1. Early next morning, Laban kissed his grandchildren and daughters and blessed them. Then Laban left to return home.

2. While Jacob was going on his way, angels of God encountered him,

3. and on seeing them he said, 'This is God's camp,' and he named the place Mahanaim.

4. Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in Seir, the open country of Edom,

5. with these instructions, 'Say this to my lord Esau, "Here is the message of your servant Jacob: I have been staying with Laban and have been delayed there until now,

6. and I own oxen, beasts of burden and flocks, and men and women slaves. I send news of this to my lord in the hope of winning your favour." '

7. The messengers returned to Jacob and told him, 'We went to your brother Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you; there are four hundred men with him.'

8. Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people with him, and the flocks and cattle, into two camps,

9. thinking, 'If Esau comes to one of the camps and attacks it, the remaining camp may be able to escape.'

10. Jacob said, 'God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, Yahweh who told me, "Go back to your native land and I will be good to you,"

11. I am unworthy of all the faithful love and constancy you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, and now I have grown into two camps.

12. I implore you, save me from my brother Esau's clutches, for I am afraid that he may come and attack me, mothers and children alike.

13. Yet it was you who said, "I shall be very good to you, and make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which is too numerous to count." '

14. Then Jacob passed that night there. From what he had with him he chose a gift for his brother Esau:

15. two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,

16. thirty camels in milk with their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male.

17. He put them in the charge of his servants, in separate droves, and told his servants, 'Go ahead of me, leaving a space between each drove and the next.'

18. He gave the leading man this order: 'When my brother Esau meets you and asks, "Whose man are you? Where are you going? Whose are those animals that you are driving?"

19. you will answer, "Your servant Jacob's. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau. And Jacob himself is just behind us." '

20. He gave the same order to the second and the third, and to all who were following the droves. 'That is what you must say to Esau when you find him.

21. And you must add, "Your servant Jacob himself is just behind us." ' For he thought, 'If I conciliate him by sending a gift in advance, perhaps he will be well inclined towards me when I face him.'

22. The gift went ahead of him, but he himself spent that night in the camp.

23. That same night he got up and, taking his two wives, his two slave-girls and his eleven children, crossed the ford of the Jabbok.

24. After he had taken them across the stream, he sent all his possessions over too.

25. And Jacob was left alone. Then someone wrestled with him until daybreak

26. who, seeing that he could not master him, struck him on the hip socket, and Jacob's hip was dislocated as he wrestled with him.

27. He said, 'Let me go, for day is breaking.' Jacob replied, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.'

28. The other said, 'What is your name?' 'Jacob,' he replied.

29. He said, 'No longer are you to be called Jacob, but Israel since you have shown your strength against God and men and have prevailed.'

30. Then Jacob asked, 'Please tell me your name.' He replied, 'Why do you ask my name?' With that, he blessed him there.

31. Jacob named the place Peniel, 'Because I have seen God face to face,' he said, 'and have survived.'

32. The sun rose as he passed Peniel, limping from his hip.

33. That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh sinew which is at the hip socket: because he had struck Jacob at the hip socket on the thigh sinew.

Livros sugeridos

“A prática das bem-aventuranças não requer atos de heroísmo, mas a aceitação simples e humilde das várias provações pelas quais a pessoa passa.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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