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33 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.

And he put the maids and their children in front, Leah and her children after them, and Rachel and Joseph last of all.

Then Jacob went over [the stream] before them and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.(A)

[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.

Then the maids came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.

And Leah also with her children came near, and they bowed themselves. After them Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed themselves.

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.

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, [a]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].

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 33:14 Ever the deceiver, Jacob had no intention of following Esau to Seir. In fact, he heads in the opposite direction.

Jacob Meets Esau

33 Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men;(A) so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants.(B) He put the female servants and their children(C) in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph(D) in the rear. He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground(E) seven times(F) as he approached his brother.

But Esau(G) ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.(H) And they wept.(I) Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked.

Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.(J)

Then the female servants and their children(K) approached and bowed down.(L) Next, Leah and her children(M) came and bowed down.(N) Last of all came Joseph and Rachel,(O) and they too bowed down.

Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?”(P)

“To find favor in your eyes, my lord,”(Q) he said.

But Esau said, “I already have plenty,(R) my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”

10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes,(S) accept this gift(T) from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God,(U) now that you have received me favorably.(V) 11 Please accept the present(W) that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me(X) and I have all I need.”(Y) And because Jacob insisted,(Z) Esau accepted it.

12 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.”

13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord(AA) knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young.(AB) If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds(AC) before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.(AD)

15 Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.”

“But why do that?” Jacob asked. “Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.”(AE)

16 So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir.(AF) 17 Jacob, however, went to Sukkoth,(AG) where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth.[a]

18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram,[b](AH) he arrived safely at the city of Shechem(AI) in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver,[c] he bought from the sons of Hamor,(AJ) the father of Shechem,(AK) the plot of ground(AL) where he pitched his tent.(AM) 20 There he set up an altar(AN) and called it El Elohe Israel.[d]

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 33:17 Sukkoth means shelters.
  2. Genesis 33:18 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  3. Genesis 33:19 Hebrew hundred kesitahs; a kesitah was a unit of money of unknown weight and value.
  4. Genesis 33:20 El Elohe Israel can mean El is the God of Israel or mighty is the God of Israel.

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