Jacob didn’t know who ambushed him. He assumed it was a man; from Jacob’s view, his assailant could have been anyone —even Esau himself! As the wrestling match continued throughout the night, Jacob finally realized that he was fighting with an angel!
The Midrash identifies the mysterious assailant as the guardian spirit of Esau. The battle between Jacob and the angel represents the archetypal struggle between good and evil. Some Hellenistic Judaic thinkers suggest this entire episode reflected an inner struggle within Jacob’s own ...Learn More