Genesis 32:21
So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
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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.Jacob sends forward a present to Esau. "He lodged there that night." Mahanaim may have been about twenty-five miles from the Jabbok. At some point in the interval he awaited the return of his messengers. Abiding during the night in the camp, not far from the ford of the Jabbok, he selects and sends forward to Esau his valuable present of five hundred and fifty head of cattle. "That which was come into his hand," into his possession. The cattle are selected according to the proportions of male and female which were adopted from experience among the ancients (Varro, de re rust. II. 3). "Every drove by itself," with a space between, that Esau might have time to estimate the great value of the gift. The repetition of the announcement of the gift, and of Jacob himself being at hand, was calculated to appease Esau, and persuade him that Jacob was approaching him in all brotherly confidence and affection. "Appease him." Jacob designs this gift to be the means of propitiating his brother before he appears in his presence. "Lift up my face," accept me. "Lodged that night in the camp;" after sending this present over the Jabbok. This seems the same night referred to in Genesis 32:14.21. himself lodged—not the whole night, but only a part of it. No text from Poole on this verse.

So went the present over before him,.... Over the brook Jabbok, after mentioned, the night before Jacob did:

and himself lodged that night in the company; or "in the camp" (c), either in the place called Mahanaim, from the hosts or crowds of angels seen there; or rather in his own camp, his family and servants; or, as Aben Ezra distinguishes, in the camp with his servants, and not in his tent, lest his brother should come and smite him; and so Nachmanides.

(c) "in castris", Vatablus, Drusius, Schmidt; "in acie sua", Junius & Tremellius; "in exercitu", Piscator.

So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
21. company] Lit. “camp”; cf. Genesis 32:7.

Verses 21-23. - So (literally, and) went the present over Before him: and himself lodged that night in the company. And he rose up that night, - i.e. some time before daybreak (vide ver. 24) and took his two wives, and him two women servants (Bilhah and Zilpah), and his eleven sons (Dinah being not mentioned in accordance with the common usage of the Bible), and passed over the ford - the word signifies a place of passing over. Tristram ('Land of Israel,' p. 558) speaks of the strong current reaching the horses girths at the ford crossed by himself and twenty horsemen - Jabbok. Jabbok, from bakak, to empty, to pour forth (Kalisch), or from abak, to struggle (Keil), may have been so named either from the natural appearance of the river, or, as is more probable, by prolepsis from the wrestling which took place upon its banks. It is now called the Wady Zerka, or Blue River, which flows into the Jordan, nearly opposite Shechem, and midway between the Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea. The stream is rapid, and often Completely hidden by the dense mass of oleander which fringes its banks ('Land of Israel,' p. 558). And he took them, and sent them (literally, caused them to pass) over the brook, and sent over that he had - himself remaining on the north side (Delitzsch, Keil, Kurtz, Murphy, Gerlach, Wordsworth, Alford), although, having once crossed the stream (ver. 22), it is not perfectly apparent that he recrossed, which has led some to argue that the wrestling occurred on the south of the river (Knobel, Rosenmüller, Lange, Kalisch).

CHAPTER 32:24-32 Genesis 32:21Although hoping for aid and safety from the Lord alone, Jacob neglected no means of doing what might help to appease his brother. Having taken up his quarters for the night in the place where he received the tidings of Esau's approach, he selected from his flocks ("of that which came to his hand," i.e., which he had acquired) a very respectable present of 550 head of cattle, and sent them in different detachments to meet Esau, "as a present from his servant Jacob," who was coming behind. The selection was in harmony with the general possessions of nomads (cf. Job 1:3; Job 42:12), and the proportion of male to female animals was arranged according to the agricultural rule of Varro (de re rustica 2, 3). The division of the present, "drove and drove separately," i.e., into several separate droves which followed one another at certain intervals, was to serve the purpose of gradually mitigating the wrath of Esau. פּנים כּפּר, Genesis 32:21, to appease the countenance; פּנים נשׁא to raise any one's countenance, i.e., to receive him in a friendly manner. This present he sent forward; and he himself remained the same night (mentioned in Genesis 32:14) in the camp.
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