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Genesis 33

33
Jacob Meets Esau
1Jacob looked and saw Esau coming with 400 men. Jacob divided his family into four groups. Leah and her children were in one group, Rachel and Joseph were in one group, and the two maids and their children were in two groups. 2Jacob put the maids with their children first. Then he put Leah and her children behind them, and he put Rachel and Joseph in the last place.
3Jacob himself went out before them. While he was walking toward his brother Esau, he bowed down to the ground seven times.
4When Esau saw Jacob, he ran to meet him. He put his arms around Jacob, hugged his neck, and kissed him. Then they both cried. 5Esau looked up and saw the women and children. He said, “Who are all these people with you?”
Jacob answered, “These are the children that God gave me. God has been good to me.”
6Then the two maids and the children with them went to Esau. They bowed down before him. 7Then Leah and the children with her went to Esau and bowed down. And then Rachel and Joseph went to him and bowed down.
8Esau said, “Who were all those people I saw while I was coming here? And what were all those animals for?”
Jacob answered, “These are my gifts to you so that you might accept me.”
9But Esau said, “You don’t have to give me gifts, brother. I have enough for myself.”
10Jacob said, “No, I beg you! If you really accept me, please accept the gifts I give you. I am very happy to see your face again. It is like seeing the face of God. I am very happy to see that you accept me. 11So I beg you to also accept the gifts I give you. God has been very good to me. I have more than I need.” Because Jacob begged Esau to take the gifts, he accepted them.
12Then Esau said, “Now you can continue your journey. I will go with you.”
13But Jacob said to him, “You know that my children are weak. And I must be careful with my flocks and their young animals. If I force them to walk too far in one day, all the animals will die. 14So you go on ahead. I will follow you slowly. I will go slowly enough for the cattle and other animals to be safe and so that my children will not get too tired. I will meet you in Seir.”
15So Esau said, “Then I will leave some of my men to help you.”
But Jacob said, “That is very kind of you, but there is no need to do that.” 16So that day Esau started on his trip back to Seir. 17But Jacob went to Succoth.#33:17 Succoth A town east of the Jordan River. This name means “temporary shelters.” There he built a house for himself and small barns for his cattle. That is why the place was named Succoth.
18Jacob safely ended his trip from Paddan Aram when he came to the town of Shechem in Canaan. He made his camp in a field near the city. 19He bought the field where he camped from the family of Hamor, father of Shechem. He paid 100 pieces of silver for it. 20He built an altar there to honor God. He named the place “El,#33:20 El A Hebrew name for God. the God of Israel.”

Genesis 33

33
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.