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Questions tagged [onomastics]

Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the significance, usage, and etymology of names. Questions about names of God should additionally be thus tagged.

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Abimelekh (Αβιμελεχ) in the LXX

Repeatedly in Ruth (e.g. 1:2, 1:3, 2:1...) and in I Samuel (21:1, 21:6, 21:8, 22:9), the LXX (in all printed critical versions, although some manuscripts correct this, see here for details) as well as ...
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Multiple characters with the same name in the bible [on hold]

In the Bible most of the names are unique, especially for the main characters. As far as I know there is only one Abraham and only one Moses etc. There are some names that appear more than once like ...
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In John 17:6 and John 17:27 what name of the Father did Jesus want to “make manifest” and “declare” to his disciples?

The question is based of Jesus’ prayer recorded at John Ch. 17 in which he made the following statements in verses 6 and 27: KJV John 17: 6 “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou ...
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In Micah 2:12-13, what is a “breaker”?

In Micah 2:12-13 Micah predicts the arrival of the messiah whom he refers to as "the breaker" (הַפֹּרֵץ֙): KJV Micah 2: 12I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of you; I will surely gather the ...
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In Joshua 2:1 why are Joshua's scouts not named?

Moses and Joshua both sent scouts into the land of Canaan. When Moses sent the scouts there are 13 verses (Numbers 13:4-16) spent on listing their names. When Joshua sent the scouts there is one verse ...
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Chronological discrepancy in Joshua's name in Numbers and Exodus

In Numbers Chapter 13, Moses appears to rename Hoshea the son of Nun as Joshua the son of Nun: Verse 8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun; (ESV) Verse 16 These were the names of ...
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What is the meaning of the Hebrew name 'I-chabod' in 1 Samuel 4:21?

A new-born son was named 'I-chabod' by the dying mother. She said, ‘The glory has departed from Israel’ but the word also seems to infer a question, ‘Where is the glory?’ I note from a commentary that ...
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Why the Inconsistency of the name Mary in the NT?

Or rather, why is the mother of Jesus exclusively written μαριαμ, and the others inconsistently either μαρια or μαριαμ? I was originally prompted by a mini quest into the original meaning of the ...
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In Acts 19:14 - How else could “Seven sons of Skeva” be translated?

In Acts 19:14, Is "Seven Sons of Skeva" a valid translation? Are there any other plausible interpretations? Westcott and Hort / [NA27 variants] ἦσαν δέ τινος Σκευᾶ Ἰουδαίου ἀρχιερέως ἑπτὰ υἱοὶ ...
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Tetragrammaton originally יהיה (yihayah) (3PersMascSing 'exist, be') and subsequently the nominal form (יהוה) (the Being)?

The Question Essentially Is it possible that God's name is a nominal version of the third person masculine singular verb to exist or to be: יהיה. Can יהיה be validly understood as "he [that] liveth"2 ...
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Is there a correlation between unknown name in Revelation 19:12 and elsewhere in scripture?

I've always been curious to know if there was a relation between the rider on the white horse whose name was known to no one but himself, and the other places in scripture where names have been veiled....
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In Exodus 15:3 why does the author declare God's name?

Young's Literal Translation Exodus 15:3 Jehovah is a man of battle; Jehovah is His name. What I'm wondering is whether the mention of his name is implying anything or is it random? In other words, ...
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How does Jashobeam become Iesebaal, or Jeshebeab become Isbaal?

I was wondering if you could help me out with this. The names of Jashobeam, one of King David’s warriors (I Chon. 11:11), and Jeshebeab, one of the twenty-four families of Kohanim (I Chron. 24:13), ...
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Matthew 1:21 - Why is the Name Jesus not Transliterated as Joshua? [duplicate]

Very Closely Related To: - If Joshua can be translated why Is the name of Jesus translated "Jesus" but his name in hebrew was Joshua? Separated the second part of the question into this ...
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What are the implications, if any, if Ἀλφαῖος and Κλωπᾶς are indeed the same individual?

In John 19:25, it is written, 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas (Κλωπᾶ),1 and Mary Magdalene. NKJV ΚΕʹ εἱστήκεισαν δὲ παρὰ τῷ ...
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In Matthew 6:9, what name is Jesus referring to?

Jesus taught: Mat 6:9 Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Matthew/Jesus appears to allude to the Torah which provides the name as "YHVH" (perhaps "Yehovah"): ...
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Meaning behind Job's three daughters' names? Job 42:14

And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. (Job 42:14) These are his three new daughters after God restored ...
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Do the meanings of Cain and Abel's names tell us anything about how Cain killed Abel?

There's often speculation on how Cain killed Abel in Genesis 4. I've also been told that Cain's name means "spear" and Abel's name means "vapor" or "breath". Do the meanings of Abel and Cain's ...
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What is the meaning of Zoar (Genesis 19:22)?

In Genesis 19:22 Lot decides to go to a little village after leaving Sodoma. The text of the NIV version is: But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why ...
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What is the meaning of Abraham's name?

Genesis 17:5 (NIV) states: No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. The edition of the Bible that I'm reading has a footnote ...
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What is the significance of the insertion of the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet into the names of Abraham and Sarah?

In Genesis 17 (verses 5 and 15) God gives Abram and Sarai new names. v. 5: No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude ...
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What do the names Oholah and Oholibah mean in Ezekiel 23?

Ezekiel 23:4 introduces the sisters who “play the whore” in an allegory narrated by the LORD: ...וּשְׁמוֹתָ֗ן אָהֳלָ֤ה הַגְּדוֹלָה֙ וְאָהֳלִיבָ֣ה אֲחוֹתָ֔הּ (BHS) : וּשְׁמוֹתָ֕ן שֹׁמְר֣וֹן ...
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Matthew vs Levi in the Gospel according to Matthew

Referring to: Matthew 9:9 - "a man called Matthew" Mark 2:14 - "Levi the son of Alphaeus" Luke 5:27 - "a tax collector named Levi" Is it widely regarded that Levi and Matthew are the same person ...
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Noah's father Lamech and the Lord's curse

In Genesis 5:28-29 we read about Lamech naming his son Noah, but what he says as he does so has me wondering. With Gen 5:29 it seems Lamech almost knew something in advance. Genesis 5:29 And he (...
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What is the Hebrew name of the prophet Jeremiah—Yirmeyah or Yirmeyahu?

When the question was asked on Christian hermeneutics the response was both: Please read what I wrote. Jer. 28:5 has יִרְמְיָה (Yirmeyah) and Jer. 7:1 has יִרְמְיָהוּ (Yirmeyahu). As for your ...
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Why does Moses change Hosea's name to Joshua?

Name changes throughout the Bible are pretty significant. Numbers 13:16 says that "Moses changed the name of Hosea son of Nun to Joshua." What is the significance of this name change? What are ...
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Who is Iscah in Genesis?

Gen. 11:29 states: And Abram and Nahor took themselves wives; the name of Abram's was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and the father of ...
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What is the difference in meaning between the phrases «Χριστός Ἰησοῦς» and «Ἰησοῦς Χριστός»?

In the New Testament, sometimes the authors use «Χριστός Ἰησοῦς» (“Christ Jesus”), where «Χριστός» precedes «Ἰησοῦς»,1 yet other times they use «Ἰησοῦς Χριστός» (“Jesus Christ”).2 What is the ...
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Are “Uzziah” and “Azariah” the name of the same king?

This is with reference to the two passages 2 Chronicles 26: Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. 2 He built ...
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What is the significance of Methuselah's name?

I've heard that Methuselah's name was given to him by Enoch in response to a prophecy concerning the flood. Since he seems to have died in the year of the flood (according to the Masoretic and ...
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What is the significance of the names of the pillars in Solomon's temple?

The Bible doesn't include extraneous, meaningless information, and names have great significance in the Old Testament. 2 Chronicles 3:17 records, [Solomon] set up the two pillars at the entrance of ...
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The significance of the designations of families who will mourn in Zechariah 12

As the prophet Zechariah proclaims the greatness of Jerusalem's mourning, he says: 12“All Israel will mourn, each clan by itself, and with the husbands separate from their wives. The clan of David ...
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Significance of the “Son of Man” appellation in Ezekiel

Ezekiel is the only prophet regularly referred to by God as "son of man" (ben adam). This is particularly interested to Christians since Jesus took the title "Son of Man" upon himself (ὁ υἱός τοῦ ...
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Signficance of name change from Saul to Paul

Acts 13:9 appears to record the moment Saul's name changes to Paul: Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said... (Prior to this time, he ...
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Three Valleys in Joel 3

Three valleys are mentioned in Joel 3: The Valley of Jehoshaphat (2, 12) The Valley of Decision (twice in 14) The Valley of Shittim (18) I'm wondering: Are any of these known, historical places? ...
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Did someone really name their son Fool?

In 1st Samuel 25, we read about Abigail's first husband, who is named Nabal. Near the end of the story, she pleads with David to save his life: My lord should not pay attention to this wicked man ...
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Why is Beer-Sheva' called Beer-Sheva'?

There is a place in Israel called Be-er-Sheva', which is given two different stories to justify the name. The word Be-er means well, as in a well of water, and the word Sheva means "seven" or more ...
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Jacob's name is Israel. So why is he still called Jacob?

When born, Jacob is given the name "Jacob" meaning, "trickster, supplanter, heel grabber." After he wrestles at Jabbok, he is renamed "Israel" meaning "strives with God." However, after this ...