Genesis 45:28, Then Israel said, “It is enough; my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.” Israel was Jacob’s YHVH-given name; “for you have striven with Elohe and with men and have prevailed”. Israel journeyed to Beersheba and offered sacrifices to YHVH. It is there that YHVH called on Jacob to continue on down into Egypt.
Genesis 46:1-5, So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.” Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
Why didn’t YHVH call Israel to go down to Egypt? Why did YHVH send Jacob to Egypt? Could it be that Israel represented the Spirit of the promise YHVH made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — that they would be a great nation and inhabit the land of promise? To go down to Egypt meant bondage to the world and its ways and the Spirit cannot be bound in bondage to anyone or thing; so the flesh man Jacob had to make the trip? When Jacob’s children were delivered from the bondage of Egypt they were called the children of Israel, not the children of Jacob. They were leaving to reclaim the Spirit of the promise made all those centuries before to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; they had striven with Elohe and with man and had prevailed.
May we live in the Spirit of the promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and prevail in our struggle to enter into YHVH’s rest!