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BIBLE DICTIONARY
Israel
One who prevails with God or Let God prevail.
This name was given to Jacob at Penuel (Gen. 32: 28) and at Bethel (Gen. 35: 10). It also applies to his descendants and to their kingdom (2 Sam. 1: 24; 2 Sam. 23: 3). After the division of the kingdom, the northern tribes, as the larger part, retained the name Israel, while the southern kingdom was called Judah. The land of Canaan is also called Israel today. And in another sense Israel means the true believer in Christ, as explained by Paul (Rom. 10: 1; Rom. 11: 7; Gal. 6: 16; Eph. 2: 12). The name Israel is therefore variously used to denote1 the man Jacob,2 the literal descendants of Jacob, and3 the true believers in Christ, regardless of their lineage or geographical location.