King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Genesis 33

The friendly meeting of Jacob and Esau. (1-16) Jacob comes to Succoth and Shalem, He builds an altar. (17-20)

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The friendly meeting of Jacob and Esau

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jacob comes to Succoth and Shalem, He builds an altar

17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.

19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money.

20 And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 3. Forward, before his family; like a good father, exposing himself to the greatest danger. M. — Seven times, to testify his great humility and respect for his brother. How, then, can any one find fault with Catholics, if they bow down before the cross thrice on Good Friday, to testify their great veneration for their expiring Lord?

Ver. 8. Favour. Esau had already heard from the servants. But he asks again, meaning to excuse himself from receiving them. H. — This civil and unexpected behaviour, filled the breast of Jacob with such gratitude and love, that he made use of an hyperbole, I have seen, &c. …of God. Chal. “of a prince,” Syr. “of an angel,” Elohim. See 2 K. xix. 27. Est. xv. 16. C. — A little present. Heb. monee, or mincha, calculated to shew the subjection of the giver. M.

Ver. 13. Young, boves fœtus, giving milk, having calved lately, Sept. Bochart. C.

Ver. 14. In Seir; not immediately, but as soon as it might be convenient. This time perhaps never arrived. S. Aug. q. 106.

Ver. 18. The town of Salem, which was the first town of Chanaan that he came near after his return. It was afterwards called Sichem, and Sichar. J. iv. 5. and Naplosa. Salim, mentioned John iii. 23, was probably more to the east. Some translate, “He came quite sound to the city of Sichem;” where, Demetrius says, he dwelt ten years, Eus. præp. ix. 21, having stopped at Socoth six months. C. — This seems very probable, as Dina met with her misfortune a little before he left the country; and as she was six years old when she came from Haran, she would be about 15 when she began to go a visiting, &c. C. xxxiv. 1. H.

Ver. 19. Lambs. Heb. Kossite, or Kesita, a word which occurs also, Jos. xxvi. 32, and Job xlii. 11; and may signify lambs, or a species of money, marked perhaps with their figure. It may also denote pearls, coral, a vessel, or purse of good money. S. Stephen, Acts vii. 19. mentions the price of money. But he probably speaks of the bargain made by Abraham with Ephron, son of Heth, for which some have substituted Hemor, the son of Sichem. Kista in the Chal. means a vessel or measure; and we learn from Herodotus iii. 130, that the Persians were accustomed to keep their money in this manner. In the Chal. Syr. and Arabic languages, there are words derived from the same root as Kesita, which mean purity, perfection; and thus what Jacob gave was good current money; (C.) or such things as we received among merchants.

Ver. 20. The most, &c. El Elohe Yisrael. By this name he dignified the altar, consecrating his field and all his possessions to God, and acknowledging that all was his gift. H.