I am looking for a sefer which delineates the significance and meaning of many names in Torah, but more specifically the lists of names, found in Noach, Vayeira, Chayei Sarah, Vayishlach, Vayigash, etc.

For example, the Torah tells us the names of Yishmael's twelve sons. What is the significance of the Torah telling us his sons? Why bother?

Another example: the Torah tells us the names of Yokshan's and Midian's sons. What is the significance and why bother?


  • 3
    "significance" as in their identities?
    – Oliver
    Oct 16, 2017 at 21:28
  • @Oliver That and also why the Torah needs to tell us them. There are many names that the Torah does not bother to tell is because they are not significant enough. Oct 17, 2017 at 20:09
  • 1
    @JoshuaPearl Like? The only possible example I can think of is the genealogy mentioned in Bamidbar and Pinchas - but those names are mentioned not for themselves, but their progeny (i.e. which family they are from).
    – DonielF
    Oct 18, 2017 at 14:53
  • Please edit clarifications into the post. Such as what you mean by significance.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 18, 2017 at 15:18
  • Since each one could be a different explanation, this question is too broad to answer. Oct 19, 2017 at 1:06

1 Answer 1


Try the אוצר אישי התנ"ך, also available in English. It lists every person in Tanach, and what is known about them, gathered from "the seven seas of sefarim" (Talmud, Midrash, etc.).

  • 1
    Although I love that seffer, I think you will not find any entries for the personalities the OP is looking for. That seffer has sources from chazzal about 'famous' people in Tanach. The OP seems to be looking for 'all the other guys'.
    – user6591
    Oct 18, 2017 at 21:28

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