|Mahanaim - |
("Two camps or hosts".) A place on the Jabbok so-called by Jacob from the two angelic hosts which appeared to him when returning from Padan Aram to Canaan. (See JACOB.) The two may refer to Jacob's own camp and that of the angels, or rather his division of his party into two, corresponding to which were the two angelic companies, one to guard each. The Speaker's Commentary less probably makes it, the angels were on his right and his left. Mahanaim was in Gad; assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:38-39). Now Mahneh, on a tributary of the Yabis, which Paine identifies with the Jabbok. The correspondence is striking between the human and the divine, the visible and the invisible agencies in this remarkable history. Jacob's two companies answer to the two heavenly ones, the face of God and the face of Esau; seeing that first prepares Jacob for seeing this; the messengers of God and those of Jacob; and the name Jabbok, i.e. wrestling, marking the scene of the patriarch's wrestling with the Lord.
Here Abner fixed the seat of Ishbosheth's kingdom, being unable to wrest the towns of Ephraim or Benjamin from the Philistines (2 Samuel 2:8-9). Here Ishbosheth was murdered (2 Samuel 4:5). Here David fled from Absalom, for it was then Walled and large enough to contain David's "hundreds" and "thousands." It had its gates and watchmen (2 Samuel 17:24; 2 Samuel 18:1-4; 1 Kings 2:8). One of Solomon's commissariat officers was at Mahanaim (1 Kings 4:14.) The Shulamite, i.e. Solomon's bride, the church, is compared to "the company of two armies" (margin, "Mahanaim," Song of Solomon 6:13). Though "one" (Song of Solomon 6:9) she is nevertheless "two," the family of Jesus Christ in heaven and that on earth, that militant and that triumphant. Her strength, like Jacob's at Mahanaim, is Christ and His hosts enlisted on her side by wrestling prayer.