Genesis 28-29 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
28 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “Don’t get married to a Canaanite woman. 2 Go at once to Paddan Aram. Go to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Find a wife for yourself there. Take her from among the daughters of your mother’s brother Laban. 3 May the Mighty God bless you. May he give you children. May he make your family larger until you become a community of nations. 4 May he give you and your children after you the blessing he gave to Abraham. Then you can take over the land where you now live as an outsider. It’s the land God gave to Abraham.” 5 Isaac sent Jacob on his way. Jacob went to Paddan Aram. He went to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean. Laban was Rebekah’s brother. And Rebekah was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 Esau found out that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram. Isaac wanted him to get a wife from there. Esau heard that when Isaac blessed Jacob, he commanded him, “Don’t get married to a woman from Canaan.” 7 Esau also learned that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. 8 Then Esau realized how much his father Isaac disliked Canaanite women. 9 So he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael. Esau added her to the wives he already had.
Jacob Has a Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left Beersheba and started out for Harran. 11 He reached a certain place and stopped for the night. The sun had already set. He took one of the stones there and placed it under his head. Then he lay down to sleep. 12 In a dream he saw a stairway standing on the earth. Its top reached to heaven. The angels of God were going up and coming down on it. 13 The Lord stood beside the stairway. He said, “I am the Lord. I am the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your children after you the land you are lying on. 14 They will be like the dust of the earth that can’t be counted. They will spread out to the west and to the east. They will spread out to the north and to the south. All nations on earth will be blessed because of you and your children after you. 15 I am with you. I will watch over you everywhere you go. And I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 Jacob woke up from his sleep. Then he thought, “The Lord is surely in this place. And I didn’t even know it.” 17 Jacob was afraid. He said, “How holy this place is! This must be the house of God. This is the gate of heaven.”
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head. He set it up as a sacred stone. And he poured olive oil on top of it. 19 He named that place Bethel. But the city used to be called Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a promise. He said, “May God be with me. May he watch over me on this journey I’m taking. May he give me food to eat and clothes to wear. 21 May he do as he has promised so that I can return safely to my father’s home. Then you, Lord, will be my God. 22 This stone I’ve set up as a sacred stone will be God’s house. And I’ll give you a tenth of everything you give me.”
Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram
29 Then Jacob continued on his journey. He came to the land where the eastern tribes lived. 2 There he saw a well in the open country. Three flocks of sheep were lying near it. The flocks were given water from the well. The stone over the opening of the well was large. 3 All the flocks would gather there. The shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s opening. They would give water to the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place over the opening of the well.
4 Jacob asked the shepherds, “My friends, where are you from?”
“We’re from Harran,” they replied.
5 He said to them, “Do you know Nahor’s grandson Laban?”
“Yes, we know him,” they answered.
6 Then Jacob asked them, “How is he?”
“He’s fine,” they said. “Here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”
7 “Look,” he said, “the sun is still high in the sky. It’s not time for the flocks to be brought together. Give water to the sheep and take them back to the grasslands.”
8 “We can’t,” they replied. “We have to wait until all the flocks are brought together. The stone has to be rolled away from the opening of the well. Then we’ll give water to the sheep.”
9 He was still talking with them when Rachel came with her father’s sheep. It was her job to take care of the flock. 10 Rachel was the daughter of Laban, Jacob’s uncle. When Jacob saw Rachel with Laban’s sheep, he went over to the well. He rolled the stone away from the opening. He gave water to his uncle’s sheep. 11 Jacob kissed Rachel. Then he began to cry because he was so happy. 12 He had told Rachel he was a relative of her father. He had also said he was Rebekah’s son. Rachel ran and told her father what Jacob had said.
13 As soon as Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he hurried to meet him. Laban hugged Jacob and kissed him. Then Laban brought him to his home. There Jacob told him everything. 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
Jacob stayed with Laban for a whole month. 15 Then Laban said to him, “You are one of my relatives. But is that any reason for you to work for me for nothing? Tell me what your pay should be.”
16 Laban had two daughters. The name of the older one was Leah. And the name of the younger one was Rachel. 17 Leah was plain, but Rachel was beautiful. She had a nice figure. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel. He said to Laban, “I’ll work for you for seven years so I can marry your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 Laban said, “It’s better for me to give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob worked for seven years so he could marry Rachel. But they seemed like only a few days to him because he loved her so much.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. I’ve completed my time. I want to sleep with her.”
22 So Laban brought all the people of the place together and had a feast prepared. 23 But when evening came, he gave his daughter Leah to Jacob. And Jacob slept with her. 24 Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter as her servant.
25 When Jacob woke up the next morning, there was Leah next to him! So he said to Laban, “What have you done to me? I worked for you so I could marry Rachel, didn’t I? Why did you trick me?”
26 Laban replied, “It isn’t our practice here to give the younger daughter to be married before the older one. 27 Complete this daughter’s wedding week. Then we’ll give you the younger one also. But you will have to work for another seven years.”
28 So Jacob completed the week with Leah. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her servant. 30 Jacob slept with Rachel also. He loved Rachel more than he loved Leah. And he worked for Laban for another seven years.
Jacob Becomes the Father of Many Children
31 The Lord saw that Jacob didn’t love Leah as much as he loved Rachel. So he let Leah have children. But Rachel wasn’t able to have children. 32 Leah became pregnant. She had a son. She named him Reuben. She said, “The Lord has seen me suffer. Surely my husband will love me now.”
33 She became pregnant again. She had a son. Then she said, “The Lord heard that Jacob doesn’t love me very much. That’s why the Lord gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.
34 She became pregnant again. She had a son. Then she said, “Now at last my husband will value me. I have had three sons by him.” So the boy was named Levi.
35 She became pregnant again. She had a son. Then she said, “This time I’ll praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
Matthew 9:18-38 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Jesus Heals a Dead Girl and a Suffering Woman
18 While Jesus was saying this, a synagogue leader came. He got down on his knees in front of Jesus. He said, “My daughter has just died. But come and place your hand on her. Then she will live again.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him. So did his disciples.
20 Just then a woman came up behind Jesus. She had a sickness that made her bleed. It had lasted for 12 years. She touched the edge of his clothes. 21 She thought, “I only need to touch his clothes. Then I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Dear woman, don’t give up hope,” he said. “Your faith has healed you.” The woman was healed at that moment.
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house, he saw the noisy crowd and people playing flutes. 24 He said, “Go away. The girl is not dead. She is sleeping.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been sent outside, Jesus went in. He took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News about what Jesus had done spread all over that area.
Jesus Heals Two Blind Men
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him. They called out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When Jesus went indoors, the blind men came to him. He asked them, “Do you believe that I can do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes. He said, “It will happen to you just as you believed.” 30 They could now see again. Jesus strongly warned them, “Be sure that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news. They talked about him all over that area.
32 While they were going out, another man was brought to Jesus. A demon controlled him, and he could not speak. 33 When the demon was driven out, the man spoke. The crowd was amazed. They said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the power of the prince of demons.”
There Are Only a Few Workers
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages. He taught in their synagogues. He preached the good news of the kingdom. And he healed every illness and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he felt deep concern for them. They were treated badly and were helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is huge. But there are only a few workers. 38 So ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers out into his harvest field.”
Psalm 11 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 I run to the Lord for safety.
4 The Lord is in his holy temple.
7 The Lord always does what is right.
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