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When he saw them, Jacob said, “This is God’s camp.” He called the name of that place Mahanaim. Bible

“This is God’s camp.” This is a wonderful example of how God can work to comfort us in difficult times. Meeting the angels should have been very comforting to Jacob, who was already on edge about meeting Esau. God had told Jacob to return to the land of Israel (Gen. 31:3, 13), and then God sends a band of angels to show Jacob that He was with him and protecting him. But even after being told by God to go back to the land and even meeting God’s army, Jacob was afraid when he heard Esau was coming with 400 men (Gen. 32:6-7).

“Mahanaim.” Mahanaim means “two camps,” or “double camp.” Although the reason for the name is not specifically explained, it can be surmised. Jacob and his people had just left Laban and his people, and the two groups, who met up with each other in the hill country of Gilead (Gen. 31:25), were two hostile camps. He then moved deeper into Israel and meets a band of angels, at which point he exclaimed that he must be at the camp of God, the place where God’s army camps, and he named the place “Two Camps” because there was the angels camp and his camp.


Commentary for: Genesis 32:2