Genesis 32:1-21 NIV

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

1 Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God1 met him.

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2 When Jacob saw them, he said, "This is the camp of God!"2 So he named that place Mahanaim.a3

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    • a 32:2 - "Mahanaim" means "two camps."
      3 Jacob sent messengers4 ahead of him to his brother Esau5 in the land of Seir,6 the country of Edom.7

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      4 He instructed them: "This is what you are to say to my master8 Esau: 'Your servant9 Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban10 and have remained there till now.

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      5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants.11 Now I am sending this message to my lord,12 that I may find favor in your eyes.13' "

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      6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, "We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him."14

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      7 In great fear15 and distress16 Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,b17 and the flocks and herds and camels as well.

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        • b 32:7 - Or "camps"; also in verse 10
          8 He thought, "If Esau comes and attacks one group,c the groupd that is left may escape."

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              9 Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my father Abraham,18 God of my father Isaac,19 O LORD, who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,'20

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              10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness21 you have shown your servant. I had only my staff22 when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups.23

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              11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid24 he will come and attack me,25 and also the mothers with their children.26

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              12 But you have said, 'I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand27 of the sea, which cannot be counted.28' "

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              13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift29 for his brother Esau:

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              14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,30

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              15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.31

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              16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, "Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds."32

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              17 He instructed the one in the lead: "When my brother Esau meets you and asks, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?'
              18 then you are to say, 'They belong to your servant33 Jacob. They are a gift34 sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.' "

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                  19 He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: "You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.
                  20 And be sure to say, 'Your servant35 Jacob is coming behind us.' " For he thought, "I will pacify him with these gifts36 I am sending on ahead;37 later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me."38

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                  21 So Jacob's gifts39 went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.

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