12 Then Esau said, “Let us take our journey and go, and I will go before you.” 13 But he said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds which are nursing are a care to me. And if they are driven hard one day, all the flocks will die. 14 “Please let my lord pass on before his servant, and I will proceed at my leisure, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”
15 Esau said, “Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “1What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 Jacob journeyed to 2Succoth, and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Succoth.
18 Now Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram, and camped before the city. 19 He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. 20 Then he erected there an altar and called it 3El-Elohe-Israel.
It is likely here that Jacob was remembering the blessing of his father at this point. He knew that Esau was to be subject to him, and that if they were together in one place that things could become very unsettled between Esau and himself. Besides that, he didn’t want to push his children and livestock too hard, so it became a convenient excuse to avoid the conflict that would result from his stolen blessing.