Genesis 32:30

Hebrew Bible

28 “No 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. 31 The sun rose over him as he crossed over Penuel, but he was limping because of his hip. 32 That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.

Numbers 14:14

Hebrew Bible

12 I will strike them with the pestilence, and I will disinherit them—I will make you into a nation that is greater and mightier than they!” 13 Moses said to the Lord, “When the Egyptians hear it—for you brought up this people by your power from among them— 14 then they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among this people, that you, Lord, are seen face to face, that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you kill this entire people at once, then the nations that have heard of your fame will say, 16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, he killed them in the wilderness.’

 Notes and References

"... There are also many instances where a cultic object is not in view, and it speaks of direct contact with the presence of Yahweh, which at times meant being “face to face” with an anthropomorphic representation. (The notion of seeing God’s face or speaking to Yahweh “face to face” is not uncommon in the Hebrew Bible, despite the tradition that no one could see the face of God and live (Exodus 33:10). For the idiom of seeing or speaking to God, see Genesis 32:30; Exodus 33:11; Deuteronomy 5:4; 34:10; Judges 6:22; Ezekiel 20:35. For direct conversation with Yahweh in human form, the most notable passage is Genesis 18-19) Seow comments that “in quite a number of biblical texts the Panim of YHWH is YHWH’s hypostatic Presence. Thus it serves the same function as Sem (Name) in the Deuteronomic theology, Kabod (Glory) in the Priestly tradition, and Shekinah in later Jewish writings ... The “Presence” with whom certain people speak “face to face” (Genesis 32:30 [compare the context of wrestling with the elohim / angel; cp. Hosea 12:4-5]; Exodus 33:11; Deuteronomy 5:4; Numbers 14:14; Judges 6:2” ..."

Heiser, Michael S. The Divine Council in Late Canonical and Non-Canonical Second Temple Jewish Literature (p. 138) University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.