The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleGenesis 32:2
And when Jacob saw them…
These appeared in a visible form,
most probably human, and in the habit, and with the accoutrements of
soldiers, and therefore afterwards called an host or army. Aben Ezra
thinks that Jacob alone saw them, as Elisha first saw the host of
angels before the young man did that was with him, (2 Kings 6:17) :
he said, this [is] God's host:
or army, hence he is often called the
Lord of hosts; angels have this name from their number, order,
strength, and military exploits they perform:
and he called the name of the place Mahanaim;
which signifies two hosts
or armies; either his own family and company making one, and the angels
another, as Aben Ezra observes; or they were the angels, who very
probably appeared in two companies, or as two armies, and one went on
one side of Jacob and his family, and the other on the other side; or
the one went before him, and the other behind him; the latter to secure
him from any insult of Laban, should he pursue after him, and distress
him in the rear, and the former to protect him from Esau, near whose
country Jacob now was, and of whom he was in some fear and danger; thus
seasonably did God appear for him. The Jewish writers F20 say, the host
of God is 60,000, and that the Shechinah, or divine Majesty, never
dwells among less, and that Mahanaim, or two hosts, are 120,000; there
was afterwards a city of this name near this place, which very likely
was so called in memory of this appearance, (Joshua 21:38) ; and there seems
to be an allusion to it in the account of the church, (Song of Solomon 6:13) ; it was
in the land of Gilead, and tribe of Gad, forty four miles from Jerusalem
to the southeast F21.
F20 In Bereshit Rabba, sect. 75. fol. 66. 1.
F21 Bunting's Travels, p. 74.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 32:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=ge&chapter=032&verse=002>. 1999.