32:3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead 1 to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region 2 of Edom. 32:4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant 3 Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now. 32:5 I have oxen, donkeys, sheep, and male and female servants. I have sent 4 this message 5 to inform my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”
32:6 The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you and has four hundred men with him.” 32:7 Jacob was very afraid and upset. So he divided the people who were with him into two camps, as well as the flocks, herds, and camels.
1 tn Heb “before him.”
2 tn Heb “field.”
3 sn Your servant. The narrative recounts Jacob’s groveling in fear before Esau as he calls his brother his “lord,” as if to minimize what had been done twenty years ago.
4 tn Or “I am sending.” The form is a preterite with the vav consecutive; it could be rendered as an English present tense – as the Hebrew perfect/preterite allows – much like an epistolary aorist in Greek. The form assumes the temporal perspective of the one who reads the message.
5 tn The words “this message” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.