Penuel (Hebrew פְּנוּאֵל), also known as the "face of God", is a place not far from Succoth, on the east of the Jordan River and north of the river Jabbok. It is also called "Peniel" by Jacob, meaning 'face of God', "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." (Gen. 32:30 NIV) Here Jacob wrestled (Gen. 32:24-32) "with a man" ("the angel", Hos. 12:4) "till the break of day." This episode resulted in God (or the angel) changing Jacob's name to "Israel" (Gen. 32:28) which literally means, "He who struggles with God."
A town was afterward built there (Judg. 8:8; 1 Kings 12:25). The men of this place refused to give bread to Gideon and his 300 men when they were in pursuit of the Midianites (Judg. 8:1-21). On his return, Gideon tore down the tower there and killed all the men of the city.
When the Northern Kingdom of Israel broke away from the United Monarchy c. 930 BCE, Jeroboam, its first king, established his capital in Shechem. A short time later, he left Shechem and fortified Penuel, declaring it as his new capital (I Kings 12:25). He and his son, Nadab, ruled there, until Baasha seized the throne in 909 BCE and moved the capital to Tirzah (I Kings 15:25-34).
The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia prints פְּנִיאֵל for Pniel while writing פנואל for Pnuel in the apparatus as a minor textual variant only found in (the Samaritan Pentateuch), σ´ (Symmachus), (the Peshitta) and (the Latin Vulgate). Therefore the Luther Bible has Pnuël as being directly translated from the Vulgate. So has the KJV, the ESV and the Elberfelder Bibel. Peniel or Pniel is found in the NIV, the NIrV and the Schlachter 2000.
- Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 1997, page 53
- International Journal of Religious Education, Volume 10, Department of Educational Development, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., 1933, p.6
- Sepia, Volume 29, Issues 1-6, Sepia Publishing Corporation, 1980
- The Sun At Midnight: The Revealed Mysteries of the Ahlul Bayt Sufis, Laurence Galian, Quiddity, 2003, p.192, ISBN 9780967945804
- "Blacks in Science: ancient and modern", Journal of African Civilizations, Ivan van Sertima (editor), Douglass College, Rutgers University, 1983, p.147
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