a. The angels of God. Jacob having finally left Laban once and for all, goes on his way. On his way back to Canaan he is met by the angels of God. This is the second time that the angels have appeared to Jacob. Remember, the first time was when he was leaving Canaan and now, they are there to greet him as he returns. According to Hebrews 1:14, the angels are called ministering spirits who are sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation. We are told Jacob saw them which is an unusual occurrence. Only certain people were allowed to see the angels and only on specific occasions. We are called to walk by faith not by sight. We must practice great discernment when someone speaks of seeing angels today. b. Jacob names the place. Upon seeing the angels of God, Jacob declares, “This is God’s camp!” And so he names the place Mahanaim which means two camps. The exact location of Mahanaim has been lost to history but from the biblical record we know it was located on the east side of the Jordan somewhere near the Jabbok river. Mahanaim would play an important role in the life of another biblical character. King David fled to Mahanaim when his son Absalom marched into Jerusalem and stole the throne. David would be there when the news of the death of Absalom reached him. Mahanaim is a reoccurring theme as it appears a few times in this part of the story. This is the first mention of multiple camps. In verse 7, Jacob will take all he has and divide it into two camps. In 33:7 Jacob divides his family into four, each wife with the children she bore. In chapter 33, we find Jacob’s camp meeting Esau’s camp. So there is this undercurrent of division throughout. The fact that Jacob named the place means that what happened there was to be remembered. Just like the naming of Beersheba and Bethel, Mahanaim was to stand as a memorial to this event. We are a people who quickly forget what God has done in our lives. The scripture is full of those that saw the mighty hand of God but then quickly forget and turn their back on him. May we learn to mark our own Bethel’s and Mahanaim’s and not forget the work of God in our own lives.