9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
13 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;
14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Now free to return to the land of his father, Jacob began to pray to the God of his father. He thanked God humbly for the kindness and faithfulness God had shown him since he left home with nothing but his staff. Now he was returning with great wealth—with so many animals and people that they comprised two encampments.
Then Jacob prayed for protection from his brother. Having left the land of his father in fear for his life after having tricked Esau out of his birthright and having stolen from him their father’s blessing, he had good reason to fear that Esau might yet seek revenge against him.
Therefore he put together a lavish gift for his brother. The gift consisted of herds of goats, male and female and of ewes and rams. There were thirty female camels and their young, forty cows and ten bulls and thirty donkeys. These he sent ahead of his encampment with servants.
This gift to his brother brings home to me the immensity of Jacob’s wealth. No wonder Laban had sought to prevent him from leaving. The herds of animals mentioned here would constitute great wealth even today—and this was only a portion of his holdings, the portion he was preparing to give away as a gift. Imagine owning all those animals and apparently also having the wherewithal to feed them and servants to take care of them—servants that would have to be fed and cared for as well. Such wealth is mind-boggling.
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