I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva


with 2 comments

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh. — Genesis 32:24-32

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. — Revelation 19:11-16

There is a thigh touched, and a thigh inscribed. Jacob’s wound is connected with blessing, victory and dominion; Jesus’s thigh describes his authority, and the passage assures us of his victory. Jesus’s thigh and robe are connected by his name; Jacob himself is renamed, and I wonder if this is a kind of investiture. The nameless one appears in both passages, so that Jesus is not only the one with whom Jacob wrestles, but also Jacob’s antitype, Israel’s antitype.

The sun rises upon Jacob, and likewise John even goes on to describe the sun:

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. — Revelation 19:17-21

I wonder if there is a connection between this and Jacob’s facing Esau as the sun rises. I have not listened to James Jordan’s lectures on Revelation yet — probably he deals with this and more. But I recall he does identify the false prophet named here with the Idumean (Edomite!) Herods. Perhaps Esau’s four hundred men are furthermore representative of Revelation’s kings of the earth; the whole earth was set against Jacob, but he overcame through patience and faith. Likewise, Jesus’s church in Revelation overcomes through persevering in patience and faith.

Written by Scott Moonen

February 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Posted in Biblical Theology

2 Responses

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  1. I’ve wondered if Jacob’s hip/thigh wound had something to do with the “hand under the thigh” oath as seen in Gen 24:2,9 and Gen 47:29. It’s the same underlying Hebrew “yārēk” in all three passages.

    Also, as a body-part-of-promise, you see God allot the thigh-piece of certain offerings to the sons of Aaron (Lev 7:33, though this does use a different Hebrew word—the Gen verses refer to the torso/side/thigh, while the Lev verses use “šôk” which much more clearly is a piece of the leg)

    Tim Chase

    February 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm

  2. Tim, on the oath, I think so. Jordan suggests that it is all connected with circumcision, because of the obvious proximity. Circumcision represents a symbolic “cutting off,” a giving up of your seed to God. Thus, Abraham entrusted the continuation of his seed to Eliezer. The connection to Jacob is less obvious, but Jordan suggests that Jacob’s wound is a greater circumcision, a kind of a new covenant that goes beyond Abraham in terms of calling and blessing. In the face of Esau, Jacob entrusts his wives and offspring to God. There is a wound, a weakness and cutting off of human potency, and a being set apart for God.

    I don’t know about the pieces of the offerings. I’ve heard some speculation (e.g., as to the order in which things are made to ascend, which pieces are given to whom, etc.) but nothing that feels like it has strong confirmation from elsewhere.

    Scott Moonen

    February 21, 2012 at 6:25 am

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