Esau and Jacob Reconciled

Key Verse: “Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.”
—Genesis 33:4

Selected Scripture:
Genesis 33

IT HAD BEEN MANY YEARS since Esau and Jacob parted from one another. Jacob desired now to be reunited with his brother, whom he still loved; however, he was afraid that Esau would desire to do him harm. He first sent messengers to the land of Seir, where Esau dwelt, to tell him of his desire to meet him. When the servants returned, they reported that they had indeed found Esau and he was coming to meet Jacob “and four hundred men with him.” (Gen. 32:6) This news distressed Jacob even more, so he separated the family and all the animals into groups, hoping that at least Esau and his men wouldn’t be able to hurt all of them. He then prayed to God, asking for deliverance from the hand of his brother, even reminding God of the promise he had given to “make thy seed as the sand of the sea.” (vs. 12) After praying, Jacob prepared the present he wished to give Esau from his flocks, instructing his servants to go ahead of him and give the present to Esau upon meeting him, hoping it would appease him prior to actually meeting Jacob. The next morning, upon waking, who did Jacob see but Esau himself, along with his four hundred men. Still afraid, Jacob bowed down to the ground seven times before coming to his brother. (chap. 33:3) The Key Verse gives us the beautiful account of Esau and Jacob’s meeting. In reality, Esau had no ill desire toward Jacob at all, and they both wept for the joy of being reunited as a family.

This meeting of Jacob and Esau reminds us of the future meeting among all the families of the earth when they are raised from the sleep of death in Christ’s kingdom. The righteous arrangements of that kingdom will be such that those who may have been rivals, or even enemies, in this life, will rejoice together at the love of God in bringing them all back to life on a restored perfect earth. Satan will be bound during that time, unable to influence man to think or do evil to his fellow man. Under such conditions, man will quickly learn to love his neighbor, his family members, even those who were his enemies in this life, because all will be blessed in that kingdom, and all will be raised from the dead and given an opportunity for life. The trials and difficulties caused by others in this life will be soon forgotten. Man will at that time truly learn the commandment given by Jesus, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”—Matt. 22:39

So tender and loving was the meeting between Jacob and Esau that they both insisted on giving presents and assistance to each other as they traveled. (Gen. 33:10,11,15) Jacob gave Esau many animals from his flocks, for he had much more than did Esau. Esau, in turn, offered Jacob assistance from among the four hundred men he had brought, for Jacob was in need of additional help to take care of the many young sheep and cattle that were with him. How beautifully this reciprocal offer of help illustrates the full development of love which all of God’s people, both now during this Gospel Age, and in the future messianic kingdom, must have dwelling within their heart and mind. “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.”—I John 3:18,19, New International Version

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