PENUEL (pē-nū'ĕl, Heb. penî’ēl, face of God)

Hur’s son, the father of Gedor (1Chr.4.4).One of Shashak’s sons (1Chr.8.25).

Genesis 32:22-32 records what happened when Jacob stayed at the ford of the Jabbok on his way back from Paddan-aram. That night he wrestled with a man (angel, according to Hos 12:4) who finally blessed him and changed his name to Israel. “So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.’” The following v. (Gen 32:31) spells the place’s name as “Penuel.”

The name appears again in connection with the judgeship of Gideon (Judg 8). He sought help from Succoth and Penuel in his pursuit of the Midianite kings, Zebah and Zalmunna. Not only did those two cities not give help but they insulted Gideon. Whereupon, when he captured the two enemy kings, he punished Succoth and Penuel—“And he broke down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city” (8:17).

Whether Penuel fell into ruin and was vacated at this time is not certain. But Jeroboam “built” Penuel according to 1 Kings 12:25. The site of Penuel is identified with Tell edh-Dhahab esh-Sherqiyeh on the Nahr ez-Zerqa, or the Biblical Jabbok. Some suggest that the Pernual of Pharaoh Shishak’s list of conquered cities is Penuel. Late Assyrian records mention Panili, which also may be the same place.

2. Penuel was the name of a clan leader within the tribe of Judah (1 Chron 4:4). He was a descendant of Hur and the progenitor of Gedor.

3. According to 1 Chronicles 8:25, there was a Penuel who was a son of Shashak of the tribe of Benjamin.

See also

  • Peniel