Genesis 32:24-32-Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

Is God a wrestler? Why did not God tell His name to Jacob? What kind of body did God have?


Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

" And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee thy name. And he said, wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Paniel: for I have see God face to face and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Paniel, the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. Therefore, children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank which is upon the hollow of the thing, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank." (32:24 -32.)

C. It is only because the Christian God is a regular wrestler that He blessed Sarah and Rachel with sons!! Can such a being ever be God? Again, look at His behavior! The fellow, Jacob asked Him His name and He won't tell it. No doubt (the Christian) God put the hollow of Jacob's thigh out of joint and prevailed upon him but had He been a doctor He would also have got his thigh right, By devotion to such a God, other devotees, like Jacob must also be limping. Now Jacob saw God face to face and wrestled with Him, it could only be true of one who possessed a physical body. Away with this childish prattle.


Answer: In this question, I will answer the nature of wrestling and why God did not reveal His name.

(a) Jacob was in deep distress: Genesis 32:7 “So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that [were] with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies.” 

(b) Jacob knew that God’s mighty presence was there at that place with him.

Genesis 32:1-2 So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, "This is God's camp." And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.  

This point is important since this gives the answer as to why Patriarch Jacob stayed back in that place after sending his wives and children.

(c) Jacob repented of his sins to God and made presents to his brother for forgiveness and appears to have waited for the LORD in that night:

Genesis 32: 9-15 Then Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, 'Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you'. I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me [and] the mother with the children. For You said, 'I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.' So he lodged there that same night, and took what came to his hand as a present for Esau his brother two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milk camels with their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals. 

(c) Jacob already knew this Angel of the LORD because he met Him in Bethel earlier (Genesis 28:12-13).  

Further to this as evidence, even while wrestling Jacob knew that it was LORD God. Otherwise, why would Jacob insist on being blessed by a person whom he wrestled with?

Gen 32:25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.  And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!"

That brings us to the nature of wrestling. It does not appear to have been a big wrestling except that Jacob was holding on to the Angel of God with weeping and seeking favor from Him while the Angel of God acts as though He is about to leave.  

Hosea 12: 3-5 “He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; He wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, and there He spoke to us. That is, the LORD God of hosts. The LORD is His memorable name. 

This clearly indicates the nature of wrestling.

Now, why did not LORD God reveal His name? God had already told Jacob in explicit terms that He is God.

Genesis 32:27-30 So He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob."  And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed."  Then Jacob asked, saying, "Tell me Your name, I pray." And He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name?" And He blessed him there.  So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

Now as to the question if this is a physical body of God. That conclusion would have been valid only if there is only type of body-physical body.

But that assumption is Maharishi’s own assumption and not supported by the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible clearly teaches that there are different types of bodies.

1Corinthians 15:40-44 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Therefore Maharishi’s conclusions are based on his own unfounded assumptions and not an argument based on the Holy Bible though he tried to make it appear like that.

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