When you’re looking for a classic baby name, consider seeking inspiration in one of the oldest, most influential texts on the planet: the Bible.  

Biblical baby names are traditional and offer deep meaning. They have long stood the test of time, with many biblical names serving as perennial chart-toppers, such as Noah and Jacob for boys and Abigail and Hannah for girls. Not to mention other well-loved biblical names for girls, like Mary, Leah, or Rebecca...and don’t forget popular biblical names for boys like Michael, Daniel, Matthew, and Elijah

But if you want a biblical baby name that’s not so common, you can dig a little deeper into the Good Book and the many stories it has to tell. We’ve unearthed some of the most unique biblical baby names for boys and girls, as well as ten biblical baby names that work for either gender to round out a list full of fresh—yet storied—biblical name ideas for your baby-to-be.  

Biblical Baby Names for Boys

Adino: It’s an Old Testament name that means “adornment.” Adino was one of David’s “mighty men” and you can feminize this one for a girl by changing the “o” so it reads Adina. The feminine version means “slender, delicate” in Hebrew.

Azel: A biblical sidestep from the more popular Axel, this Hebrew baby name from the Bible means “noble.”

Barak: The Old Testament name meaning “lightning” given to a son of Abinoam. For a more of-the-moment context, it’s a lovely tribute to the 44th U.S. president, Barack Obama. 

Boaz: With more global popularity than stateside familiarity, the Hebrew baby boy name meaning “swiftness” feels more unique, like Noah was about 30 years ago!

Ephron: Meaning “doubly fruitful,” it’s one of the more common names from the Bible on this list and can be spelled this way or in the Hebrew version—Ephraim.

Ishmael: This baby name from the Bible means “God will hear,” making it a poignant choice for a devout family. He was the son of Abraham; his story is in Genesis chapter 16.

Jemuel: It means “day of God,” giving a peaceful and restful quality to this rare biblical name. It’s also a nice answer if you’re looking to name a child in honor of a James or Samuel in the family.

Joah: Far less popular than its rhyming name (Noah), this one means “brother of God.” There are four men named Joah in the Old Testament, and it’s a unique twist if you want to name your son after a Joseph or Noah.

Kenan: This biblical name feels modern, as various spellings have cropped up in recent years. It’s the anglicized version of the Irish name Cianán meaning “little ancient one.”

Lael: The name means “belonging to God.” Though it’s short and simple, it has a unique sound that is both soft and proud. 

Linus: You know this cutie, but did you know it’s plucked from the Bible? The Greek name translating to “flax” belonged to Saint Linus, the second pope appearing in the New Testament.

Moab: A more obscure biblical baby boy name with a similar feeling, the Hebrew translation is “from my father.” Moab is both a biblical place name and the moniker belonging to the son of Lot in the Old Testament.

Mordecai: This biblical baby name has a special meaning: In the story of the Purim holiday he helped his cousin Queen Esther save the Jewish people from destruction. The biblical name meaning “follower of Marduk” might be a mouthful for a little guy, but Mordi is a cute nickname. 

Omri: He was a biblical king of Israel, related to the harvest. Fittingly, this strong biblical name for boys translates to “my sheaf” (or bundle of grain).

Philemon: This is an elegant solution if you’d like to call a son Phil but not Phillip. In the New Testament, Philemon was an epistle of Paul. 

Silvanus: From the Latin meaning “wood, forest,” he was the Roman god of the forest. As it pertains to the Christian Bible, it’s a New Testament name belonging to one of Saint Paul’s companions. He is also called Silas, which makes for a cool nickname.

Tekoa: A biblical place name meaning “trumpet;” this phonetic baby name is easy to spell and pronounce despite being so rare. 

Zaccai: If you’ve considered Zachary but want something that stands out, this biblical name for boys is a zippy option. The name means “pure.”

Biblical Baby Names for Girls

Adah: There were two wives in the Bible with this lovely girls’ name which means “beautiful.”

Apphia: This biblical girls’ name appears in the New Testament—it’s the Greek version of an ancient Hebrew moniker. The translation is “fruitful, increasing,” making it a name with promise. Aphi or Fia are both adorable nicknames. 

Atara: In the Bible, the wife of Jerahmeel held this striking, royal name which means “crown,” making it a perfect choice for your little princess.

Delilah: Rising in popularity alongside flowery and princess-y picks, this pretty baby girl name offers a dichotomy: Its meaning is “delicate” but the biblical story associated with it is a bit complicated. Still, modern parents are loving it and dismissing any negative connotations from the Bible.

Drusilla: If you want a stunner, your little girl will likely be the only one in the kindergarten lineup sporting this biblical baby name, meaning “fruitful” from the Latin. It’s a New Testament name (wife of Felix) with cool-girl nickname potential: Dru, Sil, or Lala. 

Galilee: Definitely one of the least-used names on our list of biblical baby names, it has a joyful quality to it and means “the province.” Alternate meanings are “wheel, revolution.” Galilee is a region of northern Israel where Jesus lived for at least 30 years. It also lends itself to a host of cute nicknames including Gali, Lily, or Leelee!

Hadassah: It’s a beautiful biblical name meaning “compassion,” containing the echo of Hadas, the myrtle tree. This is the Hebrew name of Queen Esther in the Bible. 

Junia: The translation is “born in June,” making it a perfect choice for your late-spring or early-summer baby girl. Junia is a unique name that appears in the New Testament.

Keturah: The name of Abraham’s wife, also means “fragrance, sacrifice.” A lovely name for a little baby girl.

Mahala: This biblical name for girls means “tender” or “tenderness” and was seen often in Colonial America but has fallen out of popularity in today’s world. Mahala was a daughter of Zelophehad in the book of numbers, and its built-in nickname (Hala) is a pretty way to shorten the three-syllable name. 

Naamah: The name meaning “pleasant” in Hebrew appears more than once in the Old Testament. Some consider her to be a wife of Noah, while others refute that interpretation. Either way, it’s a beautiful-sounding and unique biblical baby name for girls. 

Peninah: She was a wife of Elkanah in the Book of Samuel, and the pretty girls’ name means “pearl.” Modern-day wedding enthusiasts will note the similarity to the globally recognized designer Pnina Tornai. 

Prisca: Crisper and more modern than Priscilla, the old Roman name means “ancient” and appears in the New Testament. 

Sapphira: A name with a gem-like quality, it refers to the blue stones lapis lazuli and sapphires. While the original Sapphira didn’t have a great reputation with God himself, it’s a beautiful name with biblical roots for a modern baby girl. 

Sherah: She was a descendent of Ephraim and the name means “flesh, relationship.” Unlike the oft-used Sarah, this simple and sweet biblical girls’ name is still quite rare. 

Talitha: Talitha, meaning “little girl,” appears briefly in the Gospel of Mark when Jesus Christ resurrects a young girl saying, "Talitha cumi" or “Little girl, I say to you, rise.” This hopeful and spirited baby girls’ name is not often used. 

Vashti:  The name of Queen of Persia in the Old Testament, this Persian name means “beautiful” or “best.”

Zilla: Meaning “shadow,” it’s an Old Testament idea to consider if you like soft names like Sarah and Alana but want something less known. 

Gender-Neutral Biblical Names 

Abiah: The biblical name can be given to a boy or a girl, and means “God is my father,” making it universally appealing to followers of Jewish and Christian faiths.

Amal: With Arabic roots, this unisex biblical baby name means “hope” or “aspiration,” a lovely sentiment to pass on to your little boy or girl. It belonged to an Asherite in the Old Testament.

Aquila: Traditionally a boys’ name of Latin origin meaning “eagle,” this biblical name has been adopted for girls in recent years...likely due to it ending in an “a,” which is more traditional for girls’ names. Aquila was an early missionary named in the New Testament.

Damaris: There is a woman named Damaris mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. While traditionally a girl’s name, it has crossed over into gender-neutral territory in recent years. The name has multiple meanings from Spanish via the Greek, including “to tame,” or when used for a girl, “dominant woman.”

Elon: The rare biblical name has just recently snuck into the US Top 1,000 but is still considered quite rare. Its meaning is “oak tree” from the Hebrew, and Elon was a judge of Israel in the Bible. (Of course, it’s possible that Tesla founder Elon Musk is responsible for its recent popularity!) 

Havilah: This beautiful-sounding Hebrew name means “to dance,” and it’s a Biblical place name referring to a stretch of sand. There are also a few minor characters in the Bible called Havilah.

Jadon: Numerous spellings abound, but the traditional biblical take on this cute baby name is as written here. There are two places a Jadon is mentioned in the Bible, and its meanings are “God has heard,” and “thankful.” 

Jericho: A very cool place name from a battle in the Book of Joshua. Today it’s used as a unisex biblical baby name meaning “city of the moon.”

Moses: An oldie and a goodie, belonging to that precious basket baby from the Old Testament. But did you know that Moses, meaning “delivered from the water” is now considered a gender-neutral baby name? Mosie makes an adorable nickname for a girl, too.

Neriah: This beautiful biblical name means “light” or “lamp of the Lord,” and can be used as either a baby boy or girl name. 

Selah: Multiple meanings– “rock or boulder; praise; pause” – give this gender-neutral baby name lots to consider for your little love on the way. Biblically, it belongs not to a person but to a concept, used frequently in the Book of Psalms for reflection or taking a thoughtful pause. 

Shifrah: From the Hebrew, it means “beautiful” or “good looking,” making this a gorgeous choice for your sweet little girl or boy. Shifrah is a revered midwife in the Old Testament. 

Urban: The name of Latin origins means “of the city,” and has obvious modern connotations to the same, making it a great unisex name choice for a city kid. It gets biblical cred from a brief mention in the New Testament. 

Final Thoughts on Biblical Baby Names

The Bible has been a source of inspiration for thousands of years, so it's no surprise that it’s also yielded a bunch of beautiful biblical baby names. However, it’s not your only source of inspiration when it comes to picking the perfect baby name. Take a look at our other favorite baby names:

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About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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