"all the defiance and bravado of Jacob's with the angel"

This is a further Biblical allusion, from the tale of Jacob wrestling with an angel in Genesis chapter 32.  

Jacob in the Old Testament is a prophet, the son of Isaac and father of Joseph and his brothers (of Technicolor Dreamcoat fame).  Jacob also appears in the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an.  As a young man Jacob travelled to Haran, where he married both Leah and her sister Rachel and the first of his many children were born.  On his journey back to his native Canaan, he met an angel and wrestled with him until daybreak but was not overpowered.  At the end of the fight, the angel touched Jacob on his thigh or hip so that he developed a limp, but also renamed him Israel, meaning 'one who has prevailed with God', or 'he will judge as God'.