Genesis 32:31 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 32:31, NIV: "The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip."

Genesis 32:31, ESV: "The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip."

Genesis 32:31, KJV: "And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh."

Genesis 32:31, NASB: "Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his hip."

Genesis 32:31, NLT: "The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip."

Genesis 32:31, CSB: "The sun shone on him as he passed by Penuel--limping because of his hip."

What does Genesis 32:31 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob's long night finally comes to an end. He has learned of his estranged brother's approach with 400 men (Genesis 32:6) and prepared a lavish parade of gifts to blunt Esau's decades-old anger (Genesis 27:41–45). After sending his family across a river, Jacob found himself grappling with a mysterious opponent. Despite being seriously injured (Genesis 32:25), Jacob refused to submit, instead demanding a blessing. The man demanded to know Jacob's name, giving someone with a reputation for lying an opportunity to be honest. Jacob tells the truth, and God renames him Israel.

This injury does not seem to be minor. Not only does this verse make a point of saying that Jacob is limping, the next verse indicates that his descendants commemorate this moment by not eating hip sinews. Dislocations can, in fact, cause permanent damage. It's not unlikely that Jacob's overnight wrestling match permanently affected both his spirituality, and his body.

As the sun rises, Jacob limps past the place he has now renamed Peniel, reflecting this moment where he came face-to-face with God and was spared from death (Genesis 32:30). After all of this, Jacob is now ready to rejoin his family and show his face to his twin brother Esau. His fear is likely now greatly diminished, having survived a far deadlier encounter and having received a new name and a blessing from God.