The name «Israel» (Standard Yisraʾel, Isrāʾīl; Septuagint Greek: Ἰσραήλ Israēl; 'El (God) persists/rules' though, after Hosea 12:4 often interpreted as «struggle with God») in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he successfully wrestled with the angel of the Lord.
Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the «Exodus».
The earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word «Israel» is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt (dated to the late 13th century BCE).
The area is also known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith. From 1920, the whole region was known as Palestine (under British Mandate) until the Israeli Declaration of Independence of 1948.
Through the centuries, the territory was known by a variety of other names, including Judea, Samaria, Southern Syria, Syria Palaestina, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, Djahy, and Canaan.
Etymology of Israel
English: Israel (/ˈɪzreɪəl/ or /ˈɪzriːəl/
Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל translite: Yisrā'el
Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل translite: Isrāʼīl
Officially: the State of Israel
Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל translite: Medīnat Yisrā'el
Arabic: دولة إِسْرَائِيل translite: Dawlat Isrāʼī