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The medieval Jewish teacher Bahya ben Asher stated “the plain meaning” is that the Torah uses the names Jacob and Israel interchangeably. But, he adds: “From a more rational or scientific point of view we may detect a distinct pattern in the Torah sometimes choosing to refer to Yaakov by his original name and sometimes by his additional name. The ...


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Assyria seized control of all of Aram (Syria) and the northern kingdom of Israel in a single military operation during the Syro-Ephraimite War, c.734-732 BCE. Only Ephraim (Samaria) survived the war relatively untrampled and retained the name 'Israel', though only for a decade until it too was destroyed. Current scholarship suggests Israel at this time was ...


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The renaming of Jacob in both Genesis 32 and 35 is a doublet; the editors of Genesis have preserved two versions of how Jacob received the name 'Israel'. It has long been recognized that Genesis was comprised of multiple sources, sometimes including alternate traditions of the same stories. This falls under the realm of the Documentary Hypothesis. Michael ...



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