Sunday, April 05, 2015

Hosea 12:4: Jacob Strove with an Angel

"Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed;
He wept and sought His favor.
He found Him at Bethel
And there He spoke with us" (Hosea 12:4 NASB)

From the Cambridge Bible: "he wept, &c.] (The subject is Jacob, not the angel.) This feature is not given in Genesis 32; it is however well adapted to the hortatory object of Hosea. The Septuagint has, 'they wept', &c."

From Rashi's Tanach:

הוַיָּשַׂר אֶל מַלְאָךְ וַיֻּכָל בָּכָה וַיִּתְחַנֶּן לוֹ בֵּית
אֵל יִמְצָאֶנּוּ וְשָׁם יְדַבֵּר עִמָּנוּ:

He strove with an angel and prevailed; he wept and beseeched him; In Bethel he shall find Him, and there He shall speak with us.
Notes in Rashi for Hosea 12:4:

"he wept: i.e., the angel wept. [from Chullin 92a] and beseeched him: When he said to him, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me' (Gen. 32: 26), and the angel was begging him, 'Let me go now. Eventually, the Holy One, blessed be He, will reveal Himself to you in Bethel, and there you will find Him, and there He will speak with us, and He and I will agree with you concerning the blessings that Isaac blessed you.' Now that angel was Esau's genius, and he was contesting the blessings."

NET Bible: "He struggled with an angel and prevailed; he wept and begged for his favor. He found God at Bethel, and there he spoke with him!"


Duncan said...


An interesting interpretation in the vulgate:-

Et invaluit ad angelum, et confortatus est; flevit, et rogavit eum. In Bethel invenit eum, et ibi locutus est nobiscum.

And he prevailed over the angel, and prevailed; **She** wept and begged him. Found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us.

Edgar Foster said...


Are you sure it's "she wept"?

Duncan said...

No I am not sure in this case :(

Is this not an option?

Edgar Foster said...

We can tell by the ending that levity is third person singular, but contextually, it's probably he rather than she in this verse.

Edgar Foster said...

Flevit, not levity. Crazy tablet.

Edgar Foster said...

Douay-Rheims based on the VG says: "And he prevailed over the angel, and was strengthened: he wept, and made supplication to him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us."