Thursday, May 03, 2007

How to name your baby girl according to the bible

Choosing the right baby name for your new born baby girl is no easy task. Many prefer baby names rooted deep in history and culture, which bares a significant meaning and heritage. Some of the most traditional and common names are taken from the main historical characters in the Bible. This phenomenon is not only amongst religious people, but can be found world wide, in different cultures and all layers of society. Some of the reasons for choosing a Biblical name:

· Religious families, or families with a religious background will certainly prefer a name associated with their tradition. · Many believe the chosen name will reflect upon their child's life and character, hence might choose a name associated with great virtues such as the beautiful Rachel, generous Rebacca queen Athtalia, or Sara - the first mother of Israel. · Biblical names usually have a well known and international meaning, although they might be found in different variations. · Biblical names are common and popular, therefore they are easily written, and pronounced.

Here you will find the meanings of some of the most common names given after dominant women in the Bible.

Rachel - One of the four mothers of Israel. Her story appears in the book of Bereshit (Genesis). She is the daughter of Lavan, Leah's younger sister, wife of Jacob, and mother of Josef and Benjamin. Rachel is considered mother of sons, the mother of the Israeli tribes. In the book of Genesis Rachel is the preferred sister in the eyes of Jacob, and he works for 14 years for her father to gain the right to marry her.

Rebecca - Known in Hebrew as Rivka, Rebecca is the second of the four mothers of Israel. Wife of Yitzhak, daughter of Betuel, and sister of Lavan. Her story appears in the book of Bereshit (Genesis). In his older years, Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Yitzhak. The name of the servant is not mentioned but is said to be Eliezer. When Rivka shows generosity towards the servant, she is chosen by him to come back and marry Yitzhak.

Leah - One of the four mothers. Her story also appears in the book of Bereshit. The meaning of the name Leah is not entirely understood, but some claim it is from an ancients language, and meaning "cow" (similar to the name Rachel which comes from a word meaning "sheep"). Leah is the mother of six out of the twelve sons of Jacob: Reuben, Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Isaschar and Zvulun, and also of Jacob's daughter Dina. These are the names of most of the Israeli tribes, and certainly the most important amongst them. Leah is the first woman in the bible to choose her children's names herself. Jacob, her husband, loved Rachel, her sister, more than her.

Zilpa - Zilpa was the servant of Leah and Jacob's fourth wife. When Jacob married Leah, Lavan (Leah's father) gave Zilpa to Leah as a servant. When Leah could not bare children temporarily, she gave Zilpa to Jacob as a wife, and Zilpa gave birth to Gad and Asher (two of the Israeli tribes). These sons are considered sons of Leah, as was the custom in biblical times.

Athalia - Queen of Yehuda in years 842 until 836 B.C.

Na'ama - Daughter of Lemech, mentioned in the book of Bereshit (Genesis). According to some she was the wife of Noah, builder of the arc. The literal meaning of here name is - pleasant one.

Abigail (Avigail) - Wife of king David. A woman of beauty and intelligence. one of the four most beautiful women in the world (according to the Gmara). The literal meaning of her name is - My father is joy.

About the author

Tali Saar is a contributing writer for Baby names meanings

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