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.
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Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
1Jacob also left that place. While he was traveling, he saw God’s angels. 2When he saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp!” So Jacob named that place Mahanaim.#32:2 Mahanaim This name means “two camps.”
3Jacob’s brother Esau was living in the area called Seir in the hill country of Edom. Jacob sent messengers to Esau. 4He told them, “Tell this to my master Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have lived with Laban all these years. 5I have many cattle, donkeys, flocks, and servants. Sir, I am sending you this message to ask you to accept us.’”
6The messengers came back to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you. He has 400 men with him.”
7Jacob was very frightened and worried. He divided the people who were with him and all the flocks, herds, and camels into two groups. 8Jacob thought, “If Esau comes and destroys one group, the other group can run away and be saved.”
9Then Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham! God of my father Isaac! Lord, you told me to come back to my country and to my family. You said that you would do good to me. 10You have been very kind to me. You did many good things for me. The first time I traveled across the Jordan River, I owned nothing—only my walking stick. But now I own enough things to have two full groups. 11I ask you to please save me from my brother Esau. I am afraid that he will come and kill us all, even the mothers with the children. 12Lord, you said to me, ‘I will be good to you. I will increase your family and make your children as many as the sands of the sea. There will be too many to count.’”
13Jacob stayed in that place for the night. He prepared some things to give to Esau as a gift. 14He took 200 female goats and 20 male goats, 200 female sheep and 20 male sheep. 15He took 30 camels and their colts, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys. 16He gave each flock of animals to his servants. Then he said to them, “Separate each group of animals. Go ahead of me and keep some space between each herd.” 17Jacob gave them their orders. To the servant with the first group of animals he said, “When Esau my brother comes to you and asks you, ‘Whose animals are these? Where are you going? Whose servant are you?’ 18then you should answer, ‘These animals belong to your servant Jacob. He sent them as a gift to you, my master Esau. And he also is coming behind us.’”
19Jacob also ordered the second servant, the third servant, and all the other servants to do the same thing. He said, “You will say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20You will say, ‘This is a gift to you, and your servant Jacob is behind us.’”
Jacob thought, “If I send these men ahead with gifts, maybe Esau will forgive me and accept me.” 21So Jacob sent the gifts to Esau, but he stayed that night in the camp.
22During the night, Jacob got up and began moving his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven sons across the Jabbok River at the crossing. 23After he sent his family across the river, he sent across everything he had.
The Fight With God
24Jacob was left alone, and a man came and wrestled with him. The man fought with him until the sun came up. 25When the man saw that he could not defeat Jacob, he touched Jacob’s leg and put it out of joint.
26Then the man said to Jacob, “Let me go. The sun is coming up.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go. You must bless me.”
27And the man said to him, “What is your name?”
And Jacob said, “My name is Jacob.”
28Then the man said, “Your name will not be Jacob. Your name will now be Israel.#32:28 Israel This name might mean “he fights for God,” “he fights with God,” or “God fights.” I give you this name because you have fought with God and with men, and you have won.”
29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”
But the man said, “Why do you ask my name?” Then the man blessed Jacob at that place.
30So Jacob named that place Peniel.#32:30 Peniel A name that means “the face of God.” He said, “At this place, I saw God face to face, but my life was spared.” 31Then the sun came up as Jacob left Peniel. He was limping because of his leg. 32So even today, the people of Israel don’t eat the muscle that is on the hip joint, because this is the muscle where Jacob was hurt.
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