Genesis 33 –
Esau arrives with 400 men with him. That’s some welcoming party!
Jacob is very scared that he will not be received well by his brother. In v.2 he places the servants of his wives and their children in front of their party, then the wife he loves less and her kids, and then his beloved Rachel with Joseph in the back.
Jacob is clearly worried that this meeting will not go well but Esau runs up to Jacob, hugs him, cries, and strangely it says he ‘falls on his neck.’ I just don’t understand what this is about.
Esau questions who the people are in his party and Jacob tells him they are his kids given to him by god.
Esau then questions Jacob about the ‘droves’ or the servants with the herd gifts no doubt. Jacob explains that it was to find grace in the sight of his brother. Esau tells him to keep it all, he has enough. This confrontation is definitely not going the way Jacob thought it would.
Jacob again asks Esau to accept the gift and finally Esau took it.
v.12 Esau tells Jacob that they should be going. Jacob must still be weary of the meeting because he refuses, explaining that the children are weak and the herds have young and need to go slowly lest they die.
Jacob tells Esau to go first and they will catch up. Esau tells Jacob that he will leave some of his people with his group (no doubt as a spy to ensure they continue their journey to his house) Jacob asks why and asks to find grace in the eye of his brother.
It doesn’t say whether the spies were left or not, I guess they were not.
Jacob journeys and builds a house in Succoth, but then he pitches his tent in Shalem, and then it says he bought land from Hamor and named the place El-elohe-Israel. Why did he build a house and then leave it and buy land in another place? Does he not intend to go to his brother’s house like he said?