1Jacob went on his way and some angels of God came to meet him. 2When he saw them he said, “This must be God's camp!” He named the place “Two Camps.”
3He sent messengers on ahead to meet his brother Esau who was living in the region of Seir in the country of Edom. 4He told them, “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau. Your servant Jacob sends you this message. I've been staying with Laban up till now, 5and I have cattle and donkeys and sheep and goats, and male and female slaves. I've sent these messengers to explain this to you my lord, hoping you'll be pleased to see me.”
6The messengers returned to Jacob and told him, “Your brother Esau is coming to meet you with 400 armed men!” 7When Jacob heard this, he was absolutely terrified. He split all the people with him, along with the sheep, goats, cattle, and camels, into two groups, 8saying to himself, “If Esau comes and destroys one group, the other one can get away.”
9Jacob prayed, “God of my grandfather Abraham, God of my father Isaac! Lord, you were the one who told me, ‘Return to your own country and your family home, and I will treat you well.’ 10I don't deserve all the trustworthy love and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I crossed the Jordan years ago#32:10. “Years ago”: supplied for clarity. with just my walking stick, and now I have two large camps. 11Please save me from my brother; defend me from Esau! I'm terrified that he's coming to attack me, my wives, and my children. 12You yourself told me, ‘I will definitely treat you well. I will make your descendants as numerous as the sand of the seashore—too many to count.’”
13Jacob stayed the night there. Then he picked out animals as a gift to his brother Esau: 14200 female goats, 20 male goats; 200 ewes, 20 rams; 1530 female camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls; 20 female donkeys, 10 male donkeys. 16He put his servants in charge of each of the separate herds and told them, “Go on ahead of me, and keep a good distance between the herds.”
17He gave these instructions to those with the first herd: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who is your master, and where are you going, and whose are these animals with you?’ 18you are to say to him, ‘Your servant Jacob sends these as a gift to my lord Esau, and he's following us.’” 19He gave the same instructions to those with the second and third and all the subsequent herds, telling them, “This is what you are to say to Esau when he meets you. 20You must also tell him, ‘Your servant Jacob is right behind us.’”
Jacob said to himself, “Maybe by sending these gifts on ahead Esau won't be angry with me and when I meet him he'll be kind to me.” 21So the gifts went on ahead while Jacob spent the night at the camp.
22He got up during the night and took his two wives and the two personal maids and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River at the ford. 23After helping them cross he also sent over everything that belonged to him. 24But Jacob stayed there alone. A man came and wrestled with him until dawn. 25When the man realized he couldn't beat Jacob, he hit Jacob's hip socket and put it out of joint as he wrestled with him.
26Then the man said, “Let me go because it's almost dawn.”
“I won't let you go unless you bless me,” Jacob replied.
27“What's your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he replied.
28“Jacob will no longer be your name,” said the man. “Instead you will be called Israel, because you fought with God and with men and you won.”
29“Please tell me your name,” Jacob asked.
“Why do you ask me my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.
30Jacob named the place Peniel, saying, “I saw God face to face and I'm still alive!” 31The sun came up as Jacob left Peniel, limping along because of his damaged hip. 32(That's why, even today, Israelites don't eat the thigh tendon attached to the hip socket, because that's where the man hit Jacob's hip socket.)