Religion:Israel (name)

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Template:Infobox given name

Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל, Modern: Yīsraʾel, Tiberian: Yīsrāʾēl) is a Hebrew-language masculine given name. According to the Book of Genesis, the name was bestowed upon Jacob after the incident in which he wrestled with the angel (Genesis 32:28 and 35:10). The given name is already attested in Eblaite (𒅖𒊏𒅋 Išrail) and Ugaritic (𐎊𐎌𐎗𐎛𐎍 Yšrʾil).[1][pages needed] Commentators differ on the original literal interpretation. The text of the Book of Genesis etymologizes the name with the root śarah (שָׂרָה‎‎, "to rule, contend, have power, prevail over"):[2] שָׂרִיתָ עִם־אֱלֹהִים (KJV: "a prince hast thou power with God"), but modern suggestions read the el as the subject, for a translation of "El rules/judges/struggles"[citation needed] or "El fights/struggles"[citation needed] The Jewish Study Bible of Oxford University Press says on page 68 "The scientific etymology of Israel is uncertain, a good guess being '[The God] El rules.'"[3] implying God through the word for the supreme deity of the Canaanite religion.

Referring to a foreign people, the name appears on the Merneptah Stele (Egyptian: 𓇌𓊃𓏤𓏤𓂋𓇋𓄿𓂋𓏤 Ysrỉꜣr), probably referring to the Israelites.

In Jewish texts during the Second Temple period and beyond, as well as in Christian Greco-Egyptian texts, Israel was understood to mean "a man seeing God": from ʾyš (man) rʾh (to see) ʾel (God).[4]

Per the Bible, Jacob's descendants (the Twelve Tribes of Israel) formed a national ethos and collectively established the Kingdom of Israel, whence came the name of the modern-day State of Israel.

Given name

  • Jacob (later named Israel; see also Jacob in Islam), biblical patriarch
  • Israel (Bishop of Caucasian Albania), 7th century CE
  • Israel (Nestorian patriarch), Patriarch of the Church of the East in 961
  • Israel Abanikanda (born 2002), American football player
  • Israel Adesanya (born 1989), New Zealand professional mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and boxer.
  • Israel Alter (1901–1979), Jewish composer and last chief cantor in Hanover, Germany
  • Israel Asper (1932–2003), Canadian media magnate
  • Israel of Axum, Emperor of Ethiopia in the 6th century CE
  • Israel Baker (1919–2011), American violinist and concertmaster
  • Israel Baline (1888–1989), the birth name of American composer Irving Berlin
  • Yisroel Belsky (1938–2016), American rosh yeshiva and posek
  • Israel Bissell (1752–1823), American post rider and colonial militia officer
  • Israel Broussard (born 1994), American actor
  • Yisrael Campbell, American-born Israeli comedian
  • Israel Cruz (born 1983), Australian singer
  • Israel Dagg (born 1988), New Zealand rugby player
  • Israel ben Eliezer (1698–1760), Jewish mystical rabbi
  • Israel Elimelech (born 1960), Israeli basketball player
  • Israel Englander (born 1948), American billionaire hedge fund manager
  • Israel Epstein (1915–2005), Polish-born Chinese journalist
  • Israel Lewis Feinberg (1872–1941), American physician and coroner
  • Israel Finkelstein (born 1949), Israeli archaeologist
  • Israel Folau (born 1989), Australian rugby player
  • Yisrael Friedman of Ruzhin (1796–1850), Hasidic rebbe
  • Israel García (footballer, born 1999), Mexican footballer
  • Israel Gelfand (1913–2009), Russian mathematician
  • Israel Gohberg (1928–2009), Moldovan-Soviet and Israeli mathematician
  • Israil Gurung, Indian footballer
  • Israel Gigato (born 1987), Spanish football player
  • Israel the Grammarian, 10th-century European scholar
  • Israel Hands, 18th-century pirate
  • Israel Halperin, (1911–2007), Canadian mathematician and social activist
  • Israel Nathan Herstein (1923–1988), Polish-Canadian-American mathematician
  • Yisroel Hopstein (1737–1814), Maggid of Kozhnitz
  • Israel Houghton (born 1971), American singer and Christian worship leader
  • Israel Idonije (born 1980), Nigeria-born Canadian player of American football
  • Israel Jacob (1729–1803), Prussian banker and philanthropist
  • Israel Jacobs (1726–c. 1796), British-American colonial legislator
  • Israel Jacobson (1768–1828), German philanthropist and communal organiser
  • Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838–1933), rabbi and posek known as the Chofetz Chaim
  • Israel Kamakawiwoʻole (1959–1997), Hawaiian singer and spiritual leader
  • Yisrael Mendel Kaplan (1913–1985), teacher at Chicago's Hebrew Theological College
  • Israel Katz (born 1955), Israeli politician
  • Yisrael Katz (1927–2010), Israeli scholar and civil servant
  • Israel Keyes (1978–2012), American serial killer, rapist, bank robber, burglar, and arsonist
  • Israel Kirzner (born 1930), American economist
  • Israel Jacob Kligler (1888–1944), Austro-Hungarian microbiologist, professor, and Zionist
  • Israel of Krems, 14th-/15th-century Austrian rabbi
  • Yisrael Kristal (1903–2017), Polish-Israeli supercentenarian
  • Israel "Izzy" Lang, American football running back
  • Yisrael Meir Lau (born 1937), former Chief Rabbi of Israel
  • Israel Levitan (1912–1982), American sculptor and painter
  • Israel Lewy (1841–1917), German scholar of Judaic texts
  • Israel Lovy (1773–1832), European ḥazzan and composer
  • Israel Lyons (1739–1775), English mathematician and botanist
  • Israel Machado (born 1960), Brazilian basketball player
  • Mohammad Israil Mansuri, Indian politician
  • Israel D. Maulsby (1781–1839), American politician from Maryland
  • Israel Mireles (born c.1983), Mexican convicted murderer
  • Israel Mukuamu (born 1999), American football player
  • Israel Narvaez, American gang founder and author
  • Israel Ochoa (born 1964), Colombian cyclist
  • Yisroel Ber Odesser (1888–1994), Breslov rabbi
  • Israel Ori (1658–1711), Armenian diplomat
  • Israel Pellew (1758–1832), British admiral
  • Israel Pickens (1780–1827), American lawyer and politician
  • Israel Pilot, undergarment inventor
  • Israel Pliner (1896–1939), Soviet secret police functionary
  • Yisroel Avrohom Portugal (1923–2019), Skulener Rebbe
  • Israel Putnam (1718–1790), American general
  • Israel Raybon (born 1973), American football player
  • Israel Regardie (1907–1985), British occultist
  • Israel B. Richardson (1815–1862), American general
  • Israel Rivera, American soldier witness to Abu Grahib conditions
  • Israel Ruiz Jr. (born 1943), New York politician
  • Ysrael Seinuk (1931–2010), Cuban structural engineer
  • Israel Shahak (1933–2001), Israeli author
  • Israel Shamir (born 1947), Swedish antisemitic writer
  • Israel Sheinfeld (born 1976), Israeli basketball player
  • Israel Tal (1924–2010), an Israeli general and tank developer
  • Israel Vázquez (born 1977), Mexican boxer
  • Israel Wachser (1892–1919), Russian writer
  • Israel Wamiau (born 1994), Indonesian footballer
  • Yisroel Dovid Weiss (born 1956), Neturei Karta activist
  • Israel Zamosz (c.1700–1772) Polish-Lithuanian Talmudist, mathematician and poet
  • Israel Joseph Zevin (1872–1926), Belarusian-American humorist
  • Israel Zilber (1933 – after 1980), Latvian-Soviet chess player
  • Ysrael Zúñiga (born 1976), Peruvian footballer


  • Al Israel (1936-2011), American actor
  • Edward Israel (1859–1884), American astronomer and polar explorer
  • Franco Israel (born 2000), Uruguayan footballer
  • Gerli Israel (born 1995), Estonian footballer
  • Guni Israeli (born 1984), Israeli basketball player
  • Harry Frederick Israel, later known as Harry Frederick Harlow (1905-1981), an American psychologist
  • Jonathan Israel (born 1946), British historian
  • Lee Israel (1939–2014), American author known for committing literary forgery
  • Léon Israel (1906-1944), France doctor, resistance fighter, and Jew executed by the France collaborationist Milice.
  • Märt Israel (born 1983), Estonian discus thrower
  • Martha Israel (1905–c. 1967), German politician
  • Melvin Israel, later known as Mel Allen (1913–1996), American sportscaster
  • Menasseh Ben Israel (1604–1657), Portuguese rabbi and scholar
  • Rinus Israël (born 1942), Dutch football player and manager
  • Robert Decatur Israel (1826-1908), San Diego pioneer, keeper of the Old Point Loma lighthouse
  • Samuel Israel III (born 1959), American convicted felon and former hedge fund manager
  • Scott Israel (born 1956/57), American Police Chief of Opa-locka, former Sheriff of Broward County
  • Steve Israel (born 1958), American politician
  • Steve Israel (American football) (born 1969), American football player
  • Syed Shah Israil, 16th-century writer of Bengal
  • Wilfrid Israel (1899–1943), Anglo-German businessman and philanthropist
  • Yuri Izrael (1930–2014), Russian scientist and vice-chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


  1. Michael G. Hasel, Domination and Resistance: Egyptian Military Activity in the Southern Levant, Brill, 1998
  2. שָׂרָה śarah "to contend, have power, contend with, persist, exert oneself, persevere" (Strong's Concordance H8323) שָׂרַר śarar "to be or act as prince, rule, contend, have power, prevail over, reign, govern" (Strong's Concordance 8280)
  4. The Old Testament pseudepigrapha, Volume 2. Charlesworth, James H.. London: Darton, Longman & Todd. 1983–1985. pp. 703. ISBN 0232516278. OCLC 14814462.