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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
1Jacob went on his way and some angels of God came to meet him. 2When he saw them he said, “This must be God's camp!” He named the place “Two Camps.”
3He sent messengers on ahead to meet his brother Esau who was living in the region of Seir in the country of Edom. 4He told them, “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau. Your servant Jacob sends you this message. I've been staying with Laban up till now, 5and I have cattle and donkeys and sheep and goats, and male and female slaves. I've sent these messengers to explain this to you my lord, hoping you'll be pleased to see me.”
6The messengers returned to Jacob and told him, “Your brother Esau is coming to meet you with 400 armed men!” 7When Jacob heard this, he was absolutely terrified. He split all the people with him, along with the sheep, goats, cattle, and camels, into two groups, 8saying to himself, “If Esau comes and destroys one group, the other one can get away.”
9Jacob prayed, “God of my grandfather Abraham, God of my father Isaac! Lord, you were the one who told me, ‘Return to your own country and your family home, and I will treat you well.’ 10I don't deserve all the trustworthy love and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I crossed the Jordan years ago#32:10. “Years ago”: supplied for clarity. with just my walking stick, and now I have two large camps. 11Please save me from my brother; defend me from Esau! I'm terrified that he's coming to attack me, my wives, and my children. 12You yourself told me, ‘I will definitely treat you well. I will make your descendants as numerous as the sand of the seashore—too many to count.’”
13Jacob stayed the night there. Then he picked out animals as a gift 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, 10 male donkeys. 16He put his servants in charge of each of the separate herds and told them, “Go on ahead of me, and keep a good distance between the herds.”
17He gave these instructions to those with the first herd: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who is your master, and where are you going, and whose are these animals with you?’ 18you are to say to him, ‘Your servant Jacob sends these as a gift to my lord Esau, and he's following us.’” 19He gave the same instructions to those with the second and third and all the subsequent herds, telling them, “This what you are to say to Esau when he meets you. 20You must also tell him, ‘Your servant Jacob is right behind us.’”
Jacob said to himself, “Maybe by sending these gifts on ahead Esau won't be angry with me and when I meet him he'll be kind to me.” 21So the gifts went on ahead while Jacob spent the night at the camp.
22He got up during the night and took his two wives and the two personal maids and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River at the ford. 23After helping them cross he also sent over everything that belonged to him. 24But Jacob stayed there alone. A man came and wrestled with him until dawn. 25When the man realized he couldn't beat Jacob, he hit Jacob's hip socket and put it out of joint as he wrestled with him.
26Then the man said, “Let me go because it's almost dawn.”
“I won't let you go unless you bless me,” Jacob replied.
27“What's your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he replied.
28“Jacob will no longer be you name,” said the man. “Instead you will be called Israel, because you fought with God and with men and you won.”
29“Please tell me your name,” Jacob asked.
“Why do you ask me my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.
30Jacob named the place Peniel, saying, “I saw God face to face and I'm still alive!” 31The sun came up as Jacob left Peniel, limping along because of his damaged hip. 32(That's why, even today, Israelites don't eat the thigh tendon attached to the hip socket, because that's where the man hit Jacob's hip socket.)