After Jacob’s encounter with God, he was ready to meet his brother. His experience of wrestling with the Man in the dark has served to prepare him. For Jacob, however, he is still going to, “Where the Wild Things Are.” He has no idea how his brother will receive him. Is Esau still wanting to kill him? This is such an interesting story about reconciliation. He had prepared himself for the worst. He sent a number of goats, camels, cows, and donkeys on ahead as gifts to appease Esau.
When Jacob finally saw Esau, he bowed to the ground seven times as he approached him as a sign of humility. Esau, however, ran to his brother, “embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.” Jacob’s fear was dispelled and they wept in each other’s arms.
It seems that time has helped to heal the rift between Jacob and Esau. Jacob and Esau’s characters also seem to have changed. Jacob displays genuine humility in his interaction with his brother. He also gives Esau a large assortment of animals as gifts. Sure, it could be argued that he was trying to buy Esau’s favor, but even after their first meeting, when Esau treats him kindly, Jacob insists on him having the gifts. Jacob says, “What a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!” This is a different Jacob. Before, Jacob took from people. Here, he is giving gifts.
Esau has obviously forgiven his brother for taking advantage of him when they were younger. He seems content with his lot in life and genuinely is pleased to see Jacob. The last time that the brothers are seen together is at their father, Isaac’s funeral.
Did Jacob and his father make peace before Isaac died? We don’t know. The passage indicates that Jacob was home for some time before Isaac passed. We do know, however, that the brothers made peace. They will both be able to move forward in their lives knowing that forgiveness had been given and received.
“And his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.”
Who do you relate more to in this story? Why?
Is there someone that you need to make peace with?
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