Genesis 32
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1  Early in the morning, Laban kissed his sons and daughters and bade them good-by; then Laban left on his journey homeward.

א  וַיַּשְׁכֵּם לָבָן בַּבֹּקֶר וַיְנַשֵּׁק לְבָנָיו וְלִבְנוֹתָיו וַיְבָרֶךְ אֶתְהֶם וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיָּשָׁב לָבָן לִמְקֹמוֹ׃

2  Yaakov went on his way, and angels of Hashem encountered him.

ב  וְיַעֲקֹב הָלַךְ לְדַרְכּוֹ וַיִּפְגְּעוּ־בוֹ מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים׃

3  When he saw them, Yaakov said, “This is Hashem’s camp.” So he named that place Mahanaim.

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָם מַחֲנֵה אֱלֹהִים זֶה וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם־הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא מַחֲנָיִם׃

4  Yaakov sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom,

ד  וַיִּשְׁלַח יַעֲקֹב מַלְאָכִים לְפָנָיו אֶל־עֵשָׂו אָחִיו אַרְצָה שֵׂעִיר שְׂדֵה אֱדוֹם׃

5  and instructed them as follows, “Thus shall you say, ‘To my lord Esau, thus says your servant Yaakov: I stayed with Laban and remained until now;

ה  וַיְצַו אֹתָם לֵאמֹר כֹּה תֹאמְרוּן לַאדֹנִי לְעֵשָׂו כֹּה אָמַר עַבְדְּךָ יַעֲקֹב עִם־לָבָן גַּרְתִּי וָאֵחַר עַד־עָתָּה׃

6  I have acquired cattle, asses, sheep, and male and female slaves; and I send this message to my lord in the hope of gaining your favor.’”

ו  וַיְהִי־לִי שׁוֹר וַחֲמוֹר צֹאן וְעֶבֶד וְשִׁפְחָה וָאֶשְׁלְחָה לְהַגִּיד לַאדֹנִי לִמְצֹא־חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ׃

7  The messengers returned to Yaakov, saying, “We came to your brother Esau; he himself is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.”

ז  וַיָּשֻׁבוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים אֶל־יַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר בָּאנוּ אֶל־אָחִיךָ אֶל־עֵשָׂו וְגַם הֹלֵךְ לִקְרָאתְךָ וְאַרְבַּע־מֵאוֹת אִישׁ עִמּוֹ׃

8  Yaakov was greatly frightened; in his anxiety, he divided the people with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps,

ח  וַיִּירָא יַעֲקֹב מְאֹד וַיֵּצֶר לוֹ וַיַּחַץ אֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ וְאֶת־הַצֹּאן וְאֶת־הַבָּקָר וְהַגְּמַלִּים לִשְׁנֵי מַחֲנוֹת׃

9  thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, the other camp may yet escape.”

va-YO-mer im ya-VO ay-SAV el ha-ma-kha-NEH ha-a-KHAT v’-hi-KA-hu v’-ha-YAH ha-ma-kha-NEH ha-nish-AR lif-lay-TAH

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר אִם־יָבוֹא עֵשָׂו אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה הָאַחַת וְהִכָּהוּ וְהָיָה הַמַּחֲנֶה הַנִּשְׁאָר לִפְלֵיטָה׃

32:9   The other camp may yet escape

Whenever the same Hebrew word is used to describe unrelated events, the Bible is drawing a deep connection between the two events. The word for ‘escape’ in this verse is playta (פליטה), the same word used by the Prophet Ovadya (1:17) “But on Mount Zion a remnant (playta) shall survive, and it shall be holy.  The house of Yaakov shall dispossess those who had dispossessed them. The house of Yaakov shall be fire, and the house of Yosef a flame, and the house of Esau shall be straw.” As he prepares for war with his brother EsauYaakov alludes to the fact that Zion is the only real refuge for the Jewish people from all future battles with the descendants of Esau.3 comments

10  Then Yaakov said, “O God of my father Avraham and God of my father Yitzchak, Hashem, who said to me, ‘Return to your native land and I will deal bountifully with you’!

י  וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֱלֹהֵי אָבִי אַבְרָהָם וֵאלֹהֵי אָבִי יִצְחָק יְהוָה הָאֹמֵר אֵלַי שׁוּב לְאַרְצְךָ וּלְמוֹלַדְתְּךָ וְאֵיטִיבָה עִמָּךְ׃

11  I am unworthy of all the kindness that You have so steadfastly shown Your servant: with my staff alone I crossed this Yarden, and now I have become two camps.

יא  קָטֹנְתִּי מִכֹּל הַחֲסָדִים וּמִכָּל־הָאֱמֶת אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ אֶת־עַבְדֶּךָ כִּי בְמַקְלִי עָבַרְתִּי אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן הַזֶּה וְעַתָּה הָיִיתִי לִשְׁנֵי מַחֲנוֹת׃

12  Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; else, I fear, he may come and strike me down, mothers and children alike.

יב  הַצִּילֵנִי נָא מִיַּד אָחִי מִיַּד עֵשָׂו כִּי־יָרֵא אָנֹכִי אֹתוֹ פֶּן־יָבוֹא וְהִכַּנִי אֵם עַל־בָּנִים׃

13  Yet You have said, ‘I will deal bountifully with you and make your offspring as the sands of the sea, which are too numerous to count.’”

יג  וְאַתָּה אָמַרְתָּ הֵיטֵב אֵיטִיב עִמָּךְ וְשַׂמְתִּי אֶת־זַרְעֲךָ כְּחוֹל הַיָּם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִסָּפֵר מֵרֹב׃

14  After spending the night there, he selected from what was at hand these presents for his brother Esau:

יד  וַיָּלֶן שָׁם בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיִּקַּח מִן־הַבָּא בְיָדוֹ מִנְחָה לְעֵשָׂו אָחִיו׃

15  200 she-goats and 20 he-goats; 200 ewes and 20 rams;

טו  עִזִּים מָאתַיִם וּתְיָשִׁים עֶשְׂרִים רְחֵלִים מָאתַיִם וְאֵילִים עֶשְׂרִים׃

16  30 milch camels with their colts; 40 cows and 10 bulls; 20 she-asses and 10 he-asses.

טז  גְּמַלִּים מֵינִיקוֹת וּבְנֵיהֶם שְׁלֹשִׁים פָּרוֹת אַרְבָּעִים וּפָרִים עֲשָׂרָה אֲתֹנֹת עֶשְׂרִים וַעְיָרִם עֲשָׂרָה׃

17  These he put in the charge of his servants, drove by drove, and he told his servants, “Go on ahead, and keep a distance between droves.”

יז  וַיִּתֵּן בְּיַד־עֲבָדָיו עֵדֶר עֵדֶר לְבַדּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־עֲבָדָיו עִבְרוּ לְפָנַי וְרֶוַח תָּשִׂימוּ בֵּין עֵדֶר וּבֵין עֵדֶר׃

18  He instructed the one in front as follows, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, ‘Whose man are you? Where are you going? And whose [animals] are these ahead of you?’

יח  וַיְצַו אֶת־הָרִאשׁוֹן לֵאמֹר כִּי יִפְגָּשְׁךָ עֵשָׂו אָחִי וִשְׁאֵלְךָ לֵאמֹר לְמִי־אַתָּה וְאָנָה תֵלֵךְ וּלְמִי אֵלֶּה לְפָנֶיךָ׃

19  you shall answer, ‘Your servant Yaakov’s; they are a gift sent to my lord Esau; and [Yaakov] himself is right behind us.’”

יט  וְאָמַרְתָּ לְעַבְדְּךָ לְיַעֲקֹב מִנְחָה הִוא שְׁלוּחָה לַאדֹנִי לְעֵשָׂו וְהִנֵּה גַם־הוּא אַחֲרֵינוּ׃

20  He gave similar instructions to the second one, and the third, and all the others who followed the droves, namely, “Thus and so shall you say to Esau when you reach him.

כ  וַיְצַו גַּם אֶת־הַשֵּׁנִי גַּם אֶת־הַשְּׁלִישִׁי גַּם אֶת־כָּל־הַהֹלְכִים אַחֲרֵי הָעֲדָרִים לֵאמֹר כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה תְּדַבְּרוּן אֶל־עֵשָׂו בְּמֹצַאֲכֶם אֹתוֹ׃

21  And you shall add, ‘And your servant Yaakov himself is right behind us.’” For he reasoned, “If I propitiate him with presents in advance, and then face him, perhaps he will show me favor.”

כא  וַאֲמַרְתֶּם גַּם הִנֵּה עַבְדְּךָ יַעֲקֹב אַחֲרֵינוּ כִּי־אָמַר אֲכַפְּרָה פָנָיו בַּמִּנְחָה הַהֹלֶכֶת לְפָנָי וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן אֶרְאֶה פָנָיו אוּלַי יִשָּׂא פָנָי׃

22  And so the gift went on ahead, while he remained in camp that night.

כב  וַתַּעֲבֹר הַמִּנְחָה עַל־פָּנָיו וְהוּא לָן בַּלַּיְלָה־הַהוּא בַּמַּחֲנֶה׃

23  That same night he arose, and taking his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven children, he crossed the ford of the Jabbok.

כג  וַיָּקָם בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא וַיִּקַּח אֶת־שְׁתֵּי נָשָׁיו וְאֶת־שְׁתֵּי שִׁפְחֹתָיו וְאֶת־אַחַד עָשָׂר יְלָדָיו וַיַּעֲבֹר אֵת מַעֲבַר יַבֹּק׃

24  After taking them across the stream, he sent across all his possessions.

כד  וַיִּקָּחֵם וַיַּעֲבִרֵם אֶת־הַנָּחַל וַיַּעֲבֵר אֶת־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ׃

25  Yaakov was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.

כה  וַיִּוָּתֵר יַעֲקֹב לְבַדּוֹ וַיֵּאָבֵק אִישׁ עִמּוֹ עַד עֲלוֹת הַשָּׁחַר׃

26  When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he wrenched Yaakov’s hip at its socket, so that the socket of his hip was strained as he wrestled with him.

כו  וַיַּרְא כִּי לֹא יָכֹל לוֹ וַיִּגַּע בְּכַף־יְרֵכוֹ וַתֵּקַע כַּף־יֶרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב בְּהֵאָבְקוֹ עִמּוֹ׃

27  Then he said, “Let me go, for dawn is breaking.” But he answered, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”

כז  וַיֹּאמֶר שַׁלְּחֵנִי כִּי עָלָה הַשָּׁחַר וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא אֲשַׁלֵּחֲךָ כִּי אִם־בֵּרַכְתָּנִי׃

28  Said the other, “What is your name?” He replied, “Yaakov.”

כח  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו מַה־שְּׁמֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב׃

29  Said he, “Your name shall no longer be Yaakov, but Yisrael, for you have striven with beings divine and human, and have prevailed.”

כט  וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יַעֲקֹב יֵאָמֵר עוֹד שִׁמְךָ כִּי אִם־יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־שָׂרִיתָ עִם־אֱלֹהִים וְעִם־אֲנָשִׁים וַתּוּכָל׃

30  Yaakov asked, “Pray tell me your name.” But he said, “You must not ask my name!” And he took leave of him there.

ל  וַיִּשְׁאַל יַעֲקֹב וַיֹּאמֶר הַגִּידָה־נָּא שְׁמֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָּה זֶּה תִּשְׁאַל לִשְׁמִי וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ שָׁם׃

31  So Yaakov named the place Peniel, meaning, “I have seen a divine being face to face, yet my life has been preserved.”

לא  וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם פְּנִיאֵל כִּי־רָאִיתִי אֱלֹהִים פָּנִים אֶל־פָּנִים וַתִּנָּצֵל נַפְשִׁי׃

32  The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping on his hip.

לב  וַיִּזְרַח־לוֹ הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר עָבַר אֶת־פְּנוּאֵל וְהוּא צֹלֵעַ עַל־יְרֵכוֹ׃

33  That is why the children of Yisrael to this day do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the socket of the hip, since Yaakov’s hip socket was wrenched at the thigh muscle.

 

לג  עַל־כֵּן לֹא־יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה אֲשֶׁר עַל־כַּף הַיָּרֵךְ עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה כִּי נָגַע בְּכַף־יֶרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב בְּגִיד הַנָּשֶׁה׃

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Genesis 31
Genesis 33

Comments ( 9 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Genesis 32:29 Jacob's name change because he has struggled with God and with men and hast prevailed. I have struggled with this name change for years as in scripture, you will see Jacob and Israel in the same sentence many times. There seems to be one future for Jacob and another future for Israel. What do the rabbis have to say on this subject? Scripture never says, to my knowledge, 'all Jacob will be saved' but it does say, 'all Israel will be saved'. Is the connection the struggle with God that places Israel in a different place?

    • Profile photo of Shira Schechter (Moderator)

      You are correct in observing that the name change from Jacob to Israel is different than other name changes in the Bible. When God changes Abram to Abraham, for example, that name change becomes permanent. The name Israel, however, does not replace the name Jacob but becomes an alternate to the name Jacob. Therefore, both names are used in the Bible. According to Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, each name reflects a different aspect of Jacob's character. The name Jacob reflects the characteristic of being passive, or as the Torah says about him, "a quiet man, dwelling in tents" (Genesis 25:27). The name Israel was given to him after he fought with the angel and won. This name reflects his capability of engaging head on in battle and emerging triumphant. The use of both names suggests that "there are times when 'Am Yisrael' (the Children of Israel) must act as Yaakov (Jacob), the ish tam (passive person), and there are times when the more active and nationalistic characteristics of Yisrael (Israel) must be employed."

  • I have heard it said, "only a ship in motion on the sea can change its course. One in port cannot". Jacob had already received his "marching orders" from YHVH. He knew the time to leave was at hand. He knew his destination–back home. Why pray? Any such prayer now could be considered a lack of faith, even insulting to HaShem. He also knew what awaited him on his journey. After all, he sent word to Esau he would be returning.
    *
    I have no doubt fear was very high on his list of emotions at the time. If not, he wouldn't be human. Even though he used necessary means to acquire YHVH's desire for him, Esau was obviously upset and desired to kill him. Knowing this, and being human, I'm certain Jacob prayed, in earnest, with the cadence of his every step. Jacob was only manifesting that ship at sea whose course can easily be changed at any time.

  • The course of Jacob's "ship" most certainly was changed in transit. Upon hearing of his brother coming to meet him, with 400 armed warriors, I'm certain Jacob's humanity (fear) awakened within him. However, he used a brilliant military action in confronting Esau. He split his one camp into two and sent them in flanking motions. He sent emissaries out to meet Esau, diversions if you will, each bearing gifts. All the while, Jacob was probably at a distant vantage point, observing the actions of his brother. Of course, the actions were successful, even most likely inspired by his prayers to YHVH.

  • I really like the connection our commentator makes with v. 9 and Obadiah 1: 18. Both references are prophetic to the last generation, of which I believe we are part. They speak of a generation beyond Jacob personally. It will be a time where the descendants of Jacob, which are now scattered in the nations, will be gathered from the four corners of the earth and returned to the Land with the Messiah at their lead, of which the Prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel speak.
    *
    When that event occurs, we will be led by Messiah to escape into the wilderness of the peoples. There, we will be hidden and cared for by Messiah, just as Jacob was guided and cared for by YHVH. That will be a grand day when brothers are once again reunited together as "one stick".

    • I would be remiss to neglect responding to the following. Our commentator says, "Jacob alludes to the fact that Zion is the only real refuge for the Jewish people from all future battles with the descendants of Esau".
      *
      The statement is true, except for one glaring point. Jacob WAS NOT a Jew. He was a Hebrew. The implication of the above statement is that only Jews will be a part of the blessing and protection of YHVH in those battles. I'm sorry Judah. You're NOT the only beneficiaries of that allusion. Don't forget about Ephraim still scattered out here in the nations. Even more than that, your brother Ephraim will be accompanied by an unfathomable number of aliens and sojourners, just like with Moshe, that also desire to "sh'ma", hear and obey the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzak, and Ya'acov.

  • There is a curious connection in Chapter 32 between Avraham and his grandson, Ya'acov. in closely reading the account of Avraham when greeted by three men, and at the age of about 99, Avraham didn't just tell his servants to go get an appropriate calf, he went out and got it himself. The language suggests the actions of a rodeo cowboy in a calf-roping event.
    *
    If that sounds impressive, then consider Jacob's encounter with a "man". This wasn't just an ordinary man. This man was none other than Elohim Himself. Verse 30 says Jacob named the place "Peniel" which means "face of Elohim". The Israel Bible says, "‘for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved". Jacob actually wrestled with Elohim, AND WON! Where are those kind of guys today?

    • Moshe writes in v. 29, "And he said: Thy name shall be called no more Yaakov, but Israel; for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed". I see two points in this statement.
      *
      First, here is one strong dude. The account says he fought with the man until day break. Here is a man that fought with Elohim. As the sun came up, Elohim just couldn't break the hold. Jacob appeared to have the tenacity of a bulldog. The only way Elohim could get away was to bless Jacob, and turn him into a "Hop Along Cassady".
      *
      Second, it is obvious Jacob wrestled with Elohim. However, there is a problem with that. The account says Jacob saw Elohim "face to face". It is written that to look upon YHVH face to face is to die. Moshe wasn't even allowed to do that. He only saw His backside. Does that mean Jacob was privileged? Maybe so. Although there is no "Aleph/Tav" in connection with the "man", I would think it more likely this Man was the person of the Messiah.

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Genesis 32

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