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Jacob meets Esau after 20 years away: Genesis 32–35

After 20 years of working for Laban, and multiple promises from God, it seems that Jacob had learned where his wealth came from.

Genesis 32:10 I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps!

In fear of Jacob and his army of 400 men, Jacob went on to remind God about His promises:

Genesis 32:11-12 O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’”

On the other hand, Esau would have heard of Jacob’s wealth and probably been concerned about Jacob’s intentions. The mutual fear seems to have been dispelled by Jacob’s novel approach of offering a series of gifts. No shows of might or bravado, just gifts.

Genesis 33:3-4 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.