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Genesis 32

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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

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CHAPTER 32
1Forsooth Jacob went forth in the way in which he began, and the angels of the Lord met him.
2And when he had seen them, he said, These be the castles of God; and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3Soothly Jacob sent before him also messengers to Esau, his brother, into the land of Seir, in the country of Edom;
4and he commanded to them, and said, Thus speak ye to my lord Esau, Thy brother Jacob saith these things, I have been a pilgrim at Laban, and I was till into this present day;
5I have oxen, and asses, and sheep, and menservants, and handmaids, and I send now a message to my lord, that I find grace in thy sight.
6And the messengers turned again to Jacob, and said, We came to Esau, thy brother, and lo! he hasteth him into thy coming, with four hundred men.
7Jacob dreaded greatly, and he was afeared, and he parted the people that was with him, and he parted the flocks, and sheep, and oxen, and camels, into two companies;
8and he said, If Esau shall come to one company, and shall smite it, the other company which is left unsmitten, shall be saved.
9And Jacob said, O! God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, O! Lord, that saidest to me, Turn thou again into thy land, and to the place of thy birth, and I shall do well to thee,
10I am less than all thy merciful doings, and than thy truth which thou hast [ful] filled to thy servant; with my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I go again with two companies;
11deliver thou me from the hand of my brother Esau, for I dread him greatly, lest he come and smite or slay the mothers with the sons [or with the children].
12Thou spakest that thou shouldest do well to me, and wouldest alarge my seed as [the] gravel of the sea, that may not be numbered for muchliness.
13And when Jacob had slept there in that night, he separated of those things which he had as gifts to Esau, his brother,
14two hundred she goats, and twenty bucks of goats, two hundred sheep, and twenty rams,
15camels full with their foals thirty, forty kine, and twenty bulls, twenty she-asses, and [the] ten foals of them.
16And he sent by the hands of his servants all the flocks by themselves; and he said to his servants, Go ye before me, and a space be betwixt flock and flock.
17And he commanded to the former or first, and said, If thou shalt meet my brother Esau, and he shall ask thee, whose man thou art, or whither thou goest, or whose be these things which thou followest,
18thou shalt answer, Of thy servant Jacob; he hath sent gifts to his lord Esau, and he cometh after us.
19In like manner, he gave command-ments to the second, and to the third, and to all that pursued [or followed] the flocks; and said, Speak ye by the same words to Esau, when ye find him,
20and ye shall add, Also Jacob himself thy servant pursueth [or followeth] our way. For Jacob said, I shall please Esau with gifts that go before, and afterward I shall see him; in hap he shall be merciful to me.
21And so the gifts went before him; soothly he dwelled in that night in the tents.
22And when Jacob had risen hastily, he took his two wives, and so many handmaids, with his eleven sons, and he passed over the ford of Jabbok.
23And when all things that pertained to him were led over,
24Jacob dwelled there alone, and, lo! a man came, and wrestled with him till to the morrowtide.
25And when the man saw that he might not overcome Jacob, he touched the sinew of Jacob’s hip, and it dried anon.
26And he said to Jacob, Let go thou me, for the morrowtide goeth up now. Jacob answered, I shall not let go thee, no but thou bless me.
27Therefore he said, What name is to thee? He answered, Jacob.
28And the man said, Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel; for if thou were strong against God, how much more shalt thou have power against men.
29Jacob asked him, Say thou to me by what name thou art called? He answered, Why askest thou my name, which is wonderful? And he blessed Jacob in the same place.
30And Jacob called the name of that place Penuel, and said, I saw the Lord face to face, and my life is made safe.
31And anon the sun rose to him, after that he had passed over from Penuel; forsooth he halted in the foot.
32For which cause the sons of Israel eat not unto this present day the sinew, like that that dried in the hip of Jacob; for the man touched the sinew of Jacob’s hip, and it dried up.