All the Names in the Bible

All the Names in the Bible

by Thomas Nelson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780529106506
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Series: A to Z Series
Pages: 800
Sales rank: 199,134
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.20(d)

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A to Z: All the Names in the Bible

By Thomas Nelson Publishers

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2014 Thomas Nelson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-529-10650-6



Aaron [Aa'ron], enlightened or bright—First high priest of the Hebrew nation. Aaron was the oldest son of Amram and Jochebed, of the tribe of Levi (Ex. 6:16–27). He was three years older than his brother, Moses (Ex. 7:7), and younger than his sister, Miriam. He married Elisheba, a woman of the tribe of Judah, by whom he had four sons—Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (Ex. 6:23).

When God called Moses to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt, Moses protested that he would not be able to speak convincingly to the pharaoh. So Aaron was designated by God as Moses' official spokesman (Ex. 4:14–16). At Moses' instruction, Aaron also performed miracles as signs for the release of the Hebrews. Aaron's rod turned into a serpent that swallowed the rods of the Egyptian magicians (Ex. 7:8–20). Aaron also caused frogs to cover the land by stretching his rod over the lakes and streams of Egypt (Ex. 8:6).

Aaron held an important place of leadership because of his work with his brother, Moses. A central figure in the exodus from Egypt, he also received instructions from God for observing the first Passover (Ex. 12:1). In the wilderness he assisted Moses in keeping order and rendering judgments over the people (Num. 15:33).

In Israel's first recorded battle with the Amalekites, Aaron and Hur supported the hands of Moses to keep them raised in the air, which ensured Israel's victory (Ex. 17:12).

Both he and Moses were singled out when the people complained about the harsh conditions of these wilderness years (Num. 14:2).

When the priesthood was instituted in the wilderness, Moses consecrated Aaron as the first high priest of Israel (Ex. 28–29; Lev. 8–9). The priesthood was set within the tribe of Levi, from which Aaron was descended. Aaron's sons (Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar) inherited the position of high priest from their father (Num. 3:2–3).

Aaron was given special robes to wear, signifying his status within the priesthood (Lev. 8:7–9). At his death the robes were transferred to his oldest living son, Eleazar (Num. 20:25–28). The tabernacle, the main sanctuary of worship, was placed under Aaron's supervision (Num. 4). He received instructions from God on the functions of the priesthood and the tabernacle (Num. 18). He alone, serving in the capacity of high priest, went into the Holy of Holies once a year to represent the people on the Day of Atonement.

In spite of his responsibility for the spiritual leadership of the nation, Aaron committed a serious sin in the wilderness surrounding Mount Sinai. While Moses was on the mountain praying to God and receiving His commandments, the people demanded that Aaron make one or more gods for them to worship. Aaron made no attempt to stop the people and made a golden calf for them (Ex. 32:1–10). Aaron was saved from God's wrath only because Moses interceded on his behalf (Deut. 9:20).

After all their years of leading the people, neither Moses nor Aaron was permitted to enter the promised land. Apparently this was because they did not make it clear that God would provide for the Hebrews' needs when they believed they would die for lack of water in the wilderness (Num. 20:12).

Upon arriving at Mount Hor from the wilderness of Kadesh, Aaron was accompanied by Moses and his son Eleazar to the top of the mountain. There he was stripped of his high priestly garments, which were transferred to Eleazar. He died there on Mount Hor at age 123. After Aaron's death, the community mourned for 30 days (Num. 20:22–29).

The book of Hebrews explains how the perfect priesthood of Jesus Christ replaces the faulty and human priesthood of Aaron and his descendants (Heb. 5:2–5; 7:11–12). In contrast with the priesthood of Aaron, the priesthood of Christ is compared with the mysterious figure of Melchizedek, King of Salem and priest of God (Gen. 15:18–20; Ps. 110:4). Melchizedek's priesthood had no beginning and no end; in the same way, the priesthood of Christ is eternal and continuous (Heb. 7:1–3).

Aaronites [Aa'ron-ites]—The priestly descendants of Aaron, part of the tribe of Levi. A large company of Aaronites, under the leadership of Jehoida, came to David's support when he was anointed king at Hebron (1 Chron. 12:27).

Ab [Ab], to be fruitful—The name of the fifth sacred and eleventh civil month of the Jewish calendar. It is a Chaldean name and was not used until after the Babylonian exile.

Abaddon [A·bad'don], destruction—Angel of the abyss or bottomless pit, called Apollyon in Greek (Rev. 9:11). Several times this word is accompanied by the word Sheol, which is often translated hell or the grave (Prov. 15:11; 27:20).

Abagtha [A·bag'tha], father of the wine-press—One of the seven eunuchs of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes), the guardians of the royal harem (Est. 1:10–11).

Abana [Ab'a·na], stony—A river of Damascus, probably the present Barada. It rises on a high plain on Anti-Lebanon, 23 miles from Damascus, flows through the city, and gives fertility to the surrounding plain. The Abana is one of the rivers mentioned by the Syrian official, Naaman the leper, when he was complaining about being told to bathe in the Jordan River in order to be cleansed from leprosy (2 Kings 5:12). See also Pharpar.

Abanah [Ab' a·nah]—A variation of Abana.

Abarim [Ab'a·rim], regions beyond—A mountainous area east of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. One of the encampments of the Israelites was in this region (Num. 21:11). The tribe of Reuben was given settlements within it (Num. 32:2–37). Moses viewed the promised land from the heights of Mount Nebo, a part of this mountain range (Deut. 32:49).

Abba [Ab'ba], father—As the everyday language of first-century Jews—the language of Christ and the disciples—Aramaic is the first "Christian" language. This Semitic tongue, closely related to Hebrew, was soon to be superseded by the common (Koine) Greek of the Roman Empire, especially in the east. As the faith attracted more and more Gentiles, the Jewish and Aramaic flavor became more and more diluted.

One of the few early Aramaic expressions to survive in the New Testament was the word abba, "father." In the Old Testament, God was sometimes seen as the Father of the nation Israel, but it was Christ who revealed that all believers are individually children of God by redemption. In a lesser sense, all people are children of God by creation, but in the sense of the model prayer, the "Our Father" only believers can claim that revealed relationship. Abba, Father, is used three times in the New Testament, once in the Gospels and twice by Paul; the Aramaic term being used with a translation. Abba is the most intimate term for Father, one of the first words a child would learn. It is akin to our word "Daddy." This word indicates how close the Father wants His children to feel toward Him.

Mark 14:36. In the Garden of Gethsemane, His "soul ... exceedingly sorrowful, even to death," Jesus prayed, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." At this crisis in His ministry, facing betrayal by Judas and shameful death on the cross, the Lord reverted to the tender word He had first used at Mary's and Joseph's knees: Abba.

Romans 8:14–16. In one of the most beloved chapters in the Bible, Paul relates a word he no doubt learned as a tiny child to the believer's acceptance as a mature son by adoption, as well as a child by new birth. These blessings come through the third Person of the Trinity: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God."

Galatians 4:6. Paul's other use is similar, only here sonship is contrasted with slavery. We are not merely slaves of God, although we should serve on that level of submission; we are sons. As God's sons and daughters we can boldly say, "Abba, Father!"

Abda [Abda], servant—Two Old Testament men:

1. The father of Adoniram (1 Kings 4:6).

2. A Leviate, the son of Shammua (Neh. 11:17). He is called Obadiah, the son of Shemaiah in 1 Chronicles 9:16.

Abdeel [Ab'deel], servant of God—The father of Shelemiah, who was one of the three appointed to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah (Jer. 36:26).

Abdi [Ab'di], servant of Jehovah—Two or three Old Testament men bear this name:

1. A Levite of the family of Merari and grandfather of Ethan, the singer (1 Chron. 6:44).

2. A Levite and father of Kish, contemporary of Hezekiah, king of Judah. He may be the same person as No. 1 (2 Chron. 29:12).

3. A son of Elam who divorced his foreign wife (Ezra 10:26).

Abdiel [Ab'di·el], servant of God—The son of Guni, a Gadite who lived in Gilead (1 Chron. 5:15).

Abdon [Ab'don], servile—The name of four Old Testament men and one city.

1. Son of Hillel of the tribe of Ephraim, a native of Pirathon, and judge of Israel for eight years. He had forty sons and thirty nephews who rode on asses, an indication of affluence (Judg. 12:13–15).

2. The son of Shashak, a Benjamite chief (1 Chron. 8:23).

3. The firstborn son of Jehiel of Gibeon, a Benjamite and ancestor of Saul (1 Chron. 8:30; 9:35–36).

4. The son of Micah who was sent by Josiah to enquire of Huldah concerning the Book of the Law found in the temple (2 Chron. 34:20). He is also referred to as Achbor (2 Kings 22:12).

5. A town of Asher awarded to the Gershonite Levites, also called Ebron (Josh. 21:30).

Abed-nego [A·bed'-ne-go], a servant of Nebo—The Chaldean name given to Azariah in King Nebuchadnezzar's court when he was chosen as one of the king's servants (Dan. 1:7; 2:49). With Shadrach and Meshach, Abed-nego was thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down and worship a golden image. The three men were miraculously protected from the fire (Dan. 3:12–30) and restored to their former positions. Like the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace, the nation of Israel endured the captivity and were miraculously protected by God.

Abel [A'bel], breath or vapor—The name of a person and two places in the Old Testament:

1. The second son of Adam and Eve, and a shepherd. His brother Cain, who was a farmer, brought an offering of his produce to the Lord. Abel, brought to the Lord an offering "of the firstlings [the best quality] of his flock." The Lord respected Abel and his offering, but he did not respect Cain and his offering (Gen. 4:4–5). Envious of Abel, Cain killed his brother and was cursed by God for the murder.

Abel is described by Jesus as a righteous man, and the first martyr (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51; 1 John 3:12). He is listed in the "Hall of Faith," as one who "offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain" (Heb. 11:4). Cain murdered his brother Abel, wrote John, "because his [Cain's] works were evil and his brother's [Abel's] righteous" (1 John 3:12). It is intimated that righteous Abel's death as a martyr was a foreshadowing of the death of Christ. The blood of Christ, however speaks of better things than the blood of Abel; it speaks of salvation rather than vengeance (Heb. 12:24).

2. A great stone near Beth-shemesh, in the field of a man named Joshua. When the Philistines returned the ark of the covenant to Israel, the Israelites placed the ark upon this stone, and offered sacrifices to the Lord (1 Sam. 6:18).

3. A fortified city in northern Israel, which Joab besieged after the rebellion of Sheba (2 Sam. 20:14–15, 18). This city, called Abel of Beth Maachah, is probably the same place as Abel-beth-maachah.

Abel Acacia Grove [A'bel A·ca'ci·a Grove], meadow of the acacia—Also called Abel Shittim (Num. 33:49; Mic. 6:5). Abel Acacia Grove was a site located on the plains of Moab, to the north and east of the Dead Sea, across the Jordan River from the city of Jericho. At the end of the forty years of wandering in the desert, the Israelites made their last camp at Shittim, on the banks of the Jordan. This is where they were staying when the Israelites began to indulge in sexual immorality with the Moabite women, and were enticed into worshipping the Baal of Peor with them.

As a result, 24,000 Israelites were killed by a plague (Num. 25:9). Here also, Moses numbered the fighting men of Israel, counting all those who were twenty years of age or older (Num. 26:2). While Israel was camped at Abel Acacia, God told Moses that he would not be allowed to enter the promised land, but that he would die, leaving Joshua as his successor and the leader of the people (Num. 27:12–23).

After Moses's death, Joshua sent out two spies from Abel Acacia, to discover the state of the people, and the strength of the armies and fortifications they would have to face in the new land they were setting out to conquer (Josh. 2:1). These two spies were sheltered by the woman Rahab, in the city of Jericho. After their return, Israel broke camp, and following the ark of the covenant, they at last crossed the Jordan River into the promised land (Josh. 3:1).

Abel-beth-maachah [A'bel-beth-ma'a·chah], meadow of the house of Maachah—A town in the north of Israel, in the territory of Naphtali (2 Sam. 20:15; 1 Kings 15:20; 2 Kings 15:29). When his revolt against David failed, Sheba fled to this place. Joab, David's captain, threatened to assault the town to secure Sheba but spared it when assured that the rebel would be put to death. After the division of the nation, in the days when the godly king Asa ruled Judah, Ben-hadad, king of Amram, seized this town from evil king Baasha of Israel (1 Kings 15:20). Later, Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, captured Abel-beth-maachah and several other towns, and mentioned the fact in his annals (2 Kings 15:29).

Abel-cheramim [A-bel-cher'a·mim]—A form of Abel-keramim.

Abel-keramim [A·bel-ker'a·mim], meadow of the vineyards—A town near Minnith east of the Jordan to which Jephthah pursued the Ammonites, called plain of the vineyards in the King James Version (Judg. 11:33).

Abel-maim [A·bel-ma'im]—A town in northern Israel (2 Chron. 16:4), usually referred to as Abel-beth-maacah.

Abel-meholah [A'bel-me·ho'lah], meadow of dancing—The home of Elisha (Judg. 7:22; 1 Kings 19:16). It was probably about ten miles south of Bethshan on the west side of the Jordan.

Abel-mizraim [A'bel-miz'ra·im]—See Atad.

Abel-shittim [A'bel-shit'tim], meadow of acacias—It is also called Shittim (Num. 25:1; Josh. 2:1; Mic. 6:5). It was the final stopping place of the Israelites (Num. 33:49) and where Israel's idolatry was punished by a plague in which 24,000 died. See Abel Acacia Grove.

Abez/Ebez [A'bez/E'bez], white—A town of Issachar (Josh. 19:20), also called Ebez.

Abi, Abia, Abiah [A'bi, A·bi'a, A·bi'ah]—See Abijah.

Abi-albon [A'bi-al'bon], father of strength—One of David's mighty men (2 Sam. 23:31), called Abiel in 1 Chronicles 11:32.

Abiasaph [A·bi'a·saph], father of gathering—A son of Korah, the Levite (Ex. 6:16, 18, 21, 24). He may be the same person as Ebiasaph (1 Chron. 6:23; 9:19).

Abiathar [A-bi'a·thar], father of abundance—One of two chief priests in the court of David. Abiathar was the son of Ahimelech of the priestly clan of Eli from Shiloh (1 Sam. 22:20). When the residents of the priestly village of Nob were massacred by Saul for helping David, Abiathar was the only one to escape (1 Sam. 22:6–23). When David eventually became king, he appointed Abiathar, along with Zadok, as priests in the royal court (2 Sam. 8:17; 1 Chron. 18:16).

When David's son Absalom tried to take his throne by force, David was forced to leave Jerusalem. Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of the covenant out of the capital city but later returned it at the command of David (2 Sam. 15:29). Both priests remained in Jerusalem to inform David of Absalom's plans (2 Sam. 15:34). After Absalom's death, Abiathar and Zadok carried the message of reconciliation to Amasa and the elders of Judah (2 Sam. 19:11–14).


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