April 9 (Year One)
33 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. 2 And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. 7 Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.
12 Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead of you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the nursing flocks and herds are a care to me. If they are driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
15 So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18 And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. 19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.
Thomas - April 9, 2022 at 8:11 pm
Elsewhere ĕl ĕl’ ō he ĭz’ rĭ əl (אֵ֖ל אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל, God is the God of Israel). The name of an altar erected by Jacob.
When Jacob returned from Paddan-aram with his family, he purchased a portion of a field from the “sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father,” on which he had camped (Gen 33:18-20). This Canaanite family ruled Shechem which made it possible for Israel to have a permanent shrine here. This later proved useful when they took the land under Joshua (Josh 24:32). On this lot Jacob erected an altar and named it “El is the God of Israel,” a confessional altar or shrine which appropriated the Canaanite deity name “El” (the Mighty One) for use as one of the designations of Israel’s God.
Thomas - April 9, 2022 at 9:33 pm
What isn’t obvious to a casual reader is that after Israel (Jacob) and Esau meet is that Israel agreed to travel with Esau but didn’t. Actually, as soon as Esau left, Israel turned away and went to live far away from is brother. We learn later in the Bible that their father, Issac, died before seeing Israel on his return.
Esau apparently has fully forgiven his brother for tricking him out of his birthright and the parental blessing. He invited Israel to his city. He would have allowed him to keep his wealth that was was offered to quell Esau’s expected wrath which never occurred. He allowed Israel to travel slowly due to Israel ‘s children being young. He offered a escort to protect him on the trip.
Despite this obvious forgiveness, Israel in essence rejected Esau. He chose to separate himself from his brother. This seems like a selfish and childish choice to me. God, however, used Israel to birth his chosen people despite Israel. Esau seemed to be acting as God would desire. Esau was blessed as a result. Israel’s actions were not a good example, but are a good example of God’redemption. We can see that God will accomplish his plan to redeem us regardless of what we do. God does so by repeatedly showing human failure contrasted to what is God’s way.
Toma Hawk - April 12, 2022 at 6:46 am
In this chapter of his life, it seems to me that Jacob has truly changed
from being Jacob to being Israel
power-hungry, insecure, underminer-thief to empowered, master of himself, secure, selfless, Prince
indentured servant to independent sole proprietor
petty to generous
war waging to peacemaking
from being the tail to being the head
pissant to diplomat
and he finally begins to settle down, own, develop, and worship on his very own property in the promised land