It May Appease Him and Perhaps He Will Accept Me

Genesis 17

17 Abram was ninety-nine years old when the Lord appeared to him again and said, “I am God All-Powerful. If you obey me and always do right, I will keep my solemn promise to you and give you more descendants than can be counted.” Abram bowed with his face to the ground, and God said:

4-5 I promise that you will be the father of many nations. That’s why I now change your name from Abram to Abraham.[a] I will give you a lot of descendants, and in the future they will become great nations. Some of them will even be kings.

I will always keep the promise I have made to you and your descendants, because I am your God and their God. I will give you and them the land in which you are now a foreigner. I will give the whole land of Canaan to your family forever, and I will be their God.

Psalm 31

17 I pray only to you.
    Don’t disappoint me.
Disappoint my cruel enemies
    until they lie silent
    in their graves.
18 Silence those proud liars!
    Make them stop bragging
    and insulting your people.

Jacob

4. Jacob’s Reconciliation with Esau

Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau, ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, “I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now; and I have oxen, asses, flocks, menservants, and maidservants; and I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.”’”
    And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one company and destroys it, then the company which is left will escape.”
    And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your own country and to your kindred, and I will do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness which you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, lest he come and slay us all, the mothers with the children. But you said, ‘I will do you good, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
    So he lodged there that night, and took from what he had with him a present for his brother Esau, two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milch camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty she-asses and ten he-asses. These he delivered into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on before me, and put a space between drove and drove.” He instructed the foremost, “When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these before you?’ then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob; they are a present sent to my lord Esau; and moreover he is behind us.’” He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you meet him, and you shall say, ‘Moreover your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterwards I shall see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” So the present passed on before him; and he himself lodged that night in the camp…
    And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided his children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
    But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And when Esau raised his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down; Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down; and last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother, keep what you have for yourself.” Jacob said, “No, I pray you, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God, with such favor have you received me.”
    Genesis 32.3-33.10
 
 
 

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