8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.
19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money.
20 And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael.
K.J.V. Bible Text
In yesterday’s reading, we learned that Esau had gone to meet Jacob and had treated him in a friendly fashion. Today’s reading opens with Esau asking why Jacob had sent all the flocks and herds ahead of him with servants.
Jacob insisted that they were a gift for Esau and although Esau demurred, saying he had all he needed, Jacob insisted on giving him the ample gift.
After Esau accepted the gift, he was in mind of traveling along with Jacob, but Jacob used the excuse that he must move the animals and children slowly so the animal would not die.
Esau then offered to leave some of his men with Jacob. Jacob again refused, so Esau started back alone. Jacob, however, did not follow him. Instead he went to another place where he set up his tent and made shelters for his livestock.
It would appear here that Esau was more generous than Jacob. He forgave his brother and welcomed him back. Could he have been planning iniquity against his brother if Jacob had gone with him back to Esau’s encampment? It would seem that Jacob may have feared this as he was determined not to go along with Esau, but rather to find a place for himself. I wonder if this was Jacob’s plan all along or if he was fearful in the presence of his brother, knowing that he had long ago done him ill. Did he feel uncomfortable with Esau and decide after meeting with him not to accompany him to his home encampment?
For me, all those questions are unanswerable but I hope the scripture will tell me how Esau felt about his brother’s behavior.
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