One night, while Jacob was minding his own business at a place called Peniel, YHWH sneaked upon him, and started pinching him, provocatively. Infuriated, Jacob stood up, and gave YHWH a heavy beating for the whole night. A badly surprised YHWH dislocated Jacob’s hip joint in a bid to incapacitate him, but Jacob still managed to overpower him. Finally, at daybreak, YHWH begged for a truce:
YHWH: Please let me go, man. My body is aching all over.
Jacob: No, I will not let you go until you bless me.
YHWH: How can you ask me to bless you after beating me up like that for a whole night?
Jacob: You started it. You are the one who came and started pinching me for no reason at all.
YHWH: Yeah, but you didn’t have to beat me up like a step-son. I can hardly move. My left eye is swollen shut. My ribs are probably broken. You punch and kick like a mule.
Jacob: Look, just give me your blessings, and I’ll let you go. Otherwise, I’ll keep slapping you until you soil your loin cloth.
YHWH: No – don’t slap me again. Those slaps are too painful. My ears are ringing. I will bless you. What’s your name?
Jacob: I’m Jacob, son of Isaac.
YHWH: Fine. From today, your name will be Israel – for you have beaten God into a pulp. Now, please let me go back to heaven in peace.
And so Jacob – now Israel – let YHWH depart. And YHWH limped away, painfully. He never visited Israel again in a physical form.
N/B: For access to all anecdotes in this series, check out List of all “Chronicles of YHWH” notes.