Pronounced Pron. bahr-ZIL-ie (English), BAHR-zil-lah'-ee (Hebrew)
Other Forms FormsBarzelai, Barzelay, Barzellai, Barzellay, Barzilai, Barzilay, Barzil'lai, Barzilla, Barzillay, Zeal, Zelah
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Contributor Contrib.babycrookston on 2/28/2012
Derived from Aramaic or Hebrew barzillay meaning "(man) of iron" or "iron-hearted", which was derived from barzel "iron". In the Hebrew Bible this was the name of three Israelites, including Barzillai the Gileadite. A known bearer from more modern times was the African-American soldier Barzillai Lew (1743-1822). Lastly, in modern-day Israel, Barzillai (and its many spelling variants) is often found as a surname, causing some people to think it is a patronymic meaning "son of Zillai", but that is not correct.