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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).

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 4: Genesis 32:22-32

Summary of Genesis 32:22-32:

Jacob sent his two wives, two maid servants, and 11 kids across the Jabbok River. He also sent all of his possessions as well. He then wrestled with God in his sleep. The man touched his hip socket, leaving Jacob with a permanent limp as a sign of this struggle with God and with men. Jacob called the place Peniel, or “he struggles with God.” God renames Jacob Israel, or “God rules” Jacob saw God face-to-face and lived. The Israelites do not eat the hip socket where Jacob was touched.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 4: Genesis 32:22-32

10a) Jesus because Jesus is God in human form. No one can see God’s face and live, but they can see Jesus’s

Exodus 33:20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Exodus 33:23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

b) To depend on him alone and to give up himself.

11) The man touched his hip socket, leaving Jacob with a permanent limp as a sign of this struggle with God and with men. It was to remind Jacob of God’s centrality in his life. Jacob responded with humble blessings and knew he only survived because of God’s infinite grace.

12) The fact my life could be and has been worse. The fact I know I am a mere human and that the world does not revolve around me. God is the one and only.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 4: Genesis 32:22-32

I love this physical representation of surrendering to God. God uses any means to have all of us, including sending Jesus to wrestle. This gives me faith that God won’t let go of me, either.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 4: Genesis 32:22-32

Jacob sent his family over the river to protect them in case there was an attack. Jacob was alone with God, which would be his very last on the east side of the Jordan River. He prayed.

Note that a man wrestled with Jacob, not Jacob with the man. God was working on Jacob still. God wanted all of Jacob’s heart, and He had come to take it.

Jacob pleas to be let go, to surrender, to end it. We all must come to this same place with God, with force if necessary or circumstances that bring us to our knees.

Jacob is not making any demand here. He is asking God to bless him out of desperation  Hosea 12:3-5

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Jacob Wrestles with God/Jesus

All Jacob had was God, and that is all Jacob held on to. This is God’s answer to his previous prayer. He was being rescued from himself.

Israel is a compound word of two Hebrew words, one meaning fight or struggle and one meaning God. It correctly means God rules, not he struggles with God as most Bibles will tell you.

Note that the Bible will still refer to Jacob as Jacob at least twice as often as Israel. This indicates that Jacob is still human and will make mistakes.

Jacob overcame because he knew he was defeated. He also know exactly who defeated him. The new name is the blessing Jacob is asking for.

Jacob knew he should have been killed for wrestling for God, but in God’s mercy, he was allowed to live. As a reminder, he’d have a limp. And what a reminder!

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 3: Genesis 32:9-21

Summary of Genesis 32:9-21:

Jacob prayed to God to save him from Esau. He praises God and admits how unworthy he is. Jacob then reminds God of His promise and covenant to preserve him and his family. He sent gifts of animals ahead to meet Esau in an effort to pacify him.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 3: Genesis 32:9-21

6) He calls God the God of Abraham and Isaac. He praises God and admits how unworthy he is. Jacob then reminds God of His promise and covenant to preserve him and his family. I love reminding God of His promises in prayer.

7) He sent gifts of animals ahead to meet Esau in an effort to pacify him.

8 ) His prayer to God praises God, admits how unworthy he is, admits his fears, and reminds God of His promises to him. He also is giving Esau many gifts as well

9) Fear of the unknown. Praying and reading my Bible helps.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 3: Genesis 32:9-21

I love Jacob’s prayer here. It’s an example for all of us to follow:

  1. Humbly call upon God
  2. Tell God how unworthy you are
  3. Ask him for what you want in faith He will answer
  4. Remind Him of his promises. Powerful stuff here.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 3: Genesis 32:9-21

Jacob’s gifts can be seen as ways to earn favor or to bribe his brother not to harm him. Still, it’s a big improvement from stealing his brother’s birthright. Jacob is still trying to use human means to save himself here when it is always God who saves us. Instead of going out ahead to meet his brother, he waits, hoping his gifts will placate.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8

Summary of Genesis 32:1-8:

Jacob leaves Laban headed home. Jacob meets two angels and called the place Mahanaim, or “two camps.”  Jacob prepares to meet Esau. He sends messengers to him to tell Esau he is returning in order to see if he is still trying to kill him. The messengers return to Jacob and tell him that Esau is coming to meet him and is bringing 400 men. Jacob divides up into two camps so that at least one camp can survive if they are attacked by Esau.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8

3a) Psalm says that the angels of the Lord camps around those who fear him and he delivers them. God sent an angel to protect Daniel in the lions’ den. Hebrews 1:14 says the Holy Spirit lives within you. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 says God will judge the world. 2 Kings 6:8-23 tells how Israel was warned of approaching trouble. God sent angels to protect him.

b) Esau hated Jacob for when he traded his birthright for a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:27-34) and was made lord over Esau (Genesis 27:35-41). Esau threatened to kill Jacob because of his stealing the blessing (Genesis 27:41), and Rebekah never sent for him, so he is assuming Esau still wants to kill him (Genesis 27:45)

4a) He divides up his herd so that at least part of his family will escape if Esau attacks one segment.

b) He is guided by fear. He does not seek the Lord until after he divides his belongings and family.

5a) Unsure

b) Always pray.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8

Jacob reacts as most would: assuming Esau still wants to kill him. However, Jacob has spoken to God; he knows he is the promised one. Yet, he still fears for his life, and he does consult God after all the doings.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8

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Bible scholars debate why the angels of God met Jacob and what occurred here. Perhaps it marks a new beginning for Jacob as he separates from the ways of Laban, or perhaps God was showing His great love for Jacob.

Remember that angels are our servants (Hebrews 1:14). The angels were there the entire time, he just couldn’t see them. Elisha’s servant experiences this as well 2 Kings 6:15-17, The same goes for us as well. Angels are around us, too.

Jacob was humbling himself before Esau (saying he was his servant) and explaining that he didn’t want anything from him as he was a man of wealth.

Jacob was afraid because he knew he has wronged Esau, so Esau may still be mad. He had lost all courage he had with Laban (Genesis 31:36-42).

Jacob forget the angels standing next to him out of his fear. Since Rebekah never sent for him, Jacob was facing many unknowns. He needed to turn to God. Jacob divided his camps in order to preserve some of his wealth if Esau attacked. Again, God is absent here.