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bim to congratulate him on his escape from Laban, to welcome him to Canaan, and guide and protect him on his way. This is God's host. He called the name of the place, where he saw these Angels, Mabanaim, that is, two hosts or armies of Angels, or two Camps. Some say one army of guardian Angels had conducted him to the borders of Mesopotamia, and delivered Jacob over to the other army, who were the guardian Angels of Canaan. They appeared to Jacob, like two hosts on either side of him, one to protect him from Laban, who was behind him, and the other from Esau, who was before him, that they might be a complete guard to Jacob and his family.


"And Jacob sent a messenger before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, in the country of Edom. Thus shall ye speak unto my Lord Esau: Thy servant Jacob saith thus; I have sojourned with Laban and stayed there untill now: And I have oxen and asses, flocks, and meu servants and women servants: and

I have sent to tell my Lord that I may find grace in thy sight."

Sce what a kind and humble message he sent to Esau. Though his way did not lay through the country of Edom, and he had no occasion to ask leave of his brother to pass through his land, yet as he was going so near where Esau dwelt, he would not pass by without telling him-He called him Lord, and told him that as he had plenty of flocks and herds and people of his own, he was not come to claim his right to the double portion. These two things had greatly offended Esau. Jacob gives them up that he may be reconciled to his brother, that he might find grace in his sight. It seems the messengers met Esau coming to meet Jacob, and having delivered their message, they returned and told Jacob saying: We came to thy brother Esau and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. This alarmed Jacob and made him greatly afraid, and he was so distressed and troubled in his mind, that he scarcely knew what to do. Esau remembered the offence of Jacob, and seemed to be resolved on reveng

ing himself, by destroying Jacob and all his family.


Knowing that he was unable to resist his brother, he lays a plan whereby a part of his family and cattle at least might escape. "And he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks and the herds, into two bands; and said, If Esau come to the one company and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape." After having made use of the means of safety, he offers up a solemn prayer to God for his favor and protection. "And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which said it unto me, return unto thy country and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, and of all thy truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands, deliver me I pray thee from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst,


I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude." This prayer is offered up to Jacob's God, even the God of his father Abraham and Isaac, with great faith, fervor and humility. He trusts the promise of God, acknowledges himself unworthy of the least of God's mercies, and earnestly prays to be delivered from the hand of his brother: he pleaded the command of God for him to return, and his promise that he would " surely do him good."


After prayer he considers what else he can do to reconcile his brother and avoid his anger. He resolves to send him a present, not of gold and silver, not of jewels and fine linen, for he had none :—but of cattle. These were Jacob's riches, his flocks and his herds. And he lodg ed there that same night. It is supposed from this that all that is recorded after these words happened or was done in one night," and he took of that which came to his hand, a present for Esau his brother, two hundred she. goats and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes

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and twenty rams, thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine and ten bulls, twenty she asses and ten foals." In all, no less than 580 head of cattle; these he divided into droves, desiring each servant to say the same words, and to give the same answer to Esau. "When Esau my brother meeteth thee and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou, and whither goest thou, and whose are these before thee? Then shalt thou say, they be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my Lord Esau, and behold thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face'; peradventure he will accept of me." This present shows that Jacob was a rich, wise and peaceable man. A man's gift maketh room for him; it pacifies anger and strong wrath. He thought that this present would be acceptable to his brother, who might take a fancy to these ring straked, speckled and spotted cattle, that the very colors themselves would please Esau, and that he should thus obtain his favor.


After having sent the present off, Jacob,


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