Who and what is…

Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל —transliteration: Yisrael —meaning: God strives —occurrences: 2506

This is the name of a patriarch and two people groups.

  1. Israel, the man

    This is the name conferred on Hebrew patriarch Jacob after the great prayer-struggle at Peniel (Genesis 32:28), because “as a prince he had power with God and prevailed”

    See: Who is Jacob?

  2. Israel, the people

    Israel is the common name given to Jacob's descendants. The whole people of the twelve tribes are called “Israelites,” the “children of Israel” (Joshua 3:17; 7:25; Judges 8:27; Jeremiah 3:21), and the “house of Israel” (Exodus 16:31; 40:38).

    Tribes of Israel

    1. Asher
    2. Benjamin
    3. Dan
    4. Ephraim
    5. Gad
    6. Issachar
    7. Judah
    8. Levi (excluded from land division)
    9. Manasseh
    10. Naphtali
    11. Reuben
    12. Simeon
    13. Zebulun

    This name Israel is sometimes used emphatically for the true Israel (Psalm 73:1; Isaiah 45:17; 49:3; John 1:47; Romans 9:6; 11:26).

  3. Kingdom of Israel

    After the death of King Saul the ten tribes arrogated to themselves this name, as if they were the whole nation (2 Samuel 2:9, 10, 17, 28; 3:10, 17; 19:40-43), and the kings of the ten tribes were called “kings of Israel,” while the kings of the two tribes were called “kings of Judah.”

    Tribes of the Kingdom of Israel

    1. Asher
    2. Dan
    3. Ephraim
    4. Gad
    5. Issachar
    6. Levi (excluded from land division)
    7. Manasseh
    8. Naphtali
    9. Reuben
    10. Simeon
    11. Zebulun

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

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Article Version: June 13, 2024