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At sunrise Israel hurried to rejoin his wives and children, but he walked with a limp for the rest of his life. When Esau drew near with his four hundred men, Israel put forth his eleven children with their four mothers, then passed in front of them and bowed before his brother. And to Israel’s everlasting surprise, Esau did not assail him, but rather embraced him, and kissed him, and they both wept.

So the family feud was ended, if ever there was a feud, for after Israel had fled many years before Esau soon forgot that his Blessing had been stolen by his twin, since he obtained all of Isaac’s possessions anyway by default, and after that he had come to miss his twin brother. Israel introduced his children and their mothers to Esau, and begged his brother to accept the gift of herd animals he sent him, saying, “Take them please, my lord, because El Shaddai has dealt graciously with me, and I have enough. More than enough.”

Throughout this meeting Israel was extremely courteous to his brother and called him “my lord” even though the Blessing required Esau to call Israel lord. The love Israel still had for his own twin brother superseded all such minor considerations. Then after a long discussion in which they caught up on all the things that had happened since they had parted, Esau agreed to go on ahead because Israel had children and young animals that could not travel very fast. So they parted on good terms and both brothers rejoiced that things had transpired so. But the next time they met, it would be to bury their father.

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Strangers In Paradise