Naming the Biblical way
One of the most important decisions that a newlywed couple has to make after deciding to have a baby is what to name it. Although it would just be a couple of words that will be attached to the newborn; it would eventually be carried with them for the rest of their life and could also end up being a reflection of their personality.
So, how does the process work? After the various meetings with our respective elders and many consultations later the common man turns to social media asking his unknown group of friends to suggest creative and dynamic names with an ‘A’ or ‘S’. There are still many of us who use the ‘old school’ method to decipher a revered name form the respective religious books in our communities.
For centuries; ‘The Bible’ has been a source of names for many new parents and continues to do so till this time as it is a well known touchstone of literature and human culture. It gives the parents a variety of choices between Hebrew, Greek and Latin names. Few of the popular names that have their roots in the Bible can be summed up as follows:
i. Aaron: This is a derivative from Hebrew roots of ‘Aharon’; although the origin is believed to be from Ancient Egypt. Its suggested meanings are ‘Warrior Lion’, ‘the Exalted’ and ‘High Mountain’. He was the elder brother of Moses and the initial priest of the Israelites.
ii. Abel: According to the Bible, this name can be termed as the third name that came into existence for a male (after Adam and Cain) since the beginning of time. He was the younger brother of Cain; Abel had faced execution at the hands of Cain out of envy and is termed as the first man to die. The name is derived from the Hebrew name Havel and the root meaning as ‘breath’.
iii. Abraham: He is the son of the tenth descendant of Noah, Terah. The Torah claims his name was originally Avram (‘High Father’) but God changed his name and ‘ha’ was added after his covenant with God. The name now means ‘father of many’; as he is commonly known as the father of the Abrahamic religions namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
iv. Adam: The first human being on planet earth and also the first name given by God. It is Hebrew for ‘man’ and the Arabic counterpart means ‘made from clay’. As per Genesis in the Old Testament; God created Adam from earth and hence the name also signifies the divine act. It is a common name and the spelling remains the same irrespective of language.
v. Eve: Adam and Eve were the first humans created and the human race associates their existence to them. The first woman on planet earth and also the first feminine name christened by God. It has Hebrew roots, which means ‘to breathe’, ‘to live’ or simply put ‘living’.
vi. Hannah: Few names can be classified as palindromes and this is one of them. The Hebrew roots put the meaning as ‘God’s reward/grace/favour to the world’. The Old Testament says she was the mother of Prophet Samuel.
vii. Sarah: This name is also spelled as ‘Sara’. She was Abraham’s wife and was originally named Sarai, but God changed it. She gave birth to Isaac at the age of 90 and the name has many meanings; the Hebrew and Persian roots translate it as ‘woman of high rank’, ‘noblewoman’ or ‘princess’.
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