B'resheet (Genesis) Chapter 32

Sometimes we see a slight change in the chapter divisions between the Tanakh and the more modern translations.

We covered this verse in chapter 31. In the Tanakh it is listed as the first verse in chapter 32. So the verses are all there, but the numbering is off by one.

B'resheet 31:55 And early in the morning Lavan arose, and kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them. Then Lavan departed and returned to his place.

In chapter 27 we determined that Ya'akov and Esav were 77 years old. Twenty years have passed and they are now 97 years old.

B'resheet 32:1-2 Now as Ya'akov went on his way, the angels of G-d met him. And Ya'akov said when he saw them, "This is G-d's camp." So he named that place Machanayim. (Two camps)

Machanayim means two camps. One camp was G-d's and the other camp was Ya'akovs.

B'resheet 32:3 Then Ya'akov sent messengers before him to his brother Esav in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.

Esav was the father of the Edomites. Edom is the region of southern Jordan. It is south east of the Dead Sea. Petra is located in this area.

B'resheet 32:4-5 He also commanded them saying, "Thus you shall say to my lord Esav: 'Thus says your servant Ya'akov," I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now; and I have oxen and donkeys and flocks and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight. "' "

Ya'akov remembers all to well what he did to his twin brother Esav. Now, after 20 years in exile, he must face him and pray that his anger has subsided.

B'resheet 32:6-8 And the messengers returned to Ya'akov, saying, "We came to your brother Esav, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him." Then Ya'akov was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies; for he said, "If Esav comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape."

G-d has blessed Esav too. Esav has quite a large group of men servants joining him to meet Ya'akov. Ya'akov is worried. Such a large group accompanying Esau is not a good sign.

Ya'akov divides his family, servants, and animals into two groups hoping to spare some of them if a fight broke out.

B'resheet 32:9-12 And Ya'akov said, "O G-d of my father Avraham and G-d of my father Yitz'chak, O L-RD (Adonai), who said to me, 'Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,' I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You has shown to your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Yarden (Jordan), and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esav; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me, the mothers with the children. For You said, 'I will surely prosper you, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'"

Now we see Ya'akov humbling himself before HaShem. A man of G-d prays before he acts. He reminds G-d of all that He has done for him; he thanks G-d and reminds Him of His promises to him.

Some must flee and escape across the Yabok (Jabbok) River. This represents those in the future who will flee across the Yarden into the mountains and to Petra.

Matt 24:15-16 "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;

At the midpoint of the tribulation there will be some sort of an idol set up in the Temple. The False Prophet will direct all to worship the Anti-Messiah. At that time many of the Jewish people will flee to the mountains of Petra.

For more on this see our study on Revelation chapter 12.

The Hebrew letter corresponding to this chapter is Yod-a metaphysical and divine letter meaning hand - the right hand of G-d.