Rashbam to Genesis 32Rashbam to Genesis 32 says that the purpose of Yaakov's crossing Yabok river was to avoid meeting Esav. (See his commentary to verses 21–26.) In verse 25, he explains, an angel fought with Yaakov to prevent that escape, so that Esav could hurt him. In verse 26, then, the angel was unable to win the fight, Yaakov sought to escape against the angel's will, and the angel injured Yaakov's leg [seemingly as a last-ditch effort to prevent the escape, though Rashbam doesn't say]. Then verse 27 reads:
He said, "Let me go [or: send me] for dawn has broken." He replied, "I won't let you go [or: send you] unless you've blessed me."
Most commentaries attribute the first of those speeches to the angel and the second to Yaakov. Rashbam writes:
for dawn has broken: and because the day has illuminated, now you should go on your way
unless you've blessed me: that you send me from you in peace, that I not be damaged by the fact that I fought with you, for now dawn has broken. Then Yaakov knew that he's an angel.
I don't understand this Rashbam. Specifically:
- What does "for now dawn has broken" have to do with the request for a blessing that the speaker (Yaakov?) not be damaged by having fought? Why does Rashbam write that phrase there?
- How did Yaakov learn just at that juncture that the angel was an angel, and how does the Rashbam know this?