Names in the Bible & their meaning
Seek the Truth with all your heart.
Laban, however, was not the model father-in-law, nor was he an honest, upright businessman. Not only did Laban trick Jacob into first marrying Rachel’s older sister, Leah, but Laban also tried to cheat Jacob out of his fair wages several times. Laban's name in Hebrew means “white.”
Names in Biblical times often revealed the character and destiny of the name bearer and, in this case, there may have been a connection to leprosy. Regardless, we must be wise and discern a person's character, not being deceived by someone who appears to be clean or pure. The devil himself can appear as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
The Twelve Tribes Receive Their Names
Today, many Jewish children are named after one of their ancestors; however, in Biblical times, the name of a child could reflect the mother’s state of mind when giving birth, or the hope for the child's future.
Leah named nine of Jacob's children and Rachel named four — these 13 children comprised one daughter and 12 sons. All 12 except for the Levites would receive portions of the Promised Land as the inheritance for each of their tribes, according to GOD’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Levites received GOD as their inheritance and the responsibility to serve Him in His Temple while being supported by the other tribes through tithes and offerings. (Deuteronomy 10:9; Numbers 18:24; Joshua 18:7)
The remaining tribes and land allotments were comprised of two of Joseph's sons: Manesseh and Ephraim.
Leah called their first son Reuben (רְאוּבֵן), from a Hebrew word Re’eh (see) because GOD had seen her state of being unloved, and had therefore blessed her with a son.
“And Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said: 'Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.’” (Genesis 29:32)
In one case, Jacob over-ruled a naming decision. When Rachel knew she was about to die in giving birth to her second son, she called him Ben-Oni (son of my sorrow). Jacob changed his name to Ben-Yamin—Benjamin (son at my right hand) to better reflect his destiny.
Each of the children received names that reflected family hopes or circumstances (but you will have to read the Torah portion for this Shabbat to discover why they were given these names).
Reuben ----- See, a son
Simeon ----- Hearing
Levi ---------- Joined; attached
Judah ------- Yah be praised
Dan ---------- Judge
Naphtali ---- My wrestling
Gad ---------- Troop; invader; good fortune
Asher ------- Happy
Issachar ---- Man of hire
Zebulun ---- Dwelling
Dinah -------- Judged or Vindicated
Joseph ------ Increaser or GOD will increase
Benjamin --- Son of my right hand
Names listed in Genesis 5:1-32
Hebrew English meaning
Adam ------------- Man
Seth -------------- Appointed
Enosh ----------- Mortal
Kenan ----------- Sorrow
Mahalalel ------ The Blessed God
Jared ----------- Shall come down
Enoch --------- Teaching
Methuselah -- His death shall bring
Lamech ------- The despairing
Noah ---------- Rest, or comfort
Here is a summary of GOD's plan of redemption, hidden within a genealogy in
Genesis 5:1-32 which shows evidence of GOD’s design.
The implications of this discovery are far more deeply significant than may be evident at first. It demonstrates that in the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis, GOD had already laid out HIS plan of redemption for the predicament of mankind. It is the beginning of a love story, ultimately written in Jesus’ blood on the cross in Judea 2,000 years ago.
This is also one of many evidences that the Bible is an integrated message system, the product of supernatural engineering. This destroys the presumptions of many who view the Bible as a record of an evolving cultural tradition, noble though it may be. It was authored by forty different writers who were led by GOD’s Spirit. GOD alone knows the end from the beginning = knowing the outcome, from the start.