Jacob Wrestles at Peniel
1 So Jacob went on his way and the angels of God1 met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed,2 “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.3
3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead4 to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region5 of Edom. 4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant6 Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, sheep, and male and female servants. I have sent7 this message8 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,”9 he thought,10 “then the other camp will be able to escape.”11
9 Then Jacob prayed,12 “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord, you said13 to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will make you prosper.’14 10 I am not worthy of all the faithful love15 you have shown16 your servant. With only my walking stick17 I crossed the Jordan,18 but now I have become two camps. 11 Rescue me,19 I pray, from the hand20 of my brother Esau,21 for I am afraid he will come22 and attack me, as well as the mothers with their children.23 12 But you24 said, ‘I will certainly make you prosper25 and will make26 your descendants like the sand on the seashore, too numerous to count.’”27
13 Jacob28 stayed there that night. Then he sent29 as a gift30 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 to31 his servants, who divided them into herds.32 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,33 “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong?34 Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’35 18 then you must say,36 ‘They belong37 to your servant Jacob.38 They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau.39 In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’”40
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.41 20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’”42 Jacob thought,43 “I will first appease him44 by sending a gift ahead of me.45 After that I will meet him.46 Perhaps he will accept me.”47 21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him48 while he spent that night in the camp.49
22 During the night Jacob quickly took50 his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons51 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.52 23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions.53 24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man54 wrestled55 with him until daybreak.56 25 When the man57 saw that he could not defeat Jacob,58 he struck59 the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
26 Then the man60 said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.”61 “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied,62 “unless you bless me.”63 27 The man asked him,64 “What is your name?”65 He answered, “Jacob.” 28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him,66 “but Israel,67 because you have fought68 with God and with men and have prevailed.”
29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.”69 “Why70 do you ask my name?” the man replied.71 Then he blessed72 Jacob73 there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel,74 explaining,75 “Certainly76 I have seen God face to face77 and have survived.”78
31 The sun rose79 over him as he crossed over Penuel,80 but81 he was limping because of his hip. 32 That is why to this day82 the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck83 the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.