Genesis 33:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 33:14, NIV: "So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.'"

Genesis 33:14, ESV: "Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”"

Genesis 33:14, KJV: "Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir."

Genesis 33:14, NASB: "Please let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will proceed at my leisure, at the pace of the cattle that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.'"

Genesis 33:14, NLT: "Please, my lord, go ahead of your servant. We will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for the livestock and the children. I will meet you at Seir.'"

Genesis 33:14, CSB: "Let my lord go ahead of his servant. I will continue on slowly, at a pace suited to the livestock and the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.""

What does Genesis 33:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob's past was fraught with deception (Genesis 25:29–34, 19–29;). Lies are what led Jacob to flee this region twenty years ago (Genesis 27:41–45), only recently now being reunited with his twin brother, Esau (Genesis 33:4). This verse poses a problem, based on this history: is Jacob once again being deceptive? His actions following this verse are totally inconsistent with the words being spoken.

Esau has offered to travel with Jacob's company to his home in Seir, which is south of this region. Jacob has gently refused, saying that his children and animals will have to travel too slowly. Now Jacob encourages Esau to go on without them, suggesting that he will come to Seir at whatever pace his children and animals can handle. However, upcoming text tells us Jacob went north, towards Succoth, in the exact opposite direction.

At the very least, this is a polite dodge on the part of Jacob. Nothing in the following verses suggests Jacob ever went anywhere near Seir. It is possible that Jacob visited his brother in Edom at some point in the future, and we are simply not told about it.

What is clear is that Jacob has no desire to travel with Esau at this moment.