Sunday, January 29, 2017

Genesis 33:16-20 comments: Jacob goes to Canaan

16 ¶  So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. 17  And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. 18  And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city. 19  And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money. 20  And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.

Jacob had no intention of following Esau to Seir. Jacob takes a right turn into Canaan having come down from Syria, leaving Esau to return to Seir in Edom. He was probably very relieved at having escaped what he thought should be vengeful wrath on the part of Esau.

Succoth, as you can see by the text with the words after the colon defining what went before it, means booths. Booths are temporary stalls, shelter for Jacob’s beasts. There he purchased land from Hamor’s family which we shall soon find was a fateful act on the part of Shechem. Jacob builds an altar and names the altar Elelohe-Israel, which Strong said means, “the mighty God of Israel.” I suspect Jacob was very thankful that He did not receive what he thought could be coming to him.

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