Bible Dictionary
(* = the name meaning)


Moses' older brother and one of the men who led Israel out of slavery in Egypt.
Exodus 7:1-2,9
Exodus 30:30
Ab        (* father)
Fifth month of the Israelite year overlapping July and August. Ab is not mentioned in the Bible.
A word that means "destruction." It is used to describe death.
Rev 9:11
Pro 15:11
Job 3l:12
An Aramaic word for father. Children used it to address their fathers, and students used it to address their teachers.
Mark 14:36
Romans 8:15
Galatians 4:6
One of the three Hebrew men thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down to the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar made. Abednego was the name given to him by the Babylonians.  His Hebrew name was Azariah.
Daniel 1:7
Daniel 2:49
Daniel 3:28
Abel          (* breath, vapor)
The second son born to Adam and Eve; Cain's younger brother.
Genesis 4:2, 8
Hebrews 11:4
Abiathar             (* father of abundance)
A priest at Nob when King Saul tried to kill all of the priests there. Abiathar escaped to become one of King David's counselors.
1 Samuel 22: 20 - 21
2 Samuel 15:24
I Kings 2:27
The first month of the Israelite year, overlapping March and April. Abib is called Nisan in Nehemiah 2:1.
Exodus 13:3 - 4
Deuteronomy 16:1
Abiezer                  (* father is help)
A name that means "my father is help."
A clan in the tribe of Mannaseh. Gideon was a member of this clan.
Joshua 17:2
Judges 6:34
One of David's mighty men. He had command of 24,000 men in David's militia.
2 Samuel 23:27
1Chronicles 27:12
Abigail                (* father is joy)
One of David's wives and mother of David's second son Daniel. Before marrying David, she was a widow of Nabal, a wealthy man who refused to help David while David was on the run from King Saul.
1 Samuel 25:3, 23
1 Samuel 25:39
One of David's sisters.
Abihu          (* he is  my father)
One of Aaron's sons, a priest.  His name means "he is my father."
Exodus 28:1
Exodus 6:23
Leviticus 10:7-2

Abijah                    (* my father is Jehovah)

At least five people:
Son of Reheboam and second king of Judah after his father; also known as Abijam. Abijah declared war on the northern kingdom of Israel for rebelling against his father. He reigned three years and was succeeded by his son Asa.
I Chronicles 3:1O
I Chronicles 12:16
1 Kings  15: 6 - 8
Samuel's second son.
 I Chronicles 6:28
I Chronicles 24:5 - 10
A descendant of Aaron, appointed by David to be a priest
1 Kings  14:1-4
A son of Jeroboam I.
Nehemiah 10:17
Nehemiah 12:1-4
One of the family heads at the time of Zerubbabel
2 Chronicles 29:l-2
King Hezekiah's mother.
2 Kings 18:1-2
Abimelech                     (* Melich is father)
Three Philistine kings and one Israelite:
Genesis 20:1-7
Genesis 2I:22-34
A king of Philistia in Abraham's time.
Genesis 26:1-6
Genesis 26:26-29
A king of Philistia in Isaac's time.
1 Chronicles 18:16
2 Samuel 8:17
A king of Philistia in David's time.  It is possible that in Philistia, "Abimilech" was a title, like "king" rather than a personal name.
Judges 9:1-6
Illegitimate son of Gideon who murdered 69 of his half-brothers.
Abner             (* father is light)
A relative of Saul who commanded Saul's army.  He was murdered by Joab after Saul's death.
1 Samuel 14:50-51
2 Samuel 3: 26-27
Something God hates.
Proverbs 6:16-19
Luke 16:15
Abraham           (* father of a multitude)
Father of the Hebrew nation, first called Abram. God called Abram out of Ur of
the Chaldeans and told him to go to "a land I will show you." Abram obeyed.  God promised to make him into a great nation and changed his name to Abraham, "father of many." All semitic peoples trace their roots to Abraham; the Jews through his son Isaac, the Arabs through his son Ishmael.
Genesis 12.4
Genesis 15:5-6
Hebrews 11:8-12
Abram           (* exalted father)
The name that Abraham had before God  changed it; the name Abraham had when God first called him out of Ur of the Chaldeans.
Genesis 17:3-7
Absalom          (* father is peace)
Third son of King David who once led a rebellion against his father. King Rehoboam married Absalom's daughter, Maacah.
2 Samuel 13:20-22
2 Samuel 15:7-11
2 Chronicles 11:20-21
A place of torment reserved for Satan and his demons. This is not the same as the lake of fire.
Luke 8:30-31
Revelation 9:12
A Roman province and the smallest region of Greece on the Peloponnesus at the time of Christ, directly south of Macedonia. Its most famous biblical city was Corinth.
2 Corinthians 1:1
Acts 18:27
A very large hill in Athens where the temple of Athena (the Parthenon) stands.
Acts, book of
(Acts, buk uhv)
The fifth book of the New Testament. Acts records "the acts of the apostles," the leaders of Christianity after Christ returned to heaven. The book tells of the spread of Christianity from Jerusalem to the Roman world, and from the Jews to the Gentiles. It was written by Luke, the same man who wrote the Gospel of Luke, sometime between A.D. 62 and 70.
Acts 2:1-4
Adam           (* One made or produced)
The first man God created. Adam was created perfect. But Adam's decision to disobey God's instructions brought sin into the world.  From that day on, all people ever born would eventually sin in their life. That is why God required the Israelites to make an offering and why he sent his Son Jesus.
Genesis 2:7
Genesis 4:1-2
Luke 3:38
A city on the banks of the Jordan River 28 kilometers north of Jericho, just south of where Jabbok River meets the Jordan.
Joshua 3:14-17
The twelfth month of the Israelite year, overlapping February and March.
Ezra  6:15
Esther 3:7
Esther 9:15
Adonijah                 (* my Lord is Jehovah)
David's fourth son by his wife Haggith. Adonijah laid claim to the throne after David,
but David had already promised it to Solomon.
2 Samuel 3:4
1 Kings 1:5-7,53
1 Kings 2:23-25
A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach in Judah.
2 Chronicles 17:8-9
One of the Israelite leaders who agreed to Nehemiah's covenant
Nehemiah 10:1,14, 16
A Greek word for love that implies selfless giving.  One of the most famous examples is in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that everyone that believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
John 13:34
2 Corinthians 2:4
Galatians 5:14
See Herrod Agrippa
Ahab       (* father's brother)
Seventh king of Israel and husband of Jezebel.  Ahab encouraged the worship of Baal, a false god. Elijah defeated Ahab's prophets of Baal in a showdown at Mount Carmel.
1 Kings 16:29-33
1 Kings 22:39
A false prophet during the time of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 29:21-22
Ahaz               (* he hath grasped)
Twelfth king of Judah who promoted the worship of false gods.
2 Kings 16:14
2 Chronicles 28: 24-25
One of King Saul's great-great-grandsons.
1 Chronicles 8:35-36
Ahaziah                (* Jehovah hath grasped)
Son of Ahab and eighth king of Israel.
I Kings 22:51-53
2 Kings 1:1-2
Son of Jehoram and sixth king of Judah (also called Jehoahaz).
2 Chronicles 22:1-5
At least nine people held this name, the most important of whom were these two:
A prophet from Shiloh who told Solomon that his kingdom would be divided, with 10 of the tribes going to Jeroboam 1.
1 Kings 11:29-31
One of David's mighty men.
1 Chronicles 11:36
Ahithophel               (* my brother is folly)
One of David's most trusted counselors. Ahithophel betrayed  David and joined Absalom's rebellion. He committed suicide after his plans failed.
2 Samuel 16:23
2 Samuel 15:12
2 Samuel 17:23
See hallelujah
alms, almsgiving
(ahlmz, ahlmz-giv-ing)
Gifts to the poor. God wanted the Israelites to share with the poor. Jesus added that alms be given without noisy display.
Matthew 6:1-4
Acts 10:2
Alpha and Omega
(al-fuh, oh-may-guh)
A term for both God and Jesus found only in the book of Revelation.  Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The term means that God is eternal and over all.
Revelation 1:8
Isaiah 44:6
A place of sacrifice or worship. An altar could be as simple as a pile of stones or as elaborate as the bronze table that the Israelites built at God's instructions to Moses. Burnt offerings were always to be made on the altar.
Genesis 8:2O
Exodus 17:15
Acts 17:23
Esau's grandson and father of the Amalekite clan
Genesis 36:12, 16
Amaziah              (* Jehovah is strong)
Four people had this name, the most important of which were these two:
Son of King Joash and ninth king of Judah after his father.  Amaziah was known as a good man who did not go as far as he could have in clearing the land of pagan high places shrines. He was assassinated by his own people after 29 years of rule.
1 Chronicles 3:12
2 Chronicles 25:14-16
A priest in Israel who accused the prophet Amos of treason against Jeroboam II.
Amos 7:10-17
(ay-men or ah-men)
An expression that means "so be it" It comes from the word's root meaning of "surely" or "truth"
Nehemiah 8:6
The people descended from Ben-Ammi, the son born to Lot's daughter. God told the Israelites to be kind to the Ammonites. Sadly, the Ammonites abused this kindness during the reign of Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem.
Genesis 19:38
Deuteronomy 2:19-23
2 Chronicles 2O:1-4
Amon             (* a master workman)
Son of Manasseh and fifteenth king of Judah after his father. Amon was an evil king and was assassinated by his own servants after only two years of rule.
2 Kings 21:19-24
A common name for the people who lived in Canaan before the Israelites; the Canaanites. It often referred to groups that lived in the hills as opposed to the plains.
Numbers 21:13
Genesis 14:7
1 Samuel 7:14
Amos               (* burden)
A prophet from Tekoa in Judah whom God called to preach to the northern kingdom of Israel.
Amos 1:1
Amos, book of
(ay-muhss, buk uhv)
Thirtieth book of the Old Testament and third of the minor prophets. The book of Amos condemns the northern kingdom of Israel for its idolatry and neglect of the poor. It was written by the prophet Amos during the reign of Jereboom II.
Amos 1:1
Ananias            (* Jehovah hath been gracious)
Husband of Sapphira who lied to church leaders about the money that he and his wife had given to the church.
Acts 5:1-3
The Christian living in Damascus who welcomed Saul of Tarsus right after Saul's conversion.
Acts 9:10-19
High priest in Jerusalem that Paul called a "whitewashed wall."
Acts 23:1-5
Ancient of Days
(ayn-shuhnt uhv dayz)
A name for God found only in the book of Daniel.
Daniel 7:9, 13, 22
Andrew         (* manly)
One of Jesus' Twelve disciples. He was Simon Peter's brother and a fisherman.
Mark 1:29
John 12:22
A spiritual being much like a cherub but with a different job. The main job of an angel  is to do God's Will, serve people and deliver messages to them.
Psalms 148:2-5
Colossians 1:16
Anna            (* grace)
A prophetess who lived when Jesus was presented at the temple. She was one of the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
Luke 2:36-38
Annas             (* merciful)
High priest of Israel during Jesus' childhood, from AD. 6 to A.D. 15. Later in life, he served as an advisor to his son-in-law Calaphas.
John 18:13
Acts 4:6
To pour a special oil on a person or thing and set apart that person or thing as holy. When a priest anointed a person, it meant that the person had God's favor or blessing. Being anointed meant being dedicated to God's service. God required that anointing oil be made in a certain way (Exodus 30:22-33).
Exodus 4O:15
Luke 7:46
Mark 14:8
anointing oil
(uh-noint-een oil)
Oil made according to the instructions of Exodus 30:22-33.
Any person who is against Christ and tries to lead people away from him.
1 John 2:18
1 John 2:22
One person who will lead the entire world away from God right before Jesus returns.
1John 2:18
1 John 4:3
A major city in Syria about 500 kilometers north of Jerusalem. Believers in Christ were first called Christians there. Paul used it as a base of his ministry.
Acts 11:25-26
Acts 15:35
Antipas, Herod
(an-tip-uhss, hair-uhd)
See Herod Antipas
Apocalypse, the
(uh-pah-kuh-lips, the)
Another name for the Book of Revelation. "Apocalypse" means revelation
Revelation 1:1
Apollos  (* learned)
A Jewish Christian who taught and led others in the church when Christianity was still very new. He met the apostle Paul in Ephesus during Paul's third missionary journey. Apollos had been teaching the Christians there.
Acts 18:24-25
1Corinthians 3:4
Apollyon           (* a destroyer)
A Greek form of the Hebrew word Abaddon. It is used in Revelation 9:11 as a name for Satan.
Job 31:12
Proverbs 15:11
apostle          (* one sent forth)
A person who received instructions from Jesus to lead and teach others about Christ. The word means "one who is sent."
Acts 1:21-22
Acts 4:35-37
Aquila and Priscilla         ( Aquila, *eagle; Priscilla, * ancient)
(uh-kwil-uh and pri-sil-uh)
A husband and wife pair of Christians who were friends of Paul. They lived in Corinth when Paul went there on his second missionary journey. Aquila had the same kind of job Paul had; he made tents.
Acts 18:1-3
1 Corinthians 16:19
Arabia        (* desert or barren)
The Arabian peninsula southeast of Palestine. The countries of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar; and Kuwait occupy this land today.
2 Chronicles 9:13-14
Isaiah 21:13
A son of Shem and father of the Aramean people.
Genesis 10:22-23
A very large area northeast of Palestine settled by people descended from Aram, Noah's grandson. This area was sometimes called Syria, but it occupies a much larger area than modern Syria.
Genesis 24:1O
The language of the Arameans. Aramaic was a lot like Hebrew, and some people of the Bible used it. It was the main language in use during the time of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel.
Ezra 4:7
Daniel 2:4
People descended from Aram, the grandson of Noah. They lived in the land of Aram and included the Syrians and the Assyrians. They were a major part of Israel's history for hundreds of years. They harassed and oppressed Israel during the time of the judges, resisted David and Solomon's rule, and by the eighth century B.C. captured most of the northern tribes of Israel
Deuteronomy 26:5

Ararat           (* high ground)

The mountain on which Noah's ark came to rest after the flood. It ss located in Armenia near Lake Van, on  northern border of modern Turkey.
Genesis 8:4
Jeremiah 51:27
The Jebusite man who sold his threshing floor, and the land around it, to David. This
small piece of land became site of Solomon's temple.
2 Samuel 24:24
1 Chronicles 2l:25
A word used only of the angel Michael, also called prince of Israel. Michael is the chief or most powerful angel.
Daniel 10:13, 21
1 Thessalonians 4:16
Jude 9
Ariel       (* lion of God)
One of the men who helped Ezra lead the reform in Israel.
Ezra 8:16
A name for Jerusalem used by the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 29:1
"A city of the Jews" in New Testament times, hometown to Joseph.
Matthew 27:57
A box or chest used as a place of safety. In the Bible, this word is used to describe the boat that God told Noah to build.  It kept Noah, his family, and the animals safe during the flood. Noah built it exactly as long, high, and wide as God told him. It was made of gopher wood and waterproofed with tar.
Genesis 7:7-8
2 Peter 2:5
Ark of the Covenant
(ark uhv the kuh-vuh-nuhnt)
The most sacred object in Israel's worship. It was a box or chest made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. On top was a "mercy seat" of gold, so called because the blood of the sacrificial lamb was sprinkled there once a year on the Day of Atonement. Two cherubim sat at either end of the lid. Inside were the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, a gold pot of manna, and Aaron's rod.
The ark was kept in the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle during the Exodus, and in
the Most Holy Place of the temple after Solomon built it. The ark was never to be touched; it could only be carried by slipping two poles through rings at each of the four corners.  Other names for the Ark of the Covenant include Ark of the Testimony, Ark of the Lord, and Ark of God.
Deuteronomy 31:26
Hebrews 9:2-4
Armageddon          (* the hill or city of Megiddo)
The place where all the armies of the world will meet in the very last rebellion against God. It is probably the valley between Mt. Carmel and Jezreel, though no one knows for sure.
Revelation 16:16
armor bearer
(ar-mur bair-ur)
A person who carried a warrior's shield and sometimes spare weapons. Kings and officers always had an armor-bearer. Goliath had one.
Judges 9:54
1 Samuel 14:6
King of Persia during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the one who allowed these Jewish men to return to Jerusalem.  His full name was Artaxerxes I Longimanus.
He was the son of Xerxes I and ruled 40 years (464-424 B.C.).
Nehemiah 2:1-5
Asa                   (* physician or healer)
Son of Abjah and third king of Judah. Asa was one of the few kings of Judah that obeyed God and led the people in doing the same. He reigned 41 years in Jerusalem.
I Kings 15:13
2Chronicles 15:8
ascension, the
(uh-sen-shuhn, the)
The return of Jesus to heaven. After Jesus rose from the dead, he met and talked with his disciples over a period of 40 days. Then he went back to take his place at the Father's right hand, where he reigns as our King and serves as our High Priest
John 20:17
Ephesians 4:9
Asenath          (* belonging to Neith)
Egyptian mother of Manasseh and Ephraim; daughter of Potiphera; wife of Jacob's son Joseph.
Ashdod          (* a strong hold)
One of the five main cities of Philistia. When the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant, they carried it to the temple of Dogon in Ashdod.
Genesis 41:45,50-52
Genesis 46:20
Asher           (* happy)
Son of Jacob and the tribe of Israel named after him. Zilpah was his mother.
1 Samuel 5:1-2
Isaiah 20:1
The land allotted to the tribe of Asher.
A goddess of the Sidonians, also called Astarte.
The kingdom of Israel was split in two partly because Solomon stopped worshiping God and worshiped Ashtoreth, against the first commandment (Exodus 20:3-4).
Genesis 30:13
Luke 2:36-38
Numbers 26:44-47
In New Testament times, a province of the Roman Empire in the region later known as Asia Minor (modem Turkey). Major cities in the province of Asia included Ephesus, Smyma, and Pergamum. The New Testament letter of Colossians was written to the Asian town of Colosse.
Acts 19:10
1 Corinthians 16:19
A meeting of believers; a congregation; a group of God's people gathered to worship
The chief god of Assyria, the Assyrians and the city that once served as their capital; Assyria
The Aramean people that lived in upper  Mesopotamia; the land occupied by the Assyrians. The land of Assyria lay to the north of Babylonia. The Assyrians were among Israel's bitterest enemies. During the time of the divided kingdom, God used the mighty Assyrian army to judge the northern kingdom of Israel.
Exodus: 12:6
James 2:2
Hosea  14:3
People who studied the stars. Some astrologers worshiped the stars or believed that the stars affected people and life on earth. God forbade the worship of any false god, including stars and planets. The wise men of Babylon were astrologers. The magi who gave gifts to the baby Jesus were probably astrologers.
Genesis 10:11
Queen over Judah after Jehoahaz, the only queen ever to rule the Israelites and one of
their most evil rulers. She murdered all but one of her grandsons, Joash, who was rescued by his aunt. Athaliah reigned for six years.
Isaiah 47:13
Daniel 2:2
2 Kings 11:1-3
2 Chronicles 22:12
Athens           (* city of Athene)
Greece's most famous city and a city in the Roman province of Achaia in New Testament times.
Removal of God's anger against sin by means of a gift. Jesus Christ offered his life as the ultimate atonement
Augustus           (* vulnerable)
See Caesar Augustus
Acts 17:15-16
1 Thessalonians 3:1

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