Biblical Names for Modern Times

Names of biblical origin are classic names that have been used throughout history. Different  names from the Bible are popular during different periods in history.  In the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries it was not unusual to be called Isaiah, Abraham or Isaac. Nowadays these particular Biblical names are unusual; but names like Jacob, Sara, or Rebecca have become quite popular.

It's All Hebrew to Me

What do these names actually mean? Since these names are from the Old Testament, they are usually derived from Hebrew words, and  have meanings in the Hebrew language. Isaiah is the anglicized form of Yeshayahu, who was an Old Testament prophet.  This name means "G-d is salvation". Abraham is considered to be the first person to espouse monotheism in the Bible. This name means "father of many".  Isaac is from the Hebrew Yitzchak, who was the son of Abraham. Isaac received this name, which means "he laughs, because when Abraham was told by the angel that he would have a son at the age of 99, his wife Sara laughed-either because she thought it was a joke, or because she was truly happy.

More Names, More Meaning

Jacob, Sara and Rebecca come from Yaaqov, Sara and Rivka. The meaning of Jacob is "holder of the heel" or "usurper". This was given to him either because Jacob was holding the heel of his twin brother Esau during their birth, or because later on Jacob tricked the blessing of the firstborn away from Esau. Sara was Abraham's wife, and her name means, "lady" or "princess".  Rebecca, who was the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau, means "a snare". The name Moses whose meaning is "to draw forth" because the daughter of Pharoah saved him from the Nile River, is rarely heard these days. However the name Aaron, who was Moses' brother, is quite popular today- and not just for boys, but often for girls, too, with a variant spelling such as Eran. It is not clear what Aaron means. It is most likely from an unknown Egyptian word, but in Hebrew it might mean "exalted".

When choosing a name for a baby, a name which is biblically based will always be sophisticated, classic and meaningful.

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