Among the Hebrews were frequently significant; sometimes of a family trait, and sometimes of circumstances attending the birth of a child; often too they were assumed afterwards to commemorate some striking occurrence in one’s history. Compare the cases of Ishmael, Esau, and Jacob, Moses, Ichabod, etc., Genesis 16:16 25:25,26 Exodus 2:10 1 Samuel 4:21.
Compound names were frequent; and often a part of the name of God, JAH EL, JEHO, etc., was employed as in Eliezer, Exodus 18:4, Amuel, Josiah, Adonijah. Sometimes a whole phrase was formed into a name; as Elioneai, to Jehovah are mine eyes, 1 Chronicles 4:36. The New Testament names are chiefly ancient and family names perpetuated, Luke 1:61. The men of the East change their names for slight causes; and hence many persons occur in the Bible bearing tow or more names, Ruth 1:20 2 Samuel 23:8 John 1:42. Kings often changed the names of those to whom they gave offices, Daniel 1:6,7; hence the honor and privilege implied in a "new name," Revelation 2:17. Many slight inflections of the same Hebrew name give it a very different appearance to an English eye, as Geshem and Gashmu, Nehemiah 6:1,6.
A Hebrew name was sometimes transferred to the Greek, with but little change: Elijah became Elias, or Elie. But sometimes it was exchanged for the Greek word of the same meaning, though very different in form; Thomas became Didymus, and Tabitha, Dorcas. The "name" of God is put for God himself, or for his perfections. To "raise up the name of the dead," is explained in Ruth 4:1-22; while to "put out" one’s name, means to extinguish his family, Psalms 9:5.