What Does the Name of Israel Mean? How to Apply It to Your Identity

The name Israel means…

  • Prince
  • To struggle or rule with God
  • To turn the head of God

A name is significant. Your name is significant. And the name God gave Israel is significant. 

In Hebrew thought, a name wasn’t just a label for identification; it encompassed the person’s personality and characteristics. It was a reflection of who they were—equivalent to the person themselves. 

A name in the Bible symbolized a person’s…

  • Character
  • Reputation
  • Authority
  • Ownership

For example, read the verses below. They are a reflection of God’s character, reputation, authority, and ownership.

  • The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”—Proverbs 18:10 (emphasis added)
  • “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name.—Psalm 18:49 (emphasis added)
  • “’And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.’”—Matthew 19:29 (emphasis added)

Titles and Names of Israel

A People Set Apart or Separated

  • “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.”—Leviticus 20:26 (emphasis added)

The Hebrew word for separated is badal. It is the same word used in Genesis 1:18 to describe the way God separated the light from the darkness. In the same way, God’s purpose for Israel was for them to be separated and become a light to the nations that surrounded them. 

Separated | How to Apply the Name of Israel 

  • “O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. …Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? …As God has said… ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’”—2 Corinthians 6:11,14,16,17

To apply this name and attribute of being set apart, you can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any areas of your life in which you have been unequally yoked. Are there people in your life with whom you need to establish boundaries? Are there disagreements that need to be discussed?

Repent of those areas. Ask the Lord to provide direction and vision as to how to be set apart, according to His Word. 

When yoked, the two must be going in the same direction. Otherwise, there is friction. Through prayer and repentance come agreement and alignment. You will gain understanding as to how to realign, or which way you should go to become unyoked. 

A Holy and Sanctified People

  • “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the Lord who sanctifies you.”—Leviticus 20:7-8

The Hebrew word for holy and consecrated in this passage is kadash. It means to be set apart for a special and specific purpose. In this case, the Lord required action from the people. They were to keep His statutes, thus obeying His commandments, or mitzvot in Hebrew. 

Holy and Sanctified | How to Apply the Name of Israel

  • “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”—1 Corinthians 6:11

To apply this name, you can decree and declare the blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven. Decreeing and declaring that you have been washed and sanctified by the blood realigns your mind, will, and emotions with the Lord. 

Proclaim who you are in Christ today. Decide to live in your new identity rather than your old one. 

An Assembly and the Children of Israel

  • “And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin…”—Exodus 16:1
  • “Then Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said to them, ‘These are the words which the Lord has commanded you to do:’”—Exodus 35:1

The Hebrew word for assembly or congregation is edah. In the Bible, whenever edah is used, it also refers to the children and descendants of Jacob—or Israel. 

Free Guide Are You Unknowingly Blocking Your Spiritual Blessings

Child of Israel | How to Apply the Name of Israel

When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you were adopted and grafted into the family of God. God gives inheritance rights to His children. This means that because you have been grafted into the family of God, according to Romans 11:24, you have the same rights and promises that God has given Israel. 

To apply this name, reclaim and proclaim the strength you have in Christ. It is time to walk empowered by the Holy Spirit. Ask the Lord for His strength. Humbly ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to do God’s will, which gives you peace and cancels any worry or anxiety, according to Philippians 4:6. 

A Light to the Nations

  • “Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”—Isaiah 49:6

The Hebrew word for nation is goi, which also refers to Gentiles. God is telling Israel that salvation to all the nations will come through them. He was telling them that He gives them the light to shine so that others are saved. 

A Light to the Nations | How to Apply the Name of Israel

  • “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”—Matthew 5:14
  • “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”—1 Peter 2:9

To apply this name and identity, take your position as a chosen generation and as royal priests, and proclaim the Lord’s praises. Jesus said that He would not allow the light to be hidden. 

Ask the Spirit if there are ways you are hiding the light the Lord has given you. Ask Him to reveal your spiritual gifts so that you can bring Him glory and step further into your purpose. 

In Summary…

The names of Israel are a mystery to unlock the power of the inheritance you have in your life. Meditate on God’s Word, proclaim His praises, and ask Him to empower you with His strength. If there are areas that need to be washed by the blood of Jesus, repent of those. 

You have been given a new name. You’ve been given a new identity… It’s time you believe it and live it. 

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