Genesis 28

God's Promise to Isaac

26 Now there was a famine in the land, besides uthe former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to vAbimelech king of the wPhilistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, Do not go down to Egypt; dwell xin the land of which I shall tell you. ySojourn in this land, and zI will be with you and will bless you, for ato you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish bthe oath that I swore to Abraham your father. cI will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And din your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because eAbraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Isaac and Abimelech

So Isaac settled in Gerar. When the men of the place asked him about his wife, fhe said, She is my sister, for ghe feared to say, My wife, thinking, lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah, because hshe was attractive in appearance. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with1 Rebekah his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac and said, Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, She is my sister? Isaac said to him, Because I thought, Lest I die because of her. 10 Abimelech said, What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and iyou would have brought guilt upon us. 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.

12 And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord jblessed him, 13 and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. 14 He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines kenvied him. 15 (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells lthat his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.

17 So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And mhe gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar nquarreled with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, The water is ours. So he called the name of the well Esek,2 because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah.3 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth,4 saying, For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.

23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, oI am the God of Abraham your father. pFear not, for qI am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham's sake. 25 So he rbuilt an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac's servants dug a well.

26 When Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and sPhicol the commander of his army, 27 Isaac said to them, Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and thave sent me away from you? 28 They said, We see plainly that the Lord has been with you. So we said, let there be a sworn pact between us, between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. uYou are now the blessed of the Lord. 30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose early and vexchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, We have found water. 33 He called it Shibah;5 therefore the name of the city is wBeersheba to this day.

34 When Esau was forty years old, he took xJudith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite to be his wife, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and ythey made life bitter6 for Isaac and Rebekah.

Isaac Blesses Jacob

27 When Isaac was old and zhis eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, My son; and he answered, Here I am. He said, Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. aNow then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul bmay bless you before I die.

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, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the Lord before I die. Now therefore, my son, cobey my voice as I command you. Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, dso that he may bless you before he dies. 11 But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, emy brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 Perhaps my father fwill feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring ga curse upon myself and not a blessing. 13 His mother said to him, hLet your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.

14 So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the ibest garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of 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, that your soul 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, Please come near, that I jmay feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not. 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23 And he did not recognize him, because khis hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands. lSo he blessed him. 24 He said, Are you really my son Esau? He answered, I am. 25 Then he said, Bring it near to me, mthat I may eat of my son's game and bless you. So he brought it near 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 Isaac smelled the smell of his garments land blessed him and said,

See, nthe smell of my son

is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed!

28  May God give you of othe dew of heaven

and of the fatness of the earth

and pplenty of grain and wine.

29  Let peoples serve you,

and nations qbow down to you.

rBe lord over your brothers,

and may your mother's sons bow down to you.

sCursed 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 Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that you may bless me. 32 His father Isaac said to him, Who are you? He answered, I am your son, your firstborn, Esau. 33 Then Isaac trembled very 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 he shall be blessed. 34 As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, the cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father! 35 But he said, Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing. 36 Esau said, uIs he not rightly named Jacob?1 For he has cheated me these two times. vHe took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing. Then he said, Have you not reserved a blessing for me? 37 Isaac answered and said to Esau, Behold, wI have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and xwith grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son? 38 Esau said to his father, Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father. And tEsau lifted up his voice and wept.

39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:

Behold, yaway from2 the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be,

and away from3 the dew of heaven on high.

40  By your sword you shall live,

and you zshall serve your brother;

but when you grow restless

ayou shall break his yoke from your neck.

41 Now Esau bhated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, cThe days of mourning for my father are approaching; dthen I will kill my brother Jacob. 42 But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran 44 and stay with him a while, until your brother's fury turns away 45 until your brother's anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, eI loathe my life because of the Hittite women.4 fIf Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?

Jacob Sent to Laban

28 Then Isaac called Jacob gand blessed him and directed him, fYou must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. hArise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of iBethuel your mother's father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother's brother. jGod Almighty1 bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give kthe blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of lthe land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham! Thus Isaac sent Jacob away. And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.

Esau Marries an Ishmaelite

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 directed him, You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women, and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. So when Esau saw mthat the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father, Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, nMahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of oNebaioth.

Jacob's Dream

10 Jacob left pBeersheba and went toward qHaran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that 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 to sleep. 12 And he rdreamed, and behold, there was a ladder2 set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, sthe angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, tthe Lord stood above it3 and said, uI am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. vThe land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like wthe 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 in you and xyour offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, yI am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and zwill bring you back to this land. For I will anot leave you until I have done what I have promised you. 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, Surely the Lord is bin 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 early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up cfor a pillar dand poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place eBethel,4 but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob fmade 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 gso that I come again to my father's house in peace, hthen the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, ishall be God's house. And jof all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

29 Then Jacob went on his journey and came to kthe land of the people of the east. As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well's mouth was large, 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 over the mouth of the well.

Jacob said to them, My brothers, where do you come from? They said, lWe are from Haran. He said to them, Do you know Laban the son of Nahor? They said, We know him. He said to them, Is it well with him? They said, It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep! He said, Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them. 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.

While he was still speaking with them, mRachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was nher father's kinsman, and that he was Rebekah's son, oand she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, ohe ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, 14 and Laban said to him, pSurely 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 older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah's eyes were weak,1 but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, qI 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 qserved 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 rmade 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 gave2 shis female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 25 And in the morning, behold, 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, It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 tComplete 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 to be his wife. 29 (Laban gave uhis female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban vfor another seven years.

Jacob's Children

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was whated, xhe opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben,3 for she said, Because the Lord yhas looked upon my affliction; for 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 called his name Simeon.4 34 Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, Now this time my husband will be zattached to me, because I have borne him three sons. Therefore his name was called Levi.5 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, This time I will praise the Lord. Therefore she called his name aJudah.6 Then she ceased bearing.

30 When Rachel saw that bshe bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, Give me children, or I shall die! Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, Am I in the place of God, cwho has withheld from you the fruit of the womb? Then she said, Here is my servant dBilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth eon my behalf,1 that even I may have children2 through her. So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, God has fjudged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son. Therefore she called his name Dan.3 Rachel's servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, With mighty wrestlings4 I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed. So she called his name gNaphtali.5

When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and hgave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said, iGood fortune has come! so she called his name iGad.6 12 Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah said, Happy am I! For women jhave called me happy. So she called his name Asher.7

14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found kmandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Please give me some of your son's mandrakes. 15 But she said to her, Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son's mandrakes also? Rachel said, Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son's mandrakes. 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes. So he lay with her that night. 17 And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband. So she called his name Issachar.8

19 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons. So she called his name lZebulun.9 21 Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.

22 Then God mremembered Rachel, and God listened to her and nopened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son and said, God has taken away omy reproach. 24 And she called his name Joseph,10 saying, pMay the Lord add to me another son!

Jacob's Prosperity

25 As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children qfor whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you. 27 But Laban said to him, If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that11 the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28 rName your wages, and I will give it. 29 Jacob said to him, sYou yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me. 30 For you had little before I came, tand it has increased abundantly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I uprovide for my own household also? 31 He said, What shall I give you? Jacob said, You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it: 32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and vthey shall be my wages. 33 So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen. 34 Laban said, Good! Let it be as you have said. 35 But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in the charge of his sons. 36 And he set a distance of three days' journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban's flock.

37 Then wJacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the xwatering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban's flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's. 43 Thus the man yincreased greatly and zhad large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.