Genesis 31

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.

Jacob Flees from Laban

31 Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth. And Jacob saw athat Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, bReturn to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.

So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, cI see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father dhas been with me. eYou know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ften times. But God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, gThe spotted shall be your wages, then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, The striped shall be your wages, then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has htaken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. 10 In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, Jacob, and I said, Here I am! 12 And he said, Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for iI have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, jwhere you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now karise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred. 14 Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, Is there lany portion or inheritance left to us in our father's house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For mhe has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. 16 All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.

17 So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in nPaddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's ohousehold gods. 20 And Jacob tricked1 Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee. 21 He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the pEuphrates,2 and qset his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean rin a dream by night and said to him, Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, seither good or bad.

25 And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob, What have you done, that you have ttricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly tand trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? 28 And why did you not permit me uto kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is vin my power to do you harm. But the wGod of your3 father spoke to me last night, saying, Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, xeither good or bad. 30 And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but why did you ysteal my gods? 31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 zAnyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it. Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, Let not my lord be angry that I cannot arise before you, for the way of women is upon me. So he searched but did not find the household gods.

36 Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and byour kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. cFrom my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. dI served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and eyou have changed my wages ten times. 42 fIf the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the gFear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. hGod saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and irebuked you last night.

43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? 44 Come now, jlet us make a covenant, you and I. kAnd let it be a witness between you and me. 45 So Jacob ltook a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 And Jacob said to his kinsmen, Gather stones. And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha,4 but Jacob called it Galeed.5 48 Laban said, mThis heap is a witness between you and me today. Therefore he named it Galeed, 49 nand Mizpah,6 for he said, The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another's sight. 50 If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, oGod is witness between you and me.

51 Then Laban said to Jacob, See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52 pThis heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm. 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us. So Jacob swore by the qFear of his father Isaac, 54 and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called rhis kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.

55 7 Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed shis grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.

Jacob Fears Esau

32 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, This is God's tcamp! So he called the name of that place uMahanaim.1

And Jacob sent2 messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of vSeir, the country of Edom, instructing them, Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that wI may find favor in your sight.

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to your brother Esau, and xhe is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him. Then Jacob was ygreatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.

And Jacob said, zO God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who asaid to me, Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good, 10 bI am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for cI fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But dyou said, I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took ea present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove. 17 He instructed the first, When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you? 18 then you shall say, They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us. 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us. For he thought, I may appease him3 with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.4 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.

Jacob Wrestles with God

22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children,5 and crossed the ford of the fJabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And ga man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, Let me go, for the day has broken. But Jacob said, hI will not let you go unless you bless me. 27 And he said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob. 28 Then he said, iYour name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,6 for jyou have striven with God and kwith men, and have prevailed. 29 Then Jacob asked him, Please tell me your name. But he said, lWhy is it that you ask my name? And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel,7 saying, For mI have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered. 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed nPenuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh.

Jacob Meets Esau

33 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, oEsau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on before them, pbowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

qBut Esau ran to meet him and embraced him rand fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, Who are these with you? Jacob said, sThe children whom God has graciously given your servant. Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. Esau said, What do you mean by tall this company1 that I met? Jacob answered, uTo find favor in the sight of my lord. But Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself. 10 Jacob said, No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. vFor I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my wblessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. Thus he xurged him, and he took it.

12 Then Esau said, Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead of2 you. 13 But Jacob said to him, My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the nursing flocks and herds are a care to me. If they are driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord yin Seir.

15 So Esau said, Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me. But he said, What need is there? zLet me find favor in the sight of my lord. 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to aSeir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to bSuccoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.3

18 And Jacob came safely4 to the city of cShechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. 19 And from the sons of dHamor, Shechem's father, ehe bought for a hundred pieces of money5 the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.6