Hugh Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975), 243. The biblical text at this point is most instructive: And he [the visitor] said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. They prayed for it, worked for it, and lived for it. Finally, God directs Jacob to return to the land of his father. He did not intend to disobey god during that time. Perhaps the man blocked the route that Jacob wanted to take and Jacob had to try to wrestle him out of the way. What is the significance of a new name? (In my Genesis study guide, I show how Jacob was not only reconciled with his brother Esau shortly after this, he also made restitution for much of what he’d stolen from him. This being was the pre-incarnate Christ, “the messenger of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1), acting as the Lord’s vessel for communication and manifestation.  Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses (London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1856), 3:192; emphasis added. . We get only Jacob’s response to the blessing bestowed upon him at that moment. Christians believe in God’s good creation, they protect and respect it! As we will see in the next verses, it was not Esau who hunted Jacob but rather, God, as he began applying the finishing touches on his plan. Such would come later, after years of righteousness. God wanted to enter into a relationship with Jacob, however, he couldn’t do so until Jacob admitted his weakness of self-reliance, deceit, and trickery. But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. Can Christians engage in peaceful protest or non-violent civil disobedience? If Jesus gave up his divine attributes to become incarnate, how was he able to do miracles? God’s question is a rhetorical question intended to focus Jacob and the storyline on his old name. Jacob’s life after the vision at Bethel (see Genesis 29–31) is one of the best-known biblical love stories, set as it is against the background of a manipulative uncle turned father-in-law. 31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. this is none other but the house of God,” said Jacob (Genesis 28:16–17). After the divine visitor announced that Jacob had been given a new name and great power, which was the first stage of the blessing, Jacob then turned the tables and asked the name of the visitor: “Tell me, I pray thee, thy name” (Genesis 32:29). So we might say that Jacob was “wrestling” with God all those 20 years in exile, striving to become the kind of person God could safely send back to Canaan to continue the line of covenant promise. Before we can really understand the significance of Jacob’s wrestling match, we should review his life up to that point. In the end, one supposes it could be argued that the identity of Jacob’s visitor is not so important as the fact that the result of the visit was that the patriarch ultimately saw God and came to know that he had seen Him. In the previous story, we found Jacob turning a corner, offering a sincere prayer to God, one that serves as a model for our prayers today. . Jacob would later use that key to unlock a spiritual door. Print.  Young, in Journal of Discourses, 3:192. Wasn’t the Messiah supposed to be named Emmanuel? 22 During the night Jacob quickly took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. In Genesis 35:10, God reminds Jacob of his new name once again. The verses tell us that “to this day, Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip”.
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