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And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. Bible

“a man.” We learn from Hosea 12:4 that the “man” was an angel.

“wrestled with him.” The angel “wrestled” with Jacob. This wrestling is not described in the text, but wrestling involves grabbing, holding, and tussling back and forth. The Hebrew word for “wrestle” has the same stem as “dust,” such that “wrestling” is “getting dusty,” and the fact that the angel asked Jacob to let him go (Gen. 32:26) indicates that the Jacob and the angel had been physically wrestling.

“until the breaking of the day.” This is no doubt a literal statement; the daylight was beginning. However, statements about light and darkness sometimes involve a double entendre and indicate a mental or spiritual condition. For example, when Judas left the Last Supper to betray the Lord, the text says “and it was night” (John 13:30). This seems also to be a double entendre, for although the day was dawning physically, a new light was dawning in Jacob; the “heel grabber” was now “Israel,” the one who would recognize and submit to God’s fighting on his behalf (see commentary on the name “Israel” in Gen. 32:28).


Commentary for: Genesis 32:24