Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 33

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Chosen People (c 23-50)
Theme: The Story of Jacob (c 29-36)
Message: Jacob and Esau Make Peace (v 1-20)

Genesis 33 Commentary

(33:1-3) Jacob shows Esau Respect - Bowing low seven times was the sign of respect given to a king. Jacob was taking every precaution as he met Esau, hoping to dispel any thoughts of revenge.

(33:4) Esau hugs his brother -  Esau greeted his brother, Jacob, with a great hug. Imagine how hard this must have been for a man who once had actually plotted his brother's death. (27:41). But time away from each other allowed the bitter wounds to heal. With the passing of time, each brother was able to see that their relationship was more important than their real estate.

(33:11) Jacob Sends a Peace Offering -  Why did Jacob send gifts ahead for Esau? In Bible times, gifts were given for several reasons. (1) This may have been a bribe. Gifts are still given to win someone over or buy his or her support. Esau may first have refused Jacob's gifts (33:9) because he didn't want or need a bribe. He had already forgiven Jacob, and he had ample wealth of his own. (2) This may have been an expression of affection. (3) It may have been the customary way of greeting someone before an important meeting. Such gifts were often related to a person's occupation. This explains why Jacob sent Esau, who was a herdsman, sheep, goats, and cattle.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Avoid Bitterness

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 33, and in today's text, we see Esau's change of heart when Jacob meets him. Esau could have easily been bitter, full of rage, and ready to take vengeance on Jacob, but instead, Esau has learned not to be bitter and is content with his life. In making applications, we can learn from Esau. In the world, we all will face bad situations at the hands of others. People will mistreat you, and then you will have to decide to forgive. If not, we will hold the person that did us wrong as a prisoner in our mind and become bitter. We can become bitter, or we can forgive and become better from the circumstance. I have often heard that bitterness is drinking poison, thinking it will kill someone else. Bitterness hurts you and you alone. Medical evidence proves that bitterness has many adverse physical effects on our health. How about you? Have you been mistreated? If so, are you bitter? Let us learn from Esau and today's text to forgive those who do us wrong; if we do, we will reap the benefits of our decision. More importantly, we will miss the poison of bitterness. 


Genesis 33

Genesis 33

 1And 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.

 2And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.

 3And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

 4And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.

 5And 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.

 6Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.

 7And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.

 8And 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.

 9And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.

 10And 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.

 11Take, 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.

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

 13And 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.

 14Let 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.

 15And 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.

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

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

 18And 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.

 19And 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.

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