17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?
18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.
19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.
20 And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.
21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Jacob sent his servants ahead of him with the herds that made up his lavish gift. The one in the lead was instructed to tell Esau that the animals belonged to his servant Jacob and that they were sent as a gift to Esau.
Each subsequent servant who followed with other herds was told to give Esau the same message.
Jacob, meanwhile, waited in the camp, hoping the gifts would pacify Esau before they actually met one another.
Jacob may have operated out of fear, but this was indeed a cagey move. If Esau had sought to overcome the usurper returning to his land, he might have taken all that Jacob had. By giving a generous gift and declaring himself Esau’s “servant” he put himself in a secondary position to Esau, giving himself a chance to survive and reestablish himself in the area.
I don’t know about you, but I am definitely interested in finding out how these two brothers get on when they are reunited. Come back tomorrow and we’ll see what we find out!
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