Genesis 32

Genesis 32

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1 As Jacob and his household started on their way again, angels of God came to meet him.

2 When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, "This is God's camp!" So he named the place Mahanaim.*1

3 Jacob now sent messengers to his brother, Esau, in Edom, the land of Seir.

4 He told them, "Give this message to my master Esau: `Humble greetings from your servant Jacob! I have been living with Uncle Laban until recently,

5 and now I own oxen, donkeys, sheep, goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform you of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to us.' "

6 The messengers returned with the news that Esau was on his way to meet Jacob--with an army of four hundred men!

7 Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps.

8 He thought, "If Esau attacks one group, perhaps the other can escape."

9 Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac--O LORD, you told me to return to my land and to my relatives, and you promised to treat me kindly.

10 I am not worthy of all the faithfulness and unfailing love you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home, I owned nothing except a walking stick, and now my household fills two camps!

11 O LORD, please rescue me from my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to kill me, along with my wives and children.

12 But you promised to treat me kindly and to multiply my descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore--too many to count."

13 Jacob stayed where he was for the night and prepared a present for Esau:

14 two hundred female goats, twenty male goats, two hundred ewes, twenty rams,

15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten male donkeys.

16 He told his servants to lead them on ahead, each group of animals by itself, separated by a distance in between.

17 He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: "When you meet Esau, he will ask, `Where are you going? Whose servants are you? Whose animals are these?'

18 You should reply, `These belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present for his master Esau! He is coming right behind us.' "

19 Jacob gave the same instructions to each of the herdsmen and told them, "You are all to say the same thing to Esau when you see him.

20 And be sure to say, `Your servant Jacob is right behind us.' " Jacob's plan was to appease Esau with the presents before meeting him face to face. "Perhaps," Jacob hoped, "he will be friendly to us."

21 So the presents were sent on ahead, and Jacob spent that night in the camp.

22 But during the night Jacob got up and sent his two wives, two concubines, and eleven sons across the Jabbok River.

23 After they were on the other side, he sent over all his possessions.

24 This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until dawn.

25 When the man saw that he couldn't win the match, he struck Jacob's hip and knocked it out of joint at the socket.

26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is dawn." But Jacob panted, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27 "What is your name?" the man asked. He replied, "Jacob."

28 "Your name will no longer be Jacob," the man told him. "It is now Israel,* because you have struggled with both God and men and have won."2

29 "What is your name?" Jacob asked him. "Why do you ask?" the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.

30 Jacob named the place Peniel--"face of God"--for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared."

31 The sun rose as he left Peniel,* and he was limping because of his hip.3

32 That is why even today the people of Israel don't eat meat from near the hip, in memory of what happened that night.

Read Genesis 33


1: Mahanaim means “two camps.”

2: Israel means “God struggles” or “one who struggles with God.”

3: Hebrew Penuel, a variant name for Peniel.

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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