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Genesis 33

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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.

B'resheet (Gen) 33

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1Ya‘akov raised his eyes and looked out; and there was ‘Esav coming, and four hundred men with him. So Ya‘akov divided the children between Le’ah, Rachel and the two slave-girls, 2putting the slave-girls and their children first, Le’ah and her children second, and Rachel and Yosef last. 3Then he himself passed on ahead of them and prostrated himself on the ground seven times before approaching his brother. 4‘Esav ran to meet him, hugged him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him; and they wept. 5Esav looked up; on seeing the women and children, he asked, “Who are these with you?” Ya‘akov answered, “The children God has graciously given to your servant.”
(iv) 6Then the slave-girls approached with their children, and they prostrated themselves; 7Le’ah too and her children approached and prostrated themselves; and last came Yosef and Rachel; and they prostrated themselves. 8‘Esav asked, “What was the meaning of this procession of droves I encountered?” and he answered, “It was to win my lord’s favor.” 9‘Esav replied, “I have plenty already; my brother, keep your possessions for yourself.” 10Ya‘akov said, “No, please! If now I have won your favor, then accept my gift. Just seeing your face has been like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me. 11So please accept the gift I have brought you, for God has dealt kindly with me and I have enough.” Thus he urged him, until he accepted it.
12‘Esav said, “Let’s break camp and get going. I’ll go first.” 13Ya‘akov said to him, “My lord knows that the children are small, and the sheep and cattle suckling their young concern me, because if they overdrive them even one day, all the flocks will die. 14Instead, please, let my lord go on ahead of his servant. I will travel more slowly, at the pace of the cattle ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Se‘ir.” 15‘Esav replied, “Then let me leave with you some of the people I have with me.” But Ya‘akov said, “There’s no need for my lord to be so kind to me.” 16So ‘Esav left that day to return to Se‘ir. 17Ya‘akov went on to Sukkot, where he built himself a house and put up shelters for his cattle. This is why the place is called Sukkot [shelters].
18Having traveled from Paddan-Aram, Ya‘akov arrived safely at the city of Sh’khem, in Kena‘an, and set up camp near the city. 19From the sons of Hamor Sh’khem’s father he bought for one hundred pieces of silver the parcel of land where he had pitched his tent. 20There he put up an altar, which he called El-Elohei-Yisra’el [God, the God of Isra’el].