Theophory in the Bible

Theophory in the Bible

The word "theophory" refers to the practice of embedding the name of a god or a deity in, usually, a proper name. Much Hebrew theophory occurs in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. The most prominent theophory involves
*names referring to El, a word meaning "might", "power" and (a) "god" in general, and hence in Judaism, "God" and amongst the Canaanites the name of the god who was the father of Baal.
*names referring to Yah, a shortened form of tetragrammaton
*names referring to Levantine deities (especially the storm god, Hadad) by the epithet "Baal", meaning "lord". In later times, as the conflict between the Mosaic law and the more popular pagan practices became increasingly intense, these names were censored and "Baal" was replaced with "Bosheth", meaning "shameful one".

Notes on Translating Theophoric Names

It is important to remember when translating Hebrew theophoric names (particularly those using the " [noun] "of God" formula) that the "of" has varying meanings, depending on the name. For example, the translation of "Iruel" reads "Fear of God." This does not mean "God-fearing," "Feared by God", or even "a Fear belonging to God," rather it means "Fear (as in Fear incarnate) "in the service of" God."

El theophory

The following is an alphabetical list of names referring to El and their meanings in Hebrew:

:Abdiel – "Servant of God":Abiel – "God my Father":Abimael – "A Father sent from God":Adbeel – "Disciplined of God" [ [ "Adbeel"] retrieved from [ "Strong's Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon"] ] :Adiel – "Witness of God":Adriel – "Flock of God":Advachiel – "Happiness of God":Ambriel – "Energy of God":Ammiel – "People of God":Arael – "Light of God" or "Vision of God":Ariel, Auriel – "Lion of God":Armisael – "Mountain of Judgment of God":Asmodel – "Greatness of God":Azael – "Whom God Strengthens":Azazel – "God Strengthens":Azrael – "Help of God":Barakiel, Baraquiel – "Lightning of God":Barbiel – "Illumination of God":Barchiel – "Kindness of God" or "Ray of God":Bardiel – "Humiliated Son of God":Bethel – "House of God" :Betzalel – "Shadow/Path of God":Boel – "God is in Him":Camael – "He who Sees God":Chakel – "Wisdom of God":Chamuel – "He who Seeks God":Daniel – "Judged by God" or "Judgement of God":Elad – "God Forever":Eli – a variant on the name of God, or "my God":Eliana – "My God Answers":Elias, Elijah – "Whose God is the Lord", "God the Lord", "The Strong Lord", "God of the Lord", "My God is the Lord" "My God is Jehovah", or "My God is Jah". Reference to the meaning of both (Eli)-(Jah):Elisha – "Salvation of God":Elishama – "My God Hears":Elishua – "God is my salvation":Eliezer – "My God Helps":Elimelech – "My God is King":Elizabeth – "My God is Oath":Elkanah – "God has Possessed", or "God has Created":Emmanuel – "God is with us":Ezekiel – "God will Strengthen":Ezequeel – "Strength of God":Ezrael – "Help of God":Gabriel, Gavriel – "Man of God", "God has shown Himself Mighty", "Hero of God" or "Strong one of God":Gaghiel – "Roaring Beast of God":Gamaliel – "Reward of God":Hamaliel – "Grace of God":Hanael – "Glory of God":Immanuel – "God with us":Iruel – "Fear of God":Ishmael, Ishamael – "Heard by God", "Named by God", or "God Hearkens":Israel – "Prince of God":Joel – "Jah is God":Kal-El – "Voice of God", name given to Superman.:Lee-El, Lee-el, Leeel – "For God":Leliel – "Jaws of God":Mahalalel – "The blessed God", "The shining light of God", or "The glory of God":Malahidael – "King of God":Matarael – "Premonition of God":Michael – "Who is like God?" a question:Muriel – "Fragrance of God":Nathanael, Nathaniel – "Given by God" or "God has Given" or "Gift of God":Othniel – "Hour of God":Peniel, Penuel, Phanuel – "Face of God":Priel – "Fruit of God":Ramiel – "Thunder of God":Raphael – "God is Healing" or "Healing one of God":Raziel – "Secret of God":Reuel – "Friend of God":Sachiel – "Price of God" or "Covering of God":Salatheel – "I have asked God":Sahaquiel – "Ingenuity of God":Samael – "Venom of God":Samiel – "Blind God", epithet for Baal or the Demiurge:Samuel – "Name/Heard of God":Sariel – "Moon of God":Satanael – "Adversary of God":Shamshel – "Lonely Conqueror of God":Suriel – "Command of God":Tamiel – "Perfection of God":Tarfiel – "God Nourishes":Tzaphquiel – "Contemplation of God":Uriel – "Sun of God" or "Fire of God":Ussiel or Uzziel "Light from God":Verchiel – "Shining of God":Yael – "Delivered from God":Za'afiel – "Wrath of God":Zadkiel – "Righteousness of God":Zagzagel – "Splendor of God":Zaphkiel – "Knowledge of God":Zeruel – "Arm of God":Zophiel – "Beauty of God"

False El theophory

The name "Abel", which appears to refer to El, in fact is not an instance of theophory. "Abel" can be translated as "breath", "temporary" or "meaninglessness".

Yah theophory

The following is an alphabetical list of names referring to Yah/Yahweh and their meanings in Hebrew::Abiah – "Yahweh is my father":Abijah – "Yahweh is my father":Abijam – "Yam is my father" (Yam is another name for Yah):Adaiah – "witness of Yahweh"/"Jehovah's witness":Adalia – "Yahweh is just":Adonijah – "my lord is Yahweh":Ahaziah – "vision of Yahweh":Ahiah – "brother of Yahweh":Ahijah – "brother of Yahweh":Amariah – "Yahweh says"; "integrity of Yahweh":Amaziah – "strength of Yahweh":Athaliah – "Yahweh is exalted":Hezekiah – "Yahweh has strengthened":Jael – "Yahweh is El/God":Jabin – "Son of Yahweh/Yahweh is a son":Jeremiah – "Raised by Yahweh"Yahweh exalts"Yahweh Appointed""Yahweh's Chosen":Joab – "Yahweh is father":Jonathan – "gift of Yahweh":Josiah – "supported of Yahweh":Matityahu – "Gift from Yah":Obadiah – "Yahweh's servant" or "worshiper":Odelia – "Thanks to Yah":Pelatiah – "Yah has delivered":Pelaiah – "Yah has distinguished":Pelaliah – "Yah has judged":Pekahiah – "Yah has observed":Yehoshua (Joshua, Jesus) – "Yah saves"YAh is Savour" Yaweh is my Salvation":Zebadiah, Zabdi – "Gift of Yahweh":Zedekiah – "justice of" or "righteous is Yahweh":Zephaniah – "Yahweh hides" or "protects":Zechariah – "Yahweh remembers"

Baal theophory

The following is an alphabetical list of names referring to Hadad/Baal/Bosheth and their meanings in Hebrew:

:Baal, master; lord:Baalah, her idol; she that is governed or subdued; a spouse:Baalath, a rejoicing; our proud lord:Baalath-Beer, subjected pit:Baal-berith, idol of the covenant:Baale, same as Baalath:Baal-gad, idol of fortune or felicity:Baal-hamon, who rules a crowd:Baal-hanan, Baal is gracious:Baal-hermon, possessor of destruction or of a thing cursed:Baali, my idol; lord over me:Baalim, idols; masters; false gods:Baalis, a rejoicing; a proud lord:Baal-meon, idol or master of the house:Baal-peor, master of the opening:Baal-perazim, god of divisions:Baal-shalisha, the god that presides over three; the third idol:Baal-tamar, master of the palm-tree:Baal-zebub, god of the fly (Origin of the book title "Lord of the Flies"):Baal-zephon, the idol or possession of the north; hidden; secret


ee also

*List of Biblical names

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Melchizedek — For other uses, see Melchizedek (disambiguation). Melchizedek Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek by Dieric Bouts the Elder, 1464–67 Priest, King of Salem …   Wikipedia

  • List of Biblical names — This is a list of names from the Bible, mainly taken from the 19th century public domain resource: : Hitchcock s New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible by Roswell D. Hitchcock, New York: A. J. Johnson, 1874, c1869.Each name is given with its …   Wikipedia

  • Michael — For other uses, see Michael (disambiguation). Michael Pronunciation English: /ˈmaɪkəl/ Gender …   Wikipedia

  • Given name — A given name, in Western contexts often referred to as a first name, is a personal name that specifies and differentiates between members of a group of individuals, especially in a family, all of whose members usually share the same family name… …   Wikipedia

  • Angel (Neon Genesis Evangelion) — In the anime and manga Neon Genesis Evangelion , Angels are beings which attack Tokyo 3 over the course of the story. Description and informationAll but one of the Angels are the progeny of Adam, itself the First Angel . Extras: Eva Glossary .… …   Wikipedia

  • Nabal — For other uses, see Nabal (disambiguation). According to the 1st Book of Samuel Chapter 25, Nabal (נבל), was a rich Calebite[1] who was also described as being harsh and surly. David (who was not yet king) and his band of men who had been… …   Wikipedia

  • Micah — This article is about the given name. For other uses, see Micah (disambiguation). Micah (  /ˈmaɪ …   Wikipedia

  • Theophoric name — See technical note on viewing special characters. A theophoric name (Greek: bearing a deity ) embeds the name of a god, both invoking and displaying the protection of that deity. Instances of theophoric names embedding Apollo, will be familiar… …   Wikipedia