Die Bibel

Genesis 33

English: Darby Version

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1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and with him four hundred men. And he distributed the children to Leah, and to Rachel, and to the two maidservants:

2 and he put the maidservants and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindmost.

3 And he passed on before them, and bowed to the earth seven times, until he came near to his brother.

4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they wept.

5 And he lifted up his eyes and saw the women and the children, and said, Who are these with thee? And he said, The children that God has graciously given thy servant.

6 And the maidservants drew near, they and their children, and they bowed.

7 And Leah also, with her children, drew near, and they bowed. And lastly Joseph drew near, and Rachel, and they bowed.

8 And he said, What [meanest] thou by all the drove which I met? And he said, To find favour in the eyes of my lord.

9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; let what thou hast be thine.

10 And Jacob said, No, I pray thee; if now I have found favour in thine eyes, then receive my gift from my hand; for therefore have I seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou hast received me with pleasure.

11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing which has been brought to thee; because God has been gracious to me, and because I have everything. And he urged him, and he took [it].

12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and go on, and I will go before thee.

13 And he said to him, My lord knows that the children are tender, and the suckling sheep and kine are with me; and if they should overdrive them only one day, all the flock would die.

14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass on before his servant, and I will drive on at my ease according to the pace of the cattle that is before me, and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord, to Seir.

15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee [some] of the people that are with me. And he said, What need? Let me find favour in the eyes of my lord.

16 And Esau returned that day on his way to Seir.

17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house, and for his cattle he made booths. Therefore the name of the place was called Succoth.

18 And Jacob came safely [to the] city Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-Aram; and he encamped before the city.

19 And he bought the portion of the field where he had spread his tent, of the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, for a hundred kesitahs.

20 And there he set up an altar, and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Esau
Esau (Gen. 28:5, etc.) signifies the truth of good in the natural principle. Esau (Gen. 32:3) signifies celestial good in the natural principle.

four
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

Four hundred
Four hundred signifies vastation, temptations, and the duration thereof.

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

men
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Rachel
'Rachel' denotes the affection of interior truth.

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

Joseph
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

Passed
'Passed' or 'expired' denotes the conclusion of whatever state is being discussed.

bowed
To bow in prayer is common in most religious practices, so it's not surprising that “to bow” in the Bible represents humility and worship in...

Seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

Neck
'The neck' signifies influx and the communication of interior and exterior levels and the following conjunction. The inmost or third heaven has reference to the...

wept
'Weeping with a loud voice' signifies the ultimate of grief.

women
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

met
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

Find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

my lord
Characters in the Bible will often address others using the term “my lord,” and it seems to be no more than an expression of respect....

Enough
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

Gift
The gift which Abraham gave to the sons of the concubines which he had, as in Genesis 25:6, signifies lots in the Lord's spiritual kingdom....

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

pleasure
'To be satisfied with favor' signifies being filled with the good of love, and 'to be full with the blessings of the Lord' signifies being...

Blessing
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving (Rev. 7.) signify divine spiritual things of the Lord.

urged
These verbs in the Bible indicate a conflict between two spiritual states, and the effort it takes to attain the higher state. It's easy to...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

Journey
'To journey' signifies the institutes and order of life.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

go before
To "go before" in the Bible means either to lead or to prepare, depending on context. When it is said of the Lord or things...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

knows
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

tender
'Weak eyed' relates to the understanding.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

Flock
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

die
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

Seir
'Seir,' as in Genesis 33:14, signifies the conjunction of spiritual and celestial things in the natural level, that is, the truth of faith with the...

Leave with thee
'Leave with thee,' as in Genesis 33:15, signifies joining together.

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

Succoth
'Succoth,' as in Genesis 33:17, and Psalms 60:6-7 and 108:7-8, signifies the quality of the holy state of truth from good, because 'Succoth' signifies tents,...

built
To build something generally means to put together a variety of simpler pieces to make a useful and more complex structure, as to build a...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

Place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

City
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

Shechem
In Genesis 12:6, 'Abram’s passing through the land unto the place Shechem' signifies a new state of the Lord when the celestial aspects of love...

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

Canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

Padan-Aram
'Padan Aram,' as in Genesis 28:2, signifies the exterior knowledges of good and truth.

tent
'The sanctuary and habitation' together signify heaven and the church, 'sanctuary' regarding the good of love, and 'tabernacle' regarding truths of that good, because the...

Sons
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

Hamor
'Hamor, the father of Schechem,' represents the truth of the church among the ancients. 'Hamor, the father of Schechem,' signifies the good of the church...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

altar
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Jacob and Esau
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Jacob Returns Home - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: act out Jacob and Esau's meeting, make a paper plate mobile of the Lord's face smiling at us, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Jacob Returns Home - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: act out Jacob and Esau's meeting, make a diorama of their reunion, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Jacob Returns Home - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: read about the appearance of angels and devils and draw cartoons depicting their spiritual qualities, map activity on Canaan's compass, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Jacob Returns Home - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: create ink blot pictures as the start of a discussion about seeing the face of God in other people, read about the appearance of angels and devils and draw cartoons depicting their spiritual qualities, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Jacob’s Return
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Overview of Jacob and Esau Levels A B C D for ages 3-18
An overview of the Youth Journey Program "Jacob and Esau", Levels A, B, D, and D, for ages 3-18.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 18

 The Happy Meeting of Jacob and Esau
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

Aus Swedenborgs Werken

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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4368. 'If now I have found favour in your eyes, then take my gift from my hand' means the reciprocation of that affection, in order that it might be instilled. This is clear from what comes both before and after, for the subject is the joining together of good and truths within the natural and so the instilling of affection from good into truth. As shown above in 4366, this is the reason why the refusal of the gift sent from Jacob has the meaning it does, namely that an affection might be instilled into truth, and in 4367 why the immediately previous exclamation 'No, I beg of you' means the birth of that affection. Consequently these words 'If now I have found favour in your eyes, then take my gift from my hand' means a reciprocation of that affection, in order that it might be instilled; for Jacob says this from a desire for what is good, that is, from affection. Hence also the reference further on to his urging him.

[2] The reciprocation of that affection which is instilled by the good, meant by 'Esau', into the truth, meant by 'Jacob', is used to mean the affection for truth. For two affections that are heavenly exist - the affection for good and the affection for truth. These have been the subject several times already. The affection for truth has no other origin than good, the affection coming from there also; for by itself truth has no life but acquires it from good. Consequently when someone feels an affection for truth that affection does not originate in the truth but in the good which flows into the truth and creates the affection itself. This is what is meant at this point by the reciprocation of that affection in order that it might be instilled. It is well known that there are many within the Church who feel an affection for the Word of the Lord and put a lot of effort into reading it; but those whose end in view is to learn about what is true are only a few. The majority cling to their own dogmas, and are anxious only to confirm these from the Word. These people seem to be moved by an affection for truth, but they are not. The affection for truth exists solely with those who love to learn about truths, that is, to know what is true, and who search the Scriptures with that end in view. Nobody is moved by this affection except one who is governed by good, that is, one who is governed by charity towards the neighbour, and more so who is governed by love to the Lord. With people of this kind good itself flows into truth and creates the affection, for the Lord is present within that good.

[3] This can be illustrated by the following examples: Take those who are governed by the good of genuine charity and who read the following words which the Lord addressed to Peter,

I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:15-19.

These people - that is to say, those who are moved by an affection for truth that originates in the good of genuine charity - like to be told what these words were really used to mean. When they hear that 'the rock' referred to here, on which 'the Church will be built', means faith rooted in charity, and that 'Peter' therefore has that meaning; and when they hear that the keys for opening and closing heaven are given to that faith, see Preface to Chapter 22 of Genesis, they are delighted and are stirred with affection for that truth, because it is in that case the Lord alone, the Source of faith, who possesses that power. But people who are not moved by an affection for truth that originates in the good of genuine charity but by an affection for truth originating in some other kind of good, and more so if it originates in self-love and love of the world, are not stirred by any affection for that truth, but become depressed and also angry since they wish to lay claim to that power as a priestly one. They are angry because they are deprived of the power to control, and depressed because they am deprived of other people's deference to them.

(Verweise: Arcana Coelestia 2760; Matthew 16:18-19)


[4] Take another example. If people who are moved by an affection for truth that originates in the good of charity hear that charity makes the Church, and not faith separated from charity, they accept that truth joyfully, whereas those who are moved by an affection for truth originating in self-love and love of the world do not accept it. Furthermore when those who are moved by an affection for truth that originates in the good of charity hear that love towards the neighbour does not begin in themselves but in the Lord they are delighted, whereas those who are moved by an affection for truth originating in self-love and love of the world do not accept that truth but fiercely defend the idea that love begins in themselves. Consequently they do not know what loving the neighbour as themselves really is. When people who are moved by an affection for truth that originates in the good of genuine charity hear that heavenly blessedness consists in doing good to others out of a desire to do it, with no selfish end in view, they are delighted, whereas those who are moved by an affection for truth originating in self-love and love of the world, want none of this; nor can they even understand what it is.

[5] When people who are moved by an affection for truth that originates in the good of genuine charity learn that the works of the external man are nothing if they do not proceed from the internal man, and so from the desire to do what is good, they accept it joyfully, whereas those who are moved by an affection for truth originating in self-love and love of the world applaud the works of the external man but show no interest in the desire to do good present in the internal man. Nor indeed are they even aware that this desire, if present in the internal man, remains after death and that when the works performed by the external man have no connection with the internal man they are dead and come to nothing.

The same may be seen in every other example that might be mentioned. The examples that have been given show that the truths of faith cannot possibly be joined to anyone if he is not governed by the good of genuine charity, and so cannot be joined to anything other than good. They show also that all genuine affection for truth originates in that good. Anyone can see a confirmation of this from his daily experience - when he sees that people moved by evil have no real belief, unlike those moved by good. From this it is quite evident that the truth of faith is joined to good and never to evil.

(Verweise: Genesis 33:10)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 8080, 10483

Apocalypse Revealed 161

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 22, 23, 24, 121


Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.


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