EFORE Jacob was even born, he wrestled with his brother Esau (Genesis 25:22). As he was being born, Jacob was holding on to his elder brother's heel, as if to communicate that he resisted his brother's precedence (Genesis 25:26). Twice in adulthood, Jacob wrestled valuable things from his twin brother, (the second time by wrestling with his father too – see Genesis 27:36). Then he wrestled with his father-in-law, Laban (first for Laban's daughter, Rachel, and then for his wealth – see Genesis 31:43, 44, 46 & 52). Most famously, Jacob wrestled with an angel (perhaps a Christophany) and prevailed in that he received a blessing (although he certainly paid a price for it – see Hosea 12:3-4 & Genesis 32:24). As a nation, Israel was ever and always either being oppressed, fighting off oppression, fighting to prevent oppression or just fighting. They were a warring people. If we were to list all of the peoples with whom they crossed swords, the list would be very long indeed. And, the nation wrestled with God. He sent prophets to warn them about sin and judgment, but they denied that they were even guilty (Hosea 12:8). In fact, they antagonized Him with even more infractions (Hosea 12:14). Jacob and his descendants were wrestlers, but not all of their wrestling efforts were wholesome and good.