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Sometimes you can study a biblical text for a long time and still miss the significance of a certain detail. This happened to me regarding Jacob’s wrestling match in Gen 32. I’ve preached on this story for years. I thought I knew the story. Yet, until recently, I never recognized the significance of v 28:
So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”
A simple dialogue. Familiar. And therefore very easy to just pass by. Skip over. But wait! Think about it: Why would the author include this dialogue in his story? And why is the dialogue even necessary? If the mysterious stranger is in a position to bless Jacob why would he ask this question? Would he not know who Jacob is? And why would he ask this question precisely at this point? These are important questions.
As I was thinking about the story…
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