Bible: Deuteronomy 4:25-31; 28-31
Threat and Blessing following Covenant Disobedience
4:25 After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, 1 if you become corrupt and make an image of any kind 2 and do other evil things before the
28:1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman! 1 28:2 Leave immediately 2 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 3 bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants! 4 Then you will become 5 a large nation. 6 28:4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing he gave to Abraham 7 so that you may possess the land 8 God gave to Abraham, the land where you have been living as a temporary resident.” 9 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. 10 As he blessed him, 11 Isaac commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” 12 28:7 Jacob obeyed his father and mother and left for Paddan Aram. 28:8 Then Esau realized 13 that the Canaanite women 14 were displeasing to 15 his father Isaac. 28:9 So Esau went to Ishmael and married 16 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 17 where he decided to camp because the sun had gone down. 18 He took one of the stones 19 and placed it near his head. 20 Then he fell asleep 21 in that place 28:12 and had a dream. 22 He saw 23 a stairway 24 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 32 and thought, 33 “Surely the
28:18 Early 34 in the morning Jacob 35 took the stone he had placed near his head 36 and set it up as a sacred stone. 37 Then he poured oil on top of it. 28:19 He called that place Bethel, 38 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 39 to eat and clothing to wear, 28:21 and I return safely to my father’s home, 40 then the
The Marriages of Jacob
29:1 So Jacob moved on 44 and came to the land of the eastern people. 45 29:2 He saw 46 in the field a well with 47 three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because the flocks were watered from that well. Now 48 a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 29:3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds 49 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 50 of Nahor?” “We know him,” 51 they said. 29:6 “Is he well?” 52 Jacob asked. They replied, “He is well. 53 Now look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” 29:7 Then Jacob 54 said, “Since it is still the middle of the day, 55 it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. You should water the sheep and then go and let them graze some more.” 56 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 57 the sheep.”
29:9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was tending them. 58 29:10 When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban, 59 and the sheep of his uncle Laban, he 60 went over 61 and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. 62 29:11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep loudly. 63 29:12 When Jacob explained 64 to Rachel that he was a relative of her father 65 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 66 told Laban how he was related to him. 67 29:14 Then Laban said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.” 68 So Jacob 69 stayed with him for a month. 70
29:15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you work 71 for me for nothing because you are my relative? 72 Tell me what your wages should be.” 29:16 (Now Laban had two daughters; 73 the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 29:17 Leah’s eyes were tender, 74 but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.) 75 29:18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with 76 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. 77 Stay with me.” 29:20 So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel. 78 But they seemed like only a few days to him 79 because his love for her was so great. 80
29:21 Finally Jacob said 81 to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time of service is up. 82 I want to have marital relations with her.” 83 29:22 So Laban invited all the people 84 of that place and prepared a feast. 29:23 In the evening he brought his daughter Leah 85 to Jacob, 86 and Jacob 87 had marital relations with her. 88 29:24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 89
29:25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah! 90 So Jacob 91 said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me! 92 Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked 93 me?” 29:26 “It is not our custom here,” 94 Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage 95 before the firstborn. 29:27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week. 96 Then we will give you the younger one 97 too, in exchange for seven more years of work.” 98
29:28 Jacob did as Laban said. 99 When Jacob 100 completed Leah’s bridal week, 101 Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 102 29:29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 103 29:30 Jacob 104 had marital relations 105 with Rachel as well. He loved Rachel more than Leah, so he worked for Laban 106 for seven more years. 107
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, 115 because I have given birth to three sons for him.” That is why he was named Levi. 116
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 118 became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 119 or I’ll die!” 30:2 Jacob became furious 120 with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 121 30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 122 her so that she can bear 123 children 124 for me 125 and I can have a family through her.” 126
30:4 So Rachel 127 gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had marital relations with 128 her. 30:5 Bilhah became pregnant 129 and gave Jacob a son. 130 30:6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer 131 and given me a son.” That is why 132 she named him Dan. 133
30:7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son. 134 30:8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.” 135 So she named him Naphtali. 136
30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave 137 her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 30:10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son. 138 30:11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” 139 So she named him Gad. 140
30:14 At the time 145 of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 146 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, 147 “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 148 Rachel said, “he may sleep 149 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 150 with me because I have paid for your services 151 with my son’s mandrakes.” So he had marital relations 152 with her that night. 30:17 God paid attention 153 to Leah; she became pregnant 154 and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time. 155 30:18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward 156 because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.” 157 So she named him Issachar. 158
30:19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time. 159 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. 160
30:21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
30:22 Then God took note of 161 Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 162 30:23 She became pregnant 163 and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 164 30:24 She named him Joseph, 165 saying, “May the
The Flocks of Jacob
30:25 After Rachel had given birth 166 to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 167 me on my way so that I can go 168 home to my own country. 169 30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 170 Then I’ll depart, 171 because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 172
30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 173 for I have learned by divination 174 that the
30:29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 176 “and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 177 30:30 Indeed, 178 you had little before I arrived, 179 but now your possessions have increased many times over. 180 The
30:31 So Laban asked, 183 “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 184 Jacob replied, 185 “but if you agree to this one condition, 186 I will continue to care for 187 your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 188 all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 189 and the spotted or speckled goats. 190 These animals will be my wages. 191 30:33 My integrity will testify for me 192 later on. 193 When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 194 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.” 195 30:34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 196
30:35 So that day Laban 197 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 198 of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 199 while 200 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. 201 30:39 When the sheep mated 202 in front of the branches, they 203 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 204 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, 205 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. 206 So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 207 and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 208 became extremely prosperous. He owned 209 large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.
Jacob’s Flight from Laban
31:1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining, 210 “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich 211 at our father’s expense!” 212 31:2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed. 213
31:10 “Once 224 during breeding season I saw 225 in a dream that the male goats mating with 226 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 227 that all the male goats mating with 228 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, 229 where you anointed 230 the sacred stone and made a vow to me. 231 Now leave this land immediately 232 and return to your native land.’”
31:14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance 233 in our father’s house? 31:15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 234 the money paid for us! 235 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. 236 31:18 He took 237 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. 238
31:19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 239 Rachel stole the household idols 240 that belonged to her father. 31:20 Jacob also deceived 241 Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving. 242 31:21 He left 243 with all he owned. He quickly crossed 244 the Euphrates River 245 and headed for 246 the hill country of Gilead.
31:22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left. 247 31:23 So he took his relatives 248 with him and pursued Jacob 249 for seven days. 250 He caught up with 251 him in the hill country of Gilead. 31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 252 “Be careful 253 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 254
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. 255 31:26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 256 and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 257 31:27 Why did you run away secretly 258 and deceive me? 259 Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps? 260 31:28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren 261 good-bye. You have acted foolishly! 31:29 I have 262 the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 263 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 264 31:30 Now I understand that 265 you have gone away 266 because you longed desperately 267 for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 268
31:31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!” 269 Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought 270 you might take your daughters away from me by force. 271 31:32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 272 In the presence of our relatives 273 identify whatever is yours and take it.” 274 (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 275
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. 276 Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 277 31:34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 278 and sat on them.) 279 Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 280 31:35 Rachel 281 said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 282 my lord. I cannot stand up 283 in your presence because I am having my period.” 284 So he searched thoroughly, 285 but did not find the idols.
31:36 Jacob became angry 286 and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban. 287 “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit? 288 31:37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you? 289 Set it here before my relatives and yours, 290 and let them settle the dispute between the two of us! 291
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. 292 You always made me pay for every missing animal, 293 whether it was taken by day or at night. 31:40 I was consumed by scorching heat 294 during the day and by piercing cold 295 at night, and I went without sleep. 296 31:41 This was my lot 297 for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave 298 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 299 – 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, 300 and he rebuked you last night.”
31:43 Laban replied 301 to Jacob, “These women 302 are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, 303 and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today 304 or the children to whom they have given birth? 31:44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement, 305 you and I, and it will be 306 proof that we have made peace.” 307
31:45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 31:46 Then he 308 said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile. 309 They ate there by the pile of stones. 31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, 310 but Jacob called it Galeed. 311
31:48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement 312 today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 31:49 It was also called Mizpah 313 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. 319 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. 320 31:53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 321 the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 322 31:54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice 323 on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat the meal. 324 They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.