List of biblical names

Hitchcock analysis of Holy Bible 1871

This page introduces a list of about 2,600 proper names with their meanings from the Bible, mainly compiled from the 19th century public domain resources of Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary as part of Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible written by Roswell Dwight Hitchcock[1][2] and Dictionary of the Bible by William R. Smith.[3] Most of the male and female names and their definitions can also be found in Herbert Lockyer's reference books All the Men of the Bible[4] and All the Women of the Bible.[5] Most of the divine names and their definitions can also be found in Lockyer's All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible.[6]

Many of the biblical names can also be found in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary, Easton's Bible Dictionary, Nave's Topical Bible and Torrey's New Topical Textbook.[7] Others can be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia and the new Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (Dictionary edition).[8] The biblical names pertaining just to the Old Testament can all be found in Joan Comay's reference book titled Who's Who in the Old Testament.[9] Other Biblical name definitions of places, cities, countries, angels, gods, mountains and Hebrew names can be found in Nancy M. Tischler's encyclopedia All Things in the Bible: an Encyclopedia of the Biblical World.[10]

Significance of names

Many names describe nations, people, and ancient history. Some describe expressions of hopes, revelations of divine purposes, and prophecies of the future. Some are part of genealogical histories, as it was common in Jewish customs to keep a family history. Sometimes names indicated certain circumstances with their birth or family line. Characteristics and traits of people were an important aspect of names in ancient Israel. For example, the name Nabal means "senseless and fool", and Abigail indicated that this is what her husband amounted to (1 Sam 25:25). Sometimes names pointed to occupations, sometimes to a symbolic or a prophetic feature. Sometimes place names have become personal names (e.g. the name Eden, from the Garden of Eden). Sometimes names were given to show family relationships (e.g. uncle, father). Names sometimes had a special meaning (e.g. praise, additional, rebellion, bitterness). Sometimes names were of a type of plant or had charactistics of natural phenomenon (i.e. thunder, lightning, rain). Sometimes names were related to animals or their characteristics.[11]

Before the Protestant Reformation the most common names were Adam, Benjamin, Elias, Daniel, David, Joseph, Samson, and Solomon. After the Reformation names like Aaron, Elijah, Joshua, Moses, and Nathaniel were added to mainstream popularity. Saint names associated with the Roman Catholic Church were used less after the Reformation. Maher-shalal-hash-baz is the longest name in the Bible, and was much used as a given name. Mary and John are the most used of the Christian names.[12]

Note that "names" refers to any noun, which may be: people, places, cities, countries, angels, gods, mountains, etc. Meanings of the names are not always definite or clear, but a possible meaning has been provided in every case. Most of the meanings come from Hebrew, while the others come from Greek, Aramaic, or Latin.

Lists of biblical names

See also


  1. Roswell Dwight Hitchcock, Washburn Professor of Church History in Union Theological Seminary. Bible Names Dictionary, 1869, New York City
  2. Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary at Christian Classics Ethereal Library of Calvin College for additional references and sources
  3. William R. Smith, Dictionary of the Bible
  4. Herbert Lockyer, All the Men of the Bible, pp. 19–369
  5. Lockyer, All the Women of the Bible, ISBN 0-310-28151-2, pp. 11–320
  6. Lockyer, All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible, ISBN 0-310-28041-9, pp. 16–368
  7. Bible Study Tools
  8. Bible Study Tools library
  9. Joan Comay, Who's Who in the Old Testament, ISBN 978-0-415-26031-2. pp. 1-398
  10. Nancy M. Tischler, All Things in the Bible: an Encyclopedia of the Biblical World. ISBN 978-0-313-33082-7. 808 pp.
  11. Lockyer, pp. 11-14
  12. Lockyer, p. 14

Further reading

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