Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Forward, before his family; like a good father, exposing himself to the greatest danger. (Menochius) --- Seven times, to testify his great humility and respect for his brother. How, then, can any one find fault with Catholics, if they bow down before the cross thrice on Good Friday, to testify their great veneration for their expiring Lord?
Favour. Esau had already heard from the servants. But he asks again, meaning to excuse himself from receiving them. (Haydock) --- This civil and unexpected behaviour, filled the breast of Jacob with such gratitude and love, that he made use of an hyperbole, I have seen, &c. ...of God. Chaldean, "of a prince," Syriac, "of an angel," Elohim. See 2 Kings xix. 27; Esther xv. 16. (Calmet) --- A little present. Hebrew monee, or mincha, calculated to shew the subjection of the giver. (Menochius)
Young, boves fœtus, giving milk, having calved lately, Seputagint. (Bochart.) (Calmet)
In Seir; not immediately, but as soon as it might be convenient. This time perhaps never arrived. (St. Augustine, q. 106.)
The town of Salem, which was the first town of Chanaan that he came near after his return. It was afterwards called Sichem, and Sichar, John iv. 5, and Naplosa. Salim, mentioned John iii. 23, was probably more to the east. Some translate, "He came quite sound to the city of Sichem;" where, Demetrius says, he dwelt ten years, Eusebius, præp. ix. 21, having stopped at Socoth six months. (Calmet) --- This seems very probable, as Dina met with her misfortune a little before he left the country; and as she was six years old when she came from Haran, she would be about 15 when she began to go a visiting, &c., chap. xxxiv. 1. (Haydock)
Lambs. Hebrew, Kossite, or Kesita, a word which occurs also, Josue xxvi. 32, and Job xlii. 11; and may signify lambs, or a species of money, marked perhaps with their figure. It may also denote pearls, coral, a vessel, or purse of good money. St. Stephen, Acts vii. 19, mentions the price of money. But he probably speaks of the bargain made by Abraham with Ephron, son of Heth, for which some have substituted Hemor, the son of Sichem. Kista in the Chaldean means a vessel or measure; and we learn from Herodotus iii. 130, that the Persians were accustomed to keep their money in this manner. In the Chaldean, Syriac, and Arabic languages, there are words derived from the same root as Kesita, which mean purity, perfection; and thus what Jacob gave was good current money; (Calmet) or such things as we received among merchants.
The most, &c. El Elohe Yisrael. By this name he dignified the altar, consecrating his field and all his possessions to God, and acknowledging that all was his gift. (Haydock)