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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 also went on the journey he had begun: and the angels of God met him.
2And when he saw them, he said: These are the camps of God. And he called the name of that place Mahanaim, that is, Camps.
3And he sent messengers before him to Esau his brother to the land of Seir to the country of Edom:
4And he commanded them, saying: Thus shall ye speak to my lord Esau: Thus saith thy brother Jacob: I have sojourned with Laban, and have been with him until this day.
5I have oxen, and asses, and sheep, and men-servants, and women-servants: and now I send a message to my lord, that I may find favor in thy sight.
6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying: We came to Esau thy brother, and, behold, he cometh with speed to meet thee with four hundred men.
7Then Jacob was greatly afraid; and in his fear divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and the sheep, and the oxen, and the camels, into two companies,
8Saying: If Esau come to one company and destroy it, the other company that is left shall escape.
9And Jacob said: O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who saidst to me: Return to thy land and to the place of thy birth, and I will do well for thee,
10I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, and of thy truth which thou hast fulfilled to thy servant. With my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I return with two companies.
11Deliver me from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am greatly afraid of him: lest perhaps he come, and kill the mother with the children.
12Thou didst say that thou wouldst do well by me, and multiply my seed like the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for the multitude.
13And when he had slept there that night, he set apart, of the things which he had, presents for his brother Esau.
14Two hundred she-goats, twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
15Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and twenty bulls, twenty she-asses, and ten of their foals.
16And he sent them by the hands of his servants, every drove by itself, and he said to his servants: Go before me, and let there be a space between drove and drove.
17And he commanded the first, saying: If thou meet my brother Esau, and he ask thee: Whose art thou? Or, Whither goest thou? Or, Whose are these before thee?
18Thou shalt answer: Thy servant Jacob's: he hath sent them as a present to my lord Esau: and he cometh after us.
19In like manner he commanded the second and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying: Speak ye the same words to Esau, when ye find him.
20And ye shall add: Thy servant Jacob himself also followeth after us. For he said: I will appease him with the presents that go before, and afterwards I will see him. Perhaps he will be gracious to me.
21So the presents went before him; but himself lodged that night in the camp.
22And rising early he took his two wives, and his two handmaids, with his eleven sons, and passed over the ford of Jaboc.
23And when all things were brought over that belonged to him,
24He remained alone: and, behold, a man wrestled with him till morning.
25And when he saw that he could not overcome him, he touched the sinew of his thigh, and forthwith it shrank.
26And he said to him: Let me go, for it is break of day. He answered. I will not let thee go except thou bless me.
27And he said: What is thy name? He answered: Jacob.
28But he said: Thy name shall not be called Jacob, but Israel: for if thou hast been strong against God, how much more shalt thou prevail against men?
29Jacob asked him, Tell me by what name art thou called? He answered: Why dost thou ask my name? And he blessed him in the same place.
30And Jacob called the name of the place Phanuel, saying: I have seen God face to face, and my soul has been saved.
31And immediately the sun rose upon him, after he was past Phanuel; but he halted on his foot.
32Therefore the children of Israel, unto this day, eat not the sinew, that shrank in Jacob's thigh: because he touched the sinew of his thigh and it shrank.