Remember that Jacob’s name was given to him because he was “grasping Esau’s heel”? (25:26). That sounds cute….but after awhile, in the Hebrew culture, the word Jacob became the jargon for someone who deceives. Kind’a like today we use the word sodomy because of the behavior first described in the town of Sodom. So for a while there, Jacob would not be a popular name that would be used amongst Jewish babies!
I bring this up because I see why the Hebrew people would think of deception when they hear the name Jacob. We read how Jacob deceived both his brother and his dad, (25:31 & 27), and today, ironically, we read how he himself was deceived.
According to my Bible footnote, a parent, back in the day, would name their child by reflecting the situation at the time of birth (as Rebecca did) or choose a name with a meaning they hoped their child would fulfill. If a grown child’s name did not end up matching their character, they would change their name!
We are going to read (in a couple of days) how Jacob’s character changed and therefore God changes his name! (32:28) I think that’s so cool!! Our heavenly father can change our name! God changes hearts and has no problem changing a name to reflect the new heart. I wonder…when we get to heaven, will we hear how some of our names had been changed when we became believers…but we just won’t use it yet until we get up there? Ha, it’s fun to think of heaven and how different it will be…possibly even with different names!