We will begin this lesson in chapter 33 of Genesis verse 1.
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.”
Genesis 33:2 “And he put the handmaids and their children
foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph
You can quickly see who Jacob loved the most. The handmaids and
their children were put in the greatest jeopardy, then Leah and her
children, but Jacob kept Rachel and Joseph most protected at the very
back. Jacob was assuming the worst.
Genesis 33:3 “And he passed over before them, and bowed himself
to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.”
Jacob wanted to make sure that Esau knew he was humble before
him. Of course, “seven” means spiritually complete.
Genesis 33:4 “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and
fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.”
You must remember, it had been twenty years since they had seen
each other. Esau, probably, did not even know whether Jacob was alive
during this time. You can imagine the joy, as these two brothers were
reunited. These were tears of Joy, and in Jacob’s case, relief.
Our worst fears, seldom ever happen. Jacob had worried for
nothing. Esau was not going to harm him, or his family.
Genesis 33:5 “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.”
Remember, Esau knew nothing of Jacob’s marriages. or his family.
These two brothers would have a lot to tell each other. So much had
happened to both in the last twenty years. Notice, how Jacob gave God
thanks for everything.
Genesis 33:6 “Then the handmaidens came near, they and their
children, and they bowed themselves.”
Genesis 33:7 “And Leah also with her children came near, and
bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they
These were four women and eleven sons. Quite a large family.
Genesis 33:8 “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
Genesis 33:9 “And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that
thou hast unto thyself.”
Esau could not believe the vastness of the gifts Jacob had sent him.
He asked Jacob why he sent them. Jacob told him, so he would not be
angry with him. Esau had been blessed of God the same as Jacob, and he
told Jacob to keep the gifts, that he had plenty already.
Genesis 33:10 “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.”
Jacob was so pleased that Esau was not angry with him. He told
him to keep the gifts. Jacob felt that God had forgiven him, and made
things right with Esau. These two brothers could find no fault with each
Genesis 33:11 “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].”
Jacob, again, tells Esau that God has blessed him abundantly. He
pled with Esau to allow him to give him the gifts, and Esau finally
Genesis 33:12 “And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us
go, and I will go before thee.”
Genesis 33:13 “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.”
Esau wanted Jacob to follow him back to his home, but Jacob told
him if he drove the animals hard, they would die. There was peace
between the brothers, and Jacob had to take his time with this great
company. We will see Jacob requesting this very thing from Esau in the
Genesis 33:14 “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.”
Jacob wanted to take his time and move as the cattle grazed and not
make the trip too hard on the little ones. He told Esau to just go on
Genesis 33:15 “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.”
Genesis 33:16 “So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.”
Esau offered to leave some of his men to help Jacob with the trip,
But Jacob said there was no need. Jacob told Esau, one more time, that
he was pleased that Esau had forgiven him.
Genesis 33:17 “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.”
“Succoth” means booth. These booths are like our barns.
Genesis 33:18 “And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem,
which [is] in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-aram; and
pitched his tent before the city.”
“Shalem” means peaceful, or secure. In many of the translations,
Shalem is not capitalized, meaning that he came in peace to Shechem.
I believe that this paragraph actually precedes V-17 and both
these were descriptions of the same thing. When Jacob first came from
Padanaram, he pitched his tent, bought land, built barns, and a home.
Buying land and building a home usually means settling down.
Genesis 33:19 “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.”
Genesis 33:20 “And he erected there an altar, and called it El-
“El-elohe-Isreal” means the Mighty God of Israel. Jacob in
raising the altar, was recognizing this Mighty God that protected him
and blessed him throughout this chapter.
Study chapter 34 for the next lesson.