The name Jacob means cheater, one who tries to cheat someone else out of what is rightly theirs. We see this throughout Jacobs life. When Jacobs father was preparing for his death and was going to pass along the rights to the 1st born child, Jacob and his mother conspired to deceive his father so he could receive the blessing of the birthright and thus receive:
1) the title of being 1st in the family,
2) a double portion of the inheritance,
3) the priestly office in the family, and
4) the promise from which all the nations would be blessed through him.
Jacob became conscious of his guilt and became afraid of the anger of his brother Esau. At the suggestion of his mother Rebekah trying to protect Jacob, asked Isaac to send him away to Haran, 400 miles or more, to find a wife. After 14 years Jacobs returns to the promised land. In his return he is fearful that his brother Esau will still hold a grudge against him, but Jacob has changed, He feels that he must now depend only on God. Jacob sent his family on ahead while he remained behind to spend time with God alone. An Angel came and wrestled, fought with Him. As morning was about to break, the Angel sought to leave but Jacob would not allow him to leave until the Angel blessed him. So we read
Gen. 32:27 “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.” 28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won”. So now Jacob will be known as Israel, God-Wrestler, a man who wrestled with God and you lived.
A name tells a story about who a person is, his character.
God changed Jacob ( Cheater) to Israel ( God-Wrestler).
From a man who sought to cheat others to get his own way to a man who was worthy to fight for the Blessing of God.