Genesis 32:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 32:9, NIV: "Then Jacob prayed, 'O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, LORD, you who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,'"

Genesis 32:9, ESV: "And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’"

Genesis 32:9, KJV: "And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:"

Genesis 32:9, NASB: "Then Jacob said, 'God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, LORD, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’"

Genesis 32:9, NLT: "Then Jacob prayed, 'O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac--O LORD, you told me, 'Return to your own land and to your relatives.' And you promised me, 'I will treat you kindly.'"

Genesis 32:9, CSB: "Then Jacob said, "God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, 'Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper,'"

What does Genesis 32:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

According to Genesis 32:7, Jacob is terrified to hear that his estranged brother, Esau, is riding in his direction with 400 men. The language in the original Hebrew of verse 7 indicates a critical level of stress and fear. Jacob has good reason to believe Esau is coming to kill him. Twenty years prior, Jacob fled home to escape his brother's revenge (Genesis 27:41–45), after Jacob fooled their elderly father in order to steal Esau's blessing (Genesis 27:30–35).

How will Jacob respond to this fear? Despite his reputation for selfish scheming, his attempt to "plan" here actually makes a lot of sense. In that sense, Jacob provides a good model for us. He takes what action he can, positioning his large company to save as many as possible (Genesis 32:7–8). Then Jacob prays.

God has told Jacob repeatedly that He would be with him. God has often demonstrated to Jacob His protection and blessing. Now Jacob demonstrates his faith in the God who protects and provides: he turns to God for help. That's what believers do. Jacob begins his prayer by addressing God as the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, connecting to God's legacy of blessing for his fathers. Then Jacob refers to the Lord as the one who told him to return to his country and family and promised to do good to him.

In terms of his literal words, Jacob is reminding God of God's own promise. In effect, though, Jacob is reminding himself, both of God's history of goodness and the promise to continue to do good for him.