Why did Esau come to meet Jacob with 400 men?

Feb 4th, 2010 | By | Category: Questions You Ask (click for the full answer)

Why did Esau come to meet Jacob with 400 men?

An excerpt from our verse by verse study on Genesis Chapter 32

The report caused fear in Jacob, for why would Esau bring 400 men? There were several possible reasons, as follows:

1. Because Esau distrusted Jacob, he brought 400 men for protection against Jacob’s supposed ulterior motives.

2. The 400 men indicated hostile intentions on Esau’s part; that is, he wanted to kill Jacob.

3. Esau wanted to show Jacob how powerful he was with 400 men under him.  The King James margin has “two hosts” or “two camps” for the meaning of Mahanaim in verse

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  1. I think Esau was still thinking vengeful thoughts hence the 400
    Jacobs vision of the angels -the struggling with the angel all
    seem to have to do with the softening of Esau’s heart and showing Jacob
    how to do it … the dividing of his hosts -.the sending of gifts –
    the bowing down…
    And Jacob was given assurance that he would prevail in that
    he was given a now name

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  2. I believe that Esau had 400 men with him because of the type of person he was. As time went on (when Jacob was with Laban) people would have come to know Esau’s personality and he would have continued to grow in wickedness as his wives brought him more and more to pagan gods (demons). So, by then, Esau would have had to keep a company of men with him for protection from those who would think to eliminate his tyranical actions. To put it short, the bad guy always has an entourage around them to protect them.

    The only reason he would not have been destructive to Jacob is that he had become accustomed to his way of life and who he had built himself up to be where he lived. He would have not felt any more threat from Jacob and likely would have wanted to show off a bit and prove that, even though Jacob thought to take his birthright and blessing, that he still seemed to be blessed and had all he wanted.

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