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Berĕshith (Genesis) 33

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1And Ya‛aqoḇ lifted his eyes and looked and saw Ěsaw coming, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children among Lĕ’ah, and Raḥĕl, and the two female servants.
2And he put the female servants and their children in front, and Lĕ’ah and her children behind, and Raḥĕl and Yosĕph last.
3And he himself passed over before them and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4And Ěsaw ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
5And he lifted his eyes and saw the women and children, and said, “Who are these with you?” And he said, “The children with whom Elohim has favoured your servant.”
6Then the female servants came near, they and their children, and bowed themselves.
7And Lĕ’ah also came near with her children, and they bowed themselves. And Yosĕph and Raḥĕl came near, and they bowed themselves.
8Then Ěsaw said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?” And he said, “To find favour in the eyes of my master.”
9But Ěsaw said, “I have enough, my brother, let what you have remain yours.”
10And Ya‛aqoḇ said, “No, please, if I have now found favour in your eyes, then receive my present from my hand, because I have seen your face like seeing the face of Elohim, and you were pleased with me.
11Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because Elohim has favoured me, and because I have all I need.” And he urged him, and he took it.
12And he said, “Let us depart and go, and let me go before you.”
13But he said to him, “My master knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flocks shall die.
14Please let my master go before his servant, and let me lead on slowly according to the pace of the livestock that go before me, and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my master in Sĕ‛ir.
15And Ěsaw said, “Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “Why this? Let me find favour in the eyes of my master.”
16And Ěsaw returned that day on his way to Sĕ‛ir.
17And Ya‛aqoḇ set out to Sukkoth, and built himself a house, and made booths for his livestock. That is why the name of the place is called Sukkoth.
18And Ya‛aqoḇ came safely to the city of Sheḵem, which is in the land of Kena‛an, when he came from Paddan Aram. And he pitched his tent before the city.
19And he bought the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent, from the children of Ḥamor, Sheḵem’s father, for one hundred qesitah.#A monetary unit of uncertain value, perhaps in the form of a lamb.
20And he set up a slaughter-place there and called it Ěl Elohĕ Yisra’ĕl.
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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.