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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

WARNING: The text used for my commentary is my own paraphrase and must not be
considered “a translation” or authorative in any way. It is, in fact, simply my commentary.

Maps, when used, are from Created using BibleMapper 3.0.
Additional data from
Source of Dates Used

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called



Parashah 8: VaYishlach(continued)
(“And He Sent Out”) • Genesis 32:3 –36:43

(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

~ 33 ~

[Near Mahanaim [MAP] 1710 BCE]

3. Ya'akov Meets 'Esav (33:1-16)

1Ya'akov looked up and saw 'Esav coming with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Le'ah, Rachel, and the two maidservants.[1] 2He put the maidservants and their children in front, Le'ah and her children after, and Rachel and Yosef at the rear.[2] 3He himself went out ahead of them, and bowed to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.

4But 'Esav ran to meet him, embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, kissed him, and they wept.[4] 5When 'Esav looked up and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these with you?”

“They are the children Elohim[GN] has graciously given your servant,” Ya'akov answered.


(iv) 6Then the maidservants approached with their children, and they bowed down. 7Le'ah and her children also approached and bowed down. And then Yosef and Rachel approached and bowed down.

8'Esav asked “What do you mean by all this procession I met?”

“To find favor with you, my lord,” Ya'akov answered.

9“I have enough, my brother,” 'Esav said. “Keep what belongs to you.”

10Ya'akov insisted, “No, please! If I have found favor with you, then receive my gift from my hand. I have seen your face, and it’s like seeing the face of Elohim, since you have accepted me. 11Please take the gift that I brought to you, because Elohim has dealt graciously with me, and I have all I need.” So Ya'akov urged him until he accepted it.

12Then 'Esav said, “Let’s move on, and I’ll go ahead of you.”

13But Ya'akov answered, “My lord knows that the children are delicate, and that the sheep and cattle with me are nursing their young. If I drive them hard for just one day, they will all die. 14Please let my lord go on ahead of his servant. I will continue slowly, letting the livestock and children set the pace, until I join my lord at Seir.”

15'Esav said, “Let me leave some of my people with you.”

“Why do that?” Ya'akov said. “Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”

16So that day 'Esav set out for Seir. [MAP]

B. Sojourn in Shechem (33:17-34:31)

1. Return to Shechem (33:17-20)

17Ya'akov went on to Sukkotסֻכֹּ֔ת, “shelters” or “booths”, [MAP] where he built a house for himself and shelters [סֻכֹּ֔ת, sukkot] for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkot.[17]

18Finally, after Ya'akov had come all the way from Paddan Aram“field” [MAP] [in Mesopotamia] he arrived safely at the city of Shechem, [MAP] in the land of Kena'an; and made camp[18] near the city. 19He purchased the parcel of land where he had spread his encampment from some of the descendants of Hamor“he-ass”,[19a] Shechem’s father, for one hundred qesitahs.[19b] 20There he erected an altar and called it El Elohe Isra'el“Elohim, the Elohim of Isra'el” or “The Elohim of Isra'el is mighty”.


Chapter 34

  1. Note that the Scripture does not call the two maidservants “wives,” even though they had born him children. [BACK]

 2. He placed the two concubines and their children at the position of greatest risk, then Leah and her two children, then Rachel (whom he loved) with Yosef in the most protected position. [BACK]

 4. Clearly this was not the reception he was expecting. [BACK]

17. We aren’t told how long he stayed at Sukkot, but it was long enough to build a house. [BACK]

18. Think of all the people and animals traveling together. Their camp would not have been a single tent, but would have required the space of a medium-sized village. [BACK]

19a. The descendants of Hamor are called the Hivites. [BACK]

19b. One hundred qesitahs, a coin of unknown value. [BACK]

Other commentaries on Genesis 33
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Pulpit Commentary
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Originally posted on Shabbat, 04 September 2021
Revised and updated on Sunday, 16 October 2022

Page last updated on Monday, 02 October 2023 12:52 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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