While I may not see God’s angels, they are still here.

Genesis 32:1-5

1And Jacob went on[1] his way and angels of God met with him. 2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp[2].” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim[3].

And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom. 4 And he commanded them, saying, “This is what you’re to say to my owner and master, Esau, ‘This is what your slave, Jacob says, “I’ve been a stranger with Laban, and stayed[4] until now. 5 And it happened (that) cattle[5], donkeys, sheep and goats, male slaves and female slaves belong to me, and I’ve sent to tell my owner and master… to find favour in your eyes.”’”


After Laban left to go home, Jacob continued on his way.  However, the angels of God came to meet Jacob, and Jacob immediately recognised that God’s camp was in the same place as his camp.  So, he called the place Mahanaim, meaning “two camps.”

Then, almost without any connection to the previous passage, the next verse says that Jacob sent messengers to his brother Esau.  (and interestingly, exactly the same Hebrew word for “messengers” as that for “angels”) Now, the last we heard of Esau was that he was waiting for the appropriate opportunity to murder Jacob…  Accordingly, it’s no great surprise that Jacob decided to send out some messenger to curry up some favour with his brother, Esau, before he met him again.

Jacob told these messengers to say that Jacob had lived as a stranger with Laban until now, and that he was very wealthy… i.e. he had cattle, donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female slaves… and he was sending a messenger in front to ask for grace and mercy from Esau when they met.

My question is, “Was Jacob’s action driven by wisdom, by fear, or by God’s instruction?  And we don’t really know.  All we know is that these are the events leading up to Jacobs reunion with his brother.

I need to recognise that there are two camps.  There is my camp, and there is the camp of God’s angels.  While I may not see God’s angels, they are still here.


Father thank you that You send messengers to me, and please help me to recognise them, and praise You.  Please also give me wisdom as to how I react to circumstances, and please help me to be bold and courageous.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

[1] “for/to/belonging to”

[2] “encampment/camp/army/camp of armed host/army camp/company/body of people/civilian group/am unwalled town”

[3] מַחֲנָיִם – machanayim – Strongs 4266 – (n . m proper) – “Mahanaim, name of a place, east of the Jordan River, named by Jacob when he enacountered the angels of God/also name of a levitical city in Gad = two camps’”

 [4] אָחַר – ʾachar – Strongs 309 – (v) – “remain/take longer/to delay/hesitate/tarry/defer/remain behind/tarry/hinder/keep back/wait stay behind/another/additional … to delay/hesitate/tarry/defer/remain behind/ to cause to delay/hinder/keep back/stay on [Qal] … to delay/wait/stay behind (but not in hope)/slow down [Piel] … take longer [Hifil]”

[5] שֹׁור – showr – Strongs 7794 – (n . m) – “ox/oxen/bull/bulls/head of cattle/cattle/cow/calf/herd”