Genesis 33:4

4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.

Read Genesis 33:4 Using Other Translations

And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.

What does Genesis 33:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Genesis 33:4

And Esau ran to meet him
If he rode on any creature, which is likely, he alighted from it on sight of his brother Jacob, and to express his joy on that occasion, and affection for him, made all the haste he could to meet him, as did the father of the prodigal, ( Luke 15:20 ) , and embraced him;
in his arms, with the greatest respect and tenderness: and fell on his neck;
laid his head on his neck, where it remained for a while, not being able to lift it up, and speak unto him; the word is in the dual number, and signifies, as Ben Melech thinks, the two sides of the neck, the right and the left; and he might lay his head first on one side, and then on the other, to show the greatness of his affection: and kissed him;
in token of the same: there are three pricks over this word in the original more than ordinary, directing the attention of the reader to it, as something wonderful and worthy of observation: the Jewish writers F14 are divided about it; some think that this points at the insincerity of Esau in kissing his brother when he hated him; others, on the contrary, to his sincerity and heartiness in it, and which was matter of admiration, that he who laid up hatred in his heart against his brother, and had bore him a grudge for so many years, and it may be came out now, with an intention to destroy him, should have his heart so turned toward him, as to behave in this affectionate manner, which must be owing to the power of God working upon his heart, changing his mind, and making him thus soft, flexible, and compassionate; and to Jacob's humble submission to him, subservient to divine Providence as a means; and thus as he before had power with God in prayer on this same account, the effect of which he now perceived, so he had power with men, with his brother, as it was intimated to him he should: and they wept;
they "both" wept, as the Septuagint version adds, both Jacob and Esau, for joy at the sight of each other, and both seriously; and especially there can be no doubt of Jacob, who must be glad of this reconciliation, if it was only outward, since hereby his life, and the lives of his wives and children, would be spared.


FOOTNOTES:

F14 Zohar in Gen. fol. 99. 1. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 78. fol. 68. 3. Jarchi in loc.
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