DEBORAH f English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name דְּבוֹרָה (Devorah)
. In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak
, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. Also in the Old Testament, this is the name of the nurse of Rebecca.... [more]
DELPHIA f English
Possibly from the name of the Greek city of Delphi, the site of an oracle of Apollo
, which is possibly related to Greek δελφυς (delphys)
meaning "womb". It was used in the play The Prophetess
(1647), in which it belongs to the title prophetess.
ELIJAH m English, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu)
meaning "my God is YAHWEH"
, derived from the elements אֵל ('el)
and יָה (yah)
, both referring to the Hebrew God. Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker, as told in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament. He was active in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab
of Israel and his Phoenician-born queen Jezebel
. Elijah confronted the king and queen over their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al
and other wicked deeds. At the end of his life he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and was succeeded by Elisha
. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses
appear next to Jesus
when he is transfigured.... [more]
ELISHA m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name אֱלִישַׁע ('Elisha')
, a contracted form of אֱלִישׁוּעַ ('Elishu'a)
meaning "my God is salvation"
. According to the Old Testament, Elisha was a prophet and miracle worker. He was the attendant of Elijah
and succeeded him after his ascension to heaven.
EZRA m Biblical, English, Hebrew
in Hebrew. Ezra is a prophet of the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezra. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. The American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a famous bearer.
GAD m Biblical
Means "fortune, luck"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, Gad is the first son of Jacob
's slave-girl Zilpah
, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. His name is explained in Genesis 30:11
. Another Gad in the Old Testament is a prophet of King David
HULDAH f Biblical
Means "weasel, mole"
in Hebrew. This name appears in the Old Testament belonging to a prophetess.
IDRIS (1) m Arabic
Possibly means "interpreter"
in Arabic. In the Quran this is the name of an ancient prophet. He is traditionally equated with the Hebrew prophet Enoch
JESUS m Theology, Biblical
English form of Ιησους (Iesous)
, which was the Greek form of the Aramaic name יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshu'a)
is itself a contracted form of Yehoshu'a
). Yeshua ben Yoseph, better known as Jesus Christ, was the central figure of the New Testament and the source of the Christian religion. The four gospels state that he was the son of God and the Virgin Mary
who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. He preached for three years before being crucified in Jerusalem.
JOHN m English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Biblical
English form of Iohannes
, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes)
, itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan)
meaning "YAHWEH is gracious"
, from the roots יוֹ (yo)
referring to the Hebrew God and חָנַן (chanan)
meaning "to be gracious". The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan
in the English version), but this name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus
. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod
Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter
(his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.... [more]
JONAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah)
. This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.... [more]
MALACHI m Hebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name מַלְאָכִי (Mal'akhi)
meaning "my messenger"
or "my angel"
. This is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Malachi, which some claim foretells the coming of Christ. In England the name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
MANI (2) m Persian
Meaning unknown, presumably of Persian origin. Mani was a 3rd-century prophet who founded the religion of Manichaeism (which is now extinct).
MEDAD m Biblical
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Medad is one of the elders who prophesizes in the camp of the Israelites after the flight from Egypt.
MERLIN m Arthurian Romance, English
Form of the Welsh name Myrddin
(meaning "sea fortress"
) used by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his 12th-century Arthurian tales. Writing in Latin, he likely chose the form Merlinus
in order to prevent associations with French merde
MICAH m Biblical, English
Contracted form of MICAIAH
. Micah is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. He authored the Book of Micah, which alternates between prophesies of doom and prophesies of restoration. It was occasionally used as an English given name by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation, but it did not become common until the end of the 20th century.
MICHEL m French, German, Dutch
French form of MICHAEL
. Michel de Notredame, also known as Nostradamus, was the 16th-century French astrologer who made predictions about future world events. This is also the German diminutive form of MICHAEL
MIKI f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" and 紀 (ki)
meaning "chronicle". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MUHAMMAD m Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Bengali, Tajik, Uzbek, Indonesian, Malay, Avar
Means "praised, commendable"
in Arabic, derived from the root حَمِدَ (hamida)
meaning "to praise". This was the name of the prophet who founded the Islamic religion in the 7th century. According to Islamic belief, at age 40 Muhammad was visited by the angel Gabriel
, who provided him with the first verses of the Quran. Approximately 20 years later he conquered Mecca, the city of his birth, and his followers controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of his death in 632.... [more]
SIBYL f English
From Greek Σιβυλλα (Sibylla)
, meaning "prophetess, sibyl"
. In Greek and Roman legend the sibyls were ten female prophets who practiced at different holy sites in the ancient world. In later Christian theology, the sibyls were thought to have divine knowledge and were revered in much the same way as the Old Testament prophets. Because of this, the name came into general use in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. The Normans brought it to England, where it was spelled both Sibyl
. It became rare after the Protestant Reformation, but it was revived in the 19th century, perhaps helped by Benjamin Disraeli's novel Sybil
TALIESIN m Welsh, Arthurian Romance
Means "shining brow"
, derived from Welsh tal
"brow" and iesin
"shining". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh poet and bard. In later Welsh legends he is portrayed as a wizard and prophet, or as a companion of King Arthur
TENSKWATAWA m Native American, Shawnee
Means "open door"
in Shawnee. This was the name of a Shawnee prophet. With his brother Tecumseh
he led his people in resistance against European expansion in the early 19th century.
ZARATHUSTRA m History
Possibly means "golden camel"
in Old Iranian, derived from zarat
meaning "golden" combined with ushtra
meaning "camel". Zarathustra was the Persian prophet who founded the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism about the 10th century BC.