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Israel is a timeless biblical baby name for boys. With origins in the Old Testament, this name has a rich cultural history that spans millennia. Israel is the name of a nation in the Middle East, and Israel Hands is the name of a popular pirate in the Treasure Island series. Keep reading to learn more about this baby name.

Meaning of the name Israel:

Hebrew: God contends, he who wrestles with God, triumphant with God

Origin of the name Israel:

Israel is a contraction of the Hebrew phrase Yisra'el (יִשְׂרָאֵל). This phrase combined the roots שָׂרָה (meaning “to contend” or “to fight” and אֵל (meaning “God”). The resulting phrase means either “God contends” or refers to a person who “wrestles with God.”

Symbolism of the name Israel:

Israel originates in the Old Testament. In the Book of Genesis, the patriarch Jacob wrestled with a heavenly being from dusk until daybreak. Afterward, God changed the patriarch's name from Jacob to Israel (Genesis 32:22-32). The symbol for this patriarch's journey in the first half of Genesis is Jacob's ladder to heaven. Other symbols of modern-day Israel include the Star of David and the menorah.

baby name Israel

Style of the name Israel:

Biblical

Gender of the name Israel:

Israel is a boy's name.

Pronunciation of the name Israel:

IZ-ray-əhl

Number of syllables in the name Israel:

Three

Emotion evoked from the name Israel:

The name Israel evokes feelings of inspiration and ideals.

Alternative spellings for the name Israel:

  • Isreal
  • Isrrael
  • Izrael
  • Izreal
  • Yisrael
  • Yisroel

Nicknames for the name Israel:

  • Issy
  • Izzy
  • Iz
  • Isa
  • Rae

Popularity of the name Israel:

According to the Social Security Administration index, Israel was the 237th most popular baby name for boys in 2020.

Related names for the name Israel:

Great middle names for Israel and their meanings:

  • Abner (father of light)
  • Benny (son of my right hand)
  • Clarence (clear, bright, famous)
  • Dan (God is my judge)
  • Kane (little warrior, golden, man)
  • Leo (lion)
  • Luke (light, man from Lucania)
  • Matthew (gift of God)
  • Preston (priest town)
  • Reynaldo (king's counsel, ruler's advisor)
  • Roscoe (roebuck forest)
  • Sheldon (valley with steep sides)
  • Warner (army guard)

Famous people with the name Israel:

  • Israel Temitayo Adesanya (mixed martial artist)
  • Israel Harold “Izzy” Asper (media magnate)
  • Israel Isidore Baline (composer)
  • Israel Jamahl Akuhata Dagg (rugby player)
  • Israel David Dillard (son of television personality Derick Dillard)
  • Israel Blue ‘Izzy' Grammer (son of singer Andrew Charles Grammer)
  • Israel “Iz” Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole (singer)
  • Israel Alvin “Izzy” Lang (football player)
  • Israel Antonio Ochoa Plazas (cyclist)
  • Israel Deshon Raybon (football player)

Israel in popular culture:

  • Israel (country in the Middle East)
  • Israel Hands (character in the Treasure Island series)