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Genesis 32

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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.
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1Nowe Iaakob went forth on his iourney and the Angels of God met him. 2And when Iaakob saw them, he said, This is Gods hoste, and called the name of the same place Mahanaim. 3Then Iaakob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother, vnto the land of Seir into the countrey of Edom: 4To whom he gaue commandement, saying, Thus shall ye speake to my lorde Esau: thy seruant Iaakob sayeth thus, I haue bene a stranger with Laban, and taried vnto this time. 5I haue beeues also and Asses, sheepe, and men seruantes, and women seruantes, and haue sent to shew my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight. 6So ye messengers came againe to Iaakob, saying, We came vnto thy brother Esau, and hee also commeth against thee and foure hundreth men with him. 7Then Iaakob was greatly afraid, and was sore troubled, and deuided the people that was with him, and the sheepe, and the beeues, and the camels into two companies. 8For he said, If Esau come to ye one company and smite it, the other companie shall escape. 9Moreouer Iaakob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Izhak: Lord, which saydest vnto me, Returne vnto thy coutrey and to thy kinred, and I will do thee good, 10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and al the trueth, which thou hast shewed vnto thy seruant: for with my staffe came I ouer this Iorden, and now haue I gotte two bads. 11I pray thee, Deliuer me from the hande of my brother, from the hande of Esau: for I feare him, least he will come and smite me, and the mother vpon the children. 12For thou saydest; I will surely doe thee good, and make thy seede as the sande of the sea, which can not be nombred for multitude. 13And he taryed there the same night, and tooke of that which came to had, a present for Esau his brother: 14Two hundreth shee goates and twenty hee goates, two hundreth ewes and twentie rammes: 15Thirtie mylche camels with their coltes, fourtie kine, and ten bullockes, twentie she asses and ten foles. 16So he deliuered them into the hande of his seruants, euery droue by themselues, and saide vnto his seruants, Passe before me, and put a space betweene droue and droue. 17And he commanded the formost, saying, If Esau my brother meete thee, and aske thee, saying, Whose seruant art thou? And whither goest thou? And whose are these before thee? 18Then thou shalt say, They be thy seruant Iaakobs: it is a present sent vnto my lord Esau: and beholde, he him selfe also is behinde vs. 19So likewise commanded he the seconde and the thirde, and all that followed the droues, saying, After this maner, ye shall speake vnto Esau, when ye finde him. 20And ye shall say moreouer, Beholde, thy seruant Iaakob commeth after vs (for he thought, I will appease his wrath with the present that goeth before me, and afterwarde I will see his face: it may be that he will accept me.) 21So went the present before him: but he taried that night with the companie. 22And he rose vp the same night, and tooke his two wiues, and his two maides, and his eleuen children, and went ouer the forde Iabbok. 23And he tooke them, and sent them ouer the riuer, and sent ouer that he had. 24Now when Iaakob was left him selfe alone, there wrestled a man with him vnto the breaking of the day. 25And he sawe that he could not preuaile against him: therefore he touched the holowe of his thigh, and the holowe of Iaakobs thigh was loosed, as he wrestled with him. 26And he saide, Let me goe, for the morning appeareth. Who answered, I will not let thee go except thou blesse me. 27Then said he vnto him, What is thy name? And he said, Iaakob. 28Then said he, Thy name shalbe called Iaakob no more, but Israel: because thou hast had power with God, thou shalt also preuaile with men. 29Then Iaakob demaded, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore now doest thou aske my name? and he blessed him there 30And Iaakob called the name of the place, Peniel: for, saide he, I haue seene God face to face, and my life is preserued. 31And the sunne rose vp to him as he passed Peniel, and he halted vpon his thigh. 32Therefore the children of Israel eate not of the sinewe that shranke in the hollowe of the thigh, vnto this day: because he touched the sinew that shranke in the holow of Iaakobs thigh.