Search This Blog

Who did Jacob wrestle with? An angel or a man?

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” Genesis 32:24-28

            Jacob wrestled with an angel, though the angel took the form of a physical man.  Jacob could not wrestle with a spirit because his hands would pass right through him.

Angels appeared as men before.  Abraham saw three men, two of which were angels (one possibly Christ) before Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. 

In the New Testament we read:

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.  Hebrews 13:2

Apparently angels can take human form when needed.  This is a comforting and scary thought, but it helps to answer our question.

Jacob wrestled an angel who took on a physical, manly form.