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Genesis 33:6

ESV Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down.
NIV Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down.
NASB Then the slave women came forward with their children, and they bowed down.
CSB Then the slaves and their children approached him and bowed down.
NLT Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him.
KJV Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.

What does Genesis 33:6 mean?

Jacob's wives and children have been arranged behind him in three or four distinct groups, presumably with space between them (Genesis 33:1–3). Jacob's intent behind this was probably to place his favored wife and son at the back, so they'd have the best chance to escape in the event that Esau was still intent on revenge (Genesis 27:41–45).

The first to approach Esau are Jacob's two servant wives with their children. These are Bilhah and Zilpah, originally given to Jacob's wives as wedding gifts by their father, Laban (Genesis 29:24, 28). Due to rivalry and competition between sisters Leah and Rachel, these two also became mothers of Jacob's children (Genesis 30:3, 9). All of them bow before Esau, as Jacob had likely instructed them to do.
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