Jacob meets Esau
1Jacob looked up. He saw Esau with 400 men coming towards him. So he separated his children into groups. Some went with Leah, some went with Rachel, and some went with his two female servants. 2He put his female servants and their children at the front of the group. Then came Leah and her children. But Jacob put his son Joseph with Rachel at the back of the group. 3Jacob himself went in front of these groups. He bent down to the ground to respect Esau. He did this seven times as he came nearer to his brother.
4But Esau ran to meet Jacob and he hugged him. He put his arms round Jacob's neck and he kissed him. They both wept.
5Then Esau looked up. He saw the women and children. He asked, ‘Who are these people with you?’ Jacob replied, ‘They are the children that God has given to me, your servant.’
6Then the female servants and their children came to Esau. As they came near to him, they bent down to the ground. 7Then Leah and her children came and they bent down in front of Esau. Last of all, Joseph and Rachel came to Esau and they also bent down to the ground. 8Esau asked Jacob, ‘Why did you send all those animals in front of you?’ Jacob replied, ‘So that you would be happy to see me, my lord.’ 9But Esau said, ‘Keep your animals for yourself, my brother. I have enough animals of my own.’ 10But Jacob replied, ‘No! If you are happy to see me, please accept these animals as a gift from me. When you met me and I saw your face, it was as if I saw the face of God himself. I am happy that you have met me as a friend. 11So please accept the gift that I brought to you. God has been very kind to me so that I have everything that I need.’ So Esau accepted the gifts because Jacob would not agree to keep them.
12Then Esau said, ‘Let us continue to go on our way. I will travel with you.’ 13But Jacob said, ‘My lord, the children are not very strong. Many of the animals have young babies. If we go too far in one day, then all the animals will die. 14So you should go in front of me, my lord. I will travel slowly with the animals and children, so that they are comfortable. Then, my lord, I will come to you in Seir.’
15Esau said, ‘Then let me leave some of my men to travel with you.’ But Jacob replied, ‘You do not need to do that. All I want is for you to be happy with me.’
16So Esau began his journey back to Seir that same day. 17But Jacob went to Succoth instead. He built a house for himself, and he made huts for his animals. That is why the place is called Succoth. #33:17 Succoth means ‘huts’.
18After Jacob left Paddan Aram, he travelled safely to Canaan. He put up his tents there, near the city of Shechem. 19He bought the piece of ground where he had put up his tents. He paid 100 pieces of silver to Hamor's sons to buy the land. Hamor was the father of Shechem.
20Jacob built an altar in that place. He called the altar ‘The God of Israel is the true God’.
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Jacob Meets Esau
1Jacob looked and saw Esau coming with 400 men. Jacob divided his family into four groups. Leah and her children were in one group, Rachel and Joseph were in one group, and the two maids and their children were in two groups. 2Jacob put the maids with their children first. Then he put Leah and her children behind them, and he put Rachel and Joseph in the last place.
3Jacob himself went out before them. While he was walking toward his brother Esau, he bowed down to the ground seven times.
4When Esau saw Jacob, he ran to meet him. He put his arms around Jacob, hugged his neck, and kissed him. Then they both cried. 5Esau looked up and saw the women and children. He said, “Who are all these people with you?”
Jacob answered, “These are the children that God gave me. God has been good to me.”
6Then the two maids and the children with them went to Esau. They bowed down before him. 7Then Leah and the children with her went to Esau and bowed down. And then Rachel and Joseph went to him and bowed down.
8Esau said, “Who were all those people I saw while I was coming here? And what were all those animals for?”
Jacob answered, “These are my gifts to you so that you might accept me.”
9But Esau said, “You don’t have to give me gifts, brother. I have enough for myself.”
10Jacob said, “No, I beg you! If you really accept me, please accept the gifts I give you. I am very happy to see your face again. It is like seeing the face of God. I am very happy to see that you accept me. 11So I beg you to also accept the gifts I give you. God has been very good to me. I have more than I need.” Because Jacob begged Esau to take the gifts, he accepted them.
12Then Esau said, “Now you can continue your journey. I will go with you.”
13But Jacob said to him, “You know that my children are weak. And I must be careful with my flocks and their young animals. If I force them to walk too far in one day, all the animals will die. 14So you go on ahead. I will follow you slowly. I will go slowly enough for the cattle and other animals to be safe and so that my children will not get too tired. I will meet you in Seir.”
15So Esau said, “Then I will leave some of my men to help you.”
But Jacob said, “That is very kind of you, but there is no need to do that.” 16So that day Esau started on his trip back to Seir. 17But Jacob went to Succoth.#33:17 Succoth A town east of the Jordan River. This name means “temporary shelters.” There he built a house for himself and small barns for his cattle. That is why the place was named Succoth.
18Jacob safely ended his trip from Paddan Aram when he came to the town of Shechem in Canaan. He made his camp in a field near the city. 19He bought the field where he camped from the family of Hamor, father of Shechem. He paid 100 pieces of silver for it. 20He built an altar there to honor God. He named the place “El,#33:20 El A Hebrew name for God. the God of Israel.”
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