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Author Topic: Spiritual or Physical Wrestling?  (Read 3555 times)
sincereheart
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« on: February 09, 2004, 08:46:49 AM »

Genesis 32:22-32; "Jacob Wrestles With God"...

I always thought this was a literal/physical wrestling. Now I've heard that it may have only been an intense prayer session. If it was literal, I've heard that it could be either an angel or God in the flesh (but I guess not like Christ [re: as a Saviour])... If it wasn't literal, how did his hip get wrenched? Any input? And I'm not looking to debate it either way; I'm just curious what the thoughts of others might be.... Thanks!

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants 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, [5] because you have struggled with God and with men 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, [6] 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, [7] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.

Footnotes
1. 32:2 Mahanaim means two camps .
2. 32:7 Or camps; also in verse 10
3. 32:8 Or camp
4. 32:8 Or camp
5. 32:28 Israel means he struggles with God .
6. 32:30 Peniel means face of God .
7. 32:31 Hebrew Penuel , a variant of Peniel

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The Crusader
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2004, 09:02:04 AM »

My vote is  literal/physical wrestling.

Your friend and brother

The Crusader

<Smiley))><
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sincereheart
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2004, 06:27:16 PM »

Thank you, Crusader!  Cheesy
Hey- that's 100% in agreement!



*sigh* I thought for sure more folks would have an opinion...
I even thought there'd be some depth and something I had overlooked.

Or... you guys are just as ignorant as I am!   Tongue
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sincereheart
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2004, 06:56:55 PM »

 Lips Sealed
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cris
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2004, 03:25:15 PM »






*sigh* I thought for sure more folks would have an opinion...
I even thought there'd be some depth and something I had overlooked.

                END OF SINCEREHEART'S QUOTE




BEGINNING CRIS'S COMMENT

I know what you mean!  I thought it was an interesting subject so I did a wee bit of research and here's what Matthew Henry's Commentary says.

Strong believers must expect divers temptations, and strong ones.  We are told by the prophet (Hosea 12:4) how Jacob wrestled: he wept, and made supplications; prayers and tears were his weapons.  It was not only a corporal , but a spiritual wrestling, by the vigorous actings of faith and holy desire; and thus all the spiritual seed of Jacob, that pray in praying, still wrestle with God.

It was a single combat, hand to hand; they had neither of them any seconds.  Jacob kept his ground; though the struggle continued long, the angel prevailed NOT against him, that is, this discouragement did not shake his faith, nor silence his prayer.  It was not in his own strength that he prevailed, but in and by strength derived from heaven.  The angel put out Jacob's thigh with a touch to show him what he coud do, and that it was God he was wrestling with, for no man could disjoint his thigh with a touch.  Some think that Jacob felt little or no pain from this hurt; it is probable that he did not, for he did not so much as halt till the struggle was over and, if so, this was an evidence of a divine touch indeed, which wounded and healed at the same time.  Wrestling believers may obtain glorious victories, and yet come off with broken bones; for when they are weak then they are strong, weak in themselves, but strong in Christ.

Sorry I messed up the quote thingey!





 
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sincereheart
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2004, 07:41:34 PM »

Thank you, Cris!  Cheesy

That's along the lines of what I had heard.  Undecided

One problem I have with it is:
Quote
"It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

That doesn't sound like an angel?  Huh

But thank you for taking the time to look it up. I guess it's just one of those things that'll keep me confused. And there are already so many....  Lips Sealed
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Symphony
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2004, 07:42:06 PM »


Oh definitely literal--very physical.

God visits in many places, in the OT, in the forms of a man, or an angel.....


If we couldn't "wrestle" with God, how come have prayer?

Is prayer really only spiritual?


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cris
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2004, 08:18:05 PM »


Sincereheart

Found something that you might like.  Found it on http://www.ariel.org/qaface.html.  I think it's a messianic jewish site.  The only thing I've read from the site is what follows.

"The statement about seeing God face to face has to do with God as He really is in the fullness of His glory.  It does not rule out seeing God in one of His visible manisfestations.  In fact, people in the Bible did see God in His visible manisfestations and survived.  This was true with Hagar, for example, in Gen. 13:13.  If you look at Gen. 32:30, you will notice what Jacob says: "For I have seen God, face to face, and my life is preserved."  Indeed, Jacob saw God face to face, but only in a visible manisfestation of an angel and not God as He really is; otherwise, Jacob would be dead.  In Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah claims to have seen God on His throne, as does Ezekiel in his vision.  In the case of Jesus the Messiah, this is when God became man, so in the form of man, one could look upon Him and not die as Jacob could look upon God in the form of an angel and not die.

Hope this helps.  It helped me!!! Smiley Tongue


cris
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JudgeNot
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2004, 08:50:18 PM »

Quote
*sigh* I thought for sure more folks would have an opinion...
Hey!  I have an opinion.  (But not about this.)  Grin

I don't think we can look upon God of the Old Testament because, besides being spirit, He is so vast it would literally ‘blow our minds’.  However God took on human form so we CAN see him.  Since Jesus always has been – I believe that is who the Old Testament prophets saw sitting on the throne.  

Just a thought…

As far as Jacob actually wrestling God - I just can't imagine it.  My vote would be an angel.
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cris
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2004, 08:55:21 PM »

Quote
*sigh* I thought for sure more folks would have an opinion...
Hey!  I have an opinion.  (But not about this.)  Grin

I don't think we can look upon God of the Old Testament because, besides being spirit, He is so vast it would literally ‘blow our minds’.  However God took on human form so we CAN see him.  Since Jesus always has been – I believe that is who the Old Testament prophets saw sitting on the throne.  

Just a thought…

As far as Jacob actually wrestling God - I just can't imagine it.  My vote would be an angel.



According to my post above YOU are 100% correct JN.



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JudgeNot
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2004, 08:59:29 PM »

 Grin
Where do you think I got the idea?  All my ideas come from folks a WHOLE lot smarter then me.
 Grin
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cris
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2004, 09:21:55 PM »

Grin
Where do you think I got the idea?  All my ideas come from folks a WHOLE lot smarter then me.
 Grin



OK-----the time has come------yer gittin a spankin fer sayin people is smarter than yu is.  

YOUUU-- - - - - -HAVE   THE  MIND  OF CHRIST and that's  Cool.  Don't ya evir let me hir yu sa dat agin!

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Sower
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2004, 01:24:03 AM »

Genesis 32:22-32; "Jacob Wrestles With God"...

I always thought this was a literal/physical wrestling. Now I've heard that it may have only been an intense prayer session.

Sincereheart:

Scripture should be taken in its plain literal sense unless there is a clear scriptural reason to take it metaphorically or symbolically.  Therefore Jacob wrestled with a "man", but this "man" was the pre-incarnate Christ -- the Angel of the Lord -- who appeared to men from time to time, and who was taken as the physical manifestation of God in OT times.

We must be very clear about something though.  When Jacob saw "God" face to face, he saw God the Son -- the eternal Word -- who later became flesh, and who also appeared to men in the flesh before His virgin birth. This teaches us the doctrines of the deity of Christ and the blessed Trinity.

So it was God the Son who literally wrestled with Jacob and put his hip out of joint.  But notice that (1) God hardly "wrestled" with man, but condescended to limit His power to simply putting Jacob's thigh out of joint. (2) God actually allowed Jacob to "win" the wrestling match, by blessing him.

Can mortal man wrestle with his Creator and win? This teaches us that we too can "wrestle" with God in prayer, and He will condescend to hear us and answer our prayers. This is pure grace!

"NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD [THE FATHER] AT ANY TIME.  THE ONLYBEGOTTEN SON, WHO IS IN THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER , HE HATH DECLARED [MANIFESTED, REVEALED] HIM" (Jn.1:18). Jacob called that place Peneil [Pe-nu-el = face of God] on the basis of this Bible truth.
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sincereheart
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2004, 07:31:57 AM »

Thank you Cris, Symphony, JudgeNot and Sower! I really do appreciate the time you've taken! I've read through it and will let that digest then re-read it all!  Lips Sealed

Scripture should be taken in its plain literal sense unless there is a clear scriptural reason to take it metaphorically or symbolically.  Therefore Jacob wrestled with a "man", but this "man" was the pre-incarnate Christ -- the Angel of the Lord -- who appeared to men from time to time, and who was taken as the physical manifestation of God in OT times.

See, that makes sense to my feeble mind.  Undecided

Can mortal man wrestle with his Creator and win? This teaches us that we too can "wrestle" with God in prayer, and He will condescend to hear us and answer our prayers. This is pure grace!

Amen!

Since Jesus always has been – I believe that is who the Old Testament prophets saw sitting on the throne.

This was something my husband suggested, as well...

As far as Jacob actually wrestling God - I just can't imagine it.  My vote would be an angel.

But you'd agree that it was a physical/literal wrestling? Not just an extreme prayer session?

In the case of Jesus the Messiah, this is when God became man, so in the form of man, one could look upon Him and not die as Jacob could look upon God in the form of an angel and not die.

Again, a literal wrestling?  Undecided

God visits in many places, in the OT, in the forms of a man, or an angel.....

If we couldn't "wrestle" with God, how come have prayer?


I see where our present day wrestling is with prayer. But I just couldn't see where a hip would be dislocated through an intense prayer session.... It sounded to me like it was with a physical manifestation of God.

Hope this helps.  It helped me!!!

Yes, very much! Thank you!  Cheesy

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ollie
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2004, 08:07:48 AM »

Here is another thought on it from "Gray's Commentaries":

Headings: - Meeting With God

Text: - 32: 3-32 Where was Esau dwelling at this time (3)? What shows Jacob's fear of him (4-8)? What reason had he for the increase of this fear (6)? To whom did he appeal, and how (9-12)? Study this prayer, the first of its kind in the Bible, that of Abraham was intercessory and of the nature of a dialogue, but this is a personal supplication. Its elements are adoration, confession, thanksgiving, petition and pleading. Discover these divisions for yourself and locate them in the verses. How does Jacob plan to propitiate Esau (13)? What kind of present does he prepare for him (14-15)? How many droves in all do you think there were (16-20)? Can you picture these five droves separated and appearing before Esau's astonished eyes at intervals? Was not the plan well adapted from a human point of view to have the desired effect? But the incident following shows that something must be done in Jacob's soul and then the propitiation of his way. In this incident we have way. In this incident we have another theophany such as we have seen before, but in some respects more remarkable still. To think that Jehovah should not only appear in human form but wrestle as a man with a man! What is the meaning of it all? For one thing it shows Jacob's dogged determination to have his own way, a kind of symbolic action illustrative of his whole career. What a schemer and planner he was from the time he defrauded Esau of his birthright until now! While wrestling with God he was in spirit wrestling with Esau probably, seeking in his own strength and by his own schemes to make peace with him, but he is to learn that his strength is made perfect in weakness. In God's plan and purpose he cannot prevail with men until he first prevails with God, and with God he cannot prevail until he ceases his own efforts and simply clings to Him for support and blessing. But this he will not do until God afflicts and makes it impossible for him to do otherwise. What a lesson for us! May God help us to translate it into our experience!

Could it be a physical being,(Jacob), wrestling with God who is spirit over his efforts to do things as opposed to doing them God's way?

Is it a wrestling match that Christians and all of God or all with a ready heart partake in constantly? We have the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit in our corner.
Jacob had to be afflicted by God before he realized this.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2004, 09:09:05 AM by ollie » Logged

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