Balian Justic: Meaning behind the name

I am so happy.
This is the day I’ve been waiting for: home, safe, snuggled, and surrounded by love. My baby is outside of my belly and surrounded by many arms. It took awhile, a long while (and I had the added ‘bonus’ of spending all morning and half the afternoon in the hospital waiting room today dealing with confused bloodwork and hours of explanations waiting on one simple needle!), but now the day is finally here.  I’m no longer pregnant. I have no reason to return to the hospital. I have three beautiful sons within arm’s reach. My husband is holding his youngest and finally getting acquainted.

The agenda for the next two days? Cuddling, eating, snuggling, sipping, and lots of love.

SO perfect.

(or some may say BALE-lee-in, I’m fine with taht)
Not bay-lin or ba-leen or other two syllable Baylie derivatives.

Many have asked what led to the naming of this youngest Daniel’s brother. Here we go!

I love choosing names. There are so many beautiful and meaningful ones in the air, and I believe they can add richness and meaning to one’s life.

For some reason, this boy took forever to name! I had around thirty great names (in my opinion 😉 ), while Jeremy had two and refused to budge. I kept returning to Justice (and a few others) for a first name, whereas Jeremy was set on Balian. I liked the name Balian, but I was finding it difficult to find a ‘literal’ meaning beyond its historical origin. So I was stuck.

Hm. Now what?

Early in the pregnancies of each of my sons, I have felt a sense of character or ‘word’ about their lives. I’m not saying I have any sense of intuition or anything, it’s simply the story I feel surrounding them as they grow within me. Early on, I thought of Jeremiah Augustine as ‘the initiator’. Knightley Tolkien, from the time of his Knowing, was ‘the comforter’ and ‘hope/spero’. This boy came to me as ‘the defender’. With that in mind, I remained attached to the name Justice, and it was soon his assumed second name.

But what of his first name?

First, background on the ‘original’ Balian. Balian of Ibelin was a knight; a man of simple origins, eager hands, and a heart set on Peace and Goodness. He was not swayed by power or position, even when it was offered to him directly, and instead sought to defend the helpless and declare God as a God of peace and justice and unity. (The film ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ offers a slightly Hoolywood’ized expression of his life).

One sleepless night, while reading about this historical Balian, I found a reference explaining how the Spanish as well as the Crusaders referenced Balian as meaning ‘Bethlehem’. Bethlehem! Bethlehem Justice? The promise and the hope of true Justice, true defense? Loving mercy? Defending the helpless? Suddenly literal meaning paired with historical charater and, with the completion of the second name, was the expression of this son. Feeling his life within my body, looking towards his story, I knew it was his name.

As with most of the names we place upon our sons, people seem to love it or hate it. I’m alright with that 😉 I realize that this isn’t a usual or common name, and that it’ll hit various filters and personalities, but I kinda love it. I love the strength behind it and the potential before it. I love that I might just call him Justice and that’s alright. And I love this quote from Balian of Ibelin, written into the script of The Kingdom of Heaven, and I look to it for this youngest son of my womb:

“Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong.”
― Balian of Ibelin


8 Responses to “Balian Justic: Meaning behind the name”
  1. D. says:

    If that poem doesn’t say “defender” I don’t know what does! Awesome!

  2. farmer says:

    I have loved the name Justice for many is such a great name,a name for a cowboy.
    You did a great job pairing it with Balian,so unique.
    Congrats on your birth,it was a great story, so inspiring,I love reading birth stories.
    I’m due with my first child and at Tuesday’s doctors visit I found out I’m ready anytime, such a exciting time.

  3. Kmarie says:

    Love this meaning…and you are right- I love the quote too. Thanks for the visit this morning- it was one of those unexpected moments of beauty. I enjoyed soaking up your little babe. So sweet:)
    You are always welcome here (next time I should remember to serve you something- I always think of that AFTER the fact…sorry:)

  4. thismama says:

    Thanks for sharing with us, I love how your names always have such personal depth and meaning.

  5. I love the names you choose for your sons. They always have such beautiful, thoughtful meanings! Welcome to the world, Balian Justice–the defender of the weak!

  6. Jamie says:

    Love it! Congratulations on your new little son!! So happy for you, dear friend.

  7. Kit says:

    oh, THAT IS SO GREAT. Love it!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi. Just wanted you to know that I also have a son called Balian!! He was born in 2008 and you’re right, people either love it or hate it!

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