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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 5: Genesis 33

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Jacob’s path is red. Esau’s path is blue.

Summary of Genesis 33:

Jacob sees Esau coming towards him with 400 men so he divides up the women and children, putting the maidservants first, then Leah and her kids and finally Rachel and Joseph in the rear (obvious preference here).  He went ahead and bowed 7 times to greet his brother.

Esau ran to meet Jacob and welcomed him with open arms.  They wept and kissed.  Jacob introduced his family and then insisted that Esau keep his gift of animals, saying to see his face is like seeing God’s.

Esau offered to accompany Jacob the rest of the way home, which Jacob refused, citing the fact his herds had a lot of babies and needed to go slow.  Esau offered to leave some of his men with Jacob, but Jacob refused that as well.

So Esau went back to Seir while Jacob went to Succoth to shelter.  Then he ventured on to Shechem where he bought the land upon which to pitch his tent.  He set up an altar.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 5: Genesis 33

13)  Esau is genuinely glad to see Jacob.  He runs to him, embraces him, kisses him, and he weeps.  He asks to meet Jacob’s family and he attempts to refuse Jacob’s gift of animals. A selfish man would have gladly accepted.  He offers to accompany Jacob back “home” and to offer an escort of men as well. Esau has completely forgiven Jacob. Jacob, on the other hand, misleads his brother to where he is going, not trusting him or his men.

14a) Home to see his mother and father, Rachel and Isaac. Or to Bethel, where God directs him (Genesis 31:13)

b) He went to Succoth.

15) Depends on your definition of broken. I have relationships that could be improved, that’s for sure. None are broken. Reaching out to them is the answer.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 5: Genesis 33

I love how Jacob had it all wrong and Esau is glad to see him and means him no harm. It shows how we are often afraid of things we shouldn’t be.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 5: Genesis 33

We see Jacob’s preference in Rachel and Joseph here.

Note Jacob is in the lead here, a change in his character. Note too that if Jacob hadn’t deceived Esau, God’s words would have come true anyways. There is never a reason to justify sin, especially to help God along.

We see one of the most touching scenes in the Bible where Jacob and Esau embrace and weep. Esau shows that he had forgiven Jacob by questioning the gifts and refusing them at first.

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Esau is content here, a wealthy man as well. God kept Isaac’s promise to bless him, too. Esau accepted Jacob’s apology when he accepted the animals, showing them to be friends and not enemies.

Jacob misled Esau on where he was going, still not trusting him or his men. This was the old Jacob acting, not the new Israel who trusted in God. Instead of going south to Seir, he heads north to Succouth.

Jacob is to return to the Promised Land, but he does not go far enough, and we are not told why. He is to go to Bethel (Genesis 31:13). He delays, and we know that there are consequences to delays. Perhaps he is still afraid of Esau. He definitely doesn’t trust him.

Fun Fact: This is the second piece of Promised Land purchased by the patriarchs (the first being when Abraham bought the place to bury Sarah in Genesis 23).