Genesis 27-29 New Revised Standard Version

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Jacob Obtains Isaac's Blessing

27 1  When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, "My son"; and he answered, "Here I am." 2  He said, "See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3  Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me. 4  Then prepare for me savory food, such as I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die." 5  Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it,

6  Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "I heard your father say to your brother Esau, 7  "Bring me game, and prepare for me savory food to eat, that I may bless you before the Lord before I die.' 8  Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. 9  Go to the flock, and get me two choice kids, so that I may prepare from them savory food for your father, such as he likes; 10  and you shall take it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies." 11  But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, "Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a man of smooth skin. 12  Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and bring a curse on myself and not a blessing." 13  His mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my word, and go, get them for me." 14  So he went and got them and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared savory food, such as his father loved. 15  Then Rebekah took the best garments of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob; 16  and she put the skins of the kids on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17  Then she handed the savory food, and the bread that she had prepared, to her son Jacob.

18  So he went in to his father, and said, "My father"; and he said, "Here I am; who are you, my son?" 19  Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, so that you may bless me." 20  But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" He answered, "Because the Lord your God granted me success." 21  Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not." 22  So Jacob went up to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." 23  He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. 24  He said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He answered, "I am." 25  Then he said, "Bring it to me, that I may eat of my son's game and bless you." So he brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26  Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near and kiss me, my son." 27  So he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said, "Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed. 28  May God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. 29  Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!"

30  As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau came in from his hunting. 31  He also prepared savory food, and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, "Let my father sit up and eat of his son's game, so that you may bless me." 32  His father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" He answered, "I am your firstborn son, Esau." 33  Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, "Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him?-yes, and blessed he shall be!" 34  When Esau heard his father's words, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me, me also, father!" 35  But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing." 36  Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright; and look, now he has taken away my blessing." Then he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" 37  Isaac answered Esau, "I have already made him your lord, and I have given him all his brothers as servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?" 38  Esau said to his father, "Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me, me also, father!" And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. 39  Then his father Isaac answered him: "See, away from the fatness of the earth shall your home be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. 40  By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you break loose, you shall break his yoke from your neck."

Jacob Flees from Esau

41  Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob." 42  But the words of her elder son Esau were told to Rebekah; so she sent and called her younger son Jacob and said to him, "Your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. 43  Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44  and stay with him a while, until your brother's fury turns away- 45  until your brother's anger against you turns away, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send, and bring you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?" 46  Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I am weary of my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women such as these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?"

28 1  Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, "You shall not marry one of the Canaanite women. 2  Go at once to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel, your mother's father; and take as wife from there one of the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. 3  May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and numerous, that you may become a company of peoples. 4  May he give to you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with you, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien-land that God gave to Abraham." 5  Thus Isaac sent Jacob away; and he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.

6  Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he charged him, "You shall not marry one of the Canaanite women," 7  and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. 8  So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please his father Isaac, 9  Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath daughter of Abraham's son Ishmael, and sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had.

God Appears to Jacob at Beth-el

10  Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11  He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12  And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13  And the Lord stood beside him and said, "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14  and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15  Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

16  Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place-and I did not know it!" 17  And he was afraid, and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." 18  So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19  He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20  Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21  so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22  and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you."

Jacob Serves Laban for Rachel and Leah

29 1  Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the people of the east. 2  As he looked, he saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep lying there beside it; for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well's mouth was large, 3  and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well, and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the mouth of the well. 4  Jacob said to them, "My brothers, where do you come from?" They said, "We are from Haran." 5  He said to them, "Do you know Laban son of Nahor?" They said, "We do." 6  He said to them, "Is it well with him?" "Yes," they replied, "and here is his daughter Rachel, coming with the sheep." 7  He said, "Look, it is still broad daylight; it is not time for the animals to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them." 8  But they said, "We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep."

9  While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep; for she kept them. 10  Now when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother's brother Laban, and the sheep of his mother's brother Laban, Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of his mother's brother Laban. 11  Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and wept aloud. 12  And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman, and that he was Rebekah's son; and she ran and told her father. 13  When Laban heard the news about his sister's son Jacob, he ran to meet him; he embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, 14  and Laban said to him, "Surely you are my bone and my flesh!" And he stayed with him a month.

15  Then Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?" 16  Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17  Leah's eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful. 18  Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, "I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel." 19  Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me." 20  So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. 21  Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed." 22  So Laban gathered together all the people of the place, and made a feast. 23  But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24  (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.) 25  When morning came, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?" 26  Laban said, "This is not done in our country-giving the younger before the firstborn. 27  Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years." 28  Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife. 29  (Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maid.) 30  So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He served Laban for another seven years.

The Children Born to Jacob

31  When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32  Leah conceived and bore a son, and she named him Reuben; for she said, "Because the Lord has looked on my affliction; surely now my husband will love me." 33  She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also"; and she named him Simeon. 34  Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, "Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons"; therefore he was named Levi. 35  She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "This time I will praise the Lord"; therefore she named him Judah; then she ceased bearing.

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