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Genesis 32:4-5

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.’”

Genesis 32:18

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.

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