Christian Bible

Jacob vs God?

Jacob Wrestles God
Jacob Wrestles God

Ok… kinda back to ole Abe… Jacob… he wrestled with a man/angel… all night long… according to what I have read he saw God face to face… now… he was not struck down, but given a new name… which here is my question… if I was to see God face to face… I could not contain myself… I would have to go out and tell peeps… unless I felt to do so would be certain death… not sure about Jacobs mind at the moment… but this is God… Alpha and Omega.. The beginning and the end… in human form… before that of Christ Jesus.

WOW… can’t help it… it blows my mind… Enoch walked with him… God took him… Adam and Eve spoke with him in the garden… David danced before him and did the opposite of worshiping God on through the Bible as we read… but David was considered a man after Gods own heart…

And back to Jacob… fighting and sweating… and all the time all it took was just a touch to make him lame… and why before day light? And, finally given in… when God/angel? knew He could win? … is there a parable in this story? and so it goes…

Genesis 32:22-31

New International Version (NIV)

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[a] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[b] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[c] and he was limping because of his hip.

Asked by Lisa


19 replies on “Jacob vs God?”

Hi Lisa

Some religious text’s refer to the wrestler as the angel, Phanuel, rather than God the Whole. Phanuel is known as the angel of repentance and hope. He encourages people to repent of their sins and pursue eternal relationships with God that can give them the hope they need to overcome guilt and regret.

The image of stuggling (wrestling) with one’s own conscience would fit the story of Jacob well and certainly, as he fought on relentlessly it resinates that he overcame whatever it was that had previously held him away from God.

After the stuggle, God sent Raphael down to give healing his wrenched hip. Again, this is significant as Jacob was not only shown compassion but also respect for winning the ‘fight’ to overcome his own short-comings.

As angels are a part of God the Whole, Jacob did wrestle with a part of God’s nature. He saw God, first in the form of Phanuel and then in the form of Raphael. But, did he see God the Whole? I doubt it – as I doubt Enoch, Adam and Eve, Moses, David etc saw God the whole – rather, they saw a part (an angel. The part they needed to see to get God’s message across in order to get God’s job done.


Hey angel, great question again.

Here’s a comment about the picture (thank you CT) just to start with. See the black/grey wings. That is not an ‘angel’ of God, that is a fallen angel.

The problem with taking a snapshot of a story out of the bible is that we don’t get to see the ‘whole picture’. There’s a lot more to the story of Jacob and God than the wrestling bit ..

I have to agree with AJ in saying that I think that the story was an allegory (or parable). A man wrestling with his conscience.

Let’s pick it lightly apart –

To start with, I doubt its an actual event. I say this because God does not ‘harm’ people. Nor is God a child needing to play with its toys. If God wants to wrestle, there are plenty of angels to play with. It’s very human of us to expect God to be like us, rather than us being like God ..

We can see from his actions that Jacob is frightened of ‘his brother, Esau, who was “coming towards him with 400 men”. Jacob did not know why his brother was coming with armed men. Was he going to kill everyone and take everything Jacob had gained?

Jacob decided to divide the people with him into two groups, and “sent ahead one with with an offering (a large herd of goats and sheep), with strict instructions to the shepherds on what to tell Esau. The rest of the group followed. That night Jacob protected his family by sending them across the river, and then he sat in the darkness and wondered what to do next.

Fear is a bitch, we all know that. Jacob wrestled with his own fear, which was crippling him (his hip – on a metaphysical level our hip helps to support us and help us move forward in life. I wonder if Jacob was thinking about running away, or fearing dying?) His fear manifest itself into his body, which it does (because things like this can be cleared and a person healed because of it), but he still ‘won’ in a way, because he stood up to his fears and they were proved to be ‘unfounded’. His brother was very happy to see him, and didn’t want what he had been willing to give him (the animals).

So where does it say he was healed, AJ? Because he was still limping in the morning. I read forward but can’t see it?

Did Jacob see God during that struggle? Perhaps. When I stood in the face of God, God appeared to me as a young girl child, and I did not die because of the experience. God isn’t frightened of showing its face to us, but we fear God because God is truth and shows us ourselves. It is the perfect mirror. God is ‘all things to all people’, so it will appear to each of us as someone we can accept. God does not cause fear, our egos do, and other entities that are not friendly.

And why before daylight .. if Jacob did wrestle with his ego or conscience or a fallen angel that caused his body harm, they are all stronger in the darkness, when our eyes cannot find distractions, and all sounds, including our inner voice, are magnified. God is Light.

Love & Peace

Hi Ama

“So where does it say he was healed, AJ? Because he was still limping in the morning. I read forward but can’t see it?”

Thinking in the physical world for a moment; If the hip was dislocated, as some texts suggest, but was relocated back into the socket, it would still be tender and sore – yes? But, if it were stil dislocated then he would not have been able to walk at all.

However, as parables go, even those who have won their fight against their conscience or fear or whatever, would still feel a little ‘tender’ and/or vulnerable, even though they had won their battle. It takes time to overcome events, even those that are of the mind. That is where the healing comes in.


Morning AJ, 🙂

My translation says ‘put out of joint’. You interpret that phrase as a physical dislocation, I interpret it more as as a less serious injury, like having your ‘nose put out of joint’. It does not say that Jacob was healed, only blessed, one can lead to the other, but I wonder .. if he had been ‘healed by God, or a Raphael’ why was he still limping? I agree it would still be tender once it was reset, but why would ‘God’ do half-a-job? Or was he only wrestling with a Raphael, because only the Raphael do healing.

I admire Jacob’s strength, because he must have been in a huge amount of pain from the ‘dislocation’ and yet he still hung on tightly to his attacker, since it appears the attacker couldn’t leave .. and then had a civilized conversation with him? And the ‘man’ didn’t know Jacob’s name .. he had to ask. If the man was an angel, or God, you would think that he/it would know?

The ‘man’ then renamed him, but I don’t notice that Jacob was called Israel after that? And in the renaming said that Jacob had ‘striven with God and with humans, and had prevailed’. I really can’t see God’s hand in this. I can see ‘mythologising’ .. by whomever wrote this story down.

Jacob then asked the man’s name, which the other did not answer. Jacob named the place Peniel, to remind him of the struggle, but walked ‘past’ Penuel (presumably the ‘man’, but then who added that name, because Jacob had not been told .. or at least we are not told when he had been).. who should have been gone by then, since he had to leave before daylight? (I wonder if that is where the legend of vampires dissolving in the sunlight comes from? totally off topic here :-))

I agree that our egos still feel the hurt and fear after we make serious decisions that demand we stand up for ourselves and take responsibility for our lives. In that case we create our own healing. I think Jacob proved himself a very strong man .. one way or another. 🙂

Thanks Lisa. LOL

Love & Peace

Curious isn’t it Ama, how translation and interpretation can cause such confusion and conflicting view points.

Some texts say ‘thigh’, others ‘hip’ whilst others simply state ‘leg’. Some texts state the apendage was wrenched, others say dislocated. Some say Jacob wrestled with a man, some say an Angel, then there are those who state Samael or a demon was the agressor, whilst others still, interpret it as God itself who tussled with Jacob.

It’s no wonder there is such confusion of the story, and that is before we even start looking at the events leading up and post the ‘wrestle’ itself, and the reasoning behind the fight.

That is why I think it was not an event as such, but rather an explanation of Jacob’s mental ‘struggle’ to accept.

‘Put out of joint’ – yes, as a saying rather than a physical act makes a pretty good explanation.


Curious and painful at times AJ, when people pull themselves to pieces through fear and regret. Mind you a physical battle is far more interesting to some people than some guy sitting on a rock, by himself, in the dark, wrestling with his own fears .. just look at the local news.

As to translations and interpretations, they can lead people right to hell .. and by their own hand (action/attitude). Just look at missionaries .. ‘believe my way or you die’ (thinking of Cathars and various Christians who were martyred by other Christians).

Love & Peace

Hi Ama

Ama: “Curious and painful at times AJ, when people pull themselves to pieces through fear and regret. Mind you a physical battle is far more interesting to some people than some guy sitting on a rock, by himself, in the dark, wrestling with his own fears .. just look at the local news.”

Folk love drama, that’s for sure. Maybe Jacob wasn’t sitting on a rock either but rather, dreaming?? Bearing in mind the ‘angel’ said it had to leave before daylight does suggest that that would be when (presumably) Jacob would have woken up from his slumber?? After all, Jacob’s son is one of the most famous dreamers of all time so Joseph must’ve inherited that gift from somewhere – lol!

Ama: “As to translations and interpretations, they can lead people right to hell .. and by their own hand (action/attitude). Just look at missionaries .. ‘believe my way or you die’ (thinking of Cathars and various Christians who were martyred by other Christians).”

A-men to that. That’s why I don’t take religous text too literally because, the way I understand it, the Tanakh, Bible, Quran and all other Holy Scriptures are based on a ‘code’, rather than actual events. There is plenty of historical evidence to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a lot of the characters and places mentioned in these scriptures are factual but, people do like to shrowd important figures and places with mysticism to drive home a point that they want to convey about that person/place. To make a hero of someone, big them up a bit by adding some spice to the story (Chinese whispers – lol!).

I do love reading the story’s in the OT though – they’re fascinating. The Torah being the best version of the first 5 books, imo!


Hmmm… got me thinking again ya’ll, lol….

(I wonder if that is where the legend of vampires dissolving in the sunlight comes from? totally off topic here :-))

Very interesting 🙂


You’d be amazed where stuff of legends have their origins .. or horrified, Lisa. LOL

Just look at Ezekiel’s (1:4-28) ‘spaceship’? Or Revelation’s (4:1 but without the dramatic description) ‘stargate’, that ‘John’ could only enter as a spirit. I did a quick search for spaceships in the bible and even came up with a Satanist’s page which had the stargate interpretation. 🙂 That particular page had the ‘rapture’ dated for 2006, according to the Bible Code?

Sorry, no, its not a satanist page, its a very intense Pastor who is saying last Christmas (2012) is the last we will ever have, and you can hear him on blog radio .. umm… I don’t think I’ll bother. I am way over alarmists. He doesn’t like Syria and there will be TWO raptures. Ok, checking translation (Rev 20:4-6) .. two resurrections, not raptures .. and we won’t be involved in the first, unless we have had our heads chopped off for praising Jesus and the Word. And the Mayan calendar stuff is Lucifer in action .. did anyone tell him that Lucifer was a Bishop, or supposed to be?

By the way, this ‘christian’ webpage comes with a ‘parental guidance is suggested’ warning. And this year is the ‘year of the beast’ .. oh dear. .. oh brother. LOL Ok, we all have until September 2013? But the writer did not specify the day.

Let me quote:

“According to the Ancient Mayan Calendar, DEC 21 2012 is
The Time of Great Change for Humanity, the End of
Non Time and The Beginning of Time, The End of the
Macha Age and the Beginning of the Pacha Age, The
End of Selfishness and the Beginning of Brotherhood,
The End of Individuality and the Beginning of Collectivism. The End of Hatred and the Beginning of Love, The End of Lies and The Beginning of Truth, the End of Sadness And The Beginning of Joy, The End of Division and the Beginning of Unity”.
Pres Evo Morales, U.N. Speech, 9/26/2012 (and it continues)

(end quote)

Love, truth, Joy, Selflessness, brotherhood (and sisterhood, must politically correct here LOL), collectivism and unity .. and these are all traits of Satan?

Someone should really tell this guy that the devil, in the bible, is 616 .. its Nero who was 666.

Gotta get at least some facts right.

I love humans.

Love & Peace
Ama (annoyed)

Hi Lisa

I do love a good vampire movie!!! I even love the bad ones – they’re funny.

Porphyria is one of the disorders believed to be at the root of the vampire myth.

Here’s the blurb …

The porphyrias are a group of rare inherited or acquired disorders of certain enzymes that normally participate in the production of porphyrins and heme. They manifest with either neurological complications or skin problems, or occasionally both.

Porphyrias are classified in two ways, by symptoms and by pathophysiology. Symptomatically, acute porphyrias primarily present with nervous system involvement, often with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, neuropathy and mental disturbances. Cutaneous porphyrias present with skin manifestations often after exposure to sun due to the accumulation of excess porphyrins near the surface of the skin. Physiologically, porphyrias are classified as hepatic or erythropoietic based on the sites of accumulation of heme precursors, either in the liver or bone marrow and red blood cells.

So, if you take Porphyria and mix in a bit of demonic behaviour, you get a vampie – lol!


Not being medical, AJ, that explanation left me very confused. So I looked it up. Seems that people suffering the condition are light sensitive .. have to stay out of the sunshine or they suffer from all sorts of skin reactions, and, of course, burn easily. They have horrible stomach problems, which might ‘explain’ why vampires are thought only to live on liquids.

The original description of the problem is attributed to Hippocrates 460 BC – c. 370 BC, so its been around a very long time.

Wikipedia says – “Porphyria has been suggested as an explanation for the origin of vampire and werewolf legends, based upon certain perceived similarities between the condition and the folklore.

In January 1964, L. Illis’ 1963 paper, “On Porphyria and the Aetiology of Werwolves”, was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine. Later, Nancy Garden argued for a connection between porphyria and the vampire belief in her 1973 book, Vampires. In 1985, biochemist David Dolphin’s paper for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “Porphyria, Vampires, and Werewolves: The Aetiology of European Metamorphosis Legends”, gained widespread media coverage, thus popularizing the idea.

The theory has been rejected by folklorists and researchers as not accurately describing the characteristics of the original werewolf and vampire legends or the disease and for potentially stigmatizing sufferers of porphyria”.

I have to agree with them.

Fascinating. 🙂

Love & Peace

LOL… love it A.J. ..!!! … Ya know ladies… the OT does have dreamers and phophets that saw things and would go to so and so to deliver up what they had been given in a dream or vision, also on into the NT this was one thing that never stopped like the big miracles in the OT, John the Revelator was the last one mentioned to see the future, and Esau and his 400 soldiers/army indeed did not go in and kill Jacob, Esaus heart was changed and instead when he saw his brother they had a big hug for each other.. I wonder if sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to our dreams as we should.. my biggest problem is that I sometimes can’t remember them.. and I dream in color alot.. and the one dream that upsets me the most is the one were I can fly.. but I can only get maybe a foot off the ground and I have this big pool of water to cross and I can never get high enough to cross it.. another dream I have had over and over through my life is .. I am in this house.. it is growing dark and woods surround me and I know that the bears are coming down and are going to try to get to me.. I am so afraid and running through this house making sure it is secure enough to keep them out.. but I always wake up as they are coming down out of the woods… and some how I know these are not ordinary bears….

What do ya think these dreams could mean? …I think every person is giving a certain dream over and over and if the dream/dreams could be interpreted correctly it would help a person in his/her lifetime.. hope I am explaining this right… anyways

Blessings 🙂


Hi Lisa

I’m a big dreamer too – lol! I’ve posted a few on here and the old TGT site over the years.

If it’s vivid colour then the dream is usually predictive, or an event but, with most dreams I’m normally ‘sepia girl’ (dull/washed out colours)lol! which means sub-conscience.

I’ve found that dreams tend to be very personal and the symbolic nature of them ‘true’ to ourselves. They are a way of us tapping into our sub-conscious or ‘higher’ selves. These can include dream sharing.

Water, for me, has two specific meanings depending on the dream. To sit, stand or walk past a gently running brook or stream (usually associated with bright sunlight) means I’ve come to the end of a spiritual lesson and so can rest for a while. But, to see fish (specifically; brown carp) jumping out of a stagnant pond or river means someone close to me is about to die (within 2 weeks of the dream). Although, when it was my mum, I drempt about a fire-bucket full of live, pink fish. That confused me because it wssn’t the ‘norm’ – lol! If I dream of goldfish struggling to swim around the plumbing in a house, it usually means one of the cats are about to require minor vetinary assitance. LOL!

Reaccuring dreams usually mean you’ve not resolved something yet, so more ‘work’ is needed to rectify a situation.

Dreams are fascinating. Keep a dream diary. it is interesting to cross-reference dreams, especially reaccuring ones, to see if a pattern emergies – ie time of year, emotional state etc.



Here’s a couple of odd dream/vision examples …

(I’ve since found out this script is, in part, Original Mosaical Alphabet and, in part, Solomonic Hebrew Alphabet. I’ve not seen it since discovering what it was.

My latest ‘adventures’ in dream land

Have since found out what that is all about too – but darn’t put it on here!

So you see, I would not be suprised if Jacob didn’t actually have a dream/vision about wresting an angel/God/man/demon/whatever!! LOl!


Hello Ama,
I was just going through this other area of this site, and reading peoples entrys. God and the Bible is a tough one for me. My family stopped going to church when i was about 7 or 8. I think mostly because my father is not much of a believer. My mother went sometimes by herself, but stopped after my brother died. I cant call my dad an athiest, because like me he believes in a higher power. I did once ask him why he celebrates Christmas, and he did not give me an answer. I do talk to God sometimes, but it seems to happen more often when things go bad. I hope he is not mad at me for that.
In reality i believe that God created everything. I’m not sure if it happened the way the Bible says. I also believe that God does not intervene in our lives. He doesnt heal us nor make us well – he doesnt hurt us or help us. We live our own lives mostly with our own free will. Some of us may not have the ability of free will because of a disability, but i believe he knows whats in our hearts.
I have been to church for Chistmas services, but i figure i talk to God at home, and thats why i dont go to church now. Sometimes, and i hope i dont offend anyone, I feel some churches just want your money. I only say this because i see them getting rich and flaunting it with there flashy lifestyle.
I do believe in some sort of Angels, that help us by giving us compassion when times are tough for others. Some may say that its just our concious, but i believe it goes deeper than that.
I will gladly take any comments, but please dont judge me in a negative way. Tom.