Genesis 32:28

Hebrew Bible

26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, “unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” He answered, “Jacob.” 28No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, “but Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have prevailed. 29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” “Why do you ask my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, explaining, “Certainly I have seen God face to face and have survived.”

Hosea 12:4

Hebrew Bible

2 The Lord also has a covenant lawsuit against Judah; he will punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds. 3 In the womb he attacked his brother; in his manly vigor he struggled with God. 4 He struggled with an angel and prevailed; he wept and begged for his favor. He found God at Bethel, and there he spoke with him! 5 As for the Lord God Almighty, the Lord is the name by which he is remembered! 6 But you must return to your God, by maintaining love and justice and by waiting for your God to return to you.

 Notes and References

"... All night long, Jacob wrestles with a man. There is hurt and there is talk. Jacob comes away changed, believing that he has faced a divine being. Details aside, that is pretty much the bones of it. However, these bones have a long history of being fleshed and re-fleshed. For over two millennia, this ancient biblical story has accumulated numerous variations, through discussions and debates, depictions and theories. Even in its original form - or, at least how it appears in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament - this is a story on the move. Jacob’s struggle with a man (vv. 24-28), whom he then identifies as God (v. 30), looks both backwards and forwards. It looks backwards to what scholars following James Frazer (1854-1941) argue is an earlier folktale of a hero struggling with a river-spirit in order to gain some power or passage across the Jabbok. It looks forwards, most immediately, to another biblical appearance in Hosea 12:4, where the prophet asserts that Jacob “strove with the angel.” ..."

Meyer, Mike Jacob Wrestles the man-God: An Embodied Reading of Genesis 32:24-32 (pp. 1-2) University of Auckland, 2021

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