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Genesis 32

32
Jacob Fears Esau
1And Jacob went on his way, and angels of God met him. 2And when he saw them, Jacob said, “This is the camp of God!” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother, to the land of Seir, the territory of Edom. 4And he instructed them, saying, “Thus you must say to my lord, to Esau, ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, I have dwelled as an alien with Laban, and I have remained there until now. 5And I have acquired cattle, male donkeys, flocks, and male and female slaves, and I have sent to tell my lord, to find favor in your eyes.’ ” 6And the messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We came to your brother, to Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7Then Jacob was very frightened and distressed. So he divided the people, flocks, cattle, and camels that were with him into two companies. 8And he thought, “If Esau comes to one company and destroys it, the remaining company will be able to escape.” 9Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, O Yahweh, who said to me, ‘Return to your land and to your family, and I will deal well with you.’ 10I am not worthy#Literally “I am small” of all the loyal love and all the faithfulness that you have shown#Or “done” your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11Please rescue me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, lest he come and attack mother and children alike. 12Now you yourself said, ‘I will surely deal well with you and make your offspring as the sand of the sea that cannot be counted for abundance.’ ”
13And he lodged there that night. Then he took from what he had with him#Literally “from that which was going from his hand” a gift for Esau his brother: 14two hundred female goats, twenty male goats, two hundred ewes, twenty rams, 15thirty milk camels with their young, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten male donkeys. 16And he put them under the hand of his servants, herd by herd,#Literally “every herd by its own” and said to his servants, “Cross on ahead before me, and put some distance between herds.#Literally “between a herd and between a herd” 17And he instructed the foremost, saying, “When Esau my brother comes upon you and asks you, saying, ‘Whose are you and where are you going? To whom do these animals belong ahead of you?’ 18Then you must say, ‘To your servant, to Jacob. It is a gift sent to my lord, to Esau. Now behold, he is also coming after us.’ ” 19And he also instructed the second servant and the third, and everyone else who was behind the herds, saying, “You must speak to Esau according to this word when you find him. 20And moreover, you shall say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he thought, “Let me appease him#Literally “let me cover his face” with the gift going before me, and afterward I will see his face. Perhaps he will show me favor.”#Literally “lift up my face” 21So the gift passed on before him, but he himself spent that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22That night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23And he took them and sent them across the stream. Then he sent across all his possessions. 24And Jacob remained alone, and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the dawn. 25And when he#That is, the man saw that he could not prevail against him, he struck his hip socket, so that Jacob’s hip socket was sprained as he wrestled with him. 26Then he#That is, the man said, “Let me go, for dawn is breaking.” But he answered, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27Then he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28And he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,#“Israel” means “he struggles with God,” or “God struggles” for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked and said, “Please tell me your name.” And he said, “Why do you ask this—for my name?” And he blessed him there. 30Then Jacob called the name of the place Peniel which means “I have seen God face to face and my life was spared.” 31Then the sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32Therefore the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” do not eat the sinew of the sciatic nerve that is upon the socket of the hip unto this day, because he struck the socket of the thigh of Jacob at the sinew of the sciatic nerve.
32
Jacob prepares to meet Esau
1Jacob went on his way, and God’s messengers approached him. 2When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp,” and he named that sacred place Mahanaim.#32.2 Or two camps 3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau, toward the land of Seir, the open country of Edom. 4He gave them these orders: “Say this to my master Esau. This is the message of your servant Jacob: ‘I’ve lived as an immigrant with Laban, where I’ve stayed till now. 5I own cattle, donkeys, flocks, men servants, and women servants. I’m sending this message to my master now to ask that he#32.5 Or you be kind.’”
6The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went out to your brother Esau, and he’s coming to meet you with four hundred men.”
7Jacob was terrified and felt trapped, so he divided the people with him, and the flocks, cattle, and camels, into two camps. 8He thought, If Esau meets the first camp and attacks it, at least one camp will be left to escape.
9Jacob said, “LORD, God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I’ll make sure things go well for you,’ 10I don’t deserve how loyal and truthful you’ve been to your servant. I went away across the Jordan with just my staff, but now I’ve become two camps. 11Save me from my brother Esau! I’m afraid he will come and kill me, the mothers, and their children. 12You were the one who told me, ‘I will make sure things go well for you, and I will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, so many you won’t be able to count them.’”
13Jacob spent that night there. From what he had acquired, he set aside a gift for his brother Esau: 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty nursing camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16He separated these herds and gave them to his servants. He said to them, “Go ahead of me and put some distance between each of the herds.” 17He ordered the first group, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, ‘Who are you with? Where are you going? And whose herds are these in front of you?’ 18say, ‘They are your servant Jacob’s, a gift sent to my master Esau. And Jacob is actually right behind us.’” 19He also ordered the second group, the third group, and everybody following the herds, “Say exactly the same thing to Esau when you find him. 20Say also, ‘Your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” Jacob thought, I may be able to pacify Esau with the gift I’m sending ahead. When I meet him, perhaps he will be kind to me. 21So Jacob sent the gift ahead of him, but he spent that night in the camp.
Jacob wrestles with God
22Jacob got up during the night, took his two wives, his two women servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed the Jabbok River’s shallow water. 23He took them and everything that belonged to him, and he helped them cross the river. 24But Jacob stayed apart by himself, and a man wrestled with him until dawn broke. 25When the man saw that he couldn’t defeat Jacob, he grabbed Jacob’s thigh and tore a muscle in Jacob’s thigh as he wrestled with him. 26The man said, “Let me go because the dawn is breaking.”
But Jacob said, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.”
27He said to Jacob, “What’s your name?” and he said, “Jacob.” 28Then he said, “Your name won’t be Jacob any longer, but Israel,#32.28 Or God struggles or one who struggles with God because you struggled with God and with men and won.”
29Jacob also asked and said, “Tell me your name.”
But he said, “Why do you ask for my name?” and he blessed Jacob there. 30Jacob named the place Peniel,#32.30 Or face of God “because I’ve seen God face-to-face, and my life has been saved.” 31The sun rose as Jacob passed Penuel, limping because of his thigh. 32Therefore, Israelites don’t eat the tendon attached to the thigh muscle to this day, because he grabbed Jacob’s thigh muscle at the tendon.