19 Rare & Unusual Baby Names From the Bible

Tanvier Peart | Jan 5, 2017 Pregnancy
19 Rare & Unusual Baby Names From the Bible
Image: iStock.com/JBryson

Precious newborn baby sleeping peacefully with pink Bible
iStock.com/JBryson

Expectant parents have been known to look just about anywhere for baby name inspiration, and whether the parents-to-be are religious or not, a great source to consider is the Bible. Aside from being a pretty long page-turner, this historical resource has some amazing baby name ideas for a new bundle of joy -- some of which are rarely used. This means we have some more unusual suggestions.

Noah. Mary. Joseph. Gabriel. Jacob. Jonah. Esther. Adam. Eve.

Yeah, we've heard of those before. Nothing wrong with them (at all), but we're thinking about uncommon biblical names that are hard to find on a key chain at a souvenir store. These distinctive names would require a closer reading of the Bible, so they're guaranteed not to be common on the playground. Perfect! 

After all, aren't more and more parents searching for names that others haven't used often? Gone are the days of all of the children in class having a couple of peers called by the same moniker. Different is the name of the game these days -- no pun intended. We put on our detective hats and did a deep dive to find names that are truly unusual. Names that are both meaningful and will sound special. Here's a look at some biblical baby names for both boys and girls that people don't hear every day -- or maybe didn't know came from the Bible. These might prove to be just the inspiration needed.

Baby hand holding parent's hand while reading the bible
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  • ADAH

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    Rudometova Yulia/Shutterstock

    Pronounced AH-dah, Adah was a wife of Lamech, a descendant of Cain (as in the Cain from the Cain and Abel story about a sibling rivalry that didn't end well), and one of the first women in the Bible who came after Eve. 

  • SILAS

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    Three month infant baby boy
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    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel might've been onto something by naming their son Silas, which is derived from the Aramaic sh'īlā  meaning "asked for" -- so beautiful! Not only is Silas a precious baby name, but it's also one that has a bit of status. Silas was one of the leaders chosen to go to Antioch in the book of Acts.

  • JAALA

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    Beautiful little baby
    marina leonidovna/Shutterstock

    Jaala was one of King Solomon's servants noted in the book of Nehemiah. With Arabic roots meaning "ascending," Jaala is a great baby name idea that's gender-neutral and so distinctive.

    More from CafeMom: 25 Gorgeous & Unusual Baby Names That Work for Boys or Girls

  • URI

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    Closeup asian baby sleep on daylight
    kittirat roekburi/Shutterstock

    Fans of three-letter baby names might want to circle this one. Uri is an illuminating choice (it's Hebrew for "my light") and the name of the father of one of the architects of Solomon's temple.

  • GENESIS

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    Cute happy little four month old baby girl lying on the white sheet with wooden toys.
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    One biblical baby name that's sure to make the shortlist is Genesis. Not only is it hard to miss in the Bible (it's the first book), but Genesis is a striking baby name option that packs a punch. It's also a lovely choice for a first baby, with its "in the beginning" significance.

  • TERAH

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    3-month old African American baby boy lay in armchair
    Tatiana Chekryzhova/Shutterstock

    Terah is a Hebrew name that ends in the soft -ah and honors the father of Abraham, a noted patriarch of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. The biblical meaning of the name Terah is to breathe, scent, blow ... as in to give life. 

    More from CafeMom: 17 Unique Hebrew Baby Boy Names Rich in History & Meaning

  • SELAH

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    Rudometova Yulia/Shutterstock

    Children have been known to take their parents' breath away -- and, my, does this baby name do just that. Many believe the word "selah" notes a pause or breath when written throughout the Bible (Selah is quite evident in the Book of Psalms). Selah is airy, whimsical, and quite stylish.

  • CARMI

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    Happy baby
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    Aside from being a pet name for Carmichael or Carmine (Carmina), the name Carmi, which is thought to mean "lamb of the waters," is the name of the fourth son of Reuben, Jacob's firstborn child.

  • KEZIAH

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    Beautiful little baby looking to the camera attentively.
    Lighthunter/Shutterstock

    Some people have heard Keziah before, but most haven't. It's an interesting biblical name that will spice up any shortlist. Aside from being Hebrew for "cassia tree," Keziah was the name of Job's (the super patient guy in the Bible) second daughter.

    More from CafeMom: 19 Hebrew Baby Names for Girls That Have So Much Sweet Meaning

  • ALVAH

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    Little asian child on bed
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    Noted as "his highness" in Hebrew, Alvah was a duke (or chief) of Edom mentioned in the book of Genesis.

  • JUNIA

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    Close-up portrait of a beautiful newborn baby with big eyes
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    We don't know much about Junia in the Bible, except that he was a fellow countryman and prisoner of the apostle Paul. Junia is thought to be the female form of the Roman family name Junius, which has a ton of spunk.

  • BELA

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    Naughty eyes of an 18 month old mixed race toddler boy
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    The name Bela might sound like a girl's name -- or evoke the heroine in the Twilight series -- but this baby name is masculine, though we think it's a pretty fierce gender-neutral option. Bela was a city mentioned in the Old Testament, and is also the name of the eldest son of Benjamin, who himself was Jacob's last son.

    More from CafeMom: 25 Super Cute 'Boy Names' That Are Just Perfect for Baby Girls

  • ABILENE

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    Baby girl four month old
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    If we close our eyes, this baby name has us dreaming of soft meadows and cool breezes. Abilene is an adorable name that's also a place referenced in the book of Luke (Luke 3:1, to be exact). 

  • FELIX

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    cute smiling newborn lying on his stomach
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    Few people know the name Felix has biblical roots? It's true. Felix was a a Roman procurator in the book of Acts whose name is full of good cheer as it's Latin for "happy."

  • ADALIA

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    Cute Baby Girl
    Omer N Raja/Shutterstock

    How cute is this baby name choice? Though Adalia is the name of one of Haman's sons in the Bible, many use this name for little girls. For either a son or a daughter, we think Adalia is a great option!

    More from CafeMom: 21 Beautiful Baby Girl Names With Classic Latin Roots

  • SHEM

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    Smiling newborn baby with Mohawk hair sleeping in white blanket
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    Shem was the eldest son of Noah whose lineage would play a major role in Christianity. It's believed that Jesus Christ is a descendant of Shem -- which makes this baby name a pretty big deal!

  • NERIAH

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    Adorable baby boy in pampers
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    "Me and 'Neriah' go back like babies and pacifiers." Kidding. That's actually a line from the song "Fantasy" that references Mariah Carey. (Womp, womp.) Neriah was the son of Maaseiah and Baruch, and Seraiah's, dad who are referenced in the book of Jeremiah. Although this is a name for a male, we can totally picture a girl rocking Neriah. It's pretty cute, right?

  • ARELI

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    Little boy with blue eyes lying on a green grass and laugh
    Nadir Keklik/Shutterstock

    We've all heard of the name Ariel (from The Little Mermaid?), but this biblical name is a little different. Areli was a son of Gad (a son of Jacob). Meaning "Lion of God" in Hebrew, Areli could be used for boys and girls.

    More from CafeMom: 25 Best Gender-Neutral Baby Names

  • TIRAS

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    Portrait adorable baby smiling
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    Now here's a name that isn't heard every day. Tiras was a grandson of Noah who was briefly mentioned in the book of Genesis, but has a name that resonates for a lifetime. Plus, Tiras has a Game of Thrones vibe that makes it even more lovable.

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