Genesis 33:14

14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.

Genesis 33:14 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 33:14

Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant
He desired in a very respectable manner that he would not keep his pace in complaisance to him, but proceed on in his journey, and go on with his men, and he with his family and flocks would follow after as fast as he could, and their circumstances would admit of: and I will lead on softly;
slowly, gently, easily, step by step: according as the cattle that goeth before me, and the children be able
to endure;
or "according to the foot" F19 of them; of the cattle, whom he calls the "work" F20, because his business lay in the care of them, and these were the chief of his substance; and of the children, as the feet of each of them were able to travel; or because of them, for the sake of them, as Aben Ezra, consulting their strength, he proposed to move on gently, like both a wise, careful, and tender father of his family, and shepherd of his flock: until I come unto my lord unto Seir;
whither, no doubt, he intended to come when he parted with Esau; but for reasons which after appeared to him he declined it: or more probably he did go thither then, or quickly after; though the Scripture makes no mention of it, he might go with some of his servants directly, and send his family, flocks, and herds, under the care of other servants, forward on their journey, and quickly come up to them again; for that he should tell a lie is not likely, nor does he seem to be under any temptation to it: and besides, it would have been dangerous to have disobliged his brother when on his borders, who could easily have come upon him again with four hundred men, and picked a quarrel with him for breach of promise, and destroyed him and his at once.


FOOTNOTES:

F19 (lgrl) "ad pedem", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Cartwright.
F20 (hkalmh) "operis", Montanus, Munster, Fagius, Drusius, Cartwright, Schmidt.

Genesis 33:14 In-Context

12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.