Genesis 33



1 “And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with

him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel,

and unto the two handmaids.  2 And he put the handmaids and their children

foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.”

And Jacob, having the day before dispatched his conciliatory gift to Esau, turned his

back upon the Jabbok, having crossed to the south bank, if the previous night had

been spent upon its north side, passed over the rising ground of Peniel (see

Tristram's 'Land of Israel,' p. 558), and advanced to meet his brother, richly laden

with the heavenly blessing he had won in his mysterious conflict with Elohim,

and to all appearance free from those paralyzing fears which, previous to the

midnight struggle, the prospect of meeting Esau had inspired. Having already

prevailed with God, he had an inward assurance, begotten by the words of his

celestial antagonist, that he would likewise prevail with man, and so he lifted

up his eyes (see on ch. 13:10), and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with

him four hundred men (se ch. 32:6). And he (i.e. Jacob) divided the children

unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah,

thus omitting no wise precaution to insure safety for at least a portion of his

household, in case Esau should be still incensed and resolved on a hostile attack.

And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her

children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost, as being most beloved

(Kalisch, Murphy, Lange, and others).


3 “And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times,

until he came near to his brother.  4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced

him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.”  And he (the introduction

of the pronoun giving emphasis to the statement) passed over before them (i.e. passed

on in front of them, thus chivalrously putting himself in the place of danger), and

bowed himself to the ground - not completely prostrating the body, as Abraham

did in ch. 19:1, but bending forward till the upper part of it became parallel with

the ground, a mode of expressing deep reverence and respect, which may be

seen to life in Oriental countries at the present day (Roberts, 'Oriental Illustrations,'

p. 41) - seven times (not in immediate succession, but bowing and advancing),

until he came near to his brother. The conduct of Jacob was dictated neither

by artful hypocrisy nor by unmanly timidity; but by true politeness and a

sincere desire to conciliate. And as such it was accepted by Esau, who

ran to meet him, and, his better feelings kindling at the sight of his long-absent

brother, embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him - as Joseph afterwards

did to Benjamin (ch. 45:14-15), though the puncta extraordinaria of the Masorites

over the word "kissed" seem to indicate either that in their judgment Esau was

incapable of such fraternal affection (Delitzsch, Kalisch), or that the word was

suspicious, Origen appearing not to have found it in his codices (Rosenmüller,

Keil), unless indeed the conjecture be correct that the word was marked to

draw attention to the power of God's grace in changing Esau's heart (Ainsworth).

And they wept - the Septuagint adding both. "All this is beautiful, natural,

Oriental" ('Land and Book,' p. 372).


5 “And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said,

Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously

given thy servant.”  And he (i.e. Esau) lifted up his eyes, - corresponding to the act

of Jacob (v. 1), and expressive of surprise - and saw the women and the children;

 and said, Who art those with thee? (literally, to thee, i.e. whom thou hast). And he

(Jacob) said, The children which God (Elohim; see below on v. 10) hath graciously

given - the verb חָנַן being construed with a double accusative, as in Judges 21:22;

Psalm 19:29 - thy servant.


6 “Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed

themselves.  7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves:

and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.”

Then (literally, and) the handmaidens came near, they and their children (since

they occupied the front rank in the procession which followed Jacob), and they

bowed themselves (after his example). And Leah also with her children came

near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and

they bowed themselves. The remark of Lange, that the six-year old lad who

comes before his mother seems to break through all the cumbrous ceremonial,

and to rush confidently into the arms of his uncle, is as fanciful and far-fetched

as that of Jarchi, that Joseph took precedence of his mother because he feared

lest Esau, who was a homo profanus, should be fascinated by his mother's beauty,

and seek to do her wrong; in which case he would try to hinder him.


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.”  And he said, What meanest

thou by all this drove - literally, What to thee all this camp (Mahaneh) - which

I met? - i.e. yesterday, referring to the droves which had been sent on by Jacob

as a present to my lord Esau (ch. 32:16). And he said, These are to find grace

in the sight of my lord (see ch. 32:5).


9 “And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.”

And Esau said, I have enough (literally, Here is to me abundance), my brother

(it is impossible not to admire the generous and affectionate disposition of Esau);

keep that thou hast unto thyself (literally, let be to thee what is to thee, i.e.

what belongs to thee).


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.  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 - פִיעַלּ־כֵּן,

because (Gesenius, Rosenmüller, Quarry), or, for this purpose (Keil, Kalisch,

Hengetenberg, Lange, Ewald. See ch. 18:5; 19:8; 38:26) - I have seen thy face,

as though I had seen the face of God, - literally, as a vision of the face of Elohim,

in which language Jacob neither uses adulation towards his brother (Tostatius),

nor calls him a god in the sense in which heathen potentates are styled deities

(Vatablus, Arabic, Chaldee), nor simply uses a superlative expression to indicate

the majesty (Menochius) or benevolence (Ainsworth) of Esau's countenance,

nor signifies that he had recognized the person of Esau in the angel who

contended with him at the Jabbok (Bush); but either that he had received

from Esau the same friendly welcome that one coming into God's presence

would receive from Him (Rosenmüller, Keil, Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary'),

or that he had come into Esau's presence with the same feelings of penitence as

if he had been coming before God (Kalisch), or that, as he had already seen the

face of God and his life was preserved, so now he had seen the face of Esau, and

the anticipated destruction had not been inflicted on him (Quarry), either of

which accords with the words that follow - and thou wast pleased with me

literally, thou hast graciously received me, the unexpressed thought being,

as already I have been favorably accepted by Elohim. Hence Jacob with greater

urgency renews his entreaty that Esau would not decline his proffered gift, saying,

Take, I pray thee, my blessing (i.e. my present, the word signifying, as in

I Samuel 25:27;  30:26; II Kings 5:15, a gift by which one seeks to express good

will) that is brought to thee; - or, which has been caused to come to thee,

adding, as a special reason to induce him to accept - because God hath dealt

graciously with me, - Elohim, it has been thought, is used here and in v. 5

by Jacob instead of Jehovah, either "to avoid reminding Esau of the blessing

of Jehovah which had occasioned his absence" (Delitzsch, Keil), or, " because

Jehovah was exalted far above the level of Esau's superficial religion"

Hengstenberg); but it is just possible that by its employment Jacob only

wished to acknowledge the Divine hand in the remark- able prosperity

which had attended him in Haran - and because I have enough - literally,

there is to me all, i.e. everything I can wish (Murphy), all things as the heir

of the promise (Keil). The expression is stronger than that used by Esau

(v. 9), and is regarded by some (Ainsworth) as indicating a more contented

spirit than that evinced by Esau. And he urged him. In Eastern countries the

acceptance of a gift is equivalent to the striking of a covenant of friendship.

If your present be received by your superior yon may rely on his friendship;

if it be declined you have everything to fear. It was on this ground that Jacob

was so urgent in pressing Esau to accept his present. And he took it, and so

gave Jacob an assurance of his complete reconciliation.


12 “And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.”

And he (i.e. Esau) said (in further token of his amity), Let us take our journey,

and let us go, - but whether he intended to accompany Jacob on his way (Keil,

Kalisch, et alii) or invited Jacob to go with him to Mount Seir (Ainsworth, Clericus)

is uncertain. On the first hypothesis it is difficult to explain how Esau came to be

traveling in the same direction as his brother, while the adoption of the second

will serve in some measure to elucidate Jacob's language in v. 2. But whichever

way the words of Esau are understood, they amounted to an offer to be an escort

to Jacob through the desert regions with which his excursions had made him

familiar, since he added, and I will go before thee - i.e. to lead the way.




Worldly Companionship (v. 12)


“And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before

thee.” The offer was probably made with kindly intention. No sign of bitterness

is in Esau’s feelings; but ignorance of the necessities of Jacob’s march. Jacob

knew it was not possible with safety (compare Psalm 137:4; I Peter 4:4).

It reminds us of the attitude of many worldly persons towards Christians.

“The carnal mind is enmity against God.” (Romans 8:7)  Yet worldly men may

have sincere regard for Christian men who bear unconscious testimony to excellence

of Christianity. And here is a danger to Christians. Let us journey together.

I like you; you are unselfish, trustworthy. And why not? Because in

journeying with Esau he must be leader, or he would cease to be Esau. The

world’s good-will does not mean a changed heart. Without any

pronounced dislike to higher aims, it shares them not, and knows not

anything more real than earth. There is a journey we all take in company: in

the thousand ways in which men are dependent on each other; in the

courtesies and good offices of life; in what belongs to our position as

citizens or family men. But in what constitutes the road of life — its stamp

and direction, its motives and aims — there is to be no union. We have another

Leader (Hebrews 12:2). The pillar of fire led Israelites not according to human




FROM HUMAN INTERESTS. We are called to be the salt of the earth.

It is an error to shrink from contact with the world as dangerous to us. This

of old led to monasticism. But there may be a spiritual solitude even when

living in the throng of a city. In secular matters refusing to take an interest

in what occupies others (compare Luke 6:31), as if God had nothing to do

with these; or in spiritual things avoiding Christian intercourse with those

who do not in all points agree with us; or being engrossed with our own

spiritual welfare, and turning away from ALL concern for the welfare of

others (compare I Corinthians 9:20-22).





WHICH NOTHING MUST INTERFERE; a real way to walk in, from

which nothing must make us turn aside. And in order to this, watchfulness

over self, that in seeking to help others we ourselves are not ensnared.





Ø      By the plea, there is no harm in this or that. We must not think that all

actions can be brought to an absolute standard of right and wrong. This

is the spirit of legality, the spirit of bondage, and leads to partial service

instead of entire dedication (compare Luke 15:29). Loyalty to Christ

must direct the Christian’s life; desire not merely to avoid direct

disobedience, but to use our time and powers for HIM WHO LOVED



Ø      By the display of good feelings as the equivalent of Christian graces.

Esau’s kindliness and frankness are very attractive. Yet he was a

profane person;” not because of his anger or any sinful act, but

because he thought little of GOD’S BLESSING!


Ø      By making Christians familiar with worldly aims and maxims, and thus

insensibly blunting their spiritual aspirations. The way of safety is

through prayer for the Holy Spirit’s help, to maintain the consciousness

of Christ’s presence!


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.”  And he (Jacob, politely

declining Esau's society and protection, though apparently accepting his

invitation to go to Mount Seir) said unto him, My lord knoweth that the

children are tender (Joseph at this time being little over six years of age),

and the flocks and herds with young (literally, giving milk; עַלות, from עוּל,

to give suck) are with me, - literally, upon me, i.e. are an object of my special

care, because of their condition (Rosenmüller, Keil) - and if men should over-

drive them literally, and they (the shepherds) will over-drive them, i.e. in order

to keep pace with Esau's armed followers they must do so, and in that case,

if they were to do so for only - one day, all the flock (literally, and all the flock)

will die. Thomson says that Oriental shepherds gently lead along the mothers

when in the condition spoken of by Jacob, knowing well that even one day's

over-driving would be fatal to them, and, from the fact that Jacob's ewes were

giving milk, infers that it was winter time, since then alone the flocks are in that

condition - an inference which he further confirms by observing that at Succoth

Jacob constructed booths for their protection ('Land and Book,' p. 205).


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.”

Let my lord, I pray thee, - it is perhaps too much to explain Jacob's obsequious

and deferential address to his brother (my lord) as the sign of a guilty conscience

(Kalisch, Alford), when possibly politeness and humility will suffice - pass over

not cross the Jordan (Afford), since Esau was not journeying to Canaan; but simply

pass on, as in v. 3 - before his servant: and I will lead on softly (literally, I will go

on at my slow pace), according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children

be able to endure, - literally, according to the foot, i.e. the pace, of the property

(here, cattle), and according to the foot of the children; i.e. as fast as flocks and

children can be made with safety to travel - until I come unto my lord unto Seir.

It is apparent that Jacob at first intended to accept Esau's invitation to visit him

at Seir, either immediately (Clericus, Kalisch), or, as is more probable, afterwards

(Keil, Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary'), though, if afterwards, the historian has

preserved no record of any such journey, while, if presently such was his intention,

he must have been providentially led, from some cause not mentioned, to alter his

determination (Bush, Inglis, Clarke), unless we either think that he really went to

Seir, though it is not here stated (Patrick), or entertain the, in the circumstances,

almost incredible hypothesis that Jacob practiced a deception on his generous

brother in order to get rid of him, by promising what he never meant to fulfill,

viz., to visit him at Mount Seir (Calvin), or leave it doubtful whether it is the

old Jacob or the new Israel who speaks (Lange).


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.”

And Esau said, Let me now leave (literally, set, or place) with thee (as an escort

or guard) some of the folk - i.e. armed followers (see v. 1) - that are with me.

But of even this proposal Jacob appears to have been apprehensive. And he said,

What needeth it! (literally, For what, or wherefore, this?) let me find grace in

the sight of my lord - meaning either, I am satisfied, since thou art gracious

to me (Vatablus), - ἱκανὸν ὅτι εϋρον χάριν ἐναντίον σου κύριε  - hikanon hoti

euron charin enantion sou kurielet me find favor in the sight of my lord

(Septuagint); hoc uno tantum indigeo, ut inveniam gratiam in conspectu tuo

(Vulgate), - or, be gracious to me in this also, and leave none of thy followers

(Ainsworth, Patrick), though the two clauses might perhaps be connected thus:

"Wherefore do I thus find grace in the eyes of my lord?" (Kalisch).


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.”   So (literally, and, complying with his

brother's request) Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir - from which he

had come to meet Jacob (see  ch. 32:3). And Jacob journeyed to Succoth. Succoth,

so called here by anticipation, and afterwards belonging to the tribe of Gad, was

situated in the valley of the Jordan, on the east side of the river, and to the south

of the Jabbok (Joshua 13:27; Judges 8:4-5), and consequently is not to be identified

with Sakut, on the western side of the Jordan, ten miles north of the Jabbok, and

opposite the Wady Yabis (Robinson, vol. 3. p. 175; Thomson, 'Land and Book,' p.

456); but is to be sought for at the ford opposite the Wady-el-Fariah, "down which

the little stream from Shechem drains into the Jordan" (Tristram, 'Land of Israel,'

p. 144; Porter in Kitto's 'Cyclop.,' art. Succoth; cf. Keil and Kalisch in loco).

And built him an house. This was an indication that Jacob purposed some

considerable stay at Succoth; and, indeed, if a period of repose was not now

demanded by the state of Jacob s health after his long servitude with Laban,

his exhausting conflict with the angel, and his exciting interview with Esau

(Lange), an interval of some years appears to be imperatively required by the

exigencies of the ensuing narrative concerning Dinah, who could not at this

time have been much over six years of age (Murphy, Afford, Gosman, et alii).

And made booths for his cattle. Porter states that he has frequently seen such

booths (Succoth, from saccac, to entwine) occupied by the Bedouin of the Jordan

valley, and describes them as rude huts of reeds, sometimes covered with long grass,

and sometimes with a piece of tent (vide Kitto's 'Cyclop.,' ut supra). Therefore the

name of the place is called (literally, he called the name of the place) Succoth

i.e. booths.


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.”

And Jacob (leaving Succoth) came to Shalem - the word שָׁלֵם, rendered by some

expositors as here (Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac, Luther, Calvin, Peele, Wordsworth),

is better taken as an adverb signifying in peace or in safety (Onkelos, Saadias, Rashi,

Dathius, Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Keil, Kalisch, et alii), meaning that Jacob was now

sound in his limb (Jarehi) and safe in his person, being no more endangered by Esau

(Gerundensis in Drusius), or that he had hitherto met with no misfortune, though

soon to encounter one in the instance of Dinah (Patrick), or that the expectations

of Jacob expressed in ch. 28:21 (to which there is an obvious allusion) were now

fulfilled (Keil) - a city of Shechem, - if Shalem be the name of the town, then

probably Shechem is the name of the person referred to in ch. 34:2, viz., the son

of Hamor the Hivite (Drusius, Peele); but if Shalem mean incolumis, then the

present clause must be rendered "to the city of Shechem," the city being already

built and named - which is in the land of Canaan, - Bush thinks that Jacob had

originally contemplated entering Canaan from the south after rounding the

Dead Sea, probably with a view to reach Beersheba, but that, after his interview

with Esau, he suddenly altered his route, and entered Canaan directly by crossing

the Jordan and driving up his flocks and herds to Shechem, the first halting-place

of Abraham (see ch. 12:6), which may perhaps lend additional interest to, if they

do not explain, the words that follow - when he came from Padan-aram (as

Abraham previously had done); and (he) pitched his tent before the city - because

he did not wish to come in contact with the inhabitants (Lyre), or because his flocks

and herds could not find accommodation within the city walls (Murphy), or perhaps

simply for convenience of pasturage (Patrick).


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.”

And he bought a parcel of a field, - literally, the portion (from a root signifying to

divide) of the field - where he had spread his tent, - and in which he afterwards

sank a well (compare John 4:6) - at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's

father (after whom the town was named), for an hundred pieces of money - or

kesitahs, the etymology of which is uncertain (Kalisch), though connected by

some philologists (Gesenius, Furst) with kasat, to weigh; translated lambs

(Onkelos, LXX., Vulgate), but believed to have been a certain weight now

unknown (Michaelis, 'Suppl.,' p. 2207), or a piece of money of a definite value,

perhaps the price of a lamb (Murphy), which, like the shekel, was used for

purposes of commercial exchange by the patriarchs (Gesenius) - probably a coin

stamped with the figure of a lamb (Bochart, Munter); but coined money does not

appear to have been of so great antiquity (Rosenmüller, Wordsworth, Alford).


20 “And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael.”

And he erected there an altar, - as Abram his ancestor had done (ch. 12:7) –

and called it - not invoked upon it, invocavit super illud (Vulgate), ἐτεκαλήσατο

etekalaesatocalled it (Septuagint), but named it (Dathe, Rosenmüller, Keil, &c.) –

El-elohe-Israel - i.e. God, the God of Israel; meaning, he called it the altar of God,

the God of Israel (Rosenmüller), or, reading el as a preposition, "To the God of Israel"

(Quarry, p. 508).



Jacob and Esau, or The Brothers Reconciled. (vs. 1-20)




Ø      The approach of Esau.


o        Conscious of his greatness, being attended by 400 armed followers;

o        thirsting for revenge, remembering the wrongs he had endured at

Jacob’s hands;

o        longing to see his brother, from whom he had been parted now for

upwards of twenty years. It is probable that all three emotions:

§         pride,

§         anger, and

§         affection

swelled within the breast of Esau, struggling to obtain the mastery.

Which of them should conquer another moment would decide.


Ø      The advance of Jacob.


o        With commendable caution, dividing his company into three several

groups — first the handmaids and their boys, next Leah and her

children, and last Rachel and Joseph;

o        with rare chivalry, placing himself in front of the foremost, which may

be placed to his account as a set-off against his supposed partiality to

Rachel and Joseph;

o        with profound respect, bowing and advancing seven times, with true

Oriental politeness, until he came to Esau.


Ø      The reconciliation of both. The conflict of emotions within the breast of

Esau was brought to a decision by the sight of Jacob, which at once cast

the balance on the side of fraternal affection. Old memories of boyhood

and home revived in the bosom of the stalwart hunter as he looked on his

twin-brother, and, under the impulse of generous and noble feeling, he ran

and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him. Nor was the heart

of Jacob less susceptible of such tender emotion. Reciprocating his manly

brother’s embrace, he too yielded to a rush of kindly sentiment, and they

both wept. What a study for a painter! Compare Jonathan and David

(I Samuel 20:41), and the prodigal and his father (Luke 15:20).




Ø      Esau s inquiries and Jacob s answers.


o        Esau asks about the women and the children in Jacob s train; and

Jacob, piously acknowledging the Divine hand that had surrounded

him with so many precious objects of affection, instructs them to do

obeisance to their kinsman, which with beautiful politeness, following

his own courteous example, they do. It bespeaks a devout heart when

domestic as well as other blessings are traced to the all-bountiful

Giver, a well-ordered home when its inmates imitate the good conduct

of its head, and a fine sensibility when the claims of relatives to

courtesy and kindness are recognized and honored.


o        Esau requests to be informed about the droves which he had met, and

Jacob explains that he had sent them as a present to conciliate his

favor. At first declining with a praiseworthy magnanimity to deprive

his brother of any of his hard-earned wealth, Esau is afterwards

constrained to accept the proffered gift, on learning that Jacob would

not otherwise be sure of his forgiveness and friendship. It is beautiful

when brothers emulate each other in noble acts.


Ø      Esaus invitations and, Jacob s promise. It appears most satisfactory to

understand Esau as soliciting his brother to accompany him to Seir,

where for the time he was residing, and Jacob as engaging to drive

on slowly after the roving chieftain, according as the tender age of

his children and the condition of his flocks and herds would admit,

with the view of ultimately paying him a visit in his mountain home;

but whether he fulfilled that promise now or afterwards, or at all,

cannot be ascertained. If he did not, we may rest satisfied that he

had good reasons for breaking his word, which, alas, promise-breakers

seldom have.


Ø      Esaus offer and Jacobs decline. Esau anxiously desires to leave a

convoy of his troopers to assist his brother in the further prosecution

of his journey; but Jacob with respectful firmness refused to accept of

his kindness — perhaps because, being a man of peace, he did not care

for the society of soldiers, but chiefly, we apprehend, because, having

Jehovah as a guide, he did not need the help of roving buccaneers

(compare Ezra 8:22).






Ø      Esau returned unto Mount Seir.


o       Immediately, that day; but

o       not as yet finally, since his ultimate withdrawal from the land

of Canaan appears to have taken place at a subsequent period.


Ø      Jacob journeyed to Succoth, where he built himself a house, constructed

booths for his cattle, and remained a considerable time, afterwards

moving up to Shechem, where he:


o       pitched his tent outside the city, for convenience or for safety;

o       purchased a field from the chief man of the place, honestly paying

for his purchase, as became a just man; and

o       erected an altar, which he named El-elohe-Israel.


Ø      See here:


o       The strength of fraternal affection.

o       The beauty of forgiveness and reconciliation.

o       The possibility of combining politeness and piety.

o       The power of kindness in disarming enmity and opposition.

o       The advantage of conference for promoting good understanding

and exciting kindly feeling.

o       The tender care which the strong should exercise towards the


o       The sad partings which Providence effects between friends.

o       The propriety of taking God with us on all our journeys.

o       The duty of affectionately remembering God’s mercies.



The Fruits of Prayer (vs. 1-20)


The “prince” who has been lifted by the grace of God out of the

humiliation of his fear and shame to the height of his favor at the throne of

the Most High now reveals his princely power. He takes captive Esau’s

heart; he blesses him in the name of God, he bestows his gifts upon him.

Notice the fruits of Divine discipline in the patriarch.



puts the handmaids first, Leah next, Rachel and Joseph hindermost. He

placed them in the order of his own affection; but it represented also the

Divine order, for it was in Joseph that the kingdom of God was about to be

especially manifested. “I have seen thy face,” he said to Esau, “as though I

had seen the face of God.” He saw the favor of God going on before him,

and like the sunshine it rested on the face of the enemy, and cast out the

darkness and turned it into light.



believer in the covenant. This is seen in his refusal to mingle his family and

people with those of Esau.



better than Seir;” and it is on the way to Shalom”, peace. There it is that

the patriarch finds rest, and builds an altar, calling it El-elohe-Israel.”

Not merely an altar to God, but to Him who had revealed Himself as the

faithful God, the God of Israel, the God of His people.


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