Genesis 32:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 32:19, NIV: He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: 'You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.

Genesis 32:19, ESV: He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him,

Genesis 32:19, KJV: And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.

Genesis 32:19, NASB: Then he commanded also the second and the third, and all those who followed the flocks, saying, 'In this way you shall speak to Esau when you find him;

Genesis 32:19, NLT: Jacob gave the same instructions to the second and third herdsmen and to all who followed behind the herds: 'You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.

Genesis 32:19, CSB: He also told the second one, the third, and everyone who was walking behind the animals, "Say the same thing to Esau when you find him.

What does Genesis 32:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Esau and 400 men are on their way to Jacob, who has strategically separated into two camps (Genesis 32:6–8). After fervent prayer (Genesis 32:9–12), Jacob is sending out a large gift of five herds of animals to present to Esau before he arrives. He clearly hopes to quell Esau's anger over their difficult split, some twenty years prior (Genesis 27:30–35; 27:41–45).

Jacob assumes that Esau's men will ask the servants what they're doing. In the previous verse, he told the servant who will be driving the first herd how to answer: These animals belong to "your servant Jacob." He is giving them to "my lord Esau" as a gift. He is coming behind us.

Now he says to those driving the second, third, fourth, and fifth herds to say the same thing. Jacob pictures each herd reaching Esau, one after the other, with the same message. Jacob clearly hopes to impress and overwhelm Esau with his generosity and make it increasingly difficult for Esau to want to kill him.