a. The message. After the angel visit, Jacob decides to send a message to his brother Esau who has moved from Canaan and now lives in Seir the country of Edom which was to the south of Canaan and north of the Sinai wilderness. i. Thus says your servant, Jacob. Remember that Jacob has the birthright and the blessing and the promise of God that the older (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob). And yet, his message begins with the idea of servanthood. This is a statement of humility from one who had previously been so self-seeking. ii. I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. He is not a prodigal son. Of course, when Jacob left he had nothing but his staff with him but, he has not spent the last twenty years in futility but has been with their uncle. When he left he did not reject the family. iii. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, males servants, and female servants. Jacob is not coming back to Canaan as a beggar. He has prospered and is not looking for something from Esau. His message and return are not his seeking of wealth. iv. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight. Jacob uses another term of humility as he calls Jacob “my lord”. The messengers have been sent because Jacob is seeking reconciliation with his brother. Twenty years prior, Jacob left because Esau wanted to kill him. And now he wants to see if his rage has gone and to restore the relationship. Jacob is seeking grace from Esau. b. The reply. Esau replies to Jacob’s message by coming to meet him with four hundred men. Upon hearing this Jacob becomes greatly afraid and distressed. He believes that Esau and these four hundred men are coming to attack his camp. So Jacob makes a plan to divide all the servants and animals into two camps. That way if Esau attacks one camp then the other can run away and not all will be lost.