Jacob Meets Esau
1When Jacob also went his way, the angels of God met him. 2When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So Jacob named that place Mahanaim.# This name means “two camps.”
3Jacob’s brother Esau was living in the area called Seir in the country of Edom. Jacob sent messengers to Esau. 4Jacob told the messengers, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘This is what Jacob, your servant, says: I have lived with Laban and have remained there until now. 5I have cattle, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants. I send this message to you and ask you to accept us.’”
6The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you. And he has 400 men with him.”
7Then Jacob was very afraid and worried. He divided the people who were with him into two camps. He also divided all the flocks, herds and camels into two camps. 8Jacob thought, “Esau might come and destroy one camp. But the other camp can run away and be saved.”
9Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham! God of my father Isaac! Lord, you told me to return to my country and my family. You said that you would do good to me. 10I am not worthy of the kindness and continual goodness you have shown me. The first time I traveled across the Jordan River, I had only my walking stick. But now I own enough to have two camps. 11Please save me from my brother Esau. I am afraid he will come and kill all of us, even the mothers with the children. 12You said to me, ‘I will do good to you. I will make your children as many as the sand of the seashore. There will be too many to count.’”
13Jacob stayed there for the night. He prepared a gift for Esau from what he had with him. 14It was 200 female goats and 20 male goats, 200 female sheep and 20 male sheep. 15There were 30 female camels and their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys. 16Jacob gave each separate flock of animals to one of his servants. Then he said to them, “Go ahead of me and keep some space between each herd.” 17Jacob gave them their orders. To the servant with the first group of animals he said, “My brother Esau will come to you. He will ask you, ‘Whose servant are you? Where are you going? Whose animals are these?’ 18Then you will answer, ‘These animals belong to your servant Jacob. He sent them as a gift to you my master, Esau. And Jacob also is coming behind us.’”
19Jacob ordered the second servant, the third servant and all the other servants to do the same thing. He said, “Say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20Say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’” Jacob thought, “If I send this gift ahead of me, maybe Esau will forgive me. Then when I see him, perhaps he will accept me.” 21So Jacob sent the gift to Esau. But Jacob stayed that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22During the night Jacob rose and crossed the Jabbok River at the crossing. He took his 2 wives, his 2 slave girls and his 11 sons with him. 23He sent his family and everything he had across the river. 24But Jacob stayed behind alone. And a man came and wrestled with him until the sun came up. 25The man saw that he could not defeat Jacob. So he struck Jacob’s hip and put it out of joint. 26Then the man said to Jacob, “Let me go. The sun is coming up.”
But Jacob said, “I will let you go if you will bless me.”
27The man said to him, “What is your name?”
And he answered, “Jacob.”
28Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. Your name will now be Israel,# This name means “he wrestles with God.” because you have wrestled with God and with men. And you have won.”
29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”
But the man said, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed Jacob there.
30So Jacob named that place Peniel.# This name means “the face of God.” He said, “I have seen God face to face. But my life was saved.” 31Then the sun rose as he was leaving that place. Jacob was limping because of his leg. 32So even today the people of Israel do not eat the muscle that is on the hip joint of animals. This is because Jacob was touched there.