And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
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Ambrose of Milan
Therefore Jacob, who had purified his heart of all pretenses and was manifesting a peaceable disposition, first cast off all that was his, then remained behind alone and wrestled with God. For whoever forsakes worldly things comes nearer to the image and likeness of God. What is it to wrestle with God other than to enter upon the struggle for virtue, to contend with one who is stronger and to become a better imitator of God than the others are? Because Jacob’s faith and devotion were unconquerable, the Lord revealed his hidden mysteries to him by touching the side of his thigh. For it was by descent from him that the Lord Jesus was to be born of a virgin, and Jesus would be neither unlike nor unequal to God. The numbness in the side of Jacob’s thigh foreshadowed the cross of Christ, who would bring salvation to all people by spreading the forgiveness of sins throughout the whole world and would give resurrection to the departed by the numbness and torpidity of his own body. On this acc...
A man This was an angel in human shape, as we learn from Osee xii. 4. He is called God, ver. 28 and 30, because he represented the person of the Son of God. This wrestling, in which Jacob, assisted by God, was a match for an angel, was so ordered, (Ver. 28.) that he might learn by this experiment of the divine assistance, that neither Esau, nor any other man, should have power to hurt him. It was also spiritual, as appeareth by his earnest prayer, urging, and at last obtaining the angel's blessing. (Challoner)
The father will not refuse a good gift to those who ask him with fervour and humility. Jacob had before set us an excellent pattern how to pray, placing his confidence in God, and distrusting himself, ver. 9 (Haydock)
It is not certain, whether Jacob remained alone on the northern or on the southern banks of Jaboc. (Calmet) ...