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Genesis 32

32
Jacob’s Fear of Esau
1Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. 2And when he saw them, Jacob said, “This is God’s #Or companycamp.” So he named that place #I.e., Two Camps, or Two CompaniesMahanaim.
3Then Jacob sent messengers ahead of himself to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the #Lit fieldcountry of Edom. 4He commanded them, saying, “This is what you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says the following: “I have resided with Laban, and stayed until now; 5and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants; and I have sent messengers to tell my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.” ’ ”
6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks, the herds, and the camels, into two companies; 8for he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and #Lit strikesattacks it, then the company which is left will escape.”
9Then Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, Lord, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will #Lit do good with youmake you prosper,’ 10#Lit I am less than allI am unworthy of all the #I.e., generosityfavor and of all the #Or truthfaithfulness, which You have shown to Your servant; for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. 11Save me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and #Lit strikeattack me and the mothers with the children. 12For You said, ‘I will assuredly #Lit do good with youmake you prosper and make your #Lit seeddescendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be counted.’ ”
13So he spent the night there. Then he #Lit tookselected from what #Lit had come to his handhe had with him a gift for his brother Esau: 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty milking camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16Then he placed them in the #Lit handcare of his servants, every flock by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me, and put a space between flocks.” 17And he commanded the #Lit firstone in front, saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?’ 18then you shall say, ‘These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a gift sent to my lord Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.’ ” 19Then he commanded also the second and the third, and all those who followed the flocks, saying, “In this way you shall speak to Esau when you find him; 20and you shall say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob also is behind us.’ ” For he said, “I will appease him with the gift that goes ahead of me. Then afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” 21So the gift passed on ahead of him, while he himself spent that night in the camp.
22Now he got up that same night and took his two wives, his two female slaves, and his eleven children, and crossed the shallow place of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had.
Jacob Wrestles
24Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of #Lit hisJacob’s hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but #I.e., he who contends with God; or God contendsIsrael; for you have contended with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29And Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30So Jacob named the place #I.e., the face of GodPeniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my #Lit soullife has been #Lit savedspared.” 31Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his hip. 32Therefore, to this day the sons of Israel do not eat the tendon of the hip which is on the socket of the hip, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the tendon of the hip.
32
1#32:1 Verses 32:1-32 are numbered 32:2-33 in Hebrew text.As Jacob started on his way again, angels of God came to meet him. 2When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is God’s camp!” So he named the place Mahanaim.#32:2 Mahanaim means “two camps.”
Jacob Sends Gifts to Esau
3Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living in the region of Seir in the land of Edom. 4He told them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban, 5and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.’”
6After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!” 7Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two groups. 8He thought, “If Esau meets one group and attacks it, perhaps the other group can escape.”
9Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ 10I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! 11O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. 12But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’”
13Jacob stayed where he was for the night. Then he selected these gifts from his possessions to present 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, and 10 male donkeys. 16He divided these animals into herds and assigned each to different servants. Then he told his servants, “Go ahead of me with the animals, but keep some distance between the herds.”
17He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: “When my brother, Esau, meets you, he will ask, ‘Whose servants are you? Where are you going? Who owns these animals?’ 18You must reply, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, but they are a gift for his master Esau. Look, he is coming right behind us.’”
19Jacob gave the same instructions to the second and third herdsmen and to all who followed behind the herds: “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20And be sure to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’”
Jacob thought, “I will try to appease him by sending gifts ahead of me. When I see him in person, perhaps he will be friendly to me.” 21So the gifts were sent on ahead, while Jacob himself spent that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. 23After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions.
24This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. 25When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27“What is your name?” the man asked.
He replied, “Jacob.”
28“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel,#32:28 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew words for “heel” and “deceiver.” Israel means “God fights.” because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
29“Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.
“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.
30Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” 31The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel,#32:31 Hebrew Penuel, a variant spelling of Peniel. and he was limping because of the injury to his hip. 32(Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of what happened that night when the man strained the tendon of Jacob’s hip.)