Jacob was a man who didn’t understand the meaning of “Don’t burn your bridges behind you.” For in his treatment of his older twin brother, Esau, Jacob had burnt his bridges by taking Esau’s birthright—and then his blessing—and then his inheritance. Therefore Jacob had to flee his homeland lest his brother kill him. He had left open no path for returning back home. It seemed that his only hope was that proposed by his mother, Rebekah, who had told him that should his brother’s anger ever subside, she would send for him to come back home.[1] But word from her never did come. However, a word from God did. After twenty years of being away from his family, God had told him that it was time to return home. And so Jacob embarked upon his journey.

As we saw last week, Jacob fearfully anticipated returning home to a brother who was on his way to meet him not alone but with four hundred of his men. Therefore, for the first time in his life—or at least for the first time recorded in Scripture—Jacob sought God out. He sought God out by praying,

O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, “Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,” 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, “I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.”[2]

This morning we see how God answered Jacob’s prayer.

After all of his nervous anticipation and trepidation at the thought of meeting the brother against whom he seemed to have irrevocably burnt all of his bridges, the moment of truth had finally arrived. As stated in the opening of chapter 33, “Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men.” The sight of Esau being escorted by four hundred men must have just about stopped Jacob’s heart. Ever a man of action, beginning in the second half of verse 1 we’re told, “so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.” Jacob seemed to have divided his family in order of preference from least to most preferred. Therefore, first in line would have been his concubines, Zilpah and Bilhah who were Leah and Rachel’s servants, respectively, followed by his two wives. Stating all of Jacob’s family by name, we find:

First was probably Zilpah, Leah’s servant, with her children: Gad and Asher;[3]

Next was probably Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, with her children: Dan and Naphtali;[4]

Next came Leah and her children: her sons Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and her daughter Dinah:[5]

Last of all was Jacob’s favorite wife—and as we’ll later see his favorite son—Rachel and Joseph.[6] By placing Rachel and Joseph last in line, Jacob was probably trying to make sure that they would be kept out of harm’s way. And though I’ve added the names of the concubines and all of the children involved, Joseph is the only child whose name is actually provided in the text.

Jacob then placed himself at the front of his family as he paid obeisance by bowing “down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.” As one commentator notes, this seven-fold bowing was “a sign of total submission.”[7]

Next an unexpected and wonderful thing happened. Instead of attacking Jacob, we read in verse 4 how “Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.” And then they both wept! This outcome no doubt far exceeded anything Jacob could have imagined. Whereas Jacob had feared that Esau may have been nursing his wounds and plotting his revenge during the entire time that Jacob had been away, nothing could have been further from the truth. Esau had allowed bygones to be bygones. His reaction upon seeing his twin brother after so many years was one of pure affection, joy, and delight. It looked as though these two brothers—who despite being twins had previously never gotten along and were so very different from one another—were now to be reconciled. So very much had happened over the course of those twenty years of separation. There was so very much to catch up upon.

Verse 5 records how the catching up began. “Esau looked up and saw the women and children” and asked, “Who are these with you?” Jacob, who was learning to see his life through the eyes of providence, answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.” Jacob was learning, as James, the brother of our LORD Jesus taught, that every good and perfect gift does indeed come from above, from our unchanging Father of lights.[8]

Esau then met Jacob’s family as they presented themselves before him, verses 6–7: “Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down. Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down.” Again, notice that of all of Jacob’s children, only Joseph is mentioned by name in the text.

Next Esau asked Jacob about the 550 plus animals he had sent him as a gift,[9] verse 8. “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?” Jacob, who previously had been a deceiver, now answered truthfully, “To find favor in your eyes, my lord….” Initially Esau begged him off, stating, verse 9, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.” Clearly Esau, too, had done well for himself over the intervening years. He didn’t need Jacob’s gift. He was content with the wealth he had acquired. But, as stated in verses 10–11, Jacob insisted: “10 No, please!…. If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” In offering this generous gift of so many animals from his own herd, surely Jacob had sought to make amends for the wrongs he had committed against Esau in the past. Surely he sought to repair the bridges he had previously burnt. “And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.”

In this exchange, we continue see how aware Jacob was of the fact that all of his provisions had come from the hand of God; of how gracious God had been in granting all that he had needed. Having come to the knowledge of God’s favor, of his acceptance in God’s eyes, Jacob had now sought and received Esau’s favor and acceptance. And I want to reflect a little on the correlation Jacob bore witness to in stating that seeing Esau’s face was like seeing God’s face now that Esau had favorably received him. For as we saw last week, Jacob had physically wrestled with a theophany of God, a manifestation of God in the form of a man. Consequently, he testified to how he had literally seen the face of God and yet had had his life spared by him.[10]

But as Jacob had anticipated meeting up with his brother these many years later, he couldn’t know what he would find for he knew that his brother had ample cause for harboring hatred and anger against Jacob who, again, had taken his birthright, blessing, and inheritance. Therefore, the face of God Jacob might have found in Esau could well have been one of fierce judgment. But, mercifully, the face of God he found in Esau was one of God’s grace for Esau had forgiven him—and embraced him—and wept with him. What a beautiful example this is of the proverb, “to err is human; to forgive divine.”[11] For this encounter between these formerly estranged brothers is a touching illustration and reminder of how intertwined our understanding of God can be with the treatment we receive from others. Had Esau deservedly lashed out at Jacob, Jacob would have glimpsed God’s wrath; but because Esau graciously forgave—and embraced—and rejoiced with tears over seeing his brother, Jacob, for a second time, had been enabled to see God’s face; to experience God’s grace. Is it any wonder, as Jesus later taught, that the sum of the law and the prophets is not only for us to love the LORD, our God, with all of our hearts, souls, mind, and strength but also to love our neighbors as ourselves?[12] For when we love others the way our kind Jesus has loved us and therefore has called us to love others, we may open a door for them to see the face of God; we may open a door for them to experience the love of God; we may open a door for them to experience the gift of grace, of underserved merit, God so lavishly offers and provides. In all of this we see how Jacob, who had strived against God and man, now humbled himself before both God and man for Jacob was a changed man. He was a man who had been changed by God’s steadfast love and patience.

Well after this exchange Esau said to Jacob, verse 12, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.” But Jacob turned him down saying, verse 13, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.” Next Esau offered to leave some of his men with him, perhaps for protection since there were dangers to be found for those who sojourned in a foreign land. But Jacob again reneged, saying, verse 15, “But why do that?… Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.”

As stated in verses 16–17, Esau complied as he made his way back to his home in Seir. But as for Jacob, instead of heading back to Seir—which was approximately 100 miles away—he “went to Sukkoth” which was only about four miles away.[13] While at Sukkoth “…he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth.” As we continue to see, names in Genesis often state particular traits—Sukkoth means shelters.

Now in time, verses 19–20, Jacob “arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent.” Shechem was about 20 miles west of Sukkoth and, as one commentator notes, it “was the first place named in connection with Abraham’s arrival in Canaan.”[14] Another scholar further notes that given that the Hebrew verb used here isn’t the usual one for building altars, it’s possible that Jacob reconstructed the earlier altar that his grandfather Abraham had built.[15]

Regardless, no doubt the most important statement in this entire chapter is found in the closing verse, verse 20: “There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.” “El Elohe Israel” can mean either “El is the God of Israel” or “Mighty is the God of Israel.” But the point we mustn’t miss is that in setting up this altar, we see that Jacob’s conversion was now complete for he embraced for himself the LORD who had changed his name from Jacob the deceiver who had had little to do with God to Israel the believer who had strived and struggled with God. For Jacob now owned that the God who had disclosed himself to his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac was also his God, the God of Israel. Therefore, he set up an altar for him. And hereafter all who believed in the LORD would refer to and identify him as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

For this way of referring to the one, true God—in opposition to any false gods or idols—continued to be used throughout both the Old and New Testaments. So we see in the Old Testament, for example, that before Joseph, Jacob’s eleventh son died, he bore witness to the fact that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would keep his word and come to the aid of his brothers and take them out of the land of Egypt.[16] Similarly, when God first appeared to Moses from out of the burning bush, he identified himself as “the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”[17] David, too, later acknowledged and prayed to this very God, “the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”[18] So, too, King Hezekiah sent a letter urging people to “return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.”[19]

As we transition to the New Testament, Jesus himself owned and identified this one and same God, notably in the passage read earlier from Mark in which Jesus was responding to some leaders from the Jewish sect of the Sadducees.[20] Now though the Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead,[21] they nonetheless presented to Jesus a hypothetical situation—and a highly unlikely one at that—concerning a made-up woman who had married and been widowed seven times.[22] Concerning this woman, they asked, “At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”[23] Jesus’ response is found in Mark 12:24–27:[24]

24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[Exodus 3:6]? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”

There are a number of points worth highlighting in Jesus’ answer:

First, it’s worth noting his own deep understanding of both the Scriptures and the power of God—both of which were lacking in the Sadducees who addressed him;

Therefore, second, Jesus stated what those Scriptures actually taught. Contrary to what the Sadducees held, the Old Testament Scriptures do in fact teach that the dead do rise. Hence in this we see the power of God in raising the dead. What is more, the Scriptures teach that marriage is a good of earthly life, not heavenly. For in heaven, there will no longer be marriage between people, even as there is no marriage between angels—and perhaps it’s worth noting that the Sadducees didn’t believe in angels either!;

Third, Jesus went on to elaborate upon a key significance concerning the God who raises the dead. Referring to the passage of the burning bush mentioned earlier, Jesus concludes: “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” If God is not the God of the dead, this means that by his awesome power and love he gives his very life to his followers, to those who belong to him. This is why he is God of the living, not the dead. Therefore, if he is God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are yet alive even though they have died![25]

Dear brothers and sisters, what an awesome God we know, love, and serve! For the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is able to turn our lives around even as he turned Jacob’s life around. For our gracious God is able to usher us from unbelief to belief, from blindness to sight, from eternal death apart from him to eternal life with him;

And for us, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has made himself manifest not in a theophany, but in a person, Jesus Christ. It is because of and through Jesus that we are called to forgive even as Esau forgave Jacob. As Paul exhorts, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”[26] If God in Christ has forgiven us, what right do we have not to forgive one another?

And through Jesus, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob continues to teach us how we are to love. As John instructs, “We love because he first loved us.”[27]

For the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is able to rebuild bridges we have burned; he is able to cleanse lives we’ve made unclean; he is able to restore relationships that have been broken. And we can be assured that he who is not God of the dead but of the living will carry us through all of our earthly hardships until he comes running to love, embrace, and weep over us with joy whenever he calls us home!

So let us today and always love and praise the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in and through his Son, Jesus Christ, by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit he so generously has given us!

Let us pray.

Benediction: Ephesians 3:20–21: 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

 

 

 

[1] Genesis 27:41–45: 41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44 Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

[2] Genesis 32:9–12.

[3] Genesis 30:9–12:When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” So she named him Gad. 12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher.

[4] Genesis 30:4–8:So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, and she became pregnant and bore him a son. Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.” Because of this she named him Dan. Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali.

[5] Genesis 29:31–35: 31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” 33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. 34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi. 35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.

Genesis 30:17–21: 17 God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19 Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21 Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

[6] Genesis 31:22–24: 22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24 She named him Joseph, and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”

[7] Zondervan NIV Bible Study note on Genesis 33:3. It goes on to state that this is also documented “in texts found at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt and dating back to the 14th century B.C.”

[8] James 1:17–18: 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

[9] Genesis 32:13–16: 13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.”

[10] Genesis 32:30: So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

[11] Alexander Pope (1688–1744), Essay on Criticism, written in 1709.

[12] Matthew 22:34–40:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 6:5: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” and Leviticus 19:18: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

[13] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Genesis 33:12–14.

[14] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Genesis 33:17–18. The note references verse 6 of Genesis 12. Genesis 12:6–7: Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

[15] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Genesis 33:20.

[16] Genesis 50:24–25: 24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

[17] Moses and the Burning Bush: Exodus 3:4–6, 14–16: When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God…. 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. 16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.

[18] See verse 18. 1 Chronicles 29:14–19: 14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”

[19] [Hezekiah is the King referred to] 2 Chronicles 30:6: At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.

[20] Other New Testament references to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob include: [Narrow Gate passage] Luke 13:28–30: 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”; Acts 3:12–14: 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.[20]; Acts 7:31–33: 31 When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’[Exodus 3:6] Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look. 33 “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. Exodus 3:6: Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

[21] Mark 12:18: Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.

[22] As the Sadducees put it in Mark 12:19–22: 19 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too.

[23] Mark 12:23.

[24] Parallels to this passage may be found in Matthew 22:29–32: 29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[Exodus 3:6]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” And Luke 20:34–38: 34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[Exodus 3:6] 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Exodus 3:6: Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

[25] The fact that followers of God continue to live is also made clear in Jesus’ Transfiguration when other Old Testament saints, Moses and Elijah, identifiably appear and speak with Jesus. Mark 9:2–8: 2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) 7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” 8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. [Also found in Matthew 17:1–8; Luke 9:28–36]

[26] Ephesians 4:32.

[27] 1 John 4:19.