The Jewish Nation should not Have Been Named “Israel”

God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel”. Jacob then had 12 sons.

Exodus 1:1-5
Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.

All these children mentioned above are children of Israel. Reuben is the father of the Rubenites, Simeon is the father of the Simeonites, Levi is the father of the Levites, and Judah is the father of the Jews.

Jacob (Israel) later blessed his sons and told them what will be of their tribe “in the last days” (Gen 49). While he did bless all his sons, the birthright went to Ephraim, not Judah. Also Jacob (Israel) put his name on Ephraim and Manasseh, not Judah. (Gen 48:16-20)

You can see who has the full ownership of the name “Israel” later when the Jews split from Israel and decided to follow King David instead of Ishbosheth (Saul’s son).

2 Samuel 2:10
Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.

The first record in the Bible that suggests a split of Judah (the Jews) from the house of Israel is in 1 Samuel 11:8. This split lasted until David later rejoined them (2 Samuel 5:1-5). Then they split again after the death of Solomon, David’s son. (1 Kings 11-12). When they split, they did not take the name “Israel” with them. Again, that is reserved for the nation in which the Ephraimites reside. God will put them back together in the millennial reign (Ezekiel 37:16-26). This means that the Jews today do not have the right to call their nation “Israel”. “Judah” is what a nation of the Jews should be called.

Below is a historical map of Judah (the Jews) and Israel.

Notice that when the Jews (Judah, represented by the purple color) split off from Israel (represented by the green color), they did not keep the name! This is because they did not have the birthright!

Other things you should know about “Israel” and "Judah"

1. God’s nation does not need any land to exist. When the Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years, they possessed no land, but they still had national laws, law enforcement, and a King and they were still called the nation of Israel.

2. The historical map above shows that the name “Israel” does not stay with the country that occupies a specific area (i.e. Jerusalem).

3. When Jacob blessed his sons, he told them what “shall befall [them] in the last days.” This means that we should be able to find the descendants of Jacob’s other sons (Reuben, Dan, Gad, Ephraim, etc.) today. Plus, God told Jacob (Israel) that “a company of nations shall be of thee” (that means more than one nation will be from Jacob) Genesis 35:11.

4. God promised that Abraham’s seed will become a great a mighty nation (Genesis 18:18). Abraham’s birthright went to Isaac, then to Jacob, then to Ephraim. Who is this great and mighty nation that came from “Ephraim”? This nation should be able to bless “all the nations of the earth”.

5. Judah got the sceptre, but Joseph's lineage got the birthright.

1 Chronicles 5:1-2
Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:)

More verses that show that the Jews have separated themselves from “Israel”:

Jeremiah 3:11
And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.

Jeremiah 3:18
In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Jeremiah 11:17
For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.

Jeremiah 50:4
In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.

Amos 1:1
The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

Hebrews 8:8
For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

To sum it up, the Jews (the tribe of Judah) do not have the right to call their nation “Israel” no matter where they are located. Just as they called their nation in the past, they should call their nation today “Judah”.

Here are some good books on the subject of who are the tribes of Israel and where are they located today (Some of the links do not have the picture of the book posted yet. This does not mean that they are not available.)

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