From Jacob To Israel
Part 6 of 10
That very same evening, Jacob took his two wives, two maidservants, and his eleven children and crossed the Jabok River (Genesis 32:21-23) however, it's not clear why he decided to cross this river, and what his intentions were! Was this part of his original plan or was he running away! If so, it means that the 'gaps' and the message that 'Jacob is right behind us' is part of his plan to run away to save his life.
Jacob's struggle with the Angel
That evening, as Jacob was crossing the river with his family, Yahveh sent an Angel who struggled with him until the morning. (Genesis 32:24-25) Was this a "divine intervention" - to keep Jacob from running away? Was Jacob's injury a punishment for running away? This would explain Jacob's request for a blessing.
The Angel blessed Jacob by changing his name from Jacob, implying trickery, to Israel - meaning 'ability to stand up and fight' and instructed him not to run away, but rather, to encounter his brother. (Genesis 32:28) When the sun roses, Jacob looked up and saw Esau and his four hundred men. (Genesis 33:1) It was too late to run. Still fearing his brother, he tried to save at least some of his family by splitting them into groups, then, he faced Esau directly, bowing down seven times, still trying to 'appease' his brother. (Genesis 33:2-3)
To Jacob's surprise, Esau greeted him with hugs and kisses, in what appeared to be a very friendly and brotherly manner. (Genesis 33:4)
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