32Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; 2and when Jacob saw them he said, This is Gods camp! So he called that place Mahanaim.*
3 Jacob 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 favour in your sight.
6 The 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 one company and destroys it, then the company that is left will escape.
9 And 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.
13 So 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, each 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.
22 The 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. 32Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.
33Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said, Who are these with you? Jacob said, The children whom God has graciously given your servant. 6Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down; 7Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down; and finally Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8Esau said, What do you mean by all this company that I met? Jacob answered, To find favour with my lord. 9But Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself. 10Jacob said, No, please; if I find favour with you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of Godsince you have received me with such favour. 11Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have everything I want. So he urged him, and he took it.
12 Then Esau said, Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you. 13But Jacob said to him, My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me; and if they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die. 14Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.
15 So Esau said, Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me. But he said, Why should my lord be so kind to me? 16So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17But Jacob journeyed to Succoth,* and built himself a house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore the place is called Succoth.
18 Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram; and he camped before the city. 19And from the sons of Hamor, Shechems father, he bought for one hundred pieces of money* the plot of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.*
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 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