Elijah (pronounced "uh-LIE-juh" or "el-i-juh") is a popular boys' name that comes from the Hebrew name Eliyyahu, meaning "Yahweh is my God." Yahweh is an ancient Hebrew name for God, as is El. (That's why "el" appears in so many names inspired by Hebrew, like Michael, Gabriel, Samuel, and Eli.)
Elijah was a prophet who lived in ninth-century Israel and appears in the Talmud, Old Testament, Quran, and other sacred texts. In the Old Testament, God performs miracles through Elijah, including bringing a boy back to life. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses appear next to Jesus during his transfiguration.
Elijah urged the Israelites to worship only the Hebrew God, rather than other deities, and is said to have ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire. To this day, Elijah 's legacy lives on through religious holidays, performances, plays, and literature.
You'll find the name or one of its derivatives across the globe – from the United States to Israel, Africa, and the Middle East.
Variations of Elijah include:
Elijah is traditionally used for boys, but there are several feminine forms of the name, including Iliana or Eliana (Greek) and Éliane (French). Elliott, a variation of Elijah, is sometimes used for girls, as is the nickname Eli.
To explain the rapid ascension of Elijah as a boy 's name in the United States, look to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It can't be a coincidence that the award-winning movie phenomenon starring Elijah Wood hit movie theaters just as the name started its rise up the baby name charts. (The Fellowship of the Ring came out in 2001, followed by The Two Towers in 2002 and Return of the King in 2003.)
Whether you 're more inspired by ancient religions or more recent blockbusters, Elijah is a beautiful and meaningful name that continues to appeal to parents around the world.
The Five Elements:
Elijah : Prophet who lived in ninth-century Israel and appears in the Talmud, Old Testament, Quran, and other sacred texts
Elijah Blue Altman : American singer, son of Cher and Gregg Allman
Elijah Cummings : American civil rights advocate, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Elijah Holyfield : Football running back for the Cincinnati Bengals; son of boxer Evander Holyfield
Elijah Joy : American vegan celebrity chef
Elijah Kelley : Actor, singer, and dancer who has been in films including Hairspray and Lee Daniels' The Butler
Elijah Lovejoy : American abolitionist, journalist, and minister
Elijah Mitchell : Football running back for the San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Wood : Actor known for his role as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings films
Elijah Wood : actor
Elijah Cummings : politician
Elijah Dukes : baseball player
Elijah Jones : baseball player