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Genesis 32:9-12

Context

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 

Genesis 32:24-26

Context
32:24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man 17  wrestled 18  with him until daybreak. 19  32:25 When the man 20  saw that he could not defeat Jacob, 21  he struck 22  the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

32:26 Then the man 23  said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” 24  “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, 25  “unless you bless me.” 26 

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.

4 tn Heb “the loving deeds and faithfulness” (see 24:27, 49).

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.

14 tn Or “will certainly deal well with you.” The infinitive absolute appears before the imperfect, underscoring God’s promise to bless. The statement is more emphatic than in v. 9.

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 sn Reflecting Jacob’s perspective at the beginning of the encounter, the narrator calls the opponent simply “a man.” Not until later in the struggle does Jacob realize his true identity.

18 sn The verb translated “wrestled” (וַיֵּאָבֵק, vayyeaveq) sounds in Hebrew like the names “Jacob” (יַעֲקֹב, yaaqov) and “Jabbok” (יַבֹּק, yabboq). In this way the narrator links the setting, the main action, and the main participant together in the mind of the reader or hearer.

19 tn Heb “until the rising of the dawn.”

20 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

21 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

22 tn Or “injured”; traditionally “touched.” The Hebrew verb translated “struck” has the primary meanings “to touch; to reach; to strike.” It can, however, carry the connotation “to harm; to molest; to injure.” God’s “touch” cripples Jacob – it would be comparable to a devastating blow.

23 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

24 tn Heb “dawn has arisen.”

25 tn Heb “and he said, ‘I will not let you go.’” The referent of the pronoun “he” (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.

26 sn Jacob wrestled with a man thinking him to be a mere man, and on that basis was equal to the task. But when it had gone on long enough, the night visitor touched Jacob and crippled him. Jacob’s request for a blessing can only mean that he now knew that his opponent was supernatural. Contrary to many allegorical interpretations of the passage that make fighting equivalent to prayer, this passage shows that Jacob stopped fighting, and then asked for a blessing.



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