The Bible in Its Traditions

Genesis 33:1–11

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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.

Then Jacob, lifting up his eyes, saw Esau arriving, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the sons of Leah and Rachel, and of both the handmaids.

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And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.

And he placed the two handmaids and their children at the beginning. Truly, Leah and her sons were in the second place. Then Rachel and Joseph were last.

Then he brought the maids and their children to the front, and Leah and her children next, and kept Rachel and Joseph in the rear.

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And he himself passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

But he advanced himself before them, and did reverence to the ground seven times, until he drew near to his brother.

And advancing, he reverenced prostrate on the ground seven times, until his brother approached.

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And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they wept.

And so Esau ran to meet his brother, and he embraced him. And drawing him by his neck and kissing him, he wept.

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And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said: 'Who are these with thee?' And he said: 'The children whom God hath graciously given thy servant.'

And lifting up his eyes, he saw the women and their little ones, and he said: “What do these want for themselves?” and “Are they related to you?” He responded, “These are the little ones that God has given as a gift to me, your servant.”

Then Esau raised his eyes and saw the women and the children, and said, Where did you get these? And Jacob said to him, They are the children whom God has graciously given your servant.

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Then the handmaids came near, they and their children, and they bowed down.

And the maid-servants and their children drew near and did reverence.

Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.

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And Leah also and her children came near, and bowed down; and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed down.

And Lea and her children drew near and did reverence; and after this drew near Rachel and Joseph, and did reverence.

Likewise Leah, with her sons, came near. And when they had reverenced similarly, last of all, Joseph and Rachel reverenced.

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And he said: 'What meanest thou by all this camp which I met?' And he said: 'To find favour in the sight of my lord.'

And Esau said, “What are these companies that I have been meeting?” He responded, “So may I find favor before my lord.”

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And Esau said: 'I have enough; my brother, let that which thou hast be thine.'

But he said, “I have plenty, my brother; let these be for yourself.”

Then Esau said to him, I have plenty, my brother; keep what you have to yourself.

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10  And Jacob said: 'Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found favour in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand; forasmuch as I have seen thy face, as one seeth the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.

10  And Jacob said: “I beg you, let it not be so. But if I have found favor in your eyes, receive a small present from my hands. For I have looked upon your face as I would look upon the countenance of God. Be gracious to me,

10  But Jacob said to him, If now I have found mercy in your sight, then receive my present from my hands; because now I have seen your face, as I saw the face of an angel, and you were pleased with me.

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11  Take, I pray thee, my gift 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.

11  and take the blessing which I have brought to you, and which God, who bestows all things, has given as a gift to me.” Accepting it reluctantly, at the insistence of his brother,