The Meaning of the Name Adriel in the Bible
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The Meaning of the Name Adriel in the Bible


The name Adriel appears a few times in the Old Testament of the Bible. While not one of the major biblical figures, understanding the meaning and significance of this name can provide some interesting insights. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the meaning of the name Adriel, examine the biblical characters with this name, and discuss the key lessons and takeaways surrounding this name.

Key Takeaways:

  • The name Adriel means “flock of God” or “God’s help”
  • There are two Adriel figures in the Bible – one was a son of King Saul, the other was from the tribe of Issachar
  • Adriel son of Saul was married to Merab but this was later given to David
  • Adriel from Issachar may have assisted in the revolt against King Rehoboam
  • The name Adriel highlights God’s care and protection over His people
  • Adriel reminds us of the importance of remaining faithful even when plans change

The Meaning of the Name Adriel

In the Bible, names often have profound significance and meanings. The name Adriel follows this pattern, containing a deep spiritual meaning. Adriel comes from Hebrew origin, derived from two Hebrew root words – ‘ad’ (עַד) meaning “flock” and ‘el’ (אֵל) meaning “God”.

Together, these roots form the name Adriel which literally translates to “flock of God” or “God’s help”. The emphasis is on God’s care, protection, and guidance over His people, like a shepherd watching over his flock. Just as a flock relies on the shepherd for provision and direction, the name Adriel reflects dependence on God’s faithful help and sustenance.

This biblical name is freighted with theological depth. It is a constant reminder of God’s covenant relationship with His chosen people. Even when they strayed, He remained their faithful shepherd. The name Adriel communicates God’s steadfast grace and loyalty to His flock.

Adriel Son of Saul

The most well-known Adriel in the Bible is the son of King Saul, the first king of Israel. Here is what we know about this Adriel from the biblical account:

  • He was one of King Saul’s five sons (1 Samuel 14:49). The others were Jonathan, Ishvi, Abinadab, and Malchishua.
  • His father Saul arranged for him to marry Merab, Saul’s oldest daughter (1 Samuel 18:19). Saul had promised Merab to David for slaying Goliath, but later retracted this offer and gave Merab to Adriel instead.
  • Adriel became Merab’s husband but there is no record that they had any children (2 Samuel 21:8). This was likely a childless marriage.
  • Later, Saul’s daughter Michal who loved David was married to Adriel (1 Samuel 25:44). Most scholars believe this is because Merab had died by this time.

While few details are given about Adriel’s life, we can glean some key insights:

  • He was part of King Saul’s family lineage as one of his sons. However, he did not play a leadership role like his brother Jonathan.
  • His marriage to Merab was probably to reward and solidify political alliances. Royal marriages in those days were often strategic arrangements rather than romantic love matches.
  • God’s covenant promises would be fulfilled through David’s lineage, not Saul’s. Adriel’s childlessness reinforces this biblical theme.

Though Adriel was a relatively minor biblical figure, he reminds us that God is sovereign even when our plans and expectations change. Adriel did not end up marrying Michal as originally intended. Yet God’s divine purposes prevailed. The name Adriel signified God’s faithful care for His people in the midst of convoluted circumstances.

Adriel Son of Issachar

The other Adriel in the Bible comes from the lineage of Issachar. Here is what we can glean about this Adriel:

  • He was the son of Issachar and descended from the tribe of Issachar (1 Chronicles 7:10). Issachar was one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • Some biblical scholars identify this Adriel as the same one who assisted in the revolt against Rehoboam, son of King Solomon (2 Chronicles 13:2).
  • Along with other members of the northern tribes, Adriel and the tribe of Issachar rejected Rehoboam’s kingship and installed Jeroboam as king over the northern kingdom of Israel.
  • This divided the once united kingdom into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Rehoboam continued ruling the southern tribes.

While his role is not entirely clear, this indicates Adriel was probably a leader or person of influence within the tribe of Issachar. The courage to stand up against Rehoboam’s tyranny aligns with the meaning of his name – trusting God for help and protection.

Even when rebelling against an oppressive ruler, Adriel exhibited faith in God’s care over them as His flock. Naming his son Adriel reflects Issachar’s faith despite living in chaotic times. God remained their true king and shepherd.

Key Themes and Lessons from the Name Adriel

Though the name Adriel is not widespread in the Bible, exploring its background surfaces valuable themes and lessons for believers today:

God’s Faithfulness

The key emphasis of the name Adriel – “God’s help” – reminds us of a central biblical theme: God remains faithful to His people, no matter what trials or circumstances they face. Even when God’s people are unfaithful, God never wavers in His commitment to shepherd and care for them.

God’s Sovereignty

The Adriel from Saul’s family did not marry Michal as originally planned. Yet this setback did not thwart God’s larger plan to establish David’s kingdom. God sovereignly works out His purposes, even through convoluted plots and unintended consequences.

Courage during Chaos

The Issachar tribe under Adriel’s leadership exhibited courage in rebelling against Rehoboam’s tyranny. Doing what is right in the midst of political chaos requires depending on God’s help and protection.

God’s Covenant Loyalty

The name Adriel signifies God’s steadfast love and care for His covenant people. Through periods of hardship, oppression, and confusion, God remains their faithful shepherd. His loyal love endures forever.

Providence over Circumstances

Life rarely unfolds as expected. When plans suddenly change, we can trust in God’s wise providence. Adriel’s life did not follow his intended course. Yet God worked through the unexpected circumstances.

Leaning on the Shepherd

As sheep rely on a shepherd for guidance and provision, the name Adriel pictures our dependence on God’s care. We can lean on Him for strength and direction when facing difficulty or the unknown.

By taking refuge in the Shepherd of Israel, we follow in the footsteps of biblical figures like Adriel. God’s help and care remain steadfast, even when our lives take unanticipated turns. The name Adriel stands as a testament to God’s faithfulness through all generations.


Although the name Adriel appears only a handful of times in Scripture, it holds profound theological significance. This ancient Hebrew name captures a central biblical theme – God as a faithful shepherd caring for His flock.

Both the Adriel descended from Saul and the one from Issachar provide insightful examples of relying on God during seasons of uncertainty and upheaval. Their lives encourage us to trust in the Shepherd’s leadership today.

As followers of Christ, we can cling to the promise embodied in this name – God helps His people. No matter what unexpected twists and turns we face, God’s sovereign care and covenant loyalty endure forever. By depending on the Almighty Shepherd, we follow in the footsteps of faithful believers like Adriel of old.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.