Genesis 33:5

5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.

Genesis 33:5 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 33:5

And he lift up his eyes, and saw the women and children
After the salutation had passed between him and his brother Jacob, he looked, and saw behind him women and children, Jacob's two wives and his two handmaids, and twelve children he had by them, and said, who [are] those with thee?
who do those women and children belong to that follow thee? for Jacob had made no mention of his wives and children, when he sent his messengers to him, ( Genesis 32:5 ) ; and therefore Esau might very well ask this question, which Jacob replied to: and he said, the children which God hath graciously given thy
servant;
he speaks of his children as gifts of God, and as instances and pledges of his favour and good will to him, which he thankfully acknowledges; and at the same time speaks very respectfully to his brother, and in great condescension and humility owns himself his servant, but says nothing of his wives; not that he was ashamed, as Abarbinel suggests, that he should have four wives, when his brother, who had less regard for religion, had but three; but he mentions his children as being near kin to Esau, and by whom he might conclude who the women were, and of whom also he might give a particular account, though the Scripture is silent about it; since Leah and Rachel were his own first cousins, ( Genesis 29:10 Genesis 29:16 ) ; and who they were no doubt he told him, as they came to pay their respects to him, as follows.

Genesis 33:5 In-Context

3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.