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Unusual Bible names for boys

Diane Ashoff has a background in mathematics and a keen eye for baby name trends. She lives with her husband and three children in Florida.

Biblical baby boy names that think outside the ark

Tripping over Noahs and Elijahs? Wanting to honor your religion doesn't mean you're stuck with today's trendiest biblical monikers. We scanned the Bible to bring you these unusual and underused baby boy names.

Biblical names have inspired parents for hundreds of years. The Social Security Administration reports that James and Mary were the top names given to boys and girls over the last century. Parents typically turn to the most significant biblical figures — John, Matthew and Noah — when choosing monikers for their baby boys. As the names grow more mainstream and non-Christian parents begin using them, some of their biblical significance is lost. Noah now holds the top baby boy name slot, watering down the allusion as parents fall in love with the sound of the name.

If you want a name that celebrates your religion overtly, look beyond the book titles of the Bible for those who played a smaller part. Many of the names that made our list feel similar to today's trendy biblical boy names — sharp consonants, lots of vowels, traditional Hebrew sounds. We've included meanings and biblical citations so you can be sure the name is right for your baby boy. Do you think Ozias (nickname Oz!) has what it takes to be the next Ezra?

Unusual Bible names for boys

Abner: father of light (1 Samuel 14:50)
Absalom: my father is peace (2 Samuel 3:3)
Adriel: the flock of God (1 Samuel 18:19)
Ahab: uncle or father's brother (1 Kings 16:28)
Alvah: his rising up, his highness (Genesis 36:40)
Amiel: the people of God (2 Samuel 9:4)
Amos: strong, carried, brave (Amos 1:1)
Asa: physician, cure (1 Kings 15:8)
Azariah: he that hears the Lord (1 Kings 4:2)
Barnabas: son of the prophet, of consolation (Acts 4:36)
Bartholomew: a son that suspends the waters (Matthew 10:3)
Clement: mild, good, merciful (Philippians 4:3)
Dathan: laws or rites (Numbers 16:1)
Edom: red, earthy, of blood (Genesis 25:30)
Enos: one vigor (Genesis 4:26)
Elnathan: God hath given, the gift of God (2 Kings 24:8)
Ephraim: fruitful, increasing (Genesis 41:52)
Gilead: the heap or mass of testimony (1 Chronicles 2:21)
Gomer: to finish, complete (Genesis 10:2)
Hezekiah: strength of the Lord (2 Kings 16:20)
Hiram: my brother is exalted (1 Kings 7:13)
Ira: watchman, making bare, pouring out (2 Samuel 20:26)
Ishmael: God that hears (Genesis 16:11)
Jamin: right hand of favor (Genesis 46:10)
Jedidiah: beloved of the lord (2 Samuel 12:25)
Jericho: city of the moon (Joshua 6)
Joram: to cast, elevated (2 Samuel 8:10)
Justus: just, upright (Acts 1:23)
Kenan: buyer, owner (Genesis 5:9)
Lazarus: assistance of God (John 11:1)
Lemuel: God with them (Proverbs 31:1)
Linus: net (2 Timothy 4:21)
Mattan: gifts, rains (2 Kings 11:18)
Meshach: that draws with force (Daniel 1:7)
Nehemiah: consolation, repentance of the Lord (Ezra 2:2)
Obadiah: servant of the Lord (1 Kings 18:3)
Ozias: strength from the Lord (Ezra 7:4)
Padon: his redemption, ox-yoke (Ezra 2:44)
Reuel: the shepherd or friend of God (Genesis 36:4)
Rufus: red (Mark 15:21)
Shadrach: tender (Daniel 1:7)
Simeon: that hears or obeys, that is heard (Genesis 29:33)
Timon: honorable, worthy (Acts 6:5)
Uriah: the Lord is my light or fire (2 Samuel 11:3)
Zenas: living (Titus 3:13)
Zion: monument, raised up, sepulcher (2 Samuel 5:7)

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