Biblical baby names from the Old Testament are proud and powerful. These names are found around the world and in many languages.
These Old Testament names are used by both Christians and Jews. In fact, after the Reformation, in the 16th and 17th centuries, Old Testament baby names boomed in popularity. The reason was that people turned against the Catholic Church and parents stopped giving their children Christian names.
Names like Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Rebecca rose off the charts. Still today, they remain some of the most popular baby names.
Here are a few of the great biblical baby names and their meanings.
Biblical Baby Girl Names from the Old Testament
Abigail – (English) meaning "Father's Joy." In the Bible, Abigail was the wife of King David. Another famous Abigail is Abigail Smith Adams, wife of the US President John Adams.
Rachel – (English) meaning "Ewe" or "Lamb." The biblical Rachel was the wife of the patriarch Jacob. A famous Rachel was Rachel Donelson Jackson, wife of US President Andrew Jackson. Another famous bearer of this name is naturalist Rachel Louise Carson who wrote the book, "Silent Spring."
Sarah – (English) meaning "Princess." In the Bible, Sarah was the wife of Abraham. Another famous Sarah is Sarah Childress Polk, wife of US President James K. Polk. Others include stage actress Sarah Bernhardt, and actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
Esther – (Hebrew, from the Persian word, "Satarah," meaning "Star." In the Bible, Esther was the Jewish wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus who saved the Jews from massacre by Haman. 20th Century. The famous Olympic swimmer, Esther Williams, bore this name.
Hannah – (Hebrew) meaning "Grace." In the Bible, Hannah was the mother of the Prophet Samuel. In the New Testament, the name, Hannah, is changed to Anna. Hannah was a popular name in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The name Hannah got a boost of popularity from the Woody Allen film, "Hannah and Her Sisters." Also, Hannah White Arnett was a leader in the American Revolution and founder of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
Biblical Baby Boy Names from the Old Testament
Elisha – (Hebrew) meaning "God is Salvation." The biblical Elisha was a prophet who worked miracles. This rare name was born by the famous inventor, Elisha Graves Otis, who invented the elevator in the mid 1800s. His elevator, essentially unchanged, is in buildings all over the world. It even brings visitors up to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Gideon – (English) meaning "One who Cuts Down." In the Bible, Gideon was a general and a judge. This is a rare name also. Gideon is a leading character in many books such as "The Heart of Midlothian" by Sir Walter Scott. The Gideon Society is well-known for giving Bibles to travelers.
Daniel – (Hebrew) meaning "God is Judge." Daniel was a prophet in the Bible and has a book of the Bible named after him. He also escaped unharmed from the lion's den. Other famous Daniels include the American hero and explorer Daniel Boone who blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap. Also, Daniel Webster, the American senator and illustrious orator.
Jonathan – (English) meaning God Gave. "The biblical Jonathan was the son of King Saul. Famous Jonathans include author Jonathan Swift who wrote" Gulliver's Travels, "and actor Jon Voight.
Samuel – (Heb) meaning "Heard by God." The biblican Sanuel helped Saul become King. He then made it possible for King David to succeed Saul. Another famous Samuel is American patriot Samuel Adams who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. Others include Samuel Morse who invented the Morse Code, and Sam Houston who led the fight that wave Texas independence.
Biblical baby names from the Old Testament are a part of our culture. These handsome names and their meanings belong to world history and go back far beyond recorded history.