This chapter is about Jacob meeting Esau. Finally! But it has a happy ending. I guess you could say. Jacob didn’t die, or get beat up. I hope you enjoy the read!
Jacob looked up & there was Esau. Esau was coming with 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, & Zilpah. He put Bilhah, Zilpah, & their children in front. Leah & her kids next. Rachel & Joseph are in the rear. Joseph himself went ahead & bowed down 7 times as he approached Esau.
Esau did something completely unexpected. He ran to meet Jacob! He hugged Jacob, threw his arms around him & kissed him. They wept together. Then Esau looked up & saw the womenfolk & kids. Esau asked Jacob who they were. Jacob told him who they were. (I have to say that Jacob is EXTREMELY humble in this chapter! He keeps calling himself Esau’s servant. Or it could just be a ruse so Esau doesn’t kick his behind in front of his family.)
Everybody bowed down in front of Esau. Esau asked about all the livestock that was with Jacob. Jacob told him that it’s for Esau. Esau tells him to keep it because he’s got plenty. Jacob insists Esau takes his gift. Because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted the gift.
Esau then told Jacob that they should be on their way & that he’d accompany them. But Jacob convinces Esau to go on ahead of him. And that they’d meet up in Seir. So that day, Esau started on his way back to Seir. Jacob, instead, went to Succoth. Jacob built a “place” for himself there. Plus he made barns, for lack of a better word, for his livestock. This is why that place was called Succoth because Succoth means shelters.
After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely to the city of Shechem in Canaan. They camped within sight of the city. Jacob bought a “plot of ground” for 100 pieces of silver. He bought the “plot of ground” from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. Jacob set up altar there & called it El Elohe Israel.