Why is Jacob still referenced as Jacob after he's been renamed Israel?


Genesis 32:28

ESV - 28 Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 11 2015 Mini Christy Sheff

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, when Jacob was told that his name would no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, it was referring to a new and special relationship that he entered into with God, and to how he would now be perceived in God's eyes, as well as establishing the name by which the entire nation of people descended from Jacob would be known. 

(God might have also changed Jacob's name in that regard to eliminate the negative associations of the name Jacob (meaning "he who supplants", or "he who takes the place of"), which recalled the manner in which Jacob (who was younger than his twin brother Esau) had taken away Esau's birthright as Isaac's firstborn son (by persuading Esau to give his birthright up in exchange for food when Esau was hungry) (Genesis 25:29-34), and then had also used trickery (in cooperation with his mother Rebekah, because Jacob was her favorite son) to cause Isaac (who was old, and nearly blind) to give the firstborn son's paternal blessing (that should have been given to Esau) to Jacob instead (Genesis 27:1-40).)

However, this new relationship with God did not change Jacob's given personal name that he commonly used, since the book of Genesis itself continues to refer to him as Jacob, and he is also referred to as Jacob in other passages in the Old Testament (such as Numbers 24:17, or Malachi 1:2, for example), as well.

I view it as somewhat similar to Jesus telling Simon bar Jonah, "You are Peter," (from the Greek word "petros"), or "Cephas" (in Aramaic), both of which mean "rock", where the name referred to the revealed truth that Peter had spoken about Jesus (as mentioned in Matthew 16:16, for example): "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God," which would be the central fact (the "rock" (figuratively speaking) or solid foundation), upon which Jesus said He would build His church. However, there are subsequent instances recorded in the Bible (in both the Gospels and the book of Acts) where he is still referred to as "Simon, called Peter" (as in Acts 10:5), or just "Simon" (as by Jesus Himself in Luke 22:31), or even as "Simeon" (Acts 15:14).

August 12 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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