The meeting with Esau (Gen 33:1-33:11)

“Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all.  He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.”

The story of Jacob continues.  He looked up and saw Esau with 400 men coming.  He divided up his family and put the maids with their children up front and Rachel and Leah with their children in the back.  Jacob went out front, bowing to the ground seven times until he came to his brother.

“But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.  When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said, ‘Who are these with you?’ Jacob said, ‘The children whom God has graciously given your servant.’  Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down.  Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down.  Finally Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down.  Esau said, ‘What do you mean by all this company that I met?’ Jacob answered, ‘To find favor with my lord.’  But Esau said, ‘I have enough, my brother.  Keep what you have for yourself.’  Jacob said, ‘No, please. If I find favor with you, then accept my present from my hand.  For truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God, since you have received me with such favor.  Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have everything I want.’  So he urged him, and he took it.”

Esau, however, ran to Jacob, embracing and kissing him. Esau asked ‘who are all these people with you?’  Jacob responded that these were his wives and children as they came forward to bow down before Esau.  Esau said that he did not need all of Jacob’s presents, since he had enough by himself.  However, Jacob insisted that he keep the presents and said that seeing his face was like seeing the face of God, because he had been so nice to him.  Finally, Esau took the gifts.  It looks like this brotherly reunion is going to work out fine.

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