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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.
33
Jacob Meets Esau
1Then Jacob glanced up and saw, behold, there was Esau coming—and 400 men with him. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants.
2He put the female servants and their children first, then Leah and her children behind them, then Rachel and Joseph behind them.
3But he himself passed on ahead of them, and bowed to the ground seven times until he came near to his brother.
4But Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, fell on his neck and kissed him—and they wept.
5His eyes glanced up and he saw the women and the children, and said, “Who are these with you?” “The children whom God has graciously given your servant,” he said.
6Then the female servants approached, they and their children, and bowed down.
7Leah also approached, along with her children, and they bowed down, and finally, Joseph and Rachel approached and bowed down.
8“What do you mean by this whole caravan that I’ve met?” So he said, “To find favor in your eyes, my lord.”
9But Esau said, “I have plenty! O my brother, do keep all that belongs to you.”
10Yet Jacob said, “No, please! If I have found favor in your eyes, then you will take my offering from my hand. For this is the reason I’ve seen your face—it is like seeing the face of God—and you’ve accepted me!
11Please, take my blessing that was brought to you, because God has been gracious to me, and because I have everything.” So he kept urging him until he accepted.
12Then he said, “Let’s journey and be on our way, and I’ll go ahead of you.
13He continued, “My lord knows that the children are tender, and that the flocks and the cattle in my care are nursing. So if they were pushed hard just one day, all the flocks would die.
14Please, let my lord pass on ahead of your servant, and I’ll move on further gradually, at a pace suited to the livestock that are before me and at a pace suited to the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
15Then Esau said, “Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What’s this? Let me find favor in my lord’s eyes.”
16So on that day Esau returned on his way to Seir,
17but Jacob journeyed to Sukkot and built a house for himself, and for his livestock he made booths. That is the reason that place is called Sukkot.
18So Jacob arrived in shalom to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram, and camped right in front of the city.
19He purchased the portion of the field there where he had pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for 100 pieces of money.
20There he set up an altar, and he called it, El is Israel’s God.