tags:  Bible name Semitic pun · name   —   by Gerry · May 2019 · 392 words

The name Israel may for the spook aristocrats be a pun with the name Jezreel, which means “descendants of lords” & “godseed”.

The official meaning of the Biblical name Israel is “God strives” or “struggles with God”, because the character “wrestles” with a mysterious man all night. That meaning doesn’t really fit well with the wider narrative of the Biblical story. It also doesn’t explain this name’s popularity with the spook aristocrats.

At its core, the name consists of the roots שר-אל šr-ˀl, which also mean “ruler-lord” or “lordly ruler”. That could be the pun, as the spook aristocrats see themselves as overlord rulers of the world.

But there’s a more interesting explanation: The name Israel or Yisrael looks & sounds very similar to the Biblical name Jezreel or Yzreel. The second component ˀl el is identical and means “God” or “lord”. The first component for Israel is שר šr, which is no satisfactory explanation and occurs nowhere else in the Bible. The first component of Jezreel is the very common root זרע zrˁ, which means “sowing”, “seed”, “grain”, “offspring”, “descendant”, generally everything that grows out as a branch from something else.

Hebrew Yisrael similar to Yzreel, which means God sows, but also lordly offspring

ישראל Yisrael : “God strives,” another name of Jacob and his descendants — Old Hebrew (Strong)

יזרעאל Yzreel : “God sows,” two Israelites, also two cities in Israel, also a valley in Northern Israel — Old Hebrew (Strong)

ישראלי Yisreeli : descendant of Israel — Old Hebrew (Strong)

יזרעאלי Yzreeli : an inhabitant of Jezreel — Old Hebrew (Strong)

זרע zera : sowing, seed, offspring, children, descendants, family, grain, intercourse, seminal — Old Hebrew (Strong)

אל el : God, god, gods, mighty, Mighty One, power, strong; applied to men of might and rank — Old Hebrew (Strong)

The name Jezreel, which officially means “God sows”, can thus also mean “god-seed” or “lordly offspring”. That may be one reason why the spook aristocrats, all of them descending from the god-overlords of ancient times, call themselves Israelites. It is a pun for Jezreelites, which is what the spooks are: descendants of overlords!

Israel = Yisrael = yšr-ˀlyzrˁ-ˀl = Yizreel = Jezreel

Jezreel = seed-God = zrˁ-ˀl = offspring-lord = descendant of lords

We get some confirmation through the name Armstrong, which also translates into “godseed”. However, this pun may not be the only one of the name Israel. More analysis of the story is needed.

tags:  Bible name Semitic pun · name