Genesis NIV - Jacob Meets Esau - Jacob looked up and - Bible Gateway
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE TEXT to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and .. death and the day of judgment. David Guzik commentary on Genesis 32, where Jacob wrestles with God at the brook of Genesis 32 – Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau . too much planning and scheming about him; he is a wise man according to the judgment of the world. A summary of Genesis Chapters 25–50 in 's Bible: The Old Testament. in Canaan and, despite occasional errors in judgment, enlarges his property, making The next morning, Jacob meets Esau, who welcomes his brother with open arms.
She convinced Isaac to send Jacob away by telling him that she despaired of his marrying a local girl from the idol-worshipping families of Canaan as Esau had done. After Isaac sent Jacob away to find a wife, Esau realized his own Canaanite wives were evil in his father's eyes and so he took a daughter of Isaac's half-brother, Ishmaelas another wife. Jacob's ladder Main article: According to Midrash Genesis Rabbahthe ladder signified the exiles that the Jewish people would suffer before the coming of the Jewish Messiah: Jacob feared that his descendants would never be free of Esau's domination, but God assured him that at the End of Days, Edom too would come falling down.
He loved her immediately, and after spending a month with his relatives, asked for her hand in marriage in return for working seven years for Laban the Aramean. Laban agreed to the arrangement. These seven years seemed to Jacob "but a few days, for the love he had for her," but when they were complete and he asked for his wife, Laban deceived Jacob by switching Rachel for her older sister, Leahas the veiled bride.
Rachel and Jacob by William Dyce In the morning, when the truth became known, Laban justified his action, saying that in his country it was unheard of to give a younger daughter before the older.
However, he agreed to give Rachel in marriage as well if Jacob would work another seven years. After the week of wedding celebrations with Leah, Jacob married Rachel, and he continued to work for Laban for another seven years. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, and Leah felt hated. God opened Leah's womb and she gave birth to four sons rapidly: ReubenSimeonLeviand Judah.
Rachel, however, remained barren. Following the example of Sarah, who gave her handmaid to Abraham after years of infertility, Rachel gave Jacob her handmaid, Bilhahin marriage so that Rachel could raise children through her. Bilhah gave birth to Dan and Naphtali. Seeing that she had left off childbearing temporarily, Leah then gave her handmaid Zilpah to Jacob in marriage so that Leah could raise more children through her. Zilpah gave birth to Gad and Asher.
Afterwards, Leah became fertile again and gave birth to IssacharZebulunand DinahJacob's first and only daughter. God remembered Rachel, who gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin. If pregnancies of different marriages overlapped, the first twelve births all the sons except Benjamin, and the daughter Dinah could have occurred within seven years. That is one obvious, but not universally held, interpretation of Genesis Laban the Aramean was reluctant to release him, as God had blessed his flock on account of Jacob.
Laban asked what he could pay Jacob. Jacob suggested that all the spotted, speckled, and brown goats and sheep of Laban's flock, at any given moment, would be his wages. Jacob placed rods of poplar, hazel, and chestnut, all of which he peeled "white streaks upon them,"  within the flocks' watering holes or troughs in a performance of sympathetic magicassociating the stripes of the rods with the growth of stripes on the livestock.
The angel of the Lordin a dream back during the breeding season, told Jacob "Now lift your eyes and see [that] all the he goats mounting the animals are ringed, speckled, and striped, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you",  that he is the God whom Jacob met at Bethel,  and that Jacob should leave and go back to the land where he was born,  which he and his wives and children did without informing Laban.
Before they left, Rachel stole the teraphimconsidered to be household idols, from Laban's house. Laban pursued Jacob for seven days. The night before he caught up to him, God appeared to Laban in a dream and warned him not to say anything good or bad to Jacob. Knowing nothing about Rachel's theft, Jacob told Laban that whoever stole them should die and stood aside to let him search. When Laban reached Rachel's tent, she hid the teraphim by sitting on them and stating she could not get up because she was menstruating.
Jacob and Laban then parted from each other with a pact to preserve the peace between them. Laban returned to his home and Jacob continued on his way.
Journey back to Canaan Main article: Jacob wrestling with the angel As Jacob neared the land of Canaan, he sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau. They returned with the news that Esau was coming to meet Jacob with an army of men. With great apprehension, Jacob prepared for the worst. He engaged in earnest prayer to God, then sent on before him a tribute of flocks and herds to Esau, "A present to my lord Esau from thy servant Jacob.
There, a mysterious being appeared "man," Genesis Because of this, "to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket" Genesis This incident is the source of the mitzvah of porging.
Jacob asked the being's name, but he refused to answer. Josephus uses only the terms "angel", "divine angel," and "angel of God," describing the struggle as no small victory.
According to Rashi, the being was the guardian angel of Esau himself, sent to destroy Jacob before he could return to the land of Canaan. Trachtenberg theorized that the being refused to identify itself for fear that, if its secret name was known, it would be conjurable by incantations.
Morris say that the stranger was "God Himself and, therefore, Christ in His preincarnate state", citing Jacob's own evaluation and the name he assumed thereafter, "one who fights victoriously with God", and adding that God had appeared in the human form of the Angel of the Lord to eat a meal with Abraham in Genesis Some commentators cite this placement as proof that Jacob continued to favor Joseph over Leah's children, as presumably the rear position would have been safer from a frontal assault by Esau, which Jacob feared.
Jacob himself took the foremost position.
Esau's spirit of revenge, however, was apparently appeased by Jacob's bounteous gifts of camels, goats and flocks. Their reunion was an emotional one.
Esau and Jacob reconcile by Francesco Hayez Esau offered to accompany them on their way back to Israel, but Jacob protested that his children were still young and tender born six to 13 years prior in the narrative ; Jacob suggested eventually catching up with Esau at Mount Seir.
According to the Sages, this was a prophetic reference to the End of Days, when Jacob's descendants will come to Mount Seir, the home of Edom, to deliver judgment against Esau's descendants for persecuting them throughout the millennia see Obadiah 1: Jacob actually diverted himself to Succoth and was not recorded as rejoining Esau until, at Machpelahthe two bury their father Isaac, who lived to beand was 60 years older than they were.
Jacob then arrived in Shechemwhere he bought a parcel of land, now identified as Joseph's Tomb. In Shechem, Jacob's daughter Dinah was kidnapped and raped by the ruler's son, who desired to marry the girl. Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi, agreed in Jacob's name to permit the marriage as long as all the men of Shechem first circumcised themselves, ostensibly to unite the children of Jacob in Abraham's covenant of familial harmony. On the third day after the circumcisions, when all the men of Shechem were still in pain, Simeon and Levi put them all to death by the sword and rescued their sister Dinah, and their brothers plundered the property, women, and children.
Jacob condemned this act, saying: Jacob returned to Bethel, where he had another vision of blessing. According to the Midrash,  the plural form of the word "weeping" indicates the double sorrow that Rebecca also died at this time.
The death of Rachel after the birth of Benjamin c. Jacob buried her and erected a monument over her grave. Rachel's Tombjust outside Bethlehem, remains a popular site for pilgrimages and prayers to this day.
Jacob then settled in Migdal Ederwhere his firstborn, Reuben, slept with Rachel's servant Bilhah; Jacob's response was not given at the time, but he did condemn Reuben for it later, in his deathbed blessing.
Jacob was finally reunited with his father Isaac in Mamre outside Hebron. When Isaac died at the age ofJacob and Esau buried him in the Cave of the Patriarchswhich Abraham had purchased as a family burial plot. At this point in the biblical narrative, two genealogies of Esau's family appear under the headings "the generations of Esau". A conservative interpretation is that, at Isaac's burial, Jacob obtained the records of Esau, who had been married 80 years prior, and incorporated them into his own family records, and that Moses augmented and published them.
His flocks were often fed in the pastures of Shechem   as well as Dothan. When Joseph was 17 years old, Jacob made a long coat or tunic of many colors for him. Seeing this, the half brothers began to hate Joseph. Then Joseph began to have dreams that implied that his family would bow down to him.
When he told his brothers about such dreams, it drove them to conspire against him.
When Jacob heard of these dreams, he rebuked his son for proposing the idea that the house of Jacob would even bow down to Joseph. Sometime afterward, the sons of Jacob by Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah, were feeding his flocks in Shechem. We have insurance protection for our homes, our health, our ability to earn a living, and against all kinds of losses.
We never wake up in the morning wondering if we will eat or where we will sleep the next night. Christians can feel even more comfortable, for many believe that when things really begin to get bad e. Let us seek to learn from the life of Jacob how we can avoid complacency and over-confidence, which can be hazardous to our spiritual health. One Step Forward So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. And he put the maids and their children in front, and Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last.
But he himself passed on ahead of them and bowed down to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And Leah likewise came near with her children, and they bowed down; and afterward Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed down.
Please take my gift which has been brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have plenty. And if they are driven hard one day, all the flocks will die.
Please let my lord pass on before his servant; and I will proceed at my leisure, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord at Seir. Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.
At that very moment, it would seem, Jacob looked up and saw Esau and his men appear on the horizon. Jacob divided his wives and children into groups, beginning with the maids and ending with Rachel and Joseph. Jacob went to the head of the group so that any harm done would be inflicted on him first.
It was he whom Esau hated; ultimately it was a confrontation between these two brothers. As Jacob went out to meet his brother, he bowed repeatedly to the ground, a token of his newly found humility.
Now this was a very dramatic moment. Esau perhaps rode rapidly up to Jacob and then leaped from his mount and ran toward his brother. Jacob must have watched this approach with great anxiety, especially fixing his gaze upon the weapons that Esau carried.
It was not until the warm and tender embrace, underscored by tears of genuine joy, that Jacob realized, to his great relief, that Esau came as a forgiving friend and brother rather than as a foe. The usual small talk began with questions about the wives and children. Then the conversation turned to the droves of livestock that met him on his approach. Jacob explained once again that they were a gift, an expression of love.
Esau tried politely to refuse the gift as unnecessary and unneeded, but Jacob persisted and prevailed. The tenth verse is the key to the peaceful meeting of these brothers: In the previous chapter Jacob had been taught that to prevail with God was to prevail with men as well.
Now that Esau had welcomed him with open arms, Jacob saw that looking on the face of his brother was like looking on the face of God. The one was the result of the other. Now that he had prevailed with God by means of petition and clinging to Him by faith, Esau was no longer a foe, but a friend. Esau is a magnificent picture of graciousness and forgiveness.
His words of greeting to Jacob are remarkably similar to those of the father of the prodigal son at his return compare Genesis Jacob expressed his appreciation but explained that he could not travel at the same pace as his brother and those with him. The young cattle and children would only serve to slow Esau down unnecessarily. To hurry the children and cattle would only result in needless losses. Consequently, he urged Jacob to allow him to have some of his men accompany his party into the land.
Jacob indicated that there was really no reason to take such precautions and that all he desired of his brother was his favor. And so Esau went on, assuming that he would see Jacob shortly; but, as we know, this will not happen. It would seem that years would pass until these men met once more. While we wish not to believe it and there may be some plausible explanations for his words, 3 one does get the uneasy feeling that Jacob has resorted to his old habit of deception.
While he said he was going to meet Esau at Seir verse 14he may have had no intention of doing so. Certainly that is the way things worked out, and yet without any good reason. One Step Backward Succoth was in the opposite direction of Seir where Jacob had told Esau he was coming. First, Jacob may not have been eager to face his father, whom he had deceived and of whom he should seek forgiveness.
Also, Jacob may not have been too excited about spending much time in close proximity to Esau, who was obviously well able to protect his own interests. Furthermore, Jacob had made a vow to pay a tithe to God at Bethel Perhaps he was not eager to do this now that God had greatly prospered him. Finally, and perhaps most likely, the pasture was vastly superior in the Jordan Valley where Succoth was located, while Bethel was in the mountains. We know that Dinah could not have been older than 6 or 7 when Jacob left Paddan-aram, for she was seemingly born later to Leah cf.
But by the time Jacob is at Shechem, she is of marriageable age, which would have been at least 12 or Several years must, therefore, have passed between the meeting of Jacob and Esau and the events of chapter This is further confirmed by the fact that Jacob built a house there rather than to dwell in a tent verse He was not a sojourner here, but a settler.
A Second Backward Step Then he erected there an altar, and called it El-Elohe-Israel Genesis That would probably make interesting reading, but Moses does not seek to satisfy our curiosity. Again, Jacob did not appear to be a man passing through, for he purchased a piece of property from a man whose name he would some day like to forget. From outward appearance Jacob is a religious man, much like his forefather Abraham.
He has built an altar, which he called El-Elohe-Israel. Initially this seems very similar to what Abraham had done in the past, but this thought is short lived. With Isaac, the altar was the first thing he built All of this, in addition to later developments, strongly suggests that while there was a religious formality, there was no spiritual reality.
Jacob promised to build an altar at Bethel It is extremely difficult to worship God in the place where we are not supposed to be. A Third Backward Step And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. And he was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. And intermarry with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves.
Thus you shall live with us, and the land shall be open before you; live and trade in it, and acquire property in it. More than likely, this occurred frequently, and so her involvement with Shechem might not have taken place quite as suddenly as it would appear.
On a particular occasion Shechem was able to seize her while she was alone and to force his affections on her. While his rape of Dinah was an abomination, he had a great love for her and desired to marry her.
He urged his father to arrange for their marriage as soon as possible, regardless of the price. Dinah may have remained in his tent while these negotiations took place cf. In addition, such a union would pave the way for many other benefits.
They could be free to inter-marry with the Canaanites verse 9 and also to engage in business more freely verse Furthermore, whatever they required as a dowry would be paid.
Jacob and Rachel: A Bible Love Story
Probably Hamor felt that a high price for Dinah would do much to appease the anger of these brothers. Only on this condition will we consent to you; if you will become like us, in that every male of you be circumcised, then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live with you and become one people.
A similar situation is to be recalled in the acquisition of Rebekah for Isaac cf. This is because circumcision is portrayed as a vital part of their religious ritual. If this rite were not followed, then no inter-marriage could take place. They intended to trick the Canaanites into an arrangement whereby they would be physically incapacitated, especially on the third day of their circumcision.
This would make the slaughter of Hamor, Shechem, and all the inhabitants of that city much easier to accomplish. No defense of this plan can be successfully presented. His sons proposed inter-marriage with the Canaanites only as a means to induce them to be circumcised so that they could be overcome more easily. Jacob silently and passively accepted the agreement with the people of Shechem, fully expecting to carry it out. Jacob planned to allow his descendants to inter-marry with the Canaanites, but his sons had no such intention.
Jacob, in comparison with his sons, is even more guilty than they! And may God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. Now he was more respected than all the household of his father.
Let us take their daughters in marriage, and give our daughters to them. Only on this condition will the men consent to us to live with us, to become one people: Will not their livestock and their property and all their animals be ours?
Only let us consent to them, and they will live with us. The reason why Hamor and Shechem would comply with the proposal was obvious, but the other men of the city were convinced on financial grounds. Hamor must have been the president of the Shechem Chamber of Commerce. How could his fellow-citizens refuse such a temporary inconvenience when they would eventually profit substantially from the arrangement verse 23? They took their flocks and their herds and their donkeys, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field; and they captured and looted all their wealth and all their little ones and their wives, even all that was in the houses Genesis Weakened by their circumcision, the men of the city were virtually helpless when attacked by Simeon and Levi.
It was no less than a slaughter. They killed every male, and the rest of their brothers were quick to share in the spoils. They brought trouble to Jacob. They made Jacob look bad. They put his life in danger. He might be attacked and destroyed.
Jacob and Rachel: A Bible Love Story
Jacob seemed to care only about his safety and saving his own skin. Conclusion We can make several observations on the matter of safety from a closer look at these two chapters in Genesis. First, Jacob was never safer than he was in those times of most evident danger. When fleeing from Esau, Jacob was met by God at Bethel When Jacob was hotly pursued by his frustrated and furious uncle, God sternly warned Laban that he should not even speak harshly to Jacob Having prevailed with God, into whose face he looked, he was assured of prevailing over Esau in the meeting that was ahead.
Never was Jacob safer than at those times when his life seemed in greatest peril. Second, Jacob was never in greater danger than at those times when he felt most secure.