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Genesis 32:13-21

Context

32:13 Jacob 1  stayed there that night. Then he sent 2  as a gift 3  to his brother Esau 32:14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 32:15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 32:16 He entrusted them to 4  his servants, who divided them into herds. 5  He told his servants, “Pass over before me, and keep some distance between one herd and the next.” 32:17 He instructed the servant leading the first herd, 6  “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? 7  Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 8  32:18 then you must say, 9  ‘They belong 10  to your servant Jacob. 11  They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. 12  In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’” 13 

32:19 He also gave these instructions to the second and third servants, as well as all those who were following the herds, saying, “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 14  32:20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” 15  Jacob thought, 16  “I will first appease him 17  by sending a gift ahead of me. 18  After that I will meet him. 19  Perhaps he will accept me.” 20  32:21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him 21  while he spent that night in the camp. 22 

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

2 tn Heb “and he took from that which was going into his hand,” meaning that he took some of what belonged to him.

3 sn The Hebrew noun translated gift can in some contexts refer to the tribute paid by a subject to his lord. Such a nuance is possible here, because Jacob refers to Esau as his lord and to himself as Esau’s servant (v. 4).

4 tn Heb “and he put them in the hand of.”

5 tn Heb “a herd, a herd, by itself,” or “each herd by itself.” The distributive sense is expressed by repetition.

6 tn Heb “the first”; this has been specified as “the servant leading the first herd” in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “to whom are you?”

8 tn Heb “and to whom are these before you?”

9 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; it has the nuance of an imperfect of instruction.

10 tn The words “they belong” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

11 tn Heb “to your servant, to Jacob.”

12 tn Heb “to my lord, to Esau.”

13 tn Heb “and look, also he [is] behind us.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn Heb “And he commanded also the second, also the third, also all the ones going after the herds, saying: ‘According to this word you will speak when you find him.’”

15 tn Heb “and look, your servant Jacob [is] behind us.”

16 tn Heb “for he said.” The referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew word מַקֵל (maqel), traditionally represents Jacob’s thought or reasoning, and is therefore translated “thought.”

17 tn Heb “I will appease his face.” The cohortative here expresses Jacob’s resolve. In the Book of Leviticus the Hebrew verb translated “appease” has the idea of removing anger due to sin or guilt, a nuance that fits this passage very well. Jacob wanted to buy Esau off with a gift of more than five hundred and fifty animals.

18 tn Heb “with a gift going before me.”

19 tn Heb “I will see his face.”

20 tn Heb “Perhaps he will lift up my face.” In this context the idiom refers to acceptance.

21 tn Heb “and the gift passed over upon his face.”

22 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial/temporal.



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