Names of God – El Elohe Israel


El Elohe Yisrael

אֵל אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל 'El 'elohey Yisra'el {ale el-o-hay' yis-raw-ale'}
the mighty God of Jisrael; El Elohi Jisrael, the title given to a consecrated spot by Jacob

The name is a combination of the word El with Elohim and Israel. Because El and Elohim both mean ‘God,’ the translation would literally be “God, the God of Israel.” El can also be understood to mean “Almighty” or “mighty”, thus giving us the translation “the mighty God of Israel.” Another possible translation is “the God of Israel is God.”


There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel. Genesis 33:20

Jacob many years before had fled from the promised land afraid for his life. Esau had threatened to kill Jacob for tricking him out of his father’s blessing. Now Jacob has returned.

After wrestling all night with God, God changes Jacob’s name to Israel, which means, “God fights” or “God prevails.” Following this unusual encounter Jacob meets up with his brother Esau who, instead of seeking revenge, unexpectedly forgives him.

Now Jacob is free to settle down safely in the promised land. He buys a field and it is on this piece of land that he builds this altar to God called El-Elohe-Israel. I find it interesting that once we understand the context, all three of the names make sense.

  1. God, the God of Israel – Jacob has finally decided that God is going to be his God. God is not just the God of Abraham and Isaac. He is now the God of Israel.
  2. The Mighty God of Israel – Jacob has learned that God is mighty. He left Canaan with almost nothing and he returns rich. He left in fear for his life and he returns forgiven and safe. He left as a deceiver and he returns dependent on the might of God not his own skills of manipulation.
  3. The God of Israel is God – If Jacob had any questions about which God to follow, he has now made up his mind. There is only one God and that is the God of Israel.


  1. Intellectual or Personal? Is your belief in God personal? Have you ever committed yourself to God on a personal level or is God only someone you follow on an intellectual level? Jacob wrestled with God and then, after this very personal encounter, declares God to be his God.
  2. Family or Personal? God was the God of Jacob’s fathers but not until this point does Jacob announce that He is his own personal God. Is your relationship with God personal? Or is He just the default God that was handed down to you by your family?
  3. Mighty. Do you see God as mighty in your life? Do you trust Him completely for your life needs or do you live your life no different than if God didn’t exist?
  4. Only God. Do you recognize God as your only God? Or has something else become more important to you? Take a look at how you use your time and money and ask yourself, “Who or what do I truly worship as God?”

For me personally, I hope I can honestly say, El-Elohe-Jerry. God, the God of Jerry. Do I live like He is my God? I strive every day to make this true. May my faith be evident in my actions.

Can you along with Jacob say El-Elohe-<your name>?

by Jerry Wyrick, president of Worship Arts Conservatory


Posted in General Worship.