“Why is it that you ask what my name is?” There was an ancient custom, preserved in folklore, that to know a person’s name was to have power over him. We all have a certain sense of this when a stranger calls us by name and we get an uneasy feeling and ask, “How did you know my name?” Jesus Christ has a name that no one knows but he himself (Rev. 19:12). The angel’s answer is somewhat similar to the angel’s answer in Judges 13:18.
“And he blessed him there.” This blessing must not be underrated. This is not just a “God bless you,” or a mere verbal statement that God was somehow pleased with Jacob. In this context, the blessing had meat and meaning. It meant that Jacob would now have God’s blessing on his life and he would be successful in what he did. And indeed, although Jacob’s life continued to have difficulties, he was blessed. He lived to a very old age and yet was survived by all 12 of his sons, and lived to see his family united and prospering in Egypt.