Genesis 32:24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but [n]Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place ]Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.” 31 Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh. 32 Therefore, to this day the sons of Israel do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the socket of the thigh, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.
God wrestles with men? Actually it doesn't say that this was God but that has always been the assumption. Some say it was "the one who became Jesus Christ." Really? The context says it was a man but since Jacob ends up naming the place Peniel which means "I have seen God face to face, the assumptions spring from this.
What's really going on here. Is God a vampire that He has to get back in the coffin before the sun rises?
The REAL explanation of this is fascinating. I wonder if any ministers in the COG will ever again say that this is Jacob wrestling with God who would become Jesus Christ?
Let me get right to the point. No sense in going on and on and having to join On-And-On-Anonymous over this story
Jacob was wrestling, in the dark, with his last seen 20 years earlier brother Esau. This is Esau , the brother deceived by Jacob out of his birthright. Good reason for a good brother on brother fight. Jacob had no clue who had accosted him, though in the text he was on the way to see Esau because Esau was coming to see him with 400 men. Jacob had just taken many of Laban's cattle and sheep and now was having to consider giving them to Esau as a token of being sorry for events 20 years previous.
However, Esau caught up with Jacob in the dark. Jacob had no clue who he was fighting in the dark. He had not seen Jacob for many years. Esau was not ready to tell Jacob who he really was as they scrapped "all night." It may have seemed like all night to Jacob. Esau wanted to be done with it by sunrise so Jacob would not recognize his long lost swindled brother.
That's the simple story. Jacob was wrestling Esau.
Esau had forgiven him as he himself had prospered anyway, but a little eye for an eye between brothers seemed appropriate to Esau and a limping Jacob was eye enough for him.
Jacob Meets Esau33 Then Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2 He put the maids and their children in front, and Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph ]last. 3 But he himself passed on ahead of them and bowed down to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 He lifted his eyes and saw the women and the children, and said, “Who are these with you?” So he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the maids came near with their children, and they bowed down. 7 Leah likewise came near with her children, and they bowed down; and afterward Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed down. 8 And he said, “What do you mean by all this company which I have met?” And he said, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother; let what you have be your own.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if now I have found favor in your sight, then take my present from my hand,for I see your face as one sees the face of God, and you have received me favorably. 11 Please take my ]gift which has been brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me and because I have plenty.” Thus he urged him and he took it.When Jacob said, "for I have seen your face as one sees the face of God," this was one of the great "nudge, nudge, wink wink"s of the Old Testament. It "dawned" on Jacob that it was Esau he was wresting with all night just hours before. It must have been an interesting moment when Jacob realized, "Oh it was you."
Jacob never wrestled with "God." Jacob never wrestled with a God that later became Jesus Christ . The idea that "no man can see the face of God and live," is intact as this story always caused some to wonder, "well Jacob did and he just got a limp out of it." Jacob looked into the face of his brother Esau who later he said , probably sheepishly, was what he thought may have been God and now sees was Esau. It had to be a great moment of realization on Jacob's part.
I would encourage all COG ministers to consider this small example of how you haven't been taught enough about the Bible or you haven't done enough homework to tell everyone how it all is. Those of you who live off prophetic peepings and mutterings had better be very careful how you teach because you do cause people to determine their life changing actions and beliefs and that can have consequences down the road. Not to mention all the good sinew meat that , "to this day" is not eaten by some because of this misunderstanding.
Dennis C. Diehl