most gracious license."


Ishod ish-od (male)
Hebrew: Man of majesty, eminent, famous man. Son of Hammoleketh, a woman of the Manasseh tribe. Variants: Ishhod. [1 Chronicles 7:18]

Ishpah ish-pa (male)
Hebrew: Firm, steady. Other interpretations: Bald. A son of Beriah. His brothers were Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, Michael and Joha. Variants: Ispah. [1 Chronicles 8:16]

Ishpan ish-pan (male)
Hebrew: He will hide. Other interpretations: Bald. A son of Shashak. His brothers were Eber, Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, Iphdeiah and Penuel. [1 Chronicles 8:22]

Ishvah ish-va (male)
Hebrew: He will level. Second son of Asher. His brothers were Beriah, Imnah and Ishvi. His sister was Serah. Variants: Ishuah, Ishui, Ishuai. [Genesis 46:17]

Ishvi ish-vi (male)
Hebrew: Level. Third son of Asher. His brothers were Beriah, Imnah and Ishvah. His sister was Sarah. Others with this name: (i) A son of Saul. Variants: Ishui, Ishuai, Isui, Jesui. [Genesis 46:17]

Ismakiah ish-ma-ki-ar (male)
Hebrew:
God sustains, supported by God. A temple overseer in the time of Hezekiah. Variants: Ismachiah. [2 Chronicles 31:13]

Israel - see Jacob

Ithai ith-thay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: With God.
One of David's mighty warriors. Son of Ribai. Variants: Ittai. [1 Chronicles 11:31]

Ithamar
ith-ar-mar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Land of palms, palm grove.
Youngest son of Aaron. His brothers were Eleazar, Nadab and Abihu. He founded the priestly line to which Eli belonged. Variants: Itamar, Ittamar. [Exodus 6:23]

Ithiel ith-he-el (male)
Hebrew: God is
, God is with me. A friend of Agur. Some of the sayings in the Book of Proverbs are addressed to him. Others with this name: Son of Jeshaiah, a descendant of Benjamin. Variants: Itiel. [Proverbs 30:1]

Ithmah ith-ma (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Purity.
Other interpretations: Orphan. One of David's mighty warriors. [1 Chronicles 11:46]

Ithran ith-ran (male)
Hebrew: Excellent. Son of Dishon and a great-grandson of Zibeon. His brothers were Hemdan, Eshban and Keran. Others with this name: Son of Zophah. [Genesis 36:26]

The Breeches Bible


A version of the Bible published in 1560 became known as "the Breeches Bible". It earned its nickname because in Genesis 3:7 it said that Adam and Eve "sewed figge-tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches." The publishers were English Protestants living as religious exiles in Geneva. The Breeches Bible, also known as the Genevan Bible, became very popular and was produced in one hundred and sixty editions. It could well have become the standard English language Bible but for the appearance of the triumphant King James Version in 1611. Even then the Breeches Bible was not completely displaced for many years.


Ithream ith-re-am (male)
Hebrew: Populous.
A son of King David. His mother was Eglah. [2 Samuel 3:5]

Izhar iz-zar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: The shining one. Other interpretations: Oil. Son of Kohath. He was an uncle of Moses. Others with this name: Son of Asshur by Helah. His brothers were Ethnan and Zereth. Variants: Zohar, Jezoar. [Exodus 6:18]

Izrahiah iz-ra-hi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God arises, God shines, sparkles. A clan chief descended from Issachar. [1 Chronicles 7:3]


~ J ~


Jaalah
jarl-lar (male)
Hebrew: Wild goat. A servant of King Solomon whose descendants returned from captivity in Babylon. Variants: Jaala. [Ezra 2:56]

Jaasu jar-zu (male)
Hebrew: Created.
A Jew who, at the insistence of Ezra, divorced his foreign wife. Variants: Jaasau. [Ezra 10:37]

Jaazaniah jar-za-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: Heard by God, God hears. A captain who served Gedaliah but later conspired in his murder. Others with this name: (i) A man who refused to drink wine with the prophet Jeremiah. (ii) A worshipper of idols, the son of Shaphan. (iii) One of twenty-five wicked men, the son of Azzur. Variants: Jezaniah. [2 Kings 25:23]

Jaaziah jar-zi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Comforted, reassured. Other interpretations: God strengthens. A musician in the temple. [1 Chronicles 24:26]

Jabal jar-bal (male)
Hebrew: Brook, stream.
First son of Lamech and Adah. He became the father of the tent dwellers and the cattle keepers. His brother was Jubal; his half-brother was Tubal-Cain and his half-sister was Naamah. [Genesis 4:20]

Jabesh jar-besh (male)
Hebrew: Arid, dry. Father of Shallum, the assassin and usurper of King Zechariah. [2 Kings 15:10]

Jabez jar-bez (male)
Hebrew: Sorrowful
, to grieve. A family chief whose sons were scribes and who was specially blessed by God. Also a place name. [1 Chronicles 4:9]

Jabin jar-bin (male)
Hebrew: Observed, able to observe, discern.
A king of Hazor, defeated and killed by Joshua. Others with this name: Another king of Hazor, this one defeated by Barak. [Joshua 11:1]

Jacob jay-cob (male)
Hebrew: He takes by the heel.
Other interpretations: To succeed, to replace. Second son of Isaac and Rebekah. He was born grasping the heel of his momentarily older twin brother Esau. Jacob persuaded Esau to sell his birthright to him for some bread and pottage. Jacob was specially blessed by God, who said to him: "Your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants shall all the families of the earth bless themselves." He had two wives, the sisters Leah and Rachel, and two concubines, Zilpah and Bilhah. By Leah, he fathered Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun, and the daughter, Dinah.; by Zilpah, Gad and Asher; by Bilhah, Dan and Naphtali; and by Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin. Jacob was later re-named Israel, which means the face of God. His twelve sons were the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Variants: Akevy, Akiva, Cob, Cobby, Como, Diego, Giacomo, Hamish, Iago, Jacinto, Jack, Jackson, Jacobus, Jacoby, Jacques, Jago, Jake, Jakob, Jakov, James, Jaquot, Jasha, Jeb, Jock, Joco, Kivi, Santiago, Yaakov, Yago. [Genesis 25:26]


I Name Thee Jacob ...


Jacob Grimm, a German scholar who, with his brother Wilhelm, compiled the much-loved Grimms' Fairy Tales. This collection includes such classics as Hansel and Gretal, Snow-White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.


Jada jar-da (male)
Hebrew: Wise, knowing.
Son of Onam and grandson of Jerahmeel. [1 Chronicles 2:28]

Jadon jar-don (male)
Hebrew: He will plead. Other interpretations: Judge. One who assisted Nehemiah in the re-building of Jerusalem's wall. [Nehemiah 3:7]

Jael jar-el (female)
Hebrew: Wild goat. Wife of Heber. She killed Sisera with a tent peg after he took refuge in the tent of her husband following his defeat by Barak. She was praised highly by the prophetess Deborah for this deed. [Judges 4:17]

Jahath jar-hath (male)
Hebrew: United.
Other interpretations: God will take up. Son of Reaiah and a great-grandson of Judah. His sons were Ahumai and Lahad. Others with this name: (i) Son of Libni. (ii) Two Levites, one a Gershonite chief. (iii) A temple builder under King Josiah. Variants: Jeheth. [1 Chronicles 4:2]

Jahaziah jar-haz-zi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Seen of God,
God sees. A priest who opposed Ezra's call for the divorce of all foreign wives. Variants: Jahzeiah. [Ezra 10:15]

Jahaziel jar-haz-zi-el (male)
Hebrew: Seen of God, God sees.
One of the exceptional warriors who joined forces with David at Ziklag. Others with this name: (i) A musical priest. (ii) A son of Zechariah. He encouraged the Israelites to victory with these famous words: "... the battle is not your's, but God's..." (iii) A builder of the temple, the son of Hebron. (iv) An ancestor of captives returned from Babylon. [1 Chronicles 12:4]

Jahdai jar-day (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Directed. Either a son or a concubine of Caleb; the biblical record is not clear. In either case, his or her sons were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. [1 Chronicles 2:47]

Jahdiel jar-de-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God gives joy. A mighty warrior and clan chief who worshipped false idols. [1 Chronicles 5:24]

Jahleel jar-lee-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Hoping, hopeful.
Son of Zebulun and clan head. [Genesis 46:14]

Jahmai jar-may (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Guarded, protected.
Son of Tola. A clan chief and mighty warrior. His brothers were Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Ibsam and Shemuel. [1 Chronicles 7:2]

Jahziel jar-zi-el (male)
Hebrew: Given, allotted.
A son of Naphtali. His brothers were Guni, Jezer and Shillem. [Genesis 46:24]

Jair jair (male)
Hebrew: Enlightened, he enlightens. Other interpretations: Forest. A mighty warrior in the days of Moses. Others with this name: (i) A judge of Israel. He served for twenty years. (ii) Father of Elhanan, the warrior who killed Goliath's giant brother. (iii) Father of Mordecai, the Jewish official at the court of King Ahasuerus. Variants: Jaare, Jair-Oregim. [Numbers 32:41]

Jakim jak-keem (male)
Hebrew: God raises.
Other interpretations: Confirmed. A son of Shimei. His brothers were Zichri, Zabdi, Elienai, Zilethai, Eliel, Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath. Others with this name: A priestly official. [1 Chronicles 8:19]

Jakin jak-keen (male)
Hebrew: Established, God will provide.
Fourth son of Simeon and a grandson of Jacob. His brothers were Jamin, Jemuel, Ohad, Zohar and Shaul. Others with this name: Two priestly officials. Variants: Jachin, Jarib. [Genesis 46:10]

Jalam jal-lam (male)
Hebrew: Hidden.
A son of Esau by Oholibamah. An Edomite chief. Variants: Jaalam. [Genesis 36:5]

Jalon jal-lon (male)
Hebrew: Pausing, resting.
A son of Ezra. His brothers were Jether, Mered and Epher. [1 Chronicles 4:17]

James
james (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: Jacob.
A son of Zebedee by Salome. A disciple of Jesus Christ. His brother was John, also a disciple. He may have been a cousin of Jesus, though this is not certain. He was executed by Herod Agrippa, the first of the twelve disciples martyred. Others with this name: There is a lot of uncertainty about the identity of various persons named James; some may be the same. (i) Son of Alphaeus. Little is known of him. He may have been a brother of Matthew. (ii) James the Younger, also called James the Less. A son of Mary (not the Virgin). He may be identical with the son of Alphaeus. (iii) James, either the brother or cousin, of Jesus. His brothers were Joses, Simon and Judas. He may have been the author of the New Testament's Letter of James. Tradition says he was the first bishop of Jerusalem. Paul called him a pillar of the church. (iv) A kinsmen of Judas Thaddaeus. Variants: Diego, Hamish, Iago, Jaime, Jamie, Jan, Jay, Jayme, Jas, Jem, Jim, Jimmy, Seamus, Shamus. [Matthew 4:21]

I Name Thee James...


James Naismith, American physical education teacher, invented the game of basketball. He nailed up some peach baskets in a gym and used a soccer ball for the earliest games. Thus today's huge sport was born.


Janna jarn-na (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God-given.
An ancestor of Jesus. Variants: Jannai. [Luke 3:24]

Japheth jar-peth (male)
Hebrew: God will enlarge, bless. Other interpretations: Beauty, youthfulness. The youngest son of Noah. Noah asked God to "enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his slave". His brothers were Ham and Shem. From these three, "the whole world was peopled." Japheth had seven sons: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras. He was the forefather of the Indo-European and Caucasian races. [Genesis 6:10]

Japhia jar-fee-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Splendour. Other interpretations: May God illumine. A king of Lachish who joined the military alliance against Joshua. He was defeated in battle, trapped in a cave, and executed. Others with this name: A son of King David. [Joshua 10:3]

The Poor Man's Bible


The Poor Man's Bible, or Biblia Pauperum, was not a real Bible. It was a collection of fifty illustrations of biblical events, used in medieval times to help explain the Bible's stories to the mostly illiterate congregations of the time. A more elaborate version of this pioneering venture in audiovisual media was the Mirror of Human Salvation, or Speculum Humanae Salvationis, which included rhymes to explain each illustration.


Jarah jar-ra (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Honey, honeycomb. Son of Micah. A descendant of Saul. Variants: Jadah, Jehoaddah. [1 Chronicles 9:42]

Jared jar-red (male)
Hebrew: Descent. Son of Mahalalel. His son was Enoch. Jared lived for nine hundred and sixty two years, the second longest life span in the Bible. [Genesis 5:15]

Jaresiah jar-ez-zi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Nourished.
A Benjamite, the son of Jerohan. Variants: Jaareshiah. [1 Chronicles 8:27]

Jarha jar-ha (male)
Hebrew: Meaning unknown. An Egyptian slave of Sheshan, freed to marry one of his daughters, possibly Ahlai. [1 Chronicles 2:34]

Jarib jar-rib (male)
Hebrew: He strives. Other interpretations: Enemy. A leader among the returning captives from Babylon. Others with this name: A priest who married a foreign wife. Variants: Jakin, Jareb. [Ezra 8:16]

Jaroah jar-ro-ar (male)
Hebrew: Moon. A chief of the Danites. [1 Chronicles 5:14]

Jashen jar-shen (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Sleeping. The father of an unspecified number of David's mighty warriors. Variants: Hashem. [2 Samuel 23:32]

Jasiel jar-ze-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Created. A son of Abner. One of David's famed warriors. Variants: Jaasiel. [1 Chronicles 27:21]

I Name Thee Jason...


Jason, hero of Greek mythology and leader of the famous band of adventurers, the Argonauts. Jason was sent by his uncle King Pelias in search of the legendary Golden Fleece, which he found at Colchis.


Jason jay-son (male)
Greek: To heal, healer.
An early Christian who gave shelter to Paul and Silas in Thessalonica, and sent a greeting to the Christians of Rome. The name is related to the traditional Hebrew name Joshua. [Acts 17:5]

Jathniel jath-nee-el (male)
Hebrew: God-given.
Son of Meshelemiah. A temple gatekeeper in the time of David. His brothers were Jehohanan, Zechariah, Jediael, Zebadiah, Elam and Eliehoenai. [1 Chronicles 26:2]

Javan jar-van (male)
Hebrew: Clay.
Other interpretations: Ionia (an ancient region of Asia Minor; also the Hebrew name for Greece). Fourth son of Japheth and a grandson of Noah. His sons were Elishah and Tarshish; other descendants included the tribes of the Kittim and the Dodanim. His brothers were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Meshech, Tubal and Tiras. [Genesis 10:2]

Jaziz jar-zeez (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Moved.
The chief herdsmen under King David. [1 Chronicles 27:30]

Book of Books


The word bible is from the Greek language. It means books. And well it might, because the Bible is a compound book made up of other books - thirty-nine for Jews, seventy-three for Catholics and sixty-six for Protestants.


Jecoliah jek-ko-li-ar (female)
Hebrew: Capable, enabled. Jecoliah of Jerusalem. Wife or concubine of King Amaziah of Judah. Mother of Uzziah, tenth king of Judah. Variants: Jecholiah. [2 Kings 15:2]

Jeconiah jek-ko-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: God establishes, founds. Son of Jehoiakim and a grandson of the great Josiah. He reigned as king of Judah for just one hundred days before King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon imprisoned him. Variants: Coniah, Koniah, Jehoiachin, Jechonias. [2 Kings 24:6]

Jedaiah jed-day-ar (male)
Hebrew: God knows.
Other interpretations: Praise God. Son of Shimri and the father of Allon. A descendant of Simeon. Others with this name: (i) A priest who helped in the reconstruction of Jerusalem's wall. (ii) A priestly official. Variants: Jed, Yehiel. [1 Chronicles 4:37]

Jedidah jed-di-dar (female)
Hebrew: Beloved. The mother of the illustrious King Josiah. Her son assumed the throne of Jerusalem at the age of eight years and reigned for thirty-one years. She was the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. [2 Kings 22:1]

Jedidiah jed-did-di-ar (male)
Hebrew: Beloved of God.
A name given to Solomon by the prophet Nathan because, as it suggests, Solomon was loved dearly by God. [2 Samuel 12:25]

Jehiel je-hi-el (male)
Hebrew: God lives.
A temple musician in David's time. Others with this name: (i) A son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. (ii) A son of Hacmoni the Wise. (iii) A temple treasurer, the son of Ladan. (iv) Two temple overseers. (v) Father of Obadiah, returned from captivity in Babylon. (vi) Father of Shecaniah, who married a foreign a wife. (vii) A priest who married a foreign wife. (viii) A descendant of Heman. Variants: Aziel, Jeiel. [1 Chronicles 15:18]

Jehieli je-hile-lee (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God lives. A Levite in David's days. His sons were Zetham and Joel, officials of the temple treasury. [1 Chronicles 26:21]

Jehoaddin jeho-ad-din (female)
Hebrew: Adorned. Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. Wife of King Joash of Judah and mother of Amaziah. Her son was a king of Judah. Variants: Jehoaddan. [2 Chronicles 25:1]

Jehoshaphat jeho-sha-fat (male)
Hebrew: Judged of God
, God is the judge. Son of Ahilud. A scribe in the reigns of David and Solomon. Others with this name: (i) Son and successor of King Asa on the throne of Judah. His mother was Azubah, daughter of Shilhi. He ruled well for twenty years. The sole blot on his record was his association with the treacherous Ahab of Israel. His son and successor was Joram. (ii) A priest in David's time. (iii) One of Solomon's supply officers, the son of Paruah. (iv) Father of Jehu, the rebel warrior who destroyed Ahab and became the tenth king of Israel. Variants: Joshaphat. [2 Samuel 8:16]


Jehosheba
jeho-she-ba (female)
Hebrew: God is an oath, the oath of God. The daughter of King Joram of Israel and his unpleasant wife Athaliah. She married the high priest Jehoiada. Her brother was Ahaziah. She saved the infant Joash, rightful future king of Israel, from the murderous purges of Athaliah. Variants: Jehoshabeath. [2 Kings 11:2]

Someone's Counted Them


The Old Testament of the Protestant Bible (Revised Standard Version) is composed of thirty-nine books consisting of a total of nine hundred and twenty-nine chapters. The number of separate verses (yes, some inexhaustible person has actually counted them) comes to 23,214. In the New Testament, the number of chapters is two hundred and sixty, and the number of verses is 7,959. The Old Testament of the Catholic Bible (Douai-Confraternity Versions) contains certain additional works - known as the Apocrypha - that make it somewhat longer.


Jehovah jeho-var (male)
Hebrew: He that is.
Other interpretations: I am, I am present, He brings into existence. The English form of the supposed ancient Hebrew name for God. The actual name used by the Jews has been lost. All that is known is that four consonants, YHWH, appear in the ancient manuscripts as a representation of the word once used. The word Jehovah arose by imitating the long-standing Jewish custom of inserting the vowels of the Hebrew words adhonai (my lord) or elohim (god) between the letters of YHWH. By this means the anglicised form Jehovah (YeHoWaH) was invented in medieval times - doubtless to create an enunciable word. To avoid perpetuating this error of convenience, some Bibles prefer LORD, printed thus, wherever the letters YHWH appear. Other scholars claim that Yahweh is a more accurate form of the name. Biblical names containing the anglicised syllables jeho, jah, jeh, and the like, come from the same process of vowel insertion as Jehovah. Variants: Jahweh, Yahweh. [Exodus 3:15]

Jeiel jay-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has gathered. Other interpretations: God's treasure. A clan chief of the Reubenites. Others with this name: (i) One of David's elite warriors, the son of Hotham. (ii) A gatekeeper and temple harpist of David's era. (iii) A scribe under King Uzziah. (iv) A Levite clan chief under King Josiah. (v) Father of Gibeon. His wife was Maacah. (vi) A son of Asaph. (vii) A Jew who had a foreign wife in the time of Ezra. Variants: Jehiel. [1 Chronicles 5:7]

Jekamiah jek-ka-mi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Assembled, gathered. Other interpretations: May God establish. The son of Shallum of Judah. Others with this name: Son of Jeconiah of Judah, the captive king. Variants: Jecamiah. [1 Chronicles 3:18]

Longest... and... Shortest


The longest and shortest chapters of the Bible both appear in Psalms. The shortest is Psalm 117, a brief passage of only two verses. The longest is Psalm 119, which runs to a whopping one hundred and seventy-six verses.


Jemima jem-mi-ma (female)
Hebrew: Dove. Eldest of Job's three daughters, reputedly the most beautiful women of the land. Her sisters were Keziah and Keren-Happuch. Variants: Jem, Jemimah, Jemma, Jona, Jonati, Jonina, Mima, Yemima. [Job 42:14]

Jemuel jem-mu-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Day of God.
The eldest son of Simeon and grandson of Jacob. His brothers were Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul. Variants: Nemuel. [Genesis 46:10]

Jerah jer-ra (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Moon. Son of Joktan and a descendant of Noah through Shem. His brothers were Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. Also the name of a tribe. [Genesis 10:26]

Jerahmeel jer-ra-meel (male)
Hebrew: God's mercy, may God have compassion. Eldest son of Hezron. His brothers were Ram and Chelubai. His sons were Ram, Bunah, Onam, Oren, Ozam and Ahijah. His wife was Atarah. Others with this name: (i) Son of Kish. (ii) A prince under Jehoiakim who went with Seraiah and Shelemiah to arrest the prophet Jeremiah. [1 Chronicles 2:9]

Jered jer-red (male)
Hebrew: Descent.
A son of Mered by his Jewish wife. Forefather of the inhabitants of Gedor. Variants: Jared. [1 Chronicles 4:18]

I Name Thee Jeremiah...


Jeremiah Dixon, an English surveyor who, with Charles Mason, surveyed the famous Mason-Dixon Line. This line separates Pennsylvania from Maryland, and was the symbolic boundary between North and South in the American Civil War.


Jeremiah jer-ra-mi-ar (male)
Hebrew: God has established. Other interpretations: God is exalted, glorified. Father of Hamutal, mother of King Jehoahaz of Judah. Others with this name: (i) Three warriors who joined forces with David at Ziklag. (ii) A son of Hilkiah of the priestly family of Anathoth. Second of the great prophets. He prophesied during the reigns of Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah - a turbulent period which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem. The twenty-fourth book of the Old Testament bears his name and records his life and words. According to tradition, he is also the author of the twenty-fifth book, Lamentations. Jeremiah taught that the individual is responsible for his personal relationship with God. He died in Egypt. (iii) Son of Habazziniah. Variants: Jeremias, Jeremy. [2 Kings 23:31]

Jeriah jer-ri-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God sees.
Other interpretations: Established, founded. Chief of the house of Hebron. [1 Chronicles 23:19]

Jeribai jer-ree-bay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God pleads.
Other interpretations: Defended. One of David's mighty warriors, the son of Elnaam. [1 Chronicles 11:46]

Jeriel jer-ree-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Founded. Son of Tola. A clan chief and mighty warrior. His brothers were Jahmai, Uzzi, Rephaiah, Ibsam and Shemuel. [1 Chronicles 7:2]

Jerioth jer-ree-oth (female)
Hebrew: Tent curtains, curtains. A wife of Caleb. She bore him Jesher, Shobab and Ardon. [1 Chronicles 2:18]

Jerusha jer-roo-sha (female)
Hebrew: Married, possessed (in the sense of marriage). Wife of King Uzziah of Judah. She was the daughter of Zadok. Her son Jotham succeeded to the throne at the age of twenty-five. Variants: Jerushah. [2 Kings 15:33]

Jeshaiah jesh-shay-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God saves, spared.
Son of Hananiah and a grandson of Zerubbabel. His brother was Pelatiah. His son was Rephaiah. Others with this name: (i) One of the musical sons of Jeduthun. His brothers were Gedaliah, Zeri, Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah. (ii) Two captives who returned from Babylon. (iii) Father of Ithiel. Variants: Jesaiah. [1 Chronicles 3:21]

Jeshua jesh-u-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is my salvation.
A variation of the name Joshua. A priestly official. Others with this name: (i) One of the high priests who returned from the Babylonian captivity with Zerubbabel, and the name of family who did likewise. (ii) A Levite official in the time of Hezekiah. (iii) Levite leader and teacher of Nehemiah's time. Variants: Joshua. [1 Chronicles 24:11]

Jesiah jes-si-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God exists.
Other interpretations: Loaned. A warrior who joined forces with David at Ziklag. Variants: Jeshaiah, Isshiah, Izziah. [1 Chronicles 12:6]

Jesimiel jes-si-mee-el (male)
Hebrew: Established, God has provided, founded.
A prince of the Simeonites. [1 Chronicles 4:36]

Jesse jes-see (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Strong.
Other interpretations: Wealthy, riches, a gift. The son of Obed and a grandson of Boaz and Ruth. Father of David, the famous warrior and king who welded the twelve tribes into a single kingdom. His other sons were Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, Nethanel, Raddai and Ozem. His daughters were Abigail and Zeruiah. Jesse lived in Bethlehem and was probably a clan chief. Variants: Jess. Female forms include Jessie, Jessica. [Ruth 4:22]

I Name Thee Jesse...


Jesse Owens, a black American athlete, set three world records in a single day - 25th May, 1935 - in sprinting, hurdling and broad jumping. He was also unbeatable at the Berlin Olympics, which upset Adolf Hitler quite a lot. Obscure fact - Jesse's birth name was James Cleveland Owens. As a child he called himself J.C. Owens. This was mistaken for "Jesse" and the name stuck! Jesse's real name, James, is also biblical in origin. 


Jesus jee-zuz (male)
Greek: Saviour. Other interpretations: God is my salvation. Greek form of the Hebrew name Yehoshua or Jehoshua, more commonly known as Joshua. The title Christ, often affixed, is from the Greek Christos and means Messiah (anointed). Jesus the Christ was the Saviour and King promised in the Hebrew scriptures. His mother was the Virgin Mary. His earthly stepfather was a carpenter known as Joseph. Both parents were descendants of King David. Jesus was born in Bethlehem around 5 B.C. He grew up in the village of Nazareth. Besides the circumstances of His birth, little is known of His life until the age of thirty. Jesus then commenced His mission of teaching, which lasted for three years and climaxed in His crucifixion by the Romans in A.D. 30. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record His story and spiritual message. Western propriety tends to inhibit the use of the name Jesus as a personal name. In view of this squeamishness, it is ironic that Joshua is quite acceptable - and even popular - as a personal name. Others with this name: A friend of Paul, mentioned by him in his letter to the Colossians. This man was also known as Justus. [Matthew 1:1. Joshua is more ancient, dating to the Book of Exodus.]

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 1 John 4:15


Jether
jeth-thur (male)
Hebrew: Who excels, shining forth.
Other interpretations: Abundance, excellence. Eldest son of the celebrated warrior Gideon. He was ordered by his father to kill the captives Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. Because of his youth he was apparently unwilling to do so. Perhaps he wasn't prepared to slaughter defenceless captives. Others with this name: (i) Father of Amasa, the military commander of the rebel Absalom. (ii) A son of Jada. His brother was Jonathan. (iii) A son of Ezrah. (iv) Father of Jephunneh, Pispa and Ara. Variants: Jethro. [Judges 8:20]

I Name Thee Jethro...


Jethro Tull, an English farmer, played a leading role in the Agricultural Revolution. He was a daring innovator. His inventions included the soil cultivator and the seed drill, both of which improved crop production vastly.


Jethro jeth-ro (male)
Hebrew: Excellence. Other interpretations: Riches, plenty. A priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses. Jethro was more a title than a name. His personal name was probably Reuel, which means friend of God. Moses drove off shepherds who tried to stop the seven daughters of Jethro from watering their flocks; for this Moses was welcomed in the house of Jethro. He employed Moses for forty years as a shepherd and gave him his daughter Zipporah in marriage. Variants: Jeth, Jether, Jett. [Exodus 3:1]

Jezebel jez-za-bel (female)
Hebrew: Unexalted. Other interpretations: Chaste, unmarried. The daughter of King Ethbaal of Zidon. Her husband was the greedy King Ahab of Israel. She worshipped the pagan god Baal and tried to impose this religion on the people of Israel. Jezebel killed every prophet of God she could find. Her archenemies were Elijah, who was equally murderous in his dealings with the false prophets of Baal, and Jehu, the rebel warrior who destroyed the royal house of Ahab and usurped the throne. She met an unsavoury end: she was defenestrated by her eunuchs, run over by Jehu in his chariot, and then eaten by dogs. Others with this name: An obscure prophetess mentioned in the Book of Revelation. [1 Kings 16:31]

Jeziah jez-zi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God unites.
Other interpretations: Sprinkled. One who was persuaded by Ezra to divorce his foreign wife. Variants: Jesiah, Izziah. [Ezra 10:25]

Jeziel jez-zi-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Assembly of God.
Other interpretations: Sprinkled. A warrior, the son of Azmaveth, who joined with David's forces at Ziklag. [1 Chronicles 12:3]

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16



Jezreel
jez-ree-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has planted, seed of God. A son of Etam. His brothers were Ishma and Idbash. His sister was Hazzelelponi. Others with this name: The son of the prophet Hosea by the unfaithful Gomer. [1 Chronicles 4:3]

Joab jo-ab (male)
Hebrew: God is the father.
A warrior and commander who served under David. He was the son of Zeruiah, David's half-sister. He was an ambitious and often contradictory character. At times he seemed a thoroughly dedicated servant of David, yet he was also capable of bloodthirsty opportunism. He killed both Abner and Amasa, in less than honourable circumstances, for which David on his deathbed belatedly ordered his arrest. Finally Solomon, David's successor, had him executed. [2 Samuel 2:13]

Joah jo-ar (male)
Hebrew: God is his brother.
Son of Asaph. The official court recorder of King Hezekiah. He was one of three envoys sent by Hezekiah on a mission to the Assyrians. Others with this name: (i) Son of Zimmah. (ii) Son of Obed-Edom. (iii) Son of Joahaz, and also a court recorder, in this case, under King Josiah. [2 Kings 18:18]

Joanna jo-ann-na (female)
Greek: God-given. The wife of Cuza, a steward under Herod. She was one of the leaders of a group of women, including Mary Magdalene, who were healed by Jesus Christ. This group supported, spiritually and materially, the ministry of Jesus. She was present at the tomb of Jesus when it was discovered that His body was missing. With others, she told the good news of Christ's resurrection to the disciples, who disbelieved it. Variants: Giovanna, Hanne, Ivanna, Jane, Janis, Janna, Jean, Joanan, Joanne, Johan, Johanna, Joni, Jovanna, Juanita, Nita, Zaneta. [Luke 8:3]

I Name Thee Joanna...


Queen Joanna I of Naples decreed that no husband could make his wife have sex more than six times a day. It is not known how Joanna hit upon this figure. She had been married four times; perhaps personal experience was her guide.


Joash jo-ash (male)
Hebrew: Given by God, God provides. A popular name among the royalty of Judah and Israel. The first was a son of King Ahab of Israel, ordered by his father to imprison the prophet Micaiah and feed him "with scant fare of bread and water". Others with this name: (i) Son of King Ahaziah and successor to the throne of Judah. He reigned for forty years with mixed results. His mother was Zibiah; his son, Amaziah. (ii) Son of Beker and a grandson of Benjamin. (iii) Son of Shelah in the line of Judah. (iv) Father of Gideon, the great warrior. (v) The overseer of David's oil stores. (vi) One of David's mighty warriors. (vii) A son of King Jehoahaz who also assumed the throne of Israel. He reigned for sixteen years. His son was Jeroboam II. Variants: Jehoash. [1 Kings 22:26]

Job jobe (as in robe) (male)
Hebrew: Persecuted, oppressed.
The foremost character, and disputed author, of the poetic eighteenth book of the Old Testament, the Book of Job. He is described as a wealthy man from the land of Uz, "blameless and upright... who feared God and turned away from evil." Many calamities befell Job, but he did not abandon his trust in God. Eventually his good fortune was restored and his faith justified - so we have the expression, the patience of Job. Variants: Jashub, Iob. [Job 1:1]

Joda jo-da (male)
Hebrew: Praise.
An ancestor of Jesus Christ. Variants: Juda, Judah. [Luke 3:26]

Joed jo-ed (male)
Hebrew: God is witness, God knows.
Son of Pedaiah, a descendant of Benjamin through Jeshaiah. [Nehemiah 11:7]

Joel jole (as in hole) (modern male and female)
Hebrew: The Lord is his God. Eldest son of Samuel, the prophet and judge of Israel. Samuel appointed Joel and his brother Abijah as judges, but they proved unworthy of high office. Thus Saul was anointed to the kingship by Samuel. (1 Chronicles says that Samuel's eldest son was Vashni. The matter is unresolved.) Others with this name: (i) A minor prophet, the son of Pethuel. Author of the twenty-ninth book of the Old Testament, which bears his name. Nothing is known of his personal life. (ii) A prince of the Simeonites. (iii) Four tribal chiefs or leaders. (iv) An ancestor of Samuel. (v) One of David's elite warriors. (vi) An official under David. (vii) Two obscure Levites. (viii) A Jew with a foreign wife in the days of Ezra. Variants: Female forms include Joella, Joelle. [1 Samuel 8:2]

Joelah jole-lar (as in hole) (male)
Hebrew: Let him help
, God helped. One who joined forces with David at Ziklag. He was the son of Jeroham of Gedor. [1 Chronicles 12:7]

Johanan jo-hay-nan (male)
Hebrew: God has been gracious, mercy of God. A captain of Judah. Son of Kareah. Against the advice of Jeremiah, he led an escape into Egypt, fleeing the overlordship of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Others with this name: (i) Eldest son of King Josiah. (ii) Son of Elioenai, a descendant of Solomon. (iii) Father of Azariah, a priest under Solomon. (iv) Two warriors who joined with David at Ziklag. (v) Sons of Hakkatan, Tobiah and Eliashib. (vi) An Ephraimite chief. (vii) A high priest, the grandson of Eliashib. Variants: Jehohanan. See also John. [2 Kings 25:23]

I Name Thee John...


John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer, was pioneer in the development of television. He proved that images could be transmitted via wire between London and Glasgow, and by radio between London and New York.


John jon (male)
Hebrew: God has been gracious, kind, merciful. Other interpretations: Gift of God. A form of Johanan, itself a contracted form of Jehohanan. John the Baptist, son of the elderly couple Zachariah and Elizabeth, and older cousin of Jesus Christ. It was divinely promised that John would be the herald of the Messiah. He preached in the wilderness and baptised people in the Jordan River. He is compellingly depicted in the Bible as a strange and passionate character. His was "The voice of one crying in the wilderness". John wore a rough coat of camel skin, bound up with a broad leather belt, and ate locusts and wild honey. He baptised Jesus, at which point the active ministry of the Christ began. John was imprisoned because he denounced the incestuous union of Herod and Herodias. Driven by spite, Herodias sought and obtained his death. Others with this name: (i) John the Evangelist, an apostle, son of Zebedee and brother of James. His mother may have been Salome, in which case this John was also a cousin of Jesus. John and James were disciples of John the Baptist, but became disciples of Jesus after the Baptist called him "the Lamb of God." He became noted for the strength of his faith and his closeness to Jesus. John is traditionally credited as the author of the fourth Gospel, the Revelation, and three letters. (ii) The father of Simon Peter. (iii) A kinsman of Annas the high priest. Variants: Evan, Ewan, Geno, Gian, Giovanni, Haines, Hanan, Hans, Ian, Ian, Ivan, Jack, Jakon, Jan, Janes, Janos, Jean, Jenkin, Jenner, Jens, Joannes, Jock, Johan, Johannes, Jon, Jonas, Jone, Juan, Owen, Sean, Shaun, Shawn, Yan, Yancy, Yanni, Yohanan, Yves, Zan, Zane. [Matthew 3:1]

John Mark - see Mark

Joiada joy-ar-da (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God knows, understands. Other interpretations: Favoured. One who assisted in rebuilding the ruined wall of Jerusalem. The son of Paseah. Others with this name: A son of Eliashib. He was expelled from the priesthood. [Nehemiah 3:6]

Jonah jo-nar (male)
Hebrew: Dove.
Son of Amittai. Author of the brief thirty-second book of the Old Testament, which bears his name. Jonah was a reluctant prophet to whom godliness did not come easily. He was thrown from a ship into the sea and swallowed by a great fish (not necessarily a whale). He prayed in its belly for three days and nights and was regurgitated unharmed. The name is sometimes associated with bad luck, especially by sailors. Variants: Jonas, Yona, Yonah. [2 Kings 14:25]

Jonam jo-nam (male)
Greek from Hebrew: God is gracious, merciful.
Son of Eliakim, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Variants: Jonan. [Luke 3:30]

Jonas jo-nas (male)
Greek from Hebrew: Dove.
Greek form of the name Jonah. The father of Simon Peter. Variants: Jona, Jonah. [Matthew 12:39]

I Name Thee Jonas...


Jonas Salk, an American research scientist, developed the first vaccine to prevent the crippling disease poliomyelitis (polio) or infantile paralysis. The vaccine, known as the Salk Vaccine, proved effective in mass trials.


Jonathan jon-nath-thun (male)
Hebrew: God has given. A descendant of Moses through Gershom. He became a priest of the Ephraimites, and later, of the Danites. Others with this name: (i) One of the most noble of all Old Testament characters, the eldest son of King Saul. He was a great army commander and won an important victory over the Ammonites. He was unflinchingly loyal to his often treacherous father, yet remained a faithful friend to David, and would not join in Saul's persecution of him. Nor was he anxious that David might inherit the throne in his place. He was eventually killed in battle against the Philistines. (ii) Son of Abiathar, the high priest. He aided David during the rebellion of Absalom. (iii) Two scribes, one an uncle of David; the other, a son of Kareah. (iv) Son of Shimeah and a nephew of David. (v) One of David's mighty warriors. (vi) One of David's treasurers, the son of Uzziah. (vii) Son of Jada. (viii) Father of Ebed. (ix) Two priests, one the son of Joiada. (x) A Levite descended from Asaph. (xi) One who challenged Ezra, a son of Asahel. Variants: Jon, Yonatan. [Judges 18:30]

Jorai jo-ray (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God teaches. A Gadite chief. [1 Chronicles 5:13]

Joram jo-rum (male)
Hebrew: God is exalted, glorified
, God-exalted. Son of King Tou of Hamath, sent by his father to greet and congratulate David on the defeat of their mutual enemy, Hadadezer. Others with this name: (i) Second son of the villainous Ahab and Jezebel, he succeeded his brother Ahaziah on the throne of Israel and reigned for twelve years. While not as corrupt as his parents, he did permit false idolatry. He was killed and succeeded by the rebel usurper, Jehu. (ii) Son of King Jehoshaphat. He succeeded to the throne of Judah and ruled for eight disastrous years. He murdered his own brothers. His wife was the wicked Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. He worshipped false idols and died horribly, "smote in the bowels with an incurable disease." (iii) A priest in the time of King Jehoshaphat. Variants: Jehoram, Hadoram. [2 Samuel 8:10]

Jorim jo-rim (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: Exalted, glorified
or perhaps God-exalted. The son of Matthat, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. [Luke 3:29]

Jose
jo-say, ho-say (modern male and female)
Greek, from Hebrew: Meaning unknown. Son of Eliezer, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. In some translations it is given as Joshua. [Luke 3:29]

Joseph jo-seff (male)
Hebrew: Increase, may God multiply. First son of Jacob by Rachel (but the eleventh of Jacob), and a grandson of Isaac. Rachel said at his birth, "May God add to me another son"; thus the meaning of his name. His brother was Benjamin. His ten half-brothers were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali. His half-sister was Dinah. He was one of the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jacob gave him a coat of many colours as a mark of favour. Stung by jealousy, his brothers sold him to slavers. He was taken to Egypt where he rose to high office under the Pharoah. Joseph married an Egyptian and had two sons by her, Manasseh and Ephraim - also tribal forefathers. He forgave his brothers for their crime against him, and with Jacob, they settled in Egypt. Joseph emerges as one of the Old Testament's most attractive characters: generous, wise, forgiving and faithful. Others with this name: (i) Father of Igal, one of the twelve spies sent to survey the land of Canaan. (ii) A musician in David's time, a son of Asaph. (iii) A Jew who had a foreign wife in the time of Ezra, a son of Bani. (iv) Three ancestors of Jesus Christ. (v) A priest under Joiakim. (vi) Husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, and stepfather to the divine child. A carpenter of Nazareth and a descendant of David. He was either the son of Heli or Jacob; the Gospels disagree. (vii) A brother of Jesus. (viii) Joseph of the town called Arimathea. A wealthy Jew and a secret disciple of Jesus. He sought permission to remove the body of Christ from the cross and laid it in his own tomb. (ix) Son of Sabas. An early Christian disciple, he was later considered as a potential apostolic replacement for the traitorous Judas Iscariot. (x) First name of Barnabas, an early Christian. Variants: Beppo, Che, Guiseppe, Iosep, Iosif, Jaska, Jo, Joce, Jody, Joe, Joey, Jose, Josephus, Joses, Jozef, Pepe, Yosef, Yosel, Yoseph, Yosi, Yussuf. [Genesis 30:24]

I Name Thee Joseph...


Joseph Conrad, a Polish sailor who, oddly enough, became one of the finest writers in the English language. His books include The Nigger of the Narcissus, Typhoon, Nostromo, and most famous of all, Heart of Darkness.


Joshah josh-sha (male)
Hebrew: Gift of God.
Other interpretations: Dwelling, home. A clan chief descended from Simeon. [1 Chronicles 4:34]

Joshaviah josh-sha-vi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Dwelling.
One of the David's warriors, the son of Elnaam. [1 Chronicles 11:46]

Joshibiah josh-shy-bi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Dwelling.
A chief among the Simeonites. His son was Jehu; his father was Seraiah. Variants: Josibiah. [1 Chronicles 4:35]

I Name Thee Joshua...


Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter, achieved fame as "painter to the king." He helped found the London Literary Club with Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith, and was the first president of the Royal Academy.


Joshua josh-u-ar (male)
Hebrew: Saviour, salvation, God is my salvation.
A son of Nun. He was a great military commander and a prominent assistant of Moses, whom he succeeded as leader of the Israelites. Joshua was a divinely-inspired warrior: the walls of Jericho fell down at the blast of his trumpets. At Beth Horan, the sun stood still in its course, permitting him enough daylight to win an important battle. He divided the Promised Land among the Twelve Tribes and persuaded them to reject the ungodly worship of idols. The Bible says that, "he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses". He died at the age of one hundred and ten years. The Book of Joshua, sixth of the Old Testament, tells his story. Others with this name: (i) A governor of Jerusalem. (ii) Joshua of Beth-Shemesh, in whose field the Ark of God rested a short while. Variants: Hosea, Hoshayah, Hoshea, Jehoshua, Jesus, Josh, Josua, Josue, Mosha, Oshea, Yehoshua. [Exodus 17:9]

Josiah jo-si-ar, ho-si-ar (male)
Hebrew: God-healed.
Other interpretations: God supports him, God protects. Son of King Amon of Judah and his wife Jedidah. A grandson of Hezekiah. He inherited the throne at the age of eight years and matured into a capable, godly and righteous ruler. He stamped out idolatry and restored the temple in Jerusalem. During this restoration the lost Book of the Law, "given through Moses", was rediscovered. He vigorously reasserted its cardinal role in Jewish life. Josiah died at the battle of Esdraelon, aged only thirty-nine. All Judah mourned. Others with this name: The son of Zephaniah. Variants: Josh, Josias. [2 Kings 21:26]

I Name Thee Josiah...


Josiah Wedgwood, English master of pottery, invented and perfected the world famous Wedgwood ware. He created distinctive pottery forms such as Queen's ware, Rosso antico, White semiporcelain, Egyptian black and Jasper.


Josiphiah jos-sif-fire (male)
Hebrew: God will increase. Father of Shelomith and common ancestor of one hundred and sixty Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity. [Ezra 8:10]

Jotham joth-tham (male)
Hebrew: God is perfect
, God is upright. Youngest son of the extravagantly fertile Gideon. His brother was the psychopathic Abimelech, who sought to retain the throne of Judah by murdering seventy of his brothers. The only survivor of this purge was Jotham. Later he told the first biblical parable, recorded in the Book of Judges, of the bramble and the trees. Others with this name: (i) Son and successor of King Uzziah on the throne of Judah. A contemporary of the great prophet Isaiah. He was an effective and righteous ruler. (ii) Son of Jahdai, a descendant of Caleb. [Judges 9:5]

Jozacar joz-za-car (male)
Hebrew: Remembered.
Son of Shimeath. He participated in the murder of his master, the wicked King Joash, and was later killed by Joash's son and successor, Amaziah. Variants: Jozachar, Zabad. [2 Kings 12:21]

Jubal jew-bal (male)
Hebrew: Music.
Second son of Lamech by his wife Adah. He was the world's first musician. He became the father of all those who play the lyre (a small harp) and the pipe, instruments of his invention. His brother was Jabal. [Genesis 4:21]

I Name Thee Judah...


Judah Benjamin, a prominent Southern lawyer and a Confederate official during the bitter American Civil War. He wrote Treatise on the Law of Sale of Personal Property, long regarded as a classic of modern legal thinking.


Judah jew-dar (male)
Hebrew: Praised. Fourth son of Jacob and Leah, and a grandson of Isaac. His brothers were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar and Zebulun. His sister was Dinah. He also had half-brothers: Joseph, Benjamin, Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali. He persuaded his jealous brothers to sell Joseph into slavery rather than kill him. Judah was one of the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel: in fact the tribe of Judah became the largest. He was an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Others with this name: (i) Five relatively obscure Jews mentioned in Ezra and Nehemiah share the name - one of them may have been a tribal prince. (ii) Son of Joseph and father of Simeon in the family line of Jesus. [Genesis 29:35]

Judas jew-das (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: Praised. The Greek form of the very respectable Hebrew name Judah. Because of its disreputable bearer, Judas Iscariot, the name has acquired an indelible taint. To call someone Judas is a grave insult, the equivalent of traitor. Judas Iscariot was the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ into the hands of the vengeful Jews for thirty pieces of silver. Consumed with remorse (which may suggest he had some redeeming virtue), Judas committed suicide. Others with this name: (i) A brother of Jesus. He was also known as Jude, author of the biblical Letter which bears his name. (ii) Another of the disciples of Jesus Christ, known as Judas the son (or brother) of James. (iii) An apostate from Galilee who perished. (iv) A guest-house owner with whom Paul stayed in Damascus. (v) An early Christian leader, his surname was Barsabbas. Acts 15 calls Judas and Silas "prophets". Variants: Juda, Judah, Judd, Jude, Judson, Yehudah. [Matthew 10:4]

Judith jew-dith (female)
Hebrew: Praise. Other interpretations: Judean, Jew. Feminine form of Judah. The first wife of Esau. Judith was the daughter of Beeri the Hittite. Others with this name: In the Apocrypha, there is the Book of Judith. It tells the story of Judith, a women who saves Bethulia by killing the enemy general, Holofernes. Variants: Jodette, Jodi, Jody, Jude, Judi, Judy. [Genesis 26:34]

Julia jewl-lee-ar (female)
Greek: Soft-haired. The feminine form of the name Julius. Julia was an early Christian in Rome. Philologus may have been her husband. Variants: Gill, Gillian, Jill, Juliana, Julie, Julienne, Juliet. [Romans 16:15]

I Name Thee Julia...


Julia Ward Howe, American author, lecturer, pioneer advocate of women's rights and peace activist, wrote the famous and stirring song, Battle Hymn of the Republic. ("Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord..." etc.)


Julius jewl-lee-us (male)
Greek: Soft-haired.
A centurion of the Augustan Cohort (imperial unit) in whose charge Paul was placed for the journey to Rome. Later he saved Paul's life and made his escape from custody possible. [Acts 27:1]

Jupiter jew-pit-ter (male)
Latin: Father of heaven, heaven father.
King of the pagan gods in Roman and Hellenic mythology, known to the Greeks as Zeus. Paul's companion, Barnabas, was mistaken for Jupiter by the people of Lystra. Variants: Jove. [Acts 14:12]

Justus just-tus (male)
Greek: Just. A name or surname of Joseph Barsabbas, an early Christian who was considered as a replacement for Judas Iscariot, the dead traitor. Others with this name: (i) A friend of Paul. See Titius. (ii) Another early Christian, this one of Rome, whose first name was Jesus. Variants: Justinian, Justino, Justis, Jute. [Acts 1:23]









~ K ~


Kadmiel
kad-mee-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is in front.
Other interpretations: Before God, God is ancient. The head of a family returned from the Babylonian captivity. He assisted in rebuilding the temple and was among those who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. [Ezra 2:40]

Kallai kal-lay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Runner, swift.
A high priest under Joiakim. [Nehemiah 12:20]

Kareah kar-ree-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Bald.
Father of Jonathan and Johanan. Variants: Careah. [2 Kings 25:23]

Kedar key-dar (male)
Hebrew: Dark. Other interpretations: Mighty. Second son of Ishmael and a grandson of Abraham. His mother was Hagar. He was one of twelve Arabian princes promised by God. His brothers were Nebaioth, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. His sister was Mahalath, a wife of Esau. [Genesis 25:13]

Holy Secrets


Certain ancient books and letters have been excluded from some versions of the Bible. These works are known as the Apocrypha, a Greek word meaning hidden, "because they were wont to read not openly...". They include Book of Judith, Book of Baruch, Book of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Bel and the Dragon.


Kedemah key-dee-mar (male)
Hebrew: To the East. Youngest son of Ishmael and a grandson of Abraham. He was one of twelve Arabian princes promised by God. His brothers were Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur and Naphish. His sister was Mahalath, a wife of Esau. [Genesis 25:15]

Keilah key-i-lar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Citadel, stronghold.
Son of Jephunneh, a descendant of Caleb. [1 Chronicles 4:19]

Kelita kel-lee-tar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Small, petite.
An assistant of the great priest, Ezra. Variants: Kelaiah. [Ezra 10:23]

Kemuel kem-u-el (male)
Hebrew: Helper. Son of Nahor by his wife Milcah. His brothers were Uz, Buz, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel. His son was Aram. He also had three half-brothers, Tebah, Gaham and Tahash, a half-sister, Maacah. He was uncle to Laban and Rebekah. Others with this name: (i) A chief of the Ephraimites who assisted Moses in the division of Canaan. (ii) Father of Hashabiah. [Genesis 22:21]

Kenan key-nan (male)
Hebrew: Possessor, owner.
Eldest son of Enosh and a great-grandson of Adam. Father of Mahalalel. He lived to the age of nine hundred and ten years. Others with this name: The son of Arphaxad. Variants: Cainan. [Genesis 5:9]

Kenani key-nan-ni (male)
Hebrew: Made by God.
A Levite leader and teacher who "cried with a loud voice to the LORD". Variants: Chenani. [Nehemiah 9:4]

Kenaniah key-nan-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: Made by God.
A leading Levite official under King David. Others with this name: Another official who served David; perhaps the same person as above. Variants: Chenaniah. [1 Chronicles 15:22]

Kenaz key-naz (male)
Hebrew: Hunting. An Edomite chief. Son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau. His brothers were Teman, Omar, Zepho and Gatam; his half-brother was Amalek. Others with this name: (i) Father of Othniel. (ii) Son of Elah and grandson of Caleb. [Genesis 36:11]

Keran ker-ran (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Excellent. Other interpretations: Harp, lyre. Son of Dishon and a great-grandson of Zibeon the Horite. His brothers were Hemdan, Eshban and Ithran. Variants: Cheran. [Genesis 36:26]

Keren ker-ren (female)
Hebrew: Horn of beauty, beautifier. Third of the three daughters of Job, reputedly the most beautiful women of the land. Her sisters were Jemima and Keziah. Variants: Keren-Happuch [Job 42:14]

I Name Thee Keren...


Keren Woodward, English pop singer and founder, with fellow singer Sarah Dallin, of the successful music group Bananarama. The group, which at one stage became a trio, was the top selling female music act of the 1980s.


Keros ker-ros (male)
Hebrew: Bending, winding.
A temple servant whose descendants returned from captivity in Babylon. [Ezra 2:44]

Keturah ket-tor-ra (female)
Hebrew: Incense. Second wife of Abraham, married to him after the death of Sarah. She is also described as Abraham's concubine. Her sons were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah, all founders of Arabian tribes. [Genesis 25:1]

Keziah kez-zi-ar (female)
Hebrew: Cassia (a type of tree with an aromatic bark related to cinnamon). Second of the three daughters of Job, reputedly the most beautiful women of the land. Her sisters were Jemima and Keren-Happuch. Variants: Kezia. [Job 42:14]

Kish kish (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Bow. Other interpretations: Strength. Father of Saul, the first king of Israel. Son of Abiel. Others with this name: (i) Third son of Jeiel and his wife Maacah. His brothers were Abdon, Zur, Baal, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, Zecher and Mikloth. (ii) A son of Mahli. (iii) A temple official under Hezekiah. (iv) Great-grandfather of Mordecai. Variants: Cis. [1 Samuel 10:21]

Kishi kish-shy (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Bow.
Other interpretations: Strength. Son of Abdi and father of Ethan. Variants: Kushaiah. [1 Chronicles 6:44]

Kislon kiz-lon (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Hope.
Father of Elidad, who became a prince of the Benjamites in the days of Moses. Variants: Chislon. [Numbers 34:21]

Kolaiah kol-lay-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Voice of God.
Son of Maaseiah and father of Pedaiah, descendants of Benjamin. Others with this name: Father of the false prophet Ahab. [Nehemiah 11:7]

Korah kor-ra (male)
Hebrew: Bald. A son of Esau and Oholibamah. He became an Edomite chief. Others with this name: (i) A grandson of Esau. (ii) A son of Izhar. With Dathan and Abiram, he rebelled against Moses, for which the earth swallowed him and his fellow dissidents. His descendants were the Korahites, musicians and doorkeepers of the temple. (iii) A descendant of Caleb. [Genesis 36:5]

Kore kor-ree (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Quail, small bird. Son of Ebiasaph and grandson of Korah the rebel. His son Shallum was a chief gatekeeper of the temple. Others with this name: Son of Imnah. He served as an official under King Hezekiah. [1 Chronicles 9:19]

Koz koz (male)
Hebrew: Nimble, agile. Other interpretations: Thorn. Father of Anub, Zobebah "and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum", descendants of Judah. Others with this name: (i) A priestly descendant of Aaron who returned from captivity in Babylon. (ii) A number of returned captives mentioned in Ezra and Nehemiah. Variants: Coz, Hakkoz. [1 Chronicles 4:8]

A Single Line


"A single line in the Bible has consoled me more than all the books I ever read." Immanuel Kant (b.1724)



~ L ~


Laban
la-barn (male)
Hebrew: White.
Son of Bethuel and grandson of Nahor and Milcah. His sister was Rebekah, the wife of Isaac. His daughters Leah and Rachel married Jacob. The somewhat manipulative Laban deceived, or sought to deceive, Jacob more than once. [Genesis 24:29]

Lael lay-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Of God
, belonging to God. The father of Eliasaph, a clan chief and descendant of Gershon. [Numbers 3:24]

Lahmi lar-mi (male)*
Hebrew: Warrior.
A brother of the giant Goliath. He was killed by Elhanan. [1 Chronicles 20:5]

Laish lay-ish (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Lion.
Father of Phalti. [1 Samuel 25:44]

Lamech la-meck (male)
Hebrew: Powerful, strong.
Son of Methushael. His wives were Adah and Zillah. His sons were Jabal, father of those who lived in tents and kept cattle, Jubal, father of music, and Tubal-Cain, a forger of bronze and iron instruments. His daughter was Naamah. Others with this name: Son of Methuselah and a descendant of Seth. Father of Noah. Lamech said of his son, "Out of the ground which the LORD has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands". Lamech lived for seven hundred and seventy-seven years. [Genesis 4:18]

Lazarus laz-zar-rus (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: God has helped, help of God.
Other interpretations: Pauper, leper. Greek form of the Hebrew name Eleazar. He was the hungry, sickly beggar who lay at the gates of a wealthy man who was indifferent to his distress. Lazarus "was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom." Others with this name: Lazarus of Bethany, the brother of Mary and Martha. He had been dead four days when Jesus resurrected him. In a striking demonstration of divine authority, Jesus commanded at the tomb: "Lazarus, come out!" Variants: Lazar, Lazaro, Lazer, Lazlo. [Luke 16:20]

Leah lear (female)
Hebrew: Weary (this meaning is uncertain)
Eldest daughter of Laban and first wife of Jacob, though Jacob was tricked into this marriage. Jacob's true romantic interest lay with her older sister Rachel, who became his second wife. Rachel resented Leah. Because of this God blessed Leah with seven children but kept Rachel childless for a long time. Leah's sons by Jacob were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. She also had a daughter Dinah. When she could no longer bear children herself, she gave her maid Zilpah as a concubine to Jacob; by this means two more sons, Gad and Asher, were born. Variants: Lea, Lee, Leigh. [Genesis 29:16]

Lemuel lem-mu-el (male)
Hebrew: Dedicated to God.
A mysterious king described in Proverbs who was taught wisdom by his mother. It is possible this was an alternative name of Solomon. Variants: Lem, Lemmy. [Proverbs 31:1]

I Name Thee Levi...


Levi Strauss, a Bavarian immigrant to the United States, decided to make pants for the gold miners in San Francisco in 1850. His original pants were made from tough tent canvas. Today his blue denim jeans are world famous.


Levi lee-vi (male)
Hebrew: United. Third son of Jacob and Leah, and a grandson of Isaac. Leah hoped that because she had three sons by Jacob, they would be indivisible as a couple, for Jacob had been tricked into the marriage. Thus the meaning of Levi's name. His brothers were Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. His sister was Dinah. He also had half-brothers: Joseph, Benjamin, Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali. One of the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel; in this case, the Levites. Others with this name: (i) Two ancestors of Jesus Christ. (ii) The original name of Matthew, the tax collector who became a disciple of Christ. Variants: Lavey, Leavitt, Lev, Levic, Lever, Lewi. [Genesis 29:34]

Likhi lee-ki (male)
Hebrew: Learned.
Third son of Shemida and a grandson of Gilead. His brothers were Shechem, Ahian and Aniam. [1 Chronicles 7:19]

Linus li-nus (male)
Latin: Flax, net.
An early Christian of Rome and a friend of Paul. According to some sources, he succeeded the apostle Peter as bishop of Rome, the ecclesiastical office that evolved into the papacy. Thus he is regarded as the second Pope. [ 2 Timothy 4:21]

Lois lo-iss (as in miss) (female)
Greek: Pleasing, good, worthy. Grandmother of Timothy, the young man who became the friend and devoted spiritual companion of Paul. Lois was praised by Paul for her earnest faith, which she had transmitted to both Timothy and his mother Eunice. [2 Timothy 1:5]

An Unrighteous Bible


The so-called Unrighteous Bible of 1652, printed by the Cambridge Press, got its nickname from its peculiar version of 1 Corinthians 6:9 - "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the Kingdom of God?" There should have been another not between the words shall and inherit. A small detail, but it makes a difference.


Lot lot (male)
Hebrew: Veil, covering.
Son of Haran and a nephew of Abraham. Lot lived at first with Abraham but moved later to the wicked city of Sodom. Abraham learned of God's plan to destroy Sodom and pleaded for Lot's life. Because Lot was righteous, God sent angels to warn him of the coming holocaust. He fled with his wife and two daughters. His wife was turned into a pillar of salt during the destruction. He later lived in a cave with his daughters who, according to Genesis 19, got him drunk and raped him twice, by which act he unwittingly fathered Moab and Ben-Ammi. Variant: Lotan. [Genesis 11:27]

Lotan lo-tan (male)
Hebrew: Hidden
, wrapped up, enfolded. A son of Seir and a chief of the Horites. He had two sons: Hori and Heman. His brothers were Shobal, Zibeon, Ezer and Dishan. His sister was Timna, who became Eliphaz's concubine. Variants: Lot. [Genesis 36:20]

Lucifer lew-sif-fer (male)
Hebrew: Giver of light, star of the day, morning star.
A symbolic name for the king of Babylon, or more generally, oppressors and evildoers. In popular use, it has become one of the recognised names of Satan. Please don't call your baby this! [Isaiah 14:12]

Lucius lew-shus (male)
Greek: Born of the morning, of the dawn, illumined.
An early Christian convert from Cyrene who worked with the church at Antioch. Others with this name: A relative of Paul. He was with Paul at Corinth when the apostle penned his lengthy epistle to the Romans. Variants: Lu, Luc, Lucais, Lucas, Luce, Lucian, Luciano, Lucien, Luka, Lukas, Luke. [Acts 13:1]

I Name Thee Lucius...


Lucius Gesell, a pioneering American in the field of child development and child psychology. He founded the Yale Clinic of Child Development at Yale University and wrote various popular as well as scholarly works on child development.


Luke luke (as in duke) (male)
Greek: Born of the morning, of the dawn, illumined.
The anglicised form of Lucius. An early Christian convert, physician and evangelist. Author of the third Gospel, which bears his name, and of the Acts of the Apostles. Luke may have been a Macedonian or a Syrian. It is clear that he was well-educated and cultured. He was a friend of Paul, and was able to consult eyewitnesses to the ministry and person of Jesus Christ. He is described by Paul as "beloved". Tradition says he was martyred in Greece. [Luke]

Lydia lyd-dee-ar (female)
Greek: Lydus land. Other interpretations: Woman from Lydia. First Christian convert in Europe. Paul met her at Philippi, where she lived and worked as a prosperous trader in purple fabrics from her native city of Thyatira. She opened her home to Paul and his converts. [Acts 16:14]

I Name Thee Lydia...


Lydia Becker was an English botanist. As well as being a pioneering woman in the male-dominated world of Victorian science, she was an active advocate of equal rights for women. In 1867 she co-founded the National Society for Women's Suffrage.


Lysias li-see-us (modern male and female)
Greek: Dissolving, thawing.
Tribune Claudius Lysias of Jerusalem, leader of the Roman patrol that rescued Paul from an angry Jewish mob. [Acts 23:26]


~ M ~


Maasai
mar-say (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Work of God. The name of a priestly family that returned from the Babylonian captivity. [1 Chronicles 9:12]

Maaziah mar-zi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Comfort of God, consolation.
A priestly official, son of Eleazar and Ithamar. Others with this name: A priest who, with Nehemiah, sealed the covenant. [1 Chronicles 24:18]

Magdalene - see Mary

Mahalia mar-harl-lee-ar (female)
Hebrew: Praise.
Other interpretations: Fever. Eldest daughter of Zelophehad. With her four sisters, Hoglah, Tirzah, Noah and Milcah, she received permission to inherit their father's estate, provided they married within their own tribe. Others with this name: Daughter of Hammoleketh and sister of Makir. Variants: Mahalah, Mahala, Mehalia. [Numbers 26:33]

Room For Everyone


From information given in the Bible, it may be calculated that the cubic capacity of Heaven is thirteen million trillion cubic meters (or in the non-metric style, four hundred and seventy million trillion cubic feet).


Mahalath mar-hala-ath (female)
Hebrew: Harp. Daughter of Ishmael and grand-daughter of Abraham. She became the third wife of Esau. Others with this name: (i) Grand-daughter of David. She married Rehoboam, son and successor of King Solomon. [Genesis 28:9]

Mahli mar-li (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Fever.
Son of Merari and grandson of Levi. His brother was Mushi. Others with this name: A son of Mushi. [Exodus 6:19]

Mahlon mar-lon (male)
Hebrew: Fever.
Son of Elimelech. Husband of Ruth. [Ruth 1:2]

Maki mak-ki (male)
Hebrew: Decrease.
Father of Geuel, one of the spies sent out to survey the Promised Land. Variants: Machi. [Numbers 13:15]

Malachi mal-ak-ki (male)
Hebrew: Messenger of God, my messenger. Presumably the name (or perhaps the title) of the individual whose prophecies make up the thirty-ninth and last book of the standard Old Testament. Nothing is known of his personal life. [Malachi]

Malcam mal-cam (male)
Hebrew: Meaning unknown. A son of Shaharaim by Hodesh. His brothers were Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Jeuz, Sachia and Mirmah. [1 Chronicles 8:9]

Malchiah mal-ki-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: King, God is my king.
Son of Baaseiah and father of Ethni in the family lineage of Asaph, a temple singer in the days of David. Others with this name: (i) Great-grandfather of Adaiah, a returned priest. (ii) Two priests, one of David's time and one who, with Nehemiah, sealed the covenant. (iii) Three Jews who had foreign wives. (iv) Three men of Jerusalem, including a goldsmith, who assisted in the reconstruction of the city's ruined wall. (v) One who helped Ezra in the teaching of the Law. (vi) Father of Passhur, the jailer of Jeremiah. (vii) A son of King Zedekiah. Variants: Malchijah, Malkijah, Melchiah. [1 Chronicles 6:40]

Malchus mal-kus (male)
Greek: Ruler, kingdom.
The servant of the high priest who lost his ear to Peter's sword during the arrest of Jesus Christ at Gethsemane. [John 18:10]

Malkishua mal-ki-shoo-ar (male)
Hebrew: King of help.
Third son of King Saul. His brothers were Jonathan and Ishvi, and sisters, Merab and Michal. Variants: Malchishua. [1 Samuel 14:49]

Malkiel mal-kee-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is my king, God's king.
Son of Beriah, a descendant of Asher. Variants: Malchiel. [Genesis 46:17]

Manoah man-no-ar (male)
Hebrew: Rest.
Father of Samson, the great warrior and strongman. [Judges 13:2]

Mara mar-ra (female)
Hebrew: Bitter. Widow of Elimelech. Naomi chose this name for herself because she believed that God had dealt harshly or bitterly with her. Her original name means the opposite; that is, pleasant. Variants: Marah. [Ruth 1:20]

Mareshah mar-resh-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Hill-top. Other interpretations: Possession. Son of Caleb and father of Hebron. Others with this name: A grandson of Judah. Variants: Mesha. [1 Chronicles 2:42]

I Name Thee Mark...


Mark Twain, American writer and humorist. His books include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Mark Twain was the pen name of Samuel Clemens.


Mark mark (male)
Latin: Large hammer. Other interpretations: To shine, of Mars (the pagan Roman god of agriculture and war). Author of the second Gospel. His complete name was John Mark: the former was his Jewish name, the latter his Roman. He was an early convert of Peter who, say some sources, was his father. He was a cousin of Barnabas. His Gospel, putatively written in Rome, is believed to summarise the teachings of Peter. Tradition records that after the death of Peter, Mark went to Alexandria and founded the church there. Variants: Marc, Marceau, Marcel, Mart, Mercello, Marco, Marcos, Marcus, Marcy, Marek, Mari, Mario, Marion, Marius, Markos, Mars, Marsh, Martin, Marx, Mertin. [Mark]

Marsena mar-seen-na (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Worthy. One of the seven wise princes of Persia and Media who advised King Ahasuerus, the others being Shethar, Admatha, Carshena, Tarshish, Meres and Memucan. [Esther 1:14]

I Name Thee Martha...


Martha Graham, dancer and pioneer in the development of modern dance. She believed that dance should express all emotions, even fear and hatred. This she achieved with radical dance movements that often shocked the conservative audiences of her time.


Martha mar-tha (female)
Aramaic: Royal lady, mistress. With her sister Mary and brother Lazarus, she was a trusted friend of Jesus Christ. As hostess to Jesus, she complained that her sister sat listening to His teaching rather than helping in the work of the house. To this Jesus offered the famous reply, "Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Martha may have been the widow of Simon the leper. Variants: Mardi, Marta, Martelle, Marti, Matty, Merta. [Luke 10:38]


Mary
mair-ree (female)
Greek, from Hebrew: Rebellion, overthrow. Other interpretations: Child of our desires, sea of bitterness. The meaning of this name is disputed. The first and the most famous of its bearers was the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ and wife-to-be of Joseph the carpenter. Little is known of her personal origins. She was reputedly a descendant of King David. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was a relative. Mary and Joseph lived quietly and humbly in Nazareth. Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable at Bethlehem. Of her fate as the mother of Christ, she said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden." She apparently had other sons and daughters as well, including James the brother of Jesus. Others with this name: (i) Mary of Bethany, sister to Lazarus and Martha. She poured a costly ointment on the head of Jesus, to the misguided indignation of the disciples. She was criticised by Martha for not attending to her domestic chores, but Jesus famously defended her distracted contemplation of Him. (ii) Mother of James and Joses. Wife of Cleophas. She witnessed the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus and was later told by an angel that He had risen. (iii) Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus cast seven demons. There is no real evidence to prove that she was a prostitute, as popular myth insists. She became a devoted follower of Jesus. She was the first human being to learn of the Resurrection of Christ. (iv) Mother of Mark, the author of the fourth Gospel. She gave refuge to Peter in her home. Some claim that the Last Supper was also held there. (v) Mary of Rome, an early Christian convert. Variants: Mae, Mair, Mairin, Mamie, Manon, Manya, Mara, Maree, Mari, Maria, Mariam, Marian, Marice, Marie, Mariel, Mariesa, Marietta, Marika, Marion, Mariquita, Marita, Maureen, Maura, May, Mim, Mimi, Minnie, Mira, Miri, Miriam, Mitzi, Moira, Molly, Moya. [Matthew 1:18]

I Name Thee Mary...


Mary Quant, English fashion designer. She created the so-called "Chelsea look" of the 1960s, and the highly successful mini-skirt and hot pants. Her first shop, called Bazaar, opened in London in 1957. It was an instant hit.


Mattaniah mat-tan-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: Gift of God. An uncle of King Jehoiachin. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon put him on the throne of Judah in place of Jehoiachin, and changed his name to Zedekiah. Others with this name: (i) A son of Heman, an official musician of King David. He served under his father as a temple musician. (ii) Two descendants of Asaph. One was a chief singer in the temple, the other helped Hezekiah to bring about badly needed religious reforms. (iii) An ancestor of Jehaziel, an ally of King Jehoshaphat. (iv) Four Jews who divorced their foreign wives at the urging of Ezra. (v) Grandfather of Hanan, an assistant of Nehemiah. [2 Kings 24:17]

Mattathias mat-ta-thigh-us (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: Gift of God.
Two of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, one the son of Amos, the other, of Semein. [Luke 3:25]

Matthew math-thew (male)
Greek: Gift of God.
A shortened form of the Greek Matthias. Son of Alphaeus. He was at first a tax collector (publican) for the Roman government, known by the name Levi. At the single command from Jesus, "Follow me", Matthew abandoned his job at once and became a disciple. Such willingness suggests great humility and faith. As a former civil official, Matthew may have served as scribe to the disciples. His notes on the life and teachings of Jesus formed the basis for the influential Gospel of Matthew. His brother was James the Less, also a disciple. Later Matthew went on preaching missions to Syria - and possibly journeyed as far as Ethiopia and Persia. His ultimate fate is uncertain. Variants: Mack, Mat, Mateo, Mathern, Mathias, Mati, Matiah, Matias, Matt, Matteus, Matthias, Matti, Matty, Mayo. [Matthew]

I Name Thee Matthew...


Matthew Boulton, a visionary English industrialist and entrepreneur, believed in, defended and financed the crazy ideas of another visionary: James Watt, the Scottish engineer who built the world's first practical steam engine.


Matthias mat-thigh-us (male)
Greek: Gift of God.
An early Christian chosen by lot to take over the "ministry and apostleship" of the dead traitor Judas Iscariot. His rival for the job was Justus. After his appointment, very little is known of him. Catholic tradition says that he is buried in Rome under the alter of the Basilica. [Acts 1:23]

Melatiah mel-la-ti-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Saved.
One who helped in the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls. [Nehemiah 3:7]

Melchiah mel-ki-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Royal. A priest. Father of Passhur, a servant of Zedekiah who participated in the arrest of Jeremiah. Variants: Malchiah, Malkijah. [Jeremiah 21:1]

Melech mel-lek (male)
Hebrew: King.
Son of Micah and a great-grandson of Jonathan. His brothers were Pithon, Tarea and Ahaz. [1 Chronicles 8:35]

Melki mel-ki (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: Ruler, king.
Two ancestors of Jesus Christ, one the son of Jannai, the other, of Addi. Variants: Melchi. [Luke 3:24]

Merab mer-ab (female)
Hebrew: Increase. Elder daughter of King Saul. Her sister was Michal. She composed a song of praise for the young warrior David after he killed Goliath. This inflamed the jealousy of Saul, who became David's implacable enemy and tried to destroy him. Merab was betrothed to David, but Saul married her to Adriel instead. Her five sons by Adriel met an unfortunate end when David shamefully delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites for symbolic execution. [1 Samuel 14:49]

Meraiah mer-ray-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Mutiny, bitterness.
A priest under the high priest Joiakim. [Nehemiah 12:12]

The Athlete's Bible?


"The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me." Martin Luther (b.1483)


Meres mer-rez (male)
Hebrew: Worthy, lofty.
One of the seven wise princes of Persia and Media who advised King Ahasuerus. [Esther 1:14]

Mesha mee-sha (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Liberated, free. Other interpretations: Retreat, welfare. A king of Moab who paid a heavy annual tribute in sheep and wool to Israel. He eventually rebelled and was defeated in battle by the alliance of Jehoram and Jehoshaphat. Others with this name: Son of Shaharaim and Hodesh. His brothers were Jobab, Zibia, Malcam, Jeuz, Sachia and Mirmah. Variants: Mareshah. [2 Kings 3:4]

Meshullam mee-shul-lam (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Content, reconciled, friend. Grandfather of Shaphan, a scribe who served under King Josiah. Others with this name: Meshullam was a popular name among the people of the Bible. At least twenty persons have it. (i) A son of Zerubbabel. (ii) A chief of the Gadites. (iii) A chief of the Benjamites, and two obscure Benjamites of Jerusalem. (iv) Father of Sallu. (v) At least six priests, including two who, with Nehemiah, were signers of the covenant. (vi) Three builders who worked on repairs to the temple and the wall of Jerusalem. (vii) Three companions of Ezra. (viii) A Jew with a foreign wife. (ix) A Levite gatekeeper. [2 Kings 22:3]

Methuselah meth-thoose-sel-lar (male)
Hebrew: Messenger.
Other interpretations: Man of the javelin. Son of Enoch and a grandson of Jared. At one hundred and eighty-seven years of age, he fathered Lamech. Methuselah lived the longest of any person in the Bible, surviving for nine hundred and sixty-nine years. Today his name is associated with longevity. His grandson was Noah. [Genesis 5:21]

Mica mi-ka (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Like God, who is like God?
A contraction of Micaiah. A grandson of Jonathan. Others with this name: Three Levites, including one who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant, and one who was the son of Zichri. [2 Samuel 9:12]

Micah mi-kar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Like God
, who is like God? Again, like Mica, a shortened form of Micaiah. Micah of the Ephraimites built an idolatrous shrine, attended by the Levite priest called Jonathan. Later the idol and the priest were appropriated by the Danite army. Others with this name: (i) The minor prophet whose prophecies make up the thirty-third book of the Old Testament. Nothing else is known of him. (ii) Son of Shimei, a descendant of Joel. (iii) A grandson of Jonathan. (iv) A son of Uzziel. (v) Father of Abdon. [Judges 17:1]

Micaiah mi-kay-ar (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Like God, who is like God? Son of Imlah. He was the only true prophet of God in Israel during the reign of the wicked King Ahab. Ahab despised him because he had predicted the King's ruin. Micaiah was cast into prison - but to no avail, for the prophet had correctly foreseen Ahab's demise at the hands of the Syrians. Others with this name: (i) Father of Acbor, a messenger under King Josiah. (ii) Daughter of Uriel. She was the wife of King Rehoboam and the mother of Abijah. (iii) A prince under King Jehoshaphat. (iv) An ancestor of one of Nehemiah's priestly assistants. (v) A priest under Nehemiah. (vi) Grandson of Shaphan the scribe. Variants: Maacah, Michaiah. [1 Kings 22:8]

I Name Thee Michael...


Michael Caine, an English actor, became well-known in suspense and adventure roles. His many credits include Zulu, The Ipcress File, The Italian Job, The Man Who Would be King, The Eagle Has Landed, A Bridge Too Far.


 

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 1 John 4:15


Michael
mi-kal (male)
Hebrew: Like God, who is like God? Father of Sethur, one of the spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. Others with this name: (i) Two Gadites, one the son of Jeshishai. (ii) Son of Baaseiah, an ancestor of Asaph the singer. (iii) Son of Uzzi of the Issachar. (iv) An obscure Benjamite. (v) A prominent warrior who joined forces with David at Ziklag. (vi) Father of Omri, a mighty warrior under David. (vii) Princely son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. His brother was King Jehoram. (viii) Father of Zebadiah. (ix) The prince of the heavenly host, or the chief archangel, who fights Satan and presides at the Last Judgment of souls. Variants: Maguel, Micah, Micha, Michal, Michele, Michon, Mick, Micky, Miguel, Mihal, Mikas, Mike, Mikhail, Misha, Miska, Mitch, Mitchell, Mychal. [Numbers 13:13]

Michal mi-kall (female)
Hebrew: Like God, who is like God? Feminine form of Michael. Younger daughter of King Saul. Her sister was Merab. She loved the young warrior David, the object of her father's bitter jealousy. Hoping that David would die in the attempt, Saul promised Michal to him in marriage if he killed one hundred enemy soldiers of the Philistine nation. David killed two hundred and married Michal. On one occasion she helped David escape the murderous rage of her father. But for all her love, she could not understand David's faith in God. She scoffed at his beliefs and for this, never bore a child. Variants: Mia, Mica, Michele, Michelina, Michelle, Miguella. [1 Samuel 14:49]

Mijamin mi-jar-min (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Right hand.
A prominent priest in the days of King David. Others with this name: (i) Two priests, one a covenanter with Nehemiah, and the other, a captive returned from Babylon. (ii) A Jew who divorced his foreign wife at the urging of Ezra. [1 Chronicles 24:9]

Milcah mil-car (female)
Hebrew: Queen. Other interpretations: Counsel. Daughter of Haran, wife of Nahor, and niece and sister-in-law to Abraham. She had eight sons: Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel. Her brother was Lot; her sister was Iscah. Others with this name: A daughter of Zelophehad. Her sisters were Hoglah, Mahlah, Noah and Tirzah. [Genesis 11:29]

Miriam meer-ree-am (female)
Greek, from Hebrew: Rebellion, overthrow. Other interpretations: Child of our desires, sea of bitterness. Original Hebrew form of the name Mary. The daughter of Amram and Jochebed. Sister to Moses and Aaron. She is one of the strongest female characters in the Bible. She was an important leader of the Israelites, especially the women, during the Exodus from Egypt. She was also a prophetess. Her position was such that she felt qualified to challenge even the decisions of Moses, although she was punished later by God for her unprecedented boldness. Miriam watched from a distance as the infant Moses was plucked from the Nile by the daughter of Pharoah. She died at Kadesh. Others with this name: Daughter of Mered and Bithiah. [Exodus 15:20]

I Name Thee Miriam...


Miriam Makeba, a black South African singer and anti-aparthied activist, lived in exile from 1960 to 1990. She became known in the West for her singing, especially "The Click Song" which featured native Xhosa sounds.


Mishael mish-shay-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: What God is, who is what God is? Son of Uzziel. He was either a cousin or an uncle of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Others with this name: (i) An assistant to Ezra. (ii) A prince of Judah and friend of Daniel, taken captive to Babylon. [Exodus 6:22]

Misham mish-sham (male)
Hebrew: Quick, fleet.
A builder of cities, the son of Elpaal. [1 Chronicles 8:12]

Mizpah miz-pa (male)
Hebrew: Number. A captive returned from Babylon. Variants: Mispah, Mispereth. [Ezra 2:2]

Mizraim miz-raim (male)
Hebrew: Red soil. Second son of Ham and a grandson of Noah. His sons, or tribal descendants, were Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim and Caphtorim. The Hebrew name for Egypt was Mizraim. [Genesis 10:6]

Mordecai mord-dek-ki (male)
Hebrew: Merodach
(a pagan god of Babylon), death? One of the Jewish leaders who returned from the Babylonian captivity with Zerubbabel. Others with this name: The son of Jair. A great Jewish hero, celebrated in the Book of Esther. He served in the court of King Ahasuerus of Persia. The chief minister of the court was Haman, before whom Mordecai refused to bow. In revenge, Haman plotted to destroy the Jews. But Mordecai, in league with his cousin Esther, a wife of Ahasuerus, outwitted him. Ultimately Haman swung from the gallows he had raised for Mordecai. His position as the chief minister was assumed by Mordecai. Variants: Marduk, Mord, Mordkhe, Mort, Morty. [Esther 2:5]

Moriah more-ri-ar (female)
Hebrew: God is the teacher. A biblical place rather than a character, but like Sharon, it has gained acceptance as a personal name. Moriah was the place where Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac. There is also a place in the Bible called Mount Moriah, where God appeared to David and where Solomon built his temple. Variants: Mariah, Moria. [Genesis 22.2]

Moses moe-zez (male)
Hebrew: Drawn out from the water.
Perhaps the greatest of all Hebrew leaders, secular or spiritual. His father was Amram, a Levite, as was his mother, Jochebed. His brother was Aaron and his sister was Miriam. At the time of his birth, the Israelites were captives of the Egyptians. To avoid the Egyptian order that all baby boys of Israel be killed, Moses was hidden in bulrushes by the Nile River. There he was found and adopted by an Egyptian princess. She called him Moses and raised him in the royal household. Later he fled from Egypt and lived with Jethro of the Midianites. One day God told him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of bondage. But Pharoah refused to permit it. Then God inflicted ten plagues on the Egyptians, forcing Pharoah to yield. Still the proud Pharoah changed his mind and pursued the fleeing Israelites. Moses miraculously parted the waters of the Red Sea, through which the Israelites escaped. He then climbed Mount Sinai, where God gave him the Ten Commandments, and other rules for living and worship. Moses is traditionally credited as the author of the first five books of the Bible, Genesis to Deuteronomy. He built the Tabernacle and founded the priesthood under Aaron. He led the Israelites in their first battles to possess the land of Canaan, which God had promised to them. Finally Moses climbed Mount Nebo, from which he viewed the Promised Land and died, aged one hundred and twenty years. Variants: Moe, Moke, Moshe, Moss, Moy, Moyes, Mozes. [Exodus 2:10]

A Lump In Your Throat


Ever wondered why that lump in the front of the throat, quite large in some people, is called an Adam's Apple? Tradition says that when Adam, the Bible's first human being, ate the fruit forbidden by God, a piece got stuck in his throat for all time. Thus the lump and its rather strange name.


Moza moz-za (male)
Hebrew: Sunrise.
Other interpretations: Leaving. A son of Caleb by his concubine. His brothers were Haran and Gazez. Others with this name: Son of Zimri, a descendant of Jonathan. [1 Chronicles 2:46]



~ N ~


Naama
naa-mar (female)
Hebrew: Pleasing.
Daughter of Lamech and Zillah. Sister of Tubal-Cain and half-sister of Jubal and Jabal. Others with this name: A wife of King Solomon. She was the mother of Rehoboam, heir to the throne of King David. Variants: Naamana, Naamah, Naava, Nama, Nava. [Genesis 4:22]

Naarah naa-rah (female)
Hebrew: Girl, virgin, youth. A wife of Asshur. Her sons were Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Hashashtari. [1 Chronicles 4:5]

Nabal na-bal (male)
Hebrew: Fool.
A rich shepherd and drunkard. When David's army sought food from Nabal, they were refused: a grave insult against the mighty David. But Abigail, Nabal's wise and beautiful wife, extended the hospitality that decency and duty required. Her fast thinking saved her husband's head. When Nabal sobered up and learned of his churlishness towards David, "his heart died within him, and he became as stone." He died ten days later. [1 Samuel 25:3]

Nahamani naha-man-nee (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Compassionate. One of the leading Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity with Zerubabbel. [Nehemiah 7:7]

Nahash na-hash (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Serpent.
Other interpretations: Oracle. A fearsome Ammonite king. His son was Hanun, a friend of David. Nahash's forces were defeated in battle by the Israelites under Saul. Others with this name: The father - or perhaps the mother - of Abigail and Zeruiah. The gender is unclear. [1 Samuel 11:1]

Nahbi nar-bi (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Secret.
One of the spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. [Numbers 13:14]

Nahshon na-shon (male)
Hebrew: Enchanter.
Son of Amminadab. A prince of Judah and an ancestor of David and Jesus Christ. He was connected to the family of Moses by the marriage of his sister Elisheba to Aaron. Variants: Naashon, Naasson, Nashon. [Exodus 6:23]

Nahum na-hum (male)
Hebrew: Compassionate, comforter.
Shortened form of Nehemiah. A minor prophet whose poetic prophecies make up the thirty-fourth book of the Old Testament. His work concerns the glory of God and the predicted downfall of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. He was from Elkosh in Galilee. Nothing else is known about him. Others with this name: Son of Esli, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Variants: Naum, Nehemiah, Nemiah, Nemo. [Nahum]

Naomi nay-oh-mee (female)
Hebrew: Pleasantness, delight, charm. Wife of Elimelech. The mother of Mahlon and Chilon, whose wives were Orpah and Ruth. Her husband and two sons died, and one of her daughters-in-law, Orpah, left her. Of her fate, she said, "Do not call me Naomi (pleasantness), call me Mara (bitterness), for the Almighty has brought calamity upon me." She helped Ruth, who remained with her, to marry a wealthy kinsman called Boaz. Naomi nursed Obed, the child of this union, who in time became the father of Jesse, the father of King David. Variants: Naome, Noemi, Nomi. [Ruth 1:2]

Elephants and Lambs


"The Bible is a stream wherein the elephant may swim and the lamb may wade." Pope Gregory I (b.540?)


Naphtali naf-tar-lee (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Struggle. A son of Jacob by the concubine Bilhah, the maid of Rachel. The meaning of his name reflects the jealous struggle between Rachel and her sister Leah for the divided affections of Jacob, husband to both. He had a brother Dan, a half-sister, Dinah, and half-brothers, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Gad and Asher. He was one of the founders of the Twelve Tribes. Variants: Nephtali, Nephthalim, Nepthalim. [Genesis 30:8]

Narcissus nar-sis-sus (male)
Greek: Narcotic.
The head of a Roman household to which greetings were sent by Paul. Some have suggested that this person may have been the prominent official of the same name who served the Emperor Claudius. [Romans 16:11]

Nathan nay-thun (male)
Hebrew: Given, God has given. A prophet and adviser to King David. David consulted him about plans for the temple and was told not to proceed with its construction. Nathan fearlessly chided David for marrying Bathsheba, widow of the slain warrior Uriah. But later he helped Solomon, the son of this condemned union, secure the throne. He also wrote parts of Chronicles 1 and Chronicles 2. Others with this name: (i) One of the sons of King David and Bathsheba. He was the father of Mattatha and an ancestor of Jesus Christ. (ii) Father of Igal, one of the David's mighty warriors. (iii) Father of Azariah and Zabud, officials under King Solomon. These may be the children of Nathan the prophet. (iv) Two returned captives from Babylon. Variants: Nat, Nathaniel, Nethanel. [2 Samuel 7:2]

I Name Thee Nathan...


Nathan Hale, hero of the American Revolution. At the age of twenty-one, he went on a spying mission for General Washington. He was captured and hung. His famous last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."


Nathaniel nay-than-nee-yel (male)
Greek: Gift of God, God has given.
A form of the popular Hebrew name Nethanel. One of the twelve disciples. He was introduced to Jesus Christ by Philip. Jesus was very impressed with his honesty. He said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." His surname or alternative name was Bartholomew. Variants: Nat, Natal, Natale, Nataniel, Nathan, Nathanael, Nathaneal, Neal, Niel, Nethanel, Noel, Nowell. [John 1:45]

Neariah nee-ar-ri-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Child of God. Son of Shemaiah, a descendant of Solomon. His brothers were Hattush, Igal, Bariah and Shaphat. Others with this name: A chief of the Simeonites. [1 Chronicles 3:22]

Nebai nee-bay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Building. One who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. Variants: Nobai. [Nehemiah 10:19]

Nebo nee-bo (male)
Hebrew: Prophet. Father of captives who returned from Babylon. Others with this name: Pagan Babylonian god of learning. [Ezra 2:29]

Neco nee-ko (male)
Hebrew: Meaning unknown. A pharoah of Egypt. He defeated King Josiah of Judah at the battle of Meggiddo. He established Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, as the puppet ruler of Judah. Neco was defeated in battle by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Variants: Necho, Nechoh. [2 Kings 23:29]

Nedabiah ned-da-bi-ah (male)
Hebrew: Driven. A son of Jeconiah of Judah, the captive king. Variants: Nedabaiah. [1 Chronicles 3:18]

Thanks, Will!


In 1877, a commemorative edition of the Bible was completely printed and bound in just twelve short hours - a special effort to mark the four hundredth anniversary of the introduction of printing to England by William Caxton.


Nehemiah nay-em-mi-ar (male)
Hebrew: God has consoled, comforted. One of the
prominent Jews who returned with Zerubbabel from captivity in Babylon. Others with this name: (i) Son of Hacaliah. A Jewish captive who rose to high office under King Artaxerxes of Persia. He gained the consent of Artaxerxes for the reconstruction of Jerusalem and was appointed governor over Judah. Nehemiah was an energetic administrator - under his direction the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt in just fifty-two days. He introduced religious reforms and worked with Ezra in the teaching of the Law. Under his leadership, Israel confirmed its commitment to the God of Moses in a new and solemn covenant. Nehemiah's story is recorded in the sixteenth book of the Old Testament, which bears his name. (ii) One of the repairers who worked on the wall of Jerusalem. Son of Azbuk. Variants: Nahum, Naum, Nemiah, Nemo. [Ezra 2:2]

Nehusuhta nay-oosh-shu-ta (female)
Hebrew: Bold, brazen. Mother of King Jeconiah of Judah. With her son she was taken as a captive to Babylon. Her father was Elnathan. [2 Kings 24:8]

Nekoda nek-ko-da (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Famous.
The head of a family of temple servants returned from captivity in Babylon. [Ezra 2:48]

Nemual nem-mu-al (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God's day. Son of Eliab. With his brothers Dathan and Abiram, he rebelled against the authority of Moses. For this "the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up". Variants: Jemuel. [Numbers 26:9]

Neri ner-ri (modern male and female)
Greek, from Hebrew: Light of God.
Son of Melchi, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. The name is a shortened form of Neariah. [Luke 3:27]

Neariah nee-ar-ri-ar (male)
Hebrew: Light of God.
Father of Baruch, the famous scribe of Jeremiah. His other son was Seraiah. Variants: Neri, Neriah. [Jeremiah 32:12]

Nethaniah neth-an-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: Given by God, whom God has given. Father of Ishmael, the killer of Gedaliah the governor. Others with this name: (i) A musical son of Asaph in the days of David. (ii) A Levite teacher. (iii) Father of Jehudi, a messenger. [2 Kings 25:23]

Neziah nez-zi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Sincere. Other interpretations: Renowned, famous. An ancestor of captives returned from Babylon. [Ezra 2:54]

Nicodemus nee-ko-dee-mus (male)
Greek: People's victor. A member of the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish council and court. Nicodemus was the only member of that body to speak in support of the accused Jesus Christ, albeit too timidly. After the death of Jesus - and perhaps from guilt or remorse - he donated a large quantity of costly herbs and spices for embalming the body. [John 3:1]

I Name Thee Nicolas...


Nicolas Appert, a Frenchman, whose work can be seen in every supermarket. He was a pioneer in food preservation, learning how to seal food in bottles and preserve it by heating. His techniques were later imitated by others using tin cans.


Nicolas nick-ko-las (male)
Greek: Conqueror of the people, victor, victory. An early church official at Jerusalem. He was a native of Antioch. Variants: Claus, Cole, Colin, Collis, Klaus, Nic, Niccolo, Nick, Nico, Nicolai, Nicholas, Nicholaus, Nicole, Niel, Nike, Niki, Nikita, Nikki, Nikolas. [Acts 6:5]

Nimrod nim-rod (male)
Hebrew: Brave.
Son of Cush, grandson of Ham and great-grandson of Noah. The Bible calls him "a mighty hunter before the LORD." He was the first mighty man on earth, a builder of great cities. His empire included Babylon, Erech and Accad. Some claim that Nimrod was Gilgamesh, the legendary king of ancient Sumeria. Today the term Nimrod means any hunter, warrior or powerful ruler. [Genesis 10:8]

Nimshi nim-shy (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Rescued.
Grandfather of Jehu, the rebel warrior who destroyed the royal house of the evil Ahab. [1 Kings 19:16]

Noadiah no-ar-di-ar (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Met by God. A Levite in the time of Ezra. Son of Binnui. Others with this name: A false prophetess who sought to sabotage the work of Nehemiah. [Ezra 8:33]

I Name Thee Noah...


Noah Webster, an American teacher, became famous for his dictionary, first published in 1806. His later revision, the American Dictionary of the English Language, included forty thousand previously unpublished word definitions.


Noah no-ar (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Rest. Other interpretations: Lasting, long-lived. Son of Lamech and a grandson of Methuselah. The tenth in descent from Adam through Seth. At God's command, he built an ark of gopher wood, in which he, his family, and the creatures of the earth survived the Great Flood sent to destroy all flesh. Thus the world gained a respite, or rest, from the relentless curse of Eden: hence one of the suggested meanings of his name. He had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. After the Flood, Noah planted vineyards and made wine. Noah got drunk on the wine and fell down naked in his tent. He died aged nine hundred and fifty years. Others with this name: A daughter of Zelophehad. Her sisters were Hoglah, Milcah, Tirzah and Mahlah. Variants: Noach, Noak, Noe. [Genesis 5:29]



~ O ~


Obadiah
ob-ba-di-ar (male)
Hebrew: Servant of God. Head steward of the royal household under the wicked King Ahab. He gave aid to the true prophets of God, doubtless at deadly risk. Others with this name: (i) Son of Arnan. (ii) A chief among the Issachar. (iii) A son of Azel. (iv) Two Levites, one a returned captive from Babylon; the other a temple repairer in the days of Josiah. (v) A Gadite warrior who joined David. (vi) Father of Ishmaiah, a prince. (vii) A prince under King Jehoshaphat. (viii) A leader of returning captives from Babylon. (ix) One who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. (x) A gatekeeper. (xi) A minor prophet, author of the thirty-first book the Old Testament, which bears his name. He prophesied the destruction of the Edomites, traditional enemies of Israel. Nothing is known of his personal life. Variants: Abda, Abdias, Obadias, Oban, Obed, Obediah. [1 Chronicles 3:21]

Prosecute Me... Not!


English and American law once protected the clergy from all civil prosecution, much like diplomatic immunity today protects diplomats. It was called the benefit of clergy. Its justification was based on the Bible, at 1 Chronicles 16:22 - "Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm."


Obal oh-bal (male)
Hebrew: Naked. Son of Joktan and a descendant of Noah. His brothers were Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. Variants: Ebal. [Genesis 10:28]

Oholah oh-ol-lar (female)
Hebrew: Tent-women. Other interpretations: My tent is in her. A symbolic woman who represented the city of Samaria and was condemned by God as a harlot. Her sister was Oholibah, who represented Jerusalem. Variants: Aholah. [Ezekiel 23:4]

Oholibah oh-ol-li-bar (female)
Hebrew: Tent-women. Other interpretations: My tent is in her. A symbolic woman who represented the city of Jerusalem corrupted. With Ohalah, her sister, she was condemned as a harlot. Variants: Aholibah. [Ezekiel 23:4]

Olympas oh-lim-pas (modern male and female)
Greek: Heaven.
A Christian of Rome and friend of Paul. [Romans 16:15]

Omar oh-mar (male)
Hebrew: Speaker.
An Edomite chief. Son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau. His brothers were Teman, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz. His half-brother was Amalek. [Genesis 36:11]

I Name Thee Omar...


Omar Bradley, an American general who, during World War II, led the Twelfth Army Group - one of the largest armies in history - during its European campaigns. After the war, he became the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Omri om-ri (male)
Hebrew: Learner, pupil. Sixth king of Israel. He seized the throne on King Elah's death. Omri was a powerful but corrupt ruler. He established the city of Samaria as his capital. His son and successor was the depraved Ahab. Others with this name: (i) Son of Beker and a grandson of Benjamin. (ii) Son of Imri and father of Ammihud. (iii) A chief of the Issachar in David's time. [1 Kings 16:16]

Oprah oh-pra (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Fawn, doe. Son of Meonothai, a descendant of Judah. Variants: Ophrah. [1 Chronicles 4:14]

Oren ore-ren (male)
Hebrew: Cedar, pine. A son of Jerahmeel. His brothers were Ram, Bunah, Ozam, Ahijah and a half brother, Onam. [1 Chronicles 2:25]

Orpah orp-pah (female)
Hebrew: Fawn, doe. Other interpretations: Neck, stubborness. Wife of Kilion, the son of Elimelech and Naomi. After the death of Kilion, she chose to return to her family, and not to stay indefinitely with Naomi, as did Ruth. [Ruth 1:4]

Othniel oth-nee-el (male)
Hebrew: Lion.
First judge of Israel. Son of Kenaz, nephew of Caleb. Husband of Acsah. He freed Israel from foreign domination by Mesopotamia. His judgeship was successful and Israel lay at peace for forty years. [Joshua 15:17]

The Bug Bible


An edition of the Bible published in 1551 became known as "the Bug Bible" because of a printer's error made in Psalm 91:5, which reads "Thou shalt not be afraid of bugges by nighte." The word bugges should have read bogies, a term for ghosts, evil spirits or things generally alarming, as in the expression bogyman.


Ozem oz-zem (male)
Hebrew: Strength. Sixth son of Jesse. His brothers were Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, Nethanel, Raddai and David. His sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. Others with this name: A son of Jerahmeel. His brothers were Ram, Bunah, Oren, Ahijah and a half brother, Onam. [1 Chronicles 2:25]

Ozni oz-ni (male)
Hebrew: Hearing, ear. A son of Gad. His brothers were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Areli, Eri and Arodi. Others with this name: Son of Bela and a grandson of Benjamin. Head of a family and a mighty warrior. Variants: Ezbon. [Genesis 46:16]


~ P ~


Paltiel
pal-teel (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Deliverance, God delivers
. A chief among the Issachar. Son of Azzan. Others with this name: Son of Laiah. Saul gave him David's wife, Michal. Variants: Palti, Phalti. [1 Samuel 25:44]

Paseah paz-zee-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Crippled, lame.
A son of Eshton. His brothers were Bethrapha and Tehinnah. Others with this name: A chief of the temple servants. His son was Joiada. Variants: Phaseah. [1 Chronicles 4:12]

I Name Thee Paul...


Paul Simon, an American singer and composer, joined forces with Art Garfunkel to produce such classic hits as "Mrs Robinson" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." His solo work includes the much acclaimed album, Graceland.


Paul pall (male)
Greek, from Latin: Little. Originally known as Saul of Tarsus, a strict Jew and fervent enemy of the early Christians, he underwent a deep spiritual transformation during a trip to Damascus. Paul - the name he later preferred to use - became a passionate evangelist for Christ. His labours were so great that he became known as the Apostle to the Gentiles. He enjoyed the benefits of Roman citizenship, a fact that saved his life more than once. By profession he was a tentmaker. His Judaic education was orthodox under the celebrated rabbi, Gamaliel. After his conversion to Christianity, he travelled on three great evangelistic expeditions to Asia Minor, Greece and Ephesus. He wrote fourteen letters, or epistles, explaining and promoting the Christian faith; they form a major portion of the New Testament. His works are also described in the Acts of the Apostles. Paul was jailed repeatedly for his preaching. Eventually he was imprisoned in Rome and died a martyr's death during the first persecutions of the Emperor Nero. He is widely regarded as a saint. Variants: Pablo, Paley, Pall, Paolo, Paulinus, Paullus, Pauly, Pavel, Pawley, Pol, Powel, Powle. [Acts 13:9]

Pedaiah ped-day-ar (male)
Hebrew: God saves, redeems. Father of Zebidah, the wife of King Josiah and mother of Jehoiakim. Others with this name: (i) Son of Jeconiah of Judah, the captive king. Father of Zerubbabel. (ii) Father of Joel in the days of David. (iii) A builder who helped repair the walls of Jerusalem. (iv) Son of Kolaiah. Father of Joed. (v) An official of the temple treasury in the time of Nehemiah. [2 Kings 23:36]

The Adulterer's Bible


One of the most famous blunders in the history of printing can be found in an edition of the Bible produced by the printers Barker and Lucas in 1632. As most people know, the seventh commandment says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Guess which word the printers left out? Yes, it was the not. This edition of the Bible became known as The Adulterer's Bible or The Wicked Bible.


Pekah pee-kar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: To open, open-eyed.
Son of Remaliah. He murdered Pekahiah and succeeded him as the eighteenth king of Israel. His twenty year reign was wicked and idolatrous. He plotted against King Jotham of Judah and was murdered by Hoshea, his successor. [2 Kings 15:25]

Pelatiah pel-la-ti-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has delivered, freed.
Son of Hananiah and a grandson of Zerubbabel. Brother of Jeshaiah. Others with this name: (i) Son of Ishi. A Simeonite warrior chief in the days of Hezekiah. (ii) One who, with Nehemiah, sealed the covenant. (iii) Son of Benaiah. He defied the prophet Ezekiel and was struck dead. [1 Chronicles 3:21]

Peleth pel-leth (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Swiftness.
Other interpretations: Freedom. Father of On, a rebel in the days of Moses. Others with this name: Son of Jonathan, a descendant of Jerahmeel. His brother was Zaza. [Numbers 16:1]

Peninnah pen-nin-nar (female)
Hebrew: Pearl, coral. A wife of Elkanah. She taunted the childless Hannah, Elkanah's second wife. [1 Samuel 1:2]

Penuel pen-nu-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God's face. Son of Hur. Father of Gedor. Others with this name: A son of Shashak. [1 Chronicles 4:4]

Perez per-rez (male)
Hebrew: Breach, opening.
A twin son of Judah. His brother was Zerah. At his birth he seemed to push past Zerah in order to be the first-born. The midwife exclaimed when he emerged unexpectedly in first place, "What a breach you have made for yourself!" Thus the meaning of the name. Variants: Peretz, Pharez, Pherez, Phares. [Genesis 38:29]

Persis per-sis (female)
Greek: Persian. An early Christian woman of Rome and a friend of Paul, praised by him as an unfailing worker for God. [Romans 16:12]

I Name Thee Peter...


Peter Tchaikovsky, a Russian musician and composer, wrote some of the world's best-loved classical music. Almost everyone has heard, in one form or another, his famous "1812" overture. Other works include Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.


Peter pe-ter (modern male and female)
Greek, from Aramaic: Stone, rock.
Son of Jonas. A leading disciple of Jesus Christ. Originally a fishermen of Galilee, known as Simon. He was given the extra name of kapha by Jesus, meaning stone or rock in the Aramaic language. This was translated to petros in the Greek scriptures, and peter in English. His brother was Andrew, another disciple of Jesus. Finding the two at work in their boats, Jesus said to them: "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Peter was the natural leader of the disciples. He was singled out by Jesus for special blessings: he walked on the water with Jesus; he stayed with Jesus during the passionate vigil at Gethsemane; he was given the keys of the kingdom by Jesus. Yet he was hardly a stainless exemplar of faith. By nature he was rash and inconsistent. His loyalty to Jesus was marred by doubt and fear. At the trial of Jesus, Peter denied that he even knew Him. In spite of these weaknesses, he became a great leader of the early Church. He was the first apostle to convert a non-Jew to Christianity. He travelled widely to spread the news of Christ, heedless of the risk of persecution. He also wrote two letters, or epistles, of the New Testament. According to tradition, Peter ultimately arrived in Rome and continued to evangelise. Catholics hold that he was the first Bishop of Rome, the office that evolved into the modern Papacy: thus do many consider him the first Pope. Tradition also claims that he suffered a martyr's death at the hands of the mad emperor, Nero. He is widely regarded as a saint. Variants: Farris, Ferris, Parnell, Parry, Pearce, Peder, Pedro, Perkin, Pernell, Perren, Perry, Pete, Petros, Petrus, Petur, Pier, Piers, Pieter, Piotr, Pettis. Female forms include Perri, Peta, Petra, Petrina, Petronia. [Matthew 16:18]

Pethuel peth-u-el (male)
Hebrew: Vision.
Other interpretations: Opening by God. Father of Joel the prophet. [Joel 1:1]

Phanuel farn-nu-el (modern male and female)
Greek, from Hebrew: Face of God.
Father of Anna the prophetess. [Luke 2:36]

Philemon fil-le-mon (modern male and female)
Greek: Loving, friendly. Other interpretations: Kiss. An early Christian of Colosse. His wife was Apphia, and his son, Archippus. The runaway Christian slave, Onesimus, belonged to him. Paul wrote his Letter to Philemon, which forms the eighteenth book of the New Testament, to persuade him to accept Onesimus back without punishment. Variants: Philo. [Philemon]

Philip fil-lip (male)
Greek: Lover of horses.
Originally a disciple of John the Baptist, he became a follower of Jesus Christ at Bethany. He introduced the disciple Nathaniel to Jesus, with whom Jesus was very pleased. Not much is known of Philip, except that he came from Bethsaida in Galilee. His faith was not consistent; he seems to have doubted the identity and mission of Jesus. Tradition says that he evangelised in Asia Minor and was buried at Hierapolis. Others with this name: (i) Philip the Evangelist. One of seven persons appointed as the first deacons of the church. He became an evangelist in Samaria and performed miracles and signs. He had four daughters, all prophetesses. (ii) Herod Philip. See Herod. Variants: Felip, Pepe, Phil, Philippe, Phip, Pip. Female forms include Filipa, Pelipa, Philippa, Philli, Philly. [Matthew 10:3]

I Name Thee Phineas...


Phineas Barnum was one of the world's most energetic and creative showmen. His famous circus was called the Greatest Show on Earth. He promoted many attractions, including the original - and huge - Jumbo the Elephant.


Phineas fin-nee-us (male)
Hebrew: Brazen mouth, mouth of brass.
Other interpretations: Dark-skinned, negroid. Son of Eleazar and a grandson of Aaron. He was a high priest noted for the zealousness of his faith. He killed the recalcitrant Zimri and his foreign wife Cozbi. Others with this name: (i) Son of Eli and brother of Hophni. He proved grossly unworthy of inheriting the high priestly office of his father. (ii) Father of Eleazar, the priestly custodian of the treasury. Variants: Phinehas, Pincus, Pinkus, Pinky. [Exodus 6:25]

Phoebe fee-be (female)
Greek: Shining, pure. An early Christian and a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae in Corinth. She may have been the first woman in Christian history to hold a church office. She was highly regarded by Paul and may have been the trusted messenger who delivered his Letter to the Romans to Rome. Variants: Phebe. [Romans 16:1]

Pilate pi-lat (male)
Latin: Armed with a spear.
Roman procurator or governor of Judea. After the Jews had found Jesus Christ guilty of blasphemy, they took Him before Pilate, who alone had the power to impose the death sentence. Pilate tried to avoid this, because in his opinion Jesus had committed no capital crime. But faced with a howling Jewish mob, Pilate proved morally weak. He gave in to their demands and, washing his hands before the mob, declaring, "I am innocent of this man's blood". Little is known of his later fate. Tradition says that he killed himself. Pontius was his Roman surname. [Matthew 27:2]

A Bible Royal


In 1604, King James I of England authorised fifty-four scholars to make a new and improved translation of the Bible. They produced the famous King James Version (KJV), first published in 1611. It was widely admired for its careful scholarship and poetic language. It became the standard Bible of Protestantism. It remains the most popular version of the Bible in English.


Priscilla pris-sill-ar (female)
Greek: Ancient. A form of the name Prisca. An early Christian, the wife of Aquila. The couple are always mentioned together. They apparently travelled widely preaching the message of Christ. They were highly praised by Paul for their works. Variants: Cilla, Pris. [Acts 18:2]


~ Q ~

Quartus kor-tus (male)
Greek:
Fourth. An early Christian of Corinth and friend of Paul. [Romans 16:23]

~ R ~

Raamah raa-mar (male)
Hebrew: Shaking. Son of Cush and a great-grandson of Noah. He had two sons: Sheba and Dedan. His brothers were Nimrod, Seba, Havilah, Sabtah and Sabteca. His descendants were traders in gold, spices and jewels. [Genesis 10:7]

Raamiah raa-mi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Thunder of God. A clan chief who returned from captivity in Babylon. Variants: Reelaiah. [Nehemiah 7:7]

I Name Thee Rachel...


Rachel Carson, an American naturalist, was a pioneer environmentalist, speaking out against the careless use of pesticides. As Editor-in-Chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the 1950s, she published The Sea Around Us and Silent Spring.


Rachel raytch-el (female)
Hebrew: Ewe. Younger daughter of Laban and a niece of Rebekah. She was a shepherd described as "beautiful and lovely". Her elder sister was Leah. Jacob loved Rachel so much that he worked in Laban's service for fourteen years to earn the right to marry her. But Jacob married Leah as well, and Rachel resented the fact. For this, God kept her childless while Leah bore six sons and a daughter. In the end Rachel gave her maid Bilhah to Jacob as a concubine. By her Jacob fathered Dan and Naphtali. Eventually Rachel was granted two sons: Joseph and Benjamin. She died during the birth of Benjamin. The prophet Jeremiah described Rachel as "weeping for her children", that is, crying for her descendants captive in Babylon. Variants: Lahela, Rachele, Rachelle, Rae, Rahel, Raquel, Raye, Rochell, Shelley. [Genesis 29:6]

Ramiah ra-mi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is exalted, God is set on high.
A son of Parosh. At the urging of Ezra, he divorced his foreign wife. [Ezra 10:25]

Rapha ra-far (male)
Hebrew: Tall, high. The youngest son of Benjamin. His brothers were Bela, Ashbel, Aharah and Nohah. Others with this name: Son of Binea, a descendant of Saul. Variants: Raphah. [1 Chronicles 8:2]

I Name Thee Rebekah...


Rebekah West, Irish writer and advocate of women's rights, wrote about treason and political history in The Meaning of Treason and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Her fiction included The Thinking Reed and The Birds Fall Down.


Rebekah (Rebecca) re-beck-ka (female)
Hebrew: Knotted cord, snare. Other interpretations: Faithfulness, loyalty. The wife of Isaac and the mother, after twenty years of childlessness, of Jacob and Esau. She was the beautiful daughter of Bethuel, one of the sons of Nahor and Milcah. She was a grand-niece and daughter-in-law of Abraham. Her favourite son was Jacob. Rebekah used trickery to help him get the special blessing of the elderly and blind Isaac. Her brother was Laban. Variants: Beck, Becky, Reba, Rebe, Rebeca, Rebeka, Reva, Rivka. [Genesis 24:15]

Rei ray, ree-i (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Friendly.
A loyal friend of David who did not join the rebellious forces of Adonijah. [1 Kings 1:8]

Remaliah rem-mal-li-ar (male)
Hebrew: God exalts, adorns.
Father of King Pekah of Israel. [2 Kings 15:25]

Rephael ref-fay-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Healed by God, God heals.
A gatekeeper, the son of Shamaiah. [1 Chronicles 26:7]

Rephan ref-farn (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Meaning unknown.
Name of pagan idol worshipped by the Israelites in the wilderness. Variants: Remphan, Chiun, Kaiwan. [Amos 5:26]

Resheph re-shef (male)
Hebrew: Flame, fire. Great-grandson of Ephraim. Father of Telah. [1 Chronicles 7:25]

I Name Thee Reuben...


Reuben Nakiam, born in 1897, is an important American sculptor, noted for his freely improvised and abstract monumental works, usually cast in bronze. Among his most famous sculptures is the Goddess of the Golden Thighs.



Reuben
rue-ben (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Behold a son!
Eldest son of Jacob by Leah, and a grandson of Isaac. His brothers were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. His sister was Dinah. He also had half-brothers: Joseph, Benjamin, Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali. He was one of the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel; in this case, the Reubenites. Variants: Reuven, Rouvin, Rube, Ruban, Rubin, Ruvane. Female forms include Reubena, Reuvena. [Genesis 29:32]

Reuel ree-u-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is a friend.
Son of Esau and Basemath, daughter of Ishmael. Reuel had four sons, all Edomite chiefs: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. Others with this name: (i) A priest of Midian whose daughter, Zipporah, married Moses. (ii) Son of Ibnijah, a descendant of Benjamin. Variants: Deuel, Raguel, Ruel. [Genesis 36:4]

Reumah ree-u-mar (female)
Hebrew: Lofty, inspired. A concubine of Nahor, Abraham's brother. Her sons were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah. [Genesis 22:24]

Rezia rez-zee-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Delight.
A son of Ulla, an Asherite. His brothers were Arah and Hanniel. Variants: Rizia. [1 Chronicles 7:39]

Rezin rez-zeen (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Firm.
A king of Syria. To attack Judah, he allied himself with King Pekah of Israel. Others with this name: Head of a family of captives freed from Babylon. [2 Kings 15:37]

Rezon rez-zon (male)
Hebrew: Prince.
Son of Eliada. A rebel who usurped the throne of Syria, taking the place of Hadadezer. He founded an important Syrian dynasty. Variants: Hezion. [1 Kings 11:23]

Rhesa rez-zar (modern male and female)
Greek: Head.
Son of Zerubbabel in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. [Luke 3:27]

Rhoda ro-dar (female)
Hebrew: Rose. A maid in the house of Mary, mother of John Mark. She answered the door to Peter, who had just escaped from prison. Variants: Rhode, Rhona, Roda, Rona, Rose. [Acts 12:13]

The Placemakers Bible


A printing error in Matthew 10:9 resulted in this: "Blessed are the placemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Hence the nickname of this Bible edition. The word they meant, of course, was peacemakers.


Ribai ri-bay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Who pleads, pleader. Father of Ittai, one of David's mighty warriors. [2 Samuel 23:29]

Rimmon rim-mon (male)
Hebrew: Pomegranate (a type of edible fruit). Father of Baanah and Recab, murderers of Ish-Bosheth. Others with this name: (i) A pagan god of the Syrians. [2 Samuel 4:2]

Rinnah rin-nar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Song.
A son of Shimon. [1 Chronicles 4:20]

Rizpah riz-par (female)
Hebrew: Hot stone. Daughter of Aiah. She became a concubine of Saul and had sons by him: Armoni and Mephibosheth. Ish-Bosheth accused Abner of incest with Rizpah. Her sons were among those whom David shamefully delivered to the Gibeonites for ritual execution. [2 Samuel 3:7]

Rosh rosh (male) Hebrew: Head. One of the sons of Benjamin. His brothers were Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. [Genesis 46:21]

Rufus roo-fus (male)
Greek: Red.
An early Christian, a friend of Paul and the son of Simon of Cyrene. His brother was Alexander. [Mark 15:21]

I Name Thee Ruth...


Ruth Benedict, a distinguished American anthropologist, studied the effect of ethnic cultures on personality. One of her specialties was the culture of Japan. Her books included Race, Science, and Politics.


Ruth ruth (female)
Hebrew: Beauty, friendship. A Moabite woman who married Mahlon, one of the sons of Naomi. The husbands of both Ruth and Naomi died. Showing great loyalty, Ruth refused to abandon her bereaved mother-in-law. With Naomi's help, she married the wealthy Boaz, by whom she had a son, Obed. This son became the father of Jesse, the father of King David. Thus Ruth was an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Her story is told in the eighth book of the Old Testament, the Book of Ruth. [Ruth]

 


~ S ~


Sabteca
sab-teka (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Striking. Fifth son of Cush and great-grandson of Noah. His brothers were Nimrod, Seba, Havilah, Sabtah and Raamah. Variants: Sabtecha, Sabtechah. [Genesis 10:7]

Sakia sa-ke-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Protected by God. A son of Shaharaim and Hodesh. His brothers were Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, Jeuz and Mirmah. Variants: Sachia, Shachia. [1 Chronicles 8:10]

Salah sa-lar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Sprout, bud.
Other interpretations: Petition. Son of Arphaxad and a great-grandson of Noah. Father of Eber. Others with this name: Third son of Judah by the Canaanite woman, Bathshua. Variants: Sala, Shelah. [Genesis 10:24]

The Future In Bibles


Bibliomancy is the belief that Bible verses can foretell a person's future. A person, blindfolded, opens a Bible and points to an open page. The verse thus indicated offers clues to the person's future.


Salma sal-mar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Clothed.
Other interpretations: Strength. A son of Caleb. Father of Bethlehem. [1 Chronicles 2:51]

Salome sal-lo-me (female)
Greek, from Hebrew: Peaceable, calm. Feminine form of Solomon. Wife of Zebedee and mother of the disciples James and John. She was with the women who discovered that the tomb of Jesus was empty. Others with this name: The daughter of Herodias whose dancing pleased King Herod. At her mother's prompting, she asked Herod for the head of John the Baptist. Although she appears in the Bible, she is referred to only as the daughter of Herodias. Other non-biblical sources name her as Salome. Variants: Saloma, Salomi, Shuly. [Mark 15:40]

Salu sar-lu (male)
Hebrew: Weighed.
A chief of the Simeonites. Father of Zimri. [Numbers 25:14]

Samlah sam-lar (male)
Hebrew: Garment, clothing.
An early king of Edom. [Genesis 36:36]

Samson sam-son (male)
Hebrew: Like the sun, child of the sun.
Son of Manoah, a Danite. An angel told his mother that she would conceive a special child who would become a champion in the struggle of Israel against the Philistines. The child was Samson, physically mighty but morally lacking. His particular weakness was disastrous love affairs with Philistine women. As a result of bitterness from the first of these, Samson killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. The second affair was with the bewitching Delilah, who discovered that the secret of his immense physical strength lay in his hair. She shaved his locks and gave him up to his enemies, who taunted, blinded and imprisoned him. Later, hair regrown and strength restored, Samson caused a great temple to collapse, destroying thousands of Philistines as well as himself. [Judges 13:24]

I Name Thee Samuel...


Samuel Morse, an American portrait painter, invented the famous Morse code and developed the first practical electric telegraph. Most people know about Morse the inventor; few know of his achievements as an painter.


Samuel sam-mu-el (male)
Hebrew: God hears.
Other interpretations: His name is El (God). Son of Elkanah and Hannah. The childless Hannah had prayed earnestly for a son. When at last he was born to her, she called him Samuel because, she said, "I have asked him of the LORD." The child became a pupil of the judge and priest Eli, whom he succeeded. Samuel was the first of the major Hebrew prophets and the last of the judges. His own sons, Joel and Abijah, proved unworthy of inheriting high office. The people therefore demanded a king, as other nations had. At first Samuel refused, but later, obeying the express will of God, he anointed Saul as king of Israel and ceded all authority to him. But Samuel and Saul fell into conflict over questions of spiritual obedience. Samuel then anointed the young shepherd David as the next king. The prophet died at Ramah before David - who would become the greatest of Israel's kings - attained the throne. Tradition says Samuel wrote four books of the Old Testament, namely 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, Judges and Ruth. [1 Samuel]

Saph saff (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Giant. Other interpretations: Threshold. A Philistine giant killed by David's warrior Mebunnai. Variants: Sippai. [2 Samuel 21:18]

Sapphira saf-fi-ra (female)
Hebrew: Beautiful. Wife of Ananias. She and her husband tried to cheat God and were struck dead for their foolish avarice. [ Acts 5:1]

I Name Thee Sarah...


Sarah Bernhardt, a French actress, known as The Divine Sarah. She had an exquisite speaking voice and travelled the world performing. Even the amputation of one of her legs could not keep her from the stage.


Sarah sar-ra (female)
Hebrew: Princess. Wife and half-sister of Abraham. Her name was originally Sarai, changed later to Sarah. She was childless for so long that, in desperation, she gave her Egyptian maid Hagar to Abraham as a concubine. By this arrangement Ishmael was born, which only inflamed her jealousy and bitterness. Finally, at the age of ninety, God blessed her with a son, Isaac. God told Abraham of Sarah, "I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations." This came to pass through her grandson Jacob, whose twelve sons were the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Sarah's rivalry with Hagar led to the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael from the house of Abraham. She lived one hundred and twenty-seven years. Abraham buried her in the cave of Machpelah. Others with this name: A daughter of Asher. Her brothers were Beriah, Imnah, Ishvah and Ishvi. Variants: Sada, Sadi, Sadie, Sal, Sally, Sara, Sarai, Sarena, Sarene, Sari, Sarice, Sarita, Serah, Shara, Shari, Sher, Zara, Zaria, Zora, Zoreen, Zorna. [Genesis 11:29]

Sarai - see Sarah

Saraph sar-raff (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Burning. Other interpretations: Noble. A descendant of Judah who became a king of Moab. [1 Chronicles 4:22]

Sargon sar-gon (male)
Hebrew: Sun-prince.
Other interpretations: Constituted king. A king of Assyria who conquered Samaria. [Isaiah 20:1]

Satan say-tan (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: Adversary. Leader of the fallen spirits, primal enemy of God and man. Known variously as the evil one, the devil, the tempter, the ancient serpent, the father of lies, Abaddon, Apollyon, Beelzebub and Belial. Satan was the deceiver of Adam and Eve and thereby the cause of humanity's separation from God. The Bible predicts that he will suffer ultimate destruction, together with the souls he has misled. In Hebrew the word satan means any adversary or enemy. It was not until Job, the eighteenth book of the Old Testament, that it was used as a personal name for the devil. Not a suggested baby name! [Job 1:6]

Saul saul (male)
Hebrew: Asked of God, wished, yearned for. An early Edomite king from Rehoboth on the Euphrates River. Successor of Samlah. Others with this name: (i) Son of Simeon and grandson of Jacob. (ii) Son of Kish. First king of Israel, anointed by the prophet Samuel. Raised in humble circumstances as a donkey-herder, Saul rose to greatness as ruler and warrior. He showed courage, humility and generosity of spirit in his struggle to establish and defend the infant kingdom. Yet Saul was flawed by suspiciousness and insecurity. He became violently jealous of David, the shepherd boy who killed Goliath in solitary combat. Saul sought to destroy David and pursued him and his companions relentlessly. As Saul's anxiety increased, his abilities as king and commander declined. He was defeated and killed by the Philistines at the battle of Mount Gilboa. (iii) Son of Uzziah, a descendant of Levi. (iv) Apostle of Jesus Christ; see Paul. Variants: Paul, Saulo, Shaul, Sol, Solly, Zolly. [Genesis 36:37]

I Name Thee Saul...


Saul Bellow, a famous American novelist won both the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize. His books include Herzog and Henderson the Rain King. Many regard him as America's most important 20th century writer.


Sceva see-va (modern male and female)
Greek: Fitted. Chief priest of the Jews at Ephesus. His seven sons were unsuccessful exorcists. [Acts 19:14]

Seba see-ba (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Promise. Son of Cush and great-grandson of Noah. His brothers were Nimrod, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteca. Variants: Sheba. [Genesis 10:7]

Semakiah sem-ma-ki-ar (male)
Hebrew: Sustained by God. A temple gatekeeper. Son of Shemaiah, a descendant of Obed-Edom. Variants: Semachiah. [1 Chronicles 26:7]

Semei sem-may (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Distinguished. Son of Josech. An ancestor of Jesus Christ. Variants: Semein. [Luke 3:26]

Senaah sen-naar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Brambly?
An ancestor of the captives who returned with Zerubbabel from Babylon. [Ezra 2:35]

Seraiah ser-ray-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Warrior of God. A scribe in the court of King David. Others with this name: (i) A son of Kenaz. His brother was Othniel. (ii) Son of Asiel, a Simeonite. (iii) One of the officers sent to arrest Jeremiah. (iv) A high priest executed at the fall of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. (v) Son of Neariah, a quartermaster taken captive to Babylon. (vi) An ancestor of Ezra. (vii) A captain who surrendered to Gedaliah. (viii) A priest, also known as Azariah, returned from the Babylonian captivity. Variants: Sheva, Shisha, Shavsha. [2 Samuel 8:17]

Sergius sur-gee-us (male)
Greek: Net?
The Roman proconsul of Cyprus during Paul's visit, and the first Christian convert of his among the Gentiles. His full name was Sergius Paulus. [Acts 13:7]

I Name Thee Seth...


Seth Boydon, a versatile American inventor. His many innovations included ways to make patent leather, malleable iron, and zinc oxide. And - of all things - he also invented the very practical hat-making machine.


Seth seth (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Substitute, compensation. Other interpretations: Appointed, destined. The third son of Adam and Eve, born when Adam was a spry one hundred and thirty year old. His brothers were Cain and Abel. Eve said of him, "God has given me another child instead of Abel, for Cain killed him." Father of Enosh. He died at the age of nine hundred and twelve years. [Genesis 4:25]

Sethur seth-ur (male)
Hebrew: Hidden. One of the spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. Son of Michael of the Asherite tribe. [Numbers 13:13]

Shadrach shad-drack (male)
Hebrew, from Akkadian: Royal?
The Babylonian name given to the captive Hananiah, a friend of Daniel. [Daniel 1:7]

Shallum shall-lum (male)
Hebrew: Revenge, reward, recompense. The fifteenth king of Israel. Son of Jabesh. He usurped the throne by killing King Zechariah and reigned for only one month. He was killed and succeeded by Menahem. Others with this name: (i) Husband of Huldah the prophetess. (ii) Youngest son of Naphtali, see Shillem. (iii) Youngest son of King Josiah of Judah. He succeeded his father on the throne, see Jehoahaz. (iv) Son of Shaul, a Simeonite. (v) Son of Sismai, father of Jekamiah. (vi) Chief gatekeeper of the temple, a son of Kore. (vii) Son of Zadok, father of Hilkiah. (viii) A chief of the Ephraimites, the father of Jehizkiah. (ix) Jeremiah's uncle. (x) Father of Maaseiah. (xi) Two Jews who divorced their foreign wives at the urging of Ezra. (xii) Two district officials who helped in the reconstruction of the wall of Jerusalem. Variants: Shallun, Shillim. [2 Kings 15:10]

Hot Off The Press


The first major book ever printed was the famous Gutenberg Bible in 1455. The printer was Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the first successful mass printing press. It seems highly appropriate that his name was Johannes - the German equivalent of the popular biblical name John.


Shalmai shal-may (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Thanks.
An ancestor of a family of returned Babylonian captives. Variants: Salmai, Shamlai. [Ezra 2:46]

Shalman shal-man (male)
Hebrew: Lenient. Other interpretations: God is the chief. Most likely a shortened form of Shalmaneser. An Assyrian king who twice defeated the forces of King Hoshea of Israel and captured his capital city of Samaria. [2 Kings 17:3]

Shama sha-mar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God has heard.
Other interpretations: Loyal, dutiful. One of David's elite warriors, the son of Hotham. [1 Chronicles 11:44]

Shamariah sham-mar-ri-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Kept by God.
Son of King Rehoboam and Mahalath, and grandson of Solomon. Variants: Shemariah. [2 Chronicles 11:19]

Shamir sham-meer (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Thorn.
Other interpretations: Diamond. A temple servant, the son of Micah. [1 Chronicles 24:24]

Shamma sham-ma (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Desolation.
Other interpretations: Astonishment. A chief of the Asherites, son of Zophah. [1 Chronicles 7:37]

Shammai sham-may (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God hears.
Other interpretations: Desolated. Son of Onan. Father of Nadab and Abishur. Others with this name: (i) Son of Rekem. Father of Maon. (ii) Son of Mered and Bithiah, daughter of Pharoah. [1 Chronicles 2:28]

Shammua sham-mew-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Heard, renowned.
One of the spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. Son of Zaccur. Others with this name: (i) A son of David by his wife Bathsheba. The brother of Solomon. (ii) Father of Obadiah. (iii) A priest who served under Joiakim. Variants: Shimea, Shemaiah. [Numbers 13:4]

Shapham sha-farm (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Bare.
A Gadite of Bashan, second-in-command under Joel. [1 Chronicles 5:12]

Shaphan sha-farn (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Rabbit.
Son of Azaliah. A faithful scribe and secretary of King Josiah. His sons were Ahikam, Gemariah, Elasah and Jaazaniah. [2 Kings 22:3]

Sharai shar-ray (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Liberated, free.
A son of Bani who divorced his foreign wife at the urging of Ezra. [Ezra 10:40]

The Maltese Miracle


The last miracle of the Bible is recorded in Acts 28:8-9, where the Apostle Paul heals the sickly father of Publius, and others of various diseases, on the island of Malta.


Sharezer shar-rezer (modern male and female)
Hebrew, from Assyrian: Prince. Other interpretations: Save the king. A son of King Sennacherib of Assyria. With his brother Adrammelech, he killed his father. Others with this name: A representative of the people of Bethel sent to Jerusalem to gain the favour of God. Variants: Sherezer. [2 Kings 19:37]

Sharon shar-ron (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Plain, flat pasture. The biblical name of a place rather than a person. It has become popular as a personal name, especially for girls. The plain of Sharon lay between the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Carmel. It was renowned for its fertility and pastoral beauty. The name suggests natural peace and abundance. Variants: Shara, Sharai, Shareen, Shari, Sharma, Sharona. [1 Chronicles 27:29]

Shashai sha-shay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Noble.
A son of Bani who divorced his foreign wife. [Ezra 10:40]

Shashak sha-shak (male)
Hebrew: Eager.
Son of Beriah. He had eleven sons: Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, Iphdeiah, and Penuel. [1 Chronicles 8:14]

Sheal she-al (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Asking. A son of Bani who divorced his foreign wife. [Ezra 10:29]

Shealtiel she-al-te-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Asked of God. Either the son of King Jeconiah of Judah, or the son of Neri. The biblical record is uncertain. Father of Zerubbabel. An ancestor of Jesus Christ. Variants: Salathiel. [1 Chronicles 3:17]

Sheariah sheer-ri-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Valued by God. A returned captive from Babylon. One of the six sons of Azel. His brothers were Bokeru, Azrikam, Ishmael, Obadiah and Hanan. [1 Chronicles 8:38]

The Queen of Sheba...


Sheba was the ancient name for the region today known as Southern Yemen, which lies on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Sheba was famed for its riches of gold, precious stones and spices. During his reign, King Solomon was paid a famous and glittering visit by the Queen of Sheba.


Sheba she-ba (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Promise, oath.
Son of Raamah and great-great-grandson of Noah. His brother was Dedan, and his uncle, the mighty warrior-king Nimrod. Others with this name: (i) A son of Joktan. (ii) A son of Jokshan and a grandson of Abraham. (iii) A rebel during the reign of David. Son of Bicri. (iv) A Gadite chief. [Genesis 10:7]

Shebaniah she-ban-ni-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Grown by God.
A musical priest, a trumpet blower. Others with this name: (i) Three co-covenanters of Nehemiah. (ii) Chief of a priestly family. [1 Chronicles 15:24]

Sheber she-ber (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Breaking.
Son of Caleb and his concubine Maacah. [1 Chronicles 2:48]

Shebna sheb-na (male)
Hebrew: Strength.
A scribe or secretary of King Hezekiah. With others, he went out from Jerusalem to face the Assyrian army. Others with this name: High court official under King Hezekiah. Variants: Shebnah. [2 Kings 18:18]

Shecaniah shack-kan-ni-ar (male)
Hebrew: Dweller with God.
Son of Obadiah, a descendant of Solomon. Others with this name: (i) Four priests, one each under David, Hezekiah and Joiakim, and one who returned from the Babylonian captivity. (ii) Two other captives who returned from Babylon, one the son of Jehaziel. (iii) A gatekeeper under Nehemiah. Father of Shemaiah. (iv) Father-in-law of Tobiah, the adversary of Nehemiah. (v) Son of Jehiel. He proposed the idea to Ezra that foreign wives should be divorced. Variants: Shechaniah. [1 Chronicles 3:21]

Shechem shek-kem (male)
Hebrew: Shoulder.
Son of Hamor. Shechem was smitten with Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah. He abducted her and held her captive in his house. Along with his father and various unlucky kin, he was killed for this offence by Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi. Others with this name: (i) Son of Gilead. (ii) Son of Shemida and nephew of the previous. Variants: Sichem, Sychem. [Genesis 33:19]

Sheerah sheer-ra (female)
Hebrew: Relation, kin. Either a daughter of grand-daughter of Ephraim. A most extraordinary woman for her time and culture. She built three fortified towns, Lower Bethhoran, Upper Bethhoran and Uzzensheerah. Variants: Sherah. [1 Chronicles 7:24]

Shelemiah shel-lem-mi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Rewarded by God.
Other interpretations: Friend of God. A leading gatekeeper of the temple. His sons were Zechariah, Jediael, Zebadiah, Jathniel, Elam, Jehohanan and Eliehoenai. Others with this name: (i) Two sons of Bani who had foreign wives. (ii) Father of Hananiah, a wall repairer. (iii) A priestly treasurer in the time of Nehemiah. (iv) Father of Irijah, who arrested Jeremiah as he tried to leave Jerusalem. (v) Father of Jehucal, a messenger sent to the prophet Jeremiah. (vi) Grandfather of Jehudi, a messenger sent to Baruch. (vii) Son of Abdeel, one of those sent to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch. Variants: Meshelemiah. [1 Chronicles 26:14]

Shelomi shel-lo-me (modern male and female)
Hebrew: At rest, peaceful, peace.
Father of Ahihud, an Asherite chief. [Numbers 34:27]

Shelumiel shel-lum-me-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: The peace of God. A chief of the Simeonites in the days of Moses. He assisted in the great census of the tribes. [Numbers 1:6]

Mother Of All Bestsellers


The Bible is the biggest bestseller of all time. The Guinness Book of World Records estimates that over the one hundred and sixty year period from 1815 to 1975, two and a half thousand million copies of the Bible were printed - an average of nearly sixteen million copies a year.


Shem shem (male)
Hebrew: Name, renown, fame. Eldest and specially blessed son of Noah. His brothers were Japheth and Ham. From these three, the Bible says, "the whole world was peopled." He had five sons: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. His descendants include the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, Persians and Arameans. The languages of these races are still called semitic or shemitic. He died at the age of six hundred years. [Genesis 6:10]

Shema she-ma (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Hearing, hears. Other interpretations: Renown, reputation. Father of Raham. A descendant of Caleb. Others with this name: (i) Son of Joel and father of Azaz. (ii) A Benjamite chief. (iii) An assistant to Ezra. [1 Chronicles 2:44]

Shemaah shem-mar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God hears.
Other interpretations: Fame, renown. Father of two warriors who joined forces with David at Ziklag. [1 Chronicles 12:3]

Shemaiah shem-may-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God hears, God has heard. One of the most popular ancient Hebrew names. More than two score Old Testament persons have it. The earliest was a prophet of God during the reign of King Rehoboam of Judah. He warned Rehoboam not to attack the northern kingdom of Israel. Others with this name: (i) Ten Levites of various distinction, three with the status of clan chiefs or princes. (ii) Four priests, including one who was a co-covenanter with Nehemiah. (iii) Son of Delaiah. He tried in vain to frighten Nehemiah. (iv) Two men who had married foreign wives. (v) A prince of the Simeonites. (vi) A son of Joel, descendant of Reuben. (vii) Eldest son of Obed-Edom. (viii) The sons of two different men, both named Shecaniah. (ix) Father of the prophet Uriah. (x) A false teacher who opposed the great prophet Jeremiah. (xi) Father of Delaiah, a prince in the days of Jeremiah. Variants: Shammua. [1 Kings 12:22]

Shemariah shem-mar-ri-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God preserves, keeps.
One of the mighty warriors who joined forces with David at Ziklag. Others with this name: (i) A son of King Rehoboam of Judah by Mahalath. (ii) Two men who had foreign wives in the time of Ezra. [1 Chronicles 12:5]

Shemeber shem-me-ber (modern male and female)
Hebrew: To fly high, soar. King of Zeboiim, a city near the Dead Sea. [Genesis 14:2]

Shemida shem-mi-da (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Wise. Son of Gilead, a descendant of Joseph. His sons were Ahian, Shechem, Likhi and Aniam. His brothers were Abiezer, Helek, Shechem, Hepher and Asriel. Variants: Shemidah. [Numbers 26:32]

Shemuel shem-mu-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Heard of God. Other interpretations: Name of God. The original Hebrew form of the name Samuel. A Simeonite chief present at the division of the land of Canaan by Joshua. Others with this name: (i) An official in charge of music in the temple. (ii) A chief of the Issachar. Variants: Samuel. [Numbers 34:20]

The Great Charter


"The Bible has been the Magna Carta of the poor and oppressed." Thomas Henry Huxley (b.1825)


Shenazar shen-naz-zar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Ivory keeper. A son of Jeconiah of Judah, the captive king. His brothers were Hoshama, Shealtiel, Malchiram, Pedaiah, Jekamiah and Nedabiah. Variants: Shenazzar. [1 Chronicles 3:18]

Shephi shef-fi (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Barren. Son of Shobal and grandson of Seir the Horite. His brothers were Alvan, Manahath, Ebal and Onam. Variants: Shepho. [Genesis 36:23]

Sherebiah sher-re-bi-ah (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Warmth of God. A leading priest who assisted Ezra and served as a custodian of the treasures of the temple. Others with this name: (i) One who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. (ii) A Levite who returned from the Babylonian captivity. (iii) A chief Levite in the days of Eliashib. [Nehemiah 9:4]

Sheshai shee-shay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Princely.
One of the giants who were feared by the Israelites in the days before their conquest of Canaan. Son of Anak. [Numbers 13:22]

Sheva she-va (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Warrior of God.
A corrupted form of Seraiah. Hence the scribe in the court of King David known as Sheva is almost certainly the same person as the scribe called Seraiah. Others with this name: (i) A son of Caleb by his concubine Maacah. Father of Machbenah. (ii) Father of the scribes Elihoreph and Ahijah, both of whom served King Solomon. Variants: Seraiah, Shisha, Shavsha. [2 Samuel 20:25]

Shiloh shy-lo (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Peace. Possibly a symbolic name for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Also the name of a town in Palestine. [Joshua 18:1]

Hey - Which Bible Says That?


Way back at the start of the Christian religion, many gospels and letters were available in addition to those which we all know today. A few examples: The Letter of Barnabas, The Letter of Clement, The Gospel of Peter, The Acts of Andrew, The Shepherd of Hermas, The Acts of Paul, The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, The Revelation to Peter - and unearthed in Egypt this century - The Gospel of Thomas. These works are thought by most church authorities to be false and uninspired; thus they are not included in the modern Bible.


Shiloni shil-lo-ni (modern male and female)
Hebrew: From Shiloh.
A descendant of Shelah. Father of Zechariah. Sometimes called the Shilonite. [Nehemiah 11:5]

Shimea shim-may (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Hearing.
A son of King David. Others with this name: Two Levites, one the grandfather of Asaph. Variants: Shammua. [1 Chronicles 3:5]

Shimeah shim-me-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Hearing. A brother of David. His son Jonathan killed one of the giants of Gath. Others with this name: Son of Mikloth, a descendant of Jehiel. Variants: Shammah, Shimea, Shimeam, Shimei, Shimma. [2 Samuel 13:3]

Shimeath shim-me-ath (female)
Hebrew: Hearing. Other interpretations: Fame. The mother of Jozacar, also known as Zabad, one of the assassins of King Joash of Judah. [2 Kings 12:21]

Shimei shim-mi (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Famous, renowned. A popular Old Testament name. The first to bear it was a son of Gershon. His brother was Libni. Others with this name: (i) Son of Gera. He cursed David during the ill-fated rebellion of Absalom. (ii) An official under King Solomon. (iii) One of David's mighty warriors. (iv) Four prominent Levites, including one from the time of Moses and a treasurer of the temple. (v) A grandson of Jeconiah. (vi) Son of Gog and father of Micah. (vii) A descendant of Misha. He had sixteen sons and six daughters. (viii) Head of a Benjamite family, father of eight sons. (ix) A son of Pedaiah. His brother was Zerubbabel. (x) A viticulturist in the days of David. (xi) Son of Kish and grandfather of Mordecai. (xii) A son of Heman. His brother was Jehuel. (xiii) Three Jews who had foreign wives in the time of Ezra. (xiv) An inhabitant of Jerusalem whose family mourned for Israel. Variants: Shimi, Shimhi. [Exodus 6:17]

Shimeon shim-me-on (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Hearing. A Jew who had a foreign wife in the time of Ezra. [Ezra 10:31]

Shimri shim-ree (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Alert, vigilant.
Son of Shemaiah and father of Jedaiah. Others with this name: (i) Father of two of David's mighty warriors, Jediael and Joha. (ii) A clan chief, the son of Hosah. (iii) A ritual purifier of the temple. Variants: Simri. [1 Chronicles 4:37]

Shimrith shim-re-ith (female)
Hebrew: Alert, vigilant. Mother of Jehozabad, one of the assassins of King Joash of Judah. She is known in other parts of the Bible as Shomer. [2 Chronicles 24:26]

Shimron shim-ron (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Guard.
Other interpretations: Watch-place. Fourth son of Issachar and a grandson of Jacob. Variants: Shimrom. [Genesis 46:13]

Shiphrah shy-fra (female)
Hebrew: Beautiful, loveliness. A courageous Hebrew midwife who defied the order of Pharoah to kill all newborn Hebrew boys. [Exodus 1:15]

Shobai sho-bay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Captive.
Ancestor of a family of temple gatekeepers who returned from the Babylonian captivity. [Ezra 2:42]

Islands Of Learning


During the Dark Ages, from about the 6th century A.D., European civilisation hit bottom. The arts and sciences of the Romans and Greeks were mostly forgotten. Few people could read or write. But in the religious monasteries - those tiny islands of learning - the monks laboured to preserve the Bible, copying out the scriptures by hand. Some scholars believe that European knowledge of reading and writing was thus - and only thus - kept alive. Had there been no Bible to so passionately preserve, Europe may have slipped even further - perhaps all the way back to a second prehistory. The cultural revival of the 12th century, and the later Renaissance, may not have happened. And you, dear reader, instead of browsing through lists of baby names, may have spent today chipping yourself a new stone axe.


Shobal sho-bal (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Current
. A chief of the Horites, the second son of Seir. His sons were Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam. His brothers were Lotan, Zibeon, Ezer and Dishan, and his sister was Timna, a concubine of Esau. Others with this name: (i) A son of Hur, descendant of Caleb. (ii) A son of Judah. Father of Reaiah. [Genesis 36:20]

Shobi sho-bi (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Captive.
Son of Nahash. He gave assistance to David during the rebellion of Absalom. [2 Samuel 17:27]

Shomer sho-mer (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Guardian, keeper, watcher. Either the mother or father of Jehozabad, one of the assassins of King Joash of Judah. The gender is uncertain. If a woman, then she was also known as Shimrith. Others with this name: Son of Heber and great-grandson of Asher. Variants: Shamer, Shemer, Shomar, Shimrith. [2 Kings 12:21]

Shua shoo-ar (traditionally male and female)
Hebrew: Wealth, prosperity. Father-in-law of Judah. Others with this name: Daughter of Heber. Variants: Shuah, Bathshua. [Genesis 38:2]

Shual shoo-al (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Fox.
A son of Zophah. His brothers were Suah, Harnepher, Beri, Imrah, Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran and Beera. [1 Chronicles 7:36]

Shuni shoo-ni (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Resting. A son of Gad. His descendants were the Shunites. His brothers were Ziphion, Ezbon, Haggi, Areli, Eri and Arodi. [Genesis 46:16]

Sia see-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Assembly.
An ancestor of captives returned from Babylon. Variants: Siaha. [Nehemiah 7:47]

Silas
si-las (male)
Greek, from Aramaic?: Woody.
Other interpretations: Asked, to borrow, snub-nosed. A name with obscure and confused origins. Silas was a prominent Christian of the early church. He taught at Jerusalem and later accompanied Paul on missionary trips. He was imprisoned with the apostle at Philippi. Tradition says he became the bishop of Corinth. Variants: Silo, Silus, Silvanus, Silouanos. [Acts 15:22]

I Name Thee Simeon...


Simeon Stylites, a Christian ascetic from Syria who, in an act of purifying self-denial, sat alone atop a stone pillar for an almost unbelievable thirty-seven years. For this act of devotion he was made a saint. His feast day is 5th January.


Simeon sim-me-on (modern male and female)
Hebrew: He who hears. Son of Jacob and Leah, and a grandson of Isaac. His brothers were Reuben, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. His sister was Dinah. He also had half-brothers: Joseph, Benjamin, Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali. One of the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel; in this case, the Simeonites. With Levi, he avenged the assault on Dinah by killing the lustful Shechem and his unfortunate kinsmen. Others with this name: (i) Son of Judah, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. (ii) A devout Jew who blessed the infant Jesus at the temple. (iii) Simon Peter - see Peter. (iv) Simeon Niger, an early Christian from Antioch. Variants: Imon, Cimon, Shimone, Si, Sim, Simi, Simon, Simone, Simpson, Sims, Sy, Ximenes. [Genesis 29:33]

Simon si-mon (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: Simeon, he who hears. Simon Peter - see Peter. Others with this name: (i) Simon the Canaanite, also known as Simon Zelotes (that is, Simon the Zealot). A disciple of Jesus Christ. (ii) A leper of Bethany. (iii) Simon the brother of Jesus Christ. (iv) Simon of Cyrene, who was chosen to help bear the cross of Jesus. (v) A Pharisee in whose house a woman anointed the feet of Jesus Christ. (vi) Simon Magus, a sorcerer of Samaria and insincere convert who wanted to acquire the "powers" of the apostles. (vii) A tanner of the town of Joppa who sheltered Peter. (viii) Simon Iscariot, father of the traitorous Judas. Variants: Simeon. [Matthew 4:18]

Simon Peter - see Peter

Solomon sol-lo-mon (male)
Hebrew: Peaceful, serene. Son of King David. Last monarch to hold the throne of Israel united. His mother was Bathsheba. An adept ruler, he retained the kingship for forty years and raised the nation to its acme of prosperity and power. As a child he was called Jedidiah by the prophet Nathan, meaning beloved of God. Solomon was famous for his wisdom and learning, granted directly by God. He wrote thousands of proverbs and songs. Three Old Testament books are attributed to him: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and The Song of Solomon. He was also an accomplished botanist and zoologist. The Bible says he had "largeness of mind like the sand on the seashore". Solomon's harem was huge: seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Most of these unions were political rather than romantic. Solomon's great weakness was compromise. To appease his foreign wives he permitted the erection of pagan alters. This drew the displeasure of God and the fortunes of the great king waned. Under his son and successor Rehoboam, the kingdom split into the separate states of Israel and Judah. Variants: Salamon, Salmen, Salmon, Salo, Saloman, Salome, Selman, Shlomo, Sol, Solly, Solmon, Zalman, Zalmon, Zelman, Zolly. [2 Samuel 12:24]

Stephanas stef-farn-nas (male)
Greek: Crown.
An early Christian convert of Paul at Corinth. [1 Corinthians 1:16]

I Name Thee Stephen...


Stephen Crane, a novelist, wrote The Red Badge of Courage, regarded as a classic of modern literature. The book debunks the myth of war as a romantic adventure. He also wrote Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and The Black Riders.


Stephen stee-ven (modern male and female)
Greek: Crown.
An early leader of the Church and first of the Christian martyrs. He was a Greek convert with outstanding faith and brilliant power as a preacher. The Bible says he performed wonders and signs before the people. His teachings angered the Sanhedrin, the governing Jewish council. In a fit of religious outrage, they dragged him from the city and stoned him to death. Saul, later known as the apostle Paul, was present. These events are thought to have occurred in A.D. 37. Variants: Esteban, Estes, Estvan, Stefan, Stefano, Stepan, Stephan, Stephanus, Stepka, Stevan, Steve, Steven. Female forms include Stefana, Stefania, Stefanie, Steffie, Stephenie, Stevena. [Acts 6:5]

Susanna su-zan-na (female)
Greek: Lily. One of the women who travelled with Jesus Christ and the disciples. She and other "women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities" helped to support the mission of Christ materially and spiritually. Variants: Shoshana, Shushan, Shushana, Sosanna, Sue, Sukey, Suki, Susan, Susannah, Susi, Suzanne, Suzette, Suzy, Zsa Zsa. [Luke 8:3]

I Name Thee Susanna...


Susanna Salter became the first woman mayor in the United States in 1887. Believe it or not, her name was put on the mayoral ballot as a joke by people who thought she had no chance of winning.


Susi su-zi (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Horseman.
One of the twelve spies sent out by Moses to survey the land of Canaan. [Numbers 13:11]

Syntyche sin-tie-chee (female)
Greek: Fate, fortune, luck. A Christian woman of the early church at Philippi. She was apparently in dispute with another woman of the church, Euodia. Paul entreated them to "agree in the Lord". [Philippians 4:2]



~ T ~

Tabaliah tab-ba-li-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Purged. Third son of Hosah. A temple gatekeeper in the days of David. Variants: Tebaliah. [1 Chronicles 26:11]

Tabeal tab-be-al (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is good, good God.
Father of the man whom Rezin and Pekah conspired to make a king of Judah. Variants: Tabeel. [Isaiah 7:6]

Tabitha tab-bith-tha (female)
Aramaic, from Greek (Dorcas): Gazelle, doe, small deer. An early Christian woman of Joppa whom Peter raised from the dead. The Bible says of her, "She was full of good works and acts of charity." Variants: Tabbi, Tabby. [Acts 9:36]

Tahash tar-hash (male)
Hebrew: Badger. Son of Nahor by his concubine Reumah. His brothers were Tebah, Gaham, and Maacah. He also had eight half-brothers: Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel. Variants: Thahash. [Genesis 22:24]

Tahpenes ta-pen-nez (female)
Hebrew: Meaning unknown. An Egyptian queen in the time of David and Solomon. Her sister married King Hadad of Edom, the enemy of Israel. She was aunt and nurse to Genubath, the infant son of Hadad. [1 Kings 11:19]

Talmai tal-may (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Brave.
A son of Anak. Others with this name: A king of Geshur. His daughter Maacah became David's wife and the mother of the rebel Absalom. [Numbers 13:22]

Talmon tal-mon (male)
Hebrew: Captive.
A temple porter and the head of a family of captives returned from Babylon. [1 Chronicles 9:17]

Tamah tar-mar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Happiness.
An ancestor of a family of temple servants returned from captivity in Babylon. Variants: Temah, Thamah. [Ezra 2:53]

The Thousand Year Bible


For a long time the Bible officially existed only in Latin, the preferred language of its keeper, the Catholic Church. In 405 A.D., St Jerome produced a Latin version of the Bible known as the Vulgate. This enormously influential work became the standard Bible of Christianity for the next thousand years.


Tamar tay-mar (female)
Hebrew: Palm tree. Widow of both Er and Onan, sons of Judah. By her father-in-law Judah, who mistook her for a harlot, she became the mother of the twins Perez and Zerah. She is recorded by Matthew in the family lineage of Jesus Christ. Others with this name: (i) Daughter of David and sister of Absalom. She was raped by her half-brother Amnon. (ii) Daughter of Absalom, wife of Uriel and mother-in-law of King Abijah through her daughter Maacah. Variants: Tamah, Tamara, Tamir, Thamar, Timi, Timora, Timur. [Genesis 38:11]

Tarea tay-re-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Cunning.
A son of Micah and a descendant of Jonathan and Saul. His brothers were Pithon, Melech and Ahaz. Variants: Tahrea. [1 Chronicles 8:35]

Tarshish tar-sheesh (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Solid rock, rocky.
Son of Javan and great-grandson of Noah. His descendants were traders on the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea. Others with this name: (i) One of the seven wise princes of Persia and Media who advised King Ahasuerus. (ii) A great-grandson of Benjamin. Variants: Tharshish. [Genesis 10:4]

Telah tay-lar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Strength.
Other interpretations: Fracture. Two very different interpretations of meaning! Son of Resheph and father of Tahan. [1 Chronicles 7:25]

Tema tay-ma (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Desert. Ninth son of Ishmael and a grandson of Abraham. He was one of the twelve Arabian princes promised by God. His brothers were Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. His sister was Mahalath, a wife of Esau. [Genesis 25:15]

Teman tay-man
Hebrew: Desert.
Other interpretations: To the south, the right side. First son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau. His brothers were Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz; his half-brother was Amalek. Forefather of the Temanites of Edom. Others with this name: Another chief of Edom, possibly the same as the former. Variant: Temani. [Genesis 36:11]

Temeni tay-men-ni (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Meaning unknown. A son of Ashur and his wife Naarah. His brothers were Hepher, Ahuzzam and Haahashtari. [1 Chronicles 4:6]

Teresh tay-resh (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Strict.
A eunuch of the court of King Ahasuerus of Persia. He conspired to murder Ahasuerus but was foiled by the loyal Mordecai. [Esther 2:21]

I Name Thee Thaddeus...


Thaddeus Kosciusko was the hero of not one, but two separate revolutions. The first was the American Revolution, in which he rose to the rank of general. The second was the Kosciusko Uprising of Poland, which he led.


Thaddeus thad-dee-us (male)
Greek: Wise.
Surname of the apostle Jude. Variants: Thaddaeus. [Matthew 10:3]

Theophilus theo-fi-lus (male)
Greek: Lover of God.
The unknown Christian to whom Luke dedicated both his gospel and Acts of the Apostles. [Luke 1:3]

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16


Thomas
tom-mas (male)
Greek, from Aramaic: Twin.
The cautious and disbelieving apostle of Jesus Christ, from whom the expression, doubting Thomas was derived. When told by the other apostles that Jesus had risen from the dead, he refused to believe. Eight days later, Jesus appeared to the apostles again, Thomas included. Jesus invited him to inspect His wounds, at which Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" Tradition asserts that he later preached as far afield as Persia and India. In 1945, a Gospel of Thomas was unearthed in Egypt. Its authenticity is uncertain. Variants: Tam, Tamas, Tamlane, Tamsen, Tamson, Thoma, Thompson, Tip, Tom, Tomaso, Tommy. [Matthew 10:3]

I Name Thee Thomas...


Thomas E. Lawrence, an English soldier, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia. He helped the Arabs defeat the Turks and was hailed "the uncrowned king of Arabia." He wrote The Seven Pillars of Wisdom about his adventures.


Tilon ti-lon (male)
Hebrew: Gift.
The youngest son of Shimon, a descendant of Judah. His brothers were Amnon, Rinnah and Benhanan. [1 Chronicles 4:20]

Timon tim-mon (modern male and female)
Greek: Honourable. One of the first seven deacons of the early Christian church in Jerusalem. [Acts 6:5]

Timothy tim-moth-ee (male)
Greek: Honouring God.
A close friend of Paul, much loved by the apostle for his faith, commitment and deeply spiritual nature. He was the son of Eunice, a devout Jewess, by a pagan father. Paul called him "my true child in the faith". He became a valuable assistant to the apostle and accompanied him on his international evangelising missions to spread the new faith of Christianity. The fifteenth and sixteenth books of the New Testament, 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy, were addressed to him by Paul. Variants: Timothy, Timofei, Timotheus, Tymon. [2 Timothy 1:5]

The Fruity Bible


"I study my Bible as I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest might fall. Then I shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig. Then I look under every leaf." Martin Luther (b.1483)


Tiras ti-ras (male)
Hebrew: Yearning. Youngest son of Japheth and a grandson of Noah. His brothers were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Meshech and Tubal. His descendants were pirates on the Aegean Sea. [Genesis 10:2]

Tirzah ti-zar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Pleasing, enchanting. Other interpretations: Cypress tree, desired. Youngest daughter of Zelophehad. Her sisters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah and Milcah. Variants: Tirza, Thyrza. [Numbers 26:33]

Titus ti-tus (male)
Greek: Pleasant.
Other interpretations: Sun, daylight. A Greek convert to Christianity who became a trusted friend and assistant to Paul. He travelled with the apostle. The seventeenth book of the New Testament, Letter to Titus, was addressed to him by Paul. Variants: Titan, Toto. [2 Corinthians 8:6]

Tobiah to-bi-ar (male)
Hebrew: God is good, the goodness of God. A clan chief whose descendants returned from the Babylonian captivity with Zerubbabel. Others with this name: A servant who, with Geshem the Arab and Sanballat the Horonite, scoffed at Nehemiah's plan to rebuild Jerusalem's ruined wall. Variants: Tavi, Tivon, Tobe, Tobias, Tobin, Tobit, Toby. [Nehemiah 2:19]

Tobijah tob-be-jar (male)
Hebrew: God is good, goodness of God. A teacher of the law under King Jehoshaphat. Others with this name: A captive returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. He brought gold and silver with him, from which the crown of the high priest Joshua was made. Variants: Tobias, Tobiah. [2 Chronicles 17:8]

Tryphena tri-fee-na (female)
Greek: Delicate. Other interpretations: Shining, luminous. A Christian woman of Rome to whom Paul sent greetings. She was apparently close kin of Tryphosa. [Romans 16:12]

Tryphosa tri-fo-sa (female)
Greek: Delicate. Other interpretations: Shining, luminous. A Christian woman of Rome to whom Paul sent greetings. She was apparently close kin of Tryphena. [Romans 16:12]

Tubal tu-bal (male)
Hebrew: Tumult, commotion. Fifth son of Japheth and grandson of Noah. His brothers were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Meshech and Tiras. His descendants were traders on the Caspian Sea. [Genesis 10:2]



~ U ~

Uri u-ree (male)
Hebrew: Fire. Father of Bezalel, the divinely inspired architect. Others
with this name:
(i) Father of Geber, one of King Solomon's supply officers. (ii) A Jew who divorced his foreign wife in the time of Ezra. [Exodus 31:2]

Uriah u-ri-ar (male)
Hebrew: Light, God is light.
One of David's military commanders, a loyal and brave soldier. His wife was the beautiful Bathsheba, lustfully coveted by King David. To obtain her, David disgracefully arranged that Uriah be deliberately exposed to mortal danger in battle. When Uriah was dead, David married his widow. Others with this name: (i) A high priest under King Ahaz. (ii) A priestly official and aide to Ezra. (iii) A prophet, the son of Shemaiah, killed by King Jehoiakim of Judah. Variants: Urias, Urijah. [2 Samuel 11:3]

 

I Name Thee Uriah...


Uriah Stephens, an American tailor, was a visionary labor leader with ideas far ahead of his time. In 1869 he founded the Knights of Labor, which fought for equal pay for women, the eight hour work day, and co-operative enterprise.


Uriel u-ree-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Light, God is light. Other interpretations: Fire of God. Son of Tahath and father of Uzziah. Descendants of Kohath. Others with this name: (i) A chief of the Kohathites in the time of David. (ii) Father of Maacah, wife of King Rehoboam and mother of Abijah. [1 Chronicles 6:24]

Uzzi uz-zi (male)
Hebrew: Mighty, strong. Son of Bukki and father of Zerahiah. Descendant of Aaron. Others with this name: (i) A son of Tola. A clan chief and mighty warrior. (ii) Son of Bela and a grandson of Benjamin. Head of a family and a mighty warrior. (iii) A clan chief, the father of Elah. (iv) A leading Levite of Jerusalem, a son of Bani. (v) A priest in the time of Joiakim. [1 Chronicles 6:5]

Uzziah uz-zi-ar (male)
Hebrew: Strength of God.
Tenth king of Judah, the son and successor of Amaziah. He reigned for fifty-two years. Under the guidance of the prophet Zechariah, Uzziah ruled well in his early years. He enjoyed military conquests, raised new cities and strengthened the kingdom. Later he grew extremely arrogant and tried to usurp the ritual privileges of the priesthood. For this God afflicted him with leprosy. Others with this name: (i) Son of Uriel, an ancestor of Samuel. (ii) Father of Jehonathan, an official under King David. (iii) A priestly son of Harim who divorced his foreign wife at the urging of Ezra. (iv) Father of Athaiah, a descendant of Judah. Variants: Azaria, Azariah, Ozias. [2 Kings 14:21]


The Bible And The Jews


The Bible includes the sacred scriptures of both Judaism and Christianity. But Jews do not recognise the authority of the New Testament. Their faith is based on that part of the Bible that Christians call the Old Testament - the thirty-nine books from Genesis to Malachi. The Jews divide the Old Testament into three parts, which they call Torah (Law), Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings).


Uzziel uz-zi-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: God is strength. Youngest son of Kohath and a grandson of Levi. His brothers were Amram, Izhar and Hebron. Others with this name: (i) Son of Bela and a grandson of Benjamin. A clan chief and mighty warrior. (ii) A temple musician, the son of Heman. (iii) A soldier under King Hezekiah. Son of Ishi. (iv) A son of Jeduthun who took part in the purification of the temple under Hezekiah. (v) Son of Harhaiah. He helped in the repair of Jerusalem's wall. [Exodus 6:18]



~ V ~


Vaniah
van-in-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Praise of God. A son of Bani who divorced his foreign wife at the urging of Ezra. [Ezra 10:36]

Vashni vash-nee (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Second. Other interpretations: Weak. Eldest son of Samuel the prophet. Other parts of the Bible claim that Joel was Samuel's eldest son; the confusion has never been resolved. [1 Chronicles 6:28]

The Power Of Babel


Today the Bible can be obtained in almost any language. Translations exist, in whole or in part, for more than eighteen hundred languages, including at least two hundred and fifty complete translations. This tremendous lingual power means that the Bible can be read or understood by ninety-eight percent of the human race.


Vashti vash-tee (female)
Hebrew: Beautiful woman. The lovely wife of King Ahasuerus of Persia. He divorced her for disobedience and took Esther in her place. [Esther 1:11]

~ W, X ~

Xerxes zerk-zees (male)
Greek, from Hebrew: Meaning uncertain. This name is originally Persian, where it takes the form Khshayarsha. The Hebrew form is Ahasuerus. Xerxes was the great King of Persia who ruled from 486 to 465BC. His wife was Vashti. Later he married Esther. Others with this name: The father of Darius the Mede. [Ezra 4:6]

~ Y ~

Yahweh - see Jehovah



~ Z ~


Zabbai
zab-bay (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Cloudless, crystal-clear.
A son of Bebai. He divorced his foreign wife at the urging of Ezra. Others with this name: Father of Baruch, one of the repairers of the ruined walls of Jerusalem. [Ezra 10:28]

Zabdi zab-di (male)
Hebrew: God has given, gift of God. Son of Zerah, a descendant of Judah. His grandson was Achan. Others with this name: (i) A son of Shimei. His brothers were Jakim, Zichri, Elienai, Zilethai, Eliel, Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath. (ii) Master of the wine cellars of King David. (iii) A son of Asaph, also known as Zicri. [Joshua 7:1]

Zabdiel zab-dee-el (male)
Hebrew: Gift of God.
Father of Jashobeam, a commander of David's guard. Others with this name: A priestly overseer, the son of Haggedolim. [1 Chronicles 27:2]

Zachariah zak-ka-ri-ar (male)
Hebrew: God remembers, the memory of God.
Fourteenth king of Israel, son and successor of Jeroboam II. He reigned only six months before being killed by his successor Shallum. Others with this name: Father of Abi, the mother of King Hezekiah of Judah. Variants: Zacaria, Zach, Zacharias, Zacharie, Zachary, Zack, Zak, Zakarias, Zechariah, Zecharias, Zeke. [2 Kings 15:8]

A Call to Liberty


"It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people." Horace Greeley (b.1811)


Zalmon zal-mon (male)
Hebrew: Shade, dark. Zalmon the Ahohite. One of David's mighty warriors. Variants: Ilai. [2 Samuel 23:28]

Zavan zar-van (male)
Hebrew: Disturbed, restless.
Son of Ezer. His brothers were Bilhan and Akan. Variants: Zaavan. [Genesis 36:27]

Zaza za-za (modern male and female)
Hebrew: For all.
Son of Jonathan and a descendant of Judah. His brother was Peleth. [1 Chronicles 2:33]

Zebadiah zeb-ba-di-ar (male)
Hebrew: Gift of God, God has bestowed. A son of Beriah. His brothers were Arad, Eder, Michael, Ishpah, and Joha. Others with this name: (i) A son of Elpaal. (ii) A warrior who joined forces with David at Ziklag. He was ambidextrous. (iii) A temple doorkeeper of David's time. Son of Meshelemiah. (iv) A soldier under David. The son of Asahel and a nephew of Joab. (v) A teacher of the Jewish law under Jehoshaphat. (vi) A son of Ishmael and head of the house of Judah in the days of King Jehoshaphat. (vii) Two who returned from the Babylonian captivity, the son of Immer and the son of Michael. [1 Chronicles 8:15]

Zebah zee-bar (male)
Hebrew: Sacrifice.
A king of Midian who, with Zalmunna, was defeated and killed by the famous warrior Gideon. [Judges 8:5]

Zebedee zeb-bed-dee (male)
Greek: God's share. Other interpretations: My gift. Father of the James and John, disciples of Jesus Christ. Husband of Salome. He was a prosperous fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Variants: Zabdi. [Mark 1:19]

Zebidah zeb-bi-dar (female)
Hebrew: Given, a gift. Daughter of Pedaiah. She became the wife of King Josiah and the mother of King Jehoiakim. Variants: Zebudah. [2 Kings 23:36]

Zebina zeb-bi-na (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Buying, purchased.
A son of Nebo who divorced his foreign wife at the urging of Ezra. [Ezra 10:43]

Zebulon zeb-bu-lon (male)
Hebrew: Home, dwelling. Youngest son of Jacob and Leah, and a grandson of Isaac. He was the father of Sered, Elon and Jahleel. His brothers were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah and Issachar. His sister was Dinah. He also had half-brothers, Joseph, Benjamin, Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali. He was one of the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Variants: Zebulun. [Genesis 30:20]

I Name Thee Zebulon...


Zebulon Pike, an American soldier and explorer, was the first European to discover Pikes Peak, named in his honour. The snow-capped mountain in Colorado is probably the most famous of all Rocky Mountain peaks.


Zechariah zeck-ka-ri-ar (male)
Hebrew: God remembers, memory of God. The most common Old Testament name. Some thirty persons bear it, or slightly varied forms like Zachariah. The first person called Zechariah was a clan chief descended from Reuben. Others with this name: (i) A son of Meshelemiah, described as "a shrewd counsellor". (ii) Son of Jihiel and brother of Kish. (iii) A musical doorkeeper in the time of David. (iv) Three priests, two with trumpets and one, the son of Iddo, the likely author of the thirty-eighth book of the Old Testament, called the Book of Zechariah. (v) The sons of various biblical characters, some obscure and some not. They include a son of King Jehoshaphat, killed by Jehoram, a son of the high priest Jehoiada, and a son of the singer Asaph. More obscurely, there are the sons of Isshiah, Hosah, Bebai, Elam, Amariah, Passhur, Jeberekiah, Shelah and Berakiah. (vi) A chief of the Manasseh, the father of Iddo. (vii) A teacher of the Jewish law under King Jehoshaphat. (viii) Son of Benaiah and father of Jahaziel who prophesied defeat for the enemies of Jehoshaphat. (ix) Another prophet, this one in the service of King Uzziah. Under his guidance, Uzziah ruled well. (x) Father of Abijah. (xi) A temple repairer. (xii) A temple official in the time of Josiah. (xiii) A captive returned from Babylon. (xiv) An assistant and adviser to Ezra. (xv) The eleventh of the twelve minor prophets. Son of Berakiah, grandson of Iddo, born a captive of Babylon. His prophecies of the glory of God and the coming of the Messiah are recorded in the Old Testament's penultimate Book of Zechariah. (xvi) The priestly father of John the Baptist and husband of Elizabeth. Variants: Zachariah, Zacharias, Zachary. [1 Chronicles 5:7]

All Things Desirable


"All things desirable to men are contained in the Bible." Abraham Lincoln (b.1809)


Zedekiah zed-dee-ki-ar (male)
Hebrew: Justice of God
, God is righteous, goodness of God. Chief of the false prophets in the reign of the wicked King Ahab. Son of Kenaanah. Others with this name: (i) Son of King Josiah. Installed on the throne by the mighty Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, his name was changed to Zedekiah from its original Mattaniah. After nine years he revolted against the Babylonian overlordship, but was defeated, blinded and taken captive. He was the last king of Judah. (ii) Second son of Jehoiakim. (iii) Another false prophet, the son of Maaseiah. He was denounced by Jeremiah. (iv) A prince of Israel in the time of Jehoiakim. The son of Hananiah. (v) One who, with Nehemiah, signed the covenant. Variants: Zed. [1 Kings 22:11]

Zemira zem-mi-ra (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Song. Son of Beker and grandson of Benjamin. His brothers were Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth and Alemeth. Variants: Zemirah. [1 Chronicles 7:8]

Zenas zee-nas (modern male and female)
Greek: Meaning unknown.
A Christian lawyer of Crete whom Paul wished to see. [Titus 3:13]

Zephaniah zef-farn-ni-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Hidden by God, the secret of the Lord.
Other interpretations: Precious to God. Son of Tahath and father of Azariah. An ancestor of Samuel. Others with this name: (i) Ninth of the twelve minor prophets. Son of Cushi and a descendant of Hezekiah. He lived during the time of King Josiah. His prophecies make up the thirty-sixth book of the Old Testament, which bears his name. (ii) A priest under King Zedekiah. He was executed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. (iii) Father of Josiah in the days of the prophet Zechariah. Variants: Zevadia. [1 Chronicles 6:36]

Zerah zer-ra (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Rising sun, dawn. Other interpretations: Eastern. Second son of Reuel and a grandson of Esau. An Edomite chief. His brothers were Nahath, Shammah and Mizzah. Others with this name: (i) A son of Judah by Tamar, an ancestor in the family lineage of Jesus Christ. (ii) Son of Simeon. A cousin of the former. (iii) A son of Iddo and a son of Ethni, both descendants of Gershom. (iv) Father of King Jobab of Edom. (v) A king of Cush, or Ethiopia, defeated by King Asa of Judah. Variants: Zara, Zohar. [Genesis 36:17]

The Sticky Bible


The so-called Treacle Bible was printed in 1549. It had the word "treacle" instead of "balm" in Jeremiah 8:22 - "Is there no treacle in Gilead?" Balm was a type of tree resin used in ancient times as a medicinal ointment in the treatment of wounds and open sores. It would have tasted awful on toast.


Zerahiah zer-ra-hi-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Rising of God, God has risen.
A priest, the son of Uzzi. Others with this name: Father of Eliehoenai, who led two hundred returning captives from Babylon. [1 Chronicles 6:6]

Zeresh zer-resh (female)
Hebrew: Golden. The wife of Haman and a co-conspirator against Mordecai and the Jews. She told her husband to build the gallows for Mordecai on which Haman, and not the intended victim, was ultimately hung. [Esther 5:10]

Zeri zer-ri (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Created, the creator. One of the musical sons of Jeduthun. His brothers were Jeshaiah, Gedaliah, Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah. Variants: Izri. [1 Chronicles 25:3]

Zeruiah zer-ru-i-ar (female)
Hebrew: Bruised. Sister of King David and mother of the three greatest warriors under his command, namely Joab, Abishai and Asahel. It is unsure if she was a full or half sister to David. Her father was either Jesse or Nahash. Her sister was Abigail. [1 Samuel 26:6]

Zethan zee-than (male)
Hebrew: Olive tree. Son of Bilhan and a great-grandson of Benjamin. His brothers were Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Tarshish and Ahishahar. A family head and mighty warrior. [1 Chronicles 7:10]

Zeus - see Jupiter

Zia zee-ar (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Moving.
An early Gadite chief. [1 Chronicles 5:13]

Zibia zib-bee-a (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Deer, gazelle.
A son of Shaharaim by Hodesh. His brothers were Jobab, Mesha, Malcam, Jeuz, Sachia and Mirmah. [1 Chronicles 8:9]

Zibiah zib-bee-ar (female)
Hebrew: Deer, gazelle. Wife of King Ahaziah and mother of King Joash of Judah. She was from Beersheba. [2 Kings 12:1]

Zillah zil-lar (female)
Hebrew: Shadow. Wife of Lamech, who had two wives, the other being Adah. She is the third woman named in the Bible, after Eve and Adah. Her son was Tubal-Cain and her daughter, Naamah. Variants: Zila, Zilli. [Genesis 4:19]

Zilpah zil-par (female)
Hebrew: Dropping, sprinkling.
A maid given to Leah by Laban. As a concubine of Jacob, she became the mother of Gad and Asher. [Genesis 29:24]

Zina zee-na (modern male and female)
Hebrew: Fruitful, abundant.
Second son of Shimei. His brothers were Jahath, Jeush and Beriah. Variants: Ziza. [1 Chronicles 23:10]

Zippora zee-por-ra (female)
Hebrew: Little bird. Feminine form of Zippor. First wife of Moses. She was the daughter of either Jethro or Reuel, a priest of Midian. Her sons included Gershom and Eliezer. Variants: Cipora, Zipporah. [Exodus 2:21]

Zuriel zur-ree-el (modern male and female)
Hebrew: My rock is God, God my rock.
A clan chief, the son of Abihail. [Numbers 3:3]






Biblical Names For Baby
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