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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Preparing to Meet Esau
1Jacob went on his way, and God’s angels met him.#Ps 91:9–11 2When he saw them, Jacob said, “This is God’s camp.” So he called that place Mahanaim.#32:2 = Two Camps#Jos 21:38; 2Sm 2:8; 17:24,27; 1Kg 2:8
3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the territory of Edom. 4He commanded them, “You are to say to my lord Esau, ‘This is what your servant Jacob says. I have been staying with Laban and have been delayed until now. 5I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female slaves. I have sent this message to inform my lord, in order to seek your favor.’”#Gn 33:8,15
6When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau; he is coming to meet you — and he has four hundred men with him.”#Gn 33:1 7Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; he divided the people with him into two camps, along with the flocks, herds, and camels. 8He thought, “If Esau comes to one camp and attacks it, the remaining one can escape.”#Gn 27:41
9Then Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac,#Gn 28:13; 31:42,53 the Lord who said to me, ‘Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper,’#Gn 31:3,13 10I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. Indeed, I crossed over the Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two camps. 11Please rescue me from my brother Esau, for I am afraid of him; otherwise, he may come and attack me, the mothers, and their children. 12You have said, ‘I will cause you to prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, too numerous to be counted.’”#Gn 28:13–15
13He spent the night there and took part of what he had brought with him as a gift for his brother Esau:#Gn 43:11 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. 16He entrusted them to his slaves as separate herds and said to them, “Go on ahead of me, and leave some distance between the herds.”
17And he told the first one, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to? Where are you going? And whose animals are these ahead of you?’ 18then tell him, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau. And look, he is behind us.’”
19He also told the second one, the third, and everyone who was walking behind the animals, “Say the same thing to Esau when you find him. 20You are also to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” For he thought, “I want to appease Esau with the gift that is going ahead of me. After that, I can face him, and perhaps he will forgive me.”
21So the gift was sent on ahead of him while he remained in the camp that night. 22During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two slave women, and his eleven sons, and crossed the ford of Jabbok.#Dt 2:37; 3:16; Jos 12:2 23He took them and sent them across the stream, along with all his possessions.
Jacob Wrestles with God
24Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.#Hs 12:3–4 25When the man saw that he could not defeat him, he struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip. 26Then he said to Jacob, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27“What is your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he replied.
28“Your name will no longer be Jacob,”#Gn 35:10; 2Kg 17:34 he said. “It will be Israel#32:28 In Hb, the name Israel sounds like “he struggled (with) God.” because you have struggled with God#Hs 12:3–4 and with men and have prevailed.”
29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”
But he answered, “Why do you ask my name?” #Jdg 13:18 And he blessed him there.
30Jacob then named the place Peniel,#32:30 = Face of God “For I have seen God face to face,” he said, “yet my life has been spared.”#Gn 16:13; Ex 24:10–11; 33:20; Nm 12:8; Jdg 6:22; 13:22 31The sun shone on him as he passed by Penuel#32:31 Variant of Peniel#Jdg 8:8 — limping because of his hip. 32That is why, still today, the Israelites don’t eat the thigh muscle that is at the hip socket: because he struck Jacob’s hip socket at the thigh muscle.#32:32 Or tendon
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