Genesis 33

Jacob meets Esau

1 Jacob looked up. He saw Esau with 400 men coming towards him. So he separated his children into groups. Some went with Leah, some went with Rachel, and some went with his two female servants. 2 He put his female servants and their children at the front of the group. Then came Leah and her children. But Jacob put his son Joseph with Rachel at the back of the group. 3 Jacob himself went in front of these groups. He bent down to the ground to respect Esau. He did this seven times as he came nearer to his brother.

4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and he hugged him. He put his arms round Jacob's neck and he kissed him. They both wept.

5 Then Esau looked up. He saw the women and children. He asked, ‘Who are these people with you?’ Jacob replied, ‘They are the children that God has given to me, your servant.’

6 Then the female servants and their children came to Esau. As they came near to him, they bent down to the ground. 7 Then Leah and her children came and they bent down in front of Esau. Last of all, Joseph and Rachel came to Esau and they also bent down to the ground. 8 Esau asked Jacob, ‘Why did you send all those animals in front of you?’ Jacob replied, ‘So that you would be happy to see me, my lord.’ 9 But Esau said, ‘Keep your animals for yourself, my brother. I have enough animals of my own.’ 10 But Jacob replied, ‘No! If you are happy to see me, please accept these animals as a gift from me. When you met me and I saw your face, it was like I saw the face of God himself. I am happy that you have met me as a friend. 11 So please accept the gift that I brought to you. God has been very kind to me so that I have everything that I need.’ So, Esau accepted the gifts because Jacob would not agree to keep them.

12 Then Esau said, ‘Let us continue to go on our way. I will travel with you.’ 13 But Jacob said, ‘My lord, the children are not very strong. Many of the animals have young babies. If we go too far in one day, then all the animals will die. 14 So you should go in front of me, my lord. I will travel slowly with the animals and children, so that they are comfortable. Then, my lord, I will come to you in Seir.’

15 Esau said, ‘Then let me leave some of my men to travel with you.’ But Jacob replied, ‘You do not need to do that. All I want is for you to be happy with me.’

16 So Esau began his journey back to Seir that same day. 17 But Jacob went to Succoth instead. He built a house for himself, and he made huts for his animals. That is why the place is called Succoth.

33:17Succoth means ‘huts’.

18 After Jacob left Paddan Aram, he travelled safely to Canaan. He put up his tents there, near the city of Shechem. 19 He bought the piece of ground where he had put up his tents. He paid 100 pieces of silver to Hamor's sons to buy the land. Hamor was the father of Shechem.

20 Jacob built an altar in that place. He called the altar ‘The God of Israel is the true God’.