And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
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See how great was Jacob’s fear even after the vision had affected the good man. He was afraid of his brother’s aggression and was concerned lest the memory of what had been done by him previously might provoke Esau into an attack on him. “Say to my lord Esau, ‘Thus says your servant Jacob: I was dwelling with Laban and tarried until now; I acquired cattle and asses and sheep, servants male and female. I have sent word to my lord in the hope that your servant may find favor with you.’ ” Notice how Jacob was afraid of his brother, and hence out of a wish to placate him he sent word ahead alerting him to his coming, the wealth acquired by him and where he had spent all the time, so as to calm Esau’s anger and succeed in making him gracious. This in fact happened, for God placated his heart, allayed his anger and rendered him gracious. After all, if by the words Jacob spoke to Laban, who had hunted him down in such awful rage, he caused him to suffer such great apprehension, much more did he cause his brother to be more affable to the good man.