Esau forgives Jacob
1Jacob looked up and saw Esau approaching with four hundred men. Jacob divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two women servants. 2He put the servants and their children first, Leah and her children after them, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3He himself went in front of them and bowed to the ground seven times as he was approaching his brother. 4But Esau ran to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, kissed him, and they wept. 5Esau looked up and saw the women and children and said, “Who are these with you?”
Jacob said, “The children that God generously gave your servant.” 6The women servants and their children came forward and bowed down. 7Then Leah and her servants also came forward and bowed, and afterward Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed.
8Esau said, “What’s the meaning of this entire group of animals that I met?”
Jacob said, “To ask for my master’s kindness.”
9Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what’s yours.”
10Jacob said, “No, please, do me the kindness of accepting my gift. Seeing your face is like seeing God’s face, since you’ve accepted me so warmly. 11Take this present that I’ve brought because God has been generous to me, and I have everything I need.” So Jacob persuaded him, and he took it.
12Esau said, “Let’s break camp and set out, and I’ll go with you.”
13But Jacob said to him, “My master knows that the children aren’t strong and that I am responsible for the nursing flocks and cattle. If I push them hard for even one day, all of the flocks will die. 14My master, go on ahead of your servant, but I’ve got to take it easy, going only as fast as the animals in front of me and the children are able to go, until I meet you in Seir.”
15Esau said, “Let me leave some of my people with you.”
But Jacob said, “Why should you do this since my master has already been so kind to me?” 16That day Esau returned on the road to Seir, 17but Jacob traveled to Succoth. He built a house for himself but made temporary shelters for his animals; therefore, he named the place Succoth.#33.17 Or temporary shelters
Dinah and the conflict at Shechem
18Jacob arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan on his trip from Paddan-aram, and he camped in front of the city. 19He bought the section of the field where he pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred qesitahs.#33.19 A monetary weight 20Then he set up an altar there and named it El Elohe Israel.#33.20 Or El, God of Israel
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1-4Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah and Rachel and the two maidservants. He put the maidservants out in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. He led the way and, as he approached his brother, bowed seven times, honoring his brother. But Esau ran up and embraced him, held him tight and kissed him. And they both wept.
5Then Esau looked around and saw the women and children: “And who are these with you?”
Jacob said, “The children that God saw fit to bless me with.”
6-7Then the maidservants came up with their children and bowed; then Leah and her children, also bowing; and finally, Joseph and Rachel came up and bowed to Esau.
8Esau then asked, “And what was the meaning of all those herds that I met?”
“I was hoping that they would pave the way for my master to welcome me.”
9Esau said, “Oh, brother. I have plenty of everything—keep what is yours for yourself.”
10-11Jacob said, “Please. If you can find it in your heart to welcome me, accept these gifts. When I saw your face, it was as the face of God smiling on me. Accept the gifts I have brought for you. God has been good to me and I have more than enough.” Jacob urged the gifts on him and Esau accepted.
12Then Esau said, “Let’s start out on our way; I’ll take the lead.”
13-14But Jacob said, “My master can see that the children are frail. And the flocks and herds are nursing, making for slow going. If I push them too hard, even for a day, I’d lose them all. So, master, you go on ahead of your servant, while I take it easy at the pace of my flocks and children. I’ll catch up with you in Seir.”
15Esau said, “Let me at least lend you some of my men.”
“There’s no need,” said Jacob. “Your generous welcome is all I need or want.”
16So Esau set out that day and made his way back to Seir.
17And Jacob left for Succoth. He built a shelter for himself and sheds for his livestock. That’s how the place came to be called Succoth (Sheds).
18-20And that’s how it happened that Jacob arrived all in one piece in Shechem in the land of Canaan—all the way from Paddan Aram. He camped near the city. He bought the land where he pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. He paid a hundred silver coins for it. Then he built an altar there and named it El-Elohe-Israel (Mighty Is the God of Israel).
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THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of NavPress. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers.