Jacob gets ready to meet Esau
1As Jacob was on his way back home, some of God's angels came and met him. 2When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God's camp.” So he named the place Mahanaim.#32.2 Mahanaim: In Hebrew “Mahanaim” means “two camps”.
3Jacob sent messengers on ahead to Esau, who lived in the land of Seir, also known as Edom. 4Jacob told them to say to Esau, “Master, I am your servant! I have lived with Laban all this time, 5and now I own cattle, donkeys, and sheep, as well as many slaves. Master, I am sending these messengers in the hope that you will be kind to me.”
6When the messengers returned, they told Jacob, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is heading this way with four hundred men.”
7Jacob was so frightened that he divided his people, sheep, cattle, and camels into two groups. 8He thought, “If Esau attacks one group, perhaps the other can escape.”
9Then Jacob prayed:
You, LORD, are the God who was worshipped by my grandfather Abraham and by my father Isaac. You told me to return home to my family, and you promised to be with me and make me successful. 10I don't deserve all the good things you have done for me, your servant. When I first crossed the Jordan, I had only my walking stick, but now I have two large groups of people and animals. 11Please rescue me from my brother. I am afraid he will come and attack not only me, but my wives and children as well. 12But you have promised that I would be a success and that some day it will be as hard to count my descendants as it is to count the stars in the sky.#Gn 22.17.
13After Jacob had spent the night there, he chose some animals as gifts for Esau: 14-15two hundred female goats and twenty males, two hundred female sheep and twenty males, thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten males.
16Jacob put servants in charge of each herd and told them, “Go ahead of me and keep a space between each herd.” 17Then he said to the servant in charge of the first herd, “When Esau meets you, he will ask whose servant you are. He will want to know where you are going and who owns those animals in front of you. 18So tell him, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, who is coming this way. He is sending them as a gift to his master Esau.’ ”
19Jacob also told the men in charge of the second and third herds and those who followed to say the same thing when they met Esau. 20And Jacob told them to be sure to say that he was just behind them. Jacob hoped the gifts would make Esau friendly, so Esau would be glad to see him when they met. 21Jacob's men took the gifts on ahead of him, but he spent the night in camp.
Jacob's name is changed to Israel
22-23Jacob got up in the middle of the night and took his wives, his eleven children, and everything he owned across to the other side of the River Jabbok for safety. 24Afterwards, Jacob went back and spent the rest of the night alone.#Ho 12.3,4.
A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak. 25When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint. 26They kept on wrestling until the man said, “Let go of me! It's almost daylight.”
“You can't go until you bless me,” Jacob replied.
27Then the man asked, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That's why your name will be Israel.”#32.28 Israel: In Hebrew one meaning of “Israel” is “a man who wrestles with God”.#Gn 35.10.
29Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”#Jg 13.17,18.
“Don't you know who I am?” he asked. And 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: In Hebrew “Peniel” means “face of God”. 31The sun was coming up as Jacob was leaving Peniel. He was limping because he had been struck on the hip, 32and the muscle on his hip joint had been injured. That's why even today the people of Israel don't eat the hip muscle of any animal.
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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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