Jacob Meets Esau
1Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming toward him with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants. 2He put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3But Jacob himself went on ahead and bowed to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.
4Esau, however, ran to him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.
5When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he asked, “Who are these with you?”
Jacob answered, “These are the children God has graciously given your servant.” 6Then the maidservants and their children approached and bowed down. 7Leah and her children also approached and bowed down, and then Joseph and Rachel approached and bowed down.
8“What do you mean by sending this whole company to meet me?” asked Esau.
“To find favor in your sight, my lord,” Jacob answered.
9“I already have plenty, my brother,” Esau replied. “Keep what belongs to you.”
10But Jacob insisted, “No, please! If I have found favor in your sight, then receive this gift from my hand. For indeed, I have seen your face, and it is like seeing the face of God, since you have received me favorably. 11Please accept my gift #33:11 Or blessing or treaty of peace that was brought to you, because God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” So Jacob pressed him until he accepted.
12Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way, and I will go ahead of you.”
13But Jacob replied, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and I must care for sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard for even a day, all the animals will die. 14Please let my lord go ahead of his servant. I will continue on slowly, at a comfortable pace for the livestock and children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”
15“Let me leave some of my people with you,” Esau said.
But Jacob replied, “Why do that? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”
16So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir, 17but Jacob went on to Succoth,#33:17 Succoth means booths or shelters or tabernacles; twice in this verse. where he built a house for himself and shelters for his livestock; that is why the place was called Succoth.
Jacob Settles in Shechem
18After Jacob had come from Paddan-aram,#33:18 That is, northwest Mesopotamia he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped just outside the city. 19And the plot of ground where he pitched his tent, he purchased from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of silver.#33:19 Hebrew a hundred kesitahs; the value or weight of the kesitah is no longer known 20There he set up an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.#33:20 El-Elohe-Israel means God is the God of Israel or mighty is the God of Israel.