He Sent

1024x1024homegroupsThe eighth reading from the book of Genesis is named Vayishlach (וישלח), which means “and he sent.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom” (Genesis 32:3 [verse 4 in Jewish-published Bibles]). Jacob prepares to meet Esau as he returns to the Promised Land, but first he has a mysterious encounter with an angel in the darkness, who changes his name to Israel. The portion follows Jacob’s adventures in the land of Canaan, including the loss of his beloved wife, Rachel.

As he prepared to face Esau, Jacob experienced a strange mystical encounter with God. He had sent his family, his servants and his possessions across a river ahead of him. He was about to follow when he was suddenly attacked by an assailant. Jacob wrestled the man through the night. The attacker turned out to be none other than the angel of the LORD.

Jacob wrestled with the angel through the night. He would not let the angel go. Jacob said to the angel, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26)

Rashi explains this name change as if the angel said, “No longer shall you be called Yaakov, because they will no longer say that the blessings came to you by means of trickery (yakav, יעקב) and deceit. You shall be called Yisrael (ישראל), because you have been publicly authorized (sararah, שררה) to receive the blessing.”

The name Jacob represented Jacob’s life before encountering God, his old nature. The name Israel represented Jacob’s life after encountering God. It represented his new nature and new destiny.

A genuine encounter with God is life-changing. It is a sort of wrestling match. The apostles teach us that, through faith in Jesus/ Yeshua, we are born again as new creations. In Messiah we have a whole new identity. Paul speaks of our old identity as the “old self.” He declares that, for the believer, the “old self was crucified with [Messiah], in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). “Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).


Bible Outline

        • Genesis 32:3 | Jacob Sends Presents to Appease Esau
        • Genesis 32:22 | Jacob Wrestles at Peniel
        • Genesis 33:1 | Jacob and Esau Meet
        • Genesis 33:18 | Jacob Reaches Shechem
        • Genesis 34:1 | The Rape of Dinah
        • Genesis 34:25 | Dinah’s Brothers Avenge Their Sister
        • Genesis 35:1 | Jacob Returns to Bethel
        • Genesis 35:16 | The Birth of Benjamin and the Death of Rachel
        • Genesis 35:27 | The Death of Isaac
        • Genesis 36:1 | Esau’s Descendants
        • Genesis 36:15 | Clans and Kings of Edom
      • PROPHETS
        • Hos 11:1 | God’s Compassion Despite Israel’s Ingratitude
        • Hos 12:2 | The Long History of Rebellion
        • Oba 1:5 | Pillage and Slaughter Will Repay Edom’s Cruelty
        • Oba 1:10 | Edom Mistreated His Brother
        • Oba 1:17 | Israel’s Final Triumph
      • GOSPELS
        •  John 1&2 | The Word Becomes Flesh and Dwells Among Us
      • LETTERS

Old Testament Activities for Kids

It’s sometimes hard to make the Old Testament fun for kids. Try these Children’s activities:

Days of creation coloring

Chabad for Kids

For Deeper Learning

Hebrew “Word of the Week” by Hebrew4Christians.com

Greek “Word of the Week

Psalms in a Week

Sunday- 1-29

Monday- 30-50

Tuesday- 51-72

Wednesday- 73-89

Thursday- 90-106

Friday- 107-119

Saturday- 120-150