; heel catcher
(that is, supplanter); Jaakob
, the Israelitish patriarch.
A primitive root; to jut
over or exceed
; by implication to excel
; (intransitively) to remain
or be left
; causatively to leave
, cause to abound
Stem - Niphal (See H8833
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811
Count - 1602
; properly separation
; by implication a part
of the body, branch
of a tree, bar
for carrying; figuratively chief
of a city; especially (with prepositional prefix) as adverb, apart
and there wrestled
A primitive root; probably to float
away (as vapor), but used only as denominative from H0080
; to bedust
, that is, grapple
Stem - Niphal (See H8833
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811
Count - 1602
Contracted for H0582
(or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant
); a man
as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
; adverb or preposition, with
(that is, in conjunction
with), in varied applications; specifically equally with
; often with prepositional prefix (and then usually unrepresented in English).
Properly the same as H5703
(used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far
, or much
, whether of space (even unto
) or time (during
) or degree (equally with
A primitive root; to ascend
, intransitively (be high
) or active (mount
); used in a great variety of senses, primary and secondary, literally and figuratively.
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812
Count - 4888
of the day.
(literally, figuratively or adverbially).
_ _ There wrestled a man with him This mysterious person is called an angel (Hosea 12:4) and God (Genesis 32:28, Genesis 32:30; Hosea 12:5); and the opinion that is most supported is that he was “the angel of the covenant,” who, in a visible form, appeared to animate the mind and sympathize with the distress of his pious servant. It has been a subject of much discussion whether the incident described was an actual conflict or a visionary scene. Many think that as the narrative makes no mention in express terms either of sleep, or dream, or vision, it was a real transaction; while others, considering the bodily exhaustion of Jacob, his great mental anxiety, the kind of aid he supplicated, as well as the analogy of former manifestations with which he was favored such as the ladder have concluded that it was a vision [Calvin, Hessenberg, Hengstenberg]. The moral design of it was to revive the sinking spirit of the patriarch and to arm him with confidence in God, while anticipating the dreaded scenes of the morrow. To us it is highly instructive; showing that, to encourage us valiantly to meet the trials to which we are subjected, God allows us to ascribe to the efficacy of our faith and prayers, the victories which His grace alone enables us to make.
_ _ We have here the remarkable story of Jacob's wrestling with the angel and prevailing, which is referred to, Hosea 12:4. Very early in the morning, a great while before day, Jacob had helped his wives and his children over the river, and he desired to be private, and was left alone, that he might again more fully spread his cares and fears before God in prayer. Note, We ought to continue instant in prayer, always to pray and not to faint: frequency and importunity in prayer prepare us for mercy. While Jacob was earnest in prayer, stirring up himself to take hold on God, an angel takes hold on him. Some think this was a created angel, the angel of his presence (Isaiah 63:9), one of those that always behold the face of our Father and attend on the shechinah, or the divine Majesty, which probably Jacob had also in view. Others think it was Michael our prince, the eternal Word, the angel of the covenant, who is indeed the Lord of the angels, who often appeared in a human shape before he assumed the human nature for a perpetuity; whichsoever it was, we are sure God's name was in him, Exodus 23:21. Observe,
_ _ I. How Jacob and this angel engaged, Genesis 32:24. It was a single combat, hand to hand; they had neither of them any seconds. Jacob was now full of care and fear about the interview he expected, next day, with his brother, and, to aggravate the trial, God himself seemed to come forth against him as an enemy, to oppose his entrance into the land of promise, and to dispute the pass with him, not suffering him to follow his wives and children whom he had sent before. Note, Strong believers must expect divers temptations, and strong ones. We are told by the prophet (Hosea 12:4) how Jacob wrestled: he wept, and made supplication; prayers and tears were his weapons. It was not only a corporal, but a spiritual, wrestling, by the vigorous actings of faith and holy desire; and thus all the spiritual seed of Jacob, that pray in praying, still wrestle with God.
_ _ II. What was the success of the engagement. 1. Jacob kept his ground; though the struggle continued long, the angel, prevailed not against him (Genesis 32:25), that is, this discouragement did not shake his faith, nor silence his prayer. It was not in his own strength that he wrestled, nor by his own strength that he prevailed, but in and by strength derived from Heaven. That of Job illustrates this (Job 23:6), Will he plead against me with his great power? No (had the angel done so, Jacob had been crushed), but he will put strength in me; and by that strength Jacob had power over the angel, Hosea 12:4. Note, We cannot prevail with God but in his own strength. It is his Spirit that intercedes in us, and helps our infirmities, Romans 8:26. 2. The angel put out Jacob's thigh, to show him what he could do, and that it was God he was wrestling with, for no man could disjoint his thigh with a touch. Some think that Jacob felt little or no pain from this hurt; it is probable that he did not, for he did not so much as halt till the struggle was over (Genesis 32:31), and, if so, this was an evidence of a divine touch indeed, which wounded and healed at the same time. Jacob prevailed, and yet had his thigh put out. Note, Wrestling believers may obtain glorious victories, and yet come off with broken bones; for when they are weak then are they strong, weak in themselves, but strong in Christ, 2 Corinthians 12:10. Our honours and comforts in this world have their alloys. 3. The angel, by an admirable condescension, mildly requests Jacob to let him go (Genesis 32:26), as God said to Moses (Exodus 32:10), Let me alone. Could not a mighty angel get clear of Jacob's grapples? He could; but thus he would put an honour on Jacob's faith and prayer, and further try his constancy. The king is held in the galleries (Song of Songs 7:5); I held him (says the spouse) and would not let him go, Song of Songs 3:4. The reason the angel gives why he would be gone is because the day breaks, and therefore he would not any longer detain Jacob, who had business to do, a journey to go, a family to look after, which, especially in this critical juncture, called for his attendance. Note, Every thing is beautiful in its season; even the business of religion, and the comforts of communion with God, must sometimes give way to the necessary affairs of this life: God will have mercy, and not sacrifice. 4. Jacob persists in his holy importunity: I will not let thee go, except thou bless me; whatever becomes of his family and journey, he resolves to make the best he can of this opportunity, and not to lose the advantage of his victory: he does not mean to wrestle all night for nothing, but humbly resolves he will have a blessing, and rather shall all his bones be put out of joint than he will go away without one. The credit of a conquest will do him no good without the comfort of a blessing. In begging this blessing he owns his inferiority, though he seemed to have the upper hand in the struggle; for the less is blessed of the better. Note, Those that would have the blessing of Christ must be in good earnest, and be importunate for it, as those that resolve to have no denial. It is the fervent prayer that is the effectual prayer. 5. The angel puts a perpetual mark of honour upon him, by changing his name (Genesis 32:27, Genesis 32:28): “Thou art a brave combatant” (says the angel), “a man of heroic resolution; what is thy name?” “Jacob,” says he, a supplanter; so Jacob signifies: “Well,” says the angel, “be thou never so called any more; henceforth thou shalt be celebrated, not for craft and artful management, but for true valour; thou shalt be called Israel, a prince with God, a name greater than those of the great men of the earth.” He is a prince indeed that is a prince with God, and those are truly honourable that are mighty in prayer, Israels, Israelites indeed. Jacob is here knighted in the field, as it were, and has a title of honour given him by him that is the fountain of honour, which will remain, to his praise, to the end of time. Yet this was not all; having power with God, he shall have power with men too. Having prevailed for a blessing from heaven, he shall, no doubt, prevail for Esau's favour. Note, Whatever enemies we have, if we can but make God our friend, we are well off; those that by faith have power on earth as they have occasion for. 6. He dismisses him with a blessing, Genesis 32:29. Jacob desired to know the angel's name, that he might, according to his capacity, do him honour, Judges 13:17. But that request was denied, that he might not be too proud of his conquest, nor think he had the angel at such an advantage as to oblige him to what he pleased. No, “Wherefore dost thou ask after my name? What good will it do thee to know that?” The discovery of that was reserved for his death-bed, upon which he was taught to call him Shiloh. But, instead of telling him his name, he gave him his blessing, which was the thing he wrestled for: He blessed him there, repeated and ratified the blessing formerly given him. Note, Spiritual blessings, which secure our felicity, are better and much more desirable than fine notions which satisfy our curiosity. An interest in the angel's blessing is better than an acquaintance with his name. The tree of life is better than the tree of knowledge. Thus Jacob carried his point; a blessing he wrestled for, and a blessing he had; nor did ever any of his praying seed seek in vain. See how wonderfully God condescends to countenance and crown importunate prayer: those that resolve, though God slay them, yet to trust in him, will, at length, be more than conquerors. 7. Jacob gives a new name to the place; he calls it Peniel, the face of God (Genesis 32:30), because there he had seen the appearance of God, and obtained the favour of God. Observe, The name he gives to the place preserves and perpetuates, not the honour of his valour or victory, but only the honour of God's free grace. He does not say, “In this place I wrestled with God, and prevailed;” but, “In this place I saw God face to face, and my life was preserved;” not, “It was my praise that I came off a conqueror, but it was God's mercy that I escaped with my life.” Note, It becomes those whom God honours to take shame to themselves, and to admire the condescensions of his grace to them. Thus David did, after God had sent him a gracious message (2 Samuel 7:18), Who am I, O Lord God? 8. The memorandum Jacob carried of this in his bones: He halted on his thigh (Genesis 32:31); some think he continued to do so to his dying-day; and, if he did, he had no reason to complain, for the honour and comfort he obtained by this struggle were abundantly sufficient to countervail the damage, though he went limping to his grave. He had no reason to look upon it as his reproach thus to bear in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17); yet it might serve, like Paul's thorn in the flesh, to keep him from being lifted up with the abundance of the revelations. Notice is taken of the sun's rising upon him when he passed over Penuel; for it is sunrise with that soul that has communion with God. The inspired penman mentions a traditional custom which the seed of Jacob had, in remembrance of this, never to eat of that sinew, or muscle, in any beast, by which the hip-bone is fixed in its cup: thus they preserved the memorial of this story, and gave occasion to their children to enquire concerning it; they also did honour to the memory of Jacob. And this use we may still make of it, to acknowledge the mercy of God, and our obligations to Jesus Christ, that we may now keep up our communion with God, in faith, hope, and love, without peril either of life or limb.
Very early in the morning, a great while before day. Jacob had helped his wives and children over the river, and he desired to be private, and was left alone, that he might again spread his cares and fears before God in prayer. While Jacob was earnest in prayer, stirring up himself to take hold on God, an angel takes hold on him. Some think this was a created angel, one of those that always behold the face of our Father. Rather it was the angel of the covenant, who often appeared in a human shape, before he assumed the human nature. We are told by the prophet, Hosea 12:4, how Jacob wrestled, he wept and made supplication; prayers and tears were his weapons. It was not only a corporal, but a spiritual wrestling by vigorous faith and holy desire.
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a (h) man with him until the breaking of the day.
(h) That is, God in the form of a man.
Genesis 30:8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.
Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. ... And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.
Romans 15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me;
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Colossians 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and [for] them at Laodicea, and [for] as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is [one] of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Genesis 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Genesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Genesis 48:16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
Isaiah 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Hosea 12:3-5 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: ... Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD [is] his memorial.
1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven.
- breaking of the day:
- Heb. ascending of the morning,
Exodus 14:27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
Song of Songs 2:17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
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