Bible: 1 Cor. 7:7-9; 25-35
7:8 To the unmarried and widows I say that it is best for them to remain as I am. 7:9 But if they do not have self-control, let them get married. For it is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire. 1
The Death of Abraham
25:1 Abraham had taken 1 another 2 wife, named Keturah. 25:2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 25:3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. 3 The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. 25:4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants 4 of Keturah.
25:7 Abraham lived a total of 7 175 years. 25:8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man who had lived a full life. 8 He joined his ancestors. 9 25:9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah 10 near Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar, the Hethite. 25:10 This was the field Abraham had purchased from the sons of Heth. 11 There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 25:11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed 12 his son Isaac. Isaac lived near Beer Lahai Roi. 13
The Sons of Ishmael
25:12 This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael, 14 whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham.
25:13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons, by their names according to their records: 15 Nebaioth (Ishmael’s firstborn), Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 25:14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 25:15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names by their settlements and their camps – twelve princes 16 according to their clans.
25:17 Ishmael lived a total of 17 137 years. He breathed his last and died; then he joined his ancestors. 18 25:18 His descendants 19 settled from Havilah to Shur, which runs next 20 to Egypt all the way 21 to Asshur. 22 They settled 23 away from all their relatives. 24
Jacob and Esau
25:19 This is the account of Isaac, 25 the son of Abraham.
25:21 Isaac prayed to 28 the
“Two nations 32 are in your womb,
and two peoples will be separated from within you.
One people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”
25:24 When the time came for Rebekah to give birth, 33 there were 34 twins in her womb. 25:25 The first came out reddish 35 all over, 36 like a hairy 37 garment, so they named him Esau. 38 25:26 When his brother came out with 39 his hand clutching Esau’s heel, they named him Jacob. 40 Isaac was sixty years old 41 when they were born.
25:27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled 42 hunter, a man of the open fields, but Jacob was an even-tempered man, living in tents. 43 25:28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for fresh game, 44 but Rebekah loved 45 Jacob.
25:29 Now Jacob cooked some stew, 46 and when Esau came in from the open fields, he was famished. 25:30 So Esau said to Jacob, “Feed 47 me some of the red stuff – yes, this red stuff – because I’m starving!” (That is why he was also called 48 Edom.) 49
25:31 But Jacob replied, “First 50 sell me your birthright.” 25:32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die! What use is the birthright to me?” 51 25:33 But Jacob said, “Swear an oath to me now.” 52 So Esau 53 swore an oath to him and sold his birthright 54 to Jacob.
Isaac and Abimelech
26:1 There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred 57 in the days of Abraham. 58 Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. 26:2 The
26:7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.” 71 He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself, 72 “The men of this place will kill me to get 73 Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”
26:8 After Isaac 74 had been there a long time, 75 Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed 76 Isaac caressing 77 his wife Rebekah. 26:9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really 78 your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac replied, “Because I thought someone might kill me to get her.” 79
26:10 Then Abimelech exclaimed, “What in the world have you done to us? 80 One of the men 81 might easily have had sexual relations with 82 your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!” 26:11 So Abimelech commanded all the people, “Whoever touches 83 this man or his wife will surely be put to death.” 84
26:12 When Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown, 85 because the
26:16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us and go elsewhere, 94 for you have become much more powerful 95 than we are.” 26:17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley. 96 26:18 Isaac reopened 97 the wells that had been dug 98 back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up 99 after Abraham died. Isaac 100 gave these wells 101 the same names his father had given them. 102
26:19 When Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing 103 water there, 26:20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled 104 with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac 105 named the well 106 Esek 107 because they argued with him about it. 108 26:21 His servants 109 dug another well, but they quarreled over it too, so Isaac named it 110 Sitnah. 111 26:22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac 112 named it 113 Rehoboth, 114 saying, “For now the
26:23 From there Isaac 115 went up to Beer Sheba. 26:24 The
26:26 Now Abimelech had come 118 to him from Gerar along with 119 Ahuzzah his friend 120 and Phicol the commander of his army. 26:27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me 121 and sent me away from you.” 26:28 They replied, “We could plainly see 122 that the
26:32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported. 136 26:33 So he named it Shibah; 137 that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba 138 to this day.
26:34 When 139 Esau was forty years old, 140 he married 141 Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 26:35 They caused Isaac and Rebekah great anxiety. 142
Jacob Cheats Esau out of the Blessing
27:1 When 143 Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he was almost blind, 144 he called his older 145 son Esau and said to him, “My son!” “Here I am!” Esau 146 replied. 27:2 Isaac 147 said, “Since 148 I am so old, I could die at any time. 149 27:3 Therefore, take your weapons – your quiver and your bow – and go out into the open fields and hunt down some wild game 150 for me. 27:4 Then prepare for me some tasty food, the kind I love, and bring it to me. Then 151 I will eat it so that I may bless you 152 before I die.”
27:5 Now Rebekah had been listening while Isaac spoke to his son Esau. 153 When Esau went out to the open fields to hunt down some wild game and bring it back, 154 27:6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father tell your brother Esau, 27:7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare for me some tasty food. Then I will eat 155 it and bless you 156 in the presence of the
27:11 “But Esau my brother is a hairy man,” Jacob protested to his mother Rebekah, “and I have smooth skin! 164 27:12 My father may touch me! Then he’ll think I’m mocking him 165 and I’ll bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing.” 27:13 So his mother told him, “Any curse against you will fall on me, 166 my son! Just obey me! 167 Go and get them for me!”
27:14 So he went and got the goats 168 and brought them to his mother. She 169 prepared some tasty food, just the way his father loved it. 27:15 Then Rebekah took her older son Esau’s best clothes, which she had with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 27:16 She put the skins of the young goats 170 on his hands 171 and the smooth part of his neck. 27:17 Then she handed 172 the tasty food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.
27:18 He went to his father and said, “My father!” Isaac 173 replied, “Here I am. Which are you, my son?” 174 27:19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I’ve done as you told me. Now sit up 175 and eat some of my wild game so that you can bless me.” 176 27:20 But Isaac asked his son, “How in the world 177 did you find it so quickly, 178 my son?” “Because the
“Yes, 192 my son smells
like the scent of an open field
27:28 May God give you
the dew of the sky 193
and the richness 194 of the earth,
and plenty of grain and new wine.
27:29 May peoples serve you
and nations bow down to you.
and the sons of your mother will bow down to you. 197
May those who curse you be cursed,
and those who bless you be blessed.”
27:30 Isaac had just finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left 198 his father’s 199 presence, when his brother Esau returned from the hunt. 200 27:31 He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Esau 201 said to him, “My father, get up 202 and eat some of your son’s wild game. Then you can bless me.” 203 27:32 His father Isaac asked, 204 “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,” 205 he replied, “Esau!” 27:33 Isaac began to shake violently 206 and asked, “Then who else hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it just before you arrived, and I blessed him. 207 He will indeed be blessed!”
27:34 When Esau heard 208 his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly. 209 He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 27:35 But Isaac 210 replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away 211 your blessing.” 27:36 Esau exclaimed, “‘Jacob’ is the right name for him! 212 He has tripped me up 213 two times! He took away my birthright, and now, look, he has taken away my blessing!” Then he asked, “Have you not kept back a blessing for me?”
27:37 Isaac replied to Esau, “Look! I have made him lord over you. I have made all his relatives his servants and provided him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?” 27:38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only that one blessing, my father? Bless me too!” 214 Then Esau wept loudly. 215
27:39 So his father Isaac said to him,
“Indeed, 216 your home will be
away from the richness 217 of the earth,
and away from the dew of the sky above.
27:40 You will live by your sword
but you will serve your brother.
When you grow restless,
you will tear off his yoke
from your neck.” 218
27:41 So Esau hated 219 Jacob because of the blessing his father had given to his brother. 220 Esau said privately, 221 “The time 222 of mourning for my father is near; then I will kill 223 my brother Jacob!”
27:42 When Rebekah heard what her older son Esau had said, 224 she quickly summoned 225 her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is planning to get revenge by killing you. 226 27:43 Now then, my son, do what I say. 227 Run away immediately 228 to my brother Laban in Haran. 27:44 Live with him for a little while 229 until your brother’s rage subsides. 27:45 Stay there 230 until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I’ll send someone to bring you back from there. 231 Why should I lose both of you in one day?” 232
27:46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am deeply depressed 233 because of these daughters of Heth. 234 If Jacob were to marry one of these daughters of Heth who live in this land, I would want to die!” 235
28:1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman! 236 28:2 Leave immediately 237 for Paddan Aram! Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and find yourself a wife there, among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 28:3 May the sovereign God 238 bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants! 239 Then you will become 240 a large nation. 241 28:4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing he gave to Abraham 242 so that you may possess the land 243 God gave to Abraham, the land where you have been living as a temporary resident.” 244 28:5 So Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean and brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
28:6 Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan Aram to find a wife there. 245 As he blessed him, 246 Isaac commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” 247 28:7 Jacob obeyed his father and mother and left for Paddan Aram. 28:8 Then Esau realized 248 that the Canaanite women 249 were displeasing to 250 his father Isaac. 28:9 So Esau went to Ishmael and married 251 Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, along with the wives he already had.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
28:10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beer Sheba and set out for Haran. 28:11 He reached a certain place 252 where he decided to camp because the sun had gone down. 253 He took one of the stones 254 and placed it near his head. 255 Then he fell asleep 256 in that place 28:12 and had a dream. 257 He saw 258 a stairway 259 erected on the earth with its top reaching to the heavens. The angels of God were going up and coming down it 28:13 and the
28:16 Then Jacob woke up 267 and thought, 268 “Surely the
28:18 Early 269 in the morning Jacob 270 took the stone he had placed near his head 271 and set it up as a sacred stone. 272 Then he poured oil on top of it. 28:19 He called that place Bethel, 273 although the former name of the town was Luz. 28:20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God is with me and protects me on this journey I am taking and gives me food 274 to eat and clothing to wear, 28:21 and I return safely to my father’s home, 275 then the
The Marriages of Jacob
29:1 So Jacob moved on 279 and came to the land of the eastern people. 280 29:2 He saw 281 in the field a well with 282 three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because the flocks were watered from that well. Now 283 a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 29:3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds 284 would roll the stone off the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place over the well’s mouth.
29:4 Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?” They replied, “We’re from Haran.” 29:5 So he said to them, “Do you know Laban, the grandson 285 of Nahor?” “We know him,” 286 they said. 29:6 “Is he well?” 287 Jacob asked. They replied, “He is well. 288 Now look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” 29:7 Then Jacob 289 said, “Since it is still the middle of the day, 290 it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. You should water the sheep and then go and let them graze some more.” 291 29:8 “We can’t,” they said, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well. Then we water 292 the sheep.”
29:9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was tending them. 293 29:10 When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban, 294 and the sheep of his uncle Laban, he 295 went over 296 and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. 297 29:11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep loudly. 298 29:12 When Jacob explained 299 to Rachel that he was a relative of her father 300 and the son of Rebekah, she ran and told her father. 29:13 When Laban heard this news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he rushed out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob 301 told Laban how he was related to him. 302 29:14 Then Laban said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.” 303 So Jacob 304 stayed with him for a month. 305
29:15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you work 306 for me for nothing because you are my relative? 307 Tell me what your wages should be.” 29:16 (Now Laban had two daughters; 308 the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 29:17 Leah’s eyes were tender, 309 but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.) 310 29:18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with 311 Rachel, he said, “I’ll serve you seven years in exchange for your younger daughter Rachel.” 29:19 Laban replied, “I’d rather give her to you than to another man. 312 Stay with me.” 29:20 So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel. 313 But they seemed like only a few days to him 314 because his love for her was so great. 315
29:21 Finally Jacob said 316 to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time of service is up. 317 I want to have marital relations with her.” 318 29:22 So Laban invited all the people 319 of that place and prepared a feast. 29:23 In the evening he brought his daughter Leah 320 to Jacob, 321 and Jacob 322 had marital relations with her. 323 29:24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 324
29:25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah! 325 So Jacob 326 said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me! 327 Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked 328 me?” 29:26 “It is not our custom here,” 329 Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage 330 before the firstborn. 29:27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week. 331 Then we will give you the younger one 332 too, in exchange for seven more years of work.” 333
29:28 Jacob did as Laban said. 334 When Jacob 335 completed Leah’s bridal week, 336 Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 337 29:29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 338 29:30 Jacob 339 had marital relations 340 with Rachel as well. He loved Rachel more than Leah, so he worked for Laban 341 for seven more years. 342
The Family of Jacob
29:31 When the
29:34 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Now this time my husband will show me affection, 350 because I have given birth to three sons for him.” That is why he was named Levi. 351
29:35 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “This time I will praise the
30:1 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she 353 became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 354 or I’ll die!” 30:2 Jacob became furious 355 with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 356 30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 357 her so that she can bear 358 children 359 for me 360 and I can have a family through her.” 361
30:4 So Rachel 362 gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had marital relations with 363 her. 30:5 Bilhah became pregnant 364 and gave Jacob a son. 365 30:6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer 366 and given me a son.” That is why 367 she named him Dan. 368
30:7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son. 369 30:8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.” 370 So she named him Naphtali. 371
30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave 372 her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 30:10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son. 373 30:11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” 374 So she named him Gad. 375
30:14 At the time 380 of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 381 in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 30:15 But Leah replied, 382 “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 383 Rachel said, “he may sleep 384 with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 30:16 When Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep 385 with me because I have paid for your services 386 with my son’s mandrakes.” So he had marital relations 387 with her that night. 30:17 God paid attention 388 to Leah; she became pregnant 389 and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time. 390 30:18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward 391 because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.” 392 So she named him Issachar. 393
30:19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time. 394 30:20 Then Leah said, “God has given me a good gift. Now my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 395
30:21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
30:22 Then God took note of 396 Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 397 30:23 She became pregnant 398 and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 399 30:24 She named him Joseph, 400 saying, “May the
The Flocks of Jacob
30:25 After Rachel had given birth 401 to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 402 me on my way so that I can go 403 home to my own country. 404 30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 405 Then I’ll depart, 406 because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 407
30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 408 for I have learned by divination 409 that the
30:29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 411 “and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 412 30:30 Indeed, 413 you had little before I arrived, 414 but now your possessions have increased many times over. 415 The
30:31 So Laban asked, 418 “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 419 Jacob replied, 420 “but if you agree to this one condition, 421 I will continue to care for 422 your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 423 all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 424 and the spotted or speckled goats. 425 These animals will be my wages. 426 30:33 My integrity will testify for me 427 later on. 428 When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 429 if I have in my possession any goat that is not speckled or spotted or any sheep that is not dark-colored, it will be considered stolen.” 430 30:34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 431
30:35 So that day Laban 432 removed the male goats that were streaked or spotted, all the female goats that were speckled or spotted (all that had any white on them), and all the dark-colored lambs, and put them in the care 433 of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 434 while 435 Jacob was taking care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.
30:37 But Jacob took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees. He made white streaks by peeling them, making the white inner wood in the branches visible. 30:38 Then he set up the peeled branches in all the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. He set up the branches in front of the flocks when they were in heat and came to drink. 436 30:39 When the sheep mated 437 in front of the branches, they 438 gave birth to young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 30:40 Jacob removed these lambs, but he made the rest of the flock face 439 the streaked and completely dark-colored animals in Laban’s flock. So he made separate flocks for himself and did not mix them with Laban’s flocks. 30:41 When the stronger females were in heat, 440 Jacob would set up the branches in the troughs in front of the flock, so they would mate near the branches. 30:42 But if the animals were weaker, he did not set the branches there. 441 So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 442 and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 443 became extremely prosperous. He owned 444 large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.
Jacob’s Flight from Laban
31:1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining, 445 “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich 446 at our father’s expense!” 447 31:2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed. 448
31:10 “Once 459 during breeding season I saw 460 in a dream that the male goats mating with 461 the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 31:11 In the dream the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ ‘Here I am!’ I replied. 31:12 Then he said, ‘Observe 462 that all the male goats mating with 463 the flock are streaked, speckled, or spotted, for I have observed all that Laban has done to you. 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, 464 where you anointed 465 the sacred stone and made a vow to me. 466 Now leave this land immediately 467 and return to your native land.’”
31:14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance 468 in our father’s house? 31:15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 469 the money paid for us! 470 31:16 Surely all the wealth that God snatched away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So now do everything God has told you.”
31:17 So Jacob immediately put his children and his wives on the camels. 471 31:18 He took 472 away all the livestock he had acquired in Paddan Aram and all his moveable property that he had accumulated. Then he set out toward the land of Canaan to return to his father Isaac. 473
31:19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 474 Rachel stole the household idols 475 that belonged to her father. 31:20 Jacob also deceived 476 Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving. 477 31:21 He left 478 with all he owned. He quickly crossed 479 the Euphrates River 480 and headed for 481 the hill country of Gilead.
31:22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left. 482 31:23 So he took his relatives 483 with him and pursued Jacob 484 for seven days. 485 He caught up with 486 him in the hill country of Gilead. 31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 487 “Be careful 488 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 489
31:25 Laban overtook Jacob, and when Jacob pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead, Laban and his relatives set up camp there too. 490 31:26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 491 and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 492 31:27 Why did you run away secretly 493 and deceive me? 494 Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps? 495 31:28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren 496 good-bye. You have acted foolishly! 31:29 I have 497 the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 498 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 499 31:30 Now I understand that 500 you have gone away 501 because you longed desperately 502 for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 503
31:31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!” 504 Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought 505 you might take your daughters away from me by force. 506 31:32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 507 In the presence of our relatives 508 identify whatever is yours and take it.” 509 (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 510
31:33 So Laban entered Jacob’s tent, and Leah’s tent, and the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find the idols. 511 Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 512 31:34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 513 and sat on them.) 514 Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 515 31:35 Rachel 516 said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 517 my lord. I cannot stand up 518 in your presence because I am having my period.” 519 So he searched thoroughly, 520 but did not find the idols.
31:36 Jacob became angry 521 and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban. 522 “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit? 523 31:37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you? 524 Set it here before my relatives and yours, 525 and let them settle the dispute between the two of us! 526
31:38 “I have been with you for the past twenty years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 31:39 Animals torn by wild beasts I never brought to you; I always absorbed the loss myself. 527 You always made me pay for every missing animal, 528 whether it was taken by day or at night. 31:40 I was consumed by scorching heat 529 during the day and by piercing cold 530 at night, and I went without sleep. 531 31:41 This was my lot 532 for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave 533 for you – fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, but you changed my wages ten times! 31:42 If the God of my father – the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears 534 – had not been with me, you would certainly have sent me away empty-handed! But God saw how I was oppressed and how hard I worked, 535 and he rebuked you last night.”
31:43 Laban replied 536 to Jacob, “These women 537 are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, 538 and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today 539 or the children to whom they have given birth? 31:44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement, 540 you and I, and it will be 541 proof that we have made peace.” 542
31:45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 31:46 Then he 543 said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile. 544 They ate there by the pile of stones. 31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, 545 but Jacob called it Galeed. 546
31:48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement 547 today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 31:49 It was also called Mizpah 548 because he said, “May the
31:51 “Here is this pile of stones and this pillar I have set up between me and you,” Laban said to Jacob. 554 31:52 “This pile of stones and the pillar are reminders that I will not pass beyond this pile to come to harm you and that you will not pass beyond this pile and this pillar to come to harm me. 555 31:53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 556 the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 557 31:54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice 558 on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat the meal. 559 They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.
Jacob Wrestles at Peniel
32:3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead 567 to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region 568 of Edom. 32:4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant 569 Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now. 32:5 I have oxen, donkeys, sheep, and male and female servants. I have sent 570 this message 571 to inform my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”
32:6 The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you and has four hundred men with him.” 32:7 Jacob was very afraid and upset. So he divided the people who were with him into two camps, as well as the flocks, herds, and camels. 32:8 “If Esau attacks one camp,” 572 he thought, 573 “then the other camp will be able to escape.” 574
32:9 Then Jacob prayed, 575 “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O
32:13 Jacob 591 stayed there that night. Then he sent 592 as a gift 593 to his brother Esau 32:14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 32:15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 32:16 He entrusted them to 594 his servants, who divided them into herds. 595 He told his servants, “Pass over before me, and keep some distance between one herd and the next.” 32:17 He instructed the servant leading the first herd, 596 “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? 597 Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 598 32:18 then you must say, 599 ‘They belong 600 to your servant Jacob. 601 They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. 602 In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’” 603
32:19 He also gave these instructions to the second and third servants, as well as all those who were following the herds, saying, “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 604 32:20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” 605 Jacob thought, 606 “I will first appease him 607 by sending a gift ahead of me. 608 After that I will meet him. 609 Perhaps he will accept me.” 610 32:21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him 611 while he spent that night in the camp. 612
32:22 During the night Jacob quickly took 613 his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons 614 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 615 32:23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 616 32:24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man 617 wrestled 618 with him until daybreak. 619 32:25 When the man 620 saw that he could not defeat Jacob, 621 he struck 622 the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
32:26 Then the man 623 said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” 624 “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, 625 “unless you bless me.” 626 32:27 The man asked him, 627 “What is your name?” 628 He answered, “Jacob.” 32:28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, 629 “but Israel, 630 because you have fought 631 with God and with men and have prevailed.”
32:29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” 632 “Why 633 do you ask my name?” the man replied. 634 Then he blessed 635 Jacob 636 there. 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, 637 explaining, 638 “Certainly 639 I have seen God face to face 640 and have survived.” 641
32:31 The sun rose 642 over him as he crossed over Penuel, 643 but 644 he was limping because of his hip. 32:32 That is why to this day 645 the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck 646 the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.
Jacob Meets Esau
33:1 Jacob looked up 647 and saw that Esau was coming 648 along with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants. 33:2 He put the servants and their children in front, with Leah and her children behind them, and Rachel and Joseph behind them. 649 33:3 But Jacob 650 himself went on ahead of them, and he bowed toward the ground seven times as he approached 651 his brother. 33:4 But Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, hugged his neck, and kissed him. Then they both wept. 33:5 When Esau 652 looked up 653 and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob 654 replied, “The children whom God has graciously given 655 your servant.” 33:6 The female servants came forward with their children and bowed down. 656 33:7 Then Leah came forward with her children and they bowed down. Finally Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed down.
33:8 Esau 657 then asked, “What did you intend 658 by sending all these herds to meet me?” 659 Jacob 660 replied, “To find favor in your sight, my lord.” 33:9 But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother. Keep what belongs to you.” 33:10 “No, please take them,” Jacob said. 661 “If I have found favor in your sight, accept 662 my gift from my hand. Now that I have seen your face and you have accepted me, 663 it is as if I have seen the face of God. 664 33:11 Please take my present 665 that was brought to you, for God has been generous 666 to me and I have all I need.” 667 When Jacob urged him, he took it. 668
33:12 Then Esau 669 said, “Let’s be on our way! 670 I will go in front of you.” 33:13 But Jacob 671 said to him, “My lord knows that the children are young, 672 and that I have to look after the sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. 673 If they are driven too hard for even a single day, all the animals will die. 33:14 Let my lord go on ahead of his servant. I will travel more slowly, at the pace of the herds and the children, 674 until I come to my lord at Seir.”
33:16 So that same day Esau made his way back 678 to Seir. 33:17 But 679 Jacob traveled to Succoth 680 where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called 681 Succoth. 682
33:18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near 683 the city. 33:19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it 684 from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. 685 33:20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.” 686
Dinah and the Shechemites
34:1 Now Dinah, Leah’s daughter whom she bore to Jacob, went to meet 687 the young women 688 of the land. 34:2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, who ruled that area, saw her, he grabbed her, forced himself on her, 689 and sexually assaulted her. 690 34:3 Then he became very attached 691 to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter. He fell in love with the young woman and spoke romantically to her. 692 34:4 Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Acquire this young girl as my wife.” 693 34:5 When 694 Jacob heard that Shechem 695 had violated his daughter Dinah, his sons were with the livestock in the field. So Jacob remained silent 696 until they came in.
34:6 Then Shechem’s father Hamor went to speak with Jacob about Dinah. 697 34:7 Now Jacob’s sons had come in from the field when they heard the news. 698 They 699 were offended 700 and very angry because Shechem 701 had disgraced Israel 702 by sexually assaulting 703 Jacob’s daughter, a crime that should not be committed. 704
34:8 But Hamor made this appeal to them: “My son Shechem is in love with your daughter. 705 Please give her to him as his wife. 34:9 Intermarry with us. 706 Let us marry your daughters, and take our daughters as wives for yourselves. 707 34:10 You may live 708 among us, and the land will be open to you. 709 Live in it, travel freely in it, 710 and acquire property in it.”
34:11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s 711 father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your sight, and whatever you require of me 712 I’ll give. 713 34:12 You can make the bride price and the gift I must bring very expensive, 714 and I’ll give 715 whatever you ask 716 of me. Just give me the young woman as my wife!”
34:13 Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully when they spoke because Shechem 717 had violated their sister Dinah. 34:14 They said to them, “We cannot give 718 our sister to a man who is not circumcised, for it would be a disgrace 719 to us. 34:15 We will give you our consent on this one condition: You must become 720 like us by circumcising 721 all your males. 34:16 Then we will give 722 you our daughters to marry, 723 and we will take your daughters as wives for ourselves, and we will live among you and become one people. 34:17 But if you do not agree to our terms 724 by being circumcised, then we will take 725 our sister 726 and depart.”
34:18 Their offer pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 727 34:19 The young man did not delay in doing what they asked 728 because he wanted Jacob’s daughter Dinah 729 badly. (Now he was more important 730 than anyone in his father’s household.) 731 34:20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate 732 of their city and spoke to the men of their city, 34:21 “These men are at peace with us. So let them live in the land and travel freely in it, for the land is wide enough 733 for them. We will take their daughters for wives, and we will give them our daughters to marry. 734 34:22 Only on this one condition will these men consent to live with us and become one people: They demand 735 that every male among us be circumcised just as they are circumcised. 34:23 If we do so, 736 won’t their livestock, their property, and all their animals become ours? So let’s consent to their demand, so they will live among us.”
34:24 All the men who assembled at the city gate 737 agreed with 738 Hamor and his son Shechem. Every male who assembled at the city gate 739 was circumcised. 34:25 In three days, when they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword 740 and went to the unsuspecting city 741 and slaughtered every male. 34:26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and left. 34:27 Jacob’s sons killed them 742 and looted the city because their sister had been violated. 743 34:28 They took their flocks, herds, and donkeys, as well as everything in the city and in the surrounding fields. 744 34:29 They captured as plunder 745 all their wealth, all their little ones, and their wives, including everything in the houses.
34:30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought ruin 746 on me by making me a foul odor 747 among the inhabitants of the land – among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I 748 am few in number; they will join forces against me and attack me, and both I and my family will be destroyed!” 34:31 But Simeon and Levi replied, 749 “Should he treat our sister like a common prostitute?”
The Return to Bethel
35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up at once 750 to Bethel 751 and live there. Make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 752 35:2 So Jacob told his household and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have among you. 753 Purify yourselves and change your clothes. 754 35:3 Let us go up at once 755 to Bethel. Then I will make 756 an altar there to God, who responded to me in my time of distress 757 and has been with me wherever I went.” 758
35:4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that were in their possession 759 and the rings that were in their ears. 760 Jacob buried them 761 under the oak 762 near Shechem 35:5 and they started on their journey. 763 The surrounding cities were afraid of God, 764 and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.
35:6 Jacob and all those who were with him arrived at Luz (that is, Bethel) 765 in the land of Canaan. 766 35:7 He built an altar there and named the place El Bethel 767 because there God had revealed himself 768 to him when he was fleeing from his brother. 35:8 (Deborah, 769 Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak below Bethel; thus it was named 770 Oak of Weeping.) 771
35:9 God appeared to Jacob again after he returned from Paddan Aram and blessed him. 35:10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but your name will no longer be called Jacob; Israel will be your name.” So God named him Israel. 772 35:11 Then God said to him, “I am the sovereign God. 773 Be fruitful and multiply! A nation – even a company of nations – will descend from you; kings will be among your descendants! 774 35:12 The land I gave 775 to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you. To your descendants 776 I will also give this land.” 35:13 Then God went up from the place 777 where he spoke with him. 35:14 So Jacob set up a sacred stone pillar in the place where God spoke with him. 778 He poured out a drink offering on it, and then he poured oil on it. 779 35:15 Jacob named the place 780 where God spoke with him Bethel. 781
35:16 They traveled on from Bethel, and when Ephrath was still some distance away, 782 Rachel went into labor 783 – and her labor was hard. 35:17 When her labor was at its hardest, 784 the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you are having another son.” 785 35:18 With her dying breath, 786 she named him Ben-Oni. 787 But his father called him Benjamin instead. 788 35:19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 789 35:20 Jacob set up a marker 790 over her grave; it is 791 the Marker of Rachel’s Grave to this day.
35:21 Then Israel traveled on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 792 35:22 While Israel was living in that land, Reuben had sexual relations with 793 Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Israel heard about it.
Jacob had twelve sons:
35:23 The sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, as well as Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
35:24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
35:25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali.
35:26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher.
These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
35:27 So Jacob came back to his father Isaac in Mamre, 794 to Kiriath Arba 795 (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 796 35:28 Isaac lived to be 180 years old. 797 35:29 Then Isaac breathed his last and joined his ancestors. 798 He died an old man who had lived a full life. 799 His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.