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Genesis 32

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Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
1As Jacob went on his way, some angels met him. 2When he saw them, he said, “This is God's camp”; so he named the place Mahanaim.#32.2: Mahanaim: This name in Hebrew means “two camps.”
3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the country of Edom. 4He instructed them to say: “I, Jacob, your obedient servant, report to my master Esau that I have been staying with Laban and that I have delayed my return until now. 5I own cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and slaves. I am sending you word, sir, in the hope of gaining your favor.”
6When the messengers came back to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you. He has four hundred men with him.” 7Jacob was frightened and worried. He divided into two groups the people who were with him, and also his sheep, goats, cattle, and camels. 8He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks the first group, the other may be able to escape.”
9Then Jacob prayed, “God of my grandfather Abraham and God of my father Isaac, hear me! You told me, Lord, to go back to my land and to my relatives, and you would make everything go well for me. 10I am not worth all the kindness and faithfulness that you have shown me, your servant. I crossed the Jordan with nothing but a walking stick, and now I have come back with these two groups. 11Save me, I pray, from my brother Esau. I am afraid—afraid that he is coming to attack us and destroy us all, even the women and children. 12#Gn 22.17 Remember that you promised to make everything go well for me and to give me more descendants than anyone could count, as many as the grains of sand along the seashore.”
13-15After spending the night there, Jacob chose from his livestock as a present for his brother Esau: 200 female goats and 20 males, 200 female sheep and 20 males, 30 milk camels with their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 males. 16He divided them into herds and put one of his servants in charge of each herd. He said to them, “Go ahead of me, and leave a space between each herd and the one behind it.” 17He ordered the first servant, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who is your master? Where are you going? Who owns these animals in front of you?’ 18you must answer, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. He sends them as a present to his master Esau. Jacob himself is right behind us.’” 19He gave the same order to the second, the third, and to all the others who were in charge of the herds: “This is what you must say to Esau when you meet him. 20You must say, ‘Yes, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” Jacob was thinking, “I will win him over with the gifts, and when I meet him, perhaps he will forgive me.” 21He sent the gifts on ahead of him and spent that night in camp.
Jacob Wrestles at Peniel
22That same night Jacob got up, took his two wives, his two concubines, and his eleven children, and crossed the Jabbok River. 23#Ws 10.12 After he had sent them across, he also sent across all that he owned, 24#Ho 12.3,4 but he stayed behind, alone.
Then a man came and wrestled with him until just before daybreak. 25When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he hit Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint. 26The man said, “Let me go; daylight is coming.”
“I won't, unless you bless me,” Jacob answered.
27“What is your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 # Gn 35.10 The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.”#32.28: Israel: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “he struggles with God” or “God struggles.”
29 # Jg 13.17,18 Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”
But he answered, “Why do you want to know my name?” Then he blessed Jacob.
30Jacob said, “I have seen God face-to-face, and I am still alive”; so he named the place Peniel.#32.30: Peniel: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “the face of God.” 31The sun rose as Jacob was leaving Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32Even today the descendants of Israel do not eat the muscle which is on the hip joint, because it was on this muscle that Jacob was hit.
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Chapter 32
Jacob's journey home
1Jacob continued on his journey to his father's house. On his way the angels of God met him. #32:1 Jacob had seen the angels of God before. See Genesis 28:12. Now God sent his angels to meet Jacob again, to show that he was with Jacob. 2When Jacob saw them, he said, ‘This is where God's army has put up their tents!’ So he called that place Mahanaim.
3Jacob sent men with a message to his brother Esau. Esau was living in the land of Seir, also called Edom. 4Jacob told his men, ‘This is what you must say to my master Esau: Your servant Jacob says, “I have been staying with Laban until now. 5I have cows, donkeys, sheep and goats. I have male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord so that you will be happy with me.” ’
6When the men returned, they said to Jacob, ‘We went to your brother Esau. Now he is coming to meet you and he has 400 men with him.’ 7Jacob was very frightened and upset when he heard this. So he separated his people into two groups. He also separated his animals. 8He thought, ‘If Esau attacks one group, the other group may run away safely.’
9Then Jacob prayed, ‘God of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac, Lord, you said to me, “Go back to your country and to your relatives. I will do good things for you there.” 10You have always loved me. You have continued to be kind to me. I am not worth this. When I crossed the Jordan river to go to Haran, I only had my stick. But now I can make two big groups of people and animals. 11I pray that you will save me from the power of my brother Esau. I am afraid that he will come and attack me. He may also attack my family. 12But you have said, “I will give you many good things. I will give you so many descendants that nobody will be able to count them. They will be as much as the sand on the shore of the sea.” ’ #32:12 See Genesis 28:14.
13Jacob stayed in that place for the night. He chose some of his animals as a gift for Esau. 14He chose 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 female sheep and 20 male sheep. 15He also chose 30 female camels, with their young ones, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys. 16He told his servants to take care of them. He separated each group of animals from the other groups. Jacob said to his servants, ‘Go in front of me. Keep some space between each group of animals.’ 17He told the servant who led the first group of animals, ‘When my brother Esau meets you, he may ask, “Who do you belong to? Where are you going? Who do all these animals belong to?” 18Then you must say, “They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift that he has sent to my lord Esau. Jacob himself is coming behind us.” ’ 19Jacob also told the servants who led the other groups of animals, as well as the servants who followed behind them, ‘You are to say the same thing to Esau, when you meet him. 20You must also say “Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.” ’
Jacob thought, ‘Esau will be happy to receive my gifts. He will no longer be angry with me. Then, when I meet him, he will not hurt me.’ 21So Jacob sent the men with his gifts to go on to meet Esau. But he himself stayed in that place for the night.
22During the night Jacob took his two wives, his two female servants and his 11 sons to go with him. They went across the Jabbok river where there was a place to cross. #32:22 This part of the River Jabbok was not very deep. It was about 20 miles north of the Dead Sea. 23After Jacob had sent his family across, he also sent all his things across the stream. 24Then Jacob was alone. A man came and fought with him for a long time. #32:24 God came to Jacob as an angel. See Hosea 12:4-5. They continued until dawn.
25The man saw that he was not winning the fight against Jacob. So he hit Jacob's hip while they were fighting. In that way, Jacob's hip moved out of its proper place. 26Then the man said to Jacob, ‘Now let me go because dawn has come.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’
27The man asked Jacob, ‘What is your name?’ Jacob replied, ‘My name is Jacob’. 28Then the man said, ‘Your name will not be Jacob any more. Your name will now be Israel. #32:28 Israel probably means ‘he fights with God’. God changed Jacob's name to give him a new beginning. That is because you have fought with God and you have fought with men. And you have won!’
29Then Jacob said, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But the man said, ‘Why do you want to know my name?’ Then he blessed Jacob in that place. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel. #32:30 Peniel means ‘face of God’. He said, ‘I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive!’
31The sun rose in the sky as Jacob passed through Peniel. He could not walk properly because of his hip.
32Even today, the Israelite people do not eat the meat of an animal where it joins to the hip. This is because God touched Jacob's hip. #32:32 The Israelites were the descendants of Jacob, who was now called Israel. Jacob's 12 sons became the ancestors of Israel's 12 tribes.