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Why did God change Jacob's name to Israel?

God said to him "Your name is now Israel..."  but the Bible still says Jacob and Israel from time to time.

Genesis 35:10

NKJV - 10 And God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name." So He called his name Israel.

Clarify Share Report Asked March 07 2018 Mini Buddy Allen

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Amos ismail jimoh AMOS Ismail
My opinion is that...

Jacob's name was changed to Israel as a result of divine encounter with God. There are couple of reasonings we can draw from such an encounter in line with the scriptures.

Firstly, we can say Israel as a name calls for a MEMORIAL whenever it is mentioned or traced. Jacob met God and had a new name from God.

Secondly, Israel as a name could be seen as an answer to Jacob's request from God. A TOKEN or a SYMBOL OF BLESSING demanded"...But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”.... So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but ISRAEL. "Genesis 32:26, 27,28.NKJV.

Thirdly, he had ASSURANCE of VICTORY from God by his name Israel. Prior to the encounter, he was afraid of meeting his brother Esau and he sent his family ahead to have a personal fellowship with God. And God said...."for you have struggled with God and with men, AND HAVE PREVAILED.” Genesis 32:28. His mind was still clouded with fear and doubt to meet his brother after the encounter but God cannot lie. He's got the assurance of victory already.

Fourthly, the name Israel is another means by which he entered into a DIVINE COVENANT with God like his predecessors (Abraham and Isaac). Abraham and Isaac's names came directly from God not from man; also, Israel is a name from God while Jacob as a name came from men with respect to circumstances.

Thank you for going through the text.
God bless you in Jesus Christ's name. Amen.

March 16 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I view Jacob being given the name Israel as somewhat similar to Jesus giving Simon the name Peter. In both cases the new names were bestowed in recognition of, and had meaning associated with, a specific event (in Jacob's case, his struggle with either an angel or perhaps the pre-incarnate Christ Himself described in Genesis 35, and, in Peter's case, his confession of Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God (Matthew 16:13-20)).

Just as Jacob was afterward alternately referred to as both Jacob and Israel in the Bible, Peter was also sometimes still referred to by his former name, as James did in Acts 15:14. (In Luke 22:31-34, Jesus referred to him as both Simon and Peter in the space of four verses.)

In Jacob's specific case, I would also say that God meant his new name of Israel to have a more favorable connotation than his former name of Jacob, which was given in recognition of his having been born while grasping the heel of his older twin brother Esau (Genesis 25:26), and which came to have the connotation of one who takes the place of (through guile or deceit), as Jacob did when he took advantage of Esau's hunger to gain his birthright as the firstborn (Genesis 26:29-34), and again when he conspired with his mother Rebekah to trick his father Isaac into giving him the blessing of the firstborn that should have been bestowed on Esau (Genesis 27).

March 08 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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