And say ye moreover, behold, thy servant Jacob [is] behind
This is repeated to impress it upon their minds, that they might be careful of all things, not to forget that, it being a point of great importance; for the present would have signified nothing, if Jacob had not appeared in person; Esau would have thought himself, at best, but slighted; as if he was unworthy of a visit from him, and of conversation with him: for he said:
that is, Jacob, or "had said" F1, in his heart, within himself, as might be supposed from the whole of his conduct; for what follows are the words of Moses the historian, as Aben Ezra observes, and not of Jacob to his servants, nor of them to Esau: I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and
afterwards I will see his face:
he hoped the present would produce the desired effect; that it would turn away his wrath from him, and pacify him; and then he should be able to appear before him, and see his face with pleasure: or, "I will expiate his face" F2, as some render the words, or make him propitious and favourable; or cover his face, as Aben Ezra interprets it, that is, cause him to hide his wrath and resentment, that it shall not appear; or cause his fury to cease, as Jarchi; or remove his anger, wrath, and displeasure, as Ben Melech; all which our version takes in, by rendering it, "appease him"; and then, peradventure he will accept of me:
receive him with marks of tenderness and affection, and in a very honourable and respectable manner.
F1 (rma yk) "dicebat enim", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Drusius.
F2 (wyup hrpka) "expiabo faciem ejus", Montanus; "propitium reddam", Drusius, Munster.