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Best Way to Memorize Scripture

The best way to memorize scripture is often going to be something that works better for one person than it does for another. What works for me, might not work for you. There are several different ways one can go about memorizing scripture. We'll explore some of the various options, and then which one personally works the best for me. 

Best Way to Memorize Scripture

Best Way to Memorize Scripture:

There are many different ways one can go about trying to memorize scripture. Some of those options could be:

  • Writing the passage 1-2 times per day
  • Using the Bible Memory App
  • Whiteboard erasing one word at a time
  • Read it out loud and often
  • Put it to a song
These are some of the ways that I have personally gone about memorizing scripture in the past. At different times I have liked different methods for different reasons, and will share my person experience with each of these. 

Handwriting the Passage:

My favorite way to memorize scripture is by handwriting the passage. This method involves writing the verse down 1-2 times per day for about a week. While writing, you will be reading the verse, and this will help your brain to memorize it. By the end of the week, you will have memorized the scripture. After writing the scripture, you can try to recite as much of it as you can by memory. Each day, aim to improve how much more you know until you can recite the entire verse.

According to research, handwriting helps with memory retention. When you write something down, you are more likely to remember it than if you type it on a computer or mobile device. Handwriting engages different areas of the brain, and the act of writing helps to encode the information in your memory. Writing the scripture repeatedly will also help you to internalize it, making it easier to recall later.

Best Way to Memorize Scripture

Bible Memory App:

Another effective way to memorize scripture is by using a Bible memory app. There are several apps available, including Bible Memory, Bible Memory Kids, and Remember Me. These apps use a spaced repetition method, which involves reviewing the scripture at increasing intervals until it is memorized. The app will gradually remove words from the passage, and you will have to fill in the blanks until eventually, you can recite the entire verse by memory.

The advantage of using a Bible memory app is that it tracks your progress, and you can see how far you have come. Some apps also allow you to connect with a community of people who are also memorizing scripture. This can be a source of encouragement and accountability. If you prefer to limit your screen time, you can also opt for the traditional method of writing the verse on a notecard or piece of paper and reviewing it daily until you have memorized it.

Whiteboarding and Erasing:

If you prefer not to use an app or write the scripture repeatedly, you can try writing it on a whiteboard and gradually erasing words and letters. This method works similarly to the Bible memory app, and you will eventually have the entire passage memorized.

The advantage of using a whiteboard is that it is more interactive than writing on a piece of paper. You can see the progress you are making as you erase each word and letter, and this can be a motivating factor. Additionally, whiteboards are more versatile than notecards or paper because you can write bigger and draw diagrams to help you remember the scripture.

Read Out-loud and Often:

Some people find that reading the passage out loud, several times per day, for days and days until they have it memorized works well for them. This method is simple and does not require any props or technology. It is also a good option for auditory learners who may find it easier to remember things they have heard.

The disadvantage of this method is that it can be monotonous and may not be effective for everyone. It may also be challenging to find time to read the passage out loud several times per day, especially if you have a busy schedule.

Sing the Passage:

Singing the passage is another effective way to memorize scripture. This method involves finding a song that contains the scripture you want to memorize or creating your own melody and lyrics for the passage. The rhythm and melody of the song can help embed the words in your memory. Studies have shown that music can enhance memory and improve recall, which makes this method a great option for those who enjoy music or have a musical background.

Best Way to Memorize Scripture

Extra Strategies and Tips:

Another effective technique is to practice active recall. This involves actively trying to remember the text without looking at it. You can do this by covering up part of the text and trying to recall what comes next, or by reciting the text from memory. The more you actively try to recall the text, the stronger the memory will become.

It's also important to practice consistently. You're more likely to remember the text if you practice a little bit each day rather than trying to cram it all in at once. Set aside a specific time each day for memorization practice and stick to it.

Finally, don't be too hard on yourself if you don't remember the text perfectly right away. Memorization takes time and practice, so be patient with yourself. Celebrate your progress, even if it's small, and keep working at it.

There are many different methods you can use to memorize scripture. Some people may find that handwriting the passage, using a Bible memory app, whiteboarding and erasing, reading out-loud, or singing the passage works best for them. It's important to experiment with different methods and find what works best for you.

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Is The Name Jesus Anywhere in the Old Testament?

When does the full name of "Jesus Christ" actually appear in the bible? Is the name Jesus anywhere in the Old Testament? A look through scriptural references and historical data can answer this question quite simply. 

Is The Name Jesus Anywhere in the Old Testament?

Is The Name Jesus Anywhere in the Old Testament?

The short answer to this question is no. The name Jesus, or Jesus Christ, is not specifically mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament. This may come as a surprise to some people, especially those who are not familiar with the historical context of the Old Testament and the events that led up to the birth of Jesus. There are prophecies, references, and phrases that allude to the future son of God coming to earth, but the exact name itself is never mentioned explicitly.  

Names for Jesus Found in the Old Testament:

Jesus is referenced and prophesied about many times in the Old Testament. While the name Jesus is never used specifically, there are many different names that were used to make reference to Jesus in the Old Testament. These names were:

  • Immanuel (which means "God with us")
  • The Branch
  • The Root of Jesse
  • The Servant of the Lord
  • The Suffering Servant
  • The Righteous Branch
  • The Redeemer
  • The Horn of Salvation
  • The Stone the builders rejected
  • The Light of the World
  • The Sun of Righteousness
  • The Angel of the Lord
  • The Holy One of Israel
  • The Prince of Peace
  • The Wonderful Counselor
  • The Mighty God
  • The Everlasting Father
  • The King of Kings
  • The Lord of Lords
  • The Alpha and Omega
  • The Beginning and the End
  • The First and the Last
  • The Good Shepherd
  • The Bread of Life
  • The Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • The Resurrection and the Life
  • The Savior of the World

Is The Name Jesus Anywhere in the Old Testament?

The Importance of Names in the Bible:

While the name of Jesus Christ is not mentioned in the Old Testament, names are still very important in the Bible. In the biblical world, names often had symbolic and prophetic significance.

For example, in Genesis 17:5, God changes Abram's name, which means "exalted father," to Abraham, which means "father of many nations." This name change reflects God's promise to make Abraham the father of a great nation.

Similarly, in Matthew 16:18, Jesus changes Simon's name, which means "heard," to Peter, which means "rock." This name change reflects Jesus' promise to build his church on the "rock" of Peter's confession of faith.

Names in the Bible also reflect the character and nature of the person who bears the name. For example, the name "Jacob" means "supplanter" or "deceiver," which reflects Jacob's early character. After wrestling with God, Jacob's name is changed to Israel, which means "he struggles with God" (Genesis 32:28). This name change reflects Jacob's transformation and his new identity as the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.

What Can We Learn About Jesus' Name Not Being Used in the Old Testament?

The fact that the name Jesus is not used in the Old Testament is an important detail to consider when evaluating the historical accuracy of other religious texts. Books that claim to use the name of Jesus before his birth need to be approached with caution and skepticism. As discussed earlier, the name of Jesus was not known prior to his birth, and any book that claims to be historically accurate but uses the name of Jesus before his birth would need to be examined thoroughly. Some religious texts that claim to be historically accurate use the exact name of "Jesus Christ" as early as 124 BC. This would raise the question of, why would God reveal the name of his son to the individuals of that text prior to his birth, but not to the individuals in the Old Testament? A reasonable answer for this is that those texts were fictional and written in modern times with modern information.

This also highlights the fact that the Old Testament and the New Testament are two distinct bodies of literature with different historical contexts and purposes. While the Old Testament contains many references and prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, it is only in the New Testament that we see the fulfillment of these prophecies in the person of Jesus Christ.

Is The Name Jesus Anywhere in the Old Testament?

What Does This Teach Us About The Bible?

The fact that the name of Jesus Christ is not mentioned in the Old Testament, but is a central figure of the New Testament, teaches us something about the Bible as a whole. The Bible is a compilation of books that were written over a period of more than 1,500 years by various authors in different historical contexts.

Despite the differences in the historical contexts and the diversity of the authors, the Bible tells a cohesive story of God's redemptive plan for humanity. This plan is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the central figure of the Bible.

The fact that Jesus' name is not mentioned in the Old Testament, but his identity and mission are prophesied about, also teaches us something about the nature of God's plan. God's plan is often shrouded in mystery and takes unexpected turns, but it is ultimately fulfilled in ways that are beyond our comprehension.

As Christians, we are called to trust in God's plan and to seek to understand it through the study of the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can also take comfort in the fact that God's plan for our lives is similarly mysterious and ultimately fulfilling, even if we do not always understand it at the time.


In conclusion, while the name of Jesus Christ is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Old Testament contains many references and prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, who is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Ultimately, the Bible tells a cohesive story of God's redemptive plan for humanity, and Jesus Christ is the central figure of this plan. As Christians, we are called to study the Bible, seek to understand God's plan, and trust in the mysterious ways in which it is ultimately fulfilled.

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Is Keeping the Sabbath Relevant Today?

In a world that seems to never slow down, the concept of taking a day of rest can seem like an outdated notion. However, the Sabbath has been a significant part of many religious traditions for centuries. So, is keeping the Sabbath relevant today? Let's explore this question and see what the Bible says about it, examine some studies on the importance of rest for our health, practical tips for implementing the Sabbath, how to teach kids to sabbath, and different ideas around the Sabbath.

Is Keeping the Sabbath Relevant Today

Bible Verses that Reference the Sabbath:

The Sabbath is first mentioned in Genesis 2:2-3, where God rested on the seventh day of creation and set it apart as a day of rest. The Sabbath is also included in the Ten Commandments, which were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Exodus 20:8-11 states, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

The Sabbath is also mentioned in the New Testament, where Jesus says in Mark 2:27, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." This statement reinforces the idea that the Sabbath was given as a gift to humanity for our benefit.

Studies About Needing One Day of Rest Per Week:

In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of research into the importance of rest for our health. One study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that people who take regular breaks during the day are more productive, experience less fatigue, and have better overall health. Another study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that people who take time off from work have lower levels of stress and better mental health.

There is also evidence to suggest that taking a day of rest each week can improve our physical health. One study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who take a weekly day of rest have a lower risk of heart disease. Another study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that taking a day off work each week can reduce the risk of burnout.

Is Keeping the Sabbath Relevant Today

Practical Tips for Implementing the Sabbath:

Implementing the Sabbath into our lives can be challenging, especially if we are used to being constantly busy. Here are some practical tips to help make the transition easier:

  • Plan ahead: Decide on a day of the week that works best for you and plan ahead to ensure that you have everything you need. This might mean doing some meal prep in advance or making sure that you have enough reading material to keep you occupied.

  • Disconnect: Turn off your phone, computer, and any other devices that might distract you. This will help you to disconnect from the outside world and focus on the present moment.

  • Practice self-care: Use your Sabbath day as an opportunity to take care of yourself. This might mean taking a long bath, going for a walk, or spending time with loved ones.

  • Do something restful: The Sabbath is not just about avoiding work; it's also about doing things that are restful and rejuvenating. This might mean reading a book, taking a nap, or spending time in nature.

Teaching Kids to Sabbath:

Teaching kids about the importance of rest and Sabbath can be challenging, but it's essential to help them develop healthy habits and values that they can carry with them into adulthood. Here are some ideas for teaching kids to Sabbath:

  • Make it fun: Kids are more likely to enjoy the Sabbath if they see it as something fun and exciting. Plan activities that they will enjoy, such as going for a hike or having a family game night.

  • Keep it simple: Kids don't need elaborate plans or activities to enjoy the Sabbath. Keep things simple and focus on spending quality time together as a family.

  • Model Sabbath rest: Kids learn by example, so make sure that you are modeling Sabbath rest in your own life. If they see you taking time to rest and recharge, they are more likely to do the same.

  • Explain the why: Help kids understand why the Sabbath is important and how it can benefit them. Explain that it's a day to rest, spend time with family, and connect with God.

  • Implement Quiet Time: In our home we have a two hour quiet time every Sunday. This is a time where we all go into our rooms, close the doors, disconnect from technology, and truly rest. The kids might spend this time quietly playing with toys, reading, or actually resting. My husband and I usually take this time to nap, or I'll read a book or spend time in my bible. 

Is Keeping the Sabbath Relevant Today

Different Ideas Around Sabbath:

There are many different ideas around what it means to Sabbath today. Some people believe that it's essential to avoid all work and spend the day in solitude and silence, while others see it as a day to spend time with loved ones and do things that bring them joy. Here are some examples of how different people choose to Sabbath:

  • Sabbath in nature: Some people prefer to spend their Sabbath in nature, whether that's going for a hike or spending the day at the beach. Being surrounded by nature can be restorative and help to recharge our batteries.

  • Digital detox: For many people, the Sabbath is a day to unplug and disconnect from technology. This can be a great way to reduce stress and focus on being present in the moment.

  • Creative pursuits: Some people use their Sabbath as an opportunity to explore their creative side, whether that's painting, writing, or playing music. Engaging in creative pursuits can be restful and rejuvenating.

  • Community connection: For some people, the Sabbath is a day to connect with their community, whether that's attending church or spending time with friends and family.

In conclusion, the concept of Sabbath has been around for centuries, and there is evidence to suggest that taking a day of rest each week can have significant benefits for our health and well-being. While the idea of Sabbath might seem outdated in today's fast-paced world, there are many practical tips and different ideas around what it means to Sabbath today that can make it relevant and meaningful for people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you choose to spend your Sabbath in nature, engage in creative pursuits, or connect with your community, the important thing is to prioritize rest and recharge your batteries for the week ahead.

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What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos in Revelations?

Ever find yourself wondering, "What does the bible say about tattoos in Revelations?" There are a few verses that allude to the concept or the idea of tattoos in this book of the Bible, which may seem contradictory to Old Testament beliefs held by individuals who practice Judaism and other orthodox sects of Christianity who believe the Bible to teach against the practice of tattoos. 

What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos in Revelations

What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos in Revelations:

Three key verses in Revelations refer to the possibility of tattoos. This is not meant to say that this is directly what the verses are saying, but it does provide a possible implication for tattoos that will be addressed later on. 

Revelation 7: 2-4 says: "Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given the power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:" ESV

Revelation 9: 2-4 says: "He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads." ESV

Revelation 9:16 says: "On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords." ESV

What Can Be Learned About Tattoos from Revelation:

Two things about tattoos can be learned from these verses that we read in the book of Revelations. One, the servants of God, and those who accept and consider themselves adopted into the family of God could be marked with the seal of God on their foreheads. In chapter seven we see that the angel who had the seal of God told the other angels to cause no harm until he had sealed all the servants of God on their foreheads. Later on in chapter nine when the locus are released, they're specifically told to not destroy those who have the seal of God on their foreheads. To me, this indicates that they were specifically marked and set apart so that the locus knew to not destroy them. 

The second thing to note is the inscription on the thigh of Jesus. It would appear that in Revelation 9:16 that Jesus possibly has a tattoo on his thigh that reads, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords."

What Does the Old Testament Say About Tattoos:

One verse in the bible that people often refer to as an implication that tattoos are sinful is Leviticus 19:28 which reads, "You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD."-ESV All translations of the bible are pretty clear about this verse and all tend to point to "tattoos" as the thing we're trying to avoid. 

When considering verses in the bible like this, it is important to remember who was being spoken to, the culture, and what was happening. In this time of the Israelites before Christ, it was common to get a tattoo as a symbol of your tribal identity. What God is trying to teach the people of Israel in these verses is that their identity is found in God and not in their tribes and culture, and to not mark their bodies as such. 

Jesus' Death on The Cross and the New Covenant:

Jesus' death on the cross was a moment in time where the old covenant and the laws and regulations that were held in the Old Testament were no longer applicable and we became members of the new and everlasting covenant. This means that our salvation is not through our works and the things we do and don't do on this earth but through a belief in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. This isn't to say that Christians are free to get any and all tattoos and that they're able to live a lawless life. I do believe that there are certain implications that a Christian should consider when getting a tattoo, but making a modern decision about tattoos based on an Old Testament verse might not be the thing to base decisions on. 

5 Considerations for Christians Who Want a Tattoo:

For Christians who are looking into getting a tattoo, there are a few considerations that one should keep in mind if they're wondering if a tattoo is right for them:

  • Don't get a tattoo if it is of something evil/satanic, etc...
  • Don't get a tattoo as a punishment, self-deprivation, or to feel pain
  • Consider where you're going to place the tattoo... avoid getting a tattoo on part of your body that also might suggest or mean something inappropriate, explicit, or sexual.
  • The number of tattoos you have. Are you covering yourself head to toe in tattoos as a form of punishment, to cover parts of your body you're insecure about? 
  • What are you trying to say with the tattoo you're getting? 

Cultural Reasons to Get a Tattoo:

Proverbs 16:2 reads: "All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit."-ESV When looking at this verse through the lens of getting a tattoo, I think it's important to consider the intention behind the tattoo and the spirit behind getting it. I believe there are some cultural implications that would make getting a tattoo completely fine, especially if you're trying to set yourself apart from the rest of your culture as being a part of the family of God.

Personally, I think that if a Christian is getting a tattoo and that tattoo is representing Jesus and the gospel, and they're doing it to be able to wear the name of Jesus wherever they go, then that is a great reason to get a tattoo if it is something that has been given a lot of consideration and they feel it is the right choice for them.

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Is Purgatory a Biblical Concept?

Purgatory is a controversial concept in Christianity that has been debated for centuries. It is an intermediate state between heaven and hell, where souls go to be purified before entering heaven. In this post, we will explore the origins of purgatory, its relevance in Christianity, and the question, 'Is purgatory a biblical concept?'

Is Purgatory a Biblical Concept?

What is Purgatory?

Purgatory is a Catholic doctrine that refers to a state of purification that the soul undergoes after death to remove any remaining sin or guilt. It is believed that some souls cannot enter heaven immediately after death because they are not yet perfect, and so they need to be purified in purgatory. The length of time spent in purgatory depends on the amount of sin the soul has committed in life. The purpose of purgatory is to purify the soul of any impurities so that it can enter heaven.

Origins of Purgatory:

The concept of purgatory began to emerge in the 12th century in Western Christianity, particularly in Catholicism. The idea was based on the belief that after death, some souls go to a place of temporary punishment, where they suffer to atone for their sins. This concept was gradually developed and formalized into the doctrine of purgatory, which became an essential part of Catholic teaching.

However, the idea of purgatory is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, and some Christians argue that it is a human invention rather than a biblical concept.

Poor Biblical References for Purgatory:

One of the main arguments against purgatory is the lack of clear biblical references to it. While some Catholics point to certain passages in the Bible that they believe support the doctrine of purgatory, many biblical scholars and Protestant Christians reject these interpretations as weak or flawed.

For example, the Catholic Church cites 2 Maccabees 12:46 as evidence for purgatory, where Judas Maccabeus prays for the dead soldiers who had sinned, hoping that they may be forgiven their sins. However, this passage is not found in the Hebrew Bible, which is the authoritative text for Jews and Protestants.

Jesus Took the Wrath that we Could Not:

One of the central doctrines of Christianity is that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins. This belief is based on the idea that we are all sinners who deserve punishment, but Jesus took the wrath that we could not. The Bible teaches that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, not through any human effort or merit.

This means that we cannot purchase our way out of purgatory or earn our way into heaven through good works. Rather, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Is Purgatory a Biblical Concept?

The Thief on The Cross:

Another argument against purgatory is the story of the thief on the cross. In Luke 23:39-43, one of the thieves crucified alongside Jesus repents of his sins and asks Jesus to remember him when he enters his kingdom. Jesus responds by telling him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

This passage suggests that there is no intermediate state of purification between death and heaven, and that those who trust in Jesus will enter into paradise immediately after death.

Initial Judgment vs. Final Judgment:

It is important to distinguish between the initial judgment and the final judgment in Christian theology. The initial judgment happens immediately after death, where God judges the soul and decides whether it will go to heaven or hell. The final judgment occurs at the end of time when Jesus returns and judges all people, both living and dead.

While some Christians believe in purgatory as a state of intermediate purification after death, others believe that the initial judgment is final, and that there is no opportunity for further purification after death. They believe that the only way to enter heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ, and that those who trust in him will be immediately welcomed into paradise after death.

Protestant Reformation:

The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century challenged many Catholic doctrines, including purgatory. Protestant reformers argued that the Bible does not support the idea of purgatory and that it was a human invention created by the Catholic Church. They also rejected the Catholic practice of selling indulgences, which was a way for people to reduce their time in purgatory by making donations to the church.

The Protestant Reformation led to the formation of various denominations, such as Lutheranism and Calvinism, which reject the doctrine of purgatory and emphasize the importance of faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation.

Is Purgatory a Biblical Concept?

In conclusion, the concept of purgatory has been debated in Christianity for centuries. While the Catholic Church teaches that it is a state of purification after death, many biblical scholars and Protestant Christians argue that it is not a biblical concept. They emphasize the importance of faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation and reject the idea that we can earn our way into heaven through good works or by purchasing indulgences.

Ultimately, the question of whether purgatory is a biblical concept is a matter of interpretation and personal belief. While some Christians may find comfort in the idea of purgatory, others may see it as a human invention that is not supported by the Bible. Regardless of one's stance on the issue, the central message of Christianity remains the same: salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

Is Purgatory a Biblical Concept?

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Did Jacob Physically Wrestle with God?

If you've read Genesis 32, you've likely found yourself questioning, "Did Jacob physically wrestle with God?" This is a natural question to have after reading this chapter, and it has amassed many opinions online. 

When I was applying for seminary a friend told me, "I hope that wherever you go, you don't just accept another person's opinion of the bible, but you come to your own conclusion about what you believe." The story of Jacob wrestling God is the first moment where I've had to encounter a lot of opinions and ultimately come up with my own. This is 100% my opinion on the encounter, based on what is available in the bible, and what makes the most sense to me. 

Did Jacob Physically Wrestle with God?

Did Jacob Physically Wrestle with God:

Genesis 32: 24-30 says the following:

24 ...And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”

I am a firm believer that the bible often says what it says and we don't need to look for too many contextual clues or overthink details too much to come up with an answer for whether or not Jacob truly wrestled with God. 

Some biblical commentators believe that this was an encounter with Satan as an angel, that Satan gave Jacob a new name, and that Jacob couldn't have overcome a battle with God, and so many details. While that could be the case, I tend to look toward what the text is saying, and to me, it does not seem like this is speaking about a battle with the adversary. 

Jacob Asks "the man" for a Blessing:

The first clue for me is in verse 26 when Jacob asks for the "man" to bless him. I believe that Satan does not have the spiritual gift to bless others. This would mean this would at the least have to be an angel of The Lord, or God himself. 

Did Jacob Physically Wrestle with God?

The Man Says He's God without Saying It:

The second clue is when Jacob asks, "Please tell me your name." The individual responds, "Why is it that you ask my name?" This is another clue to me that points to this being a wrestle with God because there are countless instances in the bible where God and Jesus are asked who they are, and instead of saying who they are, they respond with questions similar to this. Some examples:

In Exodus 3:14 God tells Moses, "I am who I am". In John 33-34, Pilate asks Jesus if he is King of the Jews, and Jesus responds by asking, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?". In Matthew 16 Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" There are many references to the bible where this question of "Who are you" is met with another question, or God and Jesus giving a vague response and not coming out and directly answering the question. I see this reference in verse 29 to be no different. 

Jacob Says He Saw God Face to Face:

Lastly, verse 30 clearly says, "So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” He is telling us in this moment that he saw God face-to-face, which is why he named the location of the wrestling, "Peniel". 

People who believe this could have been the adversary make the argument that the man wanted the fight over before the morning because they could only work their evil in the dark. I believe that when you look through the old testament and in the line where Jacob says, "and yet my life has been delivered", I think there was a fear that should Jacob see the Lord's face in the daylight he would die because of the holiness of the Lord. This was a belief held by the people of Israel in Exodus, which is why they did not see the Lord when he was on the mountain because his holiness would have killed those who were not worthy to be in his presence.

In this instance, the fact that Jacob did not die proves his holiness and oneness with God, and that he must have been spiritually on the same level as Moses and others who had seen God for this moment to not have killed him. 

So Did Jacob Physically Wrestle God?

It's my belief that this was in fact a physical altercation, and that it was between God and Jacob. Verse 25 says that the man, or God touched Jacob's hip and that it was put out of it's socket. This is a physical result of a physical altercation. The chapter ends with Jacob limping suggesting again that he was injured from this wrestling and that it had a physical impact on his body. For these reasons, it's my person belief that Jacob did indeed physically wrestle with God. 

Did Jacob Physically Wrestle with God?

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