Genesis 18-31 New English Translation (NET Bible)
Three Special Visitors
18 The Lord appeared to Abraham[a] by the oaks[b] of Mamre while[c] he was sitting at the entrance[d] to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 2 Abraham[e] looked up[f] and saw[g] three men standing across from[h] him. When he saw them[i] he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low[j] to the ground.[k]
3 He said, “My lord,[l] if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant.[m] 4 Let a little water be brought so that[n] you may all[o] wash your feet and rest under the tree. 5 And let me get[p] a bit of food[q] so that you may refresh yourselves[r] since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.”[s] “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take[t] three measures[u] of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.”[v] 7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant,[w] who quickly prepared it.[x] 8 Abraham[y] then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food[z] before them. They ate while[aa] he was standing near them under a tree.
9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There,[ab] in the tent.” 10 One of them[ac] said, “I will surely return[ad] to you when the season comes round again,[ae] and your wife Sarah will have a son!”[af] (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him.[ag] 11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years;[ah] Sarah had long since passed menopause.)[ai] 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking,[aj] “After I am worn out will I have pleasure,[ak] especially when my husband is old too?”[al]
13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why[am] did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really[an] have a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything impossible[ao] for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.”[ap] 15 Then Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But the Lord said, “No! You did laugh.”[aq]
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
16 When the men got up to leave,[ar] they looked out over[as] Sodom. (Now[at] Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.)[au] 17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?[av] 18 After all, Abraham[aw] will surely become[ax] a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth may receive blessing[ay] through him. 19 I have chosen him[az] so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep[ba] the way of the Lord by doing[bb] what is right and just. Then the Lord will give[bc] to Abraham what he promised[bd] him.”
20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against[be] Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant[bf] 21 that I must go down[bg] and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests.[bh] If not,[bi] I want to know.”
22 The two men turned[bj] and headed[bk] toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord.[bl] 23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you really sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare[bm] the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge[bn] of the whole earth do what is right?”[bo]
26 So the Lord replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord[bp] (although I am but dust and ashes),[bq] 28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy[br] the whole city because five are lacking?”[bs] He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
31 Abraham[by] said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
32 Finally Abraham[bz] said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night[cf] and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.”[cg] “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.”[ch]
3 But he urged[ci] them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they could lie down to sleep,[cj] all the men—both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom—surrounded the house.[ck] 5 They shouted to Lot,[cl] “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can take carnal knowledge of[cm] them!”
6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly![cn] 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never been intimate with[co] a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please.[cp] Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection[cq] of my roof.”[cr]
9 “Out of our way!”[cs] they cried, “This man came to live here as a foreigner,[ct] and now he dares to judge us![cu] We’ll do more harm[cv] to you than to them!” They kept pressing in on Lot[cw] until they were close enough[cx] to break down the door.
10 So the men inside[cy] reached out[cz] and pulled Lot back into the house[da] as they shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest,[db] with blindness. The men outside[dc] wore themselves out trying to find the door. 12 Then the two visitors[dd] said to Lot, “Who else do you have here?[de] Do you have[df] any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city?[dg] Get them out of this[dh] place 13 because we are about to destroy[di] it. The outcry against this place[dj] is so great before the Lord that he[dk] has sent us to destroy it.”
14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters.[dl] He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy[dm] the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them.[dn]
15 At dawn[do] the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here,[dp] or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!”[dq] 16 When Lot[dr] hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them.[ds] They led them away and placed them[dt] outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, they[du] said, “Run[dv] for your lives! Don’t look[dw] behind you or stop anywhere in the valley![dx] Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord![dy] 19 Your[dz] servant has found favor with you,[ea] and you have shown me great[eb] kindness[ec] by sparing[ed] my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because[ee] this disaster will overtake[ef] me and I’ll die.[eg] 20 Look, this town[eh] over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one.[ei] Let me go there.[ej] It’s just a little place, isn’t it?[ek] Then I’ll survive.”[el]
21 “Very well,” he replied,[em] “I will grant this request too[en] and will not overthrow[eo] the town you mentioned. 22 Run there quickly,[ep] for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.)[eq]
23 The sun had just risen[er] over the land as Lot reached Zoar.[es] 24 Then the Lord rained down[et] sulfur and fire[eu] on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord.[ev] 25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region,[ew] including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew from the ground.[ex] 26 But Lot’s[ey] wife looked back longingly[ez] and was turned into a pillar of salt.
27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went[fa] to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked out toward[fb] Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region.[fc] As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace.[fd]
30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 Later the older daughter said[fj] to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the country[fk] to sleep with us,[fl] the way everyone does. 32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine[fm] so we can go to bed with[fn] him and preserve[fo] our family line through our father.”[fp]
33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine,[fq] and the older daughter[fr] came in and went to bed with[fs] her father. But he was not aware of when she lay down with him or when she got up. 34 So in the morning the older daughter[ft] said to the younger, “Since I went to bed with[fu] my father last night, let’s make him drunk[fv] again tonight. Then you go in and go to bed with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.”[fw] 35 So they made their father drunk[fx] that night as well, and the younger one came and went to bed with him.[fy] But he was not aware of when she lay down with him or when she got up.
36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter[fz] gave birth to a son and named him Moab.[ga] He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben Ammi.[gb] He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.
Abraham and Abimelech
20 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev[gc] region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident[gd] in Gerar, 2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord,[gh] would you really slaughter an innocent nation?[gi] 5 Did Abraham[gj] not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said,[gk] ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience[gl] and with innocent hands!”
6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience.[gm] That is why I have kept you[gn] from sinning against me and why[go] I did not allow you to touch her. 7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed[gp] he is a prophet[gq] and he will pray for you; thus you will live.[gr] But if you don’t give her back,[gs] know that you will surely die[gt] along with all who belong to you.”
8 Early in the morning[gu] Abimelech summoned[gv] all his servants. When he told them about all these things,[gw] they[gx] were terrified. 9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom?[gy] You have done things to me that should not be done!”[gz] 10 Then Abimelech asked[ha] Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?”[hb]
11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought,[hc] ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of[hd] my wife.’ 12 What’s more,[he] she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 13 When God made me wander[hf] from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me:[hg] Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”
14 So Abimelech gave[hh] sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.”[hi]
17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 18 For the Lord[hm] had caused infertility to strike every woman[hn] in the household of Abimelech because he took[ho] Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
The Birth of Isaac
21 The Lord visited[hp] Sarah just as he had said he would and did[hq] for Sarah what he had promised.[hr] 2 So Sarah became pregnant[hs] and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. 3 Abraham named his son—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.[ht] 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old,[hu] Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded him to do.[hv] 5 (Now Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.)[hw]
6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.[hx] Everyone who hears about this[hy] will laugh[hz] with me.” 7 She went on to say,[ia] “Who would[ib] have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!”
8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared[ic] a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.[id] 9 But Sarah noticed[ie] the son of Hagar the Egyptian—the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham—mocking.[if] 10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish[ig] that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”
11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son.[ih] 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset[ii] about the boy or your slave wife. Do[ij] all that Sarah is telling[ik] you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted.[il] 13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation,[im] for he is your descendant too.”
14 Early in the morning Abraham took[in] some food[io] and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child,[ip] and sent her away. So she went wandering[iq] aimlessly through the wilderness[ir] of Beer Sheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved[is] the child under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot,[it] away; for she thought,[iu] “I refuse to watch the child die.”[iv] So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably.[iw]
17 But God heard the boy’s voice.[ix] The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter,[iy] Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard[iz] the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 18 Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water.[ja] She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.
22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you[jd] in all that you do. 23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name[je] that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants.[jf] Show me, and the land[jg] where you are staying,[jh] the same loyalty[ji] that I have shown you.”[jj]
24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.”[jk] 25 But Abraham lodged a complaint against[jl] Abimelech concerning a well[jm] that Abimelech’s servants had seized.[jn] 26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover,[jo] you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”
27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty.[jp] 28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning[jq] of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof[jr] that I dug this well.”[js] 31 That is why he named that place[jt] Beer Sheba,[ju] because the two of them swore an oath[jv] there.
32 So they made a treaty[jw] at Beer Sheba; then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned[jx] to the land of the Philistines.[jy] 33 Abraham[jz] planted a tamarisk tree[ka] in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord,[kb] the eternal God. 34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time.[kc]
The Sacrifice of Isaac
22 Some time after these things God tested[kd] Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham[ke] replied. 2 God[kf] said, “Take your son—your only son, whom you love, Isaac[kg]—and go to the land of Moriah![kh] Offer him up there as a burnt offering[ki] on one of the mountains which I will indicate to[kj] you.”
3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.[kk] He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out[kl] for the place God had spoken to him about.
4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of[km] the place in the distance. 5 So he[kn] said to his servants, “You two stay[ko] here with the donkey while[kp] the boy and I go up there. We will worship[kq] and then return to you.”[kr]
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand,[ks] and the two of them walked on together. 7 Isaac said to his father Abraham,[kt] “My father?” “What is it,[ku] my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said,[kv] “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 “God will provide[kw] for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.
9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there[kx] and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up[ky] his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter[kz] his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord[la] called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 12 “Do not harm the boy!”[lb] the angel said.[lc] “Do not do anything to him, for now I know[ld] that you fear[le] God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”
13 Abraham looked up[lf] and saw[lg] behind him[lh] a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he[li] went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.”[lj] It is said to this day,[lk] “In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.”[ll]
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “I solemnly swear by my own name,[lm] decrees the Lord,[ln] that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you,[lo] and I will greatly multiply[lp] your descendants[lq] so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of[lr] the strongholds[ls] of their enemies. 18 Because you have obeyed me,[lt] all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another[lu] using the name of your descendants.”
20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah[lx] also has borne children to your brother Nahor— 21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram),[ly] 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (Now[lz] Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children—Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
The Death of Sarah
3 Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife[md] and said to the sons of Heth,[me] 4 “I am a foreign resident, a temporary settler,[mf] among you. Grant[mg] me ownership[mh] of a burial site among you so that I may[mi] bury my dead.”[mj]
5 The sons of Heth answered Abraham,[mk] 6 “Listen, sir,[ml] you are a mighty prince[mm] among us! You may bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb to prevent you[mn] from burying your dead.”
7 Abraham got up and bowed down to the local people,[mo] the sons of Heth. 8 Then he said to them, “If you agree[mp] that I may bury my dead,[mq] then hear me out.[mr] Ask[ms] Ephron the son of Zohar 9 if he will sell[mt] me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me publicly[mu] for the full price,[mv] so that I may own it as a burial site.”
10 (Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth.) Ephron the Hittite[mw] replied to Abraham in the hearing[mx] of the sons of Heth—before all who entered the gate[my] of his city— 11 “No, my lord! Hear me out. I sell[mz] you both the field and the cave that is in it.[na] In the presence of my people[nb] I sell it to you. Bury your dead.”
12 Abraham bowed before the local people 13 and said to Ephron in their hearing, “Hear me, if you will. I pay[nc] to you the price[nd] of the field. Take it from me so that I may[ne] bury my dead there.”
16 So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price[nh] and weighed out[ni] for him[nj] the price[nk] that Ephron had quoted[nl] in the hearing of the sons of Heth—400 pieces of silver, according to the standard measurement at the time.[nm]
17 So Abraham secured[nn] Ephron’s field in Machpelah, next to Mamre, including the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were in the field and all around its border, 18 as his property in the presence of the sons of Heth before all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city.[no]
19 After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So Abraham secured the field and the cave that was in it as a burial site[np] from the sons of Heth.
The Wife for Isaac
24 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years,[nq] and the Lord had blessed him[nr] in everything. 2 Abraham said to his servant, the senior one[ns] in his household who was in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh[nt] 3 so that I may make you solemnly promise[nu] by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth: You must not acquire[nv] a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living. 4 You must go instead to my country and to my relatives[nw] to find[nx] a wife for my son Isaac.”
6 “Be careful[oa] never to take my son back there!” Abraham told him.[ob] 7 “The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my relatives,[oc] promised me with a solemn oath,[od] ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ He will send his angel[oe] before you so that you may find[of] a wife for my son from there. 8 But if the woman is not willing to come back with you,[og] you will be free[oh] from this oath of mine. But you must not take my son back there!” 9 So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn promise he would carry out his wishes.[oi]
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed with all kinds of gifts from his master at his disposal.[oj] He journeyed[ok] to the region of Aram Naharaim[ol] and the city of Nahor. 11 He made the camels kneel down by the well[om] outside the city. It was evening,[on] the time when the women would go out to draw water. 12 He prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, guide me today.[oo] Be faithful[op] to my master Abraham. 13 Here I am, standing by the spring,[oq] and the daughters of the people[or] who live in the town are coming out to draw water. 14 I will say to a young woman, ‘Please lower your jar so I may drink.’ May the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac reply, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’[os] In this way I will know that you have been faithful to my master.”[ot]
15 Before he had finished praying, there came Rebekah[ou] with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah (Milcah was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor).[ov] 16 Now the young woman was very beautiful. She was a virgin; no man had ever been physically intimate with her.[ow] She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up. 17 Abraham’s servant[ox] ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a sip of water from your jug.” 18 “Drink, my lord,” she replied, and quickly lowering[oy] her jug to her hands, she gave him a drink. 19 When she had done so,[oz] she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have drunk as much as they want.” 20 She quickly emptied[pa] her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw more water until she had drawn enough for all his camels. 21 Silently the man watched her with interest to determine[pb] if the Lord had made his journey successful[pc] or not.
22 After the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka[pd] and two gold wrist bracelets weighing ten shekels[pe] and gave them to her.[pf] 23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked.[pg] “Tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
26 The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praised be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his faithful love[pk] for my master! The Lord has led me[pl] to the house[pm] of my master’s relatives!”[pn]
28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household all about[po] these things. 29 (Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban.)[pp] Laban rushed out to meet the man at the spring. 30 When he saw the bracelets on his sister’s wrists and the nose ring[pq] and heard his sister Rebekah say,[pr] “This is what the man said to me,” he went out to meet the man. There he was, standing[ps] by the camels near the spring. 31 Laban said to him,[pt] “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord![pu] Why are you standing out here when I have prepared[pv] the house and a place for the camels?”
32 So Abraham’s servant[pw] went to the house and unloaded[px] the camels. Straw and feed were given[py] to the camels, and water was provided so that he and the men who were with him could wash their feet.[pz] 33 When food was served,[qa] he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I want to say.”[qb] “Tell us,” Laban said.[qc]
34 “I am the servant of Abraham,” he began. 35 “The Lord has richly blessed my master and he has become very wealthy.[qd] The Lord[qe] has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah bore a son to him[qf] when she was old,[qg] and my master[qh] has given him everything he owns. 37 My master made me swear an oath. He said, ‘You must not acquire a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 38 but you must go to the family of my father and to my relatives to find[qi] a wife for my son.’ 39 But I said to my master, ‘What if the woman does not want to go[qj] with me?’[qk] 40 He answered, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked,[ql] will send his angel with you. He will make your journey a success and you will find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41 You will be free from your oath[qm] if you go to my relatives and they will not give her to you. Then you will be free from your oath.’ 42 When I came to the spring today, I prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you have decided to make my journey successful,[qn] may events unfold as follows:[qo] 43 Here I am, standing by the spring.[qp] When[qq] the young woman goes out to draw water, I’ll say, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jug.” 44 Then she will reply to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too.” May that woman be the one whom the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45 “Before I finished praying in my heart,[qr] along came Rebekah[qs] with her water jug on her shoulder! She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels water. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘The daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to Nahor.’[qt] I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 Then I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right path to find the granddaughter[qu] of my master’s brother for his son. 49 Now, if you will show faithful love to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me as well, so that I may go on my way.”[qv]
50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “This is the Lord’s doing.[qw] Our wishes are of no concern.[qx] 51 Rebekah stands here before you. Take her and go so that she may become[qy] the wife of your master’s son, just as the Lord has decided.”[qz]
52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then he[ra] brought out gold, silver jewelry, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 After this, he and the men who were with him ate a meal and stayed there overnight.[rb]
When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now so I can return to my master.”[rc] 55 But Rebekah’s[rd] brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl stay with us a few more days, perhaps ten. Then she can go.” 56 But he said to them, “Don’t detain me—the Lord[re] has granted me success on my journey. Let me leave now so I may return[rf] to my master.” 57 Then they said, “We’ll call the girl and find out what she wants to do.”[rg] 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want[rh] to go with this man?” She replied, “I want to go.”
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, accompanied by her female attendant, with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 They blessed Rebekah with these words:[ri]
62 Now[rn] Isaac came from[ro] Beer Lahai Roi,[rp] for[rq] he was living in the Negev.[rr] 63 He[rs] went out to relax[rt] in the field in the early evening.[ru] Then he looked up[rv] and saw that[rw] there were camels approaching. 64 Rebekah looked up[rx] and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked[ry] Abraham’s servant,[rz] “Who is that man walking in the field toward us?” “That is my master,” the servant replied.[sa] So she took her veil and covered herself.
66 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67 Then Isaac brought Rebekah[sb] into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took her[sc] as his wife and loved her.[sd] So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.[se]
The Death of Abraham
25 Abraham had taken[sf] another[sg] wife, named Keturah. 2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan.[sh] The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants[si] of Keturah.
7 Abraham lived a total of[sl] 175 years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man who had lived a full life.[sm] He joined his ancestors.[sn] 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah[so] near Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar, the Hittite.[sp] 10 This was the field Abraham had purchased from the sons of Heth.[sq] There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed[sr] his son Isaac. Isaac lived near Beer Lahai Roi.[ss]
The Sons of Ishmael
12 This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael,[st] whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham.
13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons, by their names according to their records:[su] Nebaioth (Ishmael’s firstborn), Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names by their settlements and their camps—twelve princes[sv] according to their clans.
17 Ishmael lived a total of[sw] 137 years. He breathed his last and died; then he joined his ancestors.[sx] 18 His descendants[sy] settled from Havilah to Shur, which runs next to[sz] Egypt all the way[ta] to Asshur.[tb] They settled[tc] away from all their relatives.[td]
Jacob and Esau
19 This is the account of Isaac,[te] the son of Abraham.
21 Isaac prayed[th] to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 But the children struggled[ti] inside her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?”[tj] So she asked the Lord,[tk] 23 and the Lord said to her,
“Two nations[tl] are in your womb,
24 When the time came for Rebekah to give birth,[tm] there were[tn] twins in her womb. 25 The first came out reddish[to] all over,[tp] like a hairy[tq] garment, so they named him Esau.[tr] 26 When his brother came out with[ts] his hand clutching Esau’s heel, they named him Jacob.[tt] Isaac was sixty years old[tu] when they were born.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled[tv] hunter, a man of the open fields, but Jacob was an even-tempered man, living in tents.[tw] 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for fresh game,[tx] but Rebekah loved[ty] Jacob.
29 Now Jacob cooked some stew,[tz] and when Esau came in from the open fields, he was famished. 30 So Esau said to Jacob, “Feed[ua] me some of the red stuff—yes, this red stuff—because I’m starving!” (That is why he was also called[ub] Edom.)[uc]
31 But Jacob replied, “First[ud] sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die! What use is the birthright to me?”[ue] 33 But Jacob said, “Swear an oath to me now.”[uf] So Esau[ug] swore an oath to him and sold his birthright[uh] to Jacob.
Isaac and Abimelech
26 There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred[uk] in the days of Abraham.[ul] Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt;[um] settle down in the land that I will point out to you.[un] 3 Stay[uo] in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you,[up] for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants,[uq] and I will fulfill[ur] the solemn promise I made[us] to your father Abraham. 4 I will multiply your descendants so they will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them[ut] all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants.[uu] 5 All this will come to pass[uv] because Abraham obeyed me[uw] and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”[ux] 6 So Isaac settled in Gerar.
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.”[uy] He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself,[uz] “The men of this place will kill me to get[va] Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”
8 After Isaac[vb] had been there a long time,[vc] Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed[vd] Isaac caressing[ve] his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really[vf] your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac replied, “Because I thought someone might kill me to get her.”[vg]
10 Then Abimelech exclaimed, “What in the world have you done to us?[vh] One of the men[vi] nearly took your wife to bed,[vj] and you would have brought guilt on us!” 11 So Abimelech commanded all the people, “Whoever touches[vk] this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”[vl]
12 When Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown,[vm] because the Lord blessed him.[vn] 13 The man became wealthy.[vo] His influence continued to grow[vp] until he became very prominent. 14 He had[vq] so many sheep[vr] and cattle[vs] and such a great household of servants that the Philistines became jealous of[vt] him. 15 So the Philistines took dirt and filled up[vu] all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham.
16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us and go elsewhere,[vv] for you have become much more powerful[vw] than we are.” 17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley.[vx] 18 Isaac reopened[vy] the wells that had been dug[vz] back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up[wa] after Abraham died. Isaac[wb] gave these wells[wc] the same names his father had given them.[wd]
19 When Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing[we] water there, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled[wf] with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac[wg] named the well Esek[wh] because they argued with him about it.[wi] 21 His servants[wj] dug another well, but they quarreled over it too, so Isaac named it[wk] Sitnah.[wl] 22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac[wm] named it[wn] Rehoboth,[wo] saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in the land.”
23 From there Isaac[wp] went up to Beer Sheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped[wq] the Lord. He pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.[wr]
26 Now Abimelech had come[ws] to him from Gerar along with[wt] Ahuzzah his friend[wu] and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me[wv] and sent me away from you.” 28 They replied, “We could plainly see[ww] that the Lord is with you. So we decided there should be[wx] a pact between us[wy]—between us[wz] and you. Allow us to make[xa] a treaty with you 29 so that[xb] you will not do us any harm, just as we have not harmed[xc] you, but have always treated you well[xd] before sending you away[xe] in peace. Now you are blessed by the Lord.”[xf]
32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported.[xk] 33 So he named it Shibah;[xl] that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba[xm] to this day.
34 When[xn] Esau was forty years old,[xo] he married[xp] Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They caused Isaac and Rebekah great anxiety.[xq]
Jacob Cheats Esau out of the Blessing
27 When[xr] Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he was almost blind,[xs] he called his older[xt] son Esau and said to him, “My son!” “Here I am!” Esau[xu] replied. 2 Isaac[xv] said, “Since[xw] I am so old, I could die at any time.[xx] 3 Therefore, take your weapons—your quiver and your bow—and go out into the open fields and hunt down some wild game[xy] for me. 4 Then prepare for me some tasty food, the kind I love, and bring it to me. Then[xz] I will eat it so that I may bless you[ya] before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah had been listening while Isaac spoke to his son Esau.[yb] When Esau went out to the open fields to hunt down some wild game and bring it back,[yc] 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father tell your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare for me some tasty food. Then I will eat[yd] it and bless you[ye] in the presence of the Lord[yf] before I die.’ 8 Now then, my son, do exactly[yg] what I tell you![yh] 9 Go to the flock and get me two of the best young goats. I’ll prepare[yi] them in a tasty way for your father, just the way he loves them. 10 Then you will take[yj] it to your father. Thus he will eat it[yk] and[yl] bless you before he dies.”
11 “But Esau my brother is a hairy man,” Jacob protested to his mother Rebekah, “and I have smooth skin![ym] 12 My father may touch me! Then he’ll think I’m mocking him[yn] and I’ll bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing.” 13 So his mother told him, “Any curse against you will fall on me,[yo] my son! Just obey me![yp] Go and get them for me!”
14 So he went and got the goats[yq] and brought them to his mother. She[yr] prepared some tasty food, just the way his father loved it. 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. 16 She put the skins of the young goats[ys] on his hands[yt] and the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed[yu] the tasty food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.
18 He went to his father and said, “My father!” Isaac[yv] replied, “Here I am. Which are you, my son?”[yw] 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I’ve done as you told me. Now sit up[yx] and eat some of my wild game so that you can bless me.”[yy] 20 But Isaac asked his son, “How in the world[yz] did you find it so quickly,[za] my son?” “Because the Lord your God brought it to me,”[zb] he replied.[zc] 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you,[zd] my son, and know for certain if you really are my son Esau.”[ze] 22 So Jacob went over to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s.” 23 He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy, like his brother Esau’s hands. So Isaac blessed Jacob.[zf] 24 Then he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” “I am,” Jacob[zg] replied. 25 Isaac[zh] said, “Bring some of the wild game for me to eat, my son.[zi] Then I will bless you.”[zj] So Jacob[zk] brought it to him, and he ate it. He also brought him wine, and Isaac[zl] drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” 27 So Jacob[zm] went over and kissed him. When Isaac caught the scent[zn] of his clothing, he blessed him, saying,
“Yes,[zo] my son smells
30 Isaac had just finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left[zu] his father’s[zv] presence, when his brother Esau returned from the hunt.[zw] 31 He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Esau[zx] said to him, “My father, get up[zy] and eat some of your son’s wild game. Then you can bless me.”[zz] 32 His father Isaac asked,[aaa] “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,”[aab] he replied, “Esau!” 33 Isaac began to shake violently[aac] 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.[aad] He will indeed be blessed!”
34 When Esau heard[aae] his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly.[aaf] He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 35 But Isaac[aag] replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away[aah] your blessing.” 36 Esau exclaimed, “Jacob is the right name for him![aai] He has tripped me up[aaj] 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?”
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?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only that one blessing, my father? Bless me too!”[aak] Then Esau wept loudly.[aal]
39 So his father Isaac said to him,
“See here,[aam] your home will be by[aan] the richness[aao] of the earth,
41 So Esau hated[aaq] Jacob because of the blessing his father had given to his brother.[aar] Esau said privately,[aas] “The time[aat] of mourning for my father is near; then I will kill[aau] my brother Jacob!”
42 When Rebekah heard what her older son Esau had said,[aav] she quickly summoned[aaw] her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is planning to get revenge by killing you.[aax] 43 Now then, my son, do what I say.[aay] Run away immediately[aaz] to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 Live with him for a little while[aba] until your brother’s rage subsides. 45 Stay there[abb] 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.[abc] Why should I lose both of you in one day?”[abd]
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am deeply depressed[abe] because of the daughters of Heth.[abf] If Jacob were to marry one of these daughters of Heth who live in this land, I would want to die!”[abg]
28 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman![abh] 2 Leave immediately[abi] 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. 3 May the Sovereign God[abj] bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants![abk] Then you will become[abl] a large nation.[abm] 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing he gave to Abraham[abn] so that you may possess the land[abo] God gave to Abraham, the land where you have been living as a temporary resident.”[abp] 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.
6 Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan Aram to find a wife there.[abq] As he blessed him,[abr] Isaac commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.”[abs] 7 Jacob obeyed his father and mother and left for Paddan Aram. 8 Then Esau realized[abt] that the Canaanite women[abu] were displeasing to[abv] his father Isaac. 9 So Esau went to Ishmael and married[abw] Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, along with the wives he already had.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beer Sheba and set out for Haran. 11 He reached a certain place[abx] where he decided to camp because the sun had gone down.[aby] He took one of the stones[abz] and placed it near his head.[aca] Then he fell asleep[acb] in that place 12 and had a dream.[acc] He saw[acd] a stairway[ace] erected on the earth with its top reaching to the heavens. The angels of God were going up and coming down it 13 and the Lord stood at its top. He said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father Isaac.[acf] I will give you and your descendants the ground[acg] you are lying on. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth,[ach] and you will spread out[aci] to the west, east, north, and south. And so all the families of the earth may receive blessings[acj] through you and through your descendants. 15 I am with you![ack] I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you!”
16 Then Jacob woke up[acl] and thought,[acm] “Surely the Lord is in this place, but I did not realize it!” 17 He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! This is nothing else than the house of God! This is the gate of heaven!”
18 Early[acn] in the morning Jacob[aco] took the stone he had placed near his head[acp] and set it up as a sacred stone.[acq] Then he poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel,[acr] although the former name of the town was Luz. 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[acs] to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and I return safely to my father’s home,[act] then the Lord will become my God. 22 Then this stone[acu] that I have set up as a sacred stone will be the house of God, and I will surely[acv] give you back a tenth of everything you give me.”[acw]
The Marriages of Jacob
29 So Jacob moved on[acx] and came to the land of the eastern people.[acy] 2 He saw[acz] in the field a well with[ada] three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because the flocks were watered from that well. Now[adb] a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds[adc] 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.
4 Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?” They replied, “We’re from Haran.” 5 So he said to them, “Do you know Laban, the grandson[add] of Nahor?” “We know him,”[ade] they said. 6 “Is he well?”[adf] Jacob asked. They replied, “He is well.[adg] Now look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” 7 Then Jacob[adh] said, “Since it is still the middle of the day,[adi] it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. You should water the sheep and then go and let them graze some more.”[adj] 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[adk] the sheep.”
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was tending them.[adl] 10 When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban,[adm] and the sheep of his uncle Laban, he[adn] went over[ado] and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban.[adp] 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep loudly.[adq] 12 When Jacob explained[adr] to Rachel that he was a relative of her father[ads] and the son of Rebekah, she ran and told her father. 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[adt] told Laban how he was related to him.[adu] 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”[adv] So Jacob[adw] stayed with him for a month.[adx]
15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you work[ady] for me for nothing because you are my relative?[adz] Tell me what your wages should be.” 16 (Now Laban had two daughters;[aea] the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were tender,[aeb] but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.)[aec] 18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with[aed] Rachel, he said, “I’ll serve you seven years in exchange for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban replied, “I’d rather give her to you than to another man.[aee] Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel.[aef] But they seemed like only a few days to him[aeg] because his love for her was so great.[aeh]
21 Finally Jacob said[aei] to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time of service is up.[aej] And I want to sleep with her.”[aek] 22 So Laban invited all the people[ael] of that place and prepared a feast. 23 In the evening he brought his daughter Leah[aem] to Jacob,[aen] and he slept with her.[aeo] 24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.)[aep]
25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah![aeq] So Jacob[aer] said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me?[aes] Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked[aet] me?” 26 “It is not our custom here,”[aeu] Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage[aev] before the firstborn. 27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week.[aew] Then we will give you the younger one[aex] too, in exchange for seven more years of work.”[aey]
28 Jacob did as Laban said.[aez] When Jacob[afa] completed Leah’s bridal week,[afb] Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.[afc] 29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.)[afd] 30 Jacob[afe] slept with[aff] Rachel as well. He also loved Rachel more than Leah. Then he worked for Laban[afg] for seven more years.
The Family of Jacob
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved,[afh] he enabled her to become pregnant[afi] while Rachel remained childless. 32 So Leah became pregnant[afj] and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[afk] for she said, “The Lord has looked with pity on my oppressed condition.[afl] Surely my husband will love me now.”
34 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Now this time my husband will show me affection,[afo] because I have given birth to three sons for him.” That is why he was named Levi.[afp]
35 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” That is why she named him Judah.[afq] Then she stopped having children.
30 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she[afr] became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children[afs] or I’ll die!” 2 Jacob became furious[aft] with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”[afu] 3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Sleep with[afv] her so that she can bear[afw] children[afx] for me[afy] and I can have a family through her.”[afz]
4 So Rachel[aga] gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob slept with[agb] her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant[agc] and gave Jacob a son.[agd] 6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer[age] and given me a son.” That is why[agf] she named him Dan.[agg]
7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son.[agh] 8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.”[agi] So she named him Naphtali.[agj]
9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave[agk] her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son.[agl] 11 Leah said, “How fortunate!”[agm] So she named him Gad.[agn]
14 At the time[ags] of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants[agt] in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But Leah replied,[agu] “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,”[agv] Rachel said, “he may go to bed with[agw] you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep[agx] with me because I have paid for your services[agy] with my son’s mandrakes.” So he went to bed with[agz] her that night. 17 God paid attention[aha] to Leah; she became pregnant[ahb] and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time.[ahc] 18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward[ahd] because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.”[ahe] So she named him Issachar.[ahf]
19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time.[ahg] 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.[ahh]
21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God took note of[ahi] Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant.[ahj] 23 She became pregnant[ahk] and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.”[ahl] 24 She named him Joseph,[ahm] saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”
The Flocks of Jacob
25 After Rachel had given birth to[ahn] Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send[aho] me on my way so that I can go[ahp] home to my own country.[ahq] 26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you.[ahr] Then I’ll depart,[ahs] because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.”[aht]
27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here,[ahu] for I have learned by divination[ahv] that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 28 He added, “Just name your wages—I’ll pay whatever you want.”[ahw]
29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied,[ahx] “and how well your livestock have fared under my care.[ahy] 30 Indeed,[ahz] you had little before I arrived,[aia] but now your possessions have increased many times over.[aib] The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked.[aic] But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too?”[aid]
31 So Laban asked,[aie] “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,”[aif] Jacob replied,[aig] “but if you agree to this one condition,[aih] I will continue to care for[aii] your flocks and protect them: 32 Let me walk among[aij] all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb,[aik] and the spotted or speckled goats.[ail] These animals will be my wages.[aim] 33 My integrity will testify for me[ain] later on.[aio] When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on,[aip] 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.”[aiq] 34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.”[air]
35 So that day Laban[ais] 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[ait] of his sons. 36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey,[aiu] while[aiv] Jacob was taking care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.
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. 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.[aiw] 39 When the sheep mated[aix] in front of the branches, they[aiy] gave birth to young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob removed these lambs, but he made the rest of the flock face[aiz] 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. 41 When the stronger females were in heat,[aja] Jacob would set up the branches in the troughs in front of the flock, so they would mate near the branches. 42 But if the animals were weaker, he did not set the branches there.[ajb] So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban[ajc] and the stronger animals to Jacob. 43 In this way Jacob[ajd] became extremely prosperous. He owned[aje] large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.
Jacob’s Flight from Laban
31 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining,[ajf] “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich[ajg] at our father’s expense!”[ajh] 2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed.[aji]
3 The Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers[ajj] and to your relatives. I will be with you.”[ajk] 4 So Jacob sent a message for Rachel and Leah[ajl] to come to the field[ajm] where his flocks were.[ajn] 5 There he said to them, “I can tell that your father’s attitude toward me has changed,[ajo] but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I’ve worked for your father as hard as I could,[ajp] 7 but your father has humiliated[ajq] me and changed my wages ten times. But God has not permitted him to do me any harm. 8 If he said,[ajr] ‘The speckled animals[ajs] will be your wage,’ then the entire flock gave birth to speckled offspring. But if he said, ‘The streaked animals will be your wage,’ then the entire flock gave birth to streaked offspring. 9 In this way God has snatched away your father’s livestock and given them to me.
10 “Once[ajt] during breeding season I saw[aju] in a dream that the male goats mating with[ajv] the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11 In the dream the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ ‘Here I am!’ I replied. 12 Then he said, ‘Observe that[ajw] all the male goats mating with[ajx] the flock are streaked, speckled, or spotted, for I have observed all that Laban has done to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed[ajy] the sacred stone and made a vow to me.[ajz] Now leave this land immediately[aka] and return to your native land.’”
14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance[akb] in our father’s house? 15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted[akc] the money paid for us![akd] 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.”
17 So Jacob immediately put his children and his wives on the camels.[ake] 18 He took away[akf] 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.[akg]
19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep,[akh] Rachel stole the household idols[aki] that belonged to her father. 20 Jacob also deceived[akj] Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving.[akk] 21 He left[akl] with all he owned. He quickly crossed[akm] the Euphrates River[akn] and headed for[ako] the hill country of Gilead.
22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left.[akp] 23 So he took his relatives[akq] with him and pursued Jacob[akr] for seven days.[aks] He caught up with[akt] him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him,[aku] “Be careful[akv] that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.”[akw]
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.[akx] 26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me[aky] and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war![akz] 27 Why did you run away secretly[ala] and deceive me?[alb] Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps?[alc] 28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren[ald] goodbye. You have acted foolishly! 29 I have the power[ale] to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful[alf] that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’[alg] 30 Now I understand that[alh] you have gone away[ali] because you longed desperately[alj] for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?”[alk]
31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!”[all] Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought[alm] you might take your daughters away from me by force.[aln] 32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death![alo] In the presence of our relatives[alp] identify whatever is yours and take it.”[alq] (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.)[alr]
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.[als] Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s.[alt] 34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle[alu] and sat on them.)[alv] Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them.[alw] 35 Rachel[alx] said to her father, “Don’t be angry,[aly] my lord. I cannot stand up[alz] in your presence because I am having my period.”[ama] So he searched thoroughly,[amb] but did not find the idols.
36 Jacob became angry[amc] and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban.[amd] “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit?[ame] 37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you?[amf] Set it here before my relatives and yours,[amg] and let them settle the dispute between the two of us![amh]
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. 39 Animals torn by wild beasts I never brought to you; I always absorbed the loss myself.[ami] You always made me pay for every missing animal,[amj] whether it was taken by day or at night. 40 I was consumed by scorching heat[amk] during the day and by piercing cold[aml] at night, and I went without sleep.[amm] 41 This was my lot[amn] for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave[amo] for you—fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks—but you changed my wages ten times! 42 If the God of my father—the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears[amp]—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,[amq] and he rebuked you last night.”
43 Laban replied[amr] to Jacob, “These women[ams] are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren,[amt] and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today[amu] or the children to whom they have given birth? 44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement,[amv] you and I, and it will be[amw] proof that we have made peace.”[amx]
45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 46 Then he[amy] said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile.[amz] They ate there by the pile of stones. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha,[ana] but Jacob called it Galeed.[anb]
48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement[anc] today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah[and] because he said, “May the Lord watch[ane] between us[anf] when we are out of sight of one another.[ang] 50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one else is with us, realize[anh] that God is witness to your actions.”[ani]
51 “Here is this pile of stones and this pillar I have set up between me and you,” Laban said to Jacob.[anj]