Genesis 33

Genesis 33:1-11
33:1 Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men [perhaps these men traveled with Esau to offer protection from hostile people in the area, to show Jacob how powerful he had become, or because he feared that Jacob might be hostile]; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two maidservants.

33:2 He put the maidservants and their children in front [thus putting them in a position of being the first to be attacked; indication that he loved these least], Leah and her children next, and [notice that Jacob showed favoritism just as his parents had…] Rachel and Joseph in the rear.
33:3 He himself went on ahead
[Jacob did not try to hide from his brother or to protect himself] and bowed down to the ground [a customary way to greet high officials] seven times [repetition was token of respect and a way to indicate to his older brother that he only desired peace and reconciliation] as he approached his brother.

33:4 [cf. Joseph embracing his brothers (Gen. 45:14-15) and father kissing his prodigal son (Lk. 15:20)] But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept [perhaps a mixture of tears of relief, joy, and some grief; actions showed forgiveness given and accepted].

33:5 Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God [Jacob took advantage of this opportunity to give glory to God] has graciously given your servant [use of this term indicates Jacob’s humility].”

33:6 Then the maidservants and their children approached and bowed down.

33:7 Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down.

33:8 Esau asked, “What do you mean by all these droves I met?” “To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said.

33:9 But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”

33:10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift [cf. Gen. 32:14-15] from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.

33:11 Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need [Jacob’s generous gift would not impoverish him because God had blessed him with so much; indication that a restored relationship with his brother was more important to Jacob than money and possessions].” And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it [an indication that the brothers were fully reconciled].

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