Did you know that Jewish people, and people in the Bible times blessed their children names with meanings? They named children so that they were called something that would bless them, although not everyone did bless them with those names, like Ruth and Orpah’s husbands, and Gomer’s children, they had weak names and ones that reflected Israel’s plight. Job’s daughter’s had beautiful names though, don’t worry about Hebrew this time, call them, perfume, mascara and dove, yes, it’s true.
My name in Hebrew is Rivkah, it means close to God. And so I am. God changed names like Abraham and Sarah, so he was called the father of many nations, with no children. That’s faith, it’s just what God does, call into existence what He wants for us, but do we? People in those days were just like people today, they had their heroes, celebrities, there were probably a lot of Davids, meaning beloved, not many Goliaths, unless you were a Philistine, lots of Samsons, shimson, the sun, not a lot of Delilahs, delicate. Her evil deed tarnished the name, like Jezebel, while one transliteration is unexalted or unhusbanded, another origin is unclear, she did rule over her husband, and also brought her name a bad connotion, she was a daughter of the false god Baal, but certain spellings look like and Izbel, of course, Isabel and Isabella, is Italian, it’s beautiful. Jezebel might have been beautiful, but painting her face before her death, put a damper on wearing make up for many women who considered it sinful, when it really isn’t, only the behavior.
People are quick to associate names, but there is a lot more to it than you think. I always try to get parents interested in names, but I know, they inevitably pick what they like, but it is the child who lives with it. And nicknames stick. There are no J’s in Hebrew, so it is a y, names with El or jah, yah are including God. For instance, the Hebrew name, Batya, daughter of God, from bat pronounced bot meaning daughter and yah, God.
John and Mary were common names in the 1940’s, John was a disciple who loved Jesus, Jonathan was the son of King Saul, died in battle. John, Yohanon, in Hebrew is God or Yahweh is gracious. So it is a good name, and another John was the cousin of Jesus. As for Mary, it means bitter, like Naomi called herself bitter, Mara. Mary has sorrow attached to the name, and there were many Marys in the Bible all called by their name and the mother of or by their place or residence. Mary Magdalene, another name associated with sin and even unwed mothers, she was from a wicked town, Magdala, no wonder she had seven devils. And Mary of Bethany, who broke the alabaster box. And Mary’s cousin Elizabeth means God is my oath, He did give her a son.
While we have a woman who built cities in the Old Testament, Sheera, and a judge Deborah, the bee, and Rebekah’s nurse, we have Susanna, a follower of Jesus in the New Testament. Also Chloe, Priscilla, Joanna, Phoebe* are a few names you are familiar with all in the Bible, of course there was Anna, the prophetess, but Huldah, I don’t think you will meet many of those. By the way, it means weasel.
There aren’t any Bathsheeba’s that I know of, but I do know a Delilah. Bathsheeba means daughter of an oath or seven, she was not the seventh wife of David, but he had seven and Solomon was her son and the King. Her name is also Bath shua, and we see shua, in Joshua, Yeshua, Jesus,salvation. So God redeemed her. And Joshua makes me recall Caleb, which means faithful and dog, the Hebrew word for dog is kelev, and lev is heart. Joshua and Caleb were faithful friends. Maybe, you know a Moses, meaning drawn from the water or a Lois meaning grandmother, have you met a Queen of Sheeba? That is more of a title, but so is Candace, but it means pure white.
Rachel, ewe, Leah, weak, Sarah meaning princess, still popular. Abigail was smart woman, whose father is joy, you can use Abby, Abia, or Abi. I like Tabitha meaning gazelle, Dorcas in Greek, I knew one of those. Or Talitha, from talitha cumi, daughter or little girl rise. Names are a lot of fun, picking one can be a difficult choice. One interesting story is that Claudia was a British woman of high birth —the daughter of the British king, Cogidubnus. She was put under the patronage of Pomponia, wife of Aulus Plautius, conqueror of Britain and from this Christian learned the truths of the Gospel. Tacitus the Roman historian speaks of an inscription found in Chichester, England. For a lot opeople who think of the people in the Bible as mere characters, there is proof that they were real people.
I have to add a few more men’s names or boys, I like Daniel, God is my judge. I know some Eli’s, high or ascended, as opposed to Jordan, descending or flow down, like the river. Michael is a common name but it means who is like God. Stephen may have been a martyr, but his name lends itself to a crown, the feminine, Stephanie. Andrew, man or warrior, James, supplanter, Peter, the rock. Bartholomew, son of Talmai, may have been the same person as Nathaniel, God gives. That is similar to Matthew.
There are too many names to give you all an their meanings, but if you are about to name a child, look at the real definition, call him or her something good from the start, while you might like Hannah, gracious or favor, you might not like Peninnah, coral. ( rough and sharp ) Hepzibah is a name for beauty, but would you call a baby that? And Zacharias, the Lord has remembered might get Zack, but Zerubbabel? Born at babel or begotten at Babylon. I think not.
Noah, for girls or boys, means rest. I need some after all this. But not Hoglah, it might mean partridge but please don’t go there. There is a lot in a name. A rose is a rose, after all. And Drusilla, might mean watered by the dew, but she went against Paul and was likely buried in the ashes of Pompeii, with her child. Rebecca Jones / pexels
Chloe – green herb
Priscilla – primitive, old fashioned, worthy, venerated
Phoebe – pure or radiant like the moon
Anna / Joanna – favor or grace
Sheera – female relation by blood