8 Feb. Genesis 33:12-20

8 Feb. Jacob settles at Shechem

“Then Esau said, ‘Let us be going [to Edom]. I will travel with you.’ But Jacob said to him, ‘My master, you know that the children are weak. And I must be careful with my flocks and their young ones. If I force them to go too far in one day, all the animals will die.’”

“So, my master, you go on ahead of me, your servant. I will follow you slowly and let the animals and the children set the speed at which we travel. I will meet you, my master, in Edom.”

“So Esau said, ‘Then let me leave some of my people with you’. ‘No thank you,’ said Jacob. ‘I only want to please you, my master.’ So that day Esau started back to Edom.”

“But Jacob went to Succoth, where he built a house for himself and shelters for his animals. That is why the place was named Succoth [meaning ‘shelters’].”

“Jacob left North West Mesopotamia and arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan. There he camped east of the city.”

“He bought a part of the field where he had camped from the sons of Hamor, father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of silver. He built an altar there and named it after God, the God of Israel.”

          (Genesis 33:12-20)



Although the meeting with Esau had gone well, and Esau had forgiven Jacob for his actions when he was younger, Jacob did not want to be subject to his elder brother. So he devised a plan to enable him to avoid going home with his brother to Edom.

Instead, Jacob concocted an excuse to send Esau on ahead, and promised to meet up with him later in Edom (which was, of course, a blatant lie, and yet another of Jacob’s tricks).

While Esau set off back home to Edom, Jacob followed the track downstream alongside the River Jabbok and erected shelters for his cattle at Succoth (meaning ‘shelters’) on the floor of the Jordan Valley.

Jacob then moved on and arrived at Shechem, where he bought some land for a tomb from the sons of Hamor and set up an altar called El Elohe Yisrael (meaning ‘God, the God of Israel’ or ‘God, the God of Jacob’).

Jacob’s son Joseph was later buried in this tomb when his body was brought back from Egypt in c.1405BC (see Joshua 24:32). Joseph’s tomb can still be seen today in Shechem (modern-day Nablus).

The photo (by עדירל) shows Joseph's Tomb at Shechem (Nablus).

You can read more @  The Bible Journey | Jacob returns to Canaan and meets Esau

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