What Is The Meaning Of The Word “Noel” In Bible?

Photo of author

Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

Last Updated:

Editorial Policy and Guidelines

Our content is expertly crafted and reviewed by theologians and scholars, ensuring accuracy and relevance by referencing reliable sources, primarily the Bible. Before publication and significant updates, we rigorously confirm the factual integrity, delivering well-informed articles grounded in biblical teachings

Noel, as in the famous Christmas carol “The First Noel[1],” is another word for Christmas. The name derives from different root meanings. The old French word noel, which means “Christmas season,” is a possible variation of “nael.”

The Latin root word “natalis,” meaning “birth,” is in reference to the nativity of Jesus. Then it later emerged into Middle English as “nowel,” meaning “shout for joy.” Today, Noel meaning in Bible refers both to Christmas and to the Christmas carol. In French, “Joyeux Noel” means Merry Christmas.

Key Takeaways

  • The term “Noel” in the Bible symbolizes good news, particularly the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s related to the French word “nouvelles,” which means news, emphasizing the joyful proclamation of Christ’s birth.
  • The First Noel carol, with its mention of both poor shepherds and wise men, illustrates humanity’s innate longing for their creator, regardless of their social or economic status.
  • The article highlights that the significance of Noel is timeless. The story of Jesus’s birth and its celebration in “The First Noel” carol extends beyond the historical event, emphasizing Jesus’s everlasting presence and impact.

What Does Noel Mean?

The word Noel also means “good news.” Its possible origin could be traced back to the French word “nouvelles,” which means “news.” They relate it to song lyrics: “The first noel the angels did say was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; in fields where they lay, keeping their sheep, on a cold winter’s night that was so deep. Noel, born is the King of Israel.”

When we wish someone a “joyous noel” or “celebrate noel,” we proclaim the good news of the birth of Jesus in the same way as the angels did.

representation of the biblical Christmas scene, emphasizing the celestial aspect with a brilliant star shining over the stable, wise men

Who Is The King Of Kings?

King is the title that connotes dominance, kingdom leadership, and the right to exercise political power. History books are littered with the names of great emperors and kings. Yet not even one of them chose a life of servitude and death for the sake of humanity. There’s no one but Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.

Jesus was born to be king. Scripture states, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12–16).

Also, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). It’s no surprise that the birth of Jesus inspired countless songs, including “The First Noel,” which proclaims, “Born is the King of Israel.”

Who Is The Savior Of The World?

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

— Luke 2:11

The Christmas season should remind us that our lives must be centered on Christ. It’s the season for deepening our relationship with Jesus, given that His birth signifies salvation for all. Even though He is the Son of God, He humbled Himself and left heaven. The book of John 1:14 testifies, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus cured the sick, the blind, and the lame. But He was rejected by the world He cherished, for whom He had endured beatings, tortures, and crucifixion as payment for the sins of humanity. However, on the third day, He rose again, victorious over death.

3 Things About The Beautiful Meaning Of Noel

The First Noel is an old English carol dating to at least the 16th or 17th centuries. Its name was included in several song collections, including Some Ancient Christmas Carols and Christmas Carols, Ancient, and Modern.

Noel Is More Than Just A Tradition

Christmas is not just a tradition. It’s not simply a once-a-year holiday season for reunions and exchanging gifts. The true meaning of celebrating Christmas is being grateful that the Father has given the greatest gift of all. Isaiah shares this prophecy—”Unto us, a child is born, a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). The response of the people should be, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

The Book of John says, “Christ has come to give us a rich and abundant life” (John 10:10b). But not just that: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

It’s as if a room is engulfed in darkness until someone enters carrying a lamp of hope. What’s not to be happy about? Something wonderful must be more than just a custom; it must be a festival of gratitude towards the Heavenly Lord.

depiction of the Christmas story from the Bible, showcasing the nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus

The First Noel Exemplifies Love

One of the popular Christmas carols that points to the birth of Jesus is “The First Noel.” A part of the lyrics talks about the “poor shepherds.” In reality, the poor shepherds are no other than the Jewish people who were considered poor, inferior, uneducated, lame, blind, and hopeless. We can see this in the Book of Luke, when Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:31–32).

The three magi, also called the three wise men, represent the other side of humanity. The poor shepherds symbolize the simple and poor, while the wise men represent the learned and wealthy; yet they both have one thing in common: they both long for the Messiah. It shows that it is innate for humans to long for their creator.

The Christmas song portrays God’s unwavering love for the outcast. There is no “good enough” for God because He longs to bring all His children into His loving arms.

The First Noel Resounds Today And Forever

The angel’s announcement of the newborn King was already a thousand years ago, yet its echo still reverberates. It’s essential to keep in mind that Jesus is no longer a helpless infant; instead, He is the Jesus who suffered death, rose from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of the Father.

The First Noel is significant not only because Jesus was born but also because it reminds us that He was already there in the beginning. “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

The greeting of “Joyeux Noel” or “Merry Christmas” makes sense when we see its eternal significance. The Book of Revelation records the words of Jesus: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).

There will be another announcement in the future. Jesus said in John 14:3–4, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

heartwarming interpretation of the Christmas narrative, focusing on the joyous gathering of animals around the newborn Jesus


The final verse of “The First Noel” summarizes everything: it encourages everyone to be united in faith and worship. For all are children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26). Being united in Christ entails constantly striving to live with other believers in a way that reflects how Christ has made us all one in Him.

The Noel season is a beautiful reminder that we are God’s masterpiece, created anew in Christ to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). We have been redeemed from the curse of sin and death into eternal life and are now part of God’s family. Because of that first Noel, we can be assured that whatever tomorrow brings, we can be joyful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Noel Mean As A Name?

Noel as a name means “Christmas” or “birth of Christ.” It originates from the French word “Noël,” which itself derives from the Latin “natalis,” meaning birth.

Why Is Jesus Called The First Noel?

Jesus is called the first Noel because the term “Noel” signifies birth or Christmas. It refers to the news of Jesus’ birth, which was the first Christmas or the first Noel.

What Is The Translation Of Noel?

The translation of Noel is essentially “Christmas” or “the birth of Christ.” It comes from the Old French word “nael,” which itself is derived from the Latin “natalis dies,” meaning “birth day.”

Why Is Christmas Also Called Noel?

Christmas is also called Noel because the term specifically refers to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Noel is synonymous with Christmas in many cultures, emphasizing the nativity aspect of the holiday.

Leave a Comment