Name Meanings in the Bible

HomeChristianity and the BibleName Meanings in the Bible

A lot of people have written and asked for a list of the meanings of the names of people in the Bible. Most of them come from readers of Name Changes in the Bible, one of the most popular GodWords articles. So: you asked for it, you’ve got it. Keep in mind that many names found in the Bible are not translated in the Bible, and that we often rely on translations of the name from other sources.

This list is, of course, incomplete. I mean, just look at how short it is. We’re just getting started. If you can add a name and meaning to it, just use the form at the bottom of the page and let me know.

NameLanguageMeaningNotes
AbbaChaldeeFatherIn the Bible, Abba is a name applied to God three times, all in the New Testament.
AbdaHebrewServant of JehovahThere are two Abbas in the Bible:
  1. The father of Adoniram
  2. The son of Shammua
AbelHebrewBreathThe second son of Adam and Eve, Abel’s name may reflect the shortness of his life.
DanielHebrewMy judge is GodThere are three Daniels in the Bible:
  1. Daniel the Prophet
  2. The second son of King David and Abigail, also known as Kileab
  3. A leader of the Jews and descendant of Ithamar who returned from Babylon with Ezra
ElijahHebrewMy God is YahwehThere are four Elijahs in the Bible:
  1. Elijah the Prophet
  2. The The son of Jeroham and a clan leader
  3. A man who married and divorced a foreign wife
  4. Another man who married and divorced a foreign wife
ElishaHebrewMy God is YahwehThis is the same name as Elijah.
EnochHebrewDedicatedThere are two Enochs in the Bible:
  1. The son of Cain
  2. The father of Methusaleh, descendant of Seth, who did not die
HoseaHebrewYahweh is salvationHosea is a Hebrew name, a variant form of Hoshe’a, which was Joshua’s name before Moses changed it.
Jesus16 LanguagesYahweh is salvationJesus is a transliteration of Iesous, which is a Greek form of the Aramaic Yeshu’a, which is a shortened form of Yehoshu’a. This is the same name as Joshua.
JoshuaHebrewYahweh is salvationJoshua is the same name as Hosea and Jesus.
JothamHebrewYahweh is perfectThere are three Jothams in the Bible:
  1. The king of Judah, son of Uzziah
  2. The son of Caleb and Jahdai
  3. The son of Gideon
NehemiahHebrewYahweh ComfortsThere are three Nehemiahs in the Bible:
  1. Cupbearer to Artaxerxes, king of Persia. Governor of Judea, son of Hakaliah, for whom the biblical book Nehemiah is named, who led the Israelites back from exile in Babylon
  2. Son of Azbuk, a district governor who helped the exiles rebuild Jerusalem
  3. Another of the exiles returning to Jerusalem
SimeonHebrewTo hearThere are three Simeons in the Bible:
  1. The second son of Jacob and Leah and head of one of Israel’s 12 tribes
  2. A devout man who blessed Jesus as a child
  3. Simeon Niger, a prophet and teacher who helped ordain Saul and Barnabas
SimonGreekTo hearSimon is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew name Shimon or Simeon. There are nine Simons in the Bible. They are described differently in Scripture, to tell them apart:
  1. Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples
  2. Jesus’ brother
  3. A Pharisee
  4. Simon the Zealot, another of Jesus’ apostles
  5. Simon the Leper, who owned the home where a woman anointed Jesus’ feet
  6. Simon Iscariot, father of Judas Iscariot
  7. Simon the Cyrene, who was forced to carry Jesus’ cross
  8. Simon the Sorcerer
  9. Simon the Tanner

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