Genesis 33:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 33:1, NIV: "Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants."

Genesis 33:1, ESV: "And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants."

Genesis 33:1, KJV: "And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids."

Genesis 33:1, NASB: "Then Jacob raised his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel, and the two slave women."

Genesis 33:1, NLT: "Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives."

Genesis 33:1, CSB: "Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming toward him with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two slave women."

What does Genesis 33:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The moment has finally come. Years before, Jacob fled this region to avoid the murderous wrath of a brother he'd cheated (Genesis 27:41–45). On the way back, Jacob was informed that Esau was on his way with 400 men: news which terrified Jacob. After splitting his caravan to minimize potential losses (Genesis 32:7–8) and a divine encounter with God (Genesis 32:22–32), Jacob is finally going to face his twin and his own past. At this meeting, he will finally discover if Esau has come to kill him or welcome him home.

Still planning for the worst, Jacob makes one last adjustment in the final moments before he meets his brother. He divides his wives and children and places them in a specific arrangement described in the following verses. His intent here is strategic. The arrangement described in this passage gives Jacob's loved ones better opportunity to escape if Esau's response is violent.