The first instance of the word Israel is found in the book of Genesis. Genesis 32:28,  “And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."  According to Strong’s Concordance the Hebrew word Israel literally means “to rule as God”.  That blessed name was given to Jacob and passed down to his twelve sons who became the nation of Israel. 

This all ties in beautifully with the Abrahamic Promise given to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham who was told, “In thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 28:14). 

The nation of Israel is to be a blessing to all mankind, leading them to God. During the wonderful time of peace promised to all men, who live or have lived on the earth, Zechariah 8:23 teaches, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”  What a glorious time this will be when all men shall know the Lord and be blessed in the promised kingdom from the Lord’s Prayer, “thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:9)