1 # 32:1 Verses 32:1-32 are numbered 32:2-33 in Hebrew text. As Jacob started on his way again, angels of God came to meet him. 2When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is God’s camp!” So he named the place Mahanaim.#32:2 Mahanaim means “two camps.”
Jacob Sends Gifts to Esau
3Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living in the region of Seir in the land of Edom. 4He told them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban, 5and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.’”
6After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!” 7Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two groups. 8He thought, “If Esau meets one group and attacks it, perhaps the other group can escape.”
9Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ 10I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! 11O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. 12But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’”
13Jacob stayed where he was for the night. Then he selected these gifts from his possessions to present to his brother, Esau: 14200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 1530 female camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys. 16He divided these animals into herds and assigned each to different servants. Then he told his servants, “Go ahead of me with the animals, but keep some distance between the herds.”
17He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: “When my brother, Esau, meets you, he will ask, ‘Whose servants are you? Where are you going? Who owns these animals?’ 18You must reply, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, but they are a gift for his master Esau. Look, he is coming right behind us.’”
19Jacob gave the same instructions to the second and third herdsmen and to all who followed behind the herds: “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20And be sure to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’”
Jacob thought, “I will try to appease him by sending gifts ahead of me. When I see him in person, perhaps he will be friendly to me.” 21So the gifts were sent on ahead, while Jacob himself spent that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. 23After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions.
24This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. 25When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27“What is your name?” the man asked.
He replied, “Jacob.”
28“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel,#32:28 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew words for “heel” and “deceiver.” Israel means “God fights.” because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
29“Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.
“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.
30Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” 31The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel,#32:31 Hebrew Penuel, a variant spelling of Peniel. and he was limping because of the injury to his hip. 32(Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of what happened that night when the man strained the tendon of Jacob’s hip.)
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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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