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- 1 (also children of Israel) the Hebrew nation or people. According to tradition, they are descended from the patriarch Jacob (also named Israel), whose twelve sons became founders of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. See also Tribes of Israel.
- 2the northern kingdom of the Hebrews (circa 930–721 bc), formed after the reign of Solomon, whose inhabitants were carried away to captivity in Assyria. See also Judah (sense 2).
from Hebrew Yiśrā'ēl 'he that strives with God' (see Gen. 32:28)