1

In the New American Standard, Genesis 25: 26 reads

And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

The Hebrew word we have as 'Jacob' is יַעֲקֹב I have never seen it translated other than 'supplanter;' however, the root word עָקַב,(aqab) which is missing the leading yodh, is also translated as 'supplanter,' or 'take by the heel,' as in Hosea 12:3:

בַּבֶּטֶן עָקַב אֶת־אָחִיו וּבְאוֹנוֹ שָׂרָה

the first part of which translates: He took his brother by the heel in the womb,

So, my question is, does the yodh reference part of the name of God, as it does in 'the name 'Joshua'?

1
  • Not likely. That would mean YHWH was deceptive, and that there was a god at one time greater than YHWH, looking at the meanings of עָקַב.
    – Perry Webb
    Dec 19, 2023 at 11:00

1 Answer 1

2

The OP has already cited almost all of the usual evidence for the origin of the name of Jacob יַעֲקֹב, especially:

  1. Gen 25:26 - the text explains the origin of the name as "he grasps the heel"
  2. The root of the word is עָקֵב (aqab) meaning "heel", or, "footprint", etc. See Hos 12:3

The lexicons of BDB, Strongs, NAS, Baker and Carpenter, Davidson all agree.

However, the OP also asks about יַעֲקֹב and its initial yodh - by comparison with "Joshua" יְהוֹשׁוּעַ ("the LORD is Salvation") - might the initial yodh be an abbreviation of Jehovah?

The answer is "no" because when the tetragrammaton, יְהוָֹה , is abbreviated, the first two letters יְה are used as in Joshua which is really, "Yeh-ho-shuah". To make a name like "Jehovah grasps/supplants" (a blasphemous idea!!) would require a word like יְהעָקֵב = "Yeh-akub".

But, fortunately, this is NOT the case we only have יַעֲקֹב = the one/he who grasps/supplants".

Further, of the name "elohim" (= "God") were included, again, we would need the letters אֵל ("el")- but these letters are also absent. In any case, this meaning would also be blasphemous.

3
  • is it 'blasohemous' to misspell blasphemous? Dec 19, 2023 at 2:15
  • @DanFefferman - quite correct - now fixed
    – Dottard
    Dec 19, 2023 at 2:32
  • Blasohemous? == Of or related to blood in the arms. No not blasphemous just sanguine-handed. 😊 Dec 21, 2023 at 13:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.