The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high, who say in your heart, 'Who will bring me down to the ground?' Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, and set it among the stars, I will bring you down from there, says God.
vayishlach “Then Jacob sent angels”
Genesis 32:4 - 36:43
Who was this angel that Jacob wrestled through the night? Some say it was an angel representing his brother Esau with whom Jacob was about to meet. Esau and his men- weapons out are approaching as the sun rises. Others say that it was the archangel Michael come to test Jacob’s strength both physical and spiritual.
Jacob had moved his stock to one side of the river Jabbok and was about to move his other possessions represented by the 10 jars which also reflect all the colors of the etz chayim – the sephirot of the Kabbalah’s tree of life – showing that Jacob had spiritual knowledge. Note that his sheep have the three patterns that are used cosmologically for prophesy – they are branded on the feet, spotted and reverse spotted.
Jacob overcame the angel who, when his feet touched the ground fire would emerge, as this was the angel of fire and the dust around is aflame. But Jacob responded by saying that he himself was made of fire. In the struggle the angel wounded Jacob near his groin. Jacob demands a blessing and a name and the angel says Israel which became Jacob’s alternate name and translates as “one who struggles with Hashem.”