Gustave Doré 1832 – 1883

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

engraving — 1855

Gustave Doré biography

This work is linked to Genesis 32:24

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After twenty years Jacob returns to Canaan to reconcile himself with his brother Esau. On his way he meets Esau's guardian angel, who blocks his way. The two wrestle all night. At the break of dawn the angel gives up and blesses Jacob. He gives Jacob the name "Israel" in honour of his struggle with God.

The name Israel is used throughout the Old Testament to name Jacob's descendants.

The angel is also described as an unidentified man. The fight took place at the shore of the river Jabbok, a tributary of the Jordan river. That is why the scene is also known as Jacob wrestling a man at the Jabbok. The place itself was called Penuel or Peniel.

A coloured version of this engraving also exists.
Coloured version

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