Forgiving Is a Blessing Struggle
We have reached a key episode of the Genesis and to the whole Bible: Jacob and the angel in the river Jabbok. In contrast to the ways of our consumer society, in the Bible the names of people and places are very serious things. They are always chosen to indicate, symbolically, a vocation or a destiny. But when the first name is changed by an event or a special encounter, the name becomes also a call to a special and universal task. This is how after the Alliance Sarai and Abram become Sarah and Abraham, and after his night struggle Jacob becomes Israel. Once reconciled with Laban, Jacob now knows that he is awaited by a more difficult encounter, with his deceived brother Esau. But Jacob did not know that before he can meet Esau again, another special encounter was waiting for him in the ford of the Jabbok, a tributary of the River Jordan. After 20 years of exile, Jacob is afraid to return to the land of his brother. The blessing stolen 20 years earlier has accompanied him during his exile, and now he fears that Esau has not forgotten the deceit.