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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.
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Jacob Meets Esau and Settles at Shechem
1And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked. And behold, Esau was coming and four hundred men were with him. And he#That is, Jacob divided the children among Leah and among Rachel, and among the two of his female servants. 2And he put the female slaves and their children first, then Leah and her children next, then Rachel with Joseph last. 3And he himself passed on before them and bowed down to the ground seven times until he came to his brother. 4But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell upon his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5Then Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and the children and said, “Who are these with you?” And he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6Then the female servants drew near, they and their children, and they bowed down. 7Then Leah and her children drew near and bowed down, and afterward Joseph and Rachel drew near and they bowed down. 8And he#That is, Esau said, “What do you mean by#Literally “What to you?” all this company that I have met?” Then he said, “To find favor in the eyes of my lord.” 9Then Esau said, “I have enough#Literally “There is to me abundance” my brother; keep what you have.”#Literally “let what is to you be to you” 10And Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your eyes, you must take my gift from my hand, for then I have seen your face which is like seeing the face of God, and you have received me. 11Please take my gift which has been brought to you, for God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.”#Literally “There is to me abundance” And he urged him, so he took it. 12Then he#That is, Esau said, “Let us journey and go on, and I will go ahead of you.” 13But he said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and the flocks and the cattle which are nursing are a concern to me. Now if they drove them hard for a day all the flocks would die. 14Let my lord pass on before his servant and I will move along slowly at the pace#Or “foot” of the livestock that are ahead of me, and at the pace#Or “foot” of the children until I come to my lord in Seir.” 15And Esau said, “Let me leave some of my people with you.” But he said, “What need is there?#Literally “What is this?” Let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.” 16So Esau turned that day on his way to Seir. 17But Jacob traveled on to Succoth, and he built for himself a house, and he made shelters for his livestock. Therefore he called the name of the place Succoth. 18And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem which is in the land of Canaan, on his way#Literally “at his coming” from Paddan-Aram. And he camped before the city. 19And he bought a piece of land where he pitched his tent for one hundred pieces of money#Hebrew kesitah from the hand of the sons of Hamor, father of Shechem. 20And there he erected an altar and called it “El Elohe Israel.”#That is, “El the God of Israel”