June 28, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Meaning of Abilene in Greek


Parts of Speech: Proper Name Location

Abilene Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1
Abilene = “grassy meadow”

  1. a region of Syria between Lebanon and Hermon towards Phoenicia, 18 miles (29 km) from Damascus and 37 miles (60 km) from Heliopolis


What is the significance of the name Abilene in Greek in the context of the Bible?

In the Bible, the name “Abilene” holds historical and geographical significance, particularly in the Gospel of Luke. Abilene is mentioned in the New Testament in Luke 3:1, which states, “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene.” This reference places Abilene in a specific historical and political context during the time of John the Baptist’s ministry.

The name “Abilene” is of Greek origin and is believed to derive from the word “Abila,” which means “grassy meadow” or “meadow of pasture.” This name reflects the agricultural nature of the region and the abundance of vegetation found there. Geographically, Abilene is situated in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range, near modern-day Damascus in present-day Syria. It was a well-known area during biblical times, known for its fertile land and agricultural productivity.

In the context of the Bible, Abilene represents a specific location that helps situate the events and characters mentioned in the Gospel accounts. The mention of Lysanias being tetrarch of Abilene provides historical and political context for the time period in which John the Baptist and Jesus Christ lived and carried out their ministries. It also serves to highlight the interconnectedness of various regions and rulers during that era.

How is Abilene mentioned in the Bible and what is its significance in Greek culture?

Abilene is a region that finds mention in the Bible and holds significance in Greek culture. The name Abilene derives from the Greek word “Ἀβίληνος” (Abilenos), which translates to “grassy meadow” or “meadow of pasture.” In the Bible, Abilene is referenced in the Gospel of Luke, specifically in the account of John the Baptist’s ministry.

In the Gospel of Luke, John the Baptist is described as coming from the region of Abilene. This reference helps to geographically place John the Baptist’s origins and his preaching in the wilderness. Abilene was located north of ancient Israel, near the territory of Syria. Being a region known for its lush greenery and pastures, the name Abilene perfectly encapsulated the landscape of the area.

The significance of Abilene in Greek culture lies in its name’s etymology. The Greek word “Ἀβίληνος” not only paints a picture of a fertile landscape but also evokes a sense of tranquility and abundance. In ancient Greek society, meadows and pastures were seen as blessings from the gods, providing food and sustenance for people and animals alike.

When understanding the meaning of Abilene in the context of the Bible, it serves as a reminder of the picturesque setting where John the Baptist began his ministry. The name Abilene not only denotes a physical location but also symbolizes the beginning of a spiritual journey for those who sought John’s teachings in the wilderness.

What Role Did the Region of Abilene Play in Biblical Events and Why Is It Important in the Greek Context of the Bible?

The region of Abilene holds a significant place in biblical history, mentioned primarily in the New Testament. Its importance lies not only in the events that took place there but also in its reflection of deeper meanings in the Greek context of the Bible.

In the Bible, Abilene is referred to in the Gospel of Luke (3:1) as the place where John the Baptist began his ministry of preaching repentance and baptizing people for the forgiveness of sins. This region is located north of the Holy Land, near the border of ancient Syria. John the Baptist’s presence in Abilene marked the beginning of a key period in the New Testament, heralding the coming of Jesus Christ.

The Greek word for Abilene is “Αβιληνή,” pronounced as “Abilene.” This term derives from the Greek root “Αβίλου,” which means “mourning” or “lamentation.” The significance of this name becomes apparent in the context of John the Baptist’s ministry; his message of repentance called for a deep sense of sorrow and mourning for one’s sins before the arrival of the Messiah.

In the Greek context of the Bible, the name Abilene carries a symbolic weight, emphasizing the themes of cleansing, renewal, and spiritual awakening. It serves as a backdrop against which the transformative power of Christ’s message shines brightly, illuminating the path towards salvation and redemption.


In conclusion, exploring the meaning of Abilene in Greek in the context of the Bible sheds light on the historical and biblical significance of this region. From its Greek roots as a reference to the city’s pastoral and fertile characteristics to its biblical mentions in connection with the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, Abilene carries layers of meaning that enrich our understanding of the biblical narrative. By delving into the linguistic and cultural context of biblical terms like Abilene, we gain a deeper appreciation for the rich tapestry of history and meaning woven throughout the pages of the Bible.

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