Genesis 33:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 33:15, NIV: "Esau said, 'Then let me leave some of my men with you.' 'But why do that?' Jacob asked. 'Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.'"

Genesis 33:15, ESV: "So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”"

Genesis 33:15, KJV: "And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord."

Genesis 33:15, NASB: "Then Esau said, 'Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.' But he said, 'What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.'"

Genesis 33:15, NLT: "'All right,' Esau said, 'but at least let me assign some of my men to guide and protect you.' Jacob responded, 'That's not necessary. It's enough that you've received me warmly, my lord!'"

Genesis 33:15, CSB: "Esau said, "Let me leave some of my people with you." But he replied, "Why do that? Please indulge me, my lord.""

What does Genesis 33:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob and Esau have just been reconciled (Genesis 33:4) after many years of separation. Esau invites Jacob to come along as he travels back to his home in Seir (Genesis 33:12). Jacob makes the excuse that his flocks and children can't keep up, so Esau and his men should go on ahead (Genesis 33:13). Here, Esau makes a final offer, suggesting he leave behind some men. Perhaps his intent is for these men to act as bodyguards.

Jacob again turns his brother down, insisting that there is no need. Perhaps Jacob is confident of the Lord's protection or perhaps he is still concerned, on some level, that Esau wishes him harm. In either case, he urges Esau to accept his refusal as a sign that Jacob has found favor with him.

What makes this statement harder to interpret is what Jacob does next. Rather than moving south, towards Seir and Edom, Jacob will head north, towards Succoth—in exactly the opposite direction as his brother (Genesis 33:17).