Jacob Wrestles with the Angel

12th-13th century
Cathedral of the Assumption, Monreale, Sicily

Genesis 32:22-32. While traveling (with the same staff, pack, and amphora seen in a previous panel) Esau encounters an angel and wrestles with him, forcing the angel to bless him. It is in this blessing that the angel gives him the name Israel, "for you were strong against God." Like most angels in these mosaics, this one has a sceptre.

The short inscription in the upper left corner, iacob fugiebat, means "Jacob was fleeing." The other inscription says iacob luctavit cum angelo angelus benedicit ei dicens nequaquam vocaberis iacob sed israel erit nomen tuum, "Jacob fought with the angel. The angel blesses him, saying, ‘Never shall you be called Jacob, but Israel will be your name.’" The angel's words are quoted from 32:28.

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Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.