Genesis 32:10
I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
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Genesis 32:10. I am not worthy — It is a surprising plea. One would think he should have pleaded that what was now in danger was his own against all the world, and that he had earned it dear enough; no, he pleads, Lord, I am not worthy of it. Of the least of all thy mercies — Much less am I worthy of so great a favour as this I am now suing for. For with my staff I passed over this Jordan — Poor and desolate, like a forlorn and despised pilgrim; having no guides, no companions, no attendants. And now I am become two bands — Now I am surrounded with a numerous retinue of children and servants. Those whose latter end doth greatly increase, ought with humility and thankfulness to remember how small their beginning was.

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.Next, he betakes himself to prayer. He appeals to the God of Abraham and Isaac, to Yahweh the God of promise and performance. "I am less than;" unworthy of all the mercy and truth of God. "With my staff." Jacob seems to have left his home without escort and without means. It was evidently intended that he should return in a short time; but unforeseen circumstances lengthened the period. "Me, the mother with the children." Me is used here in that pregnant sense which is familiar in Scripture, to include his whole clan; as Ishmael, Israel, Edom, often stand for their respective races. He then pleads the express promise of God Genesis 28:13-15; Genesis 31:3.9-12. Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham—In this great emergency, he had recourse to prayer. This is the first recorded example of prayer in the Bible. It is short, earnest, and bearing directly on the occasion. The appeal is made to God, as standing in a covenant relation to his family, just as we ought to put our hopes of acceptance with God in Christ. It pleads the special promise made to him of a safe return; and after a most humble and affecting confession of unworthiness, it breathes an earnest desire for deliverance from the impending danger. It was the prayer of a kind husband, an affectionate father, a firm believer in the promises. The truth, which thou hast showed unto thy servant, in fulfilling thy promises made to me; and much more am I unworthy of those further mercies which I am now about to beg of thee. Having nothing with me but my travelling staff for my support,

I passed over this Jordan; or, that Jordan; either which I now see, as being at this time upon a high hill; or which my mind is set upon, as that river which I am going to repass, that I may go to my father, and to that good land which thou hast given to me and mine for ever;

and now I am become two bands, or two troops, or companies; into which he had now divided his people and cattle, Genesis 32:7.

I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies,.... Or of any of them, according to his humble sense of things his mind was now impressed with; he was not worthy of the least mercy and favour that had been bestowed upon him; not even of any temporal mercy, and much less of any spiritual one, and therefore did not expect any from the hands of God, on account of any merit of his own: or "I am less than all thy mercies" (w); Jacob had had many mercies and favours bestowed upon him by the Lord, which he was sensible of, and thankful for, notwithstanding all the ill usage and hard treatment he had met with in Laban's house, and those were very great ones; he was not worthy of all, nor any of them; he was not deserving of the least of them, as our version truly gives the sense of the words:

and of all the truth, which thou hast showed unto thy servant; in performing promises made to him; grace, mercy, and goodness are seen making promises, and truth and faithfulness in the performance of them; Jacob had had a rich experience of both, and was deeply affected therewith, and which made him humble before God:

for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; the river Jordan, near to which he now was, or at least had it in view, either with the eyes of his body, or his mind; this river he passed over when he went to Haran with his staff in his hand, and that only, which was either a shepherd's staff, or a travelling one, the latter most likely: he passed "alone" over it, as Onkelos and Jonathan add by way of illustration; unaccompanied by any, having no friend with him, nor servant to attend him. Jarchi's paraphrase is,"there was not with me neither silver nor gold, nor cattle, but my staff only."

And now I am become two bands; into which he had now divided his wives, children, servants, and cattle; this he mentions, to observe the great goodness of God to him, and the large increase he had made him, and how different his circumstances now were to what they were when he was upon this spot, or thereabout, twenty years ago.

(w) "minor sum cunctis misericordiis", Pagninus, Drusius & Schmidt.

I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my {d} staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

(d) that is, poor and without all provision.

10. I am not worthy] Heb. I am less than all, &c. The meaning is, “I am too small and insignificant to deserve.” For this idiom, cf. Genesis 4:13, Genesis 18:14.

mercies … truth] See Genesis 24:27; Genesis 24:49 : i.e. “manifestations of graciousness and fidelity.”

with my staff] i.e. with only my shepherd’s stick (maḳḳêl) in my hand, Exodus 12:11; Numbers 22:27.

I passed over this Jordan] Jacob is on the banks of the Jabbok; but evidently the distance from the river Jordan was not considerable.

two companies] Heb. mahanoth. Another evident allusion to the name Mahanaim; cf. Genesis 32:2; Genesis 32:7.

Genesis 32:10Jacob, fearing the worst, divided his people and flocks into two camps, that if Esau smote the one, the other might escape. He then turned to the Great Helper in every time of need, and with an earnest prayer besought the God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac, who had directed him to return, that, on the ground of the abundant mercies and truth (cf. Genesis 24:27) He had shown him thus far, He would deliver him out of the hand of his brother, and from the threatening destruction, and so fulfil His promises.
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