Jacob sent messengers1 ahead of him to his brother Esau2 in the land of Seir,3 the country of Edom.4
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He instructed them: "This is what you are to say to my master5 Esau: 'Your servant6 Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban7 and have remained there till now.
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I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants.8 Now I am sending this message to my lord,9 that I may find favor in your eyes.10' "
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When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, "We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him."11
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In great fear12 and distress13 Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,14 and the flocks and herds and camels as well.
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He thought, "If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape."
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Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my father Abraham,15 God of my father Isaac,16 O LORD, who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,'17
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I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness18 you have shown your servant. I had only my staff19 when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups.20
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Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid21 he will come and attack me,22 and also the mothers with their children.23
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But you have said, 'I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand24 of the sea, which cannot be counted.25' "
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He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift26 for his brother Esau:
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two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,27
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thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.28
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He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, "Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds."29
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He instructed the one in the lead: "When my brother Esau meets you and asks, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?'
then you are to say, 'They belong to your servant30 Jacob. They are a gift31 sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.' "
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He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: "You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.
And be sure to say, 'Your servant32 Jacob is coming behind us.' " For he thought, "I will pacify him with these gifts33 I am sending on ahead;34 later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me."35
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So Jacob's gifts36 went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.
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That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons37 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.38
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After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.39
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So Jacob was left alone,40 and a man41 wrestled with him till daybreak.
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When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip42 so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
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Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."43
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The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob,"44 he answered.
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Then the man said, "Your name45 will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,46 because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."47
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Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."48 But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?"49 Then he blessed50 him there.
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So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face,51 and yet my life was spared."
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The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,52 and he was limping because of his hip.
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Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip,53 because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.
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