We read that Jacob tarried throughout the night at the brook Jabbok
While he was preaching, there must have been close to a hundred sinners up at the altar in front of the stage, wrestling with the Lord, just like Jacob did by the Jabbok
River, and the sound of their travailing was like a mighty rushing wind, but the angel man's voice floated clear over their anguish until it filled the entire tent, his words siphoning through the cheap speakers with the static of a satellite far, far away.
From Numbers, it seems that the area between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok
was originally Moabite territory, and was subsequently conquered by Sihon, who in turn lost the land to the Israelites.
Micah, Isaiah, Luke, Hosea, Esau meeting Jacob at the Jabbok
Our task, like Jacob's at the Jabbok
, is to confront the shadowy other with whom we wrestle in the dark (6) (an inconvenient truth if ever I encountered one).
Wrestle at Jabbok
River: Power, Morality and Jewish Identity.
Like Jacob at the River Jabbok
wrestling with the angel until it blessed him, the old prophet thrashes out his peace with the Lord in the forest wilds, returning to Powderhead "bedraggled and hungry" as if he had been wrangling with a wildcat.
Brook, the narrator boxes with a stammering angel, whose "clicking" tongue annoys the narrator more than the angel's "jabs." The narrator is "damaged," touched on "the hollow of my thigh." only then does the angel speak: "'You had me there', he says, / I had to do your leg to settle things.'" You can almost see the angel lighting a smoke as he says with a shrug, "'You had me there.'" "Choreography" looks forward, in its dance metaphor, to the later poem "Study for the World's Body," set in an abandoned house:
The Lord here is not a voice from an incandescent bush announcing that this is holy ground but an uncanny silent stranger who 'encounters' Moses, like the mysterious stranger who confronts Jacob at the Jabbok
ford, in the dark of the night." Alter is especially curious about the "bridegroom of blood" (the King James, following Tyndale, settles, not so successfully, for "a bloody husband") and has much to say that is pertinent on the role of blood in Exodus.
However, when he did decide to reconcile with him, he is said to have stayed on the opposite side of the Jabbok
, and after a night of wrestling with his fears and guilt, he is said to have sent back the slaves, the women and the children first.
For example, the crossing of the River Jabbok
is described twice (128-31).
Steinmetz, "Luther against Luther"; "Luther and Augustine on Romans"; "Luther and the Hidden God"; "Abraham and the Reformation"; "Luther among the AntiThomists"; "Luther and Hubmaier on the Freedom of the Human Will"; "Scripture and the Lord's Supper in Luther's Theology"; "Luther and Calvin on Church and Tradition"; "Luther and the Drunkeness of Noah"; "Luther and Two Kingdoms"; "Luther and Formation in Faith"; "Luther and the Ascent of Jacob's Ladder"; and "Luther and Calvin on the Banks of the Jabbok