Genesis 32:11
Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Genesis 32:11-12. Deliver me from my brother Esau, for I fear him — The fear that quickens prayer is itself pleadable. It was not a robber, but a murderer that he was afraid of: nor was it his own life only that lay at stake, but the mothers’, and the children’s. Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good — God’s promises, as they are the surest guide of our desires in prayer, and furnish us with the best petitions; so they are the firmest ground of our hopes, and furnish us with the best pleas.

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.Next, he betakes himself to prayer. He appeals to the God of Abraham and Isaac, to Yahweh the God of promise and performance. "I am less than;" unworthy of all the mercy and truth of God. "With my staff." Jacob seems to have left his home without escort and without means. It was evidently intended that he should return in a short time; but unforeseen circumstances lengthened the period. "Me, the mother with the children." Me is used here in that pregnant sense which is familiar in Scripture, to include his whole clan; as Ishmael, Israel, Edom, often stand for their respective races. He then pleads the express promise of God Genesis 28:13-15; Genesis 31:3.9-12. Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham—In this great emergency, he had recourse to prayer. This is the first recorded example of prayer in the Bible. It is short, earnest, and bearing directly on the occasion. The appeal is made to God, as standing in a covenant relation to his family, just as we ought to put our hopes of acceptance with God in Christ. It pleads the special promise made to him of a safe return; and after a most humble and affecting confession of unworthiness, it breathes an earnest desire for deliverance from the impending danger. It was the prayer of a kind husband, an affectionate father, a firm believer in the promises. A proverbial speech, noting a total destruction. Compare Deu 22:6 Hosea 10:14.

Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau,.... For though his brother, it was his brother Esau, that had formerly vowed revenge upon him, and had determined to kill him, Genesis 27:41, and he knew not but that he was still of the same mind; and now having an opportunity, and in his power to do it, being accompanied with four hundred men, he feared he would attempt it; and therefore entreats the Lord, who was greater than he, to deliver him from falling into his hands, and being destroyed by him:

for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children; for whom Jacob seems to be more concerned than for himself; the phrase denotes the utter destruction of his family, and the cruelty and inhumanity that would be exercised therein; which shows what an opinion he had of his brother, and of his savage disposition.

Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the {e} mother with the children.

(e) Meaning, he will put all to death. This proverb comes from those who kill the bird together with the young ones.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. from the hand of Esau] Jacob in his prayer makes no reference to the possible cause of Esau’s anger, and expresses no consciousness of, nor sorrow for, his own wrong-doing towards either Esau or Isaac.

the mother with the children] A proverbial phrase for “the mother and family”; cf. Hosea 10:14.

Genesis 32:11Jacob, fearing the worst, divided his people and flocks into two camps, that if Esau smote the one, the other might escape. He then turned to the Great Helper in every time of need, and with an earnest prayer besought the God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac, who had directed him to return, that, on the ground of the abundant mercies and truth (cf. Genesis 24:27) He had shown him thus far, He would deliver him out of the hand of his brother, and from the threatening destruction, and so fulfil His promises.
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