High heeled shoes for women, and at times for men, go in and out of style. Yet, two English expressions that revolve around the heel seem to be negative. We speak of someone’s weakness as his Achilles heel and we use heel as a pejorative term as in, “He’s such a heel.”
In the Lord’s language, the heel means something quite different. It implies progress made possible by being properly grounded. Just think of how we move forward by walking. The first part of our body to touch ground is our heel. We then swing forward on that perfectly shaped round heel and prepare the next step.
In Hebrew, Jacob’s name, Ya-AkoV, contains within it the word heel.
ע ק ב י ע ק ב
(Ya)A-K-V A -K -V
If ‘heel’ were a verb, Jacob’s name would suggest, “He will heel”. But that would be meaningless. What does Jacob’s name mean?