The Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary on Genesis

Genesis Chapter 33

written by
Kraig J. Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)
Genesis chapter thirty three
 Chapter 33 Jacob and Esau- reunion & forgiveness
 Gen. 33:1 - 2 Jacob was fearful of Esau (fear)
 Jacob divided his family (self-sufficiency)
 Gen. 33:3 - 16 Jacob worried about nothing (worry)
 Esau was appeased (appeasement)
 Jacob gave gifts (appreciation)
 Jacob reconciled with Esau (reconciliation)
 Gen. 33:17 - 20 Jacob came to Shalem (victimization)
 Some beautiful scriptures to bless you
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I mostly quote scriptures from the Old King James Translation of the Bible (the authorized 1611 version)
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The words of God are in red that symbolize His shed blood.
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A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.






Genesis Chapter 33
Jacob and Esau had a family reunion

A brief introduction:
There are a lot of emotions to be studied in this chapter. I only briefly mention them, however, a good sermon or bible study lesson can be developed to minister to folks in this life as they struggle with similar emotions. There are other concepts to be studied in this chapter as well.

Jacob and Esau had a family reunion (forgiveness):
Forgiveness is always better than revenge
(Matthew 18:21-22). You and I should continually practice the skill of forgiveness.

Jacob was fearful of Esau (fear):
"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. And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost"
(Genesis 33:1-2).

Sometimes a believer in God can be fearful. Fear is one of Satan's major weapons against true Christians. This is what the Apostle John had to say about fear:
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love"
(1 John 4:18).
Let us try to live a life full of love and not let fear rule our life.


Jacob divided his family (self-sufficiency):
How did Jacob react to his alleged brother's threat? What did he do? Jacob divided his family into groups. He used manipulation and leaned on the sharpened "reed" of self-sufficiency. Leaning on a sharpened reed, in the bible, is a type of one's self-sufficiency- a leaning on "the arm of the flesh" for deliverance. This reed is likened to a stick or pole with a sharpened point. It is not good for one to place their hand over the sharpened end of this stick and then lean on it. If one does that, the pointed end may pierce through the hand and cause a lot of pain and anguish. That is how worthless and powerless the flesh is to deliver a person. Later, the Assyrians falsely accused the Hebrews of leaning on that sharpened reed but, instead, the Hebrews trusted God to deliver them and God did it:

"Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him"
(2 Kings 18:21).
Jacob was self-sufficient but needed to grow in the Lord to become a mature believer. Let us trust in God to deliver us from any major problem that may come our way. Let us not lean on the reed of self-sufficiency or the arm of the flesh.

Jacob favored one part of his family over the other. He was acting out his childhood patterning (he had learned from his parents to favor one child over another). Can you imagine how Jacob's teen-age sons felt about being put out in front of him, Rachel and Joseph so they could be slaughtered first? Do you think that they were resentful and had rage at Jacob? Do you think they lost respect for their father? Do you think their seething resentment against Jacob was later going to turn into violence at Shechem partly because of their misdirected anger against Jacob?


"And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. 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. Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves. 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. And Esau said: I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself. 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. 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. And he said: let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. 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. 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. 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. So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir
(Genesis 33:3-16).

Jacob worried about nothing (worry):
Jacob thought that Esau had the power to slaughter him and to take all of his belongings. Jacob thought negative and did not trust Esau. Have you ever worried about something that might happen? You might have worried so much that it made you sick. And then, what you worried about, did not happen at all. So you worried about nothing for no reason- about circumstances that did not exist. Does that sound logical? All of your worrying was in vain and worthless. Then sometime later, when you looked back on it, you felt foolish for worrying about nothing. If you have done that, don't feel bad. Most of us have done it and it just means that you are human.


Esau was appeased (appeasement):
Jacob gave gifts to Esau to appease the anger of Esau. Jacob probably hoped that these gifts would, in a small part, make up for the family fortune that he cheated Esau out of in the matter of the firstborn son. But, time heals all wounds and much of the previous anger- anger enough to murder- was now gone. Jacob made the statement: "I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God". Was that just a polite greeting or did Jacob know something about Esau's spiritual condition? There are two possible ways that we can spiritually view Esau from these scriptures. Let us view the positive side first and then we will look at the negative side. Esau's face glowed- as the face of an angel who has been in the presence of God. In other words, Esau's face reflected the presence of God in his life. Esau was foolish acting in his younger years but then he found God. He had a genuine conversion experience. Esau's actions matched his new found faith in God- he was forgiving and understanding. Sometimes, one can see the holy glow of Jesus on a believer's face or the love of Jesus showing through a believer's eyes. It is always very comforting and very encouraging for me to be around a person like that. Now, let us look at the negative side. Esau had turned over a new leaf but was not converted to God. Some folks get more mellow with the passing of time but that does not mean there is a spiritual change in their heart. Esau's legacy was that his descendants followed the devil and worshipped idols.

What is spiritual appeasement? God is angry at each of us, before salvation, for the sins accredited to our account
(Psalm 7:11). We need to be punished for our sins in a lake of fire, however, Christ took our punishment for us by His sacrifice. He died in my place and your place on that old rugged cross. By doing so, Christ appeased God, so now God is no longer angry at us and the redeemed are saved from the lake of fire. In other words, Christ took God's anger and punishment upon Himself in our stead. Why did He do that? Because He loves you and I. How special are you to Him? If you were the only redeemed person alive on the earth, He would have died for you to appease the anger of a holy and righteous God against you.

Jacob's fear of Esau departed. Jacob originally wanted to follow Esau to Mount Seir but then changed his mind. He knew that it was an impractical idea to subject his godly wives and children to his unsaved brother's ungodly influence. He did not want Esau's men around him to escort him to a location where he did not really want to go to.

Where was Mount Seir? It was a little south-east of Israel. There were a bunch of hills or mountains there and one was named Mount Seir. This area was originally settled by the Horites
(Genesis 14:6), but they eventually intermarried with or were displaced by the descendants of Esau who called themselves Edomites
(Genesis 32:3; 33:14-16).


Jacob gave gifts (appreciation):
We did not observe in this passage of scripture that Esau gave any gifts to Jacob. That was because Esau was selfish and a taker. Jacob stated that his gift was a blessing to Esau. Who benefits the most from a gift- the giver or the receiver? Some folks say the receiver of the gift but that is not entirely accurate. Actually, the giver of the gift is the one most benefited. This has to do with the fact that God is a giver while Satan is a taker. God is a giver- He gave the greatest gift of all to mankind- His own Son, Jesus Christ. The giver of any gifts is always rewarded. In other words, the greatest blessing is always on the giver
(Mark 12:41-44).


Jacob reconciled with Esau (reconciliation):
Jacob and Laban made peace with one another earlier, and at this time, Jacob and Esau made peace with one another. In order to do that, they had to forgive one another and be reconciled. It is always good for folks to make up with one another and show love, forgiveness, and reconciliation to one another. One time a pastor of a church made a portable cross and set it up in front of his congregation. He passed out a small slip of paper to each one in the congregation and had each parishoner write the initials of the name of the person who had hurt them the most in their life. He placed a tape dispenser at the foot of the cross. The pastor invited his congregation to come forward and tape their slip of paper onto the cross. By doing so, they would forgive that person for hurting them. One by one, each parishoner who wanted to, came forward to the cross with a heart of forgiveness and a slip of paper.

Spiritual reconciliation is very important. What is that? That is when a sinner repents and is brought into fellowship with Christ. You and I were once unconverted sinners but then Christ saved us and reconciled us to Himself. There is much written about reconciliation in the New Testament:
Matthew 5:24; Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20-21;
Hebrews 2:17.


Jacob came to Shalem City (victimization):
"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. 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. 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. And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel"
(Genesis 33:17-20).

Jacob settled in the farming community of Succoth in the Land of Canaan. Moses stated that he "pitched his tent before the city" of Shalem. Who else does that remind you of? Who else pitched his tent before an evil city? Yep. Lot, Abraham's nephew, did the same thing years earlier before the city of Sodom
(Genesis 13:12). Some evil and violent men in Sodom sought to rape the Seraphs that God had sent there to determine it's wickedness. Some evil and violent men in Shalem City kidnapped and raped Jacob's daughter. The evil men in Sodom received the death penalty. The evil men in Shalem City also received the death penalty. If you and I have to move, let us move to a town where there are more churches than drinking establishments (bars). Hopefully, there will be more righteous folks there than unrighteous folks.

The word Succoth means "tents" or "tabernacles". Jacob purchased land near Shalem City. The word Shalem means "complete or perfect peace". Shechem's father was Hamor. The word Hamor means "an ass". Putting these names together, one could say: Jacob came looking for perfect peace but found an ass instead.

Jacob erected there an altar to God. That is where Jacob and his family had church and where they worshipped God. The Hebrew word El-elohe-Israel can mean "The Mighty God of Israel". How can that be relevant? Jacob served and worshipped God and so should we. God is worthy of our worship, praise, love, obedience, service, and so much more. In return, He blesses us also. I want to share with you now some scriptures of blessing...


Some beautiful scriptures to bless you:

"But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about His law. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper"
(Psalm 1:2-3) (New Living Translation- NLT).

"Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you"
(Psalm 37:5) (NLT).

"How happy are those who fear the Lord- all who follow His ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How happy you will be! How rich your life! Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, flourishing within your home. And look at all those children! There they sit around your table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees. That is the Lord's reward for those who fear Him"
(Psalm 128:1-4) (NLT).

"People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall. People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace"
(Proverbs 10:9-10) (NLT).

"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps"
(Proverbs 16:9) (NLT).

"The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives"
(Psalm 37:23) (NLT).

"Our help is from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth"
(Psalm 124:8) (NLT).

"Just as the mountains surround and protect Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds and protects His people, both now and forever"
(Psalm 125:2) (NLT).

"Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble"
(Proverbs 3:23) (KJV).

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord , "He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the Lord , who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent"
(Psalm 91:1, 2, 4, 10) (NLT).

"I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let you stumble and fall; the One who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, He who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps. The Lord Himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever"
(Psalm 121:1-8) (NLT).

"The Lord is my light and my salvation- so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger- so why should I tremble?"
(Psalm 27:1) (NLT).

"The Name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to Him and are safe"
(Proverbs 18:10) (NLT).

"Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him! Let the Lord's people show Him reverence, for those who honor Him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing"
(Psalms 34:8-10) (NLT).

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you"
(Matthew 6:33) (KJV).

"My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus"
(Philippians 4:19) (KJV).

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever"
(Psalm 23:6) (KJV).

"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
(Romans 8:32) (KJV).

"Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: Thy blessing is upon Thy people"
(Psalm 3:8) (KJV).

"A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord"
(Proverbs 12:2) (KJV).

"There truly is a reward for those who live for God"
(Psalm 58:11) (NLT).

"If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the Lord , who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways"
(Psalm 91:9-11) (NLT).

"No real harm befalls the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. The Lord hates those who don't keep their word, but He delights in those who do"
(Proverbs 12:21-22) (NLT).

"Praise the Lord, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things"
(Psalm 103:1-5) (NLT).

"He is the one who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He is the one who keeps every promise forever, who gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners"
(Psalm 146:6-7) (NLT).

Smile - God loves you!

 I ask the Lord to bless you,
 As I pray for you today;
 To guide you and protect you,
 As you go along your way

 God's love is always with you,
 God 's promises are true.
 And when you give God all your cares,
 You know God will see you through!

"Don't be afraid!" Elisha told him. "For there are more on our side than on theirs!" Then Elisha prayed, "O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!" The Lord opened his servant's eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire"
(2 Kings 6:16-17) (NLT).

"Those who are evil spy on the godly, waiting for an excuse to kill them. But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are brought before the judge. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in Him"
(Psalm 37:32, 33, 40) (NLT).

"You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of His godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked"
(Psalm 97:10) (NLT).

"...no weapon turned against you will succeed. And everyone who tells lies in court will be brought to justice. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from Me. I, the Lord, have spoken!"
(Isaiah 54:17) (NLT).

"God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins"
(1 John 4:9-10) (NLT).

"Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love has been brought to full expression through us"
(1 John 4:11-12) (NLT).

"God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are My followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in Heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too"
(Matthew 5:11-12) (NLT).

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord"
(Romans 6:23) (NLT).

"Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily"
(Luke 18:7-8) (KJV).

"For the Lord hears the cries of His needy ones (the poor); He does not despise His people who are oppressed"
(Psalm 69:33) (NLT).

"A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you"
(Psalm 91:7) (NLT).

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us"
(Psalm 103:12) (KJV).

"Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters"
(Galatians 6:7-10) (NLT).

"Keep the commandments and keep your life; despising them leads to death. If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD- and he will repay you! Discipline your children while there is hope. If you don't, you will ruin their lives. Short-tempered people must pay their own penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again. Get all the advice and instruction you can, and be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail. Loyalty makes a person attractive. And it is better to be poor than dishonest"
(Proverbs 19:16-22) (NLT).

"The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one"
(Psalm 34:19) (NLT).

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life"
(John 3:16) (NLT).

"I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day"
(2 Timothy 1:12) (KJV).

"Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Leaders and elders of our nation, are we being questioned because we've done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed in the name and power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, the Man you crucified, but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the One referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, "The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone." There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them"
(Acts 4:8-12) (NLT).

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice- the kind he will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is"
(Romans 12:1-2) (NLT).

"Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God. So don't condemn each other anymore. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian's path"
(Romans 14:12-13) (NLT).



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