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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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 ...
Frank Luke's user avatar
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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 ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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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 ...
Sola Gratia's user avatar
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14 votes
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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 ...
Joshua's user avatar
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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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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 ...
Jeril Nadar's user avatar
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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 ...
Emi Matro's user avatar
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Was Immanuel a real name?

Was Immanuel (עִמָּנוּאֵל, "God with us") a legitimate name that predated Isaiah's writing it? Was it something that you might actually name your baby boy? Or is it a made-up symbolic name ...
mic's user avatar
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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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What is the difference in meaning between the phrases «Χριστός Ἰησοῦς» (“Christ Jesus”) and «Ἰησοῦς Χριστός» (“Jesus Christ”)?

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 ...
Der Übermensch's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Kazark's user avatar
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10 votes
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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 ...
Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE's user avatar
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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 gavest ...
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Was the translation of "Jesus" name in Greek from Yehshua purely transliteration or is there possibly "meaning" behind the name "Ἰησοῦς" / "Iēsous"

I have noted in my study of Scripture that most names have "meaning" and are often Hebrew words or statements (usually about God). The original Hebrew name of Jesus - Yeh'shua - follows this ...
Paula Hawkins's user avatar
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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 אָהֳלָ֔ה ...
Susan's user avatar
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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 does Matthew 28:19 say "in the name" and then proceed to give three names?

If written out in full would this verse read "in the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit"? Or is there some other reason apart from trimming obviously ...
C. Stroud's user avatar
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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 ...
S -'s user avatar
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What are some sources about the idea of official titles being mistaken as proper names in the Bible?

I'm looking for scholarship on the phenomenon of the Bible treating official titles as though they were proper names. Examples of this seem to include: Pharaoh, Abimelekh, Rabshakeh (maybe Agag?), all ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
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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 of ...
Sima's user avatar
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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 ...
user2754486's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
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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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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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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 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 ...
user4951's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Kazark's user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
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What is the significance and meaning behind Jesus giving Simon the name Peter?

What is the significance behind Jesus giving the apostle Simon the new name Peter and him being referred to in scripture as either "Peter" / "Simon Peter" from then on ? I have ...
Paula Hawkins's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

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 ...
Anne's user avatar
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4 votes
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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] ...
Sola Gratia's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Why is "Melchizedek" translated as a name?

The Hebrew text translated as "Melchizedek" actually forms a phrase in Hebrew meaning "my king is righteous" or perhaps "my righteous king." Why is it not translated ...
Biblasia's user avatar
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4 votes
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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....
Aaron Poet's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Hebrew referring to Adam & Eve in Genesis 1-3

In Genesis there is word play for man (ish איש) and woman (ishah אשה); also in regards to Eve, the name (chawah חוה) means living or life bearer does it not? With this in mind, in regards to the ...
bobob's user avatar
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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 (...
John Martin's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
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Does "most excellent Theophilus" mean more than just a greek person's name?

Luke 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus. The etomology of theophilus means &...
RHPclass79's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

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? ...
Kazark's user avatar
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3 votes
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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 ...
Ron Maimon's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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Why is חַוָּ֑ה (Gen. 3:20; 4:1) translated "Eve" in KJV (both cases) and "Ζωή" in Gen. 3:20 (LXX), yet "Ευαν" in Gen. 4:1 (LXX)?

The Hebrew proper noun, חַוָּ֑ה, in Genesis 3:20 and Genesis 4:1, is transliterated "Eve" in both cases in the KJV, yet "Ζωή" and "Ευαν" (Gen. 3:20; 4:1, respectively) in the LXX. It should be "Chavah"...
H. F. Watts Jr.'s user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
376 views

Is Isaiah 9:6-7 relating to Jesus the covenant promises of Abraham from Genesis 17:1-8?

I have often heard it suggested that by Isaiah referring to the Messiah as "Everlasting Father" as a name, or part of his name, Isaiah is saying that the Messiah was to be "fully God&...
Ruminator's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
353 views

In Matthew 10:25, who is Beelzebub/Beelzeboul?

[Mat 10:25 NASB] (25) "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more [will they ...
Ruminator's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Joshua's user avatar
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2 votes
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In Matthew 1:1 (and everywhere else), wouldn't it make more sense to render Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ with a comma after Ἰησοῦ, and to translate Χριστοῦ?

In Matthew 1:1 (and everywhere else), wouldn't it make more sense to render Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ with a comma after Ἰησοῦ, and to translate Χριστοῦ as "Anointed [One]"? [Proposed Matthew 1:1] (1) ...
Ruminator's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
271 views

Daniel 11:30 - Romans?

I am reading through A New English Translation of the Septuagint, currently in the Book of Daniel, where two different versions, the Old Greek and Theodotion, are given. The Old Greek NETS version of ...
The Votive Soul's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
875 views

What does the name Phinehas mean? [closed]

In Hebraic culture, names have significant meanings. When given a name it represents an array of scenario including but not limited to the essence of one's character (https://www.aish.com/jl/l/b/...
יהודה's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
424 views

Difference in Names between Douay-Rheims and King James

I use BibleHub.com which provides Greek and Hebrew presumably original texts. I like the Douay-Rheims Bible (DRB) because, on casual observation, it seems closer usually to the original. That is, it ...
P. Boyer's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
597 views

In Deut 32:44, Moses refers to Joshua as “Hoshea” in many translations. If all the 1st gen Israelites are dead, why the old name reference?

In many translations, Deut 32:44, Moses refers to Joshua as Hoshea son of Nun (in translations such as GNV, KJV, ASV, EHV, OJB, CJB). Some translations (ie: NKJV, ESV, CSB, HCSB) have Moses saying ...
Dustin's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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What does Daniel / "din" actually mean? [closed]

The name Daniel is often translated as "judged by God" or "God is my judge". As I understand it, its compents are דִּין (din) to judge / to arbitrate and אֵל ('el) God, right? So ...
danieltalsky's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
295 views

In Hebrews 1:4 what does it mean that Jesus "inherits" a more excellent name?

[Heb 1:4 DBY] (4) taking a place by so much better than the angels, as he inherits a name more excellent than they. 1:4 τοσούτῳ κρείττων γενόμενος τῶν ἀγγέλων ὅσῳ διαφορώτερον παρ᾽ αὐτοὺς ...
Ruminator's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
164 views

Are the disciples Bartholomew (Synoptics) and Nathanael (John) the same person?

The Synoptic Gospels refer to one of the 12 disciples as Bartholomew, and regularly pair him with Philip: Matthew 10: 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called ...
Hold To The Rod's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

In Exodus 3:15 what does God mean by "memorial"?

Exo 3:15 KJV - 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent ...
Ruminator's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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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), ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar