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Genesis 33:9-20

33:9 But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother. Keep what belongs to you.” 33:10 “No, please take them,” Jacob said. 1  “If I have found favor in your sight, accept 2  my gift from my hand. Now that I have seen your face and you have accepted me, 3  it is as if I have seen the face of God. 4  33:11 Please take my present 5  that was brought to you, for God has been generous 6  to me and I have all I need.” 7  When Jacob urged him, he took it. 8 

33:12 Then Esau 9  said, “Let’s be on our way! 10  I will go in front of you.” 33:13 But Jacob 11  said to him, “My lord knows that the children are young, 12  and that I have to look after the sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. 13  If they are driven too hard for even a single day, all the animals will die. 33:14 Let my lord go on ahead of his servant. I will travel more slowly, at the pace of the herds and the children, 14  until I come to my lord at Seir.”

33:15 So Esau said, “Let me leave some of my men with you.” 15  “Why do that?” Jacob replied. 16  “My lord has already been kind enough to me.” 17 

33:16 So that same day Esau made his way back 18  to Seir. 33:17 But 19  Jacob traveled to Succoth 20  where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called 21  Succoth. 22 

33:18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near 23  the city. 33:19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it 24  from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. 25  33:20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.” 26 

1 tn Heb “and Jacob said, ‘No, please.’” The words “take them” have been supplied in the translation for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse rearranged for stylistic reasons.

2 tn The form is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, expressing a contingent future nuance in the “then” section of the conditional sentence.

3 tn The verbal form is the preterite with a vav (ו) consecutive, indicating result here.

4 tn Heb “for therefore I have seen your face like seeing the face of God and you have accepted me.”

sn This is an allusion to the preceding episode (32:22-31) in which Jacob saw the face of God and realized his prayer was answered.

5 tn Heb “blessing.” It is as if Jacob is trying to repay what he stole from his brother twenty years earlier.

6 tn Or “gracious,” but in the specific sense of prosperity.

7 tn Heb “all.”

8 tn Heb “and he urged him and he took.” The referent of the first pronoun in the sequence (“he”) has been specified as “Jacob” in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Esau) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Heb “let us travel and let us go.” The two cohortatives are used in combination with the sense, “let’s travel along, get going, be on our way.”

11 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Heb “weak.”

13 tn Heb “and the sheep and the cattle nursing [are] upon me.”

14 tn Heb “and I, I will move along according to my leisure at the foot of the property which is before me and at the foot of the children.”

15 tn The cohortative verbal form here indicates a polite offer of help.

16 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Why this?’” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Jacob) has been specified for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

17 tn Heb “I am finding favor in the eyes of my lord.”

18 tn Heb “returned on his way.”

19 tn The disjunctive clause contrasts Jacob’s action with Esau’s.

20 sn But Jacob traveled to Succoth. There are several reasons why Jacob chose not to go to Mt. Seir after Esau. First, as he said, his herds and children probably could not keep up with the warriors. Second, he probably did not fully trust his brother. The current friendliness could change, and he could lose everything. And third, God did tell him to return to his land, not Seir. But Jacob is still not able to deal truthfully, probably because of fear of Esau.

21 tn Heb “why he called.” One could understand “Jacob” as the subject of the verb, but it is more likely that the subject is indefinite, in which case the verb is better translated as passive.

22 sn The name Succoth means “shelters,” an appropriate name in light of the shelters Jacob built there for his livestock.

23 tn Heb “in front of.”

24 tn The words “he bought it” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text v. 19 is one long sentence.

25 tn The Hebrew word קְשִׂיטָה (qÿsitah) is generally understood to refer to a unit of money, but the value is unknown. (However, cf. REB, which renders the term as “sheep”).

26 tn Heb “God, the God of Israel.” Rather than translating the name, a number of modern translations merely transliterate it from the Hebrew as “El Elohe Israel” (cf. NIV, NRSV, REB). It is not entirely clear how the name should be interpreted grammatically. One option is to supply an equative verb, as in the translation: “The God of Israel [is] God.” Another interpretive option is “the God of Israel [is] strong [or “mighty”].” Buying the land and settling down for a while was a momentous step for the patriarch, so the commemorative naming of the altar is significant.

TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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