32:4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant 1 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 2 this message 3 to inform my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”
32:18 then you must say, 4 ‘They belong 5 to your servant Jacob. 6 They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. 7 In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’” 8
1 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.
2 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.
3 tn The words “this message” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
4 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; it has the nuance of an imperfect of instruction.
5 tn The words “they belong” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
6 tn Heb “to your servant, to Jacob.”
7 tn Heb “to my lord, to Esau.”
8 tn Heb “and look, also he [is] behind us.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.