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Biblical names don’t get much sturdier than Gabriel—the archangel who visited the Virgin Mary to announce she would be the mother of Jesus Christ. Hebrew in origin, the name Gabriel is translated as “God is my strength,” “God is my strong man” or “hero of God.”

In Christian belief, Gabriel is revered not only as one of only two archangels mentioned in the Bible (along with Michael), but as the bearer of very good news.

Although the angel Gabriel's most famous scriptural appearance is his visitation to Mary, this was not his first interaction with humanity. In fact, he also appears twice in the Old Testament book of Daniel to interpret Daniel’s visions about the future.

Many Christians also believe that Gabriel was the biblical angel who foretold the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah. (However, he is not mentioned by name in this scene in the book of Luke.) Gabriel plays a role in Islamic tradition, too, visiting Muhammad to inspire him to write the Quran.

Whether or not you have a Christian or Muslim faith, Gabriel is a name choice with a long history—and, because of the scant scriptural details about this celestial being, it’s one with a hint of mystery, too.

Origin: The name Gabriel is a combination of two Hebrew words: gever, meaning “hero” or “strong man,” and el, meaning “God.” The biblical angel Gabriel is mentioned by name in the biblical books of Daniel and Luke.Gender: Gabriel is typically a masculine name, but feminine variations like Gabrielle, Gabriela, and Gabby are common.Pronunciation: GAYB-ree-uhl



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