Israel

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The name conferred on Jacob after the great prayer-struggle at Peniel (Gen 32:28), because "as a prince he had power with God and prevailed."

This is the common name given to Jacob's descendants. The whole people of the twelve tribes are called "Israelites," the "children of Israel" (Josh 3:17; Josh 7:25; Jdg 8:27; Jer 3:21), and the "house of Israel" (Ex 16:31; Ex 40:38).

This name Israel is sometimes used emphatically for the true Israel (Ps 73:1; Isa 45:17; Isa 49:3; Jn 1:47; Rom 9:6; Rom 11:26).

After the death of Saul the ten tribes arrogated to themselves this name, as if they were the whole nation (2 Sam 2:9ff; 2 Sam 3:10ff; 2 Sam 19:40ff), and the kings of the ten tribes were called "kings of Israel," while the kings of the two tribes were called "kings of Judah."

After the Exile the name Israel was assumed as designating the entire nation.


This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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