Jacob prepares to meet Esau

Genesis 32:1-12. Jacob prepares to meet Esau, his twin brother.

Esau was the elder son of Isaac and the twin brother of Jacob.

Jacob had stolen both the birthright of the eldest son and also the blessing that went with it. Esau had not forgiven Jacob for these acts.

Remember in all of this, God had said before they were born, Jacob I have loved and Esau I hate, Romans 9:10-13. Where else in the Bible does the name Esau or Edom appear and in what context.

Background Reading:

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

1 As Jacob went on his way, angels from God met him. 2 As he was watching them, Jacob said, “This must be God’s camp,” so he named that place Mahanaim.

3 Then Jacob sent messengers ahead of him into the land of Seir (that is, into the territory of Edom) to meet his brother Esau. 4 He instructed them, “This is what you are to say to my master Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob told me to tell you, “I’ve journeyed to stay with Laban and I’ve remained there until now. 5 I now have cattle, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants. I’m sending this message to you, sir, so that you’ll show favor to me.”’”

6 Later, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We went to your brother Esau. He’s now coming to meet you—and he has 400 men with him!”

7 Feeling mounting terror and distress, Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, doing the same with the flocks, the cattle, and the camels. 8 Jacob was thinking, “If Esau comes to one group and attacks it, then the remaining group may escape.”

9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, O God of my father Isaac, O LORD, you who told me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives and I’ll cause things to go well for you.’ 10 I’m unworthy of all your gracious love, your faithfulness, and everything that you’ve done for your servant. When I first crossed over this river, I had only my staff. But now I’ve become two groups. 11 Deliver me from my brother Esau’s control, because I’m terrified of him, and I’m afraid that he’s coming to attack me, the mothers, and their children. 12 Now, you promised me that ‘I’m certainly going to cause things to go well with you, and I’m going to make your offspring as numerous as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”
further reading


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