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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.
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1 AND JACOB raised his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming and with him 400 men. So he divided the children to Leah and to Rachel and to the two maids.
2 And he put the maids and their children in front, Leah and her children after them, and Rachel and Joseph last of all.
3 Then Jacob went over [the stream] before them and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. [Luke 15:20.]
5 [Esau] looked up and saw the women and the children and said, Who are these with you? And [Jacob] replied, They are the children whom God has graciously given your servant.
6 Then the maids came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
7 And Leah also with her children came near, and they bowed themselves. After them Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed themselves.
8 Esau said, What do you mean by all this company which I met? And he said, These are that I might find favor in the sight of my lord.
9 And Esau said, I have plenty, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.
10 But Jacob replied, No, I beg of you, if now I have found favor in your sight, receive my gift that I am presenting; for truly to see your face is to me as if I had seen the face of God, and you have received me favorably.
11 Accept, I beg of you, my blessing and gift that I have brought to you; for God has dealt graciously with me and I have everything. And he kept urging him and he accepted it.
12 Then [Esau] said, Let us get started on our journey, and I will go before you.
13 But Jacob replied, You know, my lord, that the children are tender and delicate and need gentle care, and the flocks and herds with young are of concern to me; for if the men should overdrive them for a single day, the whole of the flocks would die.
14 Let my lord, I pray you, pass over before his servant; and I will lead on slowly, governed by [consideration for] the livestock that set the pace before me and the endurance of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.
15 Then Esau said, Let me now leave with you some of the people who are with me. But [Jacob] said, What need is there for it? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.
16 So Esau turned back that day on his way to Seir.
17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built himself a house and made booths or places of shelter for his livestock; so the name of the place is called Succoth [booths].
18 When Jacob came from Padan-aram, he arrived safely and in peace at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan, and pitched his tents before the [enclosed] town.
19 Then he bought the piece of land on which he had encamped from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, for a hundred pieces of money.
20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel [God, the God of Israel].