1 Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau was coming, and with him four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah, Rachel, and the two servants. 2He put the servants and their children in front, Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3He himself passed over in front of them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, fell on his neck, kissed him, and they wept. 5He lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, “Who are these with you?”
He said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6Then the servants came near with their children, and they bowed themselves. 7Leah also and her children came near, and bowed themselves. After them, Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?”
Jacob said, “To find favour in the sight of my lord.”
9 Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; let that which you have be yours.”
10 Jacob said, “Please, no, if I have now found favour in your sight, then receive my present at my hand, because I have seen your face, as one sees the face of God, and you were pleased with me. 11Please take the gift that I brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” He urged him, and he took it.
12 Esau said, “Let’s take our journey, and let’s go, and I will go before you.”
13 Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young, and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die. 14Please let my lord pass over before his servant, and I will lead on gently, according to the pace of the livestock that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord to Seir.”
15 Esau said, “Let me now leave with you some of the people who are with me.”
He said, “Why? Let me find favour in the sight of my lord.”
16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17Jacob travelled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.#33:17 succoth means shelters or booths.
18 Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan Aram; and encamped before the city. 19He bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. 20He erected an altar there, and called it El Elohe Israel.#33:20 El Elohe Israel means “God, the God of Israel” or “The God of Israel is mighty”.
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Jacob and Esau Meet.#The truly frightening confrontation seems to have already occurred in Jacob’s meeting the divine stranger in the previous chapter. In contrast, this meeting brings reconciliation. Esau, impulsive but largehearted, kisses the cunning Jacob and calls him brother (v. 9). Jacob in return asks Esau to accept his blessing (berakah, translated “gift,” v. 11), giving back at least symbolically what he had taken many years before and responding to Esau’s erstwhile complaint (“he has taken away my blessing,” 27:36). Verses 12–17 show that the reconciliation is not total and, further, that Jacob does not intend to share the ancestral land with his brother. 1Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and with him four hundred men. So he divided his children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants, 2putting the maidservants and their children first, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3He himself went on ahead of them, bowing to the ground seven times, until he reached his brother. 4Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, and flinging himself on his neck, kissed him as he wept.
5Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children and asked, “Who are these with you?” Jacob answered, “They are the children with whom God has graciously favored your servant.” 6Then the maidservants and their children came forward and bowed low; 7next, Leah and her children came forward and bowed low; lastly, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed low. 8Then Esau asked, “What did you intend with all those herds that I encountered?” Jacob answered, “It was to gain my lord’s favor.” 9Esau replied, “I have plenty; my brother, you should keep what is yours.” 10“No, I beg you!” said Jacob. “If you will do me the favor, accept this gift from me, since to see your face is for me like seeing the face of God—and you have received me so kindly. 11Accept the gift I have brought you. For God has been generous toward me, and I have an abundance.” Since he urged him strongly, Esau accepted.
12Then Esau said, “Let us break camp and be on our way; I will travel in front of you.” 13But Jacob replied: “As my lord knows, the children are too young. And the flocks and herds that are nursing are a concern to me; if overdriven for even a single day, the whole flock will die. 14Let my lord, then, go before his servant, while I proceed more slowly at the pace of the livestock before me and at the pace of my children, until I join my lord in Seir.” 15Esau replied, “Let me at least put at your disposal some of the people who are with me.” But Jacob said, “Why is this that I am treated so kindly, my lord?” 16So on that day Esau went on his way back to Seir, 17and Jacob broke camp for Succoth.#Succoth: an important town near the confluence of the Jabbok and the Jordan (Jos 13:27; Jgs 8:5–16; 1 Kgs 7:46). Booths: in Hebrew, sukkot, of the same sound as the name of the town. There Jacob built a home for himself and made booths for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth.
18Jacob arrived safely at the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram. He encamped in sight of the city.#Gn 12:6; Jn 4:5. 19The plot of ground on which he had pitched his tent he bought for a hundred pieces of money#Pieces of money: in Hebrew, qesita, a monetary unit of which the value is unknown. Descendants of Hamor: Hamorites, “the people of Hamor”; cf. Jgs 9:28. Hamor was regarded as the eponymous ancestor of the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Shechem. from the descendants of Hamor, the father of Shechem.#Jos 24:32; Jn 4:5; Acts 7:16. 20He set up an altar there and invoked “El, the God of Israel.”#Jgs 6:24.
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