Jacob Meets Esau
1When Jacob also went his way, the angels of God met him. 2When he saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.
3Jacob’s brother Esau was living in the area called Seir in the country of Edom. Jacob sent messengers to Esau, 4telling them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘This is what Jacob, your servant, says: I have lived with Laban and have remained there until now. 5I have cattle, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants. I send this message to you and ask you to accept us.’ ”
6The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you and has four hundred men with him.”
7Then Jacob was very afraid and worried. He divided the people who were with him and all the flocks, herds, and camels into two camps. 8Jacob thought, “Esau might come and destroy one camp, but the other camp can run away and be saved.”
9Then Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham! God of my father Isaac! Lord, you told me to return to my country and my family. You said that you would treat me well. 10I am not worthy of the kindness and continual goodness you have shown me. The first time I traveled across the Jordan River, I had only my walking stick, but now I own enough to have two camps. 11Please save me from my brother Esau. I am afraid he will come and kill all of us, even the mothers with the children. 12You said to me, ‘I will treat you well and will make your children as many as the sand of the seashore. There will be too many to count.’ ”
13Jacob stayed there for the night and prepared a gift for Esau from what he had with him: 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred female sheep and twenty male sheep, 15thirty female camels and their young, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten male donkeys. 16Jacob gave each separate flock of animals to one of his servants and said to them, “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, “My brother Esau will come to you and ask, ‘Whose servant are you? Where are you going and whose animals are these?’ 18Then you will answer, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. He sent them as a gift to you, my master Esau, and he also is coming behind us.’ ”
19Jacob ordered the second servant, the third servant, and all the other servants to do the same thing. He said, “Say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20Say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’ ” Jacob thought, “If I send these gifts ahead of me, maybe Esau will forgive me. Then when I see him, perhaps he will accept me.” 21So Jacob sent the gifts to Esau, but he himself stayed that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22During the night Jacob rose and crossed the Jabbok River at the crossing, taking with him his two wives, his two slave girls, and his eleven sons. 23He sent his family and everything he had across the river. 24So Jacob was alone, and a man came and wrestled with him until the sun came up. 25When the man saw he could not defeat Jacob, he struck Jacob’s hip and put it out of joint. 26Then he said to Jacob, “Let me go. The sun is coming up.”
But Jacob said, “I will let you go if you will bless me.”
27The man said to him, “What is your name?”
And he answered, “Jacob.”
28Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. Your name will now be Israel, because you have wrestled with God and with people, and you have won.”
29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”
But the man said, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed Jacob there.
30So Jacob named that place Peniel, saying, “I have seen God face to face, but my life was saved.” 31Then the sun rose as he was leaving that place, and Jacob was limping because of his leg. 32So even today the people of Israel do not eat the muscle that is on the hip joint of animals, because Jacob was touched there.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.