Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
1Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God.” So he named that place Mahanaim.#32:2 Mahanaim means two camps.
3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4He instructed them, “You are to say to my master Esau, ‘Your servant Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban and have remained there until now. 5I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, menservants, and maidservants. I have sent this message to inform my master, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”
6When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you—he and four hundred men with him.”
7In great fear and distress, Jacob divided his people into two camps, as well as the flocks and herds and camels. 8He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one camp, then the other camp can escape.”
9Then Jacob declared, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, the Lord who told me, ‘Go back to your country and to your kindred, and I will make you prosper,’ 10I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. Indeed, with only my staff I came across the Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11Please deliver me from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid that he may come and attack me and the mothers and children with me. 12But You have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, too numerous to count.’”
13Jacob spent the night there, and from what he had brought with him, he selected a gift for his brother Esau: 14200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 1530 milk camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys. 16He entrusted them to his servants in separate herds and told them, “Go on ahead of me, and keep some distance between the herds.”
17He instructed the one in the lead, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong, where are you going, and whose animals are these before you?’ 18then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift, sent to my lord Esau. And behold, Jacob is behind us.’”
19He also instructed the second, the third, and all those following behind the herds: “When you meet Esau, you are to say the same thing to him. 20You are also to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” For he thought, “I will appease Esau #32:20 Or I will appease his face with the gift that is going before me. After that I can face him, and perhaps he will accept me.#32:20 Literally perhaps he will lift up my face”
21So Jacob’s gifts went on before him, while he spent the night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven sons, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, along with all his possessions.
24So Jacob was left all alone, and there a man #32:24 Or Man; here and in verses 25–28; corresponding pronouns may also be capitalized wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he could not overpower Jacob, he struck the socket of Jacob’s hip and dislocated it as they wrestled. 26Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27“What is your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he replied.
28Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob,#32:28 Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives. but Israel,#32:28 Israel means he struggles with God. because you have struggled with God and with men, and you have prevailed.”
29And Jacob requested, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed Jacob there.
30So Jacob named the place Peniel,#32:30 Peniel means the face of God. saying, “Indeed, I have seen God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31The sun rose above him as he passed by Penuel,#32:31 Penuel is a variant of Peniel; see verse 30. and he was limping because of his hip. 32Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon which is at the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was struck near that tendon.