58-59 : Jacob Sends Messengers To Esau

58-59 : Jacob Sends Messengers To Esau


Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him.
When he saw them, Jacob said "This is God's host."
Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau, his brother, in the country of Edom.
He commanded them, saying: "Thus you shall speak to my lord Esau: 'Your servant Jacob wishes to say to him that he has stayed with Laban until now.
 He has oxen, asses, flocks, menservants and woman-servants.
 He is sending to tell this to my lord, that he may find grace in his sight."'

Later, the messengers returned to Jacob, saying: "We went to your brother Esau, and he is coming to
meet you, and four hundred men are with him."
Jacob was greatly afraid and was distressed.
He divided into two camps the people that were with him, the flocks, the herds and the camels,
saying: "If Esau should come upon one camp and smite it, then the other camp shall be able to escape."

Then Jacob said: "Deliver me, I pray you, O God, from the hands of my brother, from the hands of Esau, for I fear him lest he will come and strike me, sparing neither mother nor children.
Yet you have said to me: 'I will surely do you good, and make your race as the sand of the sea,
 which cannot be numbered because of its multitude.' "

Jacob spent the night there; then he took from his possessions at hand a present for Esau,
 his brother: twenty goats and two hundred she-goats, twenty rams and two hundred ewes,
 thirty milking camels and their young,ten bulls and forty cows, twenty asses and ten colts.

He delivered them to his servants,keeping each drove separate from others.
Then he said to the first servant:"
When Esau, my brother, meets you and asks: 'To whom do you
belong? Where are you going?
And to whom belong these beasts before you?' you will answer: 'They belong to your servant Jacob.
 They are a present for my Lord Esau,and ,behold,your servant is behind us.' "

Jacob gave the same order to the second servant, then to the third one,
and to all those that were walking behind the droves, saying:"This is how you will speak to Esau when you meet him."

For Jacob thought:"I will appease him with the gift that goes ahead of me, and later I will look at his face. Perhaps he will accept me."

The men left with the present, and Jacob spent that night in the camp.
During the night Jacob rose up and took his two wives and his two women servants,
together with his eleven sons, and passed over the ford of Jabbok.
 He sent them over the brook, with everything he owned.

Then Jacob was left alone and he wrestled with a man until daybreak.
At daybreak the angel said:"Your name shall no longer be called Jacob but Israel,
 for you have contended with God and prevailed."


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