A close-up photo captures the pages of a Bible, with the name "Avery" highlighted in vibrant colors, symbolizing its meaning and significance within the biblical context.

What Does Avery Mean In The Bible?

The name Avery has become quite popular in recent years. But where does this name come from, and what meaning does it have in the Bible?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the origins, meanings, and significance of the name Avery in biblical and Christian traditions.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The name Avery has roots in both French and English, deriving from terms meaning “ruler” and “elf wisdom.”

In the Bible, it is a variant of the name Alfred and holds the symbolic meaning of wisdom and leadership.

The Etymology and Origins of the Name Avery

Derivation from the French and Old English

The name Avery has its linguistic roots in both French and Old English. The French version “Averey” traces back to the Old French phrase “alia Alfredo,” meaning “elf counsel.” This refers to supernatural wisdom or otherworldly advice.

The Old English roots come from the names “Ælfhere” and “Ælfræd,” composed of the elements “ælf” meaning elf and “ræd” meaning counsel.

So both derivatives point to elf counsel being the underlying meaning.

Use as a Surname Before a Given Name

Originally, Avery was used primarily as a surname before becoming popularized as a given name. The surname usage stems from Anglo-Saxon and Norman ancestry in early English history after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

The name as a surname persisted through the Middle Ages and began being employed as a first name during the Victorian era.

Even after the Victorian period when Avery became firmly established as a given name, the tradition of adopting surnames as first names contributed to its continued popularity in the late 20th century.

Symbolic Meaning and Significance in Christianity

Association With Wisdom and Counsel

The name Avery has biblical roots and is associated with wisdom and counsel in Christianity. It likely derives from the Hebrew name “Avraham,” meaning “exalted father.”

In the Old Testament, Abraham was a patriarch known for his great faith and willingness to heed God’s call. He provided guidance and advice to those around him.

Similarly, the name Avery evokes someone who is wise and provides sound counsel to others.

As the Book of Proverbs states, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding” (3:13). An Avery lends understanding and insight to difficult situations.

Their judgement can be trusted in times of uncertainty.

So the symbolic meaning of Avery in Christianity connects to the traits of wisdom, discernment, leadership, and guidance. Just as Abraham walked in faith with God, an Avery follows righteous principles and counsels from a place of spiritual understanding.

They emulate the biblical ideals of the “exalted father.”

Link to Alfred the Great of England

The name Avery also relates to King Alfred the Great, a renowned 9th century English monarch. Alfred defended his kingdom from Viking invaders and later instituted a series of educational reforms.

According to legend, Alfred gained wisdom and strength during a period of exile in Somerset at Athelney.

While hiding out in the marshes, he was given shelter and advice by a local family. After reclaiming his throne, Alfred named his daughter Ælthryth, meaning “noble strength.”

Over time, Ælthryth developed into the modern surname Avery.

So Alfred’s noble character and connection to the name Avery imbue it with connotations of resilience, learning, and leadership in Christianity.

Just as Alfred overcame great trials to become one of England’s most admired kings, the name Avery signifies someone who withstands hardship with grace and wisdom inspired by God.

In this light, the name carries profound symbolic meaning in Christianity related to the life of a historically Christian king—a true “exalted father” to his people.

Gender Use and Popularity Over Time

Historically a Male Name

The name Avery traces back to medieval times when it was used predominantly for boys. It comes from the Old French name Alverey, derived from the German name Alberich, meaning “ruler of elves”.

In the Middle Ages, Avery was brought to the British Isles. It became quite a common surname that was adopted as a first name for boys.

Records show it being used as early as the 13th century for noblemen and landowners. Over time, it retained its status as a longtime masculine name.

A close-up image of a pair of weathered hands clutching a tattered Bible, evoking deep emotion and empathy, reflecting the verse "Break my heart for what breaks yours."

Notable Biblical Figures Named Avery

The name Avery does not appear often in the Bible. However, there are a few notable people in the Bible who share this name.

Avery the Levite

In the Old Testament, there is mention of a Levite named Avery (1 Chronicles 6:35). The Levites were members of the tribe of Levi, one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

They were set apart to assist the priests with various religious duties and responsibilities.

Not much else is known about this Avery apart from his genealogical line. But as a Levite, he likely helped transport the tabernacle and articles used in worship during the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness.

Avery the Priest

In the book of Nehemiah, we meet another Avery, who was a leading priest (Nehemiah 12:1). He was one of the priests who returned with Zerubbabel from the Babylonian captivity to help rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

This Avery’s name appears as part of a long list of priests during the early days of Israel’s restoration as a nation.

He must have been an important religious leader who helped reestablish the sacrificial system and temple worship.

The Significance of “Avery”

The name Avery means “ruler of the elves” or “elf counsel.” It stems from the Old French name Alverie.

So while the Bible does not record any major details about the lives of the two Averys mentioned, they seem to have lived up to the meaning of their name.

As a Levite and priest, these men would have been responsible, respected leaders and counselors among God’s people.

Avery in Biblical Reference and Christian Literature

Potential Marian Connection

The name Avery has a potential connection to the Virgin Mary in Christian theology. Avery is derived from the Old French name Aveline, which itself comes from Avellana, the Latin word for hazelnut. There are legends that the Virgin Mary ate hazelnuts to ease morning sickness during her pregnancy with Jesus.

As a result, the hazel tree became a symbol of Mary in medieval Europe.

In Christian art and literature, Mary is sometimes referred to as “Avelina” or “Avellana” as a nod to this association with hazelnuts.

For instance, in Dante’s Purgatorio, he refers to Mary as “somma Avelana” or “highest Hazelnut.”

So while Avery is not directly a biblical name, it has gained religious significance through this connection to Mary.

Appearances in Christian Fiction

The name Avery has become popular in Christian fiction novels, often being given to virtuous female characters. For example:

  • In Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly series, Avery is the name of a respectable young woman being courted by the protagonist’s adoptive son.
  • Tracie Peterson uses Avery as the name of proper young ladies in several of her historical Christian romance novels.
  • Avery is a minor character in Francine Rivers’ Christian suspense novel The Last Sin Eater.

So while not strictly a biblical name, Avery has gained religious and moral connotations through its Marian connection and usage in Christian literature.

An Avery character often embodies Christian virtues like compassion, kindness, and morality.

This positive association has made Avery an appealing name choice for Christian parents looking for a good biblical name for their daughter without being too overtly religious.


In summary, while the name Avery does not appear specifically in the Bible, it carries meanings of wisdom and leadership due to its roots and connection to Alfred the Great.

Its recent popularity as a given name for both girls and boys lends an aura of contemporary virtue while still evoking traditional Christian values.

The name Avery has a rich history and symbolic significance that gives deeper dimension to its use in a Judeo-Christian context.

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