Exit Parallel Mode
 

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
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.