Abraham - The Great Patriarch, father of Jewish nation. Initially
he was called Abram. The source of name in Hebrew is Avram, and the name
is composed from two words: Av (father) + Ram (large, great), or: "Great
The "Ha" in the second word was added, according to the Bible, after
Abraham was elevated to the a higher level - father of many nations. Thus,
the meaning of the name is "Great father of nations".
In this text God renames Abraham from Abram, his birth name. Genisis 17:5:
"Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall
be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee".
Absalom - In Hebrew:
Av-Shalom, where Av is father, and Shalom is peace. Thus the name means
"Father of peace". His tomb
is in Kidron valley.
Biblical Reference: 2 Samuel 3:3
"And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the
wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah
the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;"
BenJamin - one of the tribes of Israel, son of Jacob. Ben in
Hebrew is "son", Yamin in Hebrew is "right" (in direction). Since the
right side was the sword side and regarded as the side of your alley and
friend, the meaning of the name was "the son who was an alley".
Biblical reference: Genesis 35:18 "And it came to pass, as
her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni:
but his father called him Benjamin". See also:
tomb of Benjamin.
Dan - one of the twelve tribes, and name of other people and
places. Source in Hebrew: Dan - judged. The bible interprets the
name "God hath judged me".
Biblical references: : Genisis 30: 6: "And Rachel said, God
hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a
son: therefore called she his name Dan".
Daniel - The Book of Daniel, written in the Babylonian exile,
contains visions. Source of name is in Hebrew: Dani - judged me, El-
God, hence the name means: "God has judged me".
Biblical references: Daniel 1:6: "Now among these were of the
children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah". 2:46:
"Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped
David - The Great King. Source of name in Hebrew is David, and the meaning of the
name may be from the root name "Dod" or the word Yadid", which means:
friend. In the context of a name, this can be interpreted as "friend of
Biblical reference: there are many
references. Example: 1 Samuel 16:13: "Then Samuel took the horn of
oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the
LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to
Dayan - In Hebrew - judge. The word
appears only in the
and later, and is a common Hebrew family name (such as late General
Elijah - The prophet. In Hebrew: Eliyahu. Means in Hebrew:
Eli (my God) + Yahu (the Lord, the Hebrew God). Thus the name means "The
Lord is my God". Elijah came from a place called Tishbi, in the region of
Gilad - east to the Jordan river.
Biblical reference: 1 Kings 17:1: "And Elijah the Tishbite, who
was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of
Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these
years, but according to my word".
Emmanuel - The
source of the name in Hebrew: Immanu-El, meaning God (El) + Immanu (with
us), or "God is with us". This is also explained in Mt 1:23: "...and they
shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us".
This name refers to Jesus, and relates to prophet Isaiah's prophecy
(7:14): "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a
virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel".
Isaiah further describes Emmanuel's acts in 8:8: "And he shall pass
through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the
neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy
land, O Immanuel".
Ezekiel - Hebrew: "God will strengthen";
Based on: Yechezek - will strengthen; El -God. Biblical
References: Ezekiel 1 3: "The word of the LORD came expressly unto
Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by
the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him".
Ezra - A scribe from the period of the Babylonian exile, wrote
the book of Ezra. The name was derived from Aramaic and Hebrew: Ezer -
help, assist, aid. The name Ezra may be a short form of his ancestor,
Azariah - aid of God.
Biblical references: Ezra 7:1: "Now after these things, in the reign
of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of
Azariah, the son of Hilkiah". Nehamiah 8:1: "And all the people
gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was
before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring
the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel".
Iscariot - Judas Iscraiot, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus,
who betrayed Jesus. Iscraiot is from Hebrew : Ish-Krayioth, which is
composed from two words: Ish (man) + Krayioth (towns, suburbs). Thus
the meaning of Iscariot is "towns man" - if translated explicitly.
However, a better interpretation is that Krayioth is an ancient city
in Samaria, 2 KM East of Shiloh, and Judas or his ancestors, came from
(1) In the Bible, Krayioth can be found in Jermiah 48: 21-24: " And
judgment is come upon the plain country... And upon Kerioth".
(2) Matthew 10: 2-4: "Now the names of the twelve apostles are
these... and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Isaiah - The Prophet, son of
Amotz (2 Kings 19: 2). From Hebrew: Yeshayahu, means: salvation of
God. The name is composed from two words: "Yeshah" which means
salvation+ "Yahu" suffix means "God".
(1) Isaiah was the prophet at the times of Hezekiah, King of Judah:
"And he sent Eliakim... to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz".
(2) Isaiah's book starts with: "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz,
which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah,
Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah".
Ittai - Head of the army from the city Gat who helped David
during the Avhaslom (Absalom) mutiny. He was not a Hebrew, as the
biblical text tells us. The meaning is not known, but close to the
Hebrew word Itti (with me). He was a close allay to David, and with
his 600 men helped to save his Kingdom.
References: 2 Samuel 15:19: "Then said the king to Ittai the
Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and
abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile".
Je--- - a common prefix to a biblical name, means in Hebrew: Ye: "God".
Jesus - Jesus Christ. The source of the name in Hebrew is "Yeshua", which means : Ye (God)
+ Shua (Salvation). Thus the name means "God is Salvation". Another
form of the name is Joshua (see below).
Jo--- - a common prefix to a biblical name, means in Hebrew: Yo - "God".
John - the Baptist. from Hebrew, "Yochanan", which means: Yo
(God) + Chanan (Pardoned). Thus the name in Hebrew means " God has
Biblical Reference: Mark 1
4,5: "John did baptize in the wilderness...in the river of Jordan".
Jonathan - Means in Hebrew: "God had provided", from Yo (God) +
Nathan (delivered, provided).
Joram - There were two Israelite Kings with this name. The source of the name in Hebrew is Yoram, which means: Yo
(God) + Ram (tall). Thus the name means "God is tall". Another form is
Jehoram, meaning the same.
Biblical reference: there are many references. For example, 2 Kings 8: 16:
And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat
being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah
began to reign.
Son of Hebrew Patriarch Jacob;
foster father of Jesus. The source of the name in Hebrew is Yosef,
which means Yo (God) + Sef (add). Thus the name means "God shall
add". The Bible provides this meaning in the following Biblical
reference: Genesis 30: 24: And she called his name Joseph; and
said, The LORD shall add to me another son.
The leader of the Israelites after Moses. The source of the name in Hebrew is Yehushua: Yehu (God) + Shua
(Salvation). Thus the name means "God is Salvation".
Judas - Judas Iscraiot, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus,
who betrayed Jesus. Judas, or Judah, is from Hebrew : Yehuda, one of
the tribes of Israel, son of Jacob. It is composed from two words:
Yehu (God) + Ode (future tense of thank, praise). Thus the meaning of
Jehuda is "praise God".
1) This text provides the
explanation of the name: Genesis 29 35: : "And she conceived again,
and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore
she called his name Judah; and left bearing".
2)Matthew 10: 2-4: "Now the names of the twelve apostles are these...
and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Mary - Mother of Jesus. The source of the name is in Hebrew: Miriam, which was the
sister of Moses and Aaron. The exact meaning of Miriam is not clear; it
may be originating from two Hebrew words: Mar (bitter) + Yam (sea). Thus
the name means "bitter-sea". It may also be "lady of the sea" if
Mar is the feminine form of "sir"-mar in Hebrew (comment by P. Spitzer).
Biblical reference: Exodus 15: 20: "And Miriam the prophetess, the
sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out
after her with timbrels and with dances".
Matthew - one of Jesus 12 Apostles, a tax collector (publican)
in Capernaum. His Hebrew name was Matty (Matti), short for
Mattatiyahu. In Hebrew this is a combination of two words: Mattat
(present, gift) + Yahu (God). Thus the name means "Gift of God".
Biblical reference: Matthew 10: 2,3: "Now the names of the
twelve apostles are these...Matthew the publican...";
Moses - The great leader of the Hebrews, freed them from the
Egyptian slavery and led them to the promised land. Source of the name is in Hebrew: Moshe.
It means "taking out of the water".
The name was explained by the Bible text: Exodus 2:10: "And the
child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her
son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out
of the water".
Nehemiah - Servant of the Persian King, leader of the returning
exiles. His name means in Hebrew: Nechem - to comfort, Yah - God, so
the name means "comfort of God". His father's name is Hachaliah, from
Hebrew: "waiting for God" or "Trust in God".
references: Nehemiah 1:1: "The words of Nehemiah the son
Rotem - In Hebrew, a
plant that usually grows in the desert. In English this plant is called
text told us that prophet Elijah fled for his life from Queen Ezebel to the desert
near Beersheba, and he hid under a Rotem tree (as written in the
Hebrew bible). In KJV the name was translated to a different bush,
Juniper, which is not the same bush type (this is a case of "lost in
1 Kings 19
4,5 "But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and
sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he
might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I
am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper
tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and
Solomon - The great King, son of King David. The source of the name in Hebrew is Shlomo. Shalom means
peace in Hebrew, and Shlomo may mean "God gives him peace".
One of the Biblical references to King Solomon, son of King David:
2 Samuel 12: 24: "And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto
her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon:
and the LORD loved him".
Yehuda - see Judas
Yoram - see Joram
Yosef - see Joseph
- Hebrew: "God remembers him", based on Zachar -
remember. Zechariah was a prophet in the days of the return from exile
in Babylon (6th C BC). Biblical reference: Zechariah 1,1: "In
the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the
LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the