Well, despite the recent change of name by God himself, Genesis 33 still refers to Jacob as Jacob, not Israel. We rejoin J-Cob soon after he finishes his wrestling match, just as Esau appears on the horizon. Jake decides to let all of his wives, children, and bang-maids know exactly where they stand in his hierarchy by moving his two slavestitutes into “first to die” position at the front of the convoy, then Leah and her children in the middle and Rachel and Joseph protected in the back of the phalanx.
To his credit, he doesn’t flee like the quivering douche we’ve become familiar with, but goes ahead to meet his brother, bowing profusely. Esau, who is clearly the better man, runs to his brother and embraces him, having forgiven him completely. J-to-the-Kizzle O-to-the-Bizzle then presents his family to his brother. It’s unclear whether he is simply introducing Esau to his extended family, or whether he is rubbing into his long-lost brother’s face the wealth he has accumulated since he stole Esau’s blessing. Probably the latter.
Esau tells Jizzrael to hang onto the presents he sent ahead, because Esau has also become wealthy since their parting. At this point, I must say I really think Esau would make a better “father of nations” than Jakie-boy. Esau, despite looking like a red goat and having his exalted position as firstborn son usurped by his tricky younger brother, has still managed to build and maintain an army of hundreds of loyal men, become independently wealthy, and is gracious enough to forgive and forget his brother’s treachery. Meanwhile Jacob is a deeply flawed and disingenuous sociopath who constantly looks for ways to enrich himself at others’ expense. I’m on team Esau.
Indeed, Big J immediately tries to ditch the brother with whom he just reconnected after decades of exile. Esau suggests they hit the road, obviously implying that they will settle down together with a big family. Jacob begs off with a weird explanation “we’ve beaten our animals so hard that if we go on, they’ll die.” Nice guy. Esau suggests an alternative, that he will leave some of his people with his bro, so they can escort him to Esau’s settlement, but Jacob denies that as well, and Esau ends up going back home while Jacob heads a different direction and settles down elsewhere. Yay family values! Yay Bible!
And Jacob lifteth up his eyes, and looketh, and lo, Esau is coming, and with him four hundred men; and he divideth the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two maid-servants;
2 and he setteth the maid-servants and their children first, and Leah and her children behind, and Rachel and Joseph last.
3 And he himself passed over before them, and boweth himself to the earth seven times, until his drawing nigh unto his brother,
4 and Esau runneth to meet him, and embraceth him, and falleth on his neck, and kisseth him, and they weep;
5 and he lifteth up his eyes, and seeth the women and the children, and saith, `What [are] these to thee?’ And he saith, `The children with whom God hath favoured thy servant.’
6 And the maid-servants draw nigh, they and their children, and bow themselves;
7 and Leah also draweth nigh, and her children, and they bow themselves; and afterwards Joseph hath drawn nigh with Rachel, and they bow themselves.
8 And he saith, `What to thee [is] all this camp which I have met?’ and he saith, `To find grace in the eyes of my lord.’
9 And Esau saith, `I have abundance, my brother, let it be to thyself that which thou hast.’
10 And Jacob saith, `Nay, I pray thee, if, I pray thee, I have found grace in thine eyes, then thou hast received my present from my hand, because that I have seen thy face, as the seeing of the face of God, and thou art pleased with me;
11 receive, I pray thee, my blessing, which is brought to thee, because God hath favoured me, and because I have all [things];’ and he presseth on him, and he receiveth,
12 and saith, `Let us journey and go on, and I go on before thee.’
13 And he saith unto him, `My lord knoweth that the children [are] tender, and the suckling flock and the herd [are] with me; when they have beaten them one day, then hath all the flock died.
14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant, and I — I lead on gently, according to the foot of the work which [is] before me, and to the foot of the children, until that I come unto my lord, to Seir.’
15 And Esau saith, `Let me, I pray thee, place with thee some of the people who [are] with me;’ and he said, `Why [is] this? I find grace in the eyes of my lord.’
16 And turn back on that day doth Esau on his way to Seir;
17 and Jacob hath journeyed to Succoth, and buildeth to himself a house, and for his cattle hath made booths, therefore hath he called the name of the place Succoth.
18 And Jacob cometh in to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which [is] in the land of Canaan, in his coming from Padan-Aram, and encampeth before the city,
19 and he buyeth the portion of the field where he hath stretched out his tent, from the hand of the sons of Hamor, father of Shechem, for a hundred kesitah;
20 and he setteth up there an altar, and proclaimeth at it God — the God of Israel.