Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1) The name conferred on Jacob after the great prayer-struggle
at Peniel ( Genesis
32:28 ), because "as a prince he had power with God and prevailed." (See JACOB
) This is the common name given to Jacob's descendants. The whole people of the
twelve tribes are called "Israelites," the "children of Israel" ( Joshua
7:25 ; Judges
8:27 ; Jeremiah
3:21 ), and the "house of Israel" ( Exodus
(2) This name Israel is sometimes used emphatically for the true Israel ( Psalms
Isaiah 45:17 ; 49:3
1:47 ; Romans
9:6 ; 11:26
(3) After the death of Saul the ten tribes arrogated to themselves this name,
as if they were the whole nation ( 2
Samuel 2:9 , 2:10
2:17 , 2:28
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."
(4) After the Exile the name Israel was assumed as designating the entire nation.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
who prevails with God
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(the prince that prevails with God)
(1) The name given, ( Genesis 32:28 ) to Jacob after his wrestling with the angel,
( Hosea 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 ( Exodus 3:16 ) and afterward.
(3) It is used in a narrower sense, excluding Judah, in ( 1 Samuel 11:8 ; 2 Samuel
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.
(5) The name Israel is also used to denote lay-men, as distinguished from priests,
Levites and other ministers. ( Ezra 6:16 ; 9:1 ; 10:25 ; Nehemiah 11:3 ) etc.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, define, israel, jacob