Biblical Place Names

These names occur in the English Bible. See also about biblical names.
Abilene Ἀβιληνή (Region) Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Probably from Hebrew אָבֵל ('avel) meaning "meadow, grassy place". This is the name of a place briefly mentioned in the New Testament.
Ararat אֲרָרָט (Mountain) Armenian, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the name of the ancient kingdom of Urartu. This is the name of a mountain in Turkey (formerly part of Armenia), the place where Noah's Ark came to rest according to the Old Testament. It is usually called Մասիս (Masis) in Armenian.
Arimathea Ἁριμαθαία (Settlement) Biblical
From Greek Ἁριμαθαία (Harimathaia), of unknown meaning. In the New Testament this is the home town of Joseph of Arimathea. The town has not been positively identified, though רָמָתַיִם (Ramatayim) or רָמָה (Ramah) near Jerusalem has been proposed.
Babylon Βαβυλών (Settlement) English, German, Dutch, Biblical, Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, Ancient Greek, Biblical Greek
Greek form of Akkadian 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 (Babili), which appears to mean "gateway of God", from Akkadian 𒆍 (babu) meaning "gate" and 𒀭 (ilu) meaning "God", though it may in fact derive from a non-Semitic language. This was the name of a major city in ancient Mesopotamia, the capital of the Babylonian Empire. It was located in present-day Iraq.
Bethany (Settlement) Biblical
From Greek Βηθανία (Bethania), which is of uncertain meaning. The first part of the name is derived from Hebrew/Aramaic בַּיִת (bayit) meaning "house". Suggestions for the second part of the name include עָנָה ('anah) leading to "house of affliction" or תְּאֵנָה (te'enah) leading to "house of figs". In the New Testament the town of Bethany is the home of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha.
Bethel בֵּית־אֵל (Settlement) Biblical
Means "house of God" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is a town north of Jerusalem, where Jacob saw his vision of the stairway.
Bethlehem בֵּית־לֶחֶם (Settlement) English, German, Dutch, Biblical
Means "house of bread" in Hebrew, from the roots בַּיִת (bayit) meaning "house" and לֶחֶם (lechem) meaning "bread". This is the name of a city in Palestine. It appears in the both the Old Testament and the New Testament, notably as the town where Jesus is born.
Canaan כְּנַעַן (Region) English, French, Biblical
From Hebrew כְּנַעַן (Kena'an), possibly from a root meaning "low, humble". This was the name of an ancient region, the home of the biblical Canaanites, in what is now Palestine and Israel.
Carmel (Mountain) Biblical, Biblical Latin
Form of Karmel used in the Latin and English Bibles.
Ebenezer אֶבֶן הָעָזֶר (Other) Biblical
From Hebrew אֶבֶן הָעָזֶר ('Even Ha'azer) meaning "stone of help". This is the name of a monument erected by Samuel in the Old Testament.
Eden (Region) Hebrew, Biblical
Possibly from Hebrew עֵדֶן ('eden) meaning "pleasure, delight", or perhaps derived from Sumerian 𒂔 (edin) meaning "plain". According to the Old Testament the Garden of Eden was the place where the first people, Adam and Eve, lived before they were expelled.
Erech אֶרֶכְ (Settlement) Biblical
Form of Uruk used in the English Old Testament.
Galilee (Region) English, Biblical
From Hebrew גָּלִיל (Galil) meaning "district, roll". This is a region in northern Israel, mentioned in the Old and New Testament.
Gethsemane (Region) Biblical
From Γεθσημανί (Gethsemani), the Greek form of an Aramaic place name meaning "oil press". In the New Testament this is the name of the garden where Jesus was arrested, located on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.
Gihon גיחון (River) Biblical
From Hebrew גיחון (Gichon), derived from גּיחַ (giyach) meaning "to burst forth". According to the Old Testament, this was the name of a river that originated in the Garden of Eden.
Gilead גִּלְעָד (Region) Biblical
Means "heap of witness" in Hebrew. This is the name of a mountainous region east of the Jordan River, as mentioned in the Old Testament.
Israel יִשְׂרָאֵל, Ἰσραήλ (Country) English, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Indonesian, Malay, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the name of the Old Testament hero Jacob, who was also called Israel. This was the name of an ancient kingdom that existed until the 8th century BC. The modern country of Israel is named for it.
Jericho יְרִיחוֹ (Settlement) English, Biblical
Meaning uncertain, possibly related to the Hebrew word יָרֵחַ (yareach) meaning "moon", or otherwise to the Hebrew word רֵיחַ (reyach) meaning "fragrant". This is the name of a city in Palestine, mentioned several times in the Old Testament.
Jerusalem (Settlement) English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Luxembourgish, Southern African, Afrikaans, Catalan, Bosnian, Biblical
From Hebrew יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (Yerushalayim), from an earlier Canaanite form like Urushalim, probably meaning "established by (the god) Shalim". This is the name of a city in Israel and Palestine. Originally a Canaanite city, it was conquered by the Israelites under King David at the beginning of the 10th century BC. It is now regarded as a holy city by Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Jordan יַרְדֵן (River & Country) English, Danish, Norwegian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, German, Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, Polish, Slovene, Biblical
River that flows between the countries of Jordan and Israel. The river's name in Hebrew is יַרְדֵן (Yarden), and it is derived from יָרַד (yarad) meaning "descend" or "flow down". The river has lent its name to the country to the east (in German, Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, Polish and Slovene this is only the name of the river, with the name of the country taking a different form).
Lehi לֶחִי (Region) Biblical
Means "jawbone" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the site where the hero Samson killed 1,000 men using only a donkey's jawbone.
Moriah מֹרִיָה (Mountain) Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Possibly means "seen by Yahweh" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is both the place where Abraham is to sacrifice Isaac and the mountain upon which Solomon builds the temple.
Nazareth נָצְרַת (Settlement) English, French, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Possibly from Hebrew נֵצֶר (netzer) meaning "branch, shoot" or נָצַר (natzar) meaning "watch, guard". This is the name of a town in Galilee in Israel. It was the home town of Jesus.
Nineveh (Settlement) English, Biblical
From Akkadian 𒉌𒉡𒀀 (Ninua), possibly related to 𒄩 (nūnu) meaning "fish". When written, the name is usually prefixed with 𒌷 indicating a city. This may have referred to an aspect of Ishtar, as from an early time the city was a center of worship of the goddess. The cuneiform symbols used to represent the city's name depict a fish within a house.... [more]
Philadelphia Φιλαδέλφεια (Settlement) Biblical, English
Means "brotherly love" from Greek φιλέω (phileo) meaning "to love" and ἀδελφός (adelphos) meaning "brother". This was the name of a city in Asia Minor mentioned in Revelation in the New Testament. It is now known as Alaşehir (in Turkey). It is also the name of a city in the United States.
Salem שָׁלֵם (Settlement) English, Biblical
From Hebrew שָׁלֵם (shalem) meaning "complete, safe, peaceful". This is the name of a town in the Old Testament where Melchizedek was king. It is usually identified with Jerusalem. Several places are named after the biblical town, mostly in America.
Sela סֶלַע (Settlement) Biblical
Means "rock" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a city, the capital of Edom. In the Greek and Latin Old Testament the name is translated as Petra, though it may be distinct from the Nabataean city.
Sharon שָׁרוֹן (Region) Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "plain" in Hebrew, referring to the fertile plain near the coast of Israel.
Tarah תָּרַח (Settlement) Biblical
A place name (an encampment) used in some versions of the Old Testament. It is identical to the personal name Terah.
Teman תֵּימָן (Settlement & Country) Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew
Means "right hand" or "south" in Hebrew. This is an Edomite town in the Old Testament, supposedly named for a grandson of Esau. In modern Hebrew this name refers to the country of Yemen.