Aug 132012
This entry is part 5 of 17 in the series Birth and early years

There are seven people that we read of in the Bible that God gave them their names before birth.  Are they all Jews? No. Are they all Christians? No. Did God have a plan for their lives? Yes.

The first two babies we read about in the book of Genesis. Both babies had the same father.

Abram was given the promise by God that nations will come from him. At that time he had no children, his wife Sarai was barren. They waited 25 years for the promised child, Isaac to be born. About 13 years before Isaac’s birth, Sarai made a plan. She was barren and old and did not see how God could fulfil his promise. So she “helped God’s prophesy to be fulfilled” by giving her servant Hagar to Abraham to conceive a child. Things did not go well between Hagar and her mistress Sarai and Hagar left but she came back because in the desert she met the Angel of the Lord  who told her to go back……

And the Angel of the Lord said to her:     “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son.     You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction. (Genesis 16:11 NKJV)


When Abram was 99 years old, God formalised the covenant with Abram. He changed their names from Abram to Abraham and from Sarai to Sarah. He promised Abraham his long awaited child.

Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. (Genesis 17:19 NKJV)


Solomon was the third child that God gave a name for before his birth. Solomon was the son of King David and Bathsheba. He became king and because he asked the Lord for wisdom, the Lord gave him everything.

 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days (1 Chronicles 22:9 NKJV).


The Lord gave Josiah his name 32 years before his birth. He became King at the age of 8 years old and reigned for many years. He was one of the few kings that obeyed God and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.

Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, “O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.’ ” (1 Kings 13:2(NKJV).

Cyrus was not an Israelite; he was king of Persia, but he was a servant of the Lord. The Lord used him as a mighty tool in the returning of the Jews to Israel to rebuild the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. His birth and name was prophesied 173 years before he was born.

“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held— to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: ‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight;                I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, tThat you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob My servant’s sake, aAnd Israel My elect, I  have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.             I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other;        I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity;                 I, the Lord, do all these things.’ (Isaiah 45:1–7 NKJV).

Then the new era began after 400 years of silence since the last prophet Malachi; the birth of John the Baptist was announced, who would prepare the way for the Lord.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John (Luke 1:13 NKJV).


And last but definitely not the least is Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33 NKJV)

Series Navigation<< 10 Predictions over John the BaptistServant of God >>He is called Most High >>
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Retha is passionate about the Bible, she is the author of The Four Faces, a fantasy novel, a reader, and a blogger. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Hubpages, Pinterest, LinkedIn Other blogs: Discover Bible Treasures and Author blog 

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  18 Responses to “7 Children named by God before birth”

  1. Great observation. Cyrus was a surprise entry in the list. I could think of many people to whom God gave a new name for their future purposes (e.g. Jesus giving new name to Peter, Cephas which means Rock), but have not thought of God giving name before the birth.
    Christian recently posted..Hell in the Bible: What does Bible Say about HellMy Profile


  3. There are only (5) five, that God names himself. The other two are foretold, or named, in prophesy. Interestingly enough, the fifth and final one named by God himself is The Word., Lord Jesus. And the number (5) in biblical numerics, is grace, which Only Christ provides. .

  4. thankyou much for this article. God bless!

  5. Informative, thanks. Can we add up to this list 2 sons of Hosea i.e. Jezreel & Lo-ammi, and a daughter Lo-ru-hama (Hoesa 1:4,6,9.).

    • Hi
      You are so right!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God gave their names as well. It is written in Hosea 1. Do you have other names I missed? Who am I speaking to? Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  6. Hi Retha,
    Stumbled upon your page doing research for a book. I found it interesting that God named only seven. However, the book I’m writing involves a family who were told what to name their daughter via the Holy Spirit in their private conversation. Hours later the preacher’s wife told them that she had dreamed they had a daughter and to name her the same name. Thought you might find this fact interesting.
    By the way, great article. Did you do the research?

    • Hi Paul
      That is absolutely awesome!!! It is great to hear testimonies of how God works today. This is so wonderful that the Holy Spirit gave them the name of their child!!!! Thank you for sharing it.
      I found only 7 times that God gave names to people in the Bible. If I missed a name, I would love to know about it.
      The Bible is my favorite book, so I love doing Bible Study, and reading commentaries. I think I picked up the seven names from the Dakes Bible.
      Thank you for stopping by and for your comment.
      If you like adventures with quests, puzzles and quizzes about the Bible, visit my other blog Discover Bible Treausures at
      What is your book about? Please tell me more.

  7. You are doing a great job here.Am satisfy by the information i use to get here.Keep it up.You are great.I will like you to educate me more on how many children were named by God before their birth because some are saying they are eight in the bible that were named by God.Thanks

  8. In such a busy, distracting world today, it’s really exciting to still find people who are still addicted to the study of God’s word. I am so happy to read your write-up Retha. I came across this subject of babies named by God before their birth in an amplified bible note many years ago. I just googled the subject last night again and your article was the only I found credible. God bless you real good. More grace and glory to you.

  9. Hi Retha, thanks for this article. I’m writing Bible study notes for Luke at the moment and your site was the only one discussing this subject. Saved2serve mentioned Hosea, but I think Hosea was instructed by God how to name Gomer’s children only after their birth in Hosea 1:4-9. I’m also interested that David’s words to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 22:9 are not verified elsewhere in the OT, and so wonder if he literally meant them to mean ‘God named you before you were born Son’? I tend to agree with the one above comment that notes God ‘foretelling’ names rather than bestowing them, that seems a valid point.

    The names Isaac and Ishmael convey something of what God had done in covenant faithfulness for his people – God made Sarai laugh and also heard Hagar’s cry. I wonder if Luke is using this motif to show how Jesus is God’s chosen vessel for ‘doing’ God’s work of saving his people.

    Personally I think by the before conception ‘naming’ Luke wants to allude to Jesus’ pre-existence as the eternal son but that is a hard position to defend in current scholarship!

    So thanks again and keep sharing your helpful notes!

    • Hi Mathew Bartlett
      Thank you for your comments. They are great! As you can see with my comments to the precious reader that I was thinking of closing this blog….thought it didn’t cover a need.
      Your comments made me decide to continue.

      Children named by God – I agree Hosea’s children were named after their birth. The names in my post God named before their birth.
      I like your comment about Sarai laughing and Hagar crying and the Lord hearing both.


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