Genesis 32:31
And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
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(31) As he passed over Pemiel.—Rather, as he passed Penuel. It was the place where he had wrestled, and as soon as the angel left him he proceeded onwards to rejoin his wives. It appears, from what is here said, that it was not till he tried to walk that he found out that he was lame. As his sinews grew cool, the injury to his hip-joint showed itself.

Genesis 32:31. He halted on his thigh — And many think he continued to do so to his dying day. If he did he had no reason to complain, for the honour and comfort he obtained by his struggle were abundantly sufficient to countervail the damage, though he went limping to his grave.

32:24-32 A great while before day, Jacob being alone, more fully spread his fears before God in prayer. While thus employed, One in the likeness of a man wrestled with him. When the spirit helpeth our infirmities, and our earnest and vast desires can scarcely find words to utter them, and we still mean more than we can express, then prayer is indeed wrestling with God. However tried or discouraged, we shall prevail; and prevailing with Him in prayer, we shall prevail against all enemies that strive with us. Nothing requires more vigour and unceasing exertion than wrestling. It is an emblem of the true spirit of faith and prayer. Jacob kept his ground; though the struggle continued long, this did not shake his faith, nor silence his prayer. He will have a blessing, and had rather have all his bone put out of joint than go away without one. Those who would have the blessing of Christ, must resolve to take no denial. The fervent prayer is the effectual prayer. The Angel puts a lasting mark of honour upon him, by changing his name. Jacob signifies a supplanter. From henceforth he shall be celebrated, not for craft and artful management, but for true valour. Thou shalt be called Israel, a prince with God, a name greater than those of the great men of the earth. He is a prince indeed that is a prince with God; those are truly honourable that are mighty in prayer. Having power with God, he shall have power with men too; he shall prevail, and gain Esau's favour. Jacob gives a new name to the place. He calls it Peniel, the face of God, because there he had seen the appearance of God, and obtained the favour of God. It becomes those whom God honours, to admire his grace towards them. The Angel who wrestled with Jacob was the second Person in the sacred Trinity, who was afterwards God manifest in the flesh, and who, dwelling in human nature, is called Immanuel, Ho 12:4,5. Jacob halted on his thigh. It might serve to keep him from being lifted up with the abundance of the revelations. The sun rose on Jacob: it is sun-rise with that soul, which has had communion with God.Peniel - the face of God. The reason of this name is assigned in the sentence, "I have seen God face to face." He is at first called a man. Hosea terms him the angel (Hosea 12:4-5 (3, 4). And here Jacob names him God. Hence, some men, deeply penetrated with the ineffable grandeur of the divine nature, are disposed to resolve the first act at least into an impression on the imagination. We do not pretend to define with undue nicety the mode of this wrestling. And we are far from saying that every sentence of Scripture is to be understood in a literal sense. But until some cogent reason be assigned, we do not feel at liberty to depart from the literal sense in this instance. The whole theory of a revelation from God to man is founded upon the principle that God can adapt himself to the apprehension of the being whom he has made in his own image. This principle we accept, and we dare not limit its application "further than the demonstrative laws of reason and conscience demand." If God walk in the garden with Adam, expostulate with Cain, give a specification of the ark to Noah, partake of the hospitality of Abraham, take Lot by the hand to deliver him from Sodom, we cannot affirm that he may not, for a worthy end, enter into a bodily conflict with Jacob. These various manifestations of God to man differ only in degree. If we admit anyone, we are bound by parity of reason to accept all the others.

We have also already noted the divine method of dealing with man. He proceeds from the known to the unknown, from the simple to the complex, from the material to the spiritual, from the sensible to the super-sensible. So must he do, until he have to deal with a world of philosophers. And even then, and only then, will his method of teaching and dealing with people be clearly and fully understood. The more we advance in the philosophy of spiritual things, the more delight will we feel in discerning the marvelous analogy and intimate nearness of the outward to the inward, and the material to the spiritual world. We have only to bear in mind that in man there is a spirit as well as a body; and in this outward wrestling of man with man we have a token of the inward wrestling of spirit with spirit, and therefore, an experimental instance of that great conflict of the Infinite Being with the finite self, which grace has introduced into our fallen world, recorded here for the spiritual edification of the church on earth.

"My life is preserved." The feeling of conscience is, that no sinner can see the infinitely holy God and live. "And he halted upon his thigh." The wrenching of the tendons and muscles was mercifully healed, so as to leave a permanent monument, in Jacob's halting gait, that God had overcome his self-will.

- Jacob and Esau Meet

17. סכת sûkkôth, Sukkoth, "booths," consisting of poles forming a roof covered with branches, leaves, or grass.

19. חמור chămôr Chamor, "ass, red, heap." קשׂיטה qeśı̂yṭâh Qesitah, weighed or measured. Ἀμνὸς Amnos, Septuagint and Onkelos

Jacob has a friendly interview with Esau, and re-+enters Kenaan.

31. halted upon his thigh—As Paul had a thorn in the flesh given to humble him, lest he should be too elevated by the abundant revelations granted him [2Co 12:7], so Jacob's lameness was to keep him mindful of this mysterious scene, and that it was in gracious condescension the victory was yielded to him. In the greatest of these spiritual victories which, through faith, any of God's people obtain, there is always something to humble them. No text from Poole on this verse.

And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him,.... It was break of day when the angel desired to be let go, and by that time the parley held between them ceased, and they parted, the sun was rising; and as Jacob went on it shone upon him, as a token of the good will and favour of God to him, and as an emblem of the sun of righteousness arising on him with healing in his wings, Malachi 4:2,

and he halted upon his thigh; it being out of joint, of which he became more sensible when he came to walk upon it; and besides, his attention to the angel that was with him caused him not so much to perceive it until he had departed front him: some think he went limping all his days; others, that he was healed immediately by the angel before he came to Esau; but of either there is no proof.

And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he {l} halted upon his thigh.

(l) The faithful to overcome their temptations, so that they feel the pain of it, so they would not boast, except in their humility.

31. And the sun rose] See Genesis 32:24.

Penuel] The name of a town in Jdg 8:8; 1 Kings 12:25. The site is doubtful, but was evidently not far from the confluence of the Jabbok and the Jordan.

Verse 31. - And as he passed over Penuel - this some suppose to have been the original name of the place, which Jacob changed by the alteration of a vowel, but it is probably nothing more than an old form of the same word - the sun rose upon him, - "there was sunshine within and sunshine without. When Judas went forth on his dark design, we read, 'It was night,' John 13:30" (Inglis) - and he halted upon his thigh - thus carrying with him a memorial of his conflict, as Paul afterwards bore about with him a stake in his flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7). Genesis 32:31The remembrance of this wonderful conflict Jacob perpetuated in the name which he gave to the place where it had occurred, viz., Pniel or Pnuel (with the connecting wound וּ or י), because there he had seen Elohim face to face, and his soul had been delivered (from death, Genesis 16:13).
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