In the parasha of Vayishlach Yaakov’s name is changed twice. Both times his new name is Yisrael. He is morphed twice from the ‘One Who Grasps Ankles’ to ‘the One Who Wrestles with G-d.’ The first time he is renamed by the adversary he wrestles with throughout the night (Gen. 32:29). On the second occasion he is renamed by G-d Himself (35:10). So why is his name change presented to us twice and why on these two occassions?
Ramban on 35:10 notes that before assigning Yaakov his new name, God states plainly "your name is Yaakov," since it wasn't the angel's mission to change Yaakov's name.
R' Samson Raphael Hirsch on 32:29 takes this discrepancy a step further by noting a difference between the verbs in the two verses. The angel says "לא יעקב יאמר עוד שמך", which R' Hirsch interprets as "not Jacob shall they name be expressed any more,"1 while God says "לא יקרא שמך עוד יעקב", which R' Hirsch interprets as "thy name shall no longer be called Jacob."
According to R' Hirsch, the angel's message is not that Yaakov's name is changing, but that the same name Yaakov would now be understood as Yisrael, meaning "God is the All-conquering one." When people see a "Yaakov," apparently a weak member of the "heel" of society, miraculously overpowering stronger-looking foes, it demonstrates that God is all-powerful, and that He can and does intervene to help those who are close to him vanquish any power. When this happens, "Yaakov" teaches the world that "Yisrael."
R' Hirsch doesn't return to the topic on 35:10 to explain why God formalizes the name change at this point. I would suggest that now that Yaakov's family has attained it's full strength at 12 sons, it's hard to see Yaakov personally as a mere heel-grabber anymore. He is clearly the head of a mighty clan. Now, God says, the "Yisrael" message is apparent not in individual surprising victories by a weak-looking Yaakov, but by the evolution of previously-weak Yaakov into the mighty proto-nation of Yisrael.
1. As translated into English by Isaac Levy
As a reaction to Mordecai:
Gen 28:12 and 16 clearly shows Ya’akov had a prophetic dream/vision. Then in Gen 28:18 and 19 shows he set up a pillar and anointed it, while calling the place Beth-El and making a vow. Now Gen 31:13 refers back to what I just described and 31:11 teaches that in a dream a messenger of the Lord spoke to Ya’akov, a messenger is send to deliver a message in name of the messenger. The words Malach HaShem are like Na’ar Elisheva (2 Kings 5:20).
In Gen 35:1 and 35:7 Ya’akov names the place Beth-El: for there had G-d been revealed unto Ya’akov, in his fleeing from the face of his brother. It becomes clear from these verses that they also refer back to what I described, because G-d revealed Himself through a dream and Ya’akov had this dream after he had to leave his house because of Esav who wanted to kill him.
So far Ya’akov has not seen G-d in a literal or physical way.
Then what about Gen 32:30 it says Ya’akov saw el panim elohim.. see Judges 13:22 from the context it becomes clear he saw an messenger of the Lord and claimed similar words as Ya’akov. Seen could also have the meaning of becoming aware of something and face-to-face could also mean in a personal way. Ya’akov became aware of G-d through this personal encounter. It’s just like on Mount Sinai it says that people saw G-d while all they saw was a big cloud and lightning etc. and they only heard His voice (Deut 4:12); it doesn’t mean they saw G-d in a literal and physical way, but G-d revealed himself to them by what they could actually behold. Just as G-d revealed Himself to the people through the plagues and miracles in Egypt; i.e. it became clear to them it happened by the hand of G-d, it happened because G-d was behind it; they experienced that G-d was with them in that moment; He made His presence felt.
I don't believe Yaakov's name is changed twice. In Genesis 32, Yaakov calls the place Peniel which means the face of God in a literal sense. He says for I saw Elohim face to face and yet my life was spared. He seems to be pretty clear that it was God he saw and wrestled with. Genesis 35 is simply repeating the same thing after repeating his encounter with God at Bethel which is written in Genesis 28. Hosea 12:3-6 also confirms this by first calling the one who wrestled with Jacob Elohim, then Mal-Ach meaning he appeared in a form of a man or angel in this case but then he confirms that it was the same Elohim or God who appeared to him at Bethel who is identified as YHWH in Genesis 28. Hosea himself also goes on and identifies him as YHWH.