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Genesis 32:1-35:27 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Preparing to Meet Esau

32 Jacob went on his way, and God’s angels met him. When he saw them, Jacob said, “This is God’s camp.” So he called that place Mahanaim.[a]

Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. He commanded them, “You are to say to my lord Esau, ‘This is what your servant Jacob says. I have been staying with Laban and have been delayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female slaves. I have sent this message to inform my lord, in order to seek your favor.’”

When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau; he is coming to meet you—and he has 400 men with him.” Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; he divided the people with him into two camps, along with the flocks, cattle, and camels. He thought, “If Esau comes to one camp and attacks it, the remaining one can escape.”

Then Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. Indeed, I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please rescue me from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid of him; otherwise, he may come and attack me, the mothers, and their children. 12 You have said, ‘I will cause you to prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

13 He spent the night there and took part of what he had brought with him as a gift for his brother Esau: 14 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 15 30 milk camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys. 16 He entrusted them to his slaves as separate herds and said to them, “Go on ahead of me, and leave some distance between the herds.”

17 And he told the first one: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to? Where are you going? And whose animals are these ahead of you?’ 18 then tell him, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau. And look, he is behind us.’”

19 He also told the second one, the third, and everyone who was walking behind the animals, “Say the same thing to Esau when you find him. 20 You are also to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” For he thought, “I want to appease Esau with the gift that is going ahead of me. After that, I can face him, and perhaps he will forgive me.”

21 So the gift was sent on ahead of him while he remained in the camp that night. 22 During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female slaves, and his 11 sons, and crossed the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, along with all his possessions.

Jacob Wrestles with God

24 Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip. 26 Then He said to Jacob, “Let Me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.”

27 “What is your name?” the man asked.

“Jacob,” he replied.

28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” He said. “It will be Israel[b] because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”

29 Then Jacob asked Him, “Please tell me Your name.”

But He answered, “Why do you ask My name?” And He blessed him there.

30 Jacob then named the place Peniel,[c] “For I have seen God face to face,” he said, “and I have been delivered.” 31 The sun shone on him as he passed by Penuel[d]—limping because of his hip. 32 That is why, to this day, the Israelites don’t eat the thigh muscle that is at the hip socket: because He struck Jacob’s hip socket at the thigh muscle.[e]

Jacob Meets Esau

33 Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming toward him with 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female slaves. He put the female slaves and their children first, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. He himself went on ahead and bowed to the ground seven times until he approached his brother.

But Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. Then they wept. When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he asked, “Who are these with you?”

He answered, “The children God has graciously given your servant.” Then the female slaves and their children approached him and bowed down. Leah and her children also approached and bowed down, and then Joseph and Rachel approached and bowed down.

So Esau said, “What do you mean by this whole procession[f] I met?”

“To find favor with you, my lord,” he answered.

“I have enough, my brother,” Esau replied. “Keep what you have.”

10 But Jacob said, “No, please! If I have found favor with you, take this gift from my hand. For indeed, I have seen your face, and it is like seeing God’s face, since you have accepted me. 11 Please take my present that was brought to you, because God has been gracious to me and I have everything I need.” So Jacob urged him until he accepted.

12 Then Esau said, “Let’s move on, and I’ll go ahead of you.”

13 Jacob replied, “My lord knows that the children are weak, and I have nursing sheep and cattle. If they are driven hard for one day, the whole herd will die. 14 Let my lord go ahead of his servant. I will continue on slowly, at a pace suited to the livestock and the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”

15 Esau said, “Let me leave some of my people with you.”

But he replied, “Why do that? Please indulge me,[g] my lord.”

16 That day Esau started on his way back to Seir, 17 but Jacob went on to Succoth. He built a house for himself and stalls for his livestock; that is why the place was called Succoth.[h]

18 After Jacob came from Paddan-aram, he arrived safely at Shechem in the land of Canaan and camped in front of the city. 19 He purchased a section of the field where he had pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for 100 qesitahs.[i] 20 And he set up an altar there and called it “God, the God of Israel.”[j]

Dinah Defiled

34 Dinah, Leah’s daughter whom she bore to Jacob, went out to see some of the young women of the area. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, a prince of the region, saw her, he took her and raped her. He became infatuated with Dinah, daughter of Jacob. He loved the young girl and spoke tenderly to her.[k] “Get me this girl as a wife,” he told his father Hamor.

Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah, but since his sons were with his livestock in the field, he remained silent until they returned. Meanwhile, Shechem’s father Hamor came to speak with Jacob. Jacob’s sons returned from the field when they heard about the incident and were deeply grieved and angry. For Shechem had committed an outrage against Israel by raping Jacob’s daughter, and such a thing should not be done.

Hamor said to Jacob’s sons, “My son Shechem is strongly attracted to your[l] daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 Live with us. The land is before you. Settle here, move about, and acquire property in it.”

11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Grant me this favor,[m] and I’ll give you whatever you say. 12 Demand of me a high compensation[n] and gift; I’ll give you whatever you ask me. Just give the girl to be my wife!”

13 But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14 “We cannot do this thing,” they said to them. “Giving our sister to an uncircumcised man is a disgrace to us. 15 We will agree with you only on this condition: if all your males are circumcised as we are. 16 Then we will give you our daughters, take your daughters for ourselves, live with you, and become one people. 17 But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and go.”

18 Their words seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man did not delay doing this, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most important in all his father’s house. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city and spoke to the men there.

21 “These men are peaceful toward us,” they said. “Let them live in our land and move about in it, for indeed, the region is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as our wives and give our daughters to them. 22 But the men will agree to live with us and be one people only on this condition: if all our men are circumcised as they are. 23 Won’t their livestock, their possessions, and all their animals become ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will live with us.”

24 All the able-bodied men[o] listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and all the able-bodied men[p] were circumcised. 25 On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and killed every male. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with their swords, took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and went away. 27 Jacob’s other sons came to the slaughter and plundered the city because their sister had been defiled. 28 They took their sheep, cattle, donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. 29 They captured all their possessions, children, and wives and plundered everything in the houses.

30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me, making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. We are few in number; if they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”

31 But they answered, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”

Return to Bethel

35 God said to Jacob, “Get up! Go to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”

So Jacob said to his family and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Purify yourselves and change your clothes. We must get up and go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to the God who answered me in my day of distress. He has been with me everywhere I have gone.”

Then they gave Jacob all their foreign gods and their earrings, and Jacob hid them under the oak near Shechem. When they set out, a terror from God came over the cities around them, and they did not pursue Jacob’s sons. So Jacob and all who were with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. Jacob built an altar there and called the place God of Bethel[q] because it was there that God had revealed Himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.

Deborah, the one who had nursed and raised Rebekah,[r] died and was buried under the oak south of Bethel. So Jacob named it Oak of Weeping.[s]

God appeared to Jacob again after he returned from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him:

Your name is Jacob;
you will no longer be named Jacob,
but your name will be Israel.

So He named him Israel. 11 God also said to him:

I am God Almighty.
Be fruitful and multiply.
A nation, indeed an assembly of nations,
will come from you,
and kings will descend from you.[t]
12 I will give to you the land
that I gave to Abraham and Isaac.
And I will give the land
to your future descendants.

13 Then God withdrew[u] from him at the place where He had spoken to him.

14 Jacob set up a marker at the place where He had spoken to him—a stone marker. He poured a drink offering on it and anointed it with oil. 15 Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.

Rachel’s Death

16 They set out from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth, and her labor was difficult. 17 During her difficult labor, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you have another son.” 18 With her last breath—for she was dying—she named him Ben-oni,[v] but his father called him Benjamin.[w] 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a marker on her grave; it is the marker at Rachel’s grave to this day.

Israel’s Sons

21 Israel set out again and pitched his tent beyond the Tower of Eder.[x] 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it.

Jacob had 12 sons:

23 Leah’s sons were Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn),
Simeon, Levi, Judah,
Issachar, and Zebulun.
24 Rachel’s sons were
Joseph and Benjamin.
25 The sons of Rachel’s slave Bilhah
were Dan and Naphtali.
26 The sons of Leah’s slave Zilpah
were Gad and Asher.

These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

Isaac’s Death

27 Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 32:2 = Two Camps
  2. Genesis 32:28 In Hb, the name Israel sounds like “he struggled (with) God.”
  3. Genesis 32:30 = Face of God
  4. Genesis 32:31 Variant of Peniel
  5. Genesis 32:32 Or tendon
  6. Genesis 33:8 Lit camp
  7. Genesis 33:15 Lit May I find favor in your eyes
  8. Genesis 33:17 = Stalls or Huts
  9. Genesis 33:19 The value of this currency is unknown.
  10. Genesis 33:20 Or El-Elohe-Israel
  11. Genesis 34:3 Lit spoke to her heart
  12. Genesis 34:8 The Hb word for “your” is pl, showing that Hamor is speaking to Jacob and his sons.
  13. Genesis 34:11 Lit May I find favor in your eyes
  14. Genesis 34:12 Or bride-price, or betrothal present
  15. Genesis 34:24 Lit All who went out of the city gate
  16. Genesis 34:24 Lit all the males who went out of the city gate
  17. Genesis 35:7 Or El-bethel
  18. Genesis 35:8 Lit Deborah, Rebekah’s wet nurse; Gn 24:59
  19. Genesis 35:8 Or Allon-bacuth
  20. Genesis 35:11 Lit will come from your loins
  21. Genesis 35:13 Lit went up
  22. Genesis 35:18 = Son of My Sorrow
  23. Genesis 35:18 = Son of the Right Hand
  24. Genesis 35:21 Or beyond Migdal-eder

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