Check Out These 10 Biblical Names That Are Forbidden In Nigeria



Names are very significant and powerful. In Nigeria, stringent values are attached to names because they are believed to have spiritual, psychological or superstitious (as the case may be) effects on the bearer.

But in other parts of the world, Europe and America in particular, names appear to be mere identity. That is why they bear names like ‘Hazard’, ‘Sand’, ‘Stove’, ‘we.ed’, ‘Alien’, ‘Ghost’ etc.

In Nigeria, it is strongly believed that the name a child bears has a vital role to play in what he becomes in future. Names are linked with historical events, particularly when such names are biblical. Therefore, there are some biblical names that are ‘forbidden’ in Nigeria.

No one christens a child with such names, apparently because of events that shaped the lives of the bearers in the Bible. Below are some of the biblical names a child will never bear in Nigeria.

1. Pharaoh: He was an influential king in Egypt. Every Nigerian parent wants his/her ward to become a king, yet, a child will never be christened Pharaoh. The reason for the rejection of this name is King Pharaoh’s refusal to give the Israelites independence. But if you read the Bible, it wasn’t Pharaoh’s fault that he did not ‘let my people go.’ God intentionally hardened Pharaoh’s heart because He wanted some signs and wonders to manifest.

2. Jabez: His mother gave him the name because she bore him with sorrow. But the story of Jabez later changed as he turned out to become a fortunate fellow, irrespective of the negative impressions people had about him.

3. Cain: He was the elder brother of Abel, whom he eventually murdered out of envy. Both Cain and Abel were the first children of Adam and Eve. Cain was the first man to kill in the Bible. It is one of the forbidden names in Nigeria.

4. Naman: He was the man with leprosy that was healed. He wasn’t a bad character. But have you seen any Nigerian bear his name?

5. Jezebel: She was the wife of King Ahab, meaning that Jezebel was a Queen. She was popularly regarded as a witch. One of her crimes was the fact that she instigated the King to kill Naboth and take over his inherited pieces of land.

6. Saul: There are two Saul’s in the Holy Bible; Saul the king and Saul of Tarsus, an anti-Christian campaigner who later became Paul the Apostle. He was blind for three days, and he wrote more books in the bible. He was the best writer. Some of his books include Colossian, Thessalonians and Galatians.

7. Goliath: Goliath was involved in one of the most popular stories in the Bible. A great Philistine warrior, he was killed by little David with a stone. Nigerians don’t see anything positive in the name.

8. Haman: He was one of the closest aides of a king. Due to the hatred and envy he had for Mordecai, Haman tried to influence the king to kill the former by hanging, but all his antics became a source of promotion and honour for Mordecai.

9. Nebuchadnezzar: You can read more about King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3. He was the one who ordered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to be cast into the burning furnace because they refused to bow to the golden image he commanded his people to worship. He was also the same king of Babylon who lived a wild life.

10. Esau: He was the twin brother of Jacob, and their parents were Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. The former was said to have sold his birthright to the latter, while Rebekah also played a role in ensuring that Jacob got the blessing meant for Esau from their father Isaac. Read more about their story in Genesis 25.


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