17 Unique Hebrew Baby Boy Names Rich in History & Meaning

Tanvier Peart | Aug 19, 2016 Pregnancy

Little baby boy with a toy crawling on the floor at home

Since ancient times, the Hebrew language has influenced everything from cultures to literature. And while its revival has found a home in modern times, this classical tongue continues to inspire so many people -- including parents on a quest to uncover the perfect baby name. Even if one happens to be clueless about Hebrew pronunciation and its writing system (think right to left), this language is an abundant source of literary influence and wonder.

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Many folks may not think they know any Hebrew names, but these names are actually more common than one might expect. Jake, Reuben, and Caleb are all actually Hebrew, while other names like Jedi, Gavi, and Abdiel might seem more traditional. But no matter what one's familiarity is with Hebrew, these names are sure to start some meaningful conversations. Not to mention that each name has a ton of history -- there are bound to be other historical figures for a LO to emulate. 

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A mama's sweet prince deserves the best, which is why we're taking a look at the most charming Hebrew baby names for boys. Read on for the names that made our list of favorites and let us know which names hold the most meaning -- and which ones our readers will add to their lists.

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  • Shai

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    No need to be shy about professing your love for this baby name. Shai is really is cute! Hebrew for "gift," Shai might sound like it's timid, but it has everything it needs to be a top contender on your list of names for your son. 

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  • Reuben

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    Aside from being a wickedly awesome sandwich, Reuben has great historical significance as one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Inspired by the Hebrew rĕūbēn (behold, a son!), Reuben is savory, friendly, and totally adorable.

  • Asher

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    Who wouldn't want their child's name to reflect happiness and blessings? If that sounds like unicorns and rainbows to you, consider Asher for your baby boy. Plus, you can use fun nicknames like "Ash Man" or "Ashy" for giggles.

  • Eben

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    It's okay if you need a little time to collect yourself; we know how awesome this baby name sounds! A short name for the Hebrew Ebenezer (stone of help), Eben is one of the dreamiest names around -- so make sure you add it to your list. Yup, there are no Scrooges here!

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  • Oren

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    Also spelled Orin, Oren is short and strong. Hebrew for "laurel or pine tree," this baby name has sturdy roots, proving it's here to stay. And should you happen to love gazing at the night sky, Oren will likely remind you of Orion, a grouping of stars shaped like a hunter with a belt and sword.

  • Avi

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    Fans of the Showtime hit Ray Donovan will LOVE this baby name. Avi is the ace in the sleeve you'd be lucky to have as your right-hand man. Hebrew for "father," Avi, pronounced AH-vee, is a three-letter name that's all sorts of cute.  

  • Jedi

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    Sorry, Star Wars fans, but Jedi did not come from the Galactic Republic -- though that whole "use the Force" thing is pretty badass. Jedi actually hails from the Hebrew Jedaiah meaning "invoker of the Lord." We love Jedi's coolness factor that will likely score your kid major points on the playground. After all, who doesn't want to be a real-life Jedi?

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  • Gavi

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    Looking for a baby name with a touch of exhuberance? We got one for ya: Gavi. It's okay if it sounds like Gabby (or Gabi), given both names come from the Hebrew Gabriel that means "God is my strength." There's something about having a V in the name that makes it high-spirited. 

  • Elias

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    Kin to Elijah and the nickname Eli, Elias has strong Hebrew roots (it comes from 'ēlīyāhū meaning "Jehovah is God"). Sounds like a catchy baby name that will translate well into modern times.

  • Caleb

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    While Moses was a popular prophet in the Old Testament, it was Joshua and Caleb who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Hebrew for "devotion to God," Caleb (or Kaleb) is a commanding baby name with a jovial aura to make it playful around the sandbox.

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  • Abdiel

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    Abdiel is a strong baby name that honors the biblical prophet who went toe-to-toe with the devil himself. Hebrew for "servant of God," this name is all about paying it forward. And who knows, boys named Abdiel might feel inspired to do selfless things -- like hold doors open, help the elderly with their groceries, and change the world, one random act of kindness at a time.

  • Levi

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    As the forefather of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, Levi might be a short name but packs a ton of punch. Maybe that's why celebs like Matthew McConaughey and Sheryl Crow chose this baby name. It's just too darn cute to pass up! 

  • Jake

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    Jake is one of those beloved baby names that only gets better with age. Not only does it make us think of swoon-worthy guys like Jake Gyllenhaal and that dreamy Jake Ryan (Sixteen Candles, anyone?), but Jake is also the enjoyable pet name of the classic Hebrew Jacob (supplanter).

  • Israel

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    You know, since we're talking about Hebrew-inspired baby names, it's not far-fetched to think about Israel. Known as Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) in Hebrew, this great nation finds its roots in faith and rich history. Israel, which means "he who struggles with God," comes from the prophet Jacob who fought with an angel to receive his blessing. Later becoming the patriarch of the Israelites, Jacob had 12 children who would represent the tribes of Israel.

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  • Mateo

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    Though many people attribute Mateo to Latin or Greek, it actually has some pretty strong roots in Hebrew. Taking a page from mattīthyāh (gift of God), the endearing Mateo has mainstream klout, with actors Colin Firth and Benjamin Bratt bestowing the baby name on their sons.

  • Tobin

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    A short name from the Hebrew Tobias, Tobin finds its roots in tōbhīyāh (God is good). We happen to think this name has high charm appeal as well as a few catchy nicknames, like Toby and Tobes.

  • Rafael

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    You'll find it extremely hard to not fall in love with Rafael. A derivative of the Hebrew refāēl (God has healed), Raf pulls inspiration from the classic Raphael. Whether you're a fan of the biblical archangel, the Renaissance painter, or the badass ninja turtle, your little boy is going to have fun with this baby name.

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