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dharius daniels

Is Dharius Daniels’ Level Up the worst exegesis you’ve ever heard?

In June 2020, Evangelical Dark Web publish a reader requested verdict on Dharius Daniels. You can request a verdict here (but make sure you check the already answered verdicts here first). During that process, I watched some of the more viral sermons Dharius Daniels has given. One such sermon was “Level Up” delivered in early 2019. The sermon was on Genesis 32:24-32.

24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but [n]Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.” 31 Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh. 32 Therefore, to this day the sons of Israel do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the socket of the thigh, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.

This passage is widely viewed as a Christophany where Jesus appears in the Old Testament and wrestles Jacob. Jesus being coeternal is reason why this makes sense in addition to the implications of divinity from the text.

But Dharius Daniels changes articulates three different persons that the figure Jacob wrestles with could be in the same sermon. At first Jacob is wrestling with Satan. Then Jacob is wrestling with God. And finally, Jacob is wrestling with himself.

This is probably the worst exegesis on Genesis 32 in church history, but is this the worst exegesis you’ve ever heard?


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