Genesis 32:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He instructed them: "This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: 'Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now.

New Living Translation
He told them, "Give this message to my master Esau: 'Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban,

English Standard Version
instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now.

Berean Study Bible
He instructed them, “You are to say to my master Esau, ‘Your servant Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban and have remained there until now.

New American Standard Bible
He also commanded them saying, "Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: 'Thus says your servant Jacob, "I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now;

King James Bible
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:

Christian Standard Bible
He commanded them, "You are to say to my lord Esau, 'This is what your servant Jacob says. I have been staying with Laban and have been delayed until now.

Contemporary English Version
Jacob told them to say to Esau, "Master, I am your servant! I have lived with Laban all this time,

Good News Translation
He instructed them to say: "I, Jacob, your obedient servant, report to my master Esau that I have been staying with Laban and that I have delayed my return until now.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He commanded them, "You are to say to my lord Esau, 'This is what your servant Jacob says. I have been staying with Laban and have been delayed until now.

International Standard Version
He instructed them, "This is what you are to say to my master Esau: 'Your servant Jacob told me to tell you, "I've journeyed to stay with Laban and I've remained there until now.

NET Bible
He commanded them, "This is what you must say to my lord Esau: 'This is what your servant Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now.

New Heart English Bible
He commanded them, saying, "This is what you shall tell my lord, Esau: 'This is what your servant, Jacob, says. I have lived as a foreigner with Laban, and stayed until now.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He commanded them to give this message to Esau, "Sir, this is what Jacob has to say, 'I've been living with Laban and have stayed until now.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he commanded them, saying: 'Thus shall ye say unto my lord Esau: Thus saith thy servant Jacob: I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now.

New American Standard 1977
He also commanded them saying, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob, “I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now;

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau: Thy slave Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban and stayed there until now;

King James 2000 Bible
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall you speak unto my lord Esau; your servant Jacob says thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:

American King James Version
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall you speak to my lord Esau; Your servant Jacob said thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:

American Standard Version
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye say unto my lord Esau: Thus saith thy servant Jacob, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he commanded them, saying: Thus shall ye speak to my lord Esau: Thus saith thy brother Jacob: I have sojourned with Laban, and have been with him until this day.

Darby Bible Translation
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak to my lord, to Esau: Thy servant Jacob speaks thus -- With Laban have I sojourned and tarried until now;

English Revised Version
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye say unto my lord Esau; Thus saith thy servant Jacob, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now:

Webster's Bible Translation
And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak to my lord Esau: Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there till now:

World English Bible
He commanded them, saying, "This is what you shall tell my lord, Esau: 'This is what your servant, Jacob, says. I have lived as a foreigner with Laban, and stayed until now.

Young's Literal Translation
and commandeth them, saying, 'Thus do ye say to my lord, to Esau: Thus said thy servant Jacob, With Laban I have sojourned, and I tarry until now;
Study Bible
Jacob's Fear of Esau
3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4He instructed them, “You are to say to my master Esau, ‘- Your servant Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban and have remained there until now. 5I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, menservants, and maidservants. I have sent this message to inform my master, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”…
Cross References
Genesis 31:41
Thus for twenty years I have served in your household—fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks—and you have changed my wages ten times!

Proverbs 25:15
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

Treasury of Scripture

And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall you speak to my lord Esau; Your servant Jacob said thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:

my lord.

Genesis 32:5,18 And I have oxen, and donkeys, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: …

Genesis 4:7 If you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, …

Genesis 23:6 Hear us, my lord: you are a mighty prince among us: in the choice …

Genesis 27:29,37 Let people serve you, and nations bow down to you: be lord over your …

Genesis 33:8 And he said, What mean you by all this drove which I met? And he …

Exodus 32:22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: you know the …

1 Samuel 26:17 And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this your voice, my son …

Proverbs 6:3 Do this now, my son, and deliver yourself, when you are come into …

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Luke 14:11 For whoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself …

1 Peter 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters you …

servant.

1 Kings 20:32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, …

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against you, leave not your place; …







Verses 4, 5. - And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus; - the expression "my lord "may have been designed to intimate to Esau that he (Jacob) did not intend to assert that superiority or precedency which had been assigned him by Isaac s blessing (Genesis 27:29), at least so far as to claim a share in Isaac's wealth (Calvin, Bush, Gerlach), but was probably due chiefly to the extreme courtesy of the East (Gerlach), or to a desire to conciliate his brother (Keil), or to a feeling of personal contrition for his misbehavior towards Esau (Kalisch), and perhaps also to a secret apprehension of danger from Esau's approach (Alford, Inglis) - I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed - אֵחַרe fut. Kal. of אָחַרcurring only here, is a contraction for אֶךאחַר, like תֹּסֵק for תֹּאסֵק (Psalm 104:29; vide Gesenius, § 68, 2) - there until now: and I have (literally, there are to me, so that I stand in need of no further wealth from either thee or Isaac) oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and women servants: - cf. 12:16 (Abraham); 26:13, 14 (Isaac) - and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight (cf. 33:8, 15; 39:4; and vide 6:8; 18:3). And he commanded them,.... Being his servants:

saying, thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; being not only a lord of a country, but his eldest brother, and whom he chose to bespeak in this manner, to soften his mind, and incline it to him; and that he might see he did not pique himself upon the birthright and blessing he had obtained; and as if these were forgotten by him, though hereby he does not give up his right in them:

thy servant Jacob saith thus, expressing great humility and modesty; for though his father Isaac by his blessing had made him lord over Esau, the time was not come for this to take place, his father not being yet dead; and besides, was to have its accomplishment not in his own person, but in his posterity:

I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now; had been a sojourner and a servant in Laban's family for twenty years past, and had had an hard master, and therefore could not be the object of his brother's envy, but rather of his pity and compassion. 4. Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau—The purport of the message was that, after a residence of twenty years in Mesopotamia, he was now returning to his native land, that he did not need any thing, for he had abundance of pastoral wealth, but that he could not pass without notifying his arrival to his brother and paying the homage of his respectful obeisance. Acts of civility tend to disarm opposition and soften hatred (Ec 10:4).

Thy servant Jacob—He had been made lord over his brethren (compare Ge 27:29). But it is probable he thought this referred to a spiritual superiority; or if to temporal, that it was to be realized only to his posterity. At all events, leaving it to God to fulfil that purpose, he deemed it prudent to assume the most kind and respectful bearing.32:1-8 The angels of God appeared to Jacob, to encourage him with the assurance of the Divine protection. When God designs his people for great trials, he prepares them by great comforts. While Jacob, to whom the promise belonged, had been in hard service, Esau was become a prince. Jacob sent a message, showing that he did not insist upon the birth-right. Yielding pacifies great offences, Ec 10:4. We must not refuse to speak respectfully, even to those unjustly angry with us. Jacob received an account of Esau's warlike preparations against him, and was greatly afraid. A lively sense of danger, and quickening fear arising from it, may be found united with humble confidence in God's power and promise.
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