10 Feb. Genesis 35:9-15

10 Feb. Jacob’s new name - Israel - is confirmed by God

“When Jacob came back from North West Mesopotamia, God appeared to him again and blessed him.”

“God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. Your new name will be Israel.’ So he called him Israel.”

“God said to him, ‘I am God Almighty. Have many children and grow in number as a nation. You will be the ancestor of many nations and kings. The same land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I wil give to you and your descendants.’ Then God left him.”

“Jacob set up a stone on edge in that place where God had talked to him, and he poured a drink offering and olive oil on it to make it special for God. And Jacob named the place Bethel.”

          (Genesis 35:9-15)



On his return from Paddan Aram (the ‘Plain of Aram’) in North West Mesopotamia, God appeared to Jacob once again at Bethel.

God confirmed that Jacob (meaning a ‘heel’ or ‘trickster’) would no longer be called Jacob; He would now be known by his new name ‘Israel’ that he was given at Peniel on his way back from Mesopotamia. Jacob had wrested with God overnight before his decisive meeting with his brother Esau near the Jabbok River, so God had given him the new name ‘Israel’, meaning ‘he wrestles with God’ – see Genesis 32:22-32.

God then renewed his covenant agreement once again, promising Jacob that he would become the father of many nations and would live in the land promised to his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham.

Before leaving the place, Jacob set up a standing stone to mark the site of his encounter with God, and reaffirmed the name of the place as Beth-el (meaning ‘House of God’).

The photo (by Deror avi) shows the site of Bethel.

You can read more about Jacob’s encounter with God @ The Bible Journey | God blesses Jacob at Bethel

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