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Quick Facts on Israel

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 245
IZ-rye-ell, IZ-ree-ul
Simple meaning:
Struggled with God

Characteristics of Israel

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Israel

The name Israel comes from the Bible, specifically in Genesis 32:28. In this particular Biblical story, Jacob wrestles with a stranger all night. At day break, the mysterious man asks Jacob to stop wrestling, but Jacob replies only if the stranger will bless him. God responds: “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Essentially, Jacob basically got a name change from God Himself. No longer Jacob, he is henceforth referred to as Israel in Genesis, the father of the 12 Tribes of Israel, the patriarch of all Israelites, and the founding father of the kingdom of Israel. We guess that God decided Jacob would be up for any challenge after demonstrating his strength and fortitude by fearlessly wrestling with God Himself. We should clarify that this particular Biblical passage has been a subject of religious debate; some theologians believe Jacob struggled with an angel, or some agent of God, rather than God Himself. In any case, Israel is primarily thought of as a Jewish name. However, it was also taken up by the Puritans in the 16th century which helped spread the name among Christians. Today, Israel is the 55th most popular boy’s name in Mexico (2010).

Popularity of the Name Israel

The name Israel has been around and in use since at least 1880, the first year the U.S. government began tracking naming trends. Generally considered a Jewish name, this apparently is far from the truth. Israel was likely brought to American by way of the Puritan settlers during colonial times. So the name has a wider religious audience than what one might think. What’s driving the name’s popularity in the United States is actually the growing Hispanic and Latino populations. The name is ranked the highest in the state of New Mexico which also happens to be the state with the highest density of Latinos. As the 55th most popular boy’s name in Mexico in 2010, our friends south of the border are influencing the name’s usage right here in America. Nationwide, Israel is not quite a Top 200 pick, but the name has shown consistent slow and steady growth since the 1940s. This is a very religious name; there’s no two-ways about that. Israel is the young man who struggles with God and prevails. We can’t think of a more impressive accomplishment than that; can you?
Popularity of the Boy Name Israel
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Israel

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Israel

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Israel

    Israel Hands (Treasure Island) Israel Hands is the steering crewman aboard the “Hispaniola” in Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic 1883 sea adventure novel, Treasure Island. This novel provided timeless characterizations of the sea-pirate with his peg-leg and parrot-on-the-shoulder, the map with X marking the spot, and the daredevil villains such as Long John Silver. Israel himself is no small contribution to the annals of villains. He’s a murderer, a fighter, a drinker, and a double-crosser. At the same time, he’s a rather cunning, droll character for all that, with his “shiver-my-timbers” and his “dead men don’t bite” proclamations. Of course, he must come to a fitting end for his sins, and he does, but rather in style. Take a look at N.C. Wyeth’s 1911 illustration for Treasure Island, “One More Step, Mr. Hands”.

  • Popular Songs on Israel

    Popular Songs on Israel

    Egypt, Israel & America - a song by Seals & Crofts

    Hope of Israel - a song by Michael W. Smith

    Israel - a jazz number by Miles Davis

    Israel - a song by Newsboys

    Israel - a song by Siouxsie and the Banshees

    Israel - a song by The Bee Gees

    Israel - a song by Ween

    Israel's Son - a song by Silverchair

    Israel's Song - a song by Built To Spill

    Israelites - a song by Millencolin

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Israel

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Israel

    Israel: A to Z (Justine Fontes) - Describes the geography, history, culture, industry, and people of Israel. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Let's Visit Israel (Judyth Groner) - A board book about Israel. Recommended for ages baby to preschool.

    The Promised Land: From Joshua to the First Leaders of Israel (Master Books) - The Awesome Adventure Bible Story Series comprises a library of biblical stories from the Old and New Testaments highlighting people and events and placing a special emphasis on the life of Christ. A short narrative of the action, along with the biblical text and an application section encourage children to focus not only on “who” and “what,” but “why” and “how” the lessons learned by men and women of the Bible can be applied to our lives today. Even more, every page comes alive with magnificent color illustrations, reprints of classical religious art, actual color photographs of the places and people of the Holy Land today, and marginal notes describing the locations, names, and customs in detail. This wonderful series makes an excellent assortment of bedtime stories and would be most fitting for family devotions. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Welcome to Israel! (Lilly Rivlin) - Reading Welcome to Israel, children meet Israeli kids their own age, who show them Israel from Tiberias to Eilat and teach them about Israel's history, geography, politics, and culture. Children also see the day-to-day lives of their new Israeli friends, who write e-mails in Hebrew and go hiking in the footsteps of their biblical ancestors. Creative and interactive features of Welcome to Israel keep children fascinated by the wonders of Israel. These engaging elements include probing questions that stimulate critical thinking, map-reading activities that teach Israel's geography, key Hebrew words with English translation, and discussions of Jewish values. Full-color photos, maps, and whimsical illustrations make the excitement of Israel come alive. Biblical quotations deepen the book's historical and spiritual perspectives. Welcome to Israel inspires love of Israel! Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Israel

    Famous People Named Israel

    Famous People Named Israel - Israel Baline (birth name of Irving Berlin, composer); Israel Kamakawiwoʻole (Hawaiian singer); Israel Vázquez (Mexican boxer); Israel B. Richardson (Civil War general); Israel Houghton (Christian singer); Israel "Izzy" Alcántara (baseball player); Israel Castro (Mexican soccer player); Israel Zangwill (playwright); Israel Idonije (football player); Israel Putnam (Revolutionary War general); Israel Sesay (soccer player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Israel

    Children of Famous People Named Israel

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Israel - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Israel.

  • Historic Figures

    Israel - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Israel - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Israel.

Personality of the Boy Name Israel

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Israel

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