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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
1And Jacob went on his way; and the angels of God#GodHebrew: Elohim met him. 2And when Jacob saw them he said, This is the camp of God#GodHebrew: Elohim And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3And Jacob sent messengers before his face to Esau his brother, into the land of Seir, the fields of Edom. 4And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak to my lord, to Esau: Thy servant Jacob speaks thus — With Laban have I sojourned and tarried until now; 5and I have oxen, and asses, sheep, and bondmen, and bondwomen; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favour in thine eyes. 6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother, to Esau; and he also is coming to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid, and was distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the sheep and the cattle and the camels, into two troops. 8And he said, If Esau come to the one troop and smite it, then the other troop which is left shall escape.
9And Jacob said, God#GodHebrew: Elohim of my father Abraham, and God#GodHebrew: Elohim of my father Isaac, Jehovah, who saidst unto me: Return into thy country and to thy kindred, and I will do thee good, 10— I am too small for all the loving-kindness and all the faithfulness that thou hast shewn unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become two troops. 11Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and smite me, and the mother with the children. 12And thou saidst, I will certainly deal well with thee, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
13And he lodged there that night; and took of what came to his hand a gift for Esau his brother — 14two hundred she-goats, and twenty he-goats; two hundred ewes, and twenty rams; 15thirty milch camels with their colts; forty kine, and ten bulls; twenty she-asses, and ten young asses. 16And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself; and he said to his servants, Go on before me, and put a space between drove and drove. 17And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meets thee, and asks thee, saying, Whose art thou, and where goest thou, and whose are these before thee? 18— then thou shalt say, Thy servant Jacob's: it is a gift sent to my lord, to Esau. And behold, he also is behind us. 19And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, According to this word shall ye speak to Esau when ye find him. 20And, moreover, ye shall say, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will propitiate him with the gift that goes before me, and afterwards I will see his face: perhaps he will accept me. 21And the gift went over before him; and he himself lodged that night in the camp. 22And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two maidservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford of the Jabbok; 23and he took them and led them over the river, and led over what he had.
24And Jacob remained alone; and a man wrestled with him until the rising of the dawn. 25And when he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the joint of his thigh; and the joint of Jacob's thigh was dislocated as he wrestled with him. 26And he said, Let me go, for the dawn ariseth. And he said, I will not let thee go except thou bless me. 27And he said to him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28And he said, Thy name shall not henceforth be called Jacob, but Israel; for thou hast wrestled with God#GodHebrew: Elohim and with men, and hast prevailed. 29And Jacob asked and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, How is it that thou askest after my name? And he blessed him there. 30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel — For I have seen God#GodHebrew: Elohim face to face, and my life has been preserved. 31And as he passed over Peniel, the sun rose upon him; and he limped upon his hip. 32Therefore the children of Israel do not eat of the sinew that is over the joint of the thigh, to this day; because he touched the joint of Jacob's thigh — the sinew.