Hosea 12:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there--

New Living Translation
Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him--

English Standard Version
He strove with the angel and prevailed; he wept and sought his favor. He met God at Bethel, and there God spoke with us—

New American Standard Bible
Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. He found Him at Bethel And there He spoke with us,

King James Bible
Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jacob struggled with the Angel and prevailed; he wept and sought His favor. He found him at Bethel, and there He spoke with him.

International Standard Version
He even fought the angel and won; he cried and prayed to him. Then at Bethel he found him, and there he spoke with us—

NET Bible
He struggled with an angel and prevailed; he wept and begged for his favor. He found God at Bethel, and there he spoke with him!

New Heart English Bible
Indeed, he struggled with the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made petition to him. He found him at Bethel, and there he spoke with him,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He struggled with the Messenger and won. Jacob cried and pleaded with him. Jacob found him at Bethel, and he talked with him there.

JPS Tanakh 1917
So he strove with an angel, and prevailed; He wept, and made supplication unto him; At Beth-el he would find him, And there he would speak with us;

New American Standard 1977
Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed;
            He wept and sought His favor.
            He found Him at Bethel,
            And there He spoke with us,

Jubilee Bible 2000
yea, he dominated the angel and prevailed; he wept and made supplication unto him; he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us;

King James 2000 Bible
Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us;

American King James Version
Yes, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication to him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us;

American Standard Version
yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him at Beth-el, and there he spake with us,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he prevailed over the angel, and was strengthened: he wept, and made supplication to him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us.

Darby Bible Translation
Yea, he wrestled with the Angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us,

English Revised Version
yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him at Beth-el, and there he spake with us;

Webster's Bible Translation
Yes, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication to him: he found him in Beth-el, and there he spoke with us;

World English Bible
Indeed, he struggled with the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication to him. He found him at Bethel, and there he spoke with us,

Young's Literal Translation
Yea, he is a prince unto the Messenger, And he overcometh by weeping, And he maketh supplication to Him, At Bethel He doth find him, And there He doth speak with us,
Study Bible
A Reproof of Ephraim, Judah, Jacob
3In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And in his maturity he contended with God. 4Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. He found Him at Bethel And there He spoke with us, 5Even the LORD, the God of hosts, The LORD is His name.…
Cross References
Genesis 28:13
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.

Genesis 32:24
Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

Genesis 32:26
Then he said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking." But he said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

Genesis 35:10
God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name." Thus He called him Israel.
Treasury of Scripture

Yes, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication to him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us;

angel.

Genesis 32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray you, your name. And …

Genesis 48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham …

Exodus 3:2-5 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out …

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence …

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before …

Acts 7:30-35 And when forty years were expired…

made.

Genesis 32:9-12 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father …

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh…

found.

Genesis 28:11-19 And he lighted on a certain place, and tarried there all night, because …

Genesis 35:9 And God appeared to Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.

spake.

Psalm 66:6 He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: …

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with …

Hebrews 6:13-18 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no …

Verse 4. - Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him. As Jacob's position at birth symbolized the pre-eminence which God's electing love had in store for him, and as in his manhood's prime he put forth such earnestness and energy to obtain the blessing, so Israel, by the example of their forefather, are encouraged to like strenuous exertion with like certainty of success. The example is more fully described and dwelt on in this verse for the purpose of more powerfully stimulating the Israelites of the prophet's day to imitate it. From this verse we learn the following facts:

(1) the nature of the conflict as of a spiritual kind;

(2) the visible embodiment of the invisible deity, so that the angel is not an entire identification with God in the preceding verse, but the organ of Divine manifestation; and

(3) the weapons used, or the means employed, namely, weeping and supplication, in a word, the instrumentality of prayer; and

(4) the true way of prevailing with God, which is real humility and sin-core supplication, not stiff, necked and defiant resistance to the Divine will and word, like that of Israel at the period in question. This verse "is," according to Aben Ezra, "an explanation how he put forth prowess with God." Kimchi regards it as "the repetition of the same thought for the put. pose of intensifying, for it was a great wonder for a man to wrestle with an angel." כָבָה

(1) commences a new clause; while

(2) the punctuation of it as a participle, בֹבֶח, and the connection of it with "prevailed," leaves the following clause isolated without any improvement of the sense. The rendering in this latter case would be "prevailed weeping," a somewhat awkward expression. But

(3) there is an exposition adopted by the Hebrew expositors and advocated by Hitzig, which appears to us to do violence to the true signification of the passage. Thus Rashi: "And the angel besought him, ' Let me now go. The end of the Holy and Blessed One is that he may reveal himself to thee in Bethel, and there shalt thou find him.'" Similarly Aben Ezra: "He (the angel) almost wept and supplicated him to let him go. And the signification of עי הש, Genesis 32:26, is: 'before the light strengthened, that Jacob might not be alarmed.'" Also Kimchi: "This is not mentioned in the Thorah; and the explanation is as if the angel wept and supplicated Jacob to let him go, as he said, 'Let me go, for' the day breaketh.'" Such exposition introduces into the text an intolerable anthropopathism. Jerome long before had given the correct explanation thus: "He wept and asked him, when he said, 'I will not let thee go, unless thou shalt have blessed me!' For the wrestling was that which he engaged in with the angel, holding him by prayers that he might bless him, not by the strength of work. If any one weeps and exercises penitence, and supplicates the Lord, he shall find him in the grief of his heart, and when he has invoked him, he shall hear him answering." He found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us. The prophet here records the result of Jacob's faithful wrestling. Them in Bethel, the very place where years after idolatry and immorality found a home, God had manifested himself to the patriarch. The fruit of Jacob's victory was that

(1) he found God at Bethel; not that

(2) God found him, as some explain it.

The historical basis of the prophet's statement is not Genesis 28:11, which narrates the appearance of God to the patriarch as he fled into Mesopotamia, but Genesis 35:9, when the new name of Israel, "prince with God," was confirmed to him, and the promise of all the families of the earth being blessed through his seed renewed. Of the two visions at Bethel the second is the one here referred to, as it comes after that at Penuel, the scene of the patriarch's wrestling with the angel; while the accompanying circumstances keep us to the right understanding of the expression, "He found him in Bethel," which we are considering. Jacob on that memorable occasion prepared himself and household for seeking God by putting away the strange gods that were among them, by ceremonial purifications, and putting on change of garments. Thus, seeking with holy purpose and prepared heart, he found the Lord at Bethel, and enjoyed heavenly fellowship with him there. Aben Ezra favors

(2) making Jehovah, not Jacob, the subject; thus: "As he was returning to his father, the angel found him there; and because the angel appeared to him twice in Bethel, behold the place is the gate of heaven; therefore I and Amos have prophesied about Jeroboam at Bethel, which is the place of his kingdom." Kimchi approves of the exposition of the angel finding Jacob, but mentions a modification of that of Jacob finding the angel; thus: "The angel found him in Bethel and also blessed him there; and the word ימי, equivalent to 'found him,' is the future instead of the past. But my lord my father, of blessed memory, explains it according to its literal import, that the angel said to him (when wrestling with him) that he would find him in Bethel The blessed God announced to him the good tidings that he would there manifest himself to him and call his name Israel." The last clause of this verse states the additional fact that God spoke

(1) through the patriarch to his posterity. "Let it be observed," says Lackemacher, as quoted by Keil, "that God is said to have talked at Bethel, not with Jacob only, but with all his posterity. That is to say, the things which are here said to have been done by Jacob, and to have happened to him, had not regard to himself only, but to all the race that sprang from him, and were signs of the good fortune which they either would or certainly might enjoy." Though the suffix of ימי, in the Massoretic text is well attested, yet, instead of

(a) the third person, Ewald reads it

(b) as the first plural, and consequently so renders the word that the clause implies, not a narrative of the past, but a prophecy of the future; thus:

(2) "He will find at Bethel, and there he will speak with us." The. Septuagint, again, with other Greek versions, as also the Syriac and Arabic, read in the last part of the clause עִמּו, equivalent "to him," instead of עִמָּנוּ, equivalent to "us," which identifies the patriarch with his posterity. The translation by which a relative is understood before immanu, equivalent to "Them he spoke to Jacob the things that are with us," or "happened us," or "pertained to us," is neither necessary nor in accordance with good taste. Kimchi understands the verb in the present tense that is, God speaks

(a) with us - Hosea and the other prophets, to reprove the idolatry rampant in Bethel;

(b) rather with the prophet and the people descended from the patriarch. On the words, "there he spake with us," Kimchi comments as follows: "These are the words of the prophet. He says, ' There in Bethel he (Jehovah) speaks with me and with Amos to reprove Israel for the worship of the calf in Bethel,' as Amos (Amos 5:4) says, 'Seek ye me, and ye shall live: but seek not Bethel.' But my lord my father, of blessed memory, explained 'And there he will speak with us' as the words of the angel. He (the angel) says to him (Jacob), 'The blessed God will find us in Bethel, and there he will speak

(c) with us, with me and with thee, in order to confirm to thee my blessing, and to call thy name Israel, saying, For as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.'" But others, as Saadia Gaon, explain the word, not in the sense of "with us," but

(d) "on account of us," or "about us." Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed,.... This is repeated in different words, not only for the confirmation of it, it being a very extraordinary thing, and difficult of belief; but to direct to the history here referred to, where the person Jacob prevailed over is called a man, and here the angel; and so Josephus (u) calls him a divine Person; not a created angel, not Michael, as the Rabbins say, unless the Messiah is meant by him; nor Jacob's guardian angel, as Kimchi, every man being thought by some to have one; and much less Esau's evil angel, that was against Jacob, as Jarchi and Abarbinel; for of him he would never have sought nor expected a blessing; but an uncreated Angel, the Son of God, the same that went before the Israelites in the wilderness, and that redeemed Jacob from all evil, Genesis 48:16; called an Angel, being so not by nature, for he is superior to angels in both his natures, divine and human; but by office, being sent to reveal the will of God, and to do the work of God in the redemption and salvation of men; the same that is called the Angel of the great council in the Greek version of Isaiah 9:6; and the Angel of God's presence, Isaiah 63:9; and the Angel or messenger of the covenant, Malachi 3:1; the phrases used denote, as before, the power and prevalence Jacob had with this divine Person in prayer; whereby he obtained the blessing of him, even deliverance from his brother Esau, as well as others respecting him and his posterity;

he wept, and made supplication unto him; not the angel, entreating Jacob to let him go, as Jarchi and Kimchi, and so some Christian interpreters; who think that an angel in human form may be said to weep, as well as to eat and drink; and the rather, since this angel was not the conqueror, but the conquered; and since Christ, in the days of his flesh, both prayed and wept, and shed tears; but the case here is different; and though he was prevailed over, it was through his own condescension and goodness: but rather Jacob is meant, as Abarbinel and others; who wept not on account of the angel's touching his thigh, and the pain that might put him to; for he was of a more heroic spirit than to weep for that, who had endured so much hardship in Laban's service, in heat and cold; and besides, notwithstanding this, he kept wrestling with him, and afterwards walked, though haltingly: but he wept either because he could not get out the name of the person he wrestled with; or rather the tears he shed were for the blessing he sought of him; for it is joined with his making supplication, and is expressive of the humble, yet ardent, affectionate, fervent, and importunate request he made to obtain it; and here we have another proof of the deity of Christ, in that supplication was made to him, and he is here represented as the object of that part of religious worship, prayer, as he often is in the New Testament. This circumstance is not expressed in Genesis 32:1, though it may be gathered from what is there said; however, the prophet had it by divine inspiration; and the truth of it is not to be doubted of, being not at all inconsistent with, but quite agreeable to, that history;

he found him at Bethel; either the angel found Jacob in Bethel, as he did more than once, both before and after this time, Genesis 28:12; it is good to be in Bethel, in the house of God; happy are those that dwell there, and are found there living and dying, doing the will and work of God there: or rather Jacob found God or the angel in Bethel; God is to be found in his own house, there he comes and blesses with his gracious presence; here Christ the Angel of his presence is; here he meets with his people, and manifests himself unto them. There is in the words a tacit reflection on Israel, or the ten tribes, that bore the name of Jacob; the patriarch found God in Bethel, Christ the Angel of the Lord; but now, instead of him, there was a calf set up in this place, Israel worshipped; and therefore it was called Bethaven, the house of an idol, or iniquity, instead of Bethel, the house of God;

and there he spake with us; not with Esau and his angel, concerning Isaac's blessing of Jacob, as Jarchi; nor with Jacob and his angel, as the father of Kimchi; nor with the prophet, and with Amos, to reprove Israel there for the worship of the calves, as Kimchi himself; but with all the Israelites, of whom the prophet was one; who were then in the loins of Jacob, when he conversed with God, and God with him, at Bethel: or, as Saadiah interprets it, "for us" for our sakes, on our account; or "concerning us"; concerning the multiplication of Jacob's posterity, and the giving the land of Canaan to them, as the Lord did at both times he appeared to Jacob in Bethel; see Genesis 28:14; and it is in the house of God, where Christ is as a son, that he speaks with and to his people, even in his word and ordinances there.

(u) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 20. sect. 2.) 4. the angel—the uncreated Angel of the Covenant, as God the Son appears in the Old Testament (Mal 3:1).

made supplication—Ge 32:26: "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."

he found him—The angel found Jacob, when he was fleeing from Esau into Syria: the Lord appearing to him "in Beth-el" (Ge 28:11-19; 35:1). What a sad contrast, that in this same Beth-el now Israel worships the golden calves!

there he spake with us—"with us," as being in the loins of our progenitor Jacob (compare Ps 66:6, "They … we;" Heb 7:9, 10). What God there spoke to Jacob appertains to us. God's promises to him belong to all his posterity who follow in the steps of his prayerful faith.12:1-6 Ephraim feeds himself with vain hopes of help from man, when he is at enmity with God. The Jews vainly thought to secure the Egyptians by a present of the produce of their country. Judah is contended with also. God sees the sin of his own people, and will reckon with them for it. They are put in mind of what Jacob did, and what God did for him. When his faith upon the Divine promise prevailed above his fears, then by his strength he had power with God. He is Jehovah, the same that was, and is, and is to come. What was a revelation of God to one, is his memorial to many, to all generations. Then let those who have gone from God, be turned to him. Turn thou to the Lord, by repentance and faith, as thy God. Let those that are converted to him, walk with him in all holy conversation and godliness. Let us wrestle with Him for promised blessings, determined not to give over till we prevail; and let us seek Him in his ordinances.
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