Bible Society of South Africa

Day 10 – Jacob and Esau Reconcile

Read about how Jacob and Esau reconcile.

Bible text(s)

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

1As Jacob went on his way, some angels met him. 2When he saw them, he said, “This is God's camp”; so he called the place Mahanaim.

3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the country of Edom. 4He instructed them to say: “I, Jacob, your obedient servant, report to my master Esau that I have been staying with Laban and that I have delayed my return until now. 5I own cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and slaves. I am sending you word, sir, in the hope of gaining your favour.”

6When the messengers came back to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you. He has 400 men with him.” 7Jacob was frightened and worried. He divided into two groups the people who were with him, and also his sheep, goats, cattle, and camels. 8He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks the first group, the other may be able to escape.”

9Then Jacob prayed, “God of my grandfather Abraham and God of my father Isaac, hear me! You told me, LORD, to go back to my land and to my relatives, and you would make everything go well for me. 10I am not worth all the kindness and faithfulness that you have shown me, your servant. I crossed the Jordan with nothing but a walking stick, and now I have come back with these two groups. 11Save me, I pray, from my brother Esau. I am afraid — afraid that he is coming to attack us and destroy us all, even the women and children. 12Remember that you promised to make everything go well for me and to give me more descendants than anyone could count, as many as the grains of sand along the seashore.”

13-15After spending the night there, Jacob chose from his livestock as a present for his brother Esau: 200 female goats and twenty males, 200 female sheep and twenty males, thirty milk camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten males. 16He divided them into herds and put one of his servants in charge of each herd. He said to them, “Go ahead of me, and leave a space between each herd and the one behind it.” 17He ordered the first servant, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who is your master? Where are you going? Who owns these animals in front of you?’ 18you must answer, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. He sends them as a present to his master Esau. Jacob himself is just behind us.’ ” 19He gave the same order to the second, the third, and to all the others who were in charge of the herds: “This is what you must say to Esau when you meet him. 20You must say, ‘Yes, your servant Jacob is just behind us.’ ” Jacob was thinking, “I will win him over with the gifts, and when I meet him, perhaps he will forgive me.” 21He sent the gifts on ahead of him and spent that night in camp.

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

22That same night Jacob got up, took his two wives, his two concubines, and his eleven children, and crossed the River Jabbok. 23After he had sent them across, he also sent across all that he owned, 24but he stayed behind, alone.

Then a man came and wrestled with him until just before daybreak. 25When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he struck Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint. 26The man said, “Let me go; daylight is coming.”

“I won't, unless you bless me,” Jacob answered.

27“What is your name?” the man asked.

“Jacob,” he answered.

28The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.”

29Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”

But he answered, “Why do you want to know my name?” Then he blessed Jacob.

30Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive”; so he named the place Peniel. 31The sun rose as Jacob was leaving Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32Even today the descendants of Israel do not eat the muscle which is on the hip joint, because it was on this muscle that Jacob was struck.

Jacob Meets Esau

1Jacob saw Esau coming with his 400 men, so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two concubines. 2He put the concubines and their children first, then Leah and her children, and finally Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3Jacob went ahead of them and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4But Esau ran to meet him, threw his arms round him, and kissed him. They were both crying. 5When Esau looked round and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?”

“These, sir, are the children whom God has been good enough to give me,” Jacob answered. 6Then the concubines came up with their children and bowed down; 7then Leah and her children came, and last of all Joseph and Rachel came and bowed down.

8Esau asked, “What about that other group I met? What did that mean?”

Jacob answered, “It was to gain your favour.”

9But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have.”

10Jacob said, “No, please, if I have gained your favour, accept my gift. To see your face is for me like seeing the face of God, now that you have been so friendly to me. 11Please accept this gift which I have brought for you; God has been kind to me and given me everything I need.” Jacob kept on urging him until he accepted.

12Esau said, “Let's prepare to leave. I will go ahead of you.”

13Jacob answered, “You know that the children are weak, and I must think of the sheep and cattle with their young. If they are driven hard for even one day, the whole herd will die. 14Please go on ahead of me, and I will follow slowly, going as fast as I can with the livestock and the children until I catch up with you in Edom.”

15Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.”

But Jacob answered, “There is no need for that for I only want to gain your favour.” 16So that day Esau started on his way back to Edom. 17But Jacob went to Sukkoth, where he built a house for himself and shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Sukkoth.

18On his return from Mesopotamia Jacob arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan and set up his camp in a field near the city. 19He bought that part of the field from the descendants of Hamor father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver. 20He put up an altar there and named it after El, the God of Israel.

Genesis 32:1-33:20GNBOpen in Bible reader

PRAY before you read, asking God to help you understand.
READ the Bible passage for the day – preferably more than once.
REFLECT on the passage. Write your thoughts in a journal.
APPLY what God teaches you from His Word to your life.
PRAY again, asking God to live out His Word.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.15
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