It was God in human form who appeared to Jacob. Jacob himself was a witness of that reality. Jacob said: “I have seen God face to face.” And yet, the word “man” in verse 24 and throughout the text has caused problems for many interpreters of the text. The prophet Hosea said that Jacob strove and prevailed against an angel, not God (Hos. 12:4).
Even some translators of the text have problems with the fact that God appeared as a human being and lost the struggle to Jacob.
Read more about God’s struggle with Jacob. Here is the link: What Happens When God Loses?
Topics: Genesis 32, Jacob, Peniel, Walter Brueggemann, Yochanan Muffs, Arthur Pink, Gerhard von Rad, Karl Barth
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Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary