Quick Facts on Elisha
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
God is salvation
Characteristics of Elisha
Etymology & Historical Origin - Elisha
Although Elisha looks and sounds a lot like Elijah, the two names are not to be confused. They are borne from two distinctively different prophets in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament (in the Book of Kings). Elijah and Elisha also have different etymologies. Both names come from the Hebrew, but while Elijah means “Yahweh is God”, Elisha means “God is salvation” from the Hebrew elements “el” meaning “God” and “sha” meaning “to save/help”. Adding further confusion to the two similar names, Elijah and Elisha were also 9th century B.C. contemporaries. Elisha was both a disciple and dutiful successor prophet of Elijah. In essence, Elisha carried on the work of Elijah. (Have we adequately confused you?) In other words, both were very important prophets in ancient Israel, although Elijah was the Grand Pooba Prophet of his time while Elisha played the role of understudy. But it was God who hand-picked Elisha as Elijah’s successor which places him in a pretty elitist club, one would think. In any case, after Elijah is whirled up into heaven in a chariot of fire in one of those breathtaking Biblical scenes, Elisha carries on God’s work throughout 2 Kings 2-13 (after asking for a “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit). You have to read it for yourself, but suffice it to say that Elisha performed many of his own marvels and miracles (with God’s help, of course); such as: multiplying a jar of oil into masses so that a widow could pay her debts and feed her family; resurrecting a dead child; fulfilling the appetites of 100 hungry men struck by famine with a tiny bit of bread; and curing leprosy. He also summoned two she-bears out of the woods to kill 42 boys who were making fun of his baldness (see for yourself in 2 Kings 2:23-24). Maybe they just should have offered him Rogaine. Aside from the random “kill-boys-over-bald-jokes” diversion, Elisha was a highly regarded prophet in a time when Israel needed to restore their faith in their one God. As such, Elisha has always been a popular name for Jews. It gained more crossover appeal after the Reformation when the Puritans began using many of the Old Testament Hebrew names on their own children. It is also occasionally used for girls (given the feminine “el-ISH-ah” pronunciation). Eli is an obvious nickname.
Popularity of the Name Elisha
Elisha is nowhere near as popular in America as Elijah. In fact, Elijah was given to almost 14,000 baby boys born in 2011, while Elisha was bestowed on about 300 the same year. Elijah has always been the most popular choice between the two names but not always by such a wide margin. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Elisha was actually moderately popular. By the 1940s, Elisha fell off the charts, retreated into obscurity and would only be used on the rare occasions for the next 50 years. Then in the 1990s Elisha began to show some life again. All things being equal, Elisha is by no means a popular choice, he does appear to be following a trend that favors these Hebrew or Puritan-like Old Testament names (Ethan, Noah, Elijah, Caleb, and Isaiah for instance). It also doesn’t hurt that foxy football quarterback Eli Manning’s birth name is Elisha. Many people think Elisha is too feminine, but Manning certainly gives the name a strong shot of masculinity. Elisha may be leveling off at pretty low usage on the charts, but that just makes him more of an original and off-beat choice.
Popularity of the Boy Name Elisha
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Elisha
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Elisha
Elisha We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Elisha.
Popular Songs on Elisha
Elisha - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Elisha.
Children's Books on the Baby Name Elisha
Going Up!: Elisha Otis's Trip to the Top (Monica Kulling) - This is the fourth book in the award-winning Great Idea Series of biographies for young readers. The story behind the invention of the elevator is one that all young children can relate to! The previous books in the series have been well reviewed, and this new book will be equally compelling. A short, fully illustrated biography about the man who invented the elevator - Elisha Otis. The man who enabled the hi-rise, and other feats of modern architecture. Recommended for ages 6-9.
How Enemies Became Friends (Larry Burgdorf) - The story of Elisha and the Aramean Army. Recommended for ages 4-8.
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven! The Story of Elisha and Naaman (Patricia L. Nederveld) - Part of the God Loves Me series of storybooks. A simple retelling of the story of how Naaman was cured of leprosy after reluctantly following the advice of Elisha. Includes follow-up activities. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Famous People Named Elisha
Famous People Named Elisha - Elisha “Eli” Manning (football quarterback); Elisha Cuthbert (actress); Elisha Otis (inventor of the elevator)
Children of Famous People Named Elisha
Famous People Who Named Their Son Elisha - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Elisha.
Elisha - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures
Elisha - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Elisha.
Personality of the Boy Name Elisha
The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.
Variations of the Baby Name - Elisha