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In Parshas Vayishlach Eisav comes to meet Yaakov with 400 men. Is there a significance to the amount of men that were with Eisav?

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Not there yet. mi-yodeya-series – Seth J Nov 14 '13 at 20:56
@SethJ: It seems to have ended? – Gershon Gold Nov 15 '13 at 1:35
@GershonGold ask Isaac Moses. It's his project. – Shmuel Brin Nov 17 '13 at 3:46
up vote 8 down vote accepted

1) From ילקוט ראובני :

וגם הולך לקראתך וארבע מאות איש עמו, ארבע מאות איש שנטל עשו שנשא מחלת בת ישמעאל על נשיו, וירש ארבע מאות כתות החיצונים ששולטים עליהם מחל"ת ולילי"ת, נשים בגימטריא ארבע מאות, וזהו מרבה נשי"ם מרבה כשפי"ם

2) See also http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20767&pgnum=89

3) From ספר הישר, cited in אוצר המספרים:

בני שעיר החורי ש״מ איש הלכו עם עשו למלחמה על יעקב. לבד בניו ועבדיו של עשו היו ששים איש וביחד היו ארבע מאות איש וזהו שכתוב בתורה וארבע מאות איש עמו

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Great answer! I would suggest you consider translating and/or summarizing your sources to make them more accessible to others. (Also, check out our jargon policy and our external sources policy for more info.) – HodofHod Nov 14 '13 at 22:53

See the Arizal - it parallels the 400 silver pieces which Avraham bought maharas hamachpeilah

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Where is this saying of the Arizal recorded, and what is the significance of the parallel? – Double AA Nov 17 '13 at 3:00
I've seen this parallel before several times. See: hebrewbooks.org/pagefeed/hebrewbooks_org_24106_33.pdf , hebrewbooks.org/pagefeed/hebrewbooks_org_39356_79.pdf . But for the Arizal, I would presume that Chaim Vital's sefer ארבע מאות שקל כסף is what you're looking for. See hebrewbooks.org/14186 page 220. – Ephraim Nov 17 '13 at 6:17

Even before Jacob heard the angels' report, he knew that Esau was accompanied by 400 men. Yet he was not afraid, since he assumed they were the embodiments of "the 400 worlds of spiritual delight":

Spiritually, the 400 coins that Abraham gave to Ephron (in payment for the Cave of Machpelah35) correspond to the 400 "worlds of delight" that the righteous will inherit in the World to Come. Abraham invested these lofty energies in Ephron in order to extract them later on, much like sowing a field with a small number of seeds in order to reap abundant produce later on. While they remain in the realm of Ephron, however, they take on a negative manifestation.

Jacob thought that the energies of the 400 coins had already been returned to their original holy state and were now embodied in Esau's men. Sadly, the angels reported, Esau's 400 men were the devolved manifestation of these lofty spiritual energies, which had not yet been returned to holiness


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What happened to 310 worlds? – Double AA Nov 17 '13 at 3:51

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