Genesis 32:28 Commentary - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and GraphicsJacob = contender (Gen 25:22). Used of the natural Jacob and his natural seed. Israel used for spiritual Jacob and his spiritual seed.
Israel = "God commands, orders or rules". Man attempts it but always, in the end, fails. Out of some forty Hebrew names compounded with "El" or "Jah", God is always the doer of what the verb means (compare Dani-el, God judges).
prince = commander, orderer. Here used not to dignify but to reproach. Compare Gen 12:15, princes (courtiers); Gen 26:26, chief of soldiers; Gen 39:1, officer; Gen 40:2, chief; Gen 40:3, jailor; Gen 47:6, herdsmen; Exo 1:11, taskmasters, &c.
hast thou power = hast thou contended. Jacob had contended with Esau in the womb, and thus got his name Jacob, which is referred to here in reproach, not in eulogy.
prevailed = succeeded. He had contended for the birthright and succeeded (Gen 25:29-34). He had contended for the blessing and succeeded (27). He had contended with Laban and succeeded (31). He had contended with "men" and succeeded. Now he contends with God and fails. Hence his name was changed to Isra-el, God commands, to teach him the greatly needed lesson of dependence upon God.
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Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics
The Companion Bible Being the Authorized Version of 1611 with the Structures and Notes, Critical, Explanatory and Suggestive.
Ethelbert William Bullinger AKC (1837 – 1913) was an Anglican clergyman, biblical scholar, and ultradispensationalist theologian.