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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
Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
1#Ps 91:11Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2#2Sa 2:8; Jos 21:38When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3#Ge 25:30; 14:6Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4He commanded them, saying, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: This is what your servant Jacob says, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed there until now. 5#Ge 33:8; 33:15I have oxen and donkeys, flocks, and male servants and female servants, and I am sending this message to tell my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’ ”
6#Ge 33:1The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you, and what is more, four hundred men are with him.”
7#Ge 35:3Then Jacob was very afraid and distressed, and he divided the people that were with him, along with the flocks and herds and the camels, into two groups. 8He said, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the other camp which is left may escape.”
9#Ge 28:13; 31:13And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,’ 10#Ge 24:27; Ps 18:35; 2Sa 7:18I am not worthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant. For with my staff I crossed over this Jordan, and now I have become two encampments. 11#Ps 59:1–2; Pr 18:19Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau. For I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. 12#Ge 28:13–15You said, ‘I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too many to be counted.’ ”
13#Ge 43:11; Pr 18:16So he spent the night there. Then he selected from what he had with him a gift for his brother Esau: 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty female camels with their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16He gave them to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and keep a distance between each drove.”
17He commanded the one leading, saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals belong?’ 18then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is also behind us.’ ”
19Likewise he commanded the second and the third and all that followed the droves, saying, “This is what you are to say to Esau when you find him. 20#Job 42:8–9; Pr 21:14Moreover, say, ‘Your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he said, “I will appease him with the gift that goes before me, and then I will see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” 21So the gift went before him, but he lodged that night in the encampment.
Jacob Wrestles With God
22#Dt 3:16; Jos 12:2The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream along with all that he had. 24Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him there until daybreak. 25#Ge 32:32When the man saw that He did not prevail against Jacob, He touched the socket of his thigh, so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated, as he wrestled with Him. 26#Hos 12:4Then He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let You go, unless You bless me.”
27So He said to him, “What is your name?”
And he said, “Jacob.”
28#Ge 35:10; 17:5Then the man said, “Your name will no more be called Jacob, but Israel. For you have fought with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
29Then Jacob asked Him, “Tell me, I pray You, Your name.”
But He said, “Why do you ask Me My name?” Then He blessed him there.
30#Ge 16:13; Ex 24:10–11Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “I have seen God face to face, and my life has been preserved.”
31As he crossed over Peniel, the sun rose over him, and he was limping on his thigh. 32Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the thigh, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.