Did Jacob Wrestle Silently?
By Martin Hezman
The Bible tells us about a night in which Jacob wrestled with a man all night long.
"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." (Gen. 32:24-26)
The Bible only records the words that were spoken as the day was breaking. We have no record of any discussion during their wrestling. So we don’t know if they talked during the night or not. Speaking of the night Jacob wrestled with the angel, Ellen White tells us about a silent struggle.
“Suddenly a strong hand was laid upon him. He thought that an enemy was seeking his life, and he endeavored to wrest himself from the grasp of his assailant. In the darkness the two struggled for the mastery. Not a word was spoken, but Jacob put forth all his strength, and did not relax his efforts for a moment.”1
But in another writing of Ellen White, she tells us that Jacob and the Angel talked all night long.
“An angel was represented to me as standing before Jacob, presenting his wrong before him in its true character. As the angel turns to leave him, Jacob lays hold of him, and will not let him go. He makes supplications with tears. He pleads that he has deeply repented of his sins, and the wrongs against his brother, which have been the means of separating him from his father's house for twenty years. He ventures to plead the promises of God, and the tokens of his favor to him from time to time, in his absence from his father's house. All night Jacob wrestled with the angel, making supplication for a blessing. The angel seemed to be resisting his prayer, by continually calling his sins to his remembrance, at the same time endeavoring to break away from him. Jacob was determined to hold the angel, not only by physical strength, but by the power of living faith. In his distress Jacob referred to the repentance of his soul, the deep humility he had felt for his wrongs.”3
My friend one of these two testimonies is a bold faced lie! The Bible does not tell us if they talked or not, but the second one still makes God a liar. Ellen White taught that before the Angel appeared, Jacob had prayed and repented of his sin.
“Had not Jacob previously repented of his sin in obtaining the birthright by fraud, God would not have heard his prayer and mercifully preserved his life”.4
When God forgives our sins He also forgets them, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:34). He even promises that He will never mention the sin to us again: "None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him" (Ezekiel 33:16). But Mrs. White tells us that God had his angel to continually call Jacob’s sin back to his remembrance.
1. Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 179.
2. Ellen White, Historical Sketches, p. 131.
3. Ellen White, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 118.
4. Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 620, (1888).
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