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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 Fears Esau
1And Jacob went on his way, and angels of God met him. 2And when he saw them, Jacob said, “This is the camp of God!” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother, to the land of Seir, the territory of Edom. 4And he instructed them, saying, “Thus you must say to my lord, to Esau, ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, I have dwelled as an alien with Laban, and I have remained there until now. 5And I have acquired cattle, male donkeys, flocks, and male and female slaves, and I have sent to tell my lord, to find favor in your eyes.’ ” 6And the messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We came to your brother, to Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7Then Jacob was very frightened and distressed. So he divided the people, flocks, cattle, and camels that were with him into two companies. 8And he thought, “If Esau comes to one company and destroys it, the remaining company will be able to escape.” 9Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, O Yahweh, who said to me, ‘Return to your land and to your family, and I will deal well with you.’ 10I am not worthy#Literally “I am small” of all the loyal love and all the faithfulness that you have shown#Or “done” your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11Please rescue me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, lest he come and attack mother and children alike. 12Now you yourself said, ‘I will surely deal well with you and make your offspring as the sand of the sea that cannot be counted for abundance.’ ”
13And he lodged there that night. Then he took from what he had with him#Literally “from that which was going from his hand” a gift for Esau his brother: 14two hundred female goats, twenty male goats, two hundred ewes, twenty rams, 15thirty milk camels with their young, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten male donkeys. 16And he put them under the hand of his servants, herd by herd,#Literally “every herd by its own” and said to his servants, “Cross on ahead before me, and put some distance between herds.#Literally “between a herd and between a herd” 17And he instructed the foremost, saying, “When Esau my brother comes upon you and asks you, saying, ‘Whose are you and where are you going? To whom do these animals belong ahead of you?’ 18Then you must say, ‘To your servant, to Jacob. It is a gift sent to my lord, to Esau. Now behold, he is also coming after us.’ ” 19And he also instructed the second servant and the third, and everyone else who was behind the herds, saying, “You must speak to Esau according to this word when you find him. 20And moreover, you shall say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he thought, “Let me appease him#Literally “let me cover his face” with the gift going before me, and afterward I will see his face. Perhaps he will show me favor.”#Literally “lift up my face” 21So the gift passed on before him, but he himself spent that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22That night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23And he took them and sent them across the stream. Then he sent across all his possessions. 24And Jacob remained alone, and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the dawn. 25And when he#That is, the man saw that he could not prevail against him, he struck his hip socket, so that Jacob’s hip socket was sprained as he wrestled with him. 26Then he#That is, the man said, “Let me go, for dawn is breaking.” But he answered, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27Then he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28And he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,#“Israel” means “he struggles with God,” or “God struggles” for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked and said, “Please tell me your name.” And he said, “Why do you ask this—for my name?” And he blessed him there. 30Then Jacob called the name of the place Peniel which means “I have seen God face to face and my life was spared.” 31Then the sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32Therefore the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” do not eat the sinew of the sciatic nerve that is upon the socket of the hip unto this day, because he struck the socket of the thigh of Jacob at the sinew of the sciatic nerve.