Jacob Shows His Bravery
33 Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and with him were four hundred men. So Jacob divided his children among Leah, Rachel, and the two slave girls. 2 Jacob put the slave girls with their children first, then Leah and her children behind them, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3 Jacob himself went out in front of them and bowed down flat on the ground seven times as he was walking toward his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and put his arms around him and hugged him. Then Esau kissed him, and they both cried. 5 When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?”
Jacob answered, “These are the children God has given me. God has been good to me, your servant.”
6 Then the two slave girls and their children came up to Esau and bowed down flat on the earth before him. 7 Leah and her children also came up to Esau and also bowed down flat on the earth. Last of all, Joseph and Rachel came up to Esau, and they, too, bowed down flat before him.
8 Esau said, “I saw many herds as I was coming here. Why did you bring them?”
Jacob answered, “They were to please you, my master.”
9 But Esau said, “I already have enough, my brother. Keep what you have.”
10 Jacob said, “No! Please! If I have pleased you, then accept the gift I give you. I am very happy to see your face again. It is like seeing the face of God, because you have accepted me. 11 So I beg you to accept the gift I give you. God has been very good to me, and I have more than I need.” And because Jacob begged, Esau accepted the gift.
12 Then Esau said, “Let us be going. I will travel with you.”
13 But Jacob said to him, “My master, you know that the children are weak. And I must be careful with my flocks and their young ones. If I force them to go too far in one day, all the animals will die. 14 So, my master, you go on ahead of me, your servant. I will follow you slowly and let the animals and the children set the speed at which we travel. I will meet you, my master, in Edom.”
15 So Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my people with you.”
“No, thank you,” said Jacob. “I only want to please you, my master.” 16 So that day Esau started back to Edom. 17 But Jacob went to Succoth, where he built a house for himself and shelters for his animals. That is why the place was named Succoth.[a]
18 Jacob left Northwest Mesopotamia and arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan. There he camped east of the city. 19 He bought a part of the field where he had camped from the sons of Hamor father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of silver. 20 He built an altar there and named it after God, the God of Israel.
- 33:17 Succoth This name means “shelters.”