a. Let us journey on our way. After the matter of the gift is settled, Esau suggests that they begin their journey to his home, and he will accompany Jacob and his household. Jacob refuses Esau’s offer by saying that if he tries to drive his animals and family to keep up with Esau and his 400 men it will be too hard on them and he will lose his flocks. Jacob also does not expect Esau and his men to continue at his slow pace and says that they should pass on in front of him and he will meet him in Seir. We don’t know why Jacob said he would go to Esau in Seir but the fact remains that it is never recorded that he does. b. Succoth. Esau agrees to go ahead but he offers to leave some of the men who are with him. Jacob refuses again and asks “what need is there?” which is a rhetorical question. Jacob saying he needs nothing from Esau except that he finds favor in his sight. Jacob is content with Esau’s grace. So on that day, Esau takes all of his men and makes his way back to Seir. Jacob, however, does not head towards Seir but turns in the opposite direction. He comes to a place and builds himself a house and made booths for his livestock. This place came to be known as Succoth or booths. You may have heard this word if you have some Jewish friends because in the fall they celebrate Succoth or the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles. The feast they celebrate was named after the booths that the people of Israel built to live in the wilderness. So Jacob builds a home for himself on the east side of the Jordan River, outside the land of Canaan. It was right that Jacob did not take his household down to Seir. Remember what God had told him. “I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.” And so Jacob does not go down to the land of Edom but crosses over into the land of Canaan, the land of his kindred. c. Shechem. The chapter ends with Jacob making his way safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan about a day’s journey from Bethel. Jacob approaches the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, and he buys a piece of land on which to pitch his tent. Though Jacob is the rightful owner of the land by divine fiat, he pays for the use of the land and tries to avoid any conflict with the people living there. This is completely upended by Simon and Levi in chapter 34. On this piece of land, Jacob builds an altar and calls it El-Elohe-Israel or God, the God of Israel. Remember the vow that Jacob made. “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God.” Jacob has returned in peace to his kindred’s land. He is ready to call God his God, the God of Israel. At the end of chapter 35, we find that Jacob does indeed end up in his father’s house once again.