Today we begin Genesis Chapter 32.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
If you prefer the King James version, click here.
“And Jacob went on his way,
and the angels of God met him.
And when Jacob saw them, he said,
This is God’s host:
and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother
unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.”
So after Laban bids a final farewell to his two daughters and grandchildren, something strange occurs.
We are told that Jacob met the “angels of God“.
The beginning of this chapter is a perfect opportunity to review a point I made a while ago concerning the word “Malach“.
If you recall, the word “Malach” when used alone in most cases just means a human messenger.
However, if the word “YAHWEH” or “ELOHIM” is attached to it, then it refers to spirit beings or heavenly messengers, in other words, angels.
The Hebrew of the underlined, bolded words from the Scripture above is as follows:
Angels of God=Malachim Elohim
Remember that when you add “-im” to a Hebrew noun, it becomes plural.
What’s interesting is that Jacob also met angels when he LEFT the land of Canaan.
So it makes sense that upon his RETURN, he would also encounter angels.
In response, Jacob calls the place “Mahanaim”, which means two camps.
Why is this significant?
The significance is that one camp was Jacob’s own party consisting of his frightened self and his wives and children, and the other camp was the great one up in the heavens.
His own company was sharing a place with God’s.
Could this also be Scriptural evidence that the promised land is continually protected by God’s angels?
A military correspondent for the secular Haaretz Newspaper commenting on Israel’s victory in the 6-Day War said:
“Even a non-religious person must admit this war was fought with help from heaven.”
[ibid, p. 445]