God marks the confrontation with Jacob, in Genesis 32, with a specific word. Years earlier, Jacob had successfully taken the birthright of his twin brother Esau, so, he is appropriately named. Jacob means taking the place of another, through scheming. In Genesis 32, Jacob finds himself truly alone. He had been preparing to meet Esau again after many years and he was afraid of Esau trying to get even. What he did not know was that Esau had already become successful in his own right, the nation of Edom would descend from him. Trying to soften Esau’s heart, Jacob had sent ahead of himself waves of gifts to meet Esau, followed by his wives and children. While Jacob waited to follow them, a man confronted him. The Bible tells us that this man was actually God, and He and Jacob physically wrestled all night. In the end, Jacob leaves with two things: a permanent limp, and a new name.
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