Jacob sends three separate herds in front of him to meet Esau, from Genesis 32:13-21 commented by ASV and questions

God is a rich God

When we think of the herd that Jacob obtained in Haran, we imagine a small group of animals; maybe he had 500 sheep, some goats and a few camels, donkeys, and cows. However, here Jacob gives away to his brother Esau, 220 goats, 220 sheep, about 60 camels, fifty cows, and thirty donkeys, about 600 animals all together which he divided into three groups a mix of male and female ready to produce. God had made Jacob a very rich man.


This was a huge gift and Jacob hoped to appease Esau his brother before they met. At this point in Jacob’s life, he understood that he had done Esau wrong and by doing this, he asked Esau to forgive him. He pleaded for forgiveness three times dividing the animals into three separate groups meeting Esau with a delay between them. In this manner, Jacob showed Esau 3 times that he wanted his brother’s friendship and that he had done Esau wrong when he left for Haran.

Words we speak

Three times Esau met the flocks that Jacob sent in front of him, and three times, he heard the words, “Look, your servant Jacob is behind us”. The normal thing for this servant of Jacob to say was “our master Jacob is behind us” instead Esau heard that his brother acknowledged him as superior and master, and that Jacob wanted friendship and peace. Words we speak to people are important and are affecting those who listen, one way or another.


  1. What do the word hypocrite means?
  2. When we speak, do we express our opinion, what is in our heart?
  3. Do you think Jacob meant what he said to Esau?
  4. Had Jacob changed during the 20 years with Laban?

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