Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 32

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Chosen People (c 23-50)
Theme: The Story of Jacob (c 29-36)
Message: Jacob becomes Israel (v 1-32)

Genesis 32 Commentary

(32:1) Jacob meets with Angels - Why did angels of God meet Jacob? In the Bible, angels often intervened in human situations.Although angels often came in human form, these angels must have looked different, for Jacob recognized them at once. The reason these angels met Jacob is unclear, but because of their visit, Jacob knew God was with him.

(32:3) Jacob to meet with Essau - The last time Jacob had seen Esau,  his brother was ready to kill him for stealing the family blessing (25:29- 27:42). Esau was so angry he had vowed to kill Jacob as soon as their father Isaac died (27:41). Fearing their reunion, Jacob sent a messenger ahead with gifts. He hoped to buy Esau's favor.

(32-9-12) How would you feel if you knew you were about to meet the person you had cheated out of his most precious possession? Jacob had taken Esau's birthright (25:33) and his blessing (27:27-40). Now he was about to meet his brother for the first time in 20 years, and he was frantic with fear. He collected his thoughts, however, and decided to pray. When we face a difficult conflict, we can run about frantically or we can pause to pray. Which will be more effective.

(32:26) Jacob Wrestle with an Angel -  Jacob continued this wrestling match all night just to be blessed. He was persistent. God encourages persistence in all areas of our lives, including the spiritual. Where in your spiritual life do you need more persistence? Strong character results from struggling under tough conditions.

(32:27-29) God gave many Bible people new names (Abraham, Sarah, Peter). Their new names were a symbol of how God had changed their lives. Here we see how Jacob's character had changed. Jacob, the ambitious deceiver, had now become Israel, the prince who struggles with God and prevails.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Wrestling with God

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 32, and in today's text, we see Jacob having to face Esau after 20 years and separation from his brother. Jacob is afraid because of Esau's threat to kill Jacob for the deception involved in the birthright and blessing of Esau from their father, Abraham. Facing adversity, Jacob decides to pray instead of following his old ways of trickery to get His way. Jacob won't give up, wrestling with an angel, symbolizing persistence in having God's will come to fruition. Jacob had truly changed to seek God's Will, and God rewarded this change with a new name Israel which means "wrestles with God and a prince of God" To make a personal application, we see the importance of seeking God and his will for our lives in prayer. In applying, we, too, need to wrestle with God, seeking His face in our lives. If we do - others will rename us as "Christians" because we are doing the will of our Heavenly Father, and when they see us, they see Christ living through us. How about you? Do others call you a "Christian" because they see Christ in you? The truth is that there are not any "Secret Agent Christians" We must seek His face through prayer. Then - do what He instructs us to do. We, too, need to wrestle with God and understand we have these two natures in us and that we need to let God have his way and will in our lives.


Genesis 32

Genesis 32

 1And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.

 2And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

 3And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.

 4And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:

 5And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.

 6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.

 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;

 8And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.

 9And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:

 10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

 11Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.

 12And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

 13And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;

 14Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,

 15Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.

 16And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.

 17And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?

 18Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.

 19And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.

 20And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.

 21So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.

 22And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.

 23And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.

 24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

 25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

 26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

 27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

 28And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

 29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

 30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

 31And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.

 32Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.