Genesis 33:16 MEANING

Genesis 33:16
Verses 16, 17. - So (literally, and, complying with his brother's request) Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir - from which he had come to meet Jacob (vide Genesis 32:3). And Jacob journeyed to Succoth. Succoth, so called here by anticipation, and afterwards belonging to the tribe of Gad, was situated in the valley of the Jordan, on the east side of the river, and to the south of the Jabbok (Joshua 13:27; Judges 8:4, 5), and consequently is not to be identified with Sakut, on the western side of the Jordan, ten miles north of the Jabbok, and opposite the Wady Yabis (Robinson, vol. 3. p. 175; Thomson, 'Land and Book,' p. 456); but is to be sought for at the ford opposite the Wady-el-Fariah, "down which the little stream from Shechem drains into the Jordan" (Tristram, 'Land of Israel,' p. 144; Porter in Kitto's 'Cyclop.,' art. Succoth; cf. Keil and Kalisch in loco). And built him an house. This was an indication that Jacob purposed some considerable stay at Succoth; and, indeed, if a period of repose was not now demanded by the state of Jacob s health after his long servitude with Laban, his exhausting conflict with the angel, and his exciting interview with Esau (Lange), an interval of some years appears to be imperatively required by the exigencies of the ensuing narrative concerning Dinah, who could not at this time have been much over six years of age (Murphy, Afford, Gosman, et alii). And made booths for his cattle. Porter states that he has frequently men such booths (Succoth, from saccac, to entwine) occupied by the Bedawin of the Jordan valley, and describes them as rude huts of reeds, sometimes covered with long grass, and sometimes with a piece of tent (vide Kitto's 'Cyclop.,' ut supra). Therefore the name of the place is called (literally, he called the name of the place) Succoth - i.e. booths.

33:1-16 Jacob, having by prayer committed his case to God, went on his way. Come what will, nothing can come amiss to him whose heart is fixed, trusting in God. Jacob bowed to Esau. A humble, submissive behaviour goes far towards turning away wrath. Esau embraced Jacob. God has the hearts of all men in his hands, and can turn them when and how he pleases. It is not in vain to trust in God, and to call upon him in the day of trouble. And when a man's ways please the Lord he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Esau receives Jacob as a brother, and much tenderness passes between them. Esau asks, Who are those with thee? To this common question, Jacob spoke like himself, like a man whose eyes are ever directed towards the Lord. Jacob urged Esau, though his fear was over, and he took his present. It is well when men's religion makes them generous, free-hearted, and open-handed. But Jacob declined Esau's offer to accompany him. It is not desirable to be too intimate with superior ungodly relations, who will expect us to join in their vanities, or at least to wink at them, though they blame, and perhaps mock at, our religion. Such will either be a snare to us, or offended with us. We shall venture the loss of all things, rather than endanger our souls, if we know their value; rather than renounce Christ, if we truly love him. And let Jacob's care and tender attention to his family and flocks remind us of the good Shepherd of our souls, who gathers the lambs with his arm, and carries them in his bosom, and gently leads those that are with young, Isa 40:11. As parents, teachers or pastors, we should all follow his example.So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. Took his leave of Jacob the same day he met him, and proceeded on in his journey towards Seir; whether he arrived there the same day is not certain, probably it was more than a day's journey.
Courtesy of Open Bible