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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
1Early in the morning Laban got up, kissed his grandchildren and daughters and blessed them. Then Laban left and returned to his place.
2While Jacob left on his way, the angels of God met him.
3Then Jacob said when he saw them, “This is God’s camp,” and he named that place Mahanaim.
Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
4Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom.
5He also commanded them saying, “This is what you should say to my lord, to Esau: ‘This is what your servant Jacob said: I’ve been staying with Laban, and have lingered until now.
6Now I’ve come to possess oxen and donkeys, flocks, male servants and female servants. I sent word to tell my lord, in order to find favor in your eyes.’”
7The messengers returned to Jacob saying, “We went to your brother, to Esau, and he’s also coming out to meet you—and 400 men with him.”
8So Jacob became extremely afraid and distressed. He divided the people with him, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps,
9for he thought, “If Esau comes to one camp and strikes it, the camp that’s left will escape.”
10Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, Adonai, who said to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will do good with you.’
11I am unworthy of all the proofs of mercy and of all the dependability that you have shown to your servant. For with only my staff I crossed over this Jordan, and now I’ve become two camps.
12Deliver me, please, from my brother’s hand, from Esau’s hand, for I’m afraid of him that he’ll come and strike me—the mothers with the children.
13You Yourself said, ‘I will most certainly do good with you, and will make your seed like the sand of the sea that cannot be counted because of its abundance.’”
14So he stayed overnight there. Then from all that had come into his possession he took an offering for Esau his brother:
15 200 female goats, 20 billy goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams,
16 30 milking camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys.
17He put them in the hands of his servants, each herd by itself, and he said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and put a gap between each of the herds.”
18Then he commanded the first one 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 all these before you belong?’
19then you are to say, ‘To your servant, to Jacob—it’s an offering sent to my lord, to Esau. And look, he’s also behind us.’”
20And he also commanded the second one, the third one, and all those who were going behind the flocks, saying, “Say the same exact thing to Esau when you find him.
21Then you are to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is also behind us.’” For he thought, “Let me appease him with the offering that goes ahead of me, and afterward see his face, perhaps he’ll lift up my face.”
22So the offering passed over ahead of him, while he spent that night in the camp.
23Then he got up that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of the Jabbok.
24He took them and sent them across the stream, and he sent across whatever he had.
Jacob Wrestles With God
25So Jacob remained all by himself. Then a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.
26When He saw that He had not overcome him, He struck the socket of his hip, so He dislocated the socket of Jacob’s hip when He wrestled with him.
27Then He said, “Let Me go, for the dawn has broken.” But he said, “I won’t let You go unless You bless me.”
28Then He said to him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he said.
29Then He said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but rather Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men, and you have overcome.”
30Then Jacob asked and said, “Please tell me Your name.” But He said, “What’s this—you are asking My name?” Then He blessed him there.
31So Jacob named the place Peniel, “for I’ve seen God face to face, and my life has been spared.”
32Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed by Peniel—limping because of his hip.
33That is why the children of Israel do not eat the tendon of the hip socket, to this very day, because He struck the socket of Jacob’s thigh on the tendon of the hip.