🔼The name Uriel: Summary
- Light Of God, My Light Is God
- From (1) the verb אור ('or), to be or give light; to shine, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Uriel in the Bible
There are two or three men named Uriel in the Bible:
- A descendant of Kohath of Levi (1 Chronicles 6:24), who might be the same as:
- A chief Kohathite Levite whose 120 relatives were among the Levites who aided king David in transporting the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:5 and 15:11).
- The maternal grandfather of king Abijah of Judah. Abijah's mother was called Micaiah and the family came from Gibeah (2 Chronicles 13:2).
🔼Etymology of the name Uriel
The name Uriel consists of two (or rather: three) elements, the final one being אל (El), either the prominent Canaanite deity whose name became applied to the God of Israel, or the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
The first part of our name comes from the common verb אור ('or), meaning to be or give light:
The verb אור ('or) means to be light or to give light; to shine. This verb's primary derivative is the expectable noun אור ('or), meaning light. The 'metaphor' that relates light to wisdom may not be a metaphor, or at least not to the ancients. In our article on the verb נהר (nahar), meaning both to flow and to shine, we show that the ancients had a surprisingly solid grasp of Relativity Theory.
The letter י (yod) that ties the two primary elements together creates a possessive form out of the אור-part, meaning either "my light" or "light of".
For a meaning of the name Uriel, NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to ignore the central yod and reads God Is Light. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Light Of God. BDB Theological Dictionary demonstrates both explanations of the central yod and has Flame Of El or My Light Is El.