1 Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau was coming, and with him four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah, Rachel, and the two servants. 2 He put the servants and their children in front, Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3 He himself passed over in front of them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, fell on his neck, kissed him, and they wept. 5 He lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, “Who are these with you?”
He said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the servants came near with their children, and they bowed themselves. 7 Leah also and her children came near, and bowed themselves. After them, Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?”
Jacob said, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.”
9 Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; let that which you have be yours.”
10 Jacob said, “Please, no, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present at my hand, because I have seen your face, as one sees the face of God, and you were pleased with me. 11 Please take the gift that I brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” He urged him, and he took it.
12 Esau said, “Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before you.”
13 Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young, and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Please let my lord pass over before his servant, and I will lead on gently, according to the pace of the livestock that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord to Seir.”
15 Esau said, “Let me now leave with you some of the folk who are with me.”
He said, “Why? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”
16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.*
18 Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan Aram; and encamped before the city. 19 He bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. 20 He erected an altar there, and called it El Elohe Israel.†
Thoughts for the day
Actually I do not have many thoughts about this passage, it is pretty straight forward. We see Jacob meet up with Esau, Esau and Jacob have both become very wealthy with no material needs. Esau only takes Jacob’s offering in order to make Jacob know that he has been forgiven. Esau was happy about the gesture, as what he really seemed to want was Jacob’s friendship and the offering of the flocks could be a right step toward rebuilding a friendship. Esau wants Jacob to return to Seir with him in Verse 14, Jacob agrees to go, but says he can’t travel fast with the flocks. Esau offers to leave some men with Jacob as an escort, but Jacob turns down the offer. (Shouldn’t Jacob have given the Esau the same privilege Esau gave Jacob with his gift?) Esau returned to Seir expecting Jacob at some point.
It appears, Jacob is somewhat distractible and instead of going to Seir, he went to Succoth and built a barn for his livestock, then he hit the dusty trail and headed for Canaan. Jacob camped outside of Paddan Aram and Verse 19, “He bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money.” The he erected an altar to God there. I have had friend like that, they tell they will follow you or meet you somewhere, but something gets their attention along the way, and they never show up. Make is difficult to share what you have for them when the get there if they never arrive. Some friends are so reliably unreliable, that one just does not bother inviting them after a while.
How are we with God? When he invites us to meet up with him at the second coming will we have followed the road to his kingdom, or will we have stopped and done a little shopping along the way,missing our appointment with God and causing us to be lost.
Stay on the right road and have a wonderful day.