Genesis 33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
(The time has come for the meeting face to face between Jacob and Esau. It has been over twenty one years since Jacob ran out fearing for his life, and now Esau is coming to meet Jacob with an army of four hundred men. In case of trouble, Jacob took the children and placed each child directly under each of their mothers care, and as you noticed, they are lined up in order of importance to Jacob, with Rachel his first love to the rear.)
2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
(One thing has become quite clear, and that is that the past is over. This is the first time that the love of these two brothers comes forth. It is quite odd that the generations of these two men in these last days, and the nations that represent them, after forty years of armed hatred and confrontation now embrace each other as friends. The walls have come down, and the dollars and goods are flowing between the Christian nations and Russia. In fact many projects are now jointly planed in space, in the seas, and between the peoples of of the nations.)
5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, "Who are those with thee?" And he said, "The children which God hath graciously given thy servant."
6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
8 And he said, "What meanest thou by all this drove which I met?" And he said, "These are to find grace in the sight of my lord."
(What is wrong with what Jacob is doing before Esau, and the fear that Jacob is hold for his brother? It was stated by God even while the two brothers were fighting in Rebekah's womb that the younger shall serve the younger. When the blessing was given by Isaac to Jacob, this was also stated, and told by Isaac to Esau who had the blessing in Genesis 27:37, and what it included.
Now do you understand with this in mind why Esau was so surprised at all the pomp and ceremony that Jacob has gone through in his fear of his brother Esau. Here we have the younger calling Esau lord, and referring to himself as a servant. You know that this displeased God, and yet many teachers just skip over this verse. We see even today how many of God's appointed servants displease God, and run out to do exactly opposite to what God's Word has instructed us to do. They would rather find favor with the world and it's ways, the please our Heavenly Father.)
9 And Esau said, "I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself."
10 And Jacob said, "Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
(You can see the love of Jacob toward his brother coming out. Jacob is telling Esau that by his receiving these gifts, it means so very much to him. Is this really love, or is it relief that the fear is over? Remember that twenty one years earlier Jacob's departure was in fear of his life.)
11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough." And he urged him, and he took it.
(Jacob had the wealth to give his brother, and Esau saw that God had blessed Jacob well, so Esau took the gift from Jacob. Esau knew that whatever blessings that he would receive would come through Jacob, and this was Esau's first opportunity to be blessed through his brother's blessing.)
12 And he said, "Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee."
13 And he said unto him, "My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
(Jacob knew that the four hundred men of Esau's would be in a hurry and drive the animals to hard.)
14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir."
15 And Esau said, "Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me." And he said, "What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord."
16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth (= booths, a hut or lair), and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
(the first we read of a house in connection with the Patriarchs.)
18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem (= back or shoulder), which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.
(He is now closer to home, and Jacob has decided to pitch his tents just outside the city, and rest awhile. In the Hebrew, Shalem [Salem] means peace.)
19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor (probably a title like Abimelech and Pharaoh), Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.
20 And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.
(= "GOD - the God-of-Israel", but not the place for this altar. Cp. 35:1.
When we observe the emotions and actions of Jacob and Esau as they respond to what is going on around them, we see that their feelings and responses are similar to ours today. There problems are similar to many we face today. Family problems, trouble with the neighbors, and small conflicts within our families still continues while we are in the flesh. Yet God chose this man Jacob, and his wives and sons as champions and Patriarchs of Israel.
Their thoughts and fears were about the same as ours, and the methods of dealing with others and between themselves were about the same as most people today. The heavenly Father will chose His own even today, and to those He chooses, He will try and test to see our commitment to Him. And as these test come upon each of us, it is important to know what God expects of us, for He will not test us beyond what He has given us the strength to meet the test. This is all part of the preparation we need to stand in difficult times that will come our way in this generation.)