on Hosea 12 :4
He had power over the Angel - Who represented the invisible Jehovah.
He wept, and made supplication - He entreated with tears that God would bless him; and he prevailed. The circumstance of his weeping is not mentioned in Genesis.
He found him in Beth-el - It was there that God made those glorious promises to Jacob relative to his posterity. See Genesis 28:13-15.
on Hosea 12 :4
He wept and made supplication unto Him - Jacob's weeping is not mentioned by Moses. Hosea then knew more than Moses related. He could not have gathered it out of Moses, for Moses relates the words of earnest supplication; yet the tone is that of one, by force of earnest energy, wresting, as it were, the blessing from God, not of one weeping. Yet Hosea adds this, in harmony with Moses. For "vehement desires and earnest petitions frequently issue in tears." "To implore means to ask with tears" . "Jacob, learning, that God Himself thus deigned to deal with him, might well out of amazement and wonder, out of awful respect to Him, and in earnest desire of a blessing, pour out his supplication with tears." Herein he became an image of Him, "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared" Hebrews 5:7.
: "This which he saith, 'he prevailed,' subjoining, 'he wept and made supplication,' describes the strength of penitents, for in truth they are strong by weeping earnestly and praying perseveringly for the forgiveness of sins, according to that, "From the days of John the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Whosoever so imitates the patriarch Jacob, who wrestled with the Angel, and, as a conqueror, extorted a blessing from him, he, of whatever nation he be, is truly Jacob, and deserveth to be called Israel." : "Yea, herein is the unconquerable might of the righteous, this his wondrous wrestling, herein his glorious victories, in glowing longings, assiduous prayers, joyous weeping. Girt with the might of holy orison, they strive with God, they wrestle with His judgment, and will not be overcome, until they obtain from His goodness all they desire, and extort it, as it were, by force, from His hands."
He found him in Bethel - This may mean either that "God found Jacob," or that "Jacob found God;" which are indeed one and the same thing, since we find God, when He has first found us. God "found," i. e., made Himself known to Jacob twice in this place; first, when he was going toward Haran, when he saw the vision of the ladder and the angels of God ascending and descending, "and the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham and the God of Isaac;" and Jacob first called the place "Bethel;" secondly, on his return, when God spake with him, giving him the name of Israel. Both revelations of God to Jacob are probably included in the words, "He found him in Bethel," since, on both occasions, God did "find him," and come to him, and he "found" God. In Bethel, where God found Jacob, Israel deserted Him, setting up the worship of the calves; yea, he deserted God the more there, because of God's mercy to his forefather, desecrating to false worship the place which had been consecrated by the revelation of the true God; and choosing it the rather, because it had been so consecrated.
And there He spake with us - For what He said to Jacob, He said not to Jacob only, nor for Jacob's sake alone, but, in him, He spake to all his posterity, both the children of his body and the children of his faith. Thus it is said, "There did we rejoice in Him" Psalm 66:6, i. e., we, their posterity, rejoiced in God there, where He so delivered our forefathers, and, "Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham, for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him" Hebrews 7:9-10. And Paul saith, that what was said to Abraham, "therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness, was not written for his sake alone, but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead" Romans 4:23, Romans 4:4. There He spake with us, how, in our needs, we should seek and find Him. In loneliness, apart from distractions, in faith, rising in proportion to our tears, in persevering prayer, in earnestness, which "clings so fast to God, that if God would cast us into Hell, He should, as one said Himself go with us, so should Hell not be Hell to us," God is sought and found.
on Hosea 12 :4