Genesis 33:4

Hebrew Bible

1 Jacob looked up and saw that Esau was coming along with 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants. 2 He put the servants and their children in front, with Leah and her children behind them, and Rachel and Joseph behind them. 3 But Jacob himself went on ahead of them, and he bowed toward the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, hugged his neck, and kissed him. Then they both wept. 5 When Esau looked up and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob replied, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

Luke 15:22

New Testament

18 I will get up and go to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired workers.”’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way from home his father saw him, and his heart went out to him; he ran and hugged his son and kissed him. 21 Then his son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Hurry! Bring the best robe, and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let us eat and celebrate, 24 because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again—he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.

 Notes and References

"... The father runs to meet the son - an outlandish behavior, as emphasized by many interpreters.37 According to tradition, the 'way' a man walks 'shows what he is' (Sirach 19:30), and therefore a dignified man does not run. We must imagine here a prominent person wearing a long robe. In order to run, he must pull up the robe, exposing his legs, which would have been considered shameful in a Semitic culture. Even in a gentile Greco-Roman context, a 'proud man' makes slow steps. Prior to hearing what the son might have to say, the father embraces his son (literally the Greek reads, 'he fell upon his neck' an expression found in Genesis 33:4; 45:14; 46:29; 3 Maccabees 5:49; Acts 20:37) and kisses him. The scene recalls, above all, the reconciliation scene between Jacob and Esau, in which nearly the same language is used - Esau (a relatively young man) runs, falls upon the neck of Jacob his younger brother, and kisses him (Genesis 33:4 ... the sequence of Luke's verbs corresponds to that of the Masoretic Text of Genesis 33:4 rather than to that of the LXX) All takes place in the parable as though there is no time or opportunity for the son to greet his father properly, fall at his feet, and begin to make his speech ..."

Hultgren, Arland J. The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (p. 78) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000

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