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Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Gabriel

Gabriel Gabriel

Gabriel is one of two named angels in the Bible;Michael is the other one. Of Michael we know that he's an archangel but of Gabriel we do not. Still Gabriel is a pretty important guy. He says that he stands in the presence of the Lord (Luke 1:19), which is no small thing, even though that has been promised to all of us (Jude:24). Gabriel explains to Daniel some of the most awesome visions contained in the Bible (Daniel 8:16 & 9:21), and, more than five centuries later, he announces to Zacharias and Mary their respective sons: John to be The Baptist and Jesus Christ (Luke 1:19, 26).

The name Gabriel consists of two parts. The final bit is el (El), the abbreviated form of Elohim, Elohim, the genus God.

The first segment of the name Gabriel comes from the verb gabar (gabar), meaning to prevail, be mighty, have strength. This verb has a few interesting derivations:

• The noun gabar (geber), meaning man;
• The noun gibbor (gibbor), meaning mighty man like the much mentioned champion soldiers that armies used to parade off;
• The noun gebura (gebura) meaning might. But that the basic meaning of this word leans towards might and not towards masculinity is argued by the following derivations:
• gebira (gebira) and • geberet (geberet), both meaning lady or queen.

Still, the word geber can still be found in modern Israel on doors of guys bathrooms.

The English language (vastly inferior to Hebrew) knows plenty of amical words for man (dude, bloke, chap, codger) but no words that describe him as a powerful creature without getting ridiculous (He-man, hunk, tiger). If such a word would ever be devised, the name Gabriel consists of it, plus the word El. For now, we must settle for a too simple Man Of God, or God's Guy.

See the name Zechariah for a playful variant of the name Gabriel: Yah's Male. In modern times the name Gabriel was turned into the feminine name Gabriela.



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