Genesis 32:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 32:21, NIV: "So Jacob's gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp."

Genesis 32:21, ESV: "So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp."

Genesis 32:21, KJV: "So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company."

Genesis 32:21, NASB: "So the gift passed on ahead of him, while he himself spent that night in the camp."

Genesis 32:21, NLT: "So the gifts were sent on ahead, while Jacob himself spent that night in the camp."

Genesis 32:21, CSB: "So the gift was sent on ahead of him while he remained in the camp that night."

What does Genesis 32:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob has sent out a large gift to intercept his estranged brother, Esau (Genesis 27:30–35; 27:41–45). After some twenty years, Jacob is returning home, and hears that Esau is headed his way with a group of 400 men (Genesis 32:6). Jacob's intent is sending this gift—which is really five separate, large herds of livestock—is clear. He hopes that each successive gift, combined with the statement that "your servant Jacob" is giving these presents to "master Esau" will cool Esau off enough to prevent direct violence.

At this point in time, Jacob's plan is in place. The herds of animals are on the move. Now comes the waiting. Jacob will spend a long and surprisingly eventful night in the camp before his fate is decided on the following day.