The REAL (Biblical) Meaning of Brianna? - Origin, History & Stories

The REAL (Biblical) Meaning of Brianna? - Origin, History & Stories

Brianna is a name of Irish origin and a variation of Briana. Briana is the feminine form of Brian which was the given name of an Irish king who liberated the country from Viking rule.

The name definition of Brianna is linked to words such as noble, high, and exalted. This name also has Celtic-Gaelic origins stemming from the name Brighid which means strength or exalted one.

Brianna became a popular name in the United States, and in the 1990s and early 2000s, it was one of the top baby girl names used by parents.

Though the name Brianna is not found in scripture, noble, exalted, and strength are themes that run throughout the Bible. Additionally, some of the Hebrew variations of this name are associated with well-known Bible characters.

If you want to learn more about the history of the name or want to find a unique and meaningful name to give your little girl or another family member you are in the right place.

This article will explore the Hebrew and Bible origins of the name. It will also look at the biblical and spiritual meanings while providing Bible verses and Bible stories about Brianna.


What does Brianna mean in Hebrew?

Though Brianna is not of Hebrew origin, there are twelve Hebrew variations for the name. Amira, Niva, Sara, Yisraela, and Armona are the baby girl names for Brianna.

Abir, Amarya, Barzilai, Niv, Otniel, Yisrael, and Armon are the masculine forms for the name in Hebrew. Abir means strong or brave, Amarya means the word of God, and Barzilai stands for my iron.

The meaning for Niv is speech or expression while Otniel (Othniel) stands for God's lion, God's strength, or God has helped me.

Yisrael is a variation of the Hebrew word Israel which means contend with God and Armon may be translated as castle, palace, chestnut, or high place.

The translation for the Hebrew name Amira is a princess. Niva means speech, expression, and sun.

Sara is a variation of Sarah and may be translated as princess. Yisraela, which is the feminine form of Yisrael, means wrestled with God.


The Origins of Brianna in the Bible

If you search the Bible, you will not find the name Brianna. However, you may find the biblical origin of Brianna by searching for its meaning or the Hebrew variations.

Sarai was the daughter of Haran, wife of Abraham, and mother of Isaac. Her name changed to Sarah when God blessed her and she was able to have a child of her own.


“Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah.” (Genesis 11:29 NIV)


The origins of the name Israel may be found in his lineage and the story behind the name.

Yisrael was an Old Testament character, the son of Isaac and Rebekah, and the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. One night he wrestled with God and asked for a blessing.

“After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.” (Genesis 25:26 NIV)


Otniel (Othniel) was the brother of Caleb, son of Kenaz, and deliverer of the Israelites.
“But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them.” (Judges 3:9 NIV)

Looking at the origins of Hebrew characters such as Sara, Yisrael, and Othniel helps to understand and trace the origins of Brianna in the Bible.


3 Biblical meanings of Brianna

Brianna is a beautiful name to give to your child or family member because it has special meanings.

The name isn't found in the scriptures but the Hebrew versions of this name is found in the Bible and words such as overcomer, nobility, and strength are true expressions of Brianna name meanings.



The stories of Israel and Sarah are reminders of strength, resilience, and overcoming obstacles.

Jacob found the strength to wrestle all night with God and Sarah endured for decades even though she could not have a child for her husband.

As a parent, there may be things that you have been struggling with or you may have waited a long time to finally have a child.

Using Brianna as the middle name or first name for your daughter will serve as a testimony of your struggles and your strength.

Each time you call baby Brianna, you'll be reminding yourself that you are an overcomer.



The people of Israel were set apart because of the special covenant that the Lord made with them through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The children of Israel were expected to live up to the high calling of nobility in their thoughts, speech, and conduct.

Naming your child Brianna is a great way to embrace nobility and encourage her to live up to the meaning of this name.

Her name will serve as a constant reminder that she is important to you and special in the eyes of the Lord.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)



As a parent, you will need to be fortified by the strength of the Lord as you instill values in your children.

There will be moments when illness, accidents, and other situations will test your parenting skills but you can endure knowing the Lord will always be with you.

Brianna will remind you, your spouse, and other family members to take note of the special meaning of the name and draw strength from the Lord.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)


Choosing a name with beautiful meanings is a great way to motivate and affirm your child.

Brianna is one of those classic names that represents being strengthened by the Lord.

There will be situations where your baby girl will feel like she can't make it and want to give up but her name will remind her to depend on the Lord for strength.  


“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)


3 spiritual meanings of Brianna

The given name Brianna is a feminine name that has very powerful spiritual meanings.

If you want your child to be the kind of person who is strong, brave, virtuous, and honorable then Brianna is the perfect name.


Strong and brave

The Hebrew word Abir means strong and brave and this is why Brianna is a beautiful name to use even while your child is still in the womb.

As a parent, you'll be reminded to be bold, strong, and brave throughout your pregnancy.    

“The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1 NIV)

As your child gets older, Brianna will continue to be a meaningful name that motivates and encourages her.

Brianna will be strong and brave because she learns to anchor her faith in the Almighty. In circumstances where others are timid and fearful, she will be bold and confident.    

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 KJV)



If you are in search of unique names for your child that will encourage her to be virtuous and shape her into a woman who will be a beloved wife and mother then Brianna is a great choice.


 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” (Proverbs 31:10-11 NIV)



The names you give to your children play a big role in shaping who they are.

The given name Brianna is among the unique options that will encourage your child to be an honorable and compassionate person.  


“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” (Proverbs 31:31 NIV)


What Bible verses contain Brianna?

The words noble, high, exalted, and strength are found in many Bible verses.

Additionally, the biblical names Sara, Israel, Otniel, Barzilai, and Amarya are all Hebrew variations of Brianna. Let's take a look at some texts that contain these words or names.




He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:29 NIV) Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV) “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2 NIV)



Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. (Genesis 17:19 NIV)



And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he replied. (Genesis 46:2 NIV)




“So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.” (Judges 3:11 NIV)


But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. (2 Samuel 21:8 NIV)
“But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom. (1 Kings 2:7 NIV)



“The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah:” (Zephaniah 1:1 NIV)


3 Stories about Brianna in the Bible

The names Yisrael (Israel), Sara, and Otniel (Othniel) are not just Hebrew variations of Brianna.

These are stories that bring out the meaning of the name Brianna by showing how these characters wrestled with God, how they became exalted, and how they displayed strength.

Each story is a tale of how God has helped which is the translation for Otniel.


Story of Israel

In preparing to meet his brother and adversary Esau, Jacob sent his wives, servants, children, and possessions across the ford of the Jabbok.

While he was by himself a man wrestled with him in the night. They wrestled until daybreak when the man had to resort to injuring Jacob's hip to break free.

Jacob was determined that he would not let the man go until he received a blessing.

The man blessed Jacob and told him his new name would be Israel because he overcame his struggles with both God and man.


Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” (Genesis 32:28 NIV)


Story of Sarah

Sarah went ninety years without being able to have a child for her husband. Hagar (Ismael's mother) did not make her life easy either but Sarah endured and, in the end, she became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac.

She was exalted from a barren woman to the mother of nations.


God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” (Genesis 17:15 NIV)


Story of Othniel

Othniel was a natural leader, the son of Kenaz, a judge of Israel, and the one who delivered God's people from their oppressors.

After he defeated the king of Aram, the Israelites enjoyed peace for a period of forty years.


“The Spirit of the Lord came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.” (Judges 3:10 NIV)



Brianna is a modern name with deep roots in Irish and Hebrew history. This Irish name means noble, high, and exalted.

The meaning of Brianna from a biblical standpoint represents nobility, strength, and being an overcomer.

The spiritual meaning of Brianna shows that she is strong, brave, virtuous, and honorable.

This is an excellent name to give to your child as it will affirm her confidence while also complementing her last name.