Lesson 32: Jacob Meets Esau and Receives a Blessing at Bethel
The previous lesson ended with Jacob getting a blessing from the angel who had been with him all night. Now it was morning. Esau came with four hundred of his men with him. Jacob bowed himself before Esau. Esau ran to his brother and put his arms around him. Esau was glad to see Jacob. What do you think caused Esau to become friendly to Jacob? It was not the present of cattle Jacob had sent to Esau that now made him friendly. Esau himself was quite rich and at first did not want to take the present. No, it was not the present but it was God who had made Esau become friendly. Do you remember how God warned Laban not to hurt Jacob? Yes, God had sent angels to protect Jacob. Jacob had prayed to God asking His help and God was able to make Jacob's enemies (Laban and Esau) friendly to him.
Esau and his men offered to go with Jacob to help protect them. Jacob thanked Esau but told him that they would rather go by themselves. They would have to travel slowly because of the children and the cattle. Jacob also knew that God was protecting him and he did not need help from anyone as long as God was with him. Jacob had learned to put all his trust in God.
God now told Jacob to go to Bethel. (Genesis 35:1-3) Bethel was where Jacob had the vision of the angels on the ladder. Before going there Jacob made all his servants and his family throw away all their idols. Jacob wanted them to remember that there was only one God. At Bethel God again blessed Jacob telling him that he would become a great nation and receive the land forever.
Near Bethel Jacob and Rachel's second boy, Benjamin, was born. At this time Rachel died. Jacob now had twelve sons. In the next lesson, we start to learn about the descendants (family) of Israel (Jacob). Jacob, or Israel's, sons became heads of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jacob was very glad to see his father Isaac again. The Bible tells us that Isaac lived to be 180 years old.
- Was Esau happy to see Jacob and his family?
- Was it the present that Jacob sent to Esau that made Esau friendly?
- Who was it that changed Esau's feelings toward Jacob?
- Why did Jacob refuse Esau's offer to help?
- Where did God tell Jacob to go now?
- What did Jacob make his family and servants do?
- What did God tell Jacob at Bethel?
- What was the name of Rachel's second boy?
- How many sons did Jacob have?