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Genesis 33

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Genesis 33
1¶ And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, Esau came and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah and unto Rachel and unto the two handmaids.
2And he put the handmaids and their children in front, and Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last.
3And he passed over in front of them and bowed himself to the ground seven times until he came near to his brother.
4And Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
5¶ And he lifted up his eyes and saw the women and the children and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children whom God hath graciously given thy slave.
6Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
7And Leah also with her children came near and bowed themselves; and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they also bowed themselves.
8And he said, What meanest thou by all these droves which I met? And he said, To find grace in the sight of my lord.
9And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep what thou hast unto thyself.
10And Jacob said, No, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present from my hand, that for this I have seen thy face as though I had seen the face of God; and do me the pleasure.
11Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee because God has dealt graciously with me, and all that is here is mine. And he urged him, and he took it.
12And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
13And he said unto him, My lord knows that the children are tender, and the sheep and cows with young are with me; and if men should overdrive them, in one day all the sheep will die.
14Let my lord, I pray thee, pass before his slave; and I will lead on softly, according as the property that goes before me and the children are able to endure until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
15And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What for? Let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
16¶ So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18And Jacob came safe and sound to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram, and pitched his tent before the city.
19And he bought part of the field where he had spread his tent, from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred ewes.
20And there he erected an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel (the Strong God of Israel).
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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.