This is Daniel, my eldest son… I have two boys.
The name Daniel is of Hebrew origin. It means, “God is my judge”, and derives from two early biblical figures, primary among them Daniel from the Book of Daniel. It is a common given name for males, and is also used as a surname.
- Daniel is the hero of the biblical Book of Daniel. A noble Jewish youth of Jerusalem, he is taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and serves the king and his successors with loyalty and ability until the time of the Persian conqueror Cyrus, all the while remaining true to the God of Israel.
- The Book of Ezekiel (14:14, 14:20 and 28:3) refers to a legendary Daniel famed for wisdom and righteousness. In chapter 20, Ezekiel says of the sinful land of Israel that “even if these three, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.” In chapter 28, Ezekiel taunts the king of Tyre, asking rhetorically, “art thou wiser than Daniel?” The author of the Book of Daniel appears to have taken this legendary figure, renowned for his wisdom, to serve as his central human character.
- Ezra 8:2 mentions a priest named Daniel who went from Babylon to Jerusalem with Ezra.
- Daniel is a son of David mentioned at 1 Chronicles 3:1.
The name evolved into over 100 different spellings in countries around the world. Nicknames (Dan, Danny) are common in both English and Hebrew; “Dan” may also be a complete given name rather than a nickname. The name “Daniil” (Даниил) is common in Russia.
Feminine versions (Danielle, Danièle, Daniela, Daniella, Dani, Danitza) are prevalent as well. The Dutch names “Daan” and “Daniël” are also variations of Daniel.