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Genesis 32

32
1#Jacob’s negotiations with Esau. Laban kisses his daughters and grandchildren good-bye but not Jacob. On leaving Mesopotamia, Jacob has an encounter with angels of God (vv. 2–3), which provokes him to exclaim, “This is God’s encampment,” just as he exclaimed upon leaving Canaan, “This is the house of God, the gateway to heaven” (28:11–17). Early the next morning, Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them; then he set out on his journey back home. 2Meanwhile Jacob continued on his own way, and God’s angels encountered him. 3When Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s encampment.” So he named that place Mahanaim.#Mahanaim: a town in Gilead (Jos 13:26, 30; 21:38; 2 Sm 2:8; etc.). The Hebrew name means “two camps.” There are other allusions to the name in vv. 8, 11.
Envoys to Esau. 4Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom,#Gn 36:6. 5ordering them: “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob: I have been residing with Laban and have been delayed until now. 6I own oxen, donkeys and sheep, as well as male and female servants. I have sent my lord this message in the hope of gaining your favor.’” 7When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We found your brother Esau. He is now coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”
8Jacob was very much frightened. In his anxiety, he divided the people who were with him, as well as his flocks, herds and camels, into two camps. 9“If Esau should come and attack one camp,” he reasoned, “the remaining camp may still escape.” 10Then Jacob prayed: “God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac! You, Lord, who said to me, ‘Go back to your land and your relatives, and I will be good to you.’#Gn 31:3. 11I am unworthy of all the acts of kindness and faithfulness that you have performed for your servant: although I crossed the Jordan here with nothing but my staff, I have now grown into two camps. 12Save me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau! Otherwise I fear that he will come and strike me down and the mothers with the children. 13You yourself said, ‘I will be very good to you, and I will make your descendants like the sands of the sea, which are too numerous to count.’”#Gn 28:14; 48:16; Ex 32:13; Heb 11:12.
14After passing the night there, Jacob selected from what he had with him a present for his brother Esau: 15two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats; two hundred ewes and twenty rams; 16thirty female camels and their young; forty cows and ten bulls; twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 17He put these animals in the care of his servants, in separate herds, and he told the servants, “Go on ahead of me, but keep some space between the herds.” 18He ordered the servant in the lead, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? To whom do these animals ahead of you belong?’ 19tell him, ‘To your servant Jacob, but they have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. Jacob himself is right behind us.’” 20He also ordered the second servant and the third and all the others who followed behind the herds: “Thus and so you shall say to Esau, when you reach him; 21and also tell him, ‘Your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” For Jacob reasoned, “If I first appease him with a gift that precedes me, then later, when I face him, perhaps he will forgive me.” 22So the gifts went on ahead of him, while he stayed that night in the camp.
Jacob’s New Name.#As Jacob crosses over to the land promised him, worried about the impending meeting with Esau, he encounters a mysterious adversary in the night with whom he wrestles until morning. The cunning Jacob manages to wrest a blessing from the night stranger before he departs. There are folkloric elements in the tale—e.g., the trial of the hero before he can return home, the nocturnal demon’s loss of strength at sunrise, the demon protecting its river, the power gained by knowledge of an opponent’s name—but these have been worked into a coherent though elliptical narrative. The point of the tale seems to be that the ever-striving, ever-grasping Jacob must eventually strive with God to attain full possession of the blessing. 23That night, however, Jacob arose, took his two wives, with the two maidservants and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 24After he got them and brought them across the wadi and brought over what belonged to him, 25Jacob was left there alone. Then a man#A man: as with Abraham’s three visitors in chap. 18, who appear sometimes as three, two, and one (the latter being God), this figure is fluid; he loses the match but changes Jacob’s name (v. 29), an act elsewhere done only by God (17:5, 15). A few deft narrative touches manage to express intimate contact with Jacob while preserving the transcendence proper to divinity. wrestled with him until the break of dawn. 26When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob’s hip at its socket, so that Jacob’s socket was dislocated as he wrestled with him.#Hos 12:5. 27The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” 28“What is your name?” the man asked. He answered, “Jacob.”#Gn 35:10; 1 Kgs 18:31; 2 Kgs 17:34. 29Then the man said, “You shall no longer be named Jacob, but Israel,#Israel: the first part of the Hebrew name Yisrael is given a popular explanation in the word saritha, “you contended”; the second part is the first syllable of ’elohim, “divine beings.” The present incident, with a similar allusion to the name Israel, is referred to in Hos 12:5, where the mysterious wrestler is explicitly called an angel. because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.” 30Jacob then asked him, “Please tell me your name.” He answered, “Why do you ask for my name?” With that, he blessed him. 31Jacob named the place Peniel,#Peniel: a variant of the word Penuel (v. 32), the name of a town on the north bank of the Jabbok in Gilead (Jgs 8:8–9, 17; 1 Kgs 12:25). The name is explained as meaning “the face of God,” peni-’el. Yet my life has been spared: see note on 16:13. “because I have seen God face to face,” he said, “yet my life has been spared.”#Jgs 13:22.
32At sunrise, as he left Penuel, Jacob limped along because of his hip. 33That is why, to this day, the Israelites do not eat the sciatic muscle that is on the hip socket, because he had struck Jacob’s hip socket at the sciatic muscle.

Genesis 32

32
Esau Comes to Meet Jacob
1So Jacob went on his way, and #Num. 22:31; 2 Kin. 6:16, 17; (Ps. 34:7; 91:1; Heb. 1:14)the angels of God met him. 2When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s #Josh. 5:14; Ps. 103:21; 148:2; Luke 2:13camp.” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother #Gen. 14:6; 33:14, 16in the land of Seir, #Gen. 25:30; 36:6–9; Deut. 2:5; Josh. 24:4the country of Edom. 4And he commanded them, saying, #Prov. 15:1“Speak thus to my lord Esau, ‘Thus your servant Jacob says: “I have dwelt with Laban and stayed there until now. 5#Gen. 30:43I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that #Gen. 33:8, 15I may find favor in your sight.” ’ ”
6Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and #Gen. 33:1he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7So Jacob was greatly afraid and #Gen. 32:11; 35:3distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies. 8And he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other company which is left will escape.”
9#(Ps. 50:15)Then Jacob said, #Gen. 28:13; 31:42“O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord #Gen. 31:3, 13who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: 10I am not worthy of the least of all the #Gen. 24:27mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with #Job 8:7my staff, and now I have become two companies. 11#Ps. 59:1, 2Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and #Hos. 10:14the mother with the children. 12For #Gen. 28:13–15You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the #Gen. 22:17sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”
13So he lodged there that same night, and took what came to his hand as #Gen. 43:11a present for Esau his brother: 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty milk camels with their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals. 16Then he delivered them to the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and put some distance between successive droves.” 17And he commanded the first one, saying, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going? Whose are these in front of you?’ 18then you shall say, ‘They are your servant Jacob’s. It is a present sent to my lord Esau; and behold, he also is behind us.’ ” 19So he commanded the second, the third, and all who followed the droves, saying, “In this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him; 20and also say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he said, “I will #(Prov. 21:14)appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” 21So the present went on over before him, but he himself lodged that night in the camp.
Wrestling with God
22And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, #Num. 21:24; Deut. 3:16; Josh. 12:2and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. 23He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. 24Then Jacob was left alone; and #Josh. 5:13–15; Hos. 12:2–4a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and #Matt. 26:41; 2 Cor. 12:7the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26And #Luke 24:28He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”
But he said, #Hos. 12:4“I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
27So He said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob.”
28And He said, #Gen. 35:10; 1 Kin. 18:31; 2 Kin. 17:34“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have #Hos. 12:3, 4struggled with God and #Gen. 25:31; 27:33with men, and have prevailed.”
29Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”
And He said, #Judg. 13:17, 18“Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He #Gen. 35:9blessed him there.
30So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For #Gen. 16:13; Ex. 24:10, 11; 33:20; Num. 12:8; Deut. 5:24; Judg. 6:22; Is. 6:5; (Matt. 5:8; 1 Cor. 13:12)I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 31Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip. 32Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank.