Genesis 33:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 33:7, NIV: "Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down."

Genesis 33:7, ESV: "Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down."

Genesis 33:7, KJV: "And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves."

Genesis 33:7, NASB: "And Leah likewise came forward with her children, and they bowed down; and afterward Joseph came forward with Rachel, and they bowed down."

Genesis 33:7, NLT: "Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him."

Genesis 33:7, CSB: "Leah and her children also approached and bowed down, and then Joseph and Rachel approached and bowed down."

What does Genesis 33:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob's wives and children have been arranged behind him in distinct groups with some space between them (Genesis 33:1–3). The intent behind this was probably self-defense. Prior to this moment, Jacob was not sure if Esau was still intent on murder (Genesis 27:41–45). By placing himself in front of the family, and his favorite wife and son at the back, Jacob was preparing for the worst.

Secondary to this, the arrangement lets Jacob introduce his family to Esau in that same order of importance. Harsh as that may seem, blatant favoritism was not uncommon in this era. Nor was it unusual in Jacob's own family (Genesis 25:28).

First come Jacob's two servant wives, Bilhah and Zilpah (Genesis 30:3, 9). Like Jacob, they approach Esau bowing before him. Next Leah and her children approach, also bowing. Finally, Jacob's beloved Rachel and favorite son Joseph approach and bow.