The ABC of Scattering:
Part 6: From Machpelah to Penuel

John Plunkett
February 3, 2016

Before we get into the "meat and potatoes" of today's sermon, I would like to spend a couple of minutes bringing you up to date with what we have been covering in this sermon series.

We have been following the early peoples of the Bible in their migrations - their "scatterings" which were in accordance with the LORD's desire for them to "keep on travellin'" (as travel journalist Rick Steves so often says), to spread out and to scatter themselves across the face of the earth.

So far, we have followed the families of Adam and Eve, Cain, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Lot, and we are now travelling with Isaac.

I would also like to give you a rough idea of where we are going with this series; and more especially, I would like to allay any misunderstandings.  Most of all, I don't want you to think that, because of all that we've covered so far, Jesus and His Father necessarily want us – their New Covenant people – to "hit the road" physically.  Nor do I want you to start thinking that we might have been sinning because we've dwelt (Hebrew yashab'd) in the same houses or towns for ten, twenty, thirty years, or more.

The LORD’s requirement for the world's early peoples to keep on travelling was for them specifically.  As we will see as we continue, that requirement ended once the children of Israel entered the Promised Land; and after that, as we shall also see as we continue, the LORD only sent them out "on the road again" whenever they refused to repent of their idolatry, Sabbath-breaking and other kinds of sinful rebellion against Him. 

It is true, however, that, in my time in God's church, I have seen brethren putting higher priorities on mere houses – especially on building new houses – than on their interest in and adherence to the Word of God.  There is, of course, nothing wrong with having a nice home in a nice area; and there is certainly nothing wrong with having a new one built, or making improvements to an existing one.  But if we allow it to become a higher priority than our interest in and our adherence to the Word of God, then those things can become idols of mere wood, stone, metal, glass and plastic!  In the big scheme of things, those things are relatively unimportant.

Another point for us all to think about, as well, is that, if the time comes within our lifetimes that the LORD clearly shows us that we should abandon our homes in order to relocate to a "Place of Safety" which He may provide for His people, should we be willing to do so?  Should we be willing to abandon our homes, if necessary, and go there?  Of course we should!  We would be foolish not too!  

But please beware!  We have a long history – yes, in God's church too! – of false prophets who have said that "it is time to go" when it wasn’t. 

But the physical relocation and scattering of God's end-time people is not really the point of this series.  What I'm leading up to, and the symbolism that I am especially trying to get across in our study of these scriptures, is the many, recent and huge organizational migrations and scatterings within spiritual Israel – the Church of God – and how they seem to mirror what happened with the earliest inhabitants of the earth and, later, with the children of Israel.

At the end of Part 5 we finished in Genesis 25.  There we saw that Abraham had died and was buried next to his beloved Sarah in a cave/tomb situated in a place called Machpelah.  Then, upon Abraham's death, the baton of the LORD's people was passed on to his son, Isaac:

Genesis 25:
11: And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt
{yashab’d} by the well Lahairoi {Beer-Lahairoi}...

Hmmm!  Was this "yashabing" okay?  Had the family’s nomadic life-style ceased with the death of Abraham and Sarah?  Most importantly, what was the LORD’s opinion and will regarding these questions?  In His opinion and will, had their nomadic life-style come to an end?

Perhaps He allowed Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, to enjoy a peaceful existence at Beer-Lahairoi while Rebekah gave birth to, and brought up, their twin sons, Jacob and Esau.  But please note that this cannot have been a truly permanent halt because, throughout this period, they were still living in tents:

Verse 27:  And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

This is interesting.  Please keep it in the back of your mind.  Jacob was a apparently a bit of a "home-body."  But once the twins were grown, after what we might call the "the lentil soup incident" (verses 29 to 34), it was time for the family to hit the road again:

Genesis 26:
1:  And there was a famine in the land
{evidently including the area of Beer-Lahairoi}, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.  And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
2:  And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, “Go not down into Egypt
{evidently the obvious option and one that his parents had once taken [Genesis 12]}; dwell {Hebrew "shakan" not "yashab"} in the land which I shall tell you of”;

The land that the LORD told Isaac to dwell in was Gerar in Philistia where his parents had stopped some years earlier. 

The Abimelech mentioned here was likely the son of the previous man by the same name who Abraham and Sarah had had dealings with – and problems too, which appear to have resulted from them overstaying their sojourn (Hebrew guwr – Genesis 20 and 21).

The Hebrew verb that the LORD used for the English ‘dwell’ in Genesis 26:2 was not the usual yashab; but was the verb shakan.  Does this mean that the LORD was suggesting to them, or did they believe that He was suggesting to them, that they could dwell in Gerar permanently? 

No.  Absolutely not!  And the LORD specified this in more detail in the very next verse:

3:  Sojourn {guwr – temporarily!} in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for unto you, and unto your seed, I will give {N.B. future tense} all these countries {including this one – Philistia}, and I will perform {future tense} the oath which I swore unto Abraham your father.

The LORD told Isaac to shakan and to guwr at Gerar (the very name of which means a lodging place).  But what did Isaac do?

Verse 6:  And Isaac dwelt {yashab} in Gerar…
Verse 8:  And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time… 

Uh-oh!  This looks like he might have started making some of the same mistakes that his father had made in this regard!  Virtually right away, it seems that Isaac ran into exactly the same set of problems that Abraham did!  In fear, he lied to the Gerarites that his wife, Rebekah (who was apparently as long-lastingly beautiful as her late mother-in-law), was his sister.  And just as with Abraham’s identical lie, a row blew up over it.  History was repeating itself here!  In other ways too: 

Verse 12:  Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him…

Noah had planted a vineyard.  Abraham had planted a grove.  And here we see that Isaac sowed.  We're not sure what his crops were; but the very idea of him sowing crops strongly implies that he intended to remain there at least for the duration of one full growing season.  Maybe more, we don’t know.  Maybe he, too, fancied that he could settle down as a "gentleman farmer." 

But, even though the LORD blessed the productivity of his fields, we can be absolutely sure that He did not want Isaac and his family to continue to dwell there for any length of time.  So He moved them on again, and in very similar circumstances as he had moved Abraham’s family on, years earlier – through trouble:

Verse 16:  And Abimelech said unto Isaac, “Go from us; for you are much mightier than we.”
17:  And Isaac departed from there, and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar, and dwelt there…

This was the same location where Abraham and Abimelech Sr. had had a row over Abimelech's servants’ theft of Abraham's wells.  And guess what?  Another dispute arose – likely over those very same wells!

Isaac's group, richly blessed by the LORD, moved on from place to place, dug fresh, productive wells which they needed for drinking water for themselves and for their flocks.  A couple of the wells were aptly named.  One was called "Contention" and the other was called "Strife" because of the trouble that they engendered.  Each time Isaac's men dug a good, productive well, those pesky Philistines moved in and chased them off.  Apparently in an effort to "pick his battles," Isaac (the precursor of the great peacemaker, the human Jesus Christ), moved on – again and again – until:

Verse 22:  And he removed from there, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth {wide places, plazas or streets}; and he said, "For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."

But did this last phrase mean that Isaac thought that the LORD would allow his group to stay there at Rehoboth for good?  If so, he was mistaken!  Because the LORD moved them on yet again:

23: And he went up from there to Beersheba…

Where he and his group continued staying in tents. 

Verse 25:  And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.

Isaac had another well dug and, just as his father had done, built an altar to the LORD; but again, just like his father, he did not build a permanent bricks-and-mortar house.

What next?

26:  Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
27:  And Isaac said unto them, "Wherefore come you to me, seeing you hate me, and have sent me away from you?
28:  And they said, "We saw certainly that the LORD was with you: and we said, 'Let there be now an oath between us, even between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you;
29:  That you will do us no hurt, as we have not touched you, and as we have done unto you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace: you are now the blessed of the LORD.'"…

Somehow, because Abimelech and his chief officers recognized that the LORD was with Isaac and was richly blessing him, they had a fear of Isaac and his group.

Verse 31:  And they rose up betimes in the morning, and swore {apparently repeating their oath of non-aggression} one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.

Interesting!  Initially, Abimelech and his officers sent Isaac away.  But after this pact was sealed, Isaac sent them away!  The shoe was on the other foot now, and Isaac was the one in control.

Next, in chapter 27, as we continue to follow Isaac and Rebekah into their senior years, we learn that the LORD was preparing matters for the "baton" of His chosen people to be passed on again from Isaac to his younger son, Jacob.

Please notice that, after all the time that had elapsed, Isaac and his family were still dwelling at Beersheba!  And, par for the course for these extended stays, trouble erupted!

Without going into all of the well-known details of Esau's despising of his God-given birthright and of Jacob's trickery, we'll continue to concentrate on the migration aspect of the family and we’ll ask the question: Did home-body Jacob also turn out to be nomadic? 

Yes, he did!  In fact, fleeing in fear from his brother Esau whom he had twice tricked, and being warned and advised by his mother, Rebekah, Jacob fled from Beersheba back to his grandfather Abraham’s “own country” of Haran:

Genesis 27:
43:  “Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee you to Laban my brother to Haran.” 

Now, please notice Rebekah’s suggested time-frame for Jacob’s sojourn up there his Uncle Laban:

44:  And tarry with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turn away;
45:  Until your brother’s anger turn away from you, and he forget that which you have done to him: then I will send, and fetch you from there. 

Please remember this phrase: “a few days”!

Haran was right up in the north part of Mesopotamia.  Ur of the Chaldees was down on the Persian Gulf.  When they actually came out of Ur of the Chaldees, Abram's family went north to Haran, stayed there for a while, and then came south to Canaan.  Yes, that was a long way; but it was still a long way for Jacob to go to the north end of Mesopotamia.

It is likely that Jacob inherited his craftiness from his mother and, prior to his departure, Rebekah went to her husband, Isaac, with an only-partially-true "smokescreen" account of why their son was leaving:

46:  And Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth {i.e. Hittite girls}.  If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth {as Esau had done}, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?

Despite what she said here, Rebekah might have just been trying to hide the truth from her failing husband; the truth of Esau’s death-threats against his wily brother.  If we give her the benefit of the doubt, and if she was being truthful, Esau’s threats may not have been the only reason why Rebekah wanted her favourite son to hit the road.  It is true that Esau had married a Hittite girl (Genesis 26:34). Rebekah was terribly afraid that her beloved Jacob might do the same.  And for good reason.  With a similar concern for Jacob’s marriage plans as Isaac’s father Abraham had had for his, Isaac seconded Rebekah’s warning and recommendation:

Genesis 28: 
1:  Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: "You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
2:  Arise, go to Padan-Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take you a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother…
Verse 5:  And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padan-Aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother…

Padan-Aram was a plain or table-land in northern Mesopotamia – in Aram, a region of Syria.  Jacob’s long journey from Beersheba to Padan-Aram was of a similar length to the one that Abraham’s servant had taken years before – and for similar reasons.

But please remember that, for very good and wise reasons, Abraham had sternly insisted that Isaac not be taken to his (Abraham's) old home in Haran.  And now, here was Abraham's grandson, Jacob – the one who had inherited the royal genes –  being encouraged by his parents to take that previously forbidden journey!  

Verse 10:  And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

Once again, if we check the locations of Beersheba and Padan-Aram on a map, we’ll see that Jacob’s journey must have been a very long and arduous one.  En route, Jacob overnighted at a place called Luz – which turned our to be a very, very special place:

11:  And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12:  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13:  And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed;
14:  And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15:  And, behold, I am with you, and will keep you in all places whither you go, and will bring you again into this land; for I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken to you of."

When we look at Jacob’s history prior to this event, he does not seem to us to have been a very promising candidate for the prince-ship of God's people.  But the LORD knew what He was doing.

The place-name Luz means Almond Tree.  When I think of almond trees, I think of various scriptural items, including Aaron’s rod which budded, bore almonds and was kept in the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle's Most Holy Place (Numbers 17:8; Hebrews 9:4). 

The original meaning of this original place-name, Luz, might be significant because, after experiencing his well-known dream/vision of the wonderful “ladder” – perhaps more likely a staircase – on which he saw angels going up and down, and from which the LORD spoke to him and repeated His covenant promises, Jacob renamed the place from Luz to Bethel, or more accurately, Bayith-El, which means “House of God”:  

17: And he was afraid, and said, “How dreadful is this place!  This is none other but the house of God {Bayith-El}, and this is the gate of heaven…
19: And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

As with many so-called "holy" sites in Palestine, there are, I believe, at least three different claimants for the original Bethel. 

Here is my own speculation.  In addition to the possible significance of the place's original "Almond Tree" name, and because Jacob referred to the place as the Gate of Heaven and changed its name to Bethel or Bayith Elthe House of God, and as the word Bayith can also mean temple as well as house, I just wonder if there is a possibility that it might have actually been the location of God’s future temple at Jerusalem.  If so, perhaps even more specifically, it could have even been the location of the Most Holy Place of the temple.  I am not being dogmatic about this.  It is just an idea.  But I do believe that it is a real possibility!

Before he left Luz/Bethel, Jacob made a vow which included a request for God to bless this journey that he was on:

20:  And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on...

Also, as part of this vow-prayer, Jacob asked that this would turn out to be – not just a one-way journey – but a return journey:

21:  So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

The phrase “my father’s house” is an interesting one.  Jacob was at this time at the miraculous representation of the very gate of the heavenly House of God.

He had been brought here – to this manifestation of the House of God the Father from his own human father’s temporary house at Beersheba – en route to his human father’s father’s former house – at Padan-Aram.

He prayed for a safe return to his human father’s house; and a peaceful one, still considering the probable ire of his brother.  But long before we see him fulfil that desired return, we find him arriving at the former house of his father’s father.  

Genesis 29:1:
Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.

Once he arrived there, at the home of his Uncle Laban, he was met with a mix of great blessings and great trials:

4:  And Jacob said unto them {some shepherds at a well}, “My brethren, whence be ye?” {i.e. Where are you from?}  And they said, “Of Haran are we.”
5:  And he said unto them, “Know you Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know him.”

At this, Jacob must have thought, “Great! I must be close!”  And he was!  Rachel soon turned up at the well, Jacob followed her home to her Dad’s place, and things progressed from there. But slowly!

14:  And Laban {Rachel’s Dad} said to him {Jacob}, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.”  And he abode {yashab'd} with him the space of a month.

Uh-oh!  Here we go again!  A month?  Didn’t we read earlier the accounts of Rebekah and Jacob both expressing an eagerness for him to find a wife and quickly get back to his father’s camp at Beer-Lahairoi?  Didn’t Rebekah say, "just a few days" (Genesis 27:44 and 28:21)?  What happened to that desire?  It was obviously overcome by a mixture of the crafty deceit of Laban combined with some other natural desires of Jacob’s own! 

What a difference to Abraham’s servant who, when he found the right wife for Isaac, was urgent to “hit the road” with her for the return journey to Canaan (Genesis 24:56).

But in the person of his Uncle Laban, wily Jacob had finally met his match in craftiness!  In this regard, Jacob got as much given to him – if not more – than he had given!  I believe that God might have been teaching him a lesson.

Not only did Jacob abide (yashab) with Laban and his family; Laban got Jacob – who, we must remember, possessed the genes of a royal prince – to work for him as a kind of payment for Rachel – and for Leah too, of course!  

And so, Jacob’s one month yashab turned into a seven-year yashab!  And, due to more of Laban’s trickery, that seven-year yashab turned into a fourteen-year yashab! 

But eventually, after two weddings and twelve rounds of begetting (eleven sons and one daughter), the LORD removed the blinders from Jacob’s mind, so that he started to see Laban for the trickster he really was.  Jacob then made the decision that it was time for himself to return to his Father’s camp down south. 

And look what he called that southern area of the land of Canaan.

Genesis 30:
25:  And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, “Send me away, that I may go unto my own place, and to my country.”

Notice that he referred to that far-off land in the south as “my own place” (Hebrew maqowm which means home) and “my country” (Hebrew erets which means land).  

But was it really his own place, his own home, his own land and his own country?  It is true that his family really did seem to have liked that area.  And yes, it was part of the inheritance of their family and their descendants. 

But not yet!  It would be quite a while – hundreds of years – until the LORD allowed Jacob’s family group to settle there permanently.  There was much more water that had to flow under the bridge of time, and much more travelling for them to complete, before that day of settlement and rest would come.

Still, on the positive side, Jacob’s priority of going back to southern Canaan had at last started to return to him: 

26:  Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, and let me go: for you know my service which I have done you.

Here we see another major difference between, on the one side, Abraham and Sarah sending their chief servant to seek an appropriate wife for Isaac from Haran and, on the other side, Isaac and Rebekah sending Jacob there to seek a wife from their own people. 

The rapacious Laban in effect sold his two daughters to Jacob – actually in two stages.  The first, by hiring Jacob for so long.  The second, by his financial failures which his dishonesty brought down upon himself and his household:

Genesis 31:
14:  And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, "Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?
15:  Are we not counted of him strangers?  For he has sold us, and has quite devoured also our money.
16:  For all the riches which God has taken from our father, that is ours, and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God has said unto you, do.

Yes, dowries were the custom back then – a method for an affianced husband to make up for the loss of a daughter’s services to her parents.  For example, Abraham’s servant had given very valuable gifts – which were likely a kind of dowry – to Rebekah’s mother (but also to her avaricious brother, Laban):

Genesis 24:53:
And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

But Laban’s demands for fourteen years of service – especially from a young man who was, in effect, a prince – was what we would call “over the top.”

When Jacob told Laban of his plans to leave, Laban, knowing which side his bread had been buttered for the past fourteen years, began to whine and to play the victim, just as yet another ruse to fool Jacob into staying:

Genesis 30:27:
And Laban said unto him, “I pray you, if I have found favour in your eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake.”

Also, realizing that the gullible Jacob’s eyes had been opened to his game (partially at least), Laban made a feint of starting to back-pedal, even offering reparations to Jacob:

28:  And he said, “Appoint me your wages, and I will give it.”

Once again, Jacob allowed Laban to talk him into staying longer.  And so, his fourteen-year yashab turned into a twenty-year yashab (Genesis 31:38-41).

Just as Jacob’s gullibility had not completely left him, neither had Laban’s rapacious greed left him.  Laban and his sons, who evidently were "chips off the old block," tried to trick Jacob out of the wages he had been promised.  An extended battle of wits ensued between Jacob and Laban.  Or should I call it “a battle of trickery”?  

But this time the LORD was clearly on Jacob’s side and brought about a series of miracles which favoured Jacob, harmed Laban, and finally set the stage for Jacob’s return to Canaan:

Genesis 31:
3:  And the LORD said unto Jacob, "Return unto the land of your fathers, and to your kindred; and I will be with you…
13:  I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar, and where you vowed a vow unto me: now arise, get you out from this land, and return unto the land of your kindred."

Obviously, when the LORD referred to the land of Jacob's fathers and kindred, He was not talking about the land of Mesopotamia.  Jacob was already there!  But rather to the land of Canaan, where his grandparents had died, and where his aging parents still lived.

Verse 17:  Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
18:  And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan-Aram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan… 
Verse 20:  And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.
21:  So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the Mount Gilead.

Gilead (Hebrew “Galeed” means “Witness Heap”), where Laban caught up with the fleeing Jacob and his party, was in the very north of the land of Canaan.  It was a way-point for Jacob en route to his father’s camp in the south. 

Genesis 32:
1:  And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
2:  And when Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s host
{Hebrew: machaneh}: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim {meaning “Two Hosts” or “Two Bands”}.

Mahanaim was about thirty miles from Gilead.  As they continued south, they approached the area where they knew Jacob’s estranged brother Esau to be living: 

3:  And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom…
Verse 6:  And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and also he comes to meet you, and four hundred men with him”…

Uh-oh!  Jacob did the right thing and called on God for His help, respectfully reminding Him of His promises:

Verse 9:  And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which said unto me, ‘Return unto your country and to your kindred {in the south of the land of Canaan}, and I will deal well with you’:

As they continued south, we see more geographical place-names which give us an idea of approximately where they were:

10:  I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which you have shown unto your servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands {“machaneh” again, referring to the origin of the place-name “Mahanaim” back in verse 2}...
Verse 13:  And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother…
Verse 21:  So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
22:  And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two women-servants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23:  And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had… 

Jabbok or Yabboq (Strong’s 2999) means "emptying."   According to one of my lexicons it is “a stream which intersects the mountain range of Gilead and falls into the Jordan on the east about midway between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.”  This is where Jacob wrestled with the LORD, after which the LORD changed Jacob’s name to “Israel”:

Verse 30:  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel {Strong’s 6439: Facing God}: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
31:  And as he passed over Penuel
{also Strong’s 6439} the sun rose upon him, and he halted {limped} upon his thigh.

I’m not sure of the reason why the two spellings – Peniel and Penuel – are different.  Perhaps Peniel was Jacob’s new name for “the place” generally and Penuel was his new name for the brook Yabboq which “he passed over.”  Peniel is only mentioned once in the scriptures, whereas Penuel appears six more times in the Old Testament.

As we move into chapter 33, we see more mentions of the southbound travels of Jacob, now Israel, and his young family. 

Thinking all the way back to the early part of this sermon, we saw that Jacob was something of a home-body; but after all his travels and adventures away from his parents, we see that, if God wants to change something, He will surely change it!  

If you are a home-body and the LORD has other ideas in store for you, make no mistake, He will make those changes for you as He certainly did for Jacob.

We will leave Jacob and his family there at Penuel, and we'll rejoin them and their travels in Part 7.