Genesis 32:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He instructed the one in the lead: "When my brother Esau meets you and asks, 'Who do you belong to, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?'

New Living Translation
He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: "When my brother, Esau, meets you, he will ask, 'Whose servants are you? Where are you going? Who owns these animals?'

English Standard Version
He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’

New American Standard Bible
He commanded the one in front, saying, "When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?'

King James Bible
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And he told the first one: "When my brother Esau meets you and asks, 'Who do you belong to? Where are you going? And whose animals are these ahead of you?'

International Standard Version
To the first group he said, "When you meet my brother Esau, if he asks, 'To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And to whom do these herds belong?'

NET Bible
He instructed the servant leading the first herd, "When my brother Esau meets you and asks, 'To whom do you belong? Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?'

New Heart English Bible
He commanded the foremost, saying, "When Esau, my brother, meets you, and asks you, saying, 'Whose are you? Where are you going? Whose are these before you?'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He commanded the first servant, "When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and whose animals are these ahead of you?'

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he commanded the foremost, saying: 'When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying: Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?

New American Standard 1977
And he commanded the one in front, saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?’

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau, my brother, meets thee and asks thee, saying, Whose art thou? And where goest thou? And for whom are these before thee?

King James 2000 Bible
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, saying, Whose are you? and where are you going? and whose are these before you?

American King James Version
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, saying, Whose are you? and where go you? and whose are these before you?

American Standard Version
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he commanded the first, saying: If thou meet my brother Esau, and he ask thee: Whose art thou? or whither goest thou? or whose are these before thee?

Darby Bible Translation
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meets thee, and asks thee, saying, Whose art thou, and where goest thou, and whose are these before thee?

English Revised Version
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?

Webster's Bible Translation
And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau, my brother, meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?

World English Bible
He commanded the foremost, saying, "When Esau, my brother, meets you, and asks you, saying, 'Whose are you? Where are you going? Whose are these before you?'

Young's Literal Translation
And he commandeth the first, saying, 'When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and hath asked thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?
Study Bible
Jacob's Fear of Esau
16He delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, "Pass on before me, and put a space between droves." 17He commanded the one in front, saying, "When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?' 18then you shall say, 'These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my lord Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.'"…
Cross References
Genesis 32:16
He delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, "Pass on before me, and put a space between droves."

Genesis 32:18
then you shall say, 'These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my lord Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.'"
Treasury of Scripture

And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, saying, Whose are you? and where go you? and whose are these before you?

Whose art.

Genesis 33:3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven …

Verses 17-20. - And he commanded the foremost, saying (with admirable tact and prudence), When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee! then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he (Jacob) is behind us. And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him - literally, in your finding of him. And say ye (literally, and ye shall say) moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is Behind us" for he thought that this would convince Esau that he Went to 'meet him with complete confidence, and without apprehension" (Kalisch) - for he said (the historian adds the motive which explained Jacob's singular behavior), I will appease him (literally, I will cover his face, meaning I will prevent him from seeing my past offences, i.e. I will turn away his anger or pacify him, as in Proverbs 16:14) with the present that goeth before me, - literally, going before my face. So Abigail appeased David with a present (1 Samuel 25:18-32) - and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me - literally, lift up my face; a proverbial expression for granting a favorable reception (cf. Genesis 19:21; Job 42:8). "Jacob did not miscalculate the influence of his princely offerings, and I verily believe there is not an emeer or sheikh in all Gilead at this day who would not be appeased by such presents; and from my personal knowledge of Orientals, I should say that Jacob need not have been in such great terror, following in their rear. Far less will now 'make room,' as Solomon says, for any offender, however atrocious, and bring him before great men with acceptance" ('Land and Book,' p. 371). And he commanded the foremost,.... He that had the care of the first drove, which consisted of goats, male and female:

saying, when Esau my brother meeteth thee; as there was reason to believe he would, being on the road, and him first of all, being the foremost:

and asketh thee, saying, what art thou? that is, whose servant art thou? to whom dost thou belong?

and whither goest thou? what place art thou travelling to?

and whose are these before thee? whose are these goats? to whom do they belong thou art driving? for in driving and travelling on the road, sheep and goats went before those that had the care of them; whereas, in leading out to pastures, the shepherds went before, and the flocks followed, John 10:4. 17. he commanded the foremost—The messengers were strictly commanded to say the same words [Ge 32:18, 20], that Esau might be more impressed and that the uniformity of the address might appear more clearly to have come from Jacob himself.32:9-23 Times of fear should be times of prayer: whatever causes fear, should drive us to our knees, to our God. Jacob had lately seen his guards of angels, but in this distress he applied to God, not to them; he knew they were his fellow-servants, Re 22:9. There cannot be a better pattern for true prayer than this. Here is a thankful acknowledgement of former undeserved favours; a humble confession of unworthiness; a plain statement of his fears and distress; a full reference of the whole affair to the Lord, and resting all his hopes on him. The best we can say to God in prayer, is what he has said to us. Thus he made the name of the Lord his strong tower, and could not but be safe. Jacob's fear did not make him sink into despair, nor did his prayer make him presume upon God's mercy, without the use of means. God answers prayers by teaching us to order our affairs aright. To pacify Esau, Jacob sent him a present. We must not despair of reconciling ourselves to those most angry against us.
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