3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.4 He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now.5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”
6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”
7 In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,[a] and the flocks and herds and camels as well.8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group,[b] the group[c] that is left may escape.”
9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac,Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps.11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children.12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”
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