33 Now Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and there, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants. 2 And he put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children behind, and Rachel and Joseph last. 3 Then he crossed over before them and bowed 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 he lifted his eyes and saw the women and children, and said, “Who arethese with you?”
So he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the maidservants came near, they and their children, and bowed down. 7 And Leah also came near with her children, and they bowed down. Afterward Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed down.
8 Then Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?”
And he said, “These are 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 And Jacob said, “No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. 11 Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” So he urged him, and he took it.
12 Then Esau said, “Let us take our journey; let us go, and I will go before you.”
13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die. 14 Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and the children, are able to endure, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
15 And Esau said, “Now 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 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, built himself a house, and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.[a]
Jacob Comes to Canaan
18 Then Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan Aram; and he pitched his tent before the city. 19 And he bought the parcel of land, where he had pitched his tent, from the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. 20 Then he erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel.[b]
Jacob’s night of wrestling had prepared him for what was about to happen. He was a new man with a different walk and he had become somewhat humble from his experience. His life had changed but that didn’t mean that his actions and his previous walk had been wiped away. He still had to deal with the repercussions that his actions had brought about. He still had to reap what he had sown. He was no longer deceiving or scheming to get his way or avoid trouble. He was now dealing with it head on.
Sadly his family would have to face his past along with him. That fear has to be one of the worst.
I know that fear all too well.
Jacob shows complete submission to Esau’s decision regarding his actions and his payback. He aligns his family from least important to highest so that if Esau had decided to finish Jacob, then his favored would have had a chance to escape.
Esau did not seem to want revenge and met his brother with weeping and a hug.
Legend states a different story though and tells us that Esau was going to find revenge and when he embraced Jacob, he tried to bite his neck. Miraculously, Jacob’s neck turned to ivory and broke every tooth in Esau’s mouth.
Let’s hope that this account in Genesis is the actual story so that we see these two feuding brother bury the hatchet