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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 looked up and saw Esau coming and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants. 2He put the female servants and their children in front, then Leah and her children next, and then Rachel and Joseph last. 3#Ge 42:6; 18:2He went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4#Ge 45:14–15; 32:28But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5#Ge 48:9; Ps 127:3When Esau looked up and saw the women and the children, he said, “Who are those with you?”
Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”
6Then the female servants came near, they and their children, and they bowed down. 7Leah also with her children came near and bowed themselves. Afterward Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed themselves.
8#Ge 32:5Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?”
Jacob answered, “These are to find favor in the sight of my lord.”
9#Ge 27:39Esau said, “I have enough, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”
10Jacob said, “No, I pray you, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my gift from my hand. For I have seen your face, and it is as though I have seen the face of God, with you having received me favorably. 11#1Sa 25:27; Php 4:18Please take my blessing that has been brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me and because I have plenty.” So he urged him, and he took it.
12Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead of you.”
13But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds with young are with me. If they are driven too hard one day, all the flock will die. 14#Ge 32:3Please let my lord pass over before his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the livestock that goes before me and the pace the children will be able to endure, until I come to my lord at Seir.”
15#Ru 2:13; Ge 34:11So Esau said, “Let me leave some of the people that are with me with you.”
But Jacob said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”
16So Esau returned that day making his way back to Seir. 17#Jos 13:27; Jdg 8:5But Jacob journeyed to Sukkoth and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Sukkoth.
18#Jos 24:1; Jdg 9:1Jacob came peacefully to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan Aram, and camped before the city. 19#Jos 24:32; Jn 4:5He bought a parcel of a field, where he had pitched his tent, from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces#Heb. a hundred qesitahs; a qesitah was a coin of unknown weight and value. of silver. 20He erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel.