3Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4instructing them, Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, I have lived with Laban as an alien, and stayed until now; 5and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female slaves; and I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight. 6The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him. 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies, 8thinking, If Esau comes to the one company and destroys it, then the company that is left will escape.
9And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will do you good, 10I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies. 11Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children. 12Yet you have said, I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of their number.
13So he spent that night there, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty milch camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16These he delivered into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, Pass on ahead of me, and put a space between drove and drove. 17He instructed the foremost, When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you? 18then you shall say, They belong to your servant Jacob; they are a present sent to my lord Esau; and moreover he is behind us. 19He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, You shall say the same thing to Esau when you meet him, 20and you shall say, Moreover your servant Jacob is behind us. For he thought, I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterwards I shall see his face; perhaps he will accept me. 21So the present passed on ahead of him; and he himself spent that night in the camp. 22The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had.
24Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacobs hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, Let me go, for the day is breaking. But Jacob said, I will not let you go, unless you bless me. 27So he said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob. 28Then the man said, You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed. 29Then Jacob asked him, Please tell me your name. But he said, Why is it that you ask my name? And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved. 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011