1Early the next morning, Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters goodbye; then he set out on his journey back home, 2while Jacob continued on his own way. Then God's messengers encountered Jacob. 3When he saw them he said, “This is God's encampment.” So he named that place Mahanaim.*
Embassy to Esau. 4Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, a Gn 36, 6 . 5with this message: “Thus shall you say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob speaks as follows: I have been staying with Laban and have been detained there until now. 6I own cattle, asses and sheep, as well as male and female servants. I am sending my lord this information in the hope of gaining your favor.’” 7When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We reached your brother Esau. He is now coming to meet you, accompanied by four hundred men.”
8Jacob was very much frightened. In his anxiety, he divided the people who were with him, as well as his flocks, herds, and camels, into two camps. 9“If Esau should attack and overwhelm one camp,” he reasoned, “the remaining camp may still survive.” 10Then he prayed, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac! You told me, O LORD, ‘Go back to the land of your birth, and I will be good to you.’ b Gn 31, 3 . 11I am unworthy of all the acts of kindness that you have loyally performed for your servant: although I crossed the Jordan here with nothing but my staff, I have now grown into two companies. 12Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau! Otherwise I fear that when he comes he will strike me down and slay the mothers and children. c Gn 28, 14; 48, 16; Ex 32, 13; Heb 11, 12 . 13You yourself said, ‘I will be very good to you, and I will make your descendants like the sands of the sea, which are too numerous to count.’ ”
14After passing the night there, Jacob selected from what he had with him the following presents for his brother Esau: 15two hundred she‐goats and twenty he‐goats; two hundred ewes and twenty rams; 16thirty milch camels and their young; forty cows and ten bulls; twenty she‐asses and ten he‐asses. 17He put these animals in charge of his servants, in separate droves, and he told the servants, “Go on ahead of me, but keep a space between one drove and the next.” 18To the servant in the lead he gave this instruction: “When my brother Esau meets you, he may ask you, ‘Whose man are you? Where are you going? To whom do these animals ahead of you belong?’ 19Then you shall answer, ‘They belong to your brother Jacob, but they have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau; and Jacob himself is right behind us.’ ” 20He gave similar instructions to the second servant and the third and to all the others who followed behind the droves, namely: “Thus and thus shall you say to Esau, when you reach him; 21and be sure to add, ‘Your servant Jacob is right behind us.’ ” For Jacob reasoned, “If I first appease him with gifts that precede me, then later, when I face him, perhaps he will forgive me.” 22So the gifts went on ahead of him, while he stayed that night in the camp.
Struggle with the Angel. 23In the course of that night, however, Jacob arose, took his two wives, with the two maidservants and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 24After he had taken them across the stream and had brought over all his possessions, 25Jacob was left there alone. Then some man* wrestled with him until the break of dawn. 26When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob's hip at its socket, so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled. d Hos 12, 4 . 27The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” 28“What is your name?” the man asked. He answered, “Jacob.” e Gn 35, 10; 1 Kgs 18, 31; 2 Kgs 17, 34 . 29Then the man said, “You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel,* because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.” 30Jacob then asked him, “Do tell me your name, please.” He answered, “Why should you want to know my name?” With that, he bade him farewell. 31Jacob named the place Peniel,* “Because I have seen God face to face,” he said, “yet my life has been spared.” f Jgs 13, 22 .
32At sunrise, as he left Penuel, Jacob limped along because of his hip. 33That is why, to this day, the Israelites do not eat the sciatic muscle that is on the hip socket, inasmuch as Jacob's hip socket was struck at the sciatic muscle.