32:9 Then Jacob prayed, 1 “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord, you said 2 to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will make you prosper.’ 3 32:10 I am not worthy of all the faithful love 4 you have shown 5 your servant. With only my walking stick 6 I crossed the Jordan, 7 but now I have become two camps. 32:11 Rescue me, 8 I pray, from the hand 9 of my brother Esau, 10 for I am afraid he will come 11 and attack me, as well as the mothers with their children. 12 32:12 But you 13 said, ‘I will certainly make you prosper 14 and will make 15 your descendants like the sand on the seashore, too numerous to count.’” 16
32:28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, 17 “but Israel, 18 because you have fought 19 with God and with men and have prevailed.”
1 tn Heb “said.”
2 tn Heb “the one who said.”
3 tn Heb “I will cause good” or “I will treat well [or “favorably”].” The idea includes more than prosperity, though that is its essential meaning. Here the form is subordinated to the preceding imperative and indicates purpose or result. Jacob is reminding God of his promise in the hope that God will honor his word.
5 tn Heb “you have done with.”
6 tn Heb “for with my staff.” The Hebrew word מַקֵל (maqel), traditionally translated “staff,” has been rendered as “walking stick” because a “staff” in contemporary English refers typically to the support personnel in an organization.
7 tn Heb “this Jordan.”
8 tn The imperative has the force of a prayer here, not a command.
9 tn The “hand” here is a metonymy for “power.”
10 tn Heb “from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau.”
11 tn Heb “for I am afraid of him, lest he come.”
12 sn Heb “me, [the] mother upon [the] sons.” The first person pronoun “me” probably means here “me and mine,” as the following clause suggests.
13 tn Heb “But you, you said.” One of the occurrences of the pronoun “you” has been left untranslated for stylistic reasons.
sn Some commentators have thought this final verse of the prayer redundant, but it actually follows the predominant form of a lament in which God is motivated to act. The primary motivation Jacob can offer to God is God’s promise, and so he falls back on that at the end of the prayer.
15 tn The form is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, carrying the nuance of the preceding verb forward.
16 tn Heb “which cannot be counted because of abundance.” The imperfect verbal form indicates potential here.
17 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (the man who wrestled with Jacob) has been specified for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
18 sn The name Israel is a common construction, using a verb with a theophoric element (אֵל, ’el) that usually indicates the subject of the verb. Here it means “God fights.” This name will replace the name Jacob; it will be both a promise and a call for faith. In essence, the
19 sn You have fought. The explanation of the name Israel includes a sound play. In Hebrew the verb translated “you have fought” (שָׂרִיתָ, sarita) sounds like the name “Israel” (יִשְׂרָאֵל, yisra’el ), meaning “God fights” (although some interpret the meaning as “he fights [with] God”). The name would evoke the memory of the fight and what it meant. A. Dillmann says that ever after this the name would tell the Israelites that, when Jacob contended successfully with God, he won the battle with man (Genesis, 2:279). To be successful with God meant that he had to be crippled in his own self-sufficiency (A. P. Ross, “Jacob at the Jabboq, Israel at Peniel,” BSac 142 : 51-62).