The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis

Chapter 32

Jacob's vision at Mahanaim, 1, 2. His message to Esau, 3-5. He is afraid of Esau's coming, 6-8. He prays for deliverance, 9-12. He sends a present to Esau and passes the brook Jabbok, 13-23. He wrestles with an angel at Peniel, where he is called Israel, 24-30. He limps, 31, 32.

1 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, "This is God's host." And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother, to the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 And he commanded them, saying, "Thus you shall speak to my lord Esau: 'Your servant Jacob says thus: "I have sojourned with Laban and stayed there until now. 5 And I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, men-servants, and women-servants. And I have sent to tell my lord so that I may find grace in your sight."'"

6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to your brother Esau, and he is also coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him." 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. And he divided the people who were with him, along with the flocks, herds, and camels, into two bands, 8 And said, "If Esau comes to one company and smites it, then the other company which is left will escape."

9 And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, 'Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will deal well with you,' 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which you have shown to your servant. For with my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I have become two bands. 11 Deliver me, I pray you, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, lest he should come and smite me with the mothers and the children. 12 And 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 And he lodged there that same night and took from that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother: 14 Two hundred female goats, twenty male goats, two hundred ewes, twenty rams, 15 Thirty milk camels with their colts, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten foals. 16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves, and said to his servants, "Pass over before me and put a space between drove and drove." 17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, "When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, saying, 'Whose are you? And where do you go? And whose are these before you?' 18 Then you shall say, 'They are your servant Jacob's. It is a present sent to my lord Esau. And behold he is also behind us.'" 19 And likewise he commanded the second, the third, and all who followed the droves, saying, "In this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him. 20 And say moreover, 'Behold, your servant Jacob is behind us.'" For he said, "I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face. Perhaps he will accept of me." 21 So the present went over before him, and he himself lodged that night in the company.

22 And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two women-servants, and his eleven sons and passed over the ford of the Jabbok. 23 And he took them and sent them over the brook, and sent over that which he had.

24 And Jacob was left alone. And there a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when [the man] saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the hollow of [Jacob's] thigh, and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 And [the man] said, "Let me go, for the day breaks." And [Jacob] said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." 27 And [the man] said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." 28 And he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel. For as a prince you have power with God and with men, and have prevailed." 29 And Jacob asked him and said, "Tell me, I pray you, your name." And he said, "Why is it that you ask for my name?" And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." 31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he limped upon his thigh. 32 Therefore, the children of Israel do not eat of the sinew which shrunk, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, to this day, because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrunk.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Genesis, Chapter 32[➚]


[v.25-27] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning. This was added to clarify any possible confusion with the obscure pronouns originally used. Originally, there were several of the same pronoun (e.g., he, him) used to refer to two different persons.