The story of Jacob is a reminder that God keeps His promises to us in spite of our failures and sometimes lack of faith.
As a result of lying and scheming to get his birthright and blessing, Jacob is now on the run.
Yet God appears to him to reassure him and let him know that He is with him and that the covenant promises still stand.
I can kind of sense God saying to Jacob…, “
Look, it wasn’t necessary to employ all of the deceptive tactics that you did.
I am God, and once I decree something in heaven, it’s done.
Rest in me and know that I am God.”
So God blesses and reiterates the covenant promises first given to Abraham that were passed on to Isaac.
Now the torch is officially handed over to Jacob.
Jacob is totally in awe and amazement of what has just happened to him.
In response, he labels the place “el Beit-el“.
This would translate to “the house of the God El“.
Keep in mind that at this time, God was known by many different titles that started with “el“.
’el’ was a common term for any god or gods at that time.
El Shaddai was one of the most frequently used name for God during this period.
Shaddai means mountain.
So El Shaddai means the “God of the Mountain“
This fits with the incident when God introduced Himself to Jacob as El Shaddai while Jacob was walking through the mountains on his way to Mesopotamia.
“Isra-el” means “God preserves” or “God keeps“.
Here’s another piece of interesting research I did.
Israel’s national airline is called “EL AL“.
Apparently, the name comes from the following verse from the Book of Hosea:
“And my people are in suspense about returning to me;
and though they call them upwards [el-al],
none at all will lift himself up.”
“El-Al” as a phrase means “upward“, “heavenward“, “aloft” or “skyward“.
However, it seems like the translators of the King James Bible, had a different idea.
They rendered it as follows:
“And my people are bent to backsliding from me:
though they called them to the most High,
none at all would exalt him.”