Abram, Sarai, Isaac, Hagar, Ishmael – What do their names mean in the Bible?
ABRAM – man from Ur, chosen by God to go to a city the man did not know, promised to become the father of a great nation that would benefit all people of the earth (Gen.12:1-3, 7). Name means “exalted father” (click here to see original Hebrew word).
SARAI – married to Abram, daughter of Abram’s father but not his mother, promised a son when passed the age of bearing children (Gen. 11:29; Gen. 20:12; 17:16; 18:10-14). Name means “my princess” (click here for the original Hebrew word)
HAGAR – Sarai’s handmaiden, an Egyptian, chosen by Sarai to bear a son for Sarai and Abram because of Sarai’s barrenness. (Gen.16) Name means “flight” (click here to see the original Hebrew word)
ISHMAEL – Abram’s son by Sarai’s handmaiden, Hagar, named by God (Gen.16). Name means “God will hear” (click here to see the original Hebrew word)
ABRAHAM – new name given to Abram by God (Gen. 17:5). Name means “father of a multitude” (click here for the original Hebrew word; Click here for the original Greek word).
SARAH – new name given to Sarai by God (Gen. 17:15-16). Name means “mother of nations”, “princess” or “noble lady” (click here for the original Hebrew word; Click here for the original Greek word). Commentaries indicate that the difference in Sarah’s name points toward Abraham’s new name. Where before her father named her “princess”, she is now noted as a “princess” or “noble lady” in relation to her man who is going to be the “father of nations”.
ISAAC – promised son of Abraham and Sarah, Abraham’s second son, but he is the heir, appointed by God; also named by God (Gen.17:17-19). Name means “laughter” (click here for the original Hebrew word; Click here for the original Greek word).
To study more about these people:
Making it Simple – Lesson Seven
To Be a Handmaid of the Lord – Lesson Four
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Helpful (edifying) information. It will help me as I teach the Bible this week. Thank you!