Glossary (2)

Names derived from Hebrew and other languages


This list includes

  • Personal and place names
  • Hebrew words (transliterated) which occur frequently in personal and place names

Go here for the main glossary

Ab or Av - the pronunciation varies according to the setting : father

Abba : "the Father" or "My Father" or "Daddy" - the Aramaic form which Jesus used
Abimelech : my father is king
Abraham : father of many
Abram : exalted father

Adam : derived from a Hebrew root which means both "earth/dirt" and "red"

Adon : Lord

Adonai : my Lord - the word used by Jews to avoid saying the Name of God in case they should break the 3rd Commandment. The vowels from Adonai, combined with the Tetragrammaton (YWHW) gave the English hybrid "Jehovah".
Adonijah : my Lord is God, or God (JA) is the Lord
Adoniram : my Lord is exalted
Adonizedek : my Lord is righteous

Asherah : a Canaanite goddess, sometimes regarded as the consort of Baal or of El, usually associated with a fertility cult. The word may also mean a sacred tree or stone dedicated to the goddess.

Baal, plural Baalim (later Bel) : Lord - often used as a title for the pagan god of thunder or storm

Baalzebub : Lord of the flies (used by the Hebrews to refer to one of the gods of the Philistines).
Baalzebul : Lord of dung (used by the Hebrews to refer to one of the gods of the Philistines).
Belshazzar : (Babylonian) Baal protect the king
Belteshazzar : (Babylonian) Baal protect his life
Eshbaal : gift, or man, of Baal
Jezebel : where is Baal
The Carthaginian generals Hannibal and Hasdrubal, who fought in the Punic Wars (250-200 BC) against Rome, were dedicated by their father to the Phoenician god Baal

Bab : ( Arabic ) mouth or gate

Babel : has several possible meanings : "gate to God" or "God confused (the language of men)"

Bar : son (Aramaic, a later form of Hebrew, in use at the time of the New Testament)

Barabbas : son of Abba
Bar-jonah : son of Jonah
Barnabas : son of consolation
Bartimaeus : son of Timaeus

Baruch : blessing

Berechiah : God has blessed

Bat, Bath : daughter

Bathsheba : daughter of Sheba, daughter of seven, or daughter of an oath

Beer : well

Beer-lahai-roi : well of the God Who Sees
Beersheba : well of the oath, or well of the seven

Bel - see Baal

Ben : son

Benhadad : son of Hadad (a storm god) - name of several kings of Damascus
Benjamin : son of the right hand

Beth, Bet, Beit, Beyt : house

Bethabara : house of the ford
Bethel : house of God
Bethlehem : house (place) of bread - so called because it was the place to stock up with provisions before traveling south to Egypt
Bethsaida : house of the fisherman
Bethshemesh : house of the sun (Chemosh was the sun god of the Moabites)
Bethuel : house of God

Ebed : servant

Ebedmelech : servant of the king

Eben : stone

Ebenezer : stone of help

Edom : red (same root as Adam )

El : God , Elohim : God ( Elohim is a plural form of El )
When referring to God (the One true God) Elohim takes a singular verb; when referring to the "gods of the pagans" it takes a plural verb
other titles for God :

El Berith : God of the Covenant
El Elohe Yisrael : El, God of Israel
El Elyon : God Most High
El Olam or El Yolam : God of Ages, Eternal God
El Roi : God Who Sees
El Shaddai : God of the Mountain, meaning God Almighty

Personal names relating people to God :

Daniel : my Judge is God
Eleazar : God has helped
Eli : my God, or God is exalted
Eliab : God my father
Eliezer : God my help
Elijah : my God is JA (i.e. my God is the One True God, not one of the "gods" of the heathen)
Elimelech : my God is king
Elisha : my God is salvation
Elkanah : God created
Ezekiel : God strengthens
Hazael : God has seen
Israel : a Prince with God, he strives with God
Joel : JA is God

Ein, En (sometimes Ayn) : Spring of water

Endor : Spring of the circle
En Gedi : Spring of the wild goat - The Nature Park of Engedi is still the home of herds of Oryx (mountain goats)

Esther : from the Greek "aster" : a star
Ezra : help
Gad : many (people) - a troop
Ha- as prefix : the

Ha Galil : the Galilee
Ha Golan : the Golan Heights (mountains overlooking the eastern shore of Lake Galilee

Hallel : praise

Hallelujah : Let us praise God

Har : mountain

Armageddon : Har Megiddo - mountain of Megiddo

-i as a suffix : my

Eli : my God

i- or yi- as a prefix : may denote 3rd person singular of a verb

Isaac, Yitzak : he/she laughed
Ishmael, Yishmael : God has heard
Israel, Yisrael : he strives with God

-iah : anglicized form of -yahu, "our God" - see under "Yah" below

Ish : one of several words meaning man

Ishbosheth : man of shame

JAH - see YAH

Jehovah : English hybrid name for God, made by trying to pronounce the letters of the Tetragrammaton with the vowel pointing of Adonai. See Glossary, page 1

Kinnor : an ancient type of harp. Lake Galilee is shaped like such a harp, and so is sometimes called Kinneret or Chinnereth

Mah ? : What ?

Manna : What, please ? ie. What is it ?

Melek, Melech : King

Ebedmelech : servant of the king
Elimelech : my God is King
Melchizedek : king of righteousness

Moses : probably from an Egyptian word meaning "born of" incorporated into many of the names of the Pharaohs (Thutmose, Ahmose). The Jews related the name to the Hebrew "mashah", "to draw", because Pharaoh's daughter drew him out of the Nile.

Shalom : Peace. Shalom (Hebrew) and Salaam (Arabic) are used as traditional greetings in the Middle East to this day.

Jerusalem : seeing, or city, of Peace

Shemesh, Chemosh : sun, also used for the sun-god of the Moabites

-u : suffix indicating First Person Plural - "us", "our". As in alleluia - "let us praise Yah"

Yah, Jah : a shorter variant of the Divine Name YHWH, often used in theophoric names, which relate a person to God. eg.

Ahaziah : possession of our God, or vision of our God
Amaziah : strength of our God
Hezekiah : strong in our God, our God strengthens
Hilkiah : our God my portion
Isaiah : our God is salvation
Jeremiah : grandeur of our God, glory to our God
Josiah : our God gives
Nehemiah : consolation of our God, our God comforts
Obadiah : servant of our God
Zachariah, Zechariah : our God remembers, man of God
Zephaniah : secret of our God, our God preserves

Yaweh Sabaoth : Lord of Hosts

YHWH : "the Tetragrammaton" the 4 Hebrew letters represented in English by YHWH, which God revealed as His Name to Moses and the Israelites in Sinai.
Orthodox Jews do not attempt to pronounce the name, but say "Adonai" (My Lord) instead. YHWH is a verbal form, and could be construed to mean "I AM", "I WILL BE", "I AM WHAT I AM"
Some modern versions of the Bible translate YHWH as "Yaweh" (pronounced Yar-vay or Yar-way) in an attempt to vocalize the Name; this is generally offensive to observant Jews (Jews who observe - keep - the commandments)

Zedek, Zadok : righteous, righteousness

Adonizedek : my Lord is righteous
Melchizedek : my King is righteous, or King of righteousness
Zedekiah : our God is righteous

Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Station 19, ENMU
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated : June 27, 2017

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