What does Genesis 32:3 mean?
ESV: And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom,
NIV: Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
NASB: Then Jacob sent messengers ahead of himself to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
CSB: Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the territory of Edom.
NLT: Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living in the region of Seir in the land of Edom.
KJV: And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
NKJV: Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
Verse Commentary:
Now that his conflict with Laban has been resolved, Jacob turns to his homeland. While the parting with Laban was tense, Jacob is fully aware he may face another potentially violent confrontation. In order to return home, Jacob and his family must pass near the region where his brother Esau lives.

Twenty years have passed since Jacob deceived his father Isaac and stole the family blessing from Esau (Genesis 27:30–35). Before that, Jacob had also manipulated Esau into selling his birthright (Genesis 25:29–34). The reason Jacob left home in the first place is because his mother Rebekah had learned that Esau planned to kill Jacob (Genesis 27:41-45).

Did Esau still want Jacob dead? Jacob had no way of knowing. Their parting was certainly on poor terms, and nothing has happened in the meantime to suggest the brothers have been in contact. Before traveling through the vicinity, Jacob will send messengers to make contact with Esau where he lives in Edom as a show of good faith.
Verse Context:
Genesis 32:1–21 describes Jacob's preparations to meet his brother Esau, who is coming his way with 400 men. This will be the first time Jacob and Esau have spoken since Jacob fled Esau's rage as described in Genesis 27. Jacob is terrified this approaching force is coming to kill him. He divides his company into two camps. He prays in humility and faith to God for deliverance. He prepares a large gift of 550 animals to be strategically delivered to Esau to appease his presumed anger.
Chapter Summary:
As Jacob turns from Laban and returns to his own country, he must face another fearful potential conflict. His twin brother Esau is coming with 400 men. Jacob fears this group approaches to take revenge for cheating Esau out of the family blessing 20 years earlier. Jacob is so afraid that he splits his company into two camps, even as he prays for deliverance. He also prepares an enormous gift to appease Esau. Finally, while alone in the dark, Jacob is unexpectedly forced to wrestle a mysterious man, who turns out to be God Himself in some manifested form. In a profound moment of symbolism, God forces Jacob to state his own name, which God then changes to Israel.
Chapter Context:
Jacob came to work for Laban while running from the murderous rage of his twin brother, Esau. Jacob was routinely cheated by Laban, eventually resolving to go back home along with his entire family. Unfortunately, this means coming back to face Esau. Jacob soon learns that Esau is headed his way with 400 men. Are they coming to kill Jacob in revenge for his deceit in stealing Isaac's blessing 20 years earlier? Jacob is afraid. He divides his large company into two camps. He prays earnestly to God for deliverance, and he prepares a huge gift to appease Esau. Finally, alone in the dark, Jacob physically grapples with a mysterious man who turns out to be God Himself, in some form. The man questions Jacob, changes his name to Israel, and pronounces a blessing. Thus prepared, Jacob will finally be reunited with his brother in the next chapter.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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