What new name did God give Jacob?

Jacob's new name

from "I want to hear what God says" (H.Schumacher)


"No more Jacob should be your name but Israelbecause you fought with God and with men and were victorious. "(Gen. 32:29)


This sentence is preceded by a mysterious story. After his family crossed the Jabbok River, Jacob was left alone. “A man wrestled with him until the dawn came” (Gen. 32:25). It is not said who this "man" was, he does not introduce himself. According to our preceding word, it was God who can also appear as a "man" (Gen. 18: 2). When James later says, "I have seen God face to face" (Genesis 32:31), it is not to be understood as having seen God the Father; because no one has seen the Father until today. (Joh 1:18; 1 Tim 6:16). It could have been YAHWEH = JESUS, but we could also think of an angel of God with Hos 12: 4.5.

What is the meaning of this incident in which "Jacob's hip joint was dislocated?" Jacob should be in his own strength weakened become. Only as one who is broken before God can he "Israel" become. Jacob is interpreted as a "heel-holder, defender, deceiver" and "Israel" as a "warrior of God" (or also: the one who fights with God - the one for whom God fights). "Jacob" stands for the old, "Israel" for the new being. Both names are often found next to each other in Isaiah (e.g. in Isa 40:27 and Isa 42: 8; Isa 42:14) God sees through our old being and wants to give us a new being, a "new man" (Eph 4: 20-24). Because a "warrior of God" can only become who is first broken in his own being. This applies to the people of Israel as well as to us as members of the church of Jesus.

But why can it be said of Jacob that he remained victorious in the struggle of that night? Hansjörg Bräumer answers: "Jacob's victory consists in standing firm, staying close to God, enduring the night and being recognized by God."