|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
32:9-23 Times of fear should be times of prayer: whatever causes fear, should drive us to our knees, to our God. Jacob had lately seen his guards of angels, but in this distress he applied to God, not to them; he knew they were his fellow-servants, Re 22:9. There cannot be a better pattern for true prayer than this. Here is a thankful acknowledgement of former undeserved favours; a humble confession of unworthiness; a plain statement of his fears and distress; a full reference of the whole affair to the Lord, and resting all his hopes on him. The best we can say to God in prayer, is what he has said to us. Thus he made the name of the Lord his strong tower, and could not but be safe. Jacob's fear did not make him sink into despair, nor did his prayer make him presume upon God's mercy, without the use of means. God answers prayers by teaching us to order our affairs aright. To pacify Esau, Jacob sent him a present. We must not despair of reconciling ourselves to those most angry against us.
Verses 21-23. - So (literally, and) went the present over Before him: and himself lodged that night in the company. And he rose up that night, - i.e. some time before daybreak (vide ver. 24) and took his two wives, and him two women servants (Bilhah and Zilpah), and his eleven sons (Dinah being not mentioned in accordance with the common usage of the Bible), and passed over the ford - the word signifies a place of passing over. Tristram ('Land of Israel,' p. 558) speaks of the strong current reaching the horses girths at the ford crossed by himself and twenty horsemen - Jabbok. Jabbok, from bakak, to empty, to pour forth (Kalisch), or from abak, to struggle (Keil), may have been so named either from the natural appearance of the river, or, as is more probable, by prolepsis from the wrestling which took place upon its banks. It is now called the Wady Zerka, or Blue River, which flows into the Jordan, nearly opposite Shechem, and midway between the Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea. The stream is rapid, and often Completely hidden by the dense mass of oleander which fringes its banks ('Land of Israel,' p. 558). And he took them, and sent them (literally, caused them to pass) over the brook, and sent over that he had - himself remaining on the north side (Delitzsch, Keil, Kurtz, Murphy, Gerlach, Wordsworth, Alford), although, having once crossed the stream (ver. 22), it is not perfectly apparent that he recrossed, which has led some to argue that the wrestling occurred on the south of the river (Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange, Kalisch).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So went the present over before him,.... Over the brook Jabbok, after mentioned, the night before Jacob did:
and himself lodged that night in the company; or "in the camp" (c), either in the place called Mahanaim, from the hosts or crowds of angels seen there; or rather in his own camp, his family and servants; or, as Aben Ezra distinguishes, in the camp with his servants, and not in his tent, lest his brother should come and smite him; and so Nachmanides.
(c) "in castris", Vatablus, Drusius, Schmidt; "in acie sua", Junius & Tremellius; "in exercitu", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. himself lodged—not the whole night, but only a part of it.
Genesis 32:21 Parallel Commentaries
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