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Genesis - Chapter 33

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1 Looking up, Jacob saw Esau coming and with him four hundred men. He then divided the children between Leah, Rachel and the two slave-girls.

2 He put the slave-girls and their children in front, with Leah and her children following, and Rachel and Joseph behind.

3 He himself went ahead of them and bowed to the ground seven times, until he reached his brother.

4 But Esau ran to meet him, took him in his arms, threw himself on his neck and wept as he kissed him.

5 Then looking up he saw the women and children. 'Who are these with you?' he asked. Jacob answered, 'The children whom God has bestowed on your servant.'

6 The slave-girls then came up with their children, and they all bowed low.

7 Then Leah too came up with her children, and they all bowed low. Finally Rachel and Joseph came up and bowed low.

8 Esau asked, 'What was the purpose of that whole camp I just met?' 'To win my lord's favour,' he replied.

9 'Brother, I have plenty,' Esau answered, 'keep what is yours.'

10 Jacob protested, 'No, if I have won your favour, please accept the gift I offer, for in fact I have come into your presence as into the presence of God, since you have received me kindly.

11 So accept the gift I have brought for you, since God has been generous to me and I have all I need.' And he urged him, and Esau accepted.

12 Esau said, 'Let us break camp and move off; I shall go beside you.'

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13 But Jacob replied, 'As my lord knows, the children are weak, and the sheep and cows which have calved make it hard for me. If they are driven too hard, even for one day, the whole drove will die.

14 May it please my lord to go on ahead of his servant. For my part, I shall move at a slower pace, to suit the flock I am driving and the children, until I join my lord in Seir.'

15 Esau then said, 'At least let me leave you some of the people who are with me.' 'What for?' Jacob asked. 'Please indulge me, my lord!'

16 So that day Esau turned back towards Seir,

17 but Jacob made his way to Succoth, where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock; that is why the place was given the name of Succoth.

18 Jacob arrived safely at the town of Shechem in Canaanite territory, on his return from Paddan-Aram. He encamped opposite the town

19 and for one hundred pieces of silver he bought from the sons of Hamor father of Shechem the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent.

20 There he erected an altar which he called 'El, God of Israel'.

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