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Chapter 39.—The Reason Why Jacob Was Also Called Israel.

As I said a little ago, Jacob was also called Israel, the name which was most prevalent among the people descended from him.  Now this name was given him by the angel who wrestled with him on the way back from Mesopotamia, and who was most evidently a type of Christ.  For when Jacob overcame him, doubtless with his own consent, that the mystery might be represented, it signified Christ’s passion, in which the Jews are seen overcoming Him.  And yet he besought a blessing from the very angel he had overcome; and so the imposition of this name was the blessing.  For Israel means seeing God,965965    Gen. xxxii. 28:  Israel = a prince of God; ver. 30; Peniel = the face of God. which will at last be the reward of all the saints.  The angel also touched him on the breadth of the thigh when he was overcoming him, and in that way made him lame.  So that Jacob was at one and the same time blessed and lame:  blessed in those among that people who believed in Christ, and lame in the unbelieving.  For the breadth of the thigh is the multitude of the family.  For there are many of that race of whom it was prophetically said beforehand, “And they have halted in their paths.”966966    Ps. xviii. 45.


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