17 Timeless Girl Names From the Old Testament

Genny Glassman | Jul 31, 2020 Pregnancy
17 Timeless Girl Names From the Old Testament
Image: iStock/mapodile

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iStock/mapodile

Some baby names follow trends. That's why we see so many babies named the same things year after year. It's not that these are bad baby names by any means, and many of these names can be meaningful. But sometimes what Mom and Dad really need is a classic name that has deep ties to our world -- not a trendy name. Names that comes from a religious or spiritual source are not only used around the world, but they also often hold lasting meaning. In short, there is no shelf life on baby names from the Old Testament and they're pretty much foolproof. Not to mention, Old Testament names are often beautiful -- especially the less common names. That's why an expectant Mom and Dad might want to take a look at these options for some baby name inspiration.


The thing about picking a baby girl name from the Old Testament is that every name has a history. Each name is connected to religious figure -- and every woman played her part in the story. Eve was the first woman, Leah was one of Jacob's wives, and Abigail was one of King David's wives. Many of these women were powerful in their own right, and naming a little girl after an Old Testament woman imbues her with their strength and wisdom.

These names also have their own meaning away from religious texts. Many have connections to the natural world, and we think that's pretty special too. If parents are hoping to bypass trends and fads, they may want to look towards the Old Testament for inspiration. Take a look at some of these gorgeous and timeless baby names and see if any stoke the flames of creativity.

  • DELILAH

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    Is it cheesy to say that this name reminds us of the hit early aughts song Hey There Delilah? Nah, we didn't think so either. Originally Delilah comes from the Hebrew delilah, which means "delicate." She was the mistress of Samson, according to the Old Testament.

  • ABIGAIL

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    In the Old Testament, Abigail was the Hebrew Avigayil, and was the name of one of King David's wives. Avigayil also meant "father of exaltation, father is rejoicing" which is a meaning that is still used today.

  • EVE

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    Eve, the name held by the first woman, according to the Bible, holds extra special meaning. Some might not know that Eve was originally the Hebrew name Chava, which means "life," and loosely relates to the idea that Eve was "the mother of all the living."

  • RUTH

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    A name that is truly loyal, in the Old Testament Ruth was the name of a Moabite woman who was devoted to her mother-in-law. It was taken from the name Hebrew rūth and loosely means "companion, friend."

  • REBECCA

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    Rebecca, Becca, Bex -- there are so many great variations of this name for parents who are really inspired. It was the name of Isaac's wife in the Old Testament. The origin of Rebecca can be taken from two related origins: ribbqāh, meaning "noose," and rabak, which means "to bind, to tie."

  • MIRIAM

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    This is such a beautiful name for a lovely baby girl. Miriam is often translated to mean "sea of bitterness" or "sea of sorrow." There is some debate, and others believe it means "rebellion," "wished-for child," and "mistress or lady of the sea." In the Old Testament, Miriam is the sister of Moses and Aaron.

  • ESTHER

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    Esther is another name with many, many meanings. Like "myrtle" (if believed to have been taken from the Hebrew name Hadassah), "star" if taken from the Persian stara. Others believe it derives from the Babylonian name Ishtar -- the name of a goddess of love and fertility. In the Old Testament, Esther is the Jewish wife of a Persian king.

  • RACHEL

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    Rachel always has been and always will be a crazy popular name. It's a classic. Derived from the Ecclesiastic Late Latin and the Ecclesiastic Greek Rhachēl, we could basically go all the way back and say that the name comes from the Hebrew rāchēl, meaning "ewe." Rachel was one of Jacob's wives in the Old Testament and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin.

  • LEAH

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    Such a timeless name that is still used the world over. Leah was originally the Hebrew name  lā'āh and can be taken to mean "weary, to tire." In the Old Testament, Leah was the eldest daughter of Laban and the first of Jacob's four wives.

  • DEBORAH

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    Deborah is now considered a throwback baby name, as it was at its most popular in the 1950s. But that doesn't mean it's outdated. In fact, we think it could be an absolutely sweet baby name that means "a bee, a swarm of bees." In the old Testament, Deborah is a prophetess and judge.

  • HANNAH

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    Hannah skyrocketed to popularity in the 1990s, when it was the 30th most popular baby name in the country for girls. Of course, it never really went out of style and many people might turn to the name Hannah when planning their little one's name. The name also means "gracious, full of grace, mercy." Hannah was the mother of the Old Testament prophet Samuel.

  • NAOMI

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    Naomi has been in the top 100 baby names for the last 10 years -- and there are no signs of that slowing. Naomi is actually the Anglicized form of the Hebrew name Naami, which is a variant of Naamah, meaning "pleasant, beautiful, delightful." The name is found in the Old Testament's Book of Ruth.

  • SARAH

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    Popular the world over, there is no girl's name more well known than Sarah. And we can totally see why that would be. In Hebrew, the name sārāh means "princess." Sarah was the name of patriarch Abraham's wife in the Old Testament.

  • DINAH

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    Pronounced like DYE-nah, the Old Testament name Dinah can be traced back to the daughter of Jacob. The name means "judged," and there are so many variations for parents who are inspired such as Di or Dina.

  • ELIZABETH

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    For the last one-hundred plus years, Elizabeth has been a top 20 baby name. We swear, it's true! The name means "God is my oath," and variations of the name are Elisabeth, Betty, Liz, Lisa, Lizzie, Bess and Beth. In the Old Testament, Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist and a cousin of the Virgin Mary.

  • TAMAR

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    Tamar might be one of the least common Old Testament names we've found. In Hebrew, the name means "date palm, a palm tree," and in the Old Testament Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah.

  • ZIPPORAH

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    Zipporah is another Old Testament name that isn't widely used, but we think it's time for a comeback. The name means "bird," and in the Old Testament Zipporah was the name of Moses' wife.

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