Avram's name was changed to Avraham; Ya'akov's name was changed to Yisra'el. Yitzchak's name was not changed.

In the case of Ya'akov, we see that his name was changed in association with a specific event, namely, defeating the angel. Avraham's name change does not appear to associated with a specific event - at least not from the location of the name change in the verse or nearby surrounding verses where the change is mentioned.

What events or specific qualities merited Avraham and Ya'akov to warrant a name change, yet no such change was deemed necessary for Yitchak?


1 Answer 1


Braishis 17:19 וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים אֲבָל שָׂרָה אִשְׁתְּךָ יֹלֶדֶת לְךָ בֵּן וְקָרָאתָ אֶת שְׁמוֹ יִצְחָק thus Yitzchak was named so by Hashem directly.

Avraham was named by his parents who were idolaters. Yaakov was originally named for the fact that he was holding on to Eisav's heel. By defeating the angel of Eisav he got his new name which showed his superiority.

  • Also do not forget that Avram and Sarai could not have children. They only became fertile after they were renamed (their essence changed) Avraham and Sarah. Similarly, Ya'akov had to become Yisrael in order for his children to merit becoming Am Hashem. Oct 19, 2015 at 22:40

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