Biblical girl names owe their origin to the Christian holy book, The Bible or The Old Testament which is the largest source of Christian Biblical names in all across the world. The Bible gives miraculous biblical accounts of history and fictitious or real characters that are thought to have left some mark on the Christian mythology. Names of some of the influential people like that of Adam and Eve, Joshua, Cain and Abel, Jacob, David, Sarah, Abraham, Noah and Joseph, are often used in the current modern times as well. Thus it is sufficed to say that names are significant to the Bible and each has a purpose and function.
For instance, a biblical girl name could record some aspects of a person’s birth. Moses, from Exodus 2:10, was given his name because his mother drew him out of a river. His name literally means “to draw out”. Similarly, Jacob and Samuel also serve as same examples. Biblical names sometimes also expressed the parent’s reaction to the birth of their child. Isaac, from Genesis 21:6, means “laughter”. They were also used to secure the solidarity of family ties. Luke 1:59 when John the Baptist was nearly given the name of his father, serves as a solid example of this. All names ending with ‘jah’ or ‘el’ mean “with the lord” or “with God”. These serve as creating an affiliation with God. One would also discover changing or giving a new name. This was done primarily to establish authority over another or to indicate a new beginning of renewed direction in a person’s life. A conspicuous instance of this name altering would be that of Abram and Abraham from Genesis 17:5. Also, some would say Saul to Paul. Saul who was known for persecuting the Christians became Paul, the disciple of Jesus. So it is quite evident that names were used to express the nature and function of the person. They were used to indicate a person’s purpose in the world.
Origins of such names are derived from numerous languages including Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Romans conquered the known Western world and the Christian names which stem from Celtic, Germanic or Slavic languages are also, therefore, included in this category. These are common among Christians in all countries of the West and even in the East. Significance of Christian names that have their origin rooted in the Bible, like any other names from various other religions, is that they help distinguish from people belonging to other religions. They also create an identity and on various occasions, they also express the nature of the individual.
Keeping this aside, let us now look at the various Biblical girl names that one can pick, paying careful attention to baby girl names. The most common or rather preferred of them all would be Sarah the origin of which is Hebrew. Sarah was the wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac in the Old Testament. Her grandsons founded the twelve tribes of Israel and through them Sarah became the “mother of many Nations
Biblical Girl Names
Lily is Latin/ Old English in origin. Lily is a symbol of purity and resurrection and its meaning is flowering plant that grew on the shores of the Lake of Gennesaret and in the valleys of Palestine. In his sermon on Mount Hermon, Jesus used the lily as an example of why people should trust in God.
Margarita is Greek in origin and its meaning is pearl. The kingdom of Heaven is described by Jesus as merchant seeking goodly pearls. Once a pearl of great value is found, the merchant sells everything he owns to buy this pearl. In Revelations, the city of New Jerusalem is described as having twelve gates made of pearls.
Martha is Chaldee in origin and its meaning is royal lady, mistress. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany. All three of them were devout followers of Jesus and are described as being loved by Him.
Ariel is Hebrew in origin and its meaning is lion of God. Ariel is a symbolic and prophetic name for the city of Jerusalem.Hedva is Hebrew in origin and its meaning is joy, gladness.
Dinah is Hebrew in origin and its meaning is judgement or vindicated. Dinah was the only daughter of Jacob. She was violated by Shechem, the son of Hamor. In revenge, Simeon and Levi put all the Shechemites to death.
Daphne is Greek in origin and its meaning is laurel tree. In Greek mythology, Daphne was the name of a nymph who was transformed into a laurel tree while escaping from Apollo. Daphne was the name of an ancient garden near Antioch in Syria. Onias, the Jewish high priest took refuge at Daphne while fleeing from Andronicus, the viceroy of Antiochus.
Esther is Persian in origin and its meaning is star. Esther became the wife of Ahasuerus, the King of Persia. After this marriage, Ahesuerus gave his Prime Minister Haman, the power and authority to kill all the Jews in his kingdom. By the clever interposition of Esther, this catastrophe was prevented. The annual festival of Purim is held to commemorate this deliverance.
Hagar is Egyptian in origin and its meaning is flight or stranger. Hagar was the Egyptian handmaid of Sarah. When Sarah had been childless many years, she offered Hagar to her husband Abraham as a way to get an heir. Thus Hagar became the mother of Ishmael, forefather of the Arab nations.
Phoebe is of Greek origin and means “bright, radiant”. She was a Christian woman who aided Paul and others. Naomi has a Hebrew origin meaning “loveable, my delight”.
Rachel too has a Hebrew origin, meaning “ewe, little lamb, daughter”. Rachael was the younger daughter of Laban and one of the wives of Jacob in the Old Testament. Her sons were Joseph and Benjamin, who founded two of the tribes of Israel. The Biblical baby name Leah is Hebrew in origin and its meaning is weary, tired.
Deborah is Hebrew in origin and its meaning is a bee. Deborah is the name of two women in the Bible. Deborah was the nurse of Rebekah. She accompanied Rebekah after her marriage to Isaac. Deborah is also the name of a prophetess and a judge of Israel. Deborah with the assistance of Barak organized an army to liberate the people of Israel from subjection by Jabin, the king of Hazor.
Abigail is of Hebrew origin and it means “the fathers joy”. In the Bible, Abigail was the third wife of King David. She was well thought of as beautiful and intelligent. She became David’s wife after the death of Nabal, her first husband.
Magdalene has its origin in Hebrew and it means tower or great. Mary Magdalene was a character in the New Testament, as one of the disciples of Jesus. She witnessed Jesus crucifixion as well as resurrection and she was among the first people to witness Jesus resurrection.
Naomi means pleasant person, agreeable or beautiful and has a Hebrew origin. She was the mother in law of Ruth in the Bible. She encouraged Ruth to seduce Boaz when they returned to Bethlehem. Her husband and both her sons had died due to famine, which made her to return to Bethlehem.
Rebecca means to secure or to snare in Hebrew. Its origin is Hebrew. She was the wife of Isaac in the Bible. She bore Jacob and Esau. Abraham had sent his servant to get a wife for Isaac from where he was born and it is there that Rebecca was chosen after she fed the servants donkeys with water, passing the test.
Delilah is biblical and it means she who weakened in Hebrew. Its origin is Hebrew. Delilah in the Bible is the one whom Samson loved and revealed his source of strength. She later betrayed him for money by telling his secret of strength to philistines who shaved his hair.
Sarah is of Hebrew origin. The most common meanings are lady and princess. It is known from the Old Testament as Abraham’s wife and mother of Isaac. Her name was changed from Sarai to Sarah after she got to a covenant with God about the birth of her son Isaac that took place when she was old.
Anna is Greek in origin and it means the gracious or one who gives. She was a prophetess and an aged woman of Jewish descent who had prophesied about Jesus in the Bible. She was also present when Jesus was being presented at the temple by his parents.
Elisabeth or otherwise Elizabeth is of Greek origin. The Hebrew variation is Elisheba. It means my God has sworn. She was the mother of John the Baptist and was married to Zacharia. When she was six months pregnant, the Virgin Mary visited her and she was filled with the Holy Ghost from their greetings. Mary had just been informed of her conception of Jesus.
Miriam has its origin in Hebrew and it means rebellion. In the Bible, she was the sister to Moses who hid him in the river to prevent his killing. She is the one who suggested that Yocheved raise Moses who apparently was his mother. She also sang a victory song after the drowning of the Pharaohs army.
Mary is of Hebrew origin and it means rebellion or sea of bitterness. There are many women with the name in the Bible and the more prominent is Mary mother of Jesus. She is the one who conceived Jesus through divine intervention. She was present in Jesus’ life from childhood and was present when He performed His first miracle of turning water into wine.
There are innumerable names just like the above that have great significance, meaning and history attached with them. The only matter is which one to choose for your baby girl that will not only determine her character but also express the kind of life she will supposedly lead.