Genesis 32-34 Bible in Basic English

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Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

32 1  And on his way Jacob came face to face with the angels of God. 2  And when he saw them he said, This is the army of God: so he gave that place the name of Mahanaim.

3  Now Jacob sent servants before him to Esau, his brother, in the land of Seir, the country of Edom; 4  And he gave them orders to say these words to Esau: Your servant Jacob says, Till now I have been living with Laban: 5  And I have oxen and asses and flocks and men-servants and women-servants: and I have sent to give my lord news of these things so that I may have grace in his eyes. 6  When the servants came back they said, We have seen your brother Esau and he is coming out to you, and four hundred men with him. 7  Then Jacob was in great fear and trouble of mind: and he put all the people and the flocks and the herds and the camels into two groups; 8  And said, If Esau, meeting one group, makes an attack on them, the others will get away safely.

9  Then Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, the God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, Go back to your country and your family and I will be good to you: 10  I am less than nothing in comparison with all your mercies and your faith to me your servant; for with only my stick in my hand I went across Jordan, and now I have become two armies. 11  Be my saviour from the hand of Esau, my brother: for my fear is that he will make an attack on me, putting to death mother and child. 12  And you said, Truly, I will be good to you, and make your seed like the sand of the sea which may not be numbered.

13  Then he put up his tent there for the night; and from among his goods he took, as an offering for his brother Esau, 14  Two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats, two hundred females and twenty males from the sheep, 15  Thirty camels with their young ones, forty cows, ten oxen, twenty asses, and ten young asses. 16  These he gave to his servants, every herd by itself, and he said to his servants, Go on before me, and let there be a space between one herd and another. 17  And he gave orders to the first, saying, When my brother Esau comes to you and says, Whose servant are you, and where are you going, and whose are these herds? 18  Then say to him, These are your servant Jacob's; they are an offering for my lord, for Esau; and he himself is coming after us. 19  And he gave the same orders to the second and the third and to all those who were with the herds, saying, This is what you are to say to Esau when you see him; 20  And you are to say further, Jacob, your servant, is coming after us. For he said to himself, I will take away his wrath by the offering which I have sent on, and then I will come before him: it may be that I will have grace in his eyes. 21  So the servants with the offerings went on in front, and he himself took his rest that night in the tents with his people.

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

22  And in the night he got up, and taking with him his two wives and the two servant-women and his eleven children, he went over the river Jabbok. 23  He took them and sent them over the stream with all he had.

24  Then Jacob was by himself; and a man was fighting with him till dawn. 25  But when the man saw that he was not able to overcome Jacob, he gave him a blow in the hollow part of his leg, so that his leg was damaged. 26  And he said to him, Let me go now, for the dawn is near. But Jacob said, I will not let you go till you have given me your blessing. 27  Then he said, What is your name? And he said, Jacob. 28  And he said, Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel: for in your fight with God and with men you have overcome. 29  Then Jacob said, What is your name? And he said, What is my name to you? Then he gave him a blessing. 30  And Jacob gave that place the name of Peniel, saying, I have seen God face to face, and still I am living. 31  And while he was going past Peniel, the sun came up. And he went with unequal steps because of his damaged leg. 32  For this reason the children of Israel, even today, never take that muscle in the hollow of the leg as food, because the hollow of Jacob's leg was touched.

Jacob and Esau Reconciled

33 1  Then Jacob, lifting up his eyes, saw Esau coming with his four hundred men. So he made a division of the children between Leah and Rachel and the two women-servants. 2  He put the servants and their children in front, Leah and her children after them, and Rachel and Joseph at the back. 3  And he himself, going before them, went down on his face to the earth seven times till he came near his brother. 4  Then Esau came running up to him, and folding him in his arms, gave him a kiss: and the two of them were overcome with weeping.

5  Then Esau, lifting up his eyes, saw the women and the children, and said, Who are these with you? And he said, The children whom God in his mercy has given to your servant. 6  Then the servants and their children came near, and went down on their faces. 7  And Leah came near with her children, and then Joseph and Rachel, and they did the same. 8  And he said, What were all those herds which I saw on the way? And Jacob said, They were an offering so that I might have grace in my lord's eyes. 9  But Esau said, I have enough; keep what is yours, my brother, for yourself. 10  And Jacob said, Not so; but if I have grace in your eyes, take them as a sign of my love, for I have seen your face as one may see the face of God, and you have been pleased with me. 11  Take my offering then, with my blessing; for God has been very good to me and I have enough: so at his strong request, he took it. 12  And he said, Let us go on our journey together, and I will go in front. 13  But Jacob said, My lord may see that the children are only small, and there are young ones in my flocks and herds: one day's over-driving will be the destruction of all the flock. 14  Do you, my lord, go on before your servant; I will come on slowly, at the rate at which the cattle and the children are able to go, till I come to my lord at Seir. 15  And Esau said, Then keep some of my men with you. And he said, What need is there for that, if my lord is pleased with me?

16  So Esau, turning back that day, went on his way to Seir. 17  And Jacob went on to Succoth, where he made a house for himself and put up tents for his cattle: for this reason the place was named Succoth. 18  So Jacob came safely from Paddan-aram to the town of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and put up his tents near the town. 19  And for a hundred bits of money he got from the children of Hamor, the builder of Shechem, the field in which he had put up his tents. 20  And there he put up an altar, naming it El, the God of Israel.

The Defilement of Dinah Avenged

34 1  Now Dinah, the daughter whom Leah had by Jacob, went out to see the women of that country. 2  And when Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite who was the chief of that land, saw her, he took her by force and had connection with her. 3  Then his heart went out in love to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, and he said comforting words to her. 4  And Shechem said to Hamor, his father, Get me this girl for my wife. 5  Now Jacob had word of what Shechem had done to his daughter; but his sons were in the fields with the cattle, and Jacob said nothing till they came.

6  Then Hamor, the father of Shechem, came out to have a talk with Jacob. 7  Now the sons of Jacob came in from the fields when they had news of it, and they were wounded and very angry because of the shame he had done in Israel by having connection with Jacob's daughter; and they said, Such a thing is not to be done. 8  But Hamor said to them, Shechem, my son, is full of desire for your daughter: will you then give her to him for a wife? 9  And let our two peoples be joined together; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10  Go on living with us, and the country will be open to you; do trade and get property there. 11  And Shechem said to her father and her brothers, If you will give ear to my request, whatever you say I will give to you. 12  However great you make the bride-price and payment, I will give it; only let me have the girl for my wife. 13  But the sons of Jacob gave a false answer to Shechem and Hamor his father, because of what had been done to Dinah their sister. 14  And they said, It is not possible for us to give our sister to one who is without circumcision, for that would be a cause of shame to us: 15  But on this condition only will we come to an agreement with you: if every male among you becomes like us and undergoes circumcision; 16  Then we will give our daughters to you and take your daughters to us and go on living with you as one people. 17  But if you will not undergo circumcision as we say, then we will take our daughter and go.

18  And their words were pleasing to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19  And without loss of time the young man did as they said, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter, and he was the noblest of his father's house. 20  Then Hamor and Shechem, his son, went to the meeting-place of their town, and said to the men of the town, 21  It is the desire of these men to be at peace with us; let them then go on living in this country and doing trade here, for the country is wide open before them; let us take their daughters as wives and let us give them our daughters. 22  But these men will make an agreement with us to go on living with us and to become one people, only on the condition that every male among us undergoes circumcision as they have done. 23  Then will not their cattle and their goods and all their beasts be ours? so let us come to an agreement with them so that they may go on living with us. 24  Then all the men of the town gave ear to the words of Hamor and Shechem his son; and every male in the town underwent circumcision.

25  But on the third day after, before the wounds were well, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and came into the town by surprise and put all the males to death. 26  And Hamor and his son they put to death with the sword, and they took Dinah from Shechem's house and went away. 27  And the sons of Jacob came on them when they were wounded and made waste the town because of what had been done to their sister; 28  They took their flocks and their herds and their asses and everything in their town and in their fields, 29  And all their wealth and all their little ones and their wives; everything in their houses they took and made them waste. 30  And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, You have made trouble for me and given me a bad name among the people of this country, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and because we are small in number they will come together against me and make war on me; and it will be the end of me and all my people. 31  But they said, Were we to let him make use of our sister as a loose woman?

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