1. A lack of faith
  2. Praying and acting in a ministry of reconciliation

Whichever one it is for Jacob, God is still in control

(Genesis 32:1-2)
And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.


When God designs his people for great trials, he prepares them by great comforts.
While Jacob, to whom the promise belonged, had been in hard service, Esau was become a prince. (Genesis 32:3)
And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
(Genesis 32:4)
And 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:
SOJOURN, v.i. so'jurn. To dwell for a time; to dwell or live in a place as a temporary resident, or as a stranger, not considering the place as his permanent habitation. So Abram sojourned in Egypt. Genesis 12.

SO'JOURN, n. A temporary residence, as that of a traveler in a foreign land.

(1 Peter 5:5-6)
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

(Ecclesiastes 10:4)
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

(Genesis 32:5)
And 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.
(Genesis 32:6)
And 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.
(Genesis 32:7)
Then 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;
(Genesis 32:8)
And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
(Genesis 32:9)
And 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:
(Genesis 32:10)
I 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.

STAFF, n. plu. [G., a bar, a rod. The primary sense is to thrust, to shoot. See Stab.]

  1. A stick carried in the hand for support or defense by a person walking; hence, a support; that which props or upholds. Bread is the proverbially called the staff of life.
    The boy was the very staff of my age.
    Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    Psa 23.
  2. A stick or club used as a weapon.
    With forks and staves the felon they pursue.
  3. A long piece of wood; a stick; the long handle of an instrument; a pole or stick, used for many purposes.
  4. The five lines and the spaces on which music is written.
  5. An ensign of authority; a badge of office; as a constables staff.
  6. The round of a ladder.
  7. A pole erected in a ship to hoist and display a flag; called a flag-staff. There is also a jack-staff, and an ensign-staff.
  8. In military affairs, an establishment of officers in various departments, attached to an army.
    The staff includes officers not of the line, as adjutants, quarter-masters, chaplain, surgeon, _c. The staff is the medium of communication from the commander in chief to every department of an army.
  9. A stanza; a series of verses so disposed that when it is concluded, the same order begins again.
    Cowley found out that no kind of staff is proper for a heroic poem, as being all too lyrical.
  10. Stave and staves, plu. of staff. [See Stave.]

(Genesis 32:11)
Deliver 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.
MATTHEW HENRY: The best we can say to God in prayer, is what he has said to us.

(1 Samuel 17:37)
David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

(Job 6:23)
Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?


(Psalms 7:1)
Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

(Psalms 25:20)
O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

(Psalms 27:12)
Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

(Psalms 31:1)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

(Psalms 31:2)
Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.

(Psalms 31:15)
My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

(Psalms 39:8)
Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.

(Psalms 40:13)
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

(Psalms 43:1)
Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

(Psalms 51:14)
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

(Psalms 59:1)
To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him. Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

(Psalms 59:2)
Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.

(Psalms 69:14)
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

(Psalms 69:18)
Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.

(Psalms 70:1)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.

(Psalms 71:2)
Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

(Psalms 71:4)
Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

(Psalms 119:134)
Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

(Psalms 119:153)
RESH. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.

(Psalms 119:154)
Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.

(Psalms 119:170)
Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

(Psalms 140:1)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

(Psalms 142:6)
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

(Psalms 143:9)
Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.

(Psalms 144:7)
Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;

(Psalms 144:11)
Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:

(Genesis 32:12)
And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

(Genesis 32:13)
And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;
BACK A BIT: (Genesis 32:7)
Then 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;
(Genesis 32:14-15)
Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.

(Genesis 32:16)
And he delivered theminto 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.

(Genesis 32:17)
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose artthou? and whither goest thou? and whose arethese before thee?

(Genesis 32:18)
Then 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.
(Genesis 32:19)
And 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.
(Genesis 32:20)
And 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.


  1. A lack of faith
  2. Praying and acting in a ministry of reconciliation
(Genesis 32:21)
So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
(Genesis 32:22)
And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
(Genesis 32:23)
And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.

(Genesis 27:41)
And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

(Genesis 27:45)
Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?

(Genesis 32:24)
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
(Genesis 32:25)
And 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.

(Genesis 32:26)
And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

(Genesis 32:27)
And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

(Genesis 32:28)
And 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.

(Genesis 32:29)
And 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.

(Judges 13:18)
And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?

(Genesis 32:30)
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

(Exodus 33:20)
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

(Job 19:26)
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

(1 Timothy 6:16)
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

(Matthew 5:8)
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

(John 1:18)
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

(1 John 4:12)
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

(Genesis 32:31)
And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.

(2 Peter 1:19)
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

(2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(Genesis 32:32)
Therefore 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.