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Here’s what happened when Abby and her dad, Aaron, read this Bible story together.


Abby is 8 and lives in America. She had lots of questions about this Bible story.

Abby said: “Why did Jacob bow down seven times to Esau?”



Aaron answered: “Seven was considered a symbol of perfection, completeness, or special honour. By bowing down to Esau seven times, Jacob was giving special honour to him and it was also a sign of complete humility. In so many words he was saying, ‘Look Esau, I don’t want to fight you.’”

 Abby wanted to know: “Why did Jacob put Joseph and Rachel last and the others first? Why youngest-oldest children (back to front)?”

 Aaron explained: “Rachel and Joseph were last, partly because Joseph was younger and more vulnerable than his brothers, but also because Jacob favored Rachel over Leah.

“If his family were attacked by Esau’s men, Rachel and Jacob would have the best chance of survival if they were in the back of the group.”

Abby did not understand: “Who are ‘droves’?”

Aaron said: “It’s the word used about Jacob’s flocks and herds. It’s used for something numerous. Esau wanted to know why Jacob had his whole family and herds with him. He knew Jacob was up to something.”

Abby asked: “Why did Jacob give all those gifts to Esau?”

Aaron told the story: “About 20 years before, Jacob disguised himself as Esau and took his blessing. Esau was so mad at the time he wanted to kill him. So, Jacob ran away. This was the first time he had returned home since then, so he did not know if Esau still wanted to kill him, especially when Esau had 400 men with him! Jacob thought that, by giving gifts, it would help save his and his family’s lives, instead of trusting God.”

Abby wanted to know: “Where did he get all those people?”

Aaron told her: “Esau had never met Jacob’s family before now, so he did not know they were his servants, wives, and children.”

What would you say?

Share your own questions and answers with others taking the Big Bible Challenge.

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