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Jacob Wrestles

written by Moses* in Genesis 32:1-33:20
written by Moses* in Genesis 32:1-33:20
written by Moses* in Genesis 32:1-33:20
written by Moses* in Genesis 32:1-33:20

Genesis 32-33

32:1 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God's camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”

13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’” 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.

22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh.

33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.

12 Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead of you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the nursing flocks and herds are a care to me. If they are driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”

15 So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

18 And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. 19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

Jacob Gets Ready To Meet Esau

1 As Jacob was on his way back home, some of God's angels came and met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God's camp.” So he named the place Mahanaim.

3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead to Esau, who lived in the land of Seir, also known as Edom. 4 Jacob told them to say to Esau, “Master, I am your servant! I have lived with Laban all this time, 5 and 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.”

6 When the messengers returned, they told Jacob, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is heading this way with 400 men.”

7 Jacob was so frightened that he divided his people, sheep, cattle, and camels into two groups. 8 He thought, “If Esau attacks one group, perhaps the other can escape.”

9 Then Jacob prayed:

You, Lord, are the God who was worshiped 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. 10 I 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. 11 Please rescue me from my brother. I am afraid he will come and attack not only me, but my wives and children as well. 12 But you have promised that I would be a success and that someday it will be as hard to count my descendants as it is to count the grains of sand along the seashore.

13 After Jacob had spent the night there, he chose some animals as gifts for Esau: 14-15 200 female goats and 20 males, 200 female sheep and 20 males, 30 female camels with their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, and 20 female donkeys and 10 males.

16 Jacob put servants in charge of each herd and told them, “Go ahead of me and keep a space between each herd.” 17 Then 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. 18 So tell him, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, who is coming this way. He is sending them as a gift to his master Esau.’ ”

19 Jacob 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. 20 And Jacob told them to be sure to say that he was right behind them. Jacob hoped the gifts would make Esau friendly, so Esau would be glad to see him when they met. 21 Jacob's men took the gifts on ahead of him, but he spent the night in camp.

Jacob's Name Is Changed to Israel

22-23 Jacob 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 Jabbok River for safety. 24 Afterwards, Jacob went back and spent the rest of the night alone.

A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint. 26 They 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.

27 Then the man asked, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 The man said, “From now on, your name will no longer be Jacob. You will be called Israel, because you have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won.”

29 Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”

“Don't you know who I am?” he asked. And he blessed Jacob.

30 Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive.” So he named the place Peniel. 31 The sun was coming up as Jacob was leaving Peniel. He was limping because he had been struck on the hip, 32 and 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.

Jacob Meets Esau

1 Later that day Jacob met Esau coming with his 400 men. So Jacob told his children to walk with their mothers. 2 The two servant women, Zilpah and Bilhah, together with their children went first, followed by Leah and her children, then by Rachel and Joseph. 3 Jacob himself walked in front of them all, bowing to the ground seven times as he came near his brother.

4 But Esau ran toward Jacob and hugged and kissed him. Then the two brothers started crying.

5 When Esau noticed the women and children he asked, “Whose children are these?”

Jacob answered, “These are the children the Lord has been kind enough to give to me, your servant.”

6 Then the two servant women and their children came and bowed down to Esau. 7 Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down; finally, Joseph and Rachel also came and bowed down.

8 Esau asked Jacob, “Why did you send those herds I met along the road?”

“Master,” Jacob answered, “I sent them so you would be friendly to me.”

9 “But, brother, I already have plenty,” Esau replied. “Keep them for yourself.”

10 “No!” Jacob said. “Please accept them as a sign of your friendship for me. When you welcomed me and I saw your face, it was like seeing the face of God. 11 Please accepts these as gifts I brought to you. God has been good to me, and I have everything I need.” Jacob kept insisting until Esau agreed.

12 “Let's get ready to travel,” Esau said. “I'll go along with you.”

13 But Jacob answered, “Master, you know traveling is hard on children, and I have to look after the sheep and goats that are nursing their young. If my animals travel too much in one day, they will all die. 14 Why don't you go on ahead and let me travel along slowly with the children, the herds, and the flocks. We can meet again in the country of Edom.”

15 Esau replied, “Let me leave some of my men with you.”

“You don't have to do that,” Jacob answered. “I am happy, simply knowing that you are friendly to me.”

16 So Esau left for Edom. 17 But Jacob went to Succoth, where he built a house for himself and set up shelters for his animals. That's why the place is called Succoth.

Jacob Arrives at Shechem

18 After leaving northern Syria, Jacob arrived safely at Shechem in Canaan and set up camp outside the city. 19 The land where he camped was owned by the descendants of Hamor, the father of Shechem. So Jacob paid them 100 pieces of silver for the property, 20 then he set up his tents and built an altar there to honor the God of Israel.

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

1 As Jacob went on his way, some angels met him. 2 When he saw them, he said, “This is God's camp”; so he named the place Mahanaim.

3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them to say: “I, Jacob, your obedient servant, report to my master Esau that I have been staying with Laban and that I have delayed my return until now. 5 I own cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and slaves. I am sending you word, sir, in the hope of gaining your favor.”

6 When the messengers came back to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you. He has four hundred men with him.” 7 Jacob was frightened and worried. He divided into two groups the people who were with him, and also his sheep, goats, cattle, and camels. 8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks the first group, the other may be able to escape.”

9 Then Jacob prayed, “God of my grandfather Abraham and God of my father Isaac, hear me! You told me, Lord, to go back to my land and to my relatives, and you would make everything go well for me. 10 I am not worth all the kindness and faithfulness that you have shown me, your servant. I crossed the Jordan with nothing but a walking stick, and now I have come back with these two groups. 11 Save me, I pray, from my brother Esau. I am afraid—afraid that he is coming to attack us and destroy us all, even the women and children. 12 Remember that you promised to make everything go well for me and to give me more descendants than anyone could count, as many as the grains of sand along the seashore.”

13-15 After spending the night there, Jacob chose from his livestock as a present for his brother Esau: 200 female goats and 20 males, 200 female sheep and 20 males, 30 milk camels with their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 males. 16 He divided them into herds and put one of his servants in charge of each herd. He said to them, “Go ahead of me, and leave a space between each herd and the one behind it.” 17 He ordered the first servant, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who is your master? Where are you going? Who owns these animals in front of you?’ 18 you must answer, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. He sends them as a present to his master Esau. Jacob himself is right behind us.’” 19 He gave the same order to the second, the third, and to all the others who were in charge of the herds: “This is what you must say to Esau when you meet him. 20 You must say, ‘Yes, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” Jacob was thinking, “I will win him over with the gifts, and when I meet him, perhaps he will forgive me.” 21 He sent the gifts on ahead of him and spent that night in camp.

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

22 That same night Jacob got up, took his two wives, his two concubines, and his eleven children, and crossed the Jabbok River. 23 After he had sent them across, he also sent across all that he owned, 24 but he stayed behind, alone.

Then a man came and wrestled with him until just before daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he hit Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint. 26 The man said, “Let me go; daylight is coming.”

“I won't, unless you bless me,” Jacob answered.

27 “What is your name?” the man asked.

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.”

29 Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”

But he answered, “Why do you want to know my name?” Then he blessed Jacob.

30 Jacob said, “I have seen God face-to-face, and I am still alive”; so he named the place Peniel. 31 The sun rose as Jacob was leaving Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Even today the descendants of Israel do not eat the muscle which is on the hip joint, because it was on this muscle that Jacob was hit.

Jacob Meets Esau

1 Jacob saw Esau coming with his four hundred men, so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two concubines. 2 He put the concubines and their children first, then Leah and her children, and finally Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3 Jacob went ahead of them and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. They were both crying. 5 When Esau looked around and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?”

“These, sir, are the children whom God has been good enough to give me,” Jacob answered. 6 Then the concubines came up with their children and bowed down; 7 then Leah and her children came, and last of all Joseph and Rachel came and bowed down.

8 Esau asked, “What about that other group I met? What did that mean?”

Jacob answered, “It was to gain your favor.”

9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have.”

10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have gained your favor, accept my gift. To see your face is for me like seeing the face of God, now that you have been so friendly to me. 11 Please accept this gift which I have brought for you; God has been kind to me and given me everything I need.” Jacob kept on urging him until he accepted.

12 Esau said, “Let's get ready and leave. I will go ahead of you.”

13 Jacob answered, “You know that the children are weak, and I must think of the sheep and livestock with their young. If they are driven hard for even one day, the whole herd will die. 14 Please go on ahead of me, and I will follow slowly, going as fast as I can with the livestock and the children until I catch up with you in Edom.”

15 Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.”

But Jacob answered, “There is no need for that for I only want to gain your favor.” 16 So that day Esau started on his way back to Edom. 17 But Jacob went to Sukkoth, where he built a house for himself and shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Sukkoth.

18 On his return from Mesopotamia Jacob arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan and set up his camp in a field near the city. 19 He bought that part of the field from the descendants of Hamor father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver. 20 He put up an altar there and named it for El, the God of Israel.

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

32:1 So Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.

3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region of Edom. 4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, sheep, and male and female servants. I have sent this message to inform my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”

6 The 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.” 7 Jacob was very afraid and upset. So he divided the people who were with him into two camps, as well as the flocks, herds, and camels. 8 “If Esau attacks one camp,” he thought, “then the other camp will be able to escape.”

9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord, you said to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will make you prosper.’ 10 I am not worthy of all the faithful love you have shown your servant. With only my walking stick I crossed the Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Rescue me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, as well as the mothers with their children. 12 But you said, ‘I will certainly make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand on the seashore, too numerous to count.’”

13 Jacob stayed there that night. Then he sent as a gift to his brother Esau 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He entrusted them to his servants, who divided them into herds. He told his servants, “Pass over before me, and keep some distance between one herd and the next.” 17 He instructed the servant leading the first herd, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 18 then you must say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’”

19 He also gave these instructions to the second and third servants, as well as all those who were following the herds, saying, “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” Jacob thought, “I will first appease him by sending a gift ahead of me. After that I will meet him. Perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him while he spent that night in the camp.

22 During the night Jacob quickly took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not defeat Jacob, he struck the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, “unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” He answered, “Jacob.” 28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, “but Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have prevailed.”

29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” “Why do you ask my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, explaining, “Certainly I have seen God face to face and have survived.”

31 The sun rose over him as he crossed over Penuel, but he was limping because of his hip. 32 That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.

Jacob Meets Esau

33:1 Jacob looked up and saw that Esau was coming along with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants. 2 He put the servants and their children in front, with Leah and her children behind them, and Rachel and Joseph behind them. 3 But Jacob himself went on ahead of them, and he bowed toward the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, hugged his neck, and kissed him. Then they both wept. 5 When Esau looked up and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob replied, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 The female servants came forward with their children and bowed down. 7 Then Leah came forward with her children and they bowed down. Finally Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed down.

8 Esau then asked, “What did you intend by sending all these herds to meet me?” Jacob replied, “To find favor in your sight, my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother. Keep what belongs to you.” 10 “No, please take them,” Jacob said. “If I have found favor in your sight, accept my gift from my hand. Now that I have seen your face and you have accepted me, it is as if I have seen the face of God. 11 Please take my present that was brought to you, for God has been generous to me and I have all I need.” When Jacob urged him, he took it.

12 Then Esau said, “Let’s be on our way! I will go in front of you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are young, and that I have to look after the sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. If they are driven too hard for even a single day, all the animals will die. 14 Let my lord go on ahead of his servant. I will travel more slowly, at the pace of the herds and the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”

15 So Esau said, “Let me leave some of my men with you.” “Why do that?” Jacob replied. “My lord has already been kind enough to me.”

16 So that same day Esau made his way back to Seir. 17 But Jacob traveled to Succoth where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called Succoth.

18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near the city. 19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. 20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.”

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome