This page introduces a list of about 2,600 proper names with their meanings from the Bible, mainly compiled from the 19th century public domain resources of Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary as part of Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible written by Roswell Dwight Hitchcock and Dictionary of the Bible by William R. Smith. Most of the male and female names and their definitions can also be found in Herbert Lockyer's reference books All the Men of the Bible and All the Women of the Bible. Most of the divine names and their definitions can also be found in Lockyer's All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible.
Many of the biblical names can also be found in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary, Easton's Bible Dictionary, Nave's Topical Bible and Torrey's New Topical Textbook. Others can be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia and the new Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (Dictionary edition). The biblical names pertaining just to the Old Testament can all be found in Joan Comay's reference book titled Who's Who in the Old Testament. Other Biblical name definitions of places, cities, countries, angels, gods, mountains and Hebrew names can be found in Nancy M. Tischler's encyclopedia All Things in the Bible: an Encyclopedia of the Biblical World.
Significance of names
Many names describe nations, people, and ancient history. Some describe expressions of hopes, revelations of divine purposes, and prophecies of the future. Some are part of genealogical histories, as it was common in Jewish customs to keep a family history. Sometimes names indicated certain circumstances with their birth or family line. Characteristics and traits of people were an important aspect of names in ancient Israel. For example the name Nabal means "senseless and fool", and Abigail indicated that this is what her husband amounted to (1 Sam 25:25). Sometimes names pointed to occupations, sometimes to a symbolic or a prophetic feature. Sometimes place names have become personal names (e.g. the name Eden, from the Garden of Eden). Sometimes names were given to show family relationships (e.g. uncle, father). Names sometimes had a special meaning (e.g. praise, additional, rebellion, bitterness). Sometimes names were of a type of plant or had charactistics of natural phenomenon (i.e. thunder, lightning, rain). Sometimes names were related to animals or their characteristics.
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