Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Parshas Vayishlach 5779

Who Fought with Yaakov?

The Torah writes (Genesis 32:25):
Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.

Sforno explains that this was an angel:
This was the work of an angel at the instigation of G’d (that is why he is called איש)
We find similarly in Tanach (Hosea 12:5):
He strove with an angel and prevailed— The other had to weep and implore him. At Bethel [Jacob] would meet him, There to commune with him.
Rashi (ibid) writes:
Our Rabbis of blessed memory explained that he was Esau’s guardian angel (Genesis Rabbah 77:3)
Kli Yakar explains that this was the angel Samael

Targum Jonathan explains that this was the angel Michoel

Radak explains this was Gavriel:

the same type of איש as in Joshua 5,13, i.e. an angel. This was the angel Gavriel, described as איש par excellence in Daniel 9,21. The reason why these angels are called איש is because they appear to the people with whom they converse in human guise. The types of angels who speak with man are referred to as איש, as they appear either in a vision or while the person to whom they appear is fully awake.

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