Jacob Meets Esau
1Then Jacob looked up, and saw Esau coming with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2He put the maids and their children in front, Leah and her children after them, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3Then Jacob crossed over [the stream] ahead of them and bowed himself to the ground seven times [bowing and moving forward each time], until he approached his brother.
4But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and hugged his neck and kissed him, and they wept [for joy]. 5Esau looked up and saw the women and the children, and said, “Who are these with you?” So Jacob replied, “They are the children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6Then the maids approached with their children, and they bowed down. 7Leah also approached with her children, and they bowed down. Afterward Joseph and Rachel approached, and they bowed down. 8Esau asked, “What do you mean by all this company which I have met?” And he answered, “[These are] to find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10Jacob replied, “No, please, if now I have found favor in your sight, then accept my gift [as a blessing] from my hand, for I see your face as if I had seen the face of God, and you have received me favorably. 11Please accept my blessing (gift) which has been brought to you, for God has dealt graciously with me and I have everything [that I could possibly want].” So Jacob kept urging him and Esau accepted it.
12Then Esau said, “Let us get started on our journey and I will go in front of you [to lead the way].” 13But Jacob replied, “You know, my lord, that the children are frail and need gentle care, and the nursing flocks and herds [with young] are of concern to me; for if the men should drive them hard for a single day, all the flocks will die. 14Please let my lord go on ahead of his servant, and I will move on slowly, governed by the pace of the livestock that are in front of me and according to the endurance of the children, #Jacob must have been concerned about traveling through Edom and used this excuse to avoid following Esau to Seir. Indeed, he heads in the opposite direction.until I come to my lord in Seir [in Edom].”
15Then Esau said, “Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But Jacob said, “#Lit Why this?What need is there [for it]? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16So Esau turned back [toward the south] that day on his way to Seir. 17But Jacob journeyed [north] to Succoth, and built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock; so the name of the place is Succoth (huts, shelters).
Jacob Settles in Shechem
18When Jacob came from Paddan-aram, he arrived safely and in peace at the city of Shechem, in the land of Canaan, and camped in front of the [walled] city. 19Then he bought the piece of land on which he had pitched his tents from #Lit the hand of the sons.the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred #Heb qesitah, an uncertain measure of weight; a rabbi once reported hearing the ma’ah, a small coin worth 1/12 of a shekel, called a qesitah.pieces of money. 20There he erected an altar and called it #I.e. God, the mighty God of Israel.El-Elohe-Israel.
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Jacob Meets Esau
1Later that day Jacob met Esau coming with his 400 men. So Jacob told his children to walk with their mothers. 2The two servant women, Zilpah and Bilhah, together with their children went first, followed by Leah and her children, then by Rachel and Joseph. 3Jacob himself walked in front of them all, bowing to the ground seven times as he came near his brother.
4But Esau ran toward Jacob and hugged and kissed him. Then the two brothers started crying.
5When Esau noticed the women and children he asked, “Whose children are these?”
Jacob answered, “These are the children the Lord has been kind enough to give to me, your servant.”
6Then the two servant women and their children came and bowed down to Esau. 7Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down; finally, Joseph and Rachel also came and bowed down.
8Esau asked Jacob, “Why did you send those herds I met along the road?”
“Master,” Jacob answered, “I sent them so you would be friendly to me.”
9“But, brother, I already have plenty,” Esau replied. “Keep them for yourself.”
10“No!” Jacob said. “Please accept them as a sign of your friendship for me. When you welcomed me and I saw your face, it was like seeing the face of God. 11Please accept these as gifts I brought to you. God has been good to me, and I have everything I need.” Jacob kept insisting until Esau agreed.
12“Let's get ready to travel,” Esau said. “I'll go along with you.”
13But Jacob answered, “Master, you know traveling is hard on children, and I have to look after the sheep and goats that are nursing their young. If my animals travel too much in one day, they will all die. 14Why don't you go on ahead and let me travel along slowly with the children, the herds, and the flocks. We can meet again in the country of Edom.”
15Esau replied, “Let me leave some of my men with you.”
“You don't have to do that,” Jacob answered. “I am happy, simply knowing that you are friendly to me.”
16So Esau left for Edom. 17But Jacob went to Succoth,#33.17 Succoth: In Hebrew “Succoth” means “shelters.” where he built a house for himself and set up shelters for his animals. That's why the place is called Succoth.
Jacob Arrives at Shechem
18After leaving northern Syria,#33.18 northern Syria: See the note at 24.10. Jacob arrived safely at Shechem in Canaan and set up camp outside the city. 19#Js 24.32; Jn 4.5. The land where he camped was owned by the descendants of Hamor, the father of Shechem. So Jacob paid them 100 pieces of silver#33.19 pieces of silver: Or “lambs” or “cattle.” for the property, 20then he set up his tents and built an altar there to honor the God of Israel.
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