Unusual Biblical Names!

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During research for one of our recent series, we ran across several people whose Biblical names mean something unusual, odd, contradictory, or astonishingly prophetic compared to how they turned out in life.

The meanings of the below Biblical names comes from either Strong's Concordance, Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions, or Thayer's Greek Definitions. The list also includes the verses where each of the unusual names can be found.

I will be silent and poor
Ezra 4:6, Esther 1 - 3, 6 - 10, Daniel 9:1

Also known as Xerxes, Ahasuerus was the son of Persian King Darius I. Ahasuerus was anything but silent or poor during his life, as he ruled over the ancient world's most powerful and largest empire for twenty years!

Wicked, to stink
1Kings 15 - 16, 21:22, 2Kings 9:9, 2Chronicles 16, Jeremiah 41:9

Baasha was the Kingdom of Israel's third ruler. He ascended to the throne by murdering the second monarch named Nadab. His bloody reign of 22 years, during which he killed all those of the royal household (1Kings 15:27 - 29), required God's intervention to stop.

My cavities
Ezra 2:11, 8:11, 10:28, Nehemiah 7:16, 10:15

Confusing love
Job 2:11, 8:1, 18:1, 25:1, 42:9

Bildad was one of Job's three "friends" who consistently criticized him after he experienced unparalleled calamities brought to him by Satan the devil!

Twice-wicked Cushan or
Cushan double wickedness
Judges 3:8, 10

At seventeen letters this is the second longest personal name in Scripture. Chushanrishathaim was a Mesopotamia king whom God allowed, for eight years, to harass and dominate Israel as correction for their sins (Judges 3:8).

Son of stabbing
1Kings 4:9

Dekar's son was one of King Solomon's twelve provincial officers.

2Samuel 23:38, 1Chronicles 11:40

Gareb was the name of one of King David's thirty-seven mighty men who were extraordinary warriors.

1Samuel 17, 21:9, 22:10, 21:19, 1Chronicles 20:5

Goliath was a gigantic man who, from his youth, was trained in the art of killing. Raised in a pagan culture that lived for battle, he became the greatest warrior of the Philistines. He was the man who challenged the young King David to a fight to the death. Splendor is hardly the word to describe a killing machine like Goliath!

Village of death
Genesis 10:26, 1Chronicles 1:20

Hazarmaveth, a son of Jokthan, was a descendant of Shem who survived the great flood.

Foamy healer
2Timothy 3:8

Jambres was one of the two Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses and Aaron's efforts to free the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.

Swift is booty, speedy is prey
Isaiah 8:1, 3

Mahershalalhashbaz is the longest personal name in the Bible at eighteen characters! It was a name God gave to a prophetess' son.

Fool, dolt
1Samuel 25:3 - 39, 27:3, 30:5, 2Samuel 2:2, 3:3

Abigail, Nabal's wife, was well aware she married a man who was a fool (1Samuel 25:25)! His foolish treatment of King's David's messengers almost got him and his family killed and all he owned destroyed. It was Abigail who saved the day by stepping in and pleading mercy in spite of her husband's foolishness.

Romans 16:11

Narcissus was a person living in first century Rome who may have been a Christian.

Romans 16:15

Nereus and his sister, who lived in Rome, hosted a group of Christians in the city who met for Sabbath services.

Luke 19:2 - 8

Zaccheus, for much of his life, was anything but pure! As a tax collector in Jericho he grew quite wealthy through theft, extortion and other means of dishonest gain (Luke 3:12 - 13, 19:7 - 8). It was only when Jesus met him that he repented and pledged to turn his life around.

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Original Biblical City Names
Are There Lost Biblical Books?
Where Are Biblical People Buried?

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