Genesis 32:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 32:5, NIV: "I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.''"

Genesis 32:5, ESV: "I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”"

Genesis 32:5, KJV: "And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight."

Genesis 32:5, NASB: "and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants; and I have sent messengers to tell my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.'?’?'"

Genesis 32:5, NLT: "and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.''"

Genesis 32:5, CSB: "I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female slaves. I have sent this message to inform my lord, in order to seek your favor.'""

What does Genesis 32:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob continues to give his servants the message he wants them to deliver to his twin brother Esau. Though Jacob possesses abundant wealth and the blessing of the firstborn—albeit stolen (Genesis 27:30–35), there are risks involved with this reunion. Jacob doesn't know if Esau still wants to kill him (Genesis 27:41–45), so he is crafting his message to be as deferential as possible. Jacob is not the only person threatened by this situation, since he is now travelling with his wives and children. Jacob's fear over Esau's wrath is echoed in his choice, shown in verse 7, to split his caravan into two separate groups, simply to avoid them being wiped out entirely.

In the previous verse, he described himself as Esau's servant, calling Esau "lord." Now he describes his great wealth in livestock and servants. Perhaps he intends to earn Esau's respect. Jacob may be implying he is willing to give to Esau some of the wealth he has built over the last 20 years, in the hopes of finding favor in Esau's sight. Jacob's strategy seems clear: to avoid a violent confrontation with his brother at all costs.