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Israel


Is’rael (the prince that prevails with God).

1. The name given, Gen. 32:28, to Jacob after his wrestling with the angel, Hos. 12:4, at Peniel. Gesenius interprets Israel “soldier of God.”

2. It became the national name of the twelve tribes collectively. They are so called in Ex. 3:16 and afterward.

3. It is used in a narrower sense, excluding Judah, in 1 Sam. 11:8; 2 Sam. 20:1; 1 Kings 12:16. Thenceforth it was assumed and accepted as the name of the northern kingdom.

4. After the Babylonian captivity, the returned exiles resumed the name Israel as the designation of their nation. The name Israel is also used to denote laymen, as distinguished from priests, Levites and other ministers. Ezra 6:16; 9:1; 10:25; Neh. 11:3, etc.