Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Genesis Chapter 33 v. 1-20

Jacob looked up and saw his brother Esau, followed by his four hundred men. AH! Strategy first, though.

He divided his children and women in order of importance--like, who he didn't minded killed--namely, he put his maidservants and their children in front, then Leah and her children, and lastly, Rachel and Joseph. You know, just in case his brother's wrath broke through the line.

Then he went ahead of them and greeted his brother with as many bows as he could muster, saying obsequious things like, 'my lord' and 'my master' and 'my, how god-like you look in the morning light!'

But of course Esau, having grown older and wiser and perhaps put away his childish want for vengance, rushed forward and hugged his conniving brother tearfully and they both wept (one with relief, I'm sure).

Then came the family introductions. Every time Jacob introduces somebody he throws in a 'my lord' or 'your servant: me' for good measure. Then Esau wants to know why Jacob sent all those people and animals on ahead of him. Jacob tells his brother they're a gift, and after some convincing, Esau accepts them as such. Everyone is trying to outdo everyone else in niceness. I hate family reunions.

Come on then, says Esau, let's go. I'll accompany you.

But Jacob refuses. His excuse is that if he pushes the newborn animals of his flock too hard, they'll die. Also, he wants to go at the pace of his children. This must've puzzled Esau as much as it did me. But in the end Jacob's brother leaves with his legions.

So Jacob didn't trust Esau after all. That's the conclusion I draw from this. And god told him it would be all right, and surely his brother's welcome was proof of this, but Jacob hedged his bets. I think Jacob is one of those people who's always trying to pull something, and so expects everyone else to be doing the same thing. He's a con artist.

Anyway, he didn't even follow Esau. He set up camp nearby and bought some land and stayed put. He even set up an altar.

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