Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Rivka

Rivka, sometimes rendered as Rivkah, is the Hebrew form of Rebecca (רִבְקָה). The root origin and etymological meaning is up for debate. Some sources claim Rivka comes from the Hebrew “ribhqeh” meaning “connection, to join”, while others have claimed it means “to bind, trap” (in the sense of cattle “tied” to a stall, or a “fatted calf”). Our favorite meaning for Rivka (and thus Rebecca) is “captivating” perhaps from some other Semitic root origin. The name Rebecca (Rivka) is borne from the Bible as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. As such, she is a prominent matriarchal figure in the future tribes of Israel and thus a favorite name among Jewish people (like Sarah and Rachel). In Genesis 24, we learn that Abraham does not want his son Isaac to marry a local Canaanite woman so he sends his servant to find a wife in Abraham’s own ancestral land of Haran in upper Mesopotamia. The servant is skeptical at the prospect of success, doubtful that a woman will follow him back to Canaan, but Abraham assures the servant that God will assist in this endeavor. Abraham assures his servant that if the woman who is to become Isaac’s wife does not follow the servant back of her own accord, then Abraham absolves him of all responsibility. Upon arrival in the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia, the servant beholds Rivka/Rebecca: “The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known.” [Genesis 24:16]. Rebecca graciously offers the servant water for himself and his camels, thus fulfilling his prayer to the Lord that she must be “the one”. After negotiations with her family and the customary offering of gifts, it comes down to Rebecca’s decision to follow the servant back to Canaan to marry Isaac. Her words are simple: “I will go.” So she’s not exactly “snared and trapped” as one of the etymological origins might suggest; quite the contrary. The name’s other possible meaning (i.e., “captivating”) makes more sense for this beautiful, compassionate and kind young maiden. As the grandmother of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Jacob’s sons), Rivka also symbolizes a sense of “connection”. Compared with Rebecca, Rivka is a far less common rendering of this Biblical matriarch; at least in terms of naming traditions in the Western World. In fact it’s downright rare.

All About the Baby Name – Rivka

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME RIVKA

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME RIVKA

Rivka just appeared on the American female naming charts for the first time ever in 2011. This is an example of an ancient-modern addition to the Top 1000 list of American baby girl names. Still, Rivka resides at the very bottom of the list right now so she’s barely in circulation as it stands. It’s pretty amazing that this old Hebrew name has even appeared at all. We’re assuming its being adopted by Jewish parents and/or nonconformist Christians who want to show off a bit of their ancient Biblical knowledge and appreciate the name in its original form. Rebecca continues to be a mainstay favorite which makes Rivka unique and original.

Quick Facts

ON RIVKA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

957

PRONUNCIATION:

RIV-kah; REEV-kah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Captivating

Characteristics

OF RIVKA

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Rivka

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME RIVKA

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Rivka

Popular Songs

ON RIVKA

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Rivka


Famous People

NAMED RIVKA

Rivka Golani (Israeli classical viola musician)
Rivka Michaeli (Israeli entertainer)
Rivka Galchen (Canadian writer)
Rivka Keren (Israeli writer)

Children of Famous People

NAMED RIVKA

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Rivka

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME RIVKA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Rivka