Omar (biblical figure)

Omar (Hebrew: אוֹמָר‎, possibly meaning "eloquent" or "gifted speaker" in Hebrew, although it is a name in a different but close language)[1] was the name of a man mentioned in the Bible, the ancestor of a Semitic Edomite and Canaanite clan,[2] the son of Eliphaz (Esau's eldest son). Omar's brothers were Teiman (Yemmen), Zepho, Ga'atam, Kenaz and Amalek.[3][4]

Esau and his wife Adah (daughter of Elon the Hittite) were his grandparents. Accordingly, he was a great-grandson of Isaac the son of Abraham.

Historically, his name is first mentioned in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 36, verse 11. The name is not found in use by Jewish texts nor is it in use in modern day Hebrew, but a similar name 'Omer' (with a different pronunciation and spelling, beginning with a glottal Ayin and having a definite Hebrew meaning - a sheaf of wheat and also the offering brought to the temple for the new harvest) is a common name in Israel (Omer Adam for example is an Israeli popular singer).

Origins of the nameEdit

The name Omar is a semitic name. In the middle east, people speak and spoke various dialects that belong to the same language family. Omar makes so much sense when explained in Arabic. Moreover, it actually tells us a lot about the origin of Edomites and Hebrews.

Most biblical scholars tend to consider tribes mentioned in the bible as being distinctively different; culturally, linguistically and ethnically. Thus, they tend to draw a line between semitic dialects and the Arabic language. However, most if not all semitic names make sense when they are explained in Arabic.

In Arabic, Omar ( عمر in Arabic letters ) means life or long-lived.

It was and is a famous name amongst Arabs and Muslims.

Famous name bearers of OmarEdit

  • Omar ibn al-Khattab Arabic name in English transliteration, originally pronounced with a glottal first letter, and now spelled Umar, was the second Caliph of the first Muslim Caliphate and a senior companion of the prophet Muhammad.

  • Omar Vizquel former Venezuelan baseball player. It is not clear that the Hispanic name refers to this biblical figure.
  • Omar Sharif is a famous actor, named after 'Umar ibn al-Khattab. See Omar Selby(name) for other known name bearers, named after the Caliph also.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Peter Whiffin (2012), Names Amplification Bible, page 463
  2. ^ David Mande, Who's Who in the Jewish Bible, pag 315.
  3. ^ Idem
  4. ^ In the bible in original Hebrew: s:he:בראשית ל יא and s:he:דברי הימים א א לו