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Biblical Place Names

Biblical Place Names
Biblical place names relate not to the people in the Bible but the physical places. As place names become more mainstream, parents are searching for ones with meaning and history, such as those in the Bible. The Bible has many name-worthy settings, from Ariel to Zion.

Along with Ariel and Zion, other Biblical Place Names in the US Top 1000 include Bethany, Canaan, Eden, Jericho, Jordan, Judah, and Shiloh. More unique place names from the Bible that may be worth considering include Abilene, Lydda, Bethel, and Zebulun.

Can these ancient place names work as contemporary baby names? We say yes. For more baby names from the bible, browse our master list of Biblical Baby Names and our list of Unusual Biblical Baby Names.

EdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "place of pleasure, delight"
  • Description:

    Eden is an attractive, serene name with obvious intimations of Paradise, one of several place names drawn from the Bible by the Puritans in the seventeenth century.

ZionHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "highest point"
  • Description:

    Zion has taken off in recent years, especially after singer Lauryn Hill used it for her son in 1997 and incorporated the name into a hit song. It combines a user-friendly Ryan-Brian sound with the gravitas of religious significance. The Hebrew pronunciation is 'tzeeyon'.

JudahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "praised"
  • Description:

    Judah is the strong, resonant Old Testament name of the son of Jacob who was the ancestor of one of the tribes of Israel, and from whom the word Jew is derived. Some of the names' popularity might be attributable to the similarly named Jude Law.

ShilohHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "tranquil"
  • Description:

    Haunting biblical and Civil War place-name; now unisex—especially after the mega-high-profile Brangelina couple picked it for their daughter. It debuted in the Top 1000 for boys in 2015.

JordanHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "flowing down"
  • Description:

    Jordan became one of the top unisex baby names in the heyday of basketball's Michael Jordan, and is still among the most popular unisex names starting with J. The name was originally given to those baptized in holy water brought back by Crusaders from the River Jordan, the only river in Palestine, and the one in which Christ was baptized by John the Baptist.

BethanyHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place name and Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "house of figs"
  • Description:

    Bethany is a lyrical name that still strikes many parents as a fresher, more substantial substitute for the overused Brittany/Brittney or the more antiquated Beth.

JerichoHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    A biblical place name with trumpeting verve and strength.

ArielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "lion of God"
  • Description:

    Despite its distinguished pedigree and popularity in Israel, Disney's Little Mermaid cartoonized Ariel in the US, at least in some people's minds. Short form Ari has come into prominence via the character in Entourage, plus its similarity to short, breezy Biblical names like Levi and Eli.

BeulahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "married"
  • Description:

    In the Bible, Beulah is a place, not a person, applied to the land of Israel by the prophet Isaiah. The land of Beulah has sometimes been considered a reference to heaven. Beulah began to be used as a given name in England at the time of the Reformation and was used by the seventeenth century Puritans.

GalileaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Galileo, after "Galilee"
  • Meaning:

    "Galilee"
  • Description:

    Like the masculine form Galileo, Galilea is a variant of Galilee, a region in Northern Israel of great Biblical significance. Given the current popularity of soft Italian girls’ names, this name’s long historical roots, its beautiful sound and the potential for cute nicknames (Leia, Lil, Ally, etc) it’s no surprise that this name has been on the rise in recent years.

CanaanHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place name
  • Description:

    Pronounced KAY-nan, this Old Testament place name has a strong modern feel. It was one of the fastest-rising names of 2015, breaking into the Top 1000.

AbileneHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "grass"
  • Description:

    Abilene is a rarely used place name, mentioned as such in the New Testament, that combines the cowboy spunk of the Texas city with the midwestern morality of the Kansas town where Dwight D. Eisenhower spent his boyhood. Abilene is a much more untrodden path to the nickname Abbie/Abbie than the Top 10 Abigail.

CarmelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "garden"
  • Description:

    Carmel is a biblical place-name heard much more frequently in Ireland than in the U.S. and is considered a particularly Catholic name. It is given in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is the name of a mountain ridge on the Mediterranean near Haifa in Israel, mentioned in the Old Testament, famous for its lush vegetation and said to have been often visited by Mary and the Infant Christ.

MoriahHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place name; Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is my teacher"
  • Description:

    Where Abraham took his son Isaac to sacrifice him. Taylor Hanson chose this as the middle name for his son Viggo, his fourth child, but most will see it as a girls’ name. Make life simpler and spell it Mariah.

ShebaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, short variation of Bathsheba
  • Meaning:

    "daughter of an oath"
  • Description:

    This biblical place-name for the region now known as Yemen started to feel fresh again as the name of the heroine of Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal, played on screen by Cate Blanchett.

EphronHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "fawn-like"
  • Description:

    Ephron was the Old Testament son of Zohar who sold his field and cave to Abraham to use as a family burial ground. Ephron is also a Biblical place-name, a mountain range that formed the northern border of the land of Judah.

BethelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "house of God"
  • Description:

    A rarely used Biblical place-name with a soft and pleasant sound.

ShamirHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "a sharp thorn, flint"
  • Description:

    Traditional Jewish name and the implement said to have been used by Solomon to cut the huge stones for the building of the Temple.

ZorahHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    Zorah, the Old Testament home of Samson, is both soft and substantial.

ZairHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    In the Bible, Joram and "all his chariots" pass over Zair.

SamariaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name, ancient Palestinian city in present-day Jordan
  • Description:

    Similar to but distinct from Samara, this pretty name was chosen for his daughter by rapper LL Cool J.

ZebulunHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    It's a place in the Bible but also relates to the name Zebulon.

OnoHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese surname
  • Description:

    Closely tied to the widow of John Lennon.

IdalahHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    Idalah is a town in Zebulon that makes a distinctive first name for a modern girl. Where the boys get most of the ancient yet unusual Biblical names, Idalah is one for the girls' side.

KeilahHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    A city of the Shephelah that works as a first but you'll be forever explaining why it's not Kayla.

MarahHeart

  • Origin:

    Bibical place-name
  • Description:

    Marah is where the Israelites camped right after they walked through the parted Red Sea. Marah is related to Mara and has the same "bitter" meaning.

ZelahHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    A city in Benjamin's territory that makes a perfect first name.

LystraHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    Anatolian city visited by Paul in the Bible, though risks sounding a tad antiseptic.

MeribahHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place name, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "quarreling"
  • Description:

    Though this Biblical place name is found among early American settlers, usually as a male name, today it sounds completely feminine. As a place name, its gender is mutable in any case. An unusual and intriguing Biblical option, albeit one with an unhappy meaning.

LyddaHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    Lydda is the name of a Biblical town whose similarity to Lydia makes it plausible as a first name. But if you're considering Lydda, we can't help but wonder: Why not just stick with Lydia?

UzHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    A minimalist choice, Uz is the Biblical home of Job. It's also the name of a character in the Bible, the father of Aram and the grandson of Shem, as is Uzziah. Uz is one of those names that could go either way depending on the personality of your child: super-cool or scuzzy. Proceed with caution.