God of Jacob is one of several names of God that celebrate His relationship with individuals in the Old Testament. The patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) are mentioned most often. These names don’t suggest that God is limited to relationships with just a few select people. Each time we read a name like this one we should reflect on how that individual knew God: What did God show them? What did He do for them? How did they grow in their relationship with God?
Jacob’s spiritual journey is interesting. He began by calling God, God of my father Isaac and God of my father Abraham (we would call Abraham Jacob’s grandfather). Later in life, Jacob had a more personal relationship with God. The picture is complicated by the fact that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.1 The two names for God, God of Jacob and God of Israel are often equivalent; they refer to God’s relationship with the same person. However, Jacob (Israel) gave his name to the nation that descended from him, so “God of Israel” often refers to God’s relationship with the entire nation.
God of Jacob in Hebrew:
Strong’s Concordance numbers: 430, 3290
Bible references: Ex. 3:6, 15; 4:5; Pss. 20:1; 46:7, 11; 81:1, a total of about seventeen times.
God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. (Exodus 3:15)
God of Jacob in Greek:
Strong’s Concordance numbers: 2316, 2384
Bible references: Matt. 22:32; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37; Acts 7:46
In the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Luke 20:37 NIV)
There are several similar names for God: Mighty One of Jacob, King of Jacob, Portion of Jacob, and Holy One of Jacob. One name of God includes all three patriarchs: God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is also the God of our fathers.
- Gen. 32:22-32 [↩]