|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
32:1-8 The angels of God appeared to Jacob, to encourage him with the assurance of the Divine protection. 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. Jacob sent a message, showing that he did not insist upon the birth-right. Yielding pacifies great offences, Ec 10:4. We must not refuse to speak respectfully, even to those unjustly angry with us. Jacob received an account of Esau's warlike preparations against him, and was greatly afraid. A lively sense of danger, and quickening fear arising from it, may be found united with humble confidence in God's power and promise.
Verse 1. - And Jacob (after Laban's departure) went on his way (from Galeed and Mizpah, in a southerly direction towards the Jabbok), and the angels of God - literally, the messengers of Elohim, not chance travelers who informed him of Esau's being in the vicinity (Abarbanel), but angels (cf. Psalm 104:4) - met him. Not necessarily came in an opposite direction, fuerunt ei obviam (Vulgate), but simply fell in with him, lighted on him as in Genesis 28:11, συνήντησαν αὐτῶ (LXX.), forgathered with him (Scottish); but whether this was in a waking vision (Kurtz, Keil, Inglis) or a midnight dream (Hengstenberg) is uncertain, though-the two former visions enjoyed by Jacob were at night (cf. Genesis 28:12; Genesis 31:10). Cajetan, approved by Pererius, translating בּו "in him," makes it appear that the vision was purely subjective, non fuisse visionem corporalem, sed internam: the clause interpolated by the LXX., καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰδε παρεμβολὴν θεοῦ παρμεβεβληκυῖαν, seems rather to point to an objective manifestation. The appearance of this invisible host may have been designed to celebrate Jacob's triumph over Laban, as after Christ's victory over Satan in the wilderness angels came and ministered unto him (Rupertus, Wordsworth), or to remind him that he owed his deliverance to Divine interposition (Calvin, Bush, Lange), but was more probably intended to assure him of protection in his approaching interview with Esau (Josephus, Chrysostom, Rosenmüller, Keil, Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary'), and perhaps also to give him welcome in returning home again to Canaan (Kurtz), if not in addition to suggest that his descendants would require to fight for their inheritance (Kalisch).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jacob went on his way,.... From Gilead towards the land of Canaan:
and the angels of God met him; to comfort and help him, to protect and defend him, to keep him in all his ways, that nothing hurt him, Psalm 91:11; these are ministering spirits sent forth by God to minister to his people, the heirs of salvation; and such an one Jacob was.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
32:1 And the Angel of God met him - In a visible appearance; whether in a vision by day, or in a dream by night, as when he saw them upon the ladder, is uncertain. They met him to bid him welcome to Canaan again; a more honourable reception than ever any prince had that was met by the magistrates of a city. They met him to congratulate his arrival, and his escape from Laban. They had invisibly attended him all along, but now they appeared, because he had greater dangers before him. When God designs his people for extraordinary trials, he prepares them by extraordinary comforts.
Genesis 32:1 Parallel Commentaries
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