Angels of God met Jacob on his way home.
Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau. They delivered this message: “Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. I have been living with Uncle Laban, and now I own a bunch of animals and people. I have sent these messengers to inform my lore of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.”
The messengers returned and told Jacob that Esau was already on his way to meet him with an army of 400 men. This news terrified Jacob. He divided his household into two groups. “If Esau attacks one group, perhaps the other can escape.”
Then Jacob prayed for safety.
He stayed where he was for the night, then he selected gifts for Esau. 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 20 ewes, 20 rams, 30 female camels with their babies, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys. He sent each herd with a servant to meet Esau.
“I will try to appease him with gifts. When I finally see him, perhaps he will be friendly.
Overnight, Jacob took his two wives, two servant wives (new show idea for TLC) and eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River, along with his possessions.
But Jacob stayed behind and a man came to wrestle with him until dawn. When the man saw he wouldn’t beat Jacob, he touched Jacob’s hip and dislocated it. Then the man said “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
“I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
“Your name will no longer be Jacob. From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
The man wouldn’t tell Jacob his name, but he did bless him.
Jacob named the place Peniel, meaning “face of God.” “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared,” he said. Jacob limped away with his dislocated hip as the sun rose over Peniel. (Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of that wrestling match.)