Hosea 12:3
New International Version
In the womb he grasped his brother's heel; as a man he struggled with God.

New Living Translation
Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God.

English Standard Version
In the womb he took his brother by the heel, and in his manhood he strove with God.

Berean Study Bible
In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel, and in his vigor he wrestled with God.

New American Standard Bible
In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And in his maturity he contended with God.

King James Bible
He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:

Christian Standard Bible
In the womb he grasped his brother's heel, and as an adult he wrestled with God.

Contemporary English Version
Even before Jacob was born, he cheated his brother, and when he grew up, he fought against God.

Good News Translation
Their ancestor Jacob struggled with his twin brother Esau while the two of them were still in their mother's womb; when Jacob grew up, he fought against God--

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the womb he grasped his brother's heel, and as an adult he wrestled with God.

International Standard Version
He circumvented his brother in the womb, and as an adult he fought with God.

NET Bible
In the womb he attacked his brother; in his manly vigor he struggled with God.

New Heart English Bible
In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he contended with God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Their ancestor Jacob held on to his brother's heel while the two of them were in their mother's womb. When Jacob became a man, he struggled with God.

JPS Tanakh 1917
In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And by his strength he strove with a godlike being;

New American Standard 1977
In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And in his maturity he contended with God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and with his strength he overcame the angel;

King James 2000 Bible
He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:

American King James Version
He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:

American Standard Version
In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he had power with God:

Brenton Septuagint Translation
He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his labours he had power with God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In the womb he supplanted his brother: and by his strength he had success with an angel.

Darby Bible Translation
He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he wrestled with God.

English Revised Version
In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he had power with God:

Webster's Bible Translation
He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:

World English Bible
In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he contended with God.

Young's Literal Translation
In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And by his strength he was a prince with God,
Study Bible
A Reproof of Ephraim, Judah, Jacob
2The LORD also brings a charge against Judah. He will punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds. 3In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel, and in his vigor he wrestled with God. 4Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; he wept and sought His favor; he found Him at Bethel, and there He spoke with us—…
Cross References
Genesis 25:26
After this, his brother came out grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. And Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born.

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

Genesis 32:28
Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men, and you have prevailed."

Treasury of Scripture

He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:

took.

Genesis 25:26
And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

Romans 9:11
(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

had, etc.

Genesis 32:24-28
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day…

James 5:16-18
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much…







Lexicon
In the womb
בַּבֶּ֖טֶן (bab·be·ṭen)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 990: The belly, the womb, the bosom, body of anything

he grasped his brother’s
אָחִ֑יו (’ā·ḥîw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 251: A brother, )

heel,
עָקַ֣ב (‘ā·qaḇ)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6117: To follow at the heel, assail insidiously, circumvent, overreach

and in his vigor
וּבְאוֹנ֖וֹ (ū·ḇə·’ō·w·nōw)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 202: Ability, power, wealth

he wrestled
שָׂרָ֥ה (śā·rāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8280: To persist, exert oneself, persevere

with
אֶת־ (’eṯ-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 854: Nearness, near, with, by, at, among

God.
אֱלֹהִֽים׃ (’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative
(3, 4) Had power.--Should be, strove. Prayers and tears were the weapons used in the memorable struggle for pardon, reconciliation, peace in the self-conquest as well as the God-conquest which was achieved. "At Bethel He (Jehovah) found him (Jacob)" not once only, but on repeated occasions (Genesis 28:11; Genesis 35:1),and in the subsequent history of the children of Israel.

Verse 3. - He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power (margin, was a prince, or, behaved himself princely) with God. In this verse and the following the prophet looks away back into the far-distant past; and this retrospect, which is suggested by the names Jacob and Israel, reminds him of two well-known events in the life of the patriarch-The meaning and intention of this reminiscence are differently interpreted. The two leading views are the following:

(1) Some are of opinion that the prophet means to give an example by way of warning, and to mention a trait of Jacob's overreaching cunning, and likewise of his violence, and thereby show that Jacob had incurred guilt in a manner resembling that of the then present generation; that is to say, his conduct had been like to theirs in deceit, lying, and violence. But

(2) according to others, and we agree with them, the object of the prophet in these verses is to admonish them to imitate the conduct of their progenitor, and to remind them of the distinction which he had obtained thereby, as an encourage-merit to them to go and do likewise.

(3) Another interpretation, somewhat similar to

(2), is that of those who admit that Jacob's laying hold of his brother's heel in the womb is proposed to his posterity by the prophet for the purpose of emulation and encouragement, at the same time to exhibit God's electing grace from eternity. Thus Jerome: "While he was yet in the womb of Rebekah, he laid hold of his brother's heel, not by his own strength, it is true, who was incapable of perception, but by the mercy of God, who knows and loves those whom he has predestinated." So also Rashi: "All this I have done to him; he took his brother by the heel for a sign that he would prevail over him." Calvin explains more fully thus: "Their ingratitude is showed in this, that they did not acknowledge that they had been anticipated, in the person of their father Jacob, by the gratuitous mercy of God. The first history is indeed referred to for this end, that the posterity of Jacob might understand that they had been elected by God before they were born. For Jacob did not, by choice or design, lay hold of the heel of his brother in his mother's womb; but it was an extraordinary thing. It was, then, God who guided the hand of the infant and by this sign testified his adoption to be gratuitous. In short, by saying that Jacob held the foot of his brother in his mother's womb, the same thing is intended as if God had reminded the Israelites that they did not excel other people by their own virtue or that of their parents, but that God of his own good pleasure had chosen them." Aben Ezra and Kimchi explain the seizing of Esau's heel by Jacob as owing to the impartation of Divine power, but as a sign of victory over his enemies. We must reject

(1) for the following reasons:

(a) The reference is not to Genesis 27, where Jacob's overreaching Esau is recorded, but to Genesis 25:26, where it is written, "After that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel;"

(b) the patriarchs are always exhibited as patterns of piety - besides, Hosea never employs the name Israel in any but an honorable sense. We must elect between

(2) and

(3); and we incline to

(2), as the gist of the passage is to exhibit Jacob's earnestness in seeking the Divine blessing as an example to his posterity. Already in his mother's womb, before he saw the light of the world even in his condition of unconsciousness, he had laid hold of the heel of his elder brother Esau, in order to anticipate him as the firstborn, and thereby appropriate the Divine promises. The second clause describes how with zeal, by labor and effort, he had struggled for the position of pre-eminence, sorely struggling for the Divine blessing. In the maturity of his manhood he wrestled with God, or rather with the angel of the covenant, and prevailed so that his name was changed to Israel. This picture the prophet presents to Jacob's posterity for their imitation, with implied promise of like happy result. Though Aben Ezra and Kimchi, in their exposition of the verse, rather explain in their own way the significance of the original event as recorded in Genesis than the application which the prophet here makes of it, yet it may not be out of place to subjoin their comments, which are as follows: Aben Ezra, "With respect to him who explains 'in the womb' in the sense that Jehovah then decreed the matter of the birthright and blessing, I know not how the meaning of 'in the womb' bears on that, as the Scripture says, 'Before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee.' According to my opinion it should be taken according to its literal sense, that ' he took his brother by the heel in the womb; ' and this is made clear by' and his hand took hold on Esau's heel.' Now the purport is, 'Why do the sons of Jacob not remember that I chose their father, and effected preeminence for him over all that are born? For when he was in the womb I gave him strength to lay hold of the heel, and this was as the working of a miracle, for the fetus has, in the womb and at the time of the opening of the matrix, no strength to lay hold of anything until it comes forth from the womb into the air of the world. And lo! when he was in the womb I gave him strength; and afterwards he wrestled with the angel, and he (the angel) did not prevail over him, although one angel slew the whole host of Assyria, and from his sight the children of men flee in terror as David who was frightened; how much was it to wrestle with him.' The meaning is that all the children of the world should know that his (Jacob's) seed shall endure for ever, and in the end conquer his enemies. But Ephraim thinks that Ephraim himself has found the power." The comment of Kimchi on the first part of the verse is much the same with that of Aben Ezra just cited; while on the concluding clause he remarks, "And yet another sign I have shown him to be a sign to his children after him, for I gave him strength to wrestle with the angel and to be a prince in relation to him as if he was in the same rank with him. And this sign I showed him that his sons would be the portion of Jehovah alone, that star and angel should not prevail over them all the time they would do my pleasure, and by the signs of the heavens they should not be terrified, for they have no strength (physical) nor power (moral) over them, because the providence of God most blessed cleaves to them during all the period they would do my will, nor shall they succumb to any accident of time." 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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OT Prophets: Hosea 12:3 In the womb he took his brother (Ho Hs Hos.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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