Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

The Commentary's Perspective

The author of the commentary claims that because Jacob was by himself and had no other option but to disseminate his fears before God, he was completely overcome by them. According to the commentary, prayers turn into our battles with God when we are unable to adequately communicate our extensive desires and sincerity. According to the article, Jesus Christ, the second member of the Holy Trinity to manifest in the flesh and take on human character, was the angel who wrestled Jacob. Thus, the passage suggests that the struggle mentioned in the passage are the tribulations and life hardships that Jacob went through while he was alone and that the Angel who wrestled him was Jesus himself.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Clarke also states that Jesus Christ is the man who wrestled Jacob since he was the patriarch who assumed human body and lived among the humans for 33 years. In the wrestle with Jacob, Jesus designed as an angel since he was the Messenger of the great council and was also designed to redeem man from death and give eternal life. However, Jesus did not wrestle Jacob in real human body but rather its form. With God's orders, the soul operates in the human body and so did the angel in Jacob's body and be able to produce the imaginations that he had. There could be no way that the supposed angel took human body since the disappearance of matter into nothingness takes longer than the time taken by the angel to disappear. Therefore, according to Clarke, Jacob wrestled Jesus, not in body form but in spiritual form.

Hundley, M. B. Journal

The article suggests that the Angel who wrestled Jacob was God himself. Jacobs opponent's opponent was God as Jacob identifies him later. The reason as to why the opponent refused to identify himself was because he was divided and wanted Jacob to take the event to his heart by heightening the mystery. However, on the same article, the author suggests that the supposed angel might be God's Messenger, and with no doubt that would be Jesus. As it appears in the Old Testament, the term angel is used a lot to mean a theophany. Thus, Jesus as the God's Messenger who is the only one who has ever assumed human body would probably be the one who wrestled Jacob. Thus, the article suggests that it was God who wrestled Jacob but through his messenger Jesus.

My View on the Paragraph

According to the passage on Genesis 32:24, I believe that the supposed angel was not in spiritual form but rather in a physical one. Jacob saw him face to face though he could not identify whether it was human or God. More so, the wrestle left Jacob with some physical evidence on his thigh. Thus, there is no way a mortal man can see a spiritual being face to face or even get or experience a physical effect out of a struggle with a spirit. Since the time of Jesus to be manifested on earth among the humans had not appeared, I believe it was a real angel who was given a physical form by God to wrestle with Jacob. Thus, I beg to differ with those who suggest that it was Jesus, or even God himself since he is too powerful to struggle with mortal human beings.


Clarke, A. (2017). Genesis 32:24 - Then Jacob was... - Verse-by-Verse Commentary. Retrieved 20 June 2017, from

Henry, M. Genesis 32 Matthew Henry's Commentary. Retrieved 20 June 2017, from

Hundley, M. B. (2016). Of God and Angels: Divine Messengers in Genesis and Exodus in their Ancient Near Eastern Contexts. The Journal of Theological Studies, 67(1), 1-22.

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