Genesis 33

1 Iacob lyfte vp his eyes and sawe hys brother Esau come and with him .iiij. hundred men. And he deuyded the childern vnto Lea and vnto Rahel and vnto ye ij. maydens.
2 And he put the maydens ad their childern formest ad Lea and hir childern after and Rahel ad Ioseph hindermost.
3 And he went before them and fell on the grownde, vij. tymes vntill he came vnto his brother.
4 Esau ranne agaynst him and enbraced hym and fell on his necke and kyssed him and they wepte.
5 And he lifte vp his eyes and sawe the wyves and their childern and sayde: what are these which thou there hast? And he sayde: they are the childern which God hath geuen thy seruaunte.
6 Than came the maydens forth ad dyd their obaysaunce.
7 Lea also and hir childern came and dyd their obaysaunce. And last of all came Ioseph and Rahel and dyd their obaysaunce.
8 And he sayde: what meanyst thou with all ye drooues which I mett. And he answered: to fynde grace in the syghte of my lorde.
9 And Esau sayde: I haue ynough my brother kepe that thou hast vnto thy silf.
10 Iacob answered: oh nay but yf I haue founde grace in thy syghte receaue my preaset of my hade: for I haue sene thy face as though I had sene ye face of God: wherfore receaue me to grace
11 and take my blessynge that I haue brought the for God hath geuen it me frely. And I haue ynough of all thynges. And so he compelled him to take it.
12 And he sayde: let us take oure iourney and goo and I will goo in thy copany.
13 And he sayde vnto him: my lorde knoweth that I haue tendre childern ewes and kyne with yonge vnder myne hande which yf men shulde ouerdryue but euen one daye the hole flocke wolde dye.
14 Let my lorde therfore goo before his servaunte and I will dryue fayre and softly accordynge as the catell that goth before me and the childern be able to endure: vntill I come to mi lorde vnto Seir.
15 And Esau sayde: let me yet leaue some of my folke with the. And he sayde: what neadeth it? let me fynde grace in the syghte of my lorde
16 So Esau went his waye agayne yt same daye vnto Seir.
17 And Iacob toke his iourney toward Sucoth and bylt him an house and made boothes for his catell: wherof the name of the place is called Sucoth.
18 And Iacob went to Salem to ye cytie of Sichem in the lande of Canaa after that he was come from Mesopotamia and pitched before the cyte
19 and bought a parcell of ground where he pitched his tent of the childern of Hemor Sichems father for an hundred lambes.
20 And he made there an aulter and there called vpon the myghtie God of Israell.

Genesis 33 Commentary

Chapter 33

The friendly meeting of Jacob and Esau. (1-16) Jacob comes to Succoth and Shalem, He builds an altar. (17-20)

Verses 1-16 Jacob, having by prayer committed his case to God, went on his way. Come what will, nothing can come amiss to him whose heart is fixed, trusting in God. Jacob bowed to Esau. A humble, submissive behaviour goes far towards turning away wrath. Esau embraced Jacob. God has the hearts of all men in his hands, and can turn them when and how he pleases. It is not in vain to trust in God, and to call upon him in the day of trouble. And when a man's ways please the Lord he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Esau receives Jacob as a brother, and much tenderness passes between them. Esau asks, Who are those with thee? To this common question, Jacob spoke like himself, like a man whose eyes are ever directed towards the Lord. Jacob urged Esau, though his fear was over, and he took his present. It is well when men's religion makes them generous, free-hearted, and open-handed. But Jacob declined Esau's offer to accompany him. It is not desirable to be too intimate with superior ungodly relations, who will expect us to join in their vanities, or at least to wink at them, though they blame, and perhaps mock at, our religion. Such will either be a snare to us, or offended with us. We shall venture the loss of all things, rather than endanger our souls, if we know their value; rather than renounce Christ, if we truly love him. And let Jacob's care and tender attention to his family and flocks remind us of the good Shepherd of our souls, who gathers the lambs with his arm, and carries them in his bosom, and gently leads those that are with young, ( Isaiah 40:11 ) . As parents, teachers or pastors, we should all follow his example.

Verses 17-20 Jacob did not content himself with words of thanks for God's favour to him, but gave real thanks. Also he kept up religion, and the worship of God in his family. Where we have a tent, God must have an altar. Jacob dedicated this altar to the honour of El-elohe-Israel, God, the God of Israel; to the honour of God, the only living and true God; and to the honour of the God of Israel, as a God in covenant with him. Israel's God is Israel's glory. Blessed be his name, he is still the mighty God, the God of Israel. May we praise his name, and rejoice in his love, through our pilgrimage here on earth, and for ever in the heavenly Canaan.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we find Esau meeting Jacob in a friendly manner, contrary to his fears and expectation, having set his family in order in case of the worst, Ge 33:1-4; putting questions to Jacob concerning the women and children with him, who make their obeisance to him as Jacob had done before, Ge 33:5-7; and concerning the drove he met, which was a present to him, and which he refused at first to take, but at the urgency of Jacob accepted of it, Ge 33:8-11; proposing to travel with him, unto which Jacob desired to be excused, he, with the women, children, and flocks, not being able to keep pace with him, Ge 33:12-14, and to leave some of his men with him to guard him, which Jacob judged unnecessary, upon which they parted friendly, Ge 33:15,16; and the chapter is concluded with an account of Jacob's journey, first to Succoth, then to Shalem, where he pitched his tent, bought a field and built an altar, Ge 33:17-20.

Genesis 33 Commentaries

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