Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah and Rachel and the two maidservants.
He put the maidservants out in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last.
He led the way and, as he approached his brother, bowed seven times, honoring his brother.
But Esau ran up and embraced him, held him tight and kissed him. And they both wept.
Then Esau looked around and saw the women and children: "And who are these with you?" Jacob said, "The children that God saw fit to bless me with."
Then the maidservants came up with their children and bowed;
then Leah and her children, also bowing; and finally, Joseph and Rachel came up and bowed to Esau.
Esau then asked, "And what was the meaning of all those herds that I met?" "I was hoping that they would pave the way for my master to welcome me."
Esau said, "Oh, brother. I have plenty of everything - keep what is yours for yourself."
Jacob said, "Please. If you can find it in your heart to welcome me, accept these gifts. When I saw your face, it was as the face of God smiling on me.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)