B'resheet (Gen) 32
1(Maftir) Early in the morning Lavan got up, kissed his sons and daughters, and blessed them. Then Lavan left and returned to his own place. 2Ya‘akov went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 3When Ya‘akov saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp,” and called that place Machanayim [two camps].
Haftarah Vayetze: Hoshea (Hosea) 12:13(12)–14:10(9) (A); 11:7–12:12(11) (S)
B’rit Hadashah suggested reading for Parashah Vayetze: Yochanan (John) 1:43–51
Parashah 8: Vayishlach (He sent) 32:4(3) –36:43
4Ya‘akov sent messengers ahead of him to ‘Esav his brother toward the land of Se‘ir, the country of Edom, 5with these instructions: “Here is what you are to say to my lord ‘Esav: ‘Your servant Ya‘akov says, “I have been living with Lavan and have stayed until now. 6I have cattle, donkeys and flocks, and male and female servants. I am sending to tell this news to my lord, in order to win your favor.” ’” 7The messengers returned to Ya‘akov saying, “We went to your brother ‘Esav, and he is coming to meet you; with him are four hundred men.”
8Ya‘akov became greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people, flocks, cattle and camels with him into two camps, 9saying, “If ‘Esav comes to the one camp and attacks it, at least the camp that is left will escape.” 10Then Ya‘akov said, “God of my father Avraham and God of my father Yitz’chak, Adonai, who told me, ‘Return to your country and your kinsmen, and I will do you good’: 11I’m not worthy of all the love and faithfulness you have shown your servant, since I crossed the Yarden with only my staff. But now I have become two camps. 12Please! Rescue me from my brother ‘Esav! I’m afraid of him, afraid he’ll come and attack me, without regard for mothers or children. 13You said, ‘I will certainly do you good and make your descendants as numerous as the grains of sand by the sea, which are so many they can’t be counted.’”
(ii) 14He stayed there that night; then he chose from among his possessions the following as a present for ‘Esav his brother: 15two hundred female goats and twenty males, two hundred female sheep and twenty males, 16thirty milk-camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten colts. 17He turned them over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Cross over in front of me, and keep a space between each drove and the next one.” 18He instructed the servant in front, “When ‘Esav my brother meets you and asks you, ‘Whose servant are you? Where are you going? And whose animals are these?’ 19then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Ya‘akov, and they are a present he has sent to my lord ‘Esav; and Ya‘akov himself is just behind us.’” 20He also instructed the second servant, and the third, and all that followed the droves, “When you encounter ‘Esav, you are to speak to him in the same way, 21and you are to add, ‘And there, just behind us, is your servant Ya‘akov.’” For he said, “I will appease him first with the present that goes ahead of me; then, after that, I will see him myself — and maybe he will be friendly toward me.” 22So the present crossed over ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.
23He got up that night, took his two wives, his two slave-girls, and his eleven children, and forded the Yabok. 24He took them and sent them across the stream, then sent his possessions across; 25and Ya‘akov was left alone. Then some man wrestled with him until daybreak. 26When he saw that he did not defeat Ya‘akov, he struck Ya‘akov’s hip socket, so that his hip was dislocated while wrestling with him. 27The man said, “Let me go, because it’s daybreak.” But Ya‘akov replied, “I won’t let you go unless you bless me.” 28The man asked, “What is your name?” and he answered, “Ya‘akov.” 29Then the man said, “From now on, you will no longer be called Ya‘akov, but Isra’el; because you have shown your strength to both God and men and have prevailed.” 30Ya‘akov asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he answered, “Why are you asking about my name?” and blessed him there.
(iii) 31Ya‘akov called the place P’ni-El [face of God], “Because I have seen God face to face, yet my life is spared.” 32As the sun rose upon him he went on past P’ni-El, limping at the hip. 33This is why, to this day, the people of Isra’el do not eat the thigh muscle that passes along the hip socket — because the man struck Ya‘akov’s hip at its socket.
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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.
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