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Genesis 32

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Chapter 32
Jacob's journey home
1Jacob continued on his journey to his father's house. On his way the angels of God met him. #32:1 Jacob had seen the angels of God before. See Genesis 28:12. Now God sent his angels to meet Jacob again, to show that he was with Jacob. 2When Jacob saw them, he said, ‘This is where God's army has put up their tents!’ So he called that place Mahanaim.
3Jacob sent men with a message to his brother Esau. Esau was living in the land of Seir, also called Edom. 4Jacob told his men, ‘This is what you must say to my master Esau: Your servant Jacob says, “I have been staying with Laban until now. 5I have cows, donkeys, sheep and goats. I have male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord so that you will be happy with me.” ’
6When the men returned, they said to Jacob, ‘We went to your brother Esau. Now he is coming to meet you and he has 400 men with him.’ 7Jacob was very frightened and upset when he heard this. So he separated his people into two groups. He also separated his animals. 8He thought, ‘If Esau attacks one group, the other group may run away safely.’
9Then Jacob prayed, ‘God of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac, Lord, you said to me, “Go back to your country and to your relatives. I will do good things for you there.” 10You have always loved me. You have continued to be kind to me. I am not worth this. When I crossed the Jordan river to go to Haran, I only had my stick. But now I can make two big groups of people and animals. 11I pray that you will save me from the power of my brother Esau. I am afraid that he will come and attack me. He may also attack my family. 12But you have said, “I will give you many good things. I will give you so many descendants that nobody will be able to count them. They will be as much as the sand on the shore of the sea.” ’ #32:12 See Genesis 28:14.
13Jacob stayed in that place for the night. He chose some of his animals as a gift for Esau. 14He chose 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 female sheep and 20 male sheep. 15He also chose 30 female camels, with their young ones, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys. 16He told his servants to take care of them. He separated each group of animals from the other groups. Jacob said to his servants, ‘Go in front of me. Keep some space between each group of animals.’ 17He told the servant who led the first group of animals, ‘When my brother Esau meets you, he may ask, “Who do you belong to? Where are you going? Who do all these animals belong to?” 18Then you must say, “They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift that he has sent to my lord Esau. Jacob himself is coming behind us.” ’ 19Jacob also told the servants who led the other groups of animals, as well as the servants who followed behind them, ‘You are to say the same thing to Esau, when you meet him. 20You must also say “Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.” ’
Jacob thought, ‘Esau will be happy to receive my gifts. He will no longer be angry with me. Then, when I meet him, he will not hurt me.’ 21So Jacob sent the men with his gifts to go on to meet Esau. But he himself stayed in that place for the night.
22During the night Jacob took his two wives, his two female servants and his 11 sons to go with him. They went across the Jabbok river where there was a place to cross. #32:22 This part of the River Jabbok was not very deep. It was about 20 miles north of the Dead Sea. 23After Jacob had sent his family across, he also sent all his things across the stream. 24Then Jacob was alone. A man came and fought with him for a long time. #32:24 God came to Jacob as an angel. See Hosea 12:4-5. They continued until dawn.
25The man saw that he was not winning the fight against Jacob. So he hit Jacob's hip while they were fighting. In that way, Jacob's hip moved out of its proper place. 26Then the man said to Jacob, ‘Now let me go because dawn has come.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’
27The man asked Jacob, ‘What is your name?’ Jacob replied, ‘My name is Jacob’. 28Then the man said, ‘Your name will not be Jacob any more. Your name will now be Israel. #32:28 Israel probably means ‘he fights with God’. God changed Jacob's name to give him a new beginning. That is because you have fought with God and you have fought with men. And you have won!’
29Then Jacob said, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But the man said, ‘Why do you want to know my name?’ Then he blessed Jacob in that place. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel. #32:30 Peniel means ‘face of God’. He said, ‘I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive!’
31The sun rose in the sky as Jacob passed through Peniel. He could not walk properly because of his hip.
32Even today, the Israelite people do not eat the meat of an animal where it joins to the hip. This is because God touched Jacob's hip. #32:32 The Israelites were the descendants of Jacob, who was now called Israel. Jacob's 12 sons became the ancestors of Israel's 12 tribes.
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Jacob Sends Messages and Gifts to Esau
1 # 32:1 Genesis 32:1–32 in English Bibles is Genesis 32:2–33 in the Hebrew Bible. As Jacob went on his way, God’s angels met him. 2When he saw them, Jacob said, “This is God’s camp!” He named that place Mahanaim [Two Camps].
3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in Seir, the country of Edom. 4He commanded them to give this message to Esau, “Sir, this is what Jacob has to say, ‘I’ve been living with Laban and have stayed until now. 5I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, and male and female slaves. I’ve sent ⌞these messengers⌟ to tell you ⌞this news⌟ in order to win your favor.’ ”
6When the messengers came back to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you with 400 men.”
7Jacob was terrified and distressed. So he divided the people, the sheep and goats, the cattle, and the camels into two camps. 8He thought, “If Esau attacks the one camp, then the other camp will be able to escape.”
9Then Jacob prayed, “God of my grandfather Abraham and God of my father Isaac! Lord, you said to me, ‘Go back to your land and to your relatives, and I will make you prosperous.’ 10I’m not worthy of all the love and faithfulness you have shown me. I only had a shepherd’s staff when I crossed the Jordan River, but now I have two camps. 11Please save me from my brother Esau, because I’m afraid of him. I’m afraid that he’ll come and attack me and the mothers and children too. 12But you did say, ‘I will make sure that you are prosperous and that your descendants will be as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. No one will be able to count them because there are so many.’ ”
13He stayed there that night. Then he prepared a gift for his brother Esau from what he had brought with him: 14200 female goats and 20 male goats, 200 female sheep and 20 male sheep, 1530 female camels with their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys.
16He placed servants in charge of each herd. Then he said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep a distance between the herds.” 17He commanded the first servant, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and whose animals are these ahead of you?’ 18then say, ‘Sir, they belong to your servant Jacob. This is a gift sent to you. Jacob is right behind us.’ ” 19He also commanded the second servant, the third, and all the others who followed the herds. He said, “Say the same thing to Esau when you find him. 20And be sure to add, ‘Jacob is right behind us, sir.’ ” He thought, “I’ll make peace with him by giving him this gift that I’m sending ahead of me. After that I will see him, and he’ll welcome me back.” 21So Jacob sent the gift ahead of him while he stayed in the camp that night.
Jacob’s Fourth Encounter with God—He Wrestles with God
22During that night he got up and gathered his two wives, his two slaves and his eleven children and crossed at the shallow part of the Jabbok River. 23After he sent them across the stream, he sent everything else across. 24So Jacob was left alone. Then a man wrestled with him until dawn. 25When the man saw that he could not win against Jacob, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that it was dislocated as they wrestled. 26Then the man said, “Let me go; it’s almost dawn.”
But Jacob answered, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.”
27So the man asked him, “What’s your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob but Israel [He Struggles With God], because you have struggled with God and with men—and you have won.”
29Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
The man answered, “Why do you ask for my name?” Then he blessed Jacob there. 30So Jacob named that place Peniel [Face of God], because he said, “I have seen God face to face, but my life was saved.” 31The sun rose as he passed Penuel.#32:31 Another name for Peniel. He was limping because of his hip. 32(Therefore, even today the people of Israel do not eat the muscle of the thigh attached to the hip socket because God touched the socket of Jacob’s hip at the muscle of the thigh.)