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Genesis 33

33
Chapter 33
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 like 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’.
33
Jacob meets Esau
1Later that day Jacob met Esau coming with his four hundred men. So Jacob made his children 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 towards 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 ones 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, “What did you mean by these herds I met along the road?”
“Master,” Jacob answered, “I sent them so that 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 these gifts 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 gifts I brought to you. God has been good to me, and I have everything I need.” Jacob kept insisting until Esau accepted the gifts.
12“Let's get ready to travel,” Esau said. “I'll go along with you.”
13But Jacob answered, “Master, you know travelling 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. 19The land where he camped was owned by the descendants of Hamor, the father of Shechem. So Jacob paid them one hundred pieces of silver#33.19 pieces of silver: Or “lambs” or “cattle”. for the property,#Js 24.32; Jn 4.5. 20then he set up his tents and built an altar there to honour the God of Israel.