Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.CHAPTER 32 Jacob’s Fear of Esau and Prayer at Peniel
1. The vision at Mahanaim (Genesis 32:1-2)
2. The message to Esau (Genesis 32:3-5)
3. Esau’s coming and Jacob’s fear (Genesis 32:6-8)
4. Jacob’s prayer (Genesis 32:9-12)
5. Preparing to meet Esau (Genesis 32:13-23)
6. Jacob’s prayer at Peniel (Genesis 32:24-32)
What a welcome it was when he came near to his land, that the angels of God met him. They were like divine ambassadors sent to welcome him back to assure him of God’s presence and protection. When the remnant of Israel returns in the future to the promised land, the angelic hosts will not be absent. They have a share in the regathering and restoration of the people Israel (Matthew 24:31). But he faced the greatest trouble, his brother Esau. Fear drives him to prayer. It is a remarkable prayer: 1. He acknowledges his utter unworthiness; 2. He gives God the glory for all he has received; 3. He cries for deliverance; 4. He reminds God of the promises given at Bethel. And the Lord heard and answered his prayer. The returning remnant of Israel during the great tribulation will confess and pray in the same manner.
The night experience at Jabbok was not a dream, nor a vision, but an actual occurrence. The same person who appeared to Abraham at Mamre (chapter 18) appeared to Jacob that night. It is often stated that Jacob wrestled with the Lord who came to him that night; it is the other way, the Lord wrestled with Jacob. And He appeared in that memorable night as Jacob’s enemy and opponent. Jacob uses the same carnal weapons with which he had in the past contended against God; he meets Him in his own natural strength. That stubbornness is overcome by the Lord touching the hip-joint of Jacob, dislocating it. In this way He completely crippled his strength and now Jacob could wrestle no more. In utter weakness and helplessness he could but cling to Him and ask a blessing. “By his strength he had power with God, yea he had power over the angel and prevailed; he wept and made supplication unto Him” (Hosea 12:3-4). The weeping and supplication was his strength. His name is changed. From now on his name is “Israel”-a Prince with God. And the descendants of Jacob, at the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), will make a similar experience and have their Peniel.