|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
33:1-16 Jacob, having by prayer committed his case to God, went on his way. Come what will, nothing can come amiss to him whose heart is fixed, trusting in God. Jacob bowed to Esau. A humble, submissive behaviour goes far towards turning away wrath. Esau embraced Jacob. God has the hearts of all men in his hands, and can turn them when and how he pleases. It is not in vain to trust in God, and to call upon him in the day of trouble. And when a man's ways please the Lord he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Esau receives Jacob as a brother, and much tenderness passes between them. Esau asks, Who are those with thee? To this common question, Jacob spoke like himself, like a man whose eyes are ever directed towards the Lord. Jacob urged Esau, though his fear was over, and he took his present. It is well when men's religion makes them generous, free-hearted, and open-handed. But Jacob declined Esau's offer to accompany him. It is not desirable to be too intimate with superior ungodly relations, who will expect us to join in their vanities, or at least to wink at them, though they blame, and perhaps mock at, our religion. Such will either be a snare to us, or offended with us. We shall venture the loss of all things, rather than endanger our souls, if we know their value; rather than renounce Christ, if we truly love him. And let Jacob's care and tender attention to his family and flocks remind us of the good Shepherd of our souls, who gathers the lambs with his arm, and carries them in his bosom, and gently leads those that are with young, Isa 40:11. As parents, teachers or pastors, we should all follow his example.
Verse 12. - And he (i.e. Esau) said (in further token of his amity), Let us take our journey, and let us go, - but whether he intended to accompany Jacob on his way (Keil, Kalisch, et alii) or invited Jacob to go with him to Mount Seir (Ainsworth, Clericus) is uncertain. On the first hypothesis it is difficult to explain how Esau came to be traveling in the same direction as his brother, while the adoption of the second will serve in some measure to elucidate Jacob's language in ver. 2. But whichever way the words of Esau are understood, they amounted to an offer to be an escort to Jacob through the desert regions with which his excursions had made him familiar, since he added, and I will go before thee - i.e. to lead the way.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he said, let us take our journey, and let us go,.... To Seir, where Esau lived, and whither he invited Jacob to stop a while, and refresh himself and his family:
and I will go before thee; to show him the way to his palace, and to protect him on the road from all dangers; or "besides thee" (q), alongside of him, keeping equal pace with him, thereby showing great honour and respect, as well as in order to converse with him as they, travelled.
(q) "e regione tui", Montanus, Fagius, Drusius; "a latere tuo", Vatablus; "juxta te", Cartwright.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ge 33:12-20. The Parting.
12. And he said, Let us take our journey—Esau proposed to accompany Jacob and his family through the country, both as a mark of friendship and as an escort to guard them. But the proposal was prudently declined. Jacob did not need any worldly state or equipage. Notwithstanding the present cordiality, the brothers were so different in spirit, character, and habits—the one so much a man of the world, and the other a man of God, that there was great risk of something occurring to disturb the harmony. Jacob having alleged a very reasonable excuse for the tardiness of his movements, the brothers parted in peace.
Genesis 33:12 Parallel Commentaries
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