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Genesis Chapter 33
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Jacob Meets Esau
33:1 Jacob looked up and saw Esau approaching with 400 men. He divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two handmaids.
33:2 He placed the handmaids and their children in front, Leah and their sons behind them, and Rachel and Joseph to the rear.
33:3 [Jacob] then went ahead of them, and he prostrated himself seven times as he approached his brother.
33:4 Esau ran to meet them. He hugged [Jacob], and throwing himself on his shoulders, kissed him. They [both] wept.
33:5 Esau looked up and saw the women and children. 'Who are these to you?' he asked.

'They are the children whom God has been kind enough to grant me,' replied [Jacob].

33:6 The handmaids approached along with their children, and [the women] bowed down.
33:7 Leah and her children also approached and bowed down. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed down.
33:8 'What did you have to do with that whole camp that came to greet me?' asked [Esau].

'It was to gain favor in your eyes,' replied [Jacob].

33:9 'I have plenty, my brother,' said Esau. 'Let what is yours remain yours.'
33:10 'Please! No!' said Jacob. 'If I have gained favor with you, please accept this gift from me. After all, seeing your face is like seeing the face of the Divine, you have received me so favorably.
33:11 Please accept my welcoming gift as it has been brought to you. God has been kind to me, and I have all [I need].' [Jacob thus] urged him, and [Esau finally] took it.
33:12 'Let's get going and move on,' said [Esau]. 'I will travel alongside you.'
33:13 'My lord,' replied Jacob, 'you know that the children are weak, and I have responsibility for the nursing sheep and cattle. If they are driven hard for even one day, all the sheep will die.
33:14 Please go ahead of me, my lord. I will lead my group slowly, following the pace of the work that I have ahead of me, and the pace of the children. I will eventually come to [you], my lord, in Seir.'
33:15 'Let me put some of my people at your disposal,' said Esau.

'What for?' replied Jacob. 'Just let me remain on friendly terms with you.'

33:16 On that day, Esau returned along the way to Seir.
33:17 Jacob went to Sukkoth. There, he built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. He therefore named the place Sukkoth (Shelters).

Arrival in Shechem
33:18 When Jacob came from Padan Aram and entered the boundaries of Canaan, he arrived safely in the vicinity of Shechem. He set up camp in view of the city.
33:19 He bought the piece of open land upon which he set up his tent for 100 kesitahs from the sons of Chamor, chief of Shechem.
33:20 He erected an altar there, and named it God-is-Israel's-Lord (El Elohey Yisrael).



Commentary:

throwing himself on his shoulders
  A sign of emotion, see Genesis 45:14,15. Literally, 'falling on his neck,' but 'neck' here denotes the shoulders (Sh'muel ben Chofni Gaon on Genesis 45:14).

After all
  See note on Genesis 18:5.

face of the Divine
  See Genesis 32:31 (Bereshith Rabbah 77).

welcoming gift
  Literally, 'blessing.' But in Hebrew, 'welcome' is 'blessed is he who comes' (cf. Rashi).

work
  (Ibn Ezra). Others, 'caravan' or 'drove' (cf. Rashi; Radak), or 'possessions' (Saadia).

Sukkoth
  A locality on the East Bank of the Jordan, cf. Joshua 13:27, Judges 8:4,5. It is associated with Shechem; Psalms 60:8, 108:8. It is thought to be Tel Deir Alla on the Jabbok River, 2.5 miles east of the Jordan.

safely
  (Targum; Rashi; Josephus 1:21:1). Shalem in Hebrew. Others maintain that Shalem (Salem) is the name of a city near Shechem (Sefer HaYashar p. 87; Rashbam; Bachya; Chizzkuni; Abarbanel). Indeed, there is a city known as Salaam some 5 miles east of Shechem (cf. Yov'loth 30:1). See I Samuel 9:4. Although Jerusalem was also known as Shalem or Salem (Genesis 14:18), this is a different city (Chizzkuni).

Shechem
  This was also Abraham's first stop in the Holy Land (Genesis 12:6).

kesitahs
  In the Talmud, Rabbi Akiba notes that in Africa (or Phrygia, see Genesis 10:2) a kesitah is equivalent to a ma'ah (Rosh HaShanah 26a). A ma'ah is usually seen as one twenty-fourth of a shekel (Tosefta, Bava Bathra 5:4), and hence the 100 kesitahs would be around 4.17 shekels. Other sources state that a ma'ah is one twentieth of a shekel (Targum on Exodus 30:13), and hence the 100 kesitahs would be 5 shekels (Sefer HaYashar). According to others, the kesitah is equivalent to a sela or two shekels, and hence the price was 200 shekels (Bereshith Rabbah 79; Ralbag; MeAm Lo'ez/The Torah Anthology 3:155). See Job 42:11.

This was later Joseph's burial place; Joshua 24:32.

chief of Shechem
  (Ibn Caspi). Or, 'father of Shechem.' See Genesis 34:19.





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