Thursday, January 1, 2015

Who was the "man" who wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:24-28)?

Just some food for thought:

Many have written to ask us who we think the "man" was who wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:24-28).  I Judaism, the most prevalent interpretation of this "man" in Genesis 32 is that he's the "angel of Esau".  They believe each “nation” has an angel that guides its destiny, with Esau representing evil so his angel was the “angel of evil” and thus the fight between Jacob and the angel was the never-ending fight between good and evil!   

Well, it’s a bit hard to stomach that the “man” was the “angel of evil” for a number of reasons.   First, Jacob himself understood that what had happened was something special.  Jacob did not seem to think that he had “wrestled evil”, in deed he asked from this man a blessing! (Genesis 32:26)  And  he names the place “P'ni-El [face of God], "Because I have seen God face to face, yet my life is spared.”  Hardly an action to be taken if the fight had been with “evil”. 

Further, we find that YHWH tells Jacob to go to Beit-El and make an altar to Elohim “who appeared to you when you fled Esau your brother”.  So we have that YHWH himself identifies to Jacob that, yes, he (Jacob) had seen Elohim!  Would YHWH tell Jacob it was  Himself if the “man” was the “angel of evil”?

We believe this “man” was none other than Y’shua!  Why?  Because Genesis 32:28 says:  "you will no longer be called Ya'akov, but Isra'el; because you have shown your strength to both God and men". 

This name “Isra’el” has significant meaning and is the name given for us to know the Messiah!  What? The Messiah’s name is “Y’shua”!  Yes it is! But as the servant of YHWH, He is Isra’el.  Please read on… 

The Sages tell us the name “Isra’el” (in Hebrew) is the combination of “Y’sreh” meaning “to prevail” and “El”, meaning “the Divine”.  This is from Genesis 32:28 which explains “ will no longer be called Ya'akov, but Isra'el; because you have shown your strength to both God and men and have prevailed.” Thus you will see the meaning further described as "Triumphant with God", "who prevails with God", “God rules”, and many others. 

Now, here is something mind-blowing that relates to this:  In Isaiah 49:3-6, we discover something very interesting:  Y’shua's name is also – ISRAEL:  “He said to me, ‘You are my servant, Isra'el, through whom I will show my glory’.” (Isaiah 49:3)  So YHWH had placed His “hidden” name upon Jacob.  He had to wait for Jacob to be born and become an adult … because He couldn't put that name upon Abraham (because of Ishmael), and he couldn't put it upon Isaac (because of Esau).  So YHWH – Miltha (Word) – Y’shua - ISRAEL placed His name upon His people and upon His land and upon those of the nations who belong to Him.

This explains Amos 9:12   “…‘so that Isra'el can possess what is left of Edom and of all the nations bearing my name,’ says ADONAI, who is doing this.”  Notice how Edom/ Esau represents the "remnant" of Yeshua's disciples from the nations.

Now, let’s take a look at Isaiah 49 and see if all this is beginning to make sense to you:

Isaiah 49: 1 Coastlands, listen to me; listen, you peoples far away: ADONAI called me from the womb; before I was born, he had spoken my name. 2 He has made my mouth like a sharp sword while hiding me in the shadow of his hand; he has made me like a sharpened arrow while concealing me in his quiver. 3 He said to me, "You are my servant, Isra'el, through whom I will show my glory." 4 But I said, "I have toiled in vain, spent my strength for nothing, futility." Yet my cause is with ADONAI, my reward is with my God.

5 So now ADONAI says - he formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Ya'akov back to him, to have Isra'el gathered to him, so that I will be honored in the sight of ADONAI, my God having become my strength 6 he has said, "It is not enough that you are merely my servant to raise up the tribes of Ya'akov and restore the offspring of Isra'el. I will also make you a light to the nations, so my salvation can spread to the ends of the earth."  7 Here is what ADONAI, the Redeemer of Isra'el, his Holy One, says to the one despised, whom the nations detest, to the servant of tyrants: "When kings see you, they will stand up; princes too will prostrate themselves, because of ADONAI, who is faithful, the Holy One of Isra'el, who has chosen you."

8 Here is what ADONAI says: "At the time when I choose, I will answer you; on the day of salvation, I will help you. I have preserved you, and I have appointed you to be the covenant for a people, to restore the land and distribute again its ruined inheritances to their owners, 9 to say to the prisoners, 'Come out!' to those in darkness, 'Show yourselves!' They will feed along the paths, and all the high hills will be their pastures. 10 They will be neither hungry nor thirsty; neither scorching wind nor sun will strike them; for he who has mercy on them will lead them and guide them to springs of water. 11 I will turn all my mountains into a road, my highways will be raised up. 12 There they come, some from far away, some from the north, some from the west, and some from the land of Sinim." 13 Sing, heaven! Rejoice, earth! Break out in song, you mountains! For ADONAI is comforting his people, having mercy on his own who have suffered.

So there is the Messiah’s name, Isra’el, secretly hidden within His people and His Servant, Y’shua!

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