Biblical name, probably from the Hebrew name Johoiachin, meaning ‘established by God’. This was borne by a king of Judah who was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and carried off into Babylonian exile (2 Kings 24). His father's name was Jehoiakim, and there has clearly been some confusion between the two forms in the derivation of the modern name. The reason for its great popularity in Christian Europe is that in medieval tradition it was the name commonly ascribed to the father of the Virgin Mary. He is not named at all in the Bible, but with the growth of the cult of Mary many legends grew up about her early life, and her parents came to be venerated as saints under the names Joachim and Anne.