The Bible in Its Traditions

Genesis 33:1–20

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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,

12  And he said: 'Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.'

12  he said, “Let us go on together, and I will accompany you on your journey.”

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13  And he said unto him: 'My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds giving suck are a care to me; and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die.

13  And Jacob said: “My lord, you know that I have with me tender little ones, and sheep, and cows with young. If I cause these to labor too much in walking, all the flocks will die in one day.

13  But Jacob said. My lord knows that the children are too young, and that the flocks and herds with young are with me; and if I should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.

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14  Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant; and I will journey on gently, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.'

14  May it please my lord to go before his servant. And I will follow gradually in his steps, as much as I see my little ones to be able, until I arrive to my lord in Seir.”

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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 favour in the sight of my lord.'

15  And Esau said, I will leave with thee some of the people who are with me. And he said, Why so? it is enough that I have found favour before thee, my lord.

15  Esau responded, “I beg you, that at least some of the people who are with me may remain to accompany you on the way.” But he said, “There is no need. I have need of one thing only: to find favor in your sight, my lord.”

16  So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.

16  And Esau returned on that day on his journey to Seir.

16  And so Esau returned that day, by the way that he had arrived, to Seir.

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

17  And Jacob departs to his tents; and he made for himself there habitations, and for his cattle he made booths; therefore he called the name of that place, Booths.

17  And Jacob went to Succoth, where, having built a house and pitched tents, he called the name of that place Succoth, that is, ‘Tents.’

18  And Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram; and encamped before the city.

18  And Jacob came to Salem, a city of Secima, which is in the land of Chanaan, when he departed out of Mesopotamia of Syria, and took up a position in front of the city.

18  And he crossed over to Salem, a city of the Shechemites, which is in the land of Canaan, after he returned from Mesopotamia of Syria. And he lived near the town.

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

19  And he bought the portion of the field, where he pitched his tent, of Emmor the father of Sychem, for a hundred lambs.

19  And he bought a parcel of a field from the children of Hamor, father of Shechem, for a hundred ewes.

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20  And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel.

20  And erecting an altar there, he invoked upon it the most strong God of Israel.

20  And he pitched his tent there, and erected an altar, and called it El-Alaha di Israel (God, the God of Israel).