Genesis 33:1-20

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 33:1-20

  1. Locate the passage

After his night alone wrestling with God, Jacob awoke to the same reality—Esau was coming. Only now, he faced his brother no longer constrained by his own strategies. Moreover, even as Jacob’s heart was changed, so also was Esau’s. So, when they finally meet, Jacob’s fears subsided as he advanced before his family and Esau (the brother who formally hated him) ran to meet him.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. It records the final conversation between Jacob and Esau recorded in Scripture (Cf. 36:6-7 presupposes, but does not include a conversation between them).

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

33:1-11 – Twins Separated in youth reconcile

33:1-3 – Jacob’s updated plan for his encounter with Esau

33:4-8a – Who are all these and what do you mean by all of this?

33:8b-11 – Please take my blessing

33:12-17 – Let’s take our journey

33:12 – Esau offers to travel with Jacob

33:13-14 – Jacob responds that those with him will need to travel more slowly

33:15a – Esau offers to leave some men with Jacob for protection

33:15b-17- Jacob responds that Esau’s offer is unnecessary and pleads for favor

33:18-20 – Jacob came to Shechem

  1. Exegete the passage

33:1 – Jacob “lifted his eyes”

33:3 – Jacob crossed over in front of his family

33:4 – Esau ran to meet Jacob

33:5 – Esau’s first question to Jacob

33:6-7 – The wives and children came and bowed down before Esau as had Jacob

33:8 – Esau’s second question to Jacob

33:10 – I have seen your face

33:11 – Take my “blessing”

33:12 – Esau is still the initiator of the conversation

33:13 – Jacob refuses his brothers offer on the basis that his family with the children and flocks must move slowly

33:15 – Esau’s second proposal is to leave some of his men with Jacob for protection

33:16-17 – Esau went to Seir; Jacob went to Succoth

33:18 – “Which is in the land of Canaan”

33:19 – Jacob bought the parcel of land

33:20 – Jacob built an altar

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

References   [ + ]

Category: Sermon Structure
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