29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 

30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

After Jacob received his new name, he inquired to also know the name of his heavenly messenger. The divine being rebuked that request, and a few reasons why he might have occur to me.

For one, it might have been that the name of this person did not matter. This quite possibly was only an angel sent as a representative of God, and the identity of that emissary was not important. For another, it might have been meant to tell Jacob that he still had a life of spiritual searching ahead of him. “You’ve come closer to me than ever before, Jacob, but you’re going to have to go further if you want to know my name.” Years later, when Jacob blessed all of his sons, he would pronounce a name he had evidently learned for the God that would walk among men: Shiloh.

A third possibility for what the divine wrestler meant might be “don’t you already know who I am?” To me this answer resonates the best. It directly leads into Jacob’s statement in verse 30: “I have seen God face to face.” When Abraham had met his Lord, he immediately recognized Him and bowed himself to the earth, without requiring God to confirm it. Jacob was now being brought into the same close intimacy, and from here on out he would be expected to know his maker when he saw him.

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