Bible: Leviticus 16:7-10; 30-34
30:1 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she 1 became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 2 or I’ll die!” 30:2 Jacob became furious 3 with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 4 30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 5 her so that she can bear 6 children 7 for me 8 and I can have a family through her.” 9
30:4 So Rachel 10 gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had marital relations with 11 her. 30:5 Bilhah became pregnant 12 and gave Jacob a son. 13 30:6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer 14 and given me a son.” That is why 15 she named him Dan. 16
30:7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son. 17 30:8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.” 18 So she named him Naphtali. 19
30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave 20 her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 30:10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son. 21 30:11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” 22 So she named him Gad. 23
30:14 At the time 28 of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 29 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, 30 “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 31 Rachel said, “he may sleep 32 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 33 with me because I have paid for your services 34 with my son’s mandrakes.” So he had marital relations 35 with her that night. 30:17 God paid attention 36 to Leah; she became pregnant 37 and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time. 38 30:18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward 39 because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.” 40 So she named him Issachar. 41
30:19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time. 42 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. 43
30:21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
30:22 Then God took note of 44 Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 45 30:23 She became pregnant 46 and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 47 30:24 She named him Joseph, 48 saying, “May the
The Flocks of Jacob
30:25 After Rachel had given birth 49 to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 50 me on my way so that I can go 51 home to my own country. 52 30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 53 Then I’ll depart, 54 because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 55
30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 56 for I have learned by divination 57 that the
30:29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 59 “and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 60 30:30 Indeed, 61 you had little before I arrived, 62 but now your possessions have increased many times over. 63 The
30:31 So Laban asked, 66 “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 67 Jacob replied, 68 “but if you agree to this one condition, 69 I will continue to care for 70 your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 71 all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 72 and the spotted or speckled goats. 73 These animals will be my wages. 74 30:33 My integrity will testify for me 75 later on. 76 When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 77 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.” 78 30:34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 79
30:35 So that day Laban 80 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 81 of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 82 while 83 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. 84 30:39 When the sheep mated 85 in front of the branches, they 86 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 87 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, 88 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. 89 So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 90 and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 91 became extremely prosperous. He owned 92 large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.
Jacob’s Flight from Laban
31:1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining, 93 “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich 94 at our father’s expense!” 95 31:2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed. 96
31:10 “Once 107 during breeding season I saw 108 in a dream that the male goats mating with 109 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 110 that all the male goats mating with 111 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, 112 where you anointed 113 the sacred stone and made a vow to me. 114 Now leave this land immediately 115 and return to your native land.’”
31:14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance 116 in our father’s house? 31:15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 117 the money paid for us! 118 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. 119 31:18 He took 120 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. 121
31:19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 122 Rachel stole the household idols 123 that belonged to her father. 31:20 Jacob also deceived 124 Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving. 125 31:21 He left 126 with all he owned. He quickly crossed 127 the Euphrates River 128 and headed for 129 the hill country of Gilead.
31:22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left. 130 31:23 So he took his relatives 131 with him and pursued Jacob 132 for seven days. 133 He caught up with 134 him in the hill country of Gilead. 31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 135 “Be careful 136 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 137
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. 138 31:26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 139 and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 140 31:27 Why did you run away secretly 141 and deceive me? 142 Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps? 143 31:28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren 144 good-bye. You have acted foolishly! 31:29 I have 145 the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 146 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 147 31:30 Now I understand that 148 you have gone away 149 because you longed desperately 150 for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 151
31:31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!” 152 Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought 153 you might take your daughters away from me by force. 154 31:32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 155 In the presence of our relatives 156 identify whatever is yours and take it.” 157 (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 158
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. 159 Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 160 31:34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 161 and sat on them.) 162 Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 163 31:35 Rachel 164 said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 165 my lord. I cannot stand up 166 in your presence because I am having my period.” 167 So he searched thoroughly, 168 but did not find the idols.
31:36 Jacob became angry 169 and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban. 170 “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit? 171 31:37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you? 172 Set it here before my relatives and yours, 173 and let them settle the dispute between the two of us! 174
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. 175 You always made me pay for every missing animal, 176 whether it was taken by day or at night. 31:40 I was consumed by scorching heat 177 during the day and by piercing cold 178 at night, and I went without sleep. 179 31:41 This was my lot 180 for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave 181 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 182 – 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, 183 and he rebuked you last night.”
31:43 Laban replied 184 to Jacob, “These women 185 are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, 186 and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today 187 or the children to whom they have given birth? 31:44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement, 188 you and I, and it will be 189 proof that we have made peace.” 190
31:45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 31:46 Then he 191 said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile. 192 They ate there by the pile of stones. 31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, 193 but Jacob called it Galeed. 194
31:48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement 195 today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 31:49 It was also called Mizpah 196 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. 202 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. 203 31:53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 204 the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 205 31:54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice 206 on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat the meal. 207 They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.
Jacob Wrestles at Peniel
32:3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead 215 to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region 216 of Edom. 32:4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant 217 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 218 this message 219 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,” 220 he thought, 221 “then the other camp will be able to escape.” 222
32:9 Then Jacob prayed, 223 “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O
32:13 Jacob 239 stayed there that night. Then he sent 240 as a gift 241 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 242 his servants, who divided them into herds. 243 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, 244 “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? 245 Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 246 32:18 then you must say, 247 ‘They belong 248 to your servant Jacob. 249 They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. 250 In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’” 251
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. 252 32:20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” 253 Jacob thought, 254 “I will first appease him 255 by sending a gift ahead of me. 256 After that I will meet him. 257 Perhaps he will accept me.” 258 32:21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him 259 while he spent that night in the camp. 260
32:22 During the night Jacob quickly took 261 his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons 262 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 263 32:23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 264 32:24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man 265 wrestled 266 with him until daybreak. 267 32:25 When the man 268 saw that he could not defeat Jacob, 269 he struck 270 the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
32:26 Then the man 271 said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” 272 “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, 273 “unless you bless me.” 274 32:27 The man asked him, 275 “What is your name?” 276 He answered, “Jacob.” 32:28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, 277 “but Israel, 278 because you have fought 279 with God and with men and have prevailed.”
32:29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” 280 “Why 281 do you ask my name?” the man replied. 282 Then he blessed 283 Jacob 284 there. 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, 285 explaining, 286 “Certainly 287 I have seen God face to face 288 and have survived.” 289
32:31 The sun rose 290 over him as he crossed over Penuel, 291 but 292 he was limping because of his hip. 32:32 That is why to this day 293 the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck 294 the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.
Jacob Meets Esau
33:1 Jacob looked up 295 and saw that Esau was coming 296 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. 297 33:3 But Jacob 298 himself went on ahead of them, and he bowed toward the ground seven times as he approached 299 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 300 looked up 301 and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob 302 replied, “The children whom God has graciously given 303 your servant.” 33:6 The female servants came forward with their children and bowed down. 304 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 305 then asked, “What did you intend 306 by sending all these herds to meet me?” 307 Jacob 308 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. 309 “If I have found favor in your sight, accept 310 my gift from my hand. Now that I have seen your face and you have accepted me, 311 it is as if I have seen the face of God. 312 33:11 Please take my present 313 that was brought to you, for God has been generous 314 to me and I have all I need.” 315 When Jacob urged him, he took it. 316
33:12 Then Esau 317 said, “Let’s be on our way! 318 I will go in front of you.” 33:13 But Jacob 319 said to him, “My lord knows that the children are young, 320 and that I have to look after the sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. 321 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, 322 until I come to my lord at Seir.”
33:16 So that same day Esau made his way back 326 to Seir. 33:17 But 327 Jacob traveled to Succoth 328 where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called 329 Succoth. 330
33:18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near 331 the city. 33:19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it 332 from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. 333 33:20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.” 334
Dinah and the Shechemites
34:1 Now Dinah, Leah’s daughter whom she bore to Jacob, went to meet 335 the young women 336 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, 337 and sexually assaulted her. 338 34:3 Then he became very attached 339 to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter. He fell in love with the young woman and spoke romantically to her. 340 34:4 Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Acquire this young girl as my wife.” 341 34:5 When 342 Jacob heard that Shechem 343 had violated his daughter Dinah, his sons were with the livestock in the field. So Jacob remained silent 344 until they came in.
34:6 Then Shechem’s father Hamor went to speak with Jacob about Dinah. 345 34:7 Now Jacob’s sons had come in from the field when they heard the news. 346 They 347 were offended 348 and very angry because Shechem 349 had disgraced Israel 350 by sexually assaulting 351 Jacob’s daughter, a crime that should not be committed. 352
34:8 But Hamor made this appeal to them: “My son Shechem is in love with your daughter. 353 Please give her to him as his wife. 34:9 Intermarry with us. 354 Let us marry your daughters, and take our daughters as wives for yourselves. 355 34:10 You may live 356 among us, and the land will be open to you. 357 Live in it, travel freely in it, 358 and acquire property in it.”
34:11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s 359 father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your sight, and whatever you require of me 360 I’ll give. 361 34:12 You can make the bride price and the gift I must bring very expensive, 362 and I’ll give 363 whatever you ask 364 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 365 had violated their sister Dinah. 34:14 They said to them, “We cannot give 366 our sister to a man who is not circumcised, for it would be a disgrace 367 to us. 34:15 We will give you our consent on this one condition: You must become 368 like us by circumcising 369 all your males. 34:16 Then we will give 370 you our daughters to marry, 371 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 372 by being circumcised, then we will take 373 our sister 374 and depart.”
34:18 Their offer pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 375 34:19 The young man did not delay in doing what they asked 376 because he wanted Jacob’s daughter Dinah 377 badly. (Now he was more important 378 than anyone in his father’s household.) 379 34:20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate 380 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 381 for them. We will take their daughters for wives, and we will give them our daughters to marry. 382 34:22 Only on this one condition will these men consent to live with us and become one people: They demand 383 that every male among us be circumcised just as they are circumcised. 34:23 If we do so, 384 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 385 agreed with 386 Hamor and his son Shechem. Every male who assembled at the city gate 387 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 388 and went to the unsuspecting city 389 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 390 and looted the city because their sister had been violated. 391 34:28 They took their flocks, herds, and donkeys, as well as everything in the city and in the surrounding fields. 392 34:29 They captured as plunder 393 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 394 on me by making me a foul odor 395 among the inhabitants of the land – among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I 396 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, 397 “Should he treat our sister like a common prostitute?”