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Unusual Biblical Baby Names

The Bible is full of names, and many that were once considered unusual—Moses, for example, and Delilah—are now familiar on playgrounds throughout the land. So if you're looking for unique bible baby names, you have to look a lot harder, but they're still there. Instead of Delilah or Moses, you might try Zillah or Moab.

Along with Zillah and Moab, other unusual biblical baby names worth considering include Boaz, Gaius, Jericho, Joah, Keturah, Omri, Tirzah, or Zipporah. Biblical names that are unique in the US but common elsewhere in the world include Boaz, Linus, and Adah.

Here are hundreds of unique biblical baby names for boys and girls from both the Old and New Testaments. For more, check out our lists of Biblical Baby Names and BIblical Place Names
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AbelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "breath"
  • Description:

    Abel, the name of Adam and Eve's unfortunate younger son, compensates with positive connotations: capable, competent, ready and willing.

AzrielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my help"
  • Description:

    Azriel is more masculine than Ariel, more unusual than Israel. Also spelled Asriel and Azrael, Azriel is the name of the Angel of Death in Jewish and Muslim traditions.

ArielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "lion of God"
  • Description:

    Ariel is a male Biblical name, seen there as the messenger of Ezra, and also used as a symbolic name for the city of Jerusalem, while Shakespeare used it for a (male) sprite in The Tempest.

LazarusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latinized Greek variation of Hebrew Eleazar
  • Meaning:

    "God is my helper"
  • Description:

    Lazarus is a name that looks as if it could possibly be raised from the dead, just like its biblical bearer. Look for it in the next wave of Old Testament revivals that transcend their long-bearded images, the way Noah, Moses, and Abraham have for this generation.

AdrielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my master"
  • Description:

    A biblical name getting wider notice.
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BoazHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "swiftness"
  • Description:

    Now that such Old Testament patriarchs as Elijah and Moses fill the playground, Boaz seems downright baby-friendly, having more pizzazz than many of the others, perhaps as a successor to Noah.

MordecaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "follower of Marduk"
  • Description:

    Mordecai, although it has a noble heritage, has never caught on in this country, because of its rather weighty image.

LinusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "flax"
  • Description:

    Can Linus lose its metaphorical security blanket and move from the Peanuts page onto the birth certificate? We think it has enough charm and other positive elements going for it for the answer to be yes.

EphraimHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "fruitful, fertile, productive"
  • Description:

    Ephraim is an Old Testament name we would place high on the list of neglected Biblical possibilities, solid but not solemn.

EnochHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "dedicated"
  • Description:

    A major figure in the Old Testament, Enoch was the son of Jared, the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah whose Book of Enoch provides a focal point for ancient Jewish mysticism. Enoch Powell, English politician, academic, and poet, brought political and scholarly heft to this name. Another Enoch was the son of Cain. "Enoch Arden" is a famous poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
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AzraelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, variation of Azriel
  • Meaning:

    "help of God"
  • Description:

    This is the name of Angel of Death in Jewish and Muslim tradition, not a great start for an innocent child -- or a great role model for a teenager.

NehemiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "comforted by God"
  • Description:

    Nehemiah is an Old Testament name used by the Puritans, whose white-bearded image kept it out of favor for centuries, until it suddenly reappeared in 1998, along with the more user-friendly Josiah and Isaiah.

NehemiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "comforted by God"
  • Description:

    Nehemiah is an Old Testament name used by the Puritans, whose white-bearded image kept it out of favor for centuries, until it suddenly reappeared in 1998, along with the more user-friendly Josiah and Isaiah.

JerichoHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    A biblical place name with trumpeting verve and strength.

HezekiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God gives strength"
  • Description:

    This name of an influential Old Testament king of Judah is one that would challenge even the most adventurous biblical name-seeker, but it does have the modernizing short forms Zeke or Kiah.
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AdahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "ornament"
  • Description:

    Adah is a biblical name twice over—one was the mother of Jabal and Jubal, the other was a wife of Esau. The latter Adah and Esau’s descendants settled in Edom and became the Edomites. Adah is unrelated to the visually similar name Ada, which is Germanic in origin.

JuniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Feminine variation of Junius
  • Meaning:

    "born in June"
  • Description:

    Juno is hot, June is showing signs of a comeback along with other month and day names, whereas Junia, the name of the the first century Christian referred to by the apostle Paul as an apostle (and who may have been male), is yet to be discovered.

AtarahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "crown"
  • Description:

    This name of a minor character in the Old Testament, also spelled Atara, has a softly pleasing sound. In the Old Testament, Atarah was a descendant of Judah.

AbaddonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "ruin, destruction"
  • Description:

    Uncommon biblical name. It's the name of an angel in the New Testament.

SapphiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek variation of Sapphire, Hebrew jewel name
  • Meaning:

    "sapphire"
  • Description:

    Sapphira is a lovely name which unfortunately has an unsavory Biblical history. The New Testament Sapphira was killed by God for lying about a tax payment.
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UrielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my light"
  • Description:

    It's the name of an Old Testament archangel that's symbolically given to boys born during Chanukah, but the possibility of unsavory nicknames (urinal?) make the short form Uri a better bet.

ElonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "oak tree"
  • Description:

    The boys' name Elon is best known today as the name of Elon Musk, eccentric billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX. With Canadian singer Grimes, Elon Musk has a son with an even more unusual name, X Æ A-12.

ZebedeeHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Hebrew Zebediah
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Zebedee is an adorable and unusual New Testament name--which may sound like but is not a contradiction in terms. Unlike some of the longer biblical Z-names, Zebedee has a more lighthearted usability, with its gleeful ee-ending. And Zeb makes a fabulous nickname.

HadassahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "myrtle tree"
  • Description:

    This Hebrew name of Queen Esther is well used in Israel (especially for girls born around the holiday of Purim), and in the US is the name of a Zionist women's philanthropic organization. Formerly shunned as hyper-religious, this name entered the Top 1000 in 2007. The nickname Haddie could make it more usable.

JerushaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "inheritance"
  • Description:

    This biblical name of the mother of King Jotham of Judah has an appealing soft Russian accent.
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GaiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "to rejoice"
  • Description:

    Stately Gaius (pronounced GUY-us) was in the name of many ancient Romans, including Julius Caesar. Little-used before the year 2000, it now feels like a fresh possibility in the revival of Latin boys' names like Atticus and Cassius. Caius and derivatives like Caio come from the same root. You could also see Gaius as a male version of the earth-goddess name Gaia.

ZebulonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "exaltation or little dwelling"
  • Description:

    An Old Testament name with a Puritan feel and post-Zachary possibilities--one of several routes to the cool nickname Zeb.

JoahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "brother of God"
  • Description:

    Joah is a simple but obscure Biblical name, the name of four men in the Old Testament. Joah could be the perfect way to honor Grandpa Joe, or might be seen as a streamlined alternative to Josiah. Joah has so much basic appeal, in fact, that it just might be the next Noah.

AdlaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is just"
  • Description:

    Adlai is an Old Testament name long associated with 1950's liberal presidential candidate Stevenson, who was named after his grandfather, who was Grover Cleveland's vice president in the nineteenth century. Now it's an unusual Biblical choice ripe for rediscovery.

ZipporahHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Tziporah, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "bird"
  • Description:

    There are many variations of this name, with or without the initial T and the final h, with one p or two. In the Bible she was the wife of Moses.
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AdinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "slender, delicate"
  • Description:

    Name of an Old Testament soldier that can theoretically be used for either sex -- but sounds overwhelmingly feminine.

AmonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of Edmund
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy protector"
  • Description:

    This friendlier Celtic version of Edmund has an upbeat feel and a good chance of competing with Aidan and Damon sometime soon.

ZurielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my rock"
  • Description:

    Biblical name from the Old Testament.

BathshebaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "daughter of an oath"
  • Description:

    Popular with the Puritans, this name of the shrewd and beautiful wife of King David and mother of King Solomon could be a bit of a load for a modern girl to carry.

ZaccaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Cool biblical name that could get you to the nicknames Zac or Cai.
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OmriHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my sheaf"
  • Description:

    Old Testament name of a king of Israel, related to the harvest.

AeneasHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "the praised one"
  • Description:

    He was the legendary son of Venus, hero of Troy and Rome, and broke the heart of Queen Dido of Carthage. Sure, its more challenging than Charlie - but if you're looking this name up, that's probably part of its appeal.

JadonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God has heard"
  • Description:

    The authentic Biblical form of a name that has become even more popular alongside Jaden, Jayden, Jaidan et al. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, whose children are named creatively after their parents as Willow and Jaden, helped launch the trend. This spelling peaked at Number 372 in 2003, though it has dropped drastically in usage over the last decade.

DamarisHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dominant woman"
  • Description:

    In the New Testament, Damaris was an Athenian woman converted to Christianity by St. Paul. Known for her charitable work, her name was a favorite among the Puritans. Having slid off the bottom of the Top 1000 in 2012, Damaris might be deserving of more attention by parents in search of a New Testament name that is unusual but accessible, especially since girls' names ending in 's' are coming back into fashion.

HiramHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "brother of the exalted one"
  • Description:

    Hiram is the kind of forgotten biblical name that adventurous parents who wish to move beyond David and Daniel are beginning to reconsider--even though it has bits of its old stiff-collared image clinging to it, along with a little hillbilly feel as well. The name belonged to an Old Testament king of Tyre who helped David and Solomon plan and build the temple in Jerusalem, and was a favorite in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, though a couple of well-known bearers dropped it--Ulysses S. Grant was orignially Hiram Ulysses Grant, but he didn't like having the initials H.U.G., and country singer Hank Williams was also born Hiram. With its definite funk factor, and its friendly nickname Hi, Hiram would make a distinctive choice.
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BenaiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "son of the Lord"
  • Description:

    Benaiah is an unusual biblical choice that can get you to Ben.

DrusillaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "fruitful"
  • Description:

    Drusilla is an ancient Roman name, (probably) borne by descendants of Antony and Cleopatra, and is one of the 'illa' names that are ready for a comeback, especially with its cute short form Dru.

JavanHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "Greece"
  • Description:

    A son of Noah in the Bible who is also thought to be an ancestor of the Greek people and the guardian angel of Greece.

ApphiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek from Hebrew
  • Description:

    Biblical name from the New Testament.

BarnabasHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "son of consolation"
  • Description:

    Barnabas, whose birth name was Joseph, was one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem, who undertook missionary journeys with Paul the Apostle, His name is a bit Old World compared to the update Barnaby, but could gain some attention as boys' names ending in 's' are enjoying a comeback.
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KenanHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "possession"
  • Description:

    The biblical character Kenan was a great-grandson of Adam and a direct ancestor of Noah. As in Christianity, Kenan is honored in Islam.

AquilaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "eagle"
  • Description:

    An evocative ancient word that's used as a first name in the New Testament, among other places. It's also the name of an eagle-shaped constellation.

NicodemusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "victory of the people"
  • Description:

    This rarely used New Testament name could make an unusual route to the cool nickname Nico. Nicodemus (Noddy) Boffin is a character in the Dickens novel Our Mutual Friend.

IshmaelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God will hear"
  • Description:

    Ishmael is most familiar through "Call me Ishmael," the opening line spoken by the youthful narrator of Moby-Dick. Few American parents have followed that advice, though the Spanish and Arabic spelling, Ismael, ranks at Number 362. With its warm and pleasant sound, though, we could see Ishmael tagging along behind Isaiah and Isaac.

MicaiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "who is like God?"
  • Description:

    Spelling variation of Michaiah, an obscure but attractive name used for both men and women in the Bible.
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