And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
All Commentaries on Genesis 32:30 Go To Genesis 32
Do you see how much confidence Jacob gained from the vision he had? That is to say, “my spirit survived,” he is saying, “which had almost perished from fear. Since I was privileged to see God face to face, ‘my spirit survived.’ ” Now the sun rose on him as he passed the sight of God. Do you see how the Lord shows considerateness for our human limitations in all he does and in arranging everything in a way that gives evidence of his characteristic love? Don’t be surprised, dearly beloved, at the extent of his considerateness; rather, remember that with the patriarch as well, when Abraham was sitting by the oak tree, God came in human form as the good man’s guest in the company of the angels, giving us a premonition from on high at the beginning that he would one day take human form to liberate all human nature by this means from the tyranny of the devil and lead us to salvation. At that time, however, since it was the very early stages, God appeared to each of them in the guise of an apparition, as he says himself through the inspired author, “I multiplied visions and took various likenesses in the works of the inspired authors.”