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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 Gets Ready to Meet Esau
1Jacob also went on his way. The angels of God met him. 2Jacob saw them. He said, “This is the army of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.
3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau. Esau lived in the land of Seir. It was also called the country of Edom. 4Jacob told the messengers what to do. He said, “Here’s what you must tell my master Esau. ‘Your servant Jacob says, “I’ve been staying with Laban. I’ve remained there until now. 5I have cattle and donkeys and sheep and goats. I also have male and female servants. Now I’m sending this message to you. I hope I can please you.” ’ ”
6The messengers came back to Jacob. They said, “We went to your brother Esau. He’s coming now to meet you. He has 400 men with him.”
7Jacob was very worried and afraid. So he separated the people with him into two groups. He also separated the flocks and herds and camels. 8He thought, “Esau might come and attack one group. If he does, the group that’s left can escape.”
9Then Jacob prayed, “You are the God of my grandfather Abraham. You are the God of my father Isaac. Lord, you are the one who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives. Then I will give you success.’ 10You have been very kind and faithful to me. But I’m not worthy of any of this. When I crossed this Jordan River, all I had was my walking stick. But now I’ve become two camps. 11Please save me from the hand of my brother Esau. I’m afraid he’ll come and attack me and the mothers with their children. 12But you have said, ‘I will surely give you success. I will make your children as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. People will not be able to count them.’ ”
13Jacob spent the night there. He chose a gift for his brother Esau from what he had with him. 14He chose 200 female goats and 20 male goats. He chose 200 female sheep and 20 male sheep. 15He chose 30 female camels with their little ones. He chose 40 cows and ten bulls. And he chose 20 female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16He put each herd by itself. Then he put his servants in charge of them. He said to his servants, “Go on ahead of me. Keep some space between the herds.”
17Jacob spoke to his servant who was leading the way. He said, “My brother Esau will meet you. He’ll ask, ‘Who is your master? Where are you going? And who owns all these animals in front of you?’ 18Then say to Esau, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift to you from him. And Jacob is coming behind us.’ ”
19He also spoke to the second and third servants. He told them and all the others who followed the herds what to do. He said, “Say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20Make sure you say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’ ” Jacob was thinking, “I’ll make peace with him with these gifts I’m sending on ahead. When I see him later, maybe he’ll welcome me.” 21So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him. But he himself spent the night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles With God
22That night Jacob got up. He took his two wives, his two female servants and his 11 sons and sent them across the Jabbok River. 23After they had crossed the stream, he sent over everything he owned. 24So Jacob was left alone. A man wrestled with him until morning. 25The man saw that he couldn’t win. So he touched the inside of Jacob’s hip. As Jacob wrestled with the man, Jacob’s hip was twisted. 26Then the man said, “Let me go. It is morning.”
But Jacob replied, “I won’t let you go unless you bless me.”
27The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28Then the man said, “Your name will not be Jacob anymore. Instead, it will be Israel. You have wrestled with God and with people. And you have won.”
29Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you want to know my name?” Then he blessed Jacob there.
30So Jacob named the place Peniel. He said, “I saw God face to face. But I’m still alive!”
31The sun rose above Jacob as he passed by Peniel. He was limping because of his hip. 32That’s why the Israelites don’t eat the meat attached to the inside of an animal’s hip. They don’t eat it to this day. It’s because the inside of Jacob’s hip was touched.