Ancient peoples regarded names as indicative of character and destiny. The Jews were no exception. This is a critical study of ancient exegesis of the title `Israel' and the meanings attributed to it among Jews down to Talmudic times, along with some early Christian materials. C. T. R. Hayward explores ancient etymologies of `Israel', and the utilization of these very varied explanations of the name in sustained works of exegesis like Jubilees; the writings of BenSira, Philo, and Josephus; and selected Rabbinic texts including Aramaic Targumim. He also examines translational works like the Septuagint, to illuminate those writings' sense of what it meant to be a Jew.