1 Next morning Laban rose early and, after kissing his sons and daughters, he blessed them and left for home.
2 As for Jacob, he went on his way and met Angels of God. 3 On seeing them Jacob exclaimed, “This is God’s camp,” and he named the place Mahanaim. 4 And going on his way, he sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
Jacob’s struggle with God
5 Jacob sent Esau this message, “I have been staying with Laban until now. I have oxen, asses, flocks, men-servants and maidservants. I have sent to tell you this, my lord, that you may receive me kindly.”
6 The messenger returned and said to Jacob, “We went to your brother Esau and he is already coming to meet you with four hundred men.”
7 Jacob was full of fear and dis-tressed. He then divided the people with him and the flocks, the herds and camels into two camps, 8 thinking, “If Esau attacks one camp, the other will escape.”
9 And Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham and my father Isaac, Yahweh, who said to me: ‘Return to your country, to your father’s land, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of the kindness and faithfulness you have shown to me, for with only my staff I crossed the Jordan and now I have enough to form two com panies. 11 Deliver me from the hands of my brother Esau for I am afraid lest he come and kill us all, even the mothers and their children. 12 Yet it was you who said: I will be good to you and make your descendants like the sand on the seashore, so many that they cannot be counted.” 13 So Jacob spent the night there.
13 Then he took what he had with him, a present for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred she-goats, and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty camels in milk and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty she-asses and ten male donkeys. 16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me and leave a space between each herd.” 17 He instructed the leader, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? And where are you going? Who is the owner of the animals you are driving?’ 18 Then you shall say: They belong to your servant Jacob. It is a present he is sending to my lord Esau. He him self is coming along behind us!”
19 Jacob ordered the second and third servants and all who were following the herds in the same way, “That is what you shall say to Esau when you meet him: 20 Your servant Jacob is following!” For he thought to himself, “I may pacify him with the present I sent ahead, so that when I meet him face to face, he may perhaps receive me kindly.” 21 So the present went ahead of him, but he himself spent that night in the camp.
22 That same night Jacob got up and taking his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons, crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream and likewise everything he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone.
24 Then a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not get the better of Jacob, he struck him in the socket of his hip and dislocated it as he wrestled with him.
26 The man said, “Let me go, for day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you have given me your blessing.” 27 The man then said, “What is your name?” “Ja cob” was the reply. 28 He answered, “You will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have been strong-with-God as you have been with men and have prevailed.”
29 Then Jacob asked him, “What is your name?” He answered, “Why do you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Penuel, saying, “I have seen God face to face and survived.” 31 The sun rose as he passed through Penuel, limping because of his hip.
32 That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sciatic nerve which is in the hip socket because the sciatic nerve in Jacob’s hip had been touched.