(21) Jacob’s amazing change to Israel

Jacob's wrestling

Jacob's wrestling

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How the name of Jacob became Israel? who ‘s the Man he was wrestling? what happened during this? and why a new name?

He meets Rachel

(So, Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East.) (Genesis29:1)
(And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban. Then Jacob kissed Rachel.) (Genesis29:10’11)
So, rolled the stone probably denoting to the stone put in Jesus’ tomb that was rolled by the angels so that we drink from the water of His resurrection’s well. 
(Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?”) (Genesis29:15)
(Now Jacob loved Rachel so, he said “I will serve you seven years for Rachel.”) (Genesis29:18)

Struggle in his life

(Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying “Jacob has taken away all of that was our father’s.”) (Genesis31:1)
(Then the Lord said to Jacob. “Return to the land of your fathers and your family and I will be with you.”) (Genesis 31:3)
(And Laban was told that Jacob had fled. Then he overtook him in the mountains of Gilead.) (Genesis 31:22,23)
(But God had come to Laban in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful that you speak to Jacob neither good or bad.”) (Genesis31:24)
(Then Laban said to Jacob, “Here is this heap and here is this pillar. this heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not pass beyond the heap to you, and you will not pass beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm.) (Genesis31:51-52)
(Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and called his brethren to eat bread. and they ate bread and stayed all night on the mountain.) (Genesis31:54)
(So, they ate bread as a testimony for reconciliation since, they ate the same bread, and they are in one blood.) 
(Then Laban departed and returned his place.) (Genesis 31:55)
At the end each one came back to the place he wishes, Laban returned to the land he put his desires on, but he was looking for the heavens that he put his hope on which is represented in the land of promise.

He becomes Israel

(Then he was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the socket of his hip, and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him) (Genesis32:24-25)
Saint Aurelius Ambrosius says, (His hip that has been jointed out refers to the fellowship of Jesus’s sufferings who came incarnated in flesh from his descendant.)
(And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks” But he said, “I will not let You Go unless You bless me!”. So, He said to him, “What’s your name?” He said Jacob.” (Genesis32:26-27)
Thus, he did not surrender at all in his struggle that resulted in, the Man wrestling him, finally needed to touch him slightly, on his hip. And he insisted on getting a blessing from him, since he felt surely that he is a heavenly-being.
(And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel. For you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”) (Genesis32:28)
Saint Clement of Alexandria says, (He was nominated a new name for the new people. As, it is a present presented not only for him alone but for all God’s people; a sign for their spiritual struggle.)
(So, he called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”) (Genesis32:30)
Thus, he called the name of the place Peniel meaning, the face of God, since he was joyful to see the face of God and still being preserved.

Tawfik, S. (2022). Jacob’s amazing change to Israel. www.orthodox-beliefs.com

Source is THE HOLY BIBLE NKJV. Arabic New van Dyck text C. The Bible Society of Egypt. Fifth Edition Third print2019.ISBN 978-1-84364-188-9. Printed in China.
Reference: Genesis Book for Egyptian priest Father Tadros Jakob Malti.

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