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Jacob’s Fear of Esau

32 Now Jacob went on his way, (A)and the angels of God met him. Then Jacob said when he saw them, “This is God’s [a]camp.” So he named that place [b](B)Mahanaim.

Then Jacob (C)sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of (D)Seir, the [c]country of (E)Edom. He also commanded them saying, “Thus you shall say to my lord, to Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, “I have sojourned with Laban and have been (F)delayed until now; (G)and I have oxen and donkeys and flocks and male and female slaves; and I have sent to tell my lord, (H)that I may find favor in your sight.”’”

Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother, to Esau, and furthermore (I)he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Then Jacob was (J)greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two camps. And he said, “If Esau comes to the one camp and strikes it, then the camp which remains will escape.”

And Jacob said, “O (K)God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Yahweh, who said to me, ‘(L)Return to your land and to your kin, and I will [d]prosper you,’ 10 [e]I am unworthy (M)of all the lovingkindness and of all the truth which You have shown to Your slave; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 (N)Deliver me, I pray, (O)from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and strike me down with the (P)mothers and the children. 12 For You said, ‘(Q)I will surely [f]prosper you and (R)make your seed as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.’”

13 So he spent the night there. Then he took from what [g]he had with him a (S)present for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 And he gave them into the hand of his servants, every flock by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on before me and put a space between flocks.” 17 And he commanded the first one in front, saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my lord, to Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.’” 19 Then he commanded also the second and the third and all those who followed the flocks, saying, “After this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him; 20 and you shall say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob also is behind us.’” For he said, “I will appease his face with the present that goes before me. Then afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will lift up my face.” 21 So the present passed on before him, while he himself spent that night in the camp.

22 And he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two servant-women and his eleven children and crossed the ford of the (T)Jabbok. 23 And he took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had.

Jacob Wrestles with God

24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man (U)wrestled with him until the [h]breaking of dawn. 25 And he saw that he had not prevailed against him, so he touched the socket of his thigh; and so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is [i]breaking.” But he said, “(V)I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 (W)Then He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but [j]Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29 Then (X)Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place [k]Peniel, for he said, “(Y)I have seen God face to face, yet my [l]life has been delivered.” 31 And the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over (Z)Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh. 32 Therefore, to this day the sons of Israel do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the socket of the thigh because he touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.


  1. Genesis 32:2 Or company
  2. Genesis 32:2 Lit Two Camps, Two Companies
  3. Genesis 32:3 Lit field
  4. Genesis 32:9 Lit do good with you
  5. Genesis 32:10 Lit I am less than all
  6. Genesis 32:12 Lit do good with
  7. Genesis 32:13 Lit had come to his hand
  8. Genesis 32:24 Lit rising
  9. Genesis 32:26 Lit rising
  10. Genesis 32:28 Lit he who strives with God, God strives
  11. Genesis 32:30 Lit the face of God
  12. Genesis 32:30 Lit soul