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Jacob returns home. Did Esau forgive Jacob?

On Jacob’s returning journey, he sang and saw a camp of God being gathered in a particular circle and the angel of God coming out to meet him. How the angels of God should come out to meet him is a great grace. Because he was God’s chosen because he had earned his birthright, when he saw this, he said that this was the very camp of the eternal God. That is why that place is called Mahanaim. Jacob, the brother of Esau (the one who sold his birthright and disappointed God), sent before his brother some soil¹ into the land of Edom right in the land of Seir.

Jacob planned to returns home to his mother and live with his uncle Laban. Esau fully forgives his brother, Jacob, who stole his birthright because he loved and missed him dearly.

When the suns he sent there returned, they told him he was coming to confront him with 400 chosen men. So Esau had bought nothing and was very frightened. Thus dividing his men, his ox,² his sheep, and camels into two camps in case Esau was going to destroy one base.

Jacob fell on his face praying to God and said God of Abraham Isaac and my God, Jacob’s, You told me to return to my land of birth when you do nicely. Thank you for all you have given me, but please deliver me from the hand of Esau. I am terrified of him and believe he will kill me. Jacob received victory and said that he had seen God face to face and that God had saved his soul.

Why did Jacob returns home?

Jacob was the son of Rebekah, the wife, and her husband Isaac was the second born of the children of Isaac. Later the Lord gave him the name Israel. And because his brother despised his birthright and sold him, God later blessed Jacob. He gave him riches and children and made a great nation out of him. He had 12 sons by four different women. His first wife was Leah and later Rachel. It also had two concubines: Zilpah and Bilhah. He was in love with Rachel and his sons Benjamin and Joseph, to whom he was very attached. Because of this, tension arose in the family when Joseph’s older brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt.

Jacob returns home because God commanded him to do so, telling him to go and live in the land of his birth.

Genesis tells us that his name was changed to Israel, and that was because he fought with God when he deceived his brother. He is the father of the 12 tribes of the Israelites. Even though he deceived God and Esau and Isaac, God blessed Jacob and multiplied the seed, thus becoming the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was his mother’s favorite son.

Read more: Who is Abel in the Bible? Was he the first martyr?

Read also: Story of Cain and Abel summary. Everything about the first crime in history

What happened when Jacob returns home?

God said to Jacob, I am God, who appeared to you in Bethel, where you poured oil on my pillar and made my promise. Arise no,w therefore, get thee out of this land, and go to thy native land, and I will be with thee. And Jacob went on his way, with his family and his flocks, and sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau that he might be received as a brother. When he returned, the soldiers said, ” We went to your brother Esav, and behold, he comes to meet you with 400 men. Jacob was afraid and said: O Lord, deliver me out of my brother’s hand. Then he took what he brought and his cattle and sent a gift to his brother Esau to tame him.

When Jacob returns home, he had to confront Esau, his brother, and pray that he would not kill him. But also, he had to fight with God.

And coming near the water of Jabbok, he crossed all his belongings to the other side before dawn. He was left alone. And, lo, one fought with the dancer until the break of day. But when he saw that he could not bring him back, he touched his thigh and bruised Jacob’s thigh as he wrestled with him. And he said to him, Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.

Jacob answered Him: I will not leave you until You bless me. And He said to him: From henceforth thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel: for thou hast wrestled with God and men, and hast been strong. And he blessed Jacob. Jacob limped on one leg from that day, for his hip joint was numb.

How old was Jacob when he returns home?

Jacob went to Shechem, where he sat down. And remembering the favor of God, he went to Bethel, where the Lord had appeared to him, and there he built an altar and offered an offering. A little farther from there, near Bethlehem, Rachel died, having borne him another son. This was Jacob’s twelfth son, and he named him Benjamin. According to Bible, Jacob buried Rachel by the road³ that leads to the city of Phephrath, or Bethlehem, and built a stone pillar over her grave.

Jacob was 147 years old when God commanded him to returns home.

Jacob lifted his eyes on his way and saw Esau, his brother, coming with his 400 men. And, approaching his brother, he bowed to him seven times to the ground. And Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, and kissed him, and they both wept. Esau said, What flocks were these that I met? Jacob answered, Many of the gifts of God’s mercy have I sent to you, that I may find favor with you. Issac said, I have many, brother; keep yours for yourself. But Jacob stayed until he made him receive. And Esav returned the same day on his way to Seir.

Key Verse related to Jacob from the Bible

Hear the word of the LORD, house of Jacob, all you clans of the house of Israel. 

Jeremiah 2:4 (NIV)

jacob returns homeRead also: Esau, son of Isaac. What happened to Esau?

Why did Jacob fear Esau?

God spoke to Jacob like this: Arise, go to Bethel, dwell there, and build an altar to the God who appeared to you as you fled from your brother Esau. Jacob told his family and all who were with him: Remove the gods that are among you, cleanse yourselves and change your clothes, that we may arise and go to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered me in the day of my affliction and who has been with me wherever I have gone. But Jacob feared this journey, for he was afraid of his brother.

Jacob feared Esau because he stole his birthright, and Esau promised to kill him after the death of their father, Isaac.

When they met, Jacob himself bowed to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him. He put his arms around his neck and kissed him, and they wept together. Then the slave girls and their children came near and bowed⁴ before Esau. Leah and her children also came near and bowed before him. And finally, Joseph and Rachel drew near and bowed down before him. So the Bible tells us that the two brothers reconciled at the end of their lives...yet it’s a happier ending than in the case of Cain and Abel.

Read more: The story of Esau and Jacob in the Bible. Jacob and Esau’s story summary

Did Esau forgive Jacob?

When Esau and Jacob met at 147, Jacob feared his twin brother. But when they met, Jacob took courage and confessed to him that he was sorry and said to him: if I have found kindness in you, receive my gift, for indeed, when I saw your face, it was as if I had seen the face of God, and you were kind to me. Please receive my blessing, which has been brought to you, for God has been good to me, and I have everything. So Jacob insisted, and Esau received. Then Esau said to his twin, Let us go and continue our journey. I will go before you.

 

Esau wholeheartedly forgives his brother Jacob, and they both reconcile and become, as in their childhood, the most different but similar twins.

 

Esau returned to Seir. But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, where he built a house for himself and made shelters for his flocks; therefore, that place is called Succoth. Returning from Padan-Aram, Jacob arrived safely in the city of Shechem, which is in Canaan, and pitched his camp in front of the town. With a hundred chesed, he bought from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, the portion of land on which he pitched his tent. There he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel. Even if they were not living together, they were good brothers now, Jacob being fully forgiven now.

 

Three main lessons from Jacob

1. God knew you before you were even born

God knows everything; if you are evil or that you will do wrong, He gives you the chance to change. Not to do that evil. Until you die, God allows you to choose what is good and what is evil. It’s up to you what you desire.

2. He has a plan for your future

He has a plan for everyone. However, God, through His Word, has revealed to us that He did not create the world to remain confined within the limits of nature. The world exists only to be transfigured by free participation in the uncreated energies of the Godhead, to shine with divine glory.

3. The Father wants you to seek His face

His search begins with prayer and fasting. And for the knowledge of God, we acquire in the measure of God’s gift and our spiritual efforts in a liturgical way, that is, through the intercession of our communion with the Holy Mysteries, especially Confession and Communion.

Primary Takeaways

  • Jacob was stubborn from his mother’s womb, fighting with his older brother.
  • He was not content with the right of the second birth and so deceived Isaac, his father, and his brother to obtain the title of firstborn.
  • Jacob feared Esau for killing him and thus approached the God of his grandfather and father. The God of Abram and Isaac. And he even wrestled with God to get His blessing.

Conclusion

God always knows His plan and can see the future, just as He foretold about the two tribes struggling in Rebekah’s womb. And so it came to pass, two twins came forth who brought different nations. But God blessed Jacob more for his ambition and for fighting for what he wanted. Not like his brother, who, because of the body’s lusts, gave up on what God had gifted him.

If you enjoyed our article, please check out the following Bible Trivia about Jacob and his twin flame. You may even want to access the section for Multiple Bible Quizzes. Thank you! Have a good day, and may God bless you!