Genesis 32:22-32

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[a] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[b] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[c] and he was limping because of his hip.
32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Genesis 32:22-32 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 32

This chapter informs us of Jacob's proceeding on in his journey, and of his being met and guarded by an host of angels, Ge 32:1,2; of his sending messengers to his brother Esau, acquainting him with his increase, and desiring his favour and good will, Ge 32:3-5, who return and report to him, that Esau was coming to him with four hundred men, which put him into a panic, and after devising ways and means for the security of himself; and those with him, at least a part, if not the whole, Ge 32:6-8; then follows a prayer of his to God, pressing his unworthiness of mercies, and his sense of them, imploring deliverance from his brother, and putting the Lord in mind of his promises, Ge 32:9-12; after which we have an account of the wise methods he took for the safety of himself and family, by sending a present to his brother, dividing those who had the charge of it into separate companies, and directing them to move at a proper distance from each other, he, his wives and children, following after, Ge 32:13-23; when they were over the brook Jabbok, he stopped, and being alone, the Son of God in an human form appeared to him, and wrestled with him, with whom Jacob prevailed, and got the blessing, and hence had the name of Israel, Ge 32:24-28; and though he could not get his name, he perceived it was a divine Person he had wrestled with, and therefore called the name of the place Penuel, Ge 32:29-31; the hollow of his thigh being touched by him with whom he wrestled, which put it out of joint, he halted as he went over Penuel, in commemoration of which the children of Israel eat not of that part of the thigh, Ge 32:31,32.

Genesis 32:22-32 In-Context

20 And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.”
21 So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Cross References 17

  • 1. S Genesis 30:24
  • 2. Numbers 21:24; Deuteronomy 2:37; Deuteronomy 3:16; Joshua 12:2
  • 3. S Genesis 26:14
  • 4. Daniel 10:8
  • 5. S Genesis 18:2
  • 6. ver 32
  • 7. Hosea 12:4
  • 8. S Genesis 25:26
  • 9. Isaiah 1:26; Isaiah 56:5; Isaiah 60:14; Isaiah 62:2,4,12; Isaiah 65:15
  • 10. S Genesis 17:5; Genesis 35:10; 1 Kings 18:31
  • 11. S Genesis 30:8
  • 12. Exodus 3:13; Exodus 6:3; Judges 13:17
  • 13. Judges 13:18
  • 14. Genesis 25:11; Genesis 35:9; Genesis 48:3
  • 15. S Genesis 16:13; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Exodus 24:11; Numbers 12:8; Judges 6:22; Judges 13:22
  • 16. Judges 8:9
  • 17. ver 25

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. "Israel" probably means "he struggles with God."
  • [b]. "Peniel" means "face of God."
  • [c]. Hebrew "Penuel" , a variant of "Peniel"
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