Genesis 33:15
And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
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Genesis 33:15. He said, What needeth it? — Esau having offered some of his men to be his guard and convoy, Jacob humbly refuses his offer. He is under the divine protection, and needs no other. Those are sufficiently guarded who have God for their guard, and are under a convoy of his hosts, as Jacob was. Jacob adds only, Let me find grace in the sight of my lord — Having thy favour, I have all I need, all I desire from thee.

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.They now part for the present. "I will qo with thee;" as an escort or vanguard. Jacob explains that this would be inconvenient for both parties, as his tender children and suckling cattle could not keep pace with Esau's men, who were used to the road. "At the pace of the cattle;" as fast as the business (מלאכה melā'kâh) of traveling with cattle will permit. Unto Selr. Jacob is travelling to the land of Kenaan, and to the residence of his father. But, on arriving there, it will be his first duty to return the fraternal visit of Esau. The very circumstance that he sent messengers to apprise his brother of his arrival, implies that he was prepared to cultivate friendly relations with him. Jacob also declines the offer of some of the men that Esau had with him. He had, doubtless, enough of hands to manage his remaining flock, and he now relied more than ever on the protection of that God who had ever proved himself a faithful and effectual guardian.14. until I come unto my lord—It seems to have been Jacob's intention, passing round the Dead Sea, to visit his brother in Seir, and thus, without crossing the Jordan, go to Beer-sheba to Isaac; but he changed his plan, and whether the intention was carried out then or at a future period has not been recorded. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Esau said, let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me,.... To show him the way, and guard him on the road, and he appear the more honourable when he entered into Seir:

and he said, what needeth it? Jacob saw not the necessity of it; he knew the direct way very probably; he thought himself in no danger, since he was at peace with Esau, and he did not affect the grandeur of an equipage:

let me find grace in the sight of my lord; having his favour and good will, that was enough for him; and among the rest of the favours he received from him, he begged this might be added, that he might be excused retaining any of his retinue with him.

And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
15. What needeth it?] i.e. why should you do so? Jacob courteously declines his brother’s offer.

Esau here is withdrawn from the scene. The part which he has played in this chapter is dignified and chivalrous. He forgives and forgets. He has the force at his command, but will not make an unworthy use of it.

Verse 15. - And Esau said, Let me now leave (literally, set, or place) with thee (as an escort or guard) some of the folk - i.e. armed followers (vide ver. 1) - that are with me. But of even this proposal Jacob appears to have been apprehensive. And he said, What needeth it! (literally, For what, or wherefore, this?) let me find grace in the sight of my lord - meaning either, I am satisfied, since thou art gracious to me (Vatablus), - ἱκανὸν ὅτι εϋρον χάριν ἐναντίον σου κύριε (LXX.); hoc uno tantum indigeo, ut inveniam gratiam in conspectu tuo (Vulgate), - or, be gracious to me in this also, and leave none of thy followers (Ainsworth, Patrick), though the two clauses might perhaps be connected thus: "Wherefore do I thus find grace in the eyes of my lord?" (Kalisch). Genesis 33:15Lastly, Esau proposed to accompany Jacob on his journey. But Jacob politely declined not only his own company, but also the escort, which Esau afterwards offered him, of a portion of his attendants; the latter as being unnecessary, the former as likely to be injurious to his flocks. This did not spring from any feeling of distrust; and the ground assigned was no mere pretext. He needed no military guard, "for he knew that he was defended by the hosts of God;" and the reason given was a very good one: "My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds that are milking (עלות from עוּל, giving milk or suckling) are upon me" (עלי): i.e., because they are giving milk they are an object of especial anxiety to me; "and if one should overdrive them a single day, all the sheep would die." A caravan, with delicate children and cattle that required care, could not possibly keep pace with Esau and his horsemen, without taking harm. And Jacob could not expect his brother to accommodate himself to the rate at which he was travelling. For this reason he wished Esau to go on first; and he would drive gently behind, "according to the foot of the cattle (מלאכה possessions equals cattle), and according to the foot of the children," i.e., "according to the pace at which the cattle and the children could go" (Luther). "Till I come to my lord to Seir:" these words are not to be understood as meaning that he intended to go direct to Seir; consequently they were not a wilful deception for the purpose of getting rid of Esau. Jacob's destination was Canaan, and in Canaan probably Hebron, where his father Isaac still lived. From thence he may have thought of paying a visit to Esau in Seir. Whether he carried out this intention or not, we cannot tell; for we have not a record of all that Jacob did, but only of the principal events of his life. We afterwards find them both meeting together as friends at their father's funeral (Genesis 35:29). Again, the attitude of inferiority which Jacob assumed in his conversation with Esau, addressing him as lord, and speaking of himself as servant, was simply an act of courtesy suited to the circumstances, in which he paid to Esau the respect due to the head of a powerful band; since he could not conscientiously have maintained the attitude of a brother, when inwardly and spiritually, in spite of Esau's friendly meeting, they were so completely separated the one from the other.
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