What Does My Name Mean?

What exactly does James mean?

I suspect the name, James, had biblical roots.

I’ve heard before that it also meant to grasp the heel”, but what does that mean?

Here’s what I found from Wikipedia. Note that the names James and Jacob have the same etymological roots hence their meanings are identical.

Jacob is a common male given name and a less well-known surname. It is a cognate of James. Jacob is derived from Late Latin Iacobus, from Greek Ἰάκωβος Iakobos, from Hebrew יַעֲקֹב (Yaʿqob, Yaʿaqov, Yaʿăqōḇ), the name of the Hebrew patriarch, Jacob son of Isaac and Rebecca. The name comes either from the Hebrew root עקב ʿqb meaning to follow, to be behind” but also to supplant, circumvent, assail, overreach”, or from the word for heel”, עֲקֵב ʿaqeb.

In the narrative of Genesis, it refers to the circumstances of Jacob’s birth when he held on to the heel of his older twin brother Esau (Genesis 25:26). The name is etymologized (in a direct speech by the character Esau) in Genesis 27:36, adding the significance of Jacob having supplanted” his elder brother by buying his birthright.

What does your name mean?

March 14, 2020

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