“Wrestlin' Jacob”


"Wrestlin' Jacob seek de Lawd. I will not let thee go. And wrestle all night till the break ob day." "Wrestle Jacob; day is a-breakin'." "(Brethren/Elders/etc., don't get weary (x4) For de work is almost done. Keep your lamps trimmed and burnin'...."


The wrestling match between God and Jacob at Peniel/Penuel, which ended as day broke, is told in Genesis 32:22-32.

There is, incidentally, a strong folkloric element to the story; it appears that Jacob may originally have been wrestling with some sort of minor demon, and the story was cleaned up. Imperfectly, since the place is called both Peniel/Penual (and what was The Ineffable God doing in a wrestling match anyway?). It even has a "just so" moral: The Israelites did not eat a particular part of an animal, because the demon injured Jacob there. - RBW


  1. BrownIII 656, "Wrestlin' Jacob" (1 text)
  2. Roud #11836
  3. BI, Br3656


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1913 (Brown)
Found in: US(SE)