Who Named The Earth In The Bible

Who Named The Earth In The Bible

In the Christian Bible there are references to the earth being named at different points within the text, from Genesis to Revelation. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, it is recorded that God first named the earth “Adam” after his initial man. Within the second book of the Bible, Exodus, it is noted that God gives Moses instructions for the building of the Tabernacle. Here, God again names the land as “Egypt” which is referred to as the “land of Ham.”

In the third book of the Bible, Leviticus, the naming of the earth is recorded in a more figurative way. This time, God names the whole world as “Canaan” and makes reference to the seven hills of the land of Israel. In the fourth book of the Bible, Numbers, Moses records that God has named the land of Moab “Arnon”.

It is suggested that Genesis 11, the Tower of Babel, is the occasion at which God is recorded as giving a name to the whole world. This chapter recounts the event of the ‘confusion of tongues’ and it is here that the variety of languages among humans is introduced. In the same way, it is also possible this could be where God named the whole world/earth.

The book of Revelation is the final book of the Bible and, due to its liturgical background, is often viewed as a prophecy. This is the final book where God names the land and it is in the New Jerusalem where a final earthly location is established. Here, God names the land “Heaven” which is often seen as the final destination of believers.

The act of naming the earth points to a creative act of God who is the author of all creation. According to the creation account of Genesis, ‘God said, “Let there be light”’, This phrase specifically reveals the power of words to create as God not only creates light but name the land. In this way, God sets a precedent of the use of words being essential and impactingful when it comes to the world and our relationship to it.

The naming of the earth can be seen as symbolic of God’s sovereignty and power. By giving names to the various places on the earth, God demonstrates authority over the land. Through the Bible’s narrative, God begins the process of ordaining order, meaning and purpose to the land.

In the same way, the names of the people are expressions of identity. It is suggested that Adam is named after the “ground” which humankind was formed from and as such, the name Adam serves to connect the human with their origin. Perhaps this is Why God “calls” many of his servants by their name, as way of connecting and conferring to them a certain identity.

Influence On Modern Day

The way the Bible records God naming the earth and its people often resonates with people today as they grapple with making sense of their own place and identity in the world. The account of God naming is often seen to convey a point of hope and security in the world in which we live. The notion that God has created a world with purpose and clear intention, empowers people to identify their own place within the world. In this way, the Bible is of comfort to many who contemplate their identity in the 21st century.

Real Life Examples of Naming

Naming ceremonies are rooted in many cultures around the world and they are a way to officially welcome a person into a community. Birthdays, marriage ceremonies, baptisms or any other form of initiation into society, often happen in the presence of a name-giving ritual. For many, a name is thought to symbolise one’s origin of character and so it is important to give the right name that conveys the right set of values and identity. Names are thought to open doorways of possibility. This is why parents put much thought and deliberation in choosing the right name for their child.

Role of Language

Many cultures believe that language is a powerful tool to convey identity and purpose. According to the Bible, God’s act of naming the world demonstrates this power. Biblical Hebrew does not always offer clarity of the etymological meaning of certain names meaning that often times the names need to be interpreted in order to gain any understanding. This also adds to mystery and power of a name as it conveys something unique and specific to each individual.

Human cognition is heavily rooted in language and so too is the way in which we acknowledge other humans and the world around us. Therefore, naming the earth is an action of acknowledgement and unity that combines numerous cultures and languages in order to communicate the same narrative.

Relationship with Nature

Naming has often been seen as a way to develop a relationship with nature. Indigenous cultures around the world often name regions, plants and animals in order to show respect and honour. This notion of naming and developing a relationship with nature is evidenced in the Bible and it is often seen as a model for human relationships.
The belief that the biblical account of naming can serve as a model for human relationships, points to the idea that the earth belongs to God and so it is important to treat it with respect and it is the duty of humans to ensure that the world is cherished and looked after.

Role of Faith

The act of naming and highlighting the power of words in the Bible also establishes a notion of faith. As God is said to have spoken and created and then named the world, this reflects a belief in the power of words. This belief is seen as a foundations for faith and for many, faith is the key to understanding their place in the world and making sense of their beliefs.

Faith is often seen as an anchor for many who sometimes struggle to make sense of their place in the world. The mystery and power of words point to a hope and joy in the world which encourages many to lead meaningful lives.


Naming in the Bible is often seen as a symbol of place and identity. The act of naming summons notions of security and comfort, in terms of our understanding of where we come from and who we are. In this way, the Bible, is seen as a source of security for many in times of uncertainty.

When it comes to identity, naming is an important point of reference. Names creates a personal language that people use to communicate with others and by embracing identity, one is able to deeply engage with the world and make sense of being a part of a bigger narrative.


The Bible is a powerful source of inspiration as it tells a narrative of love, justice, mercy and faith. Within its pages, lies an account of how God named the earth as a way to communicate power and authority. Names offer a form of security, a connection to place, identity and hope. Therefore, the way in which the world is named in the Bible serves to remind us of the power of words and stories and the impact they can have on the way we relate to our fellow human and the world around us.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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