30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”(A)

32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”(B)

“I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.(C)

33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me?(D) I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!(E)

34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry(F) and said to his father, “Bless(G) me—me too, my father!”

35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully(H) and took your blessing.”(I)

36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob[a]?(J) This is the second time he has taken advantage of(K) me: He took my birthright,(L) and now he’s taken my blessing!”(M) Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”

37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine.(N) So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.(O)

39 His father Isaac answered him,(P)

“Your dwelling will be
    away from the earth’s richness,
    away from the dew(Q) of heaven above.(R)
40 You will live by the sword
    and you will serve(S) your brother.(T)
But when you grow restless,
    you will throw his yoke
    from off your neck.(U)

41 Esau held a grudge(V) against Jacob(W) because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning(X) for my father are near; then I will kill(Y) my brother Jacob.”(Z)

42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau(AA) had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you.(AB) 43 Now then, my son, do what I say:(AC) Flee at once to my brother Laban(AD) in Harran.(AE) 44 Stay with him for a while(AF) until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him,(AG) I’ll send word for you to come back from there.(AH) Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite(AI) women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land,(AJ) from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”(AK)

28 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed(AL) him. Then he commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman.(AM) Go at once to Paddan Aram,[b](AN) to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel.(AO) Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother.(AP) May God Almighty[c](AQ) bless(AR) you and make you fruitful(AS) and increase your numbers(AT) until you become a community of peoples. May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham,(AU) so that you may take possession of the land(AV) where you now reside as a foreigner,(AW) the land God gave to Abraham.” Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way,(AX) and he went to Paddan Aram,(AY) to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean,(AZ) the brother of Rebekah,(BA) who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.

Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman,”(BB) and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women(BC) were to his father Isaac;(BD) so he went to Ishmael(BE) and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth(BF) and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.(BG)

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Jacob left Beersheba(BH) and set out for Harran.(BI) 11 When he reached a certain place,(BJ) he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head(BK) and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream(BL) in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.(BM) 13 There above it[d] stood the Lord,(BN) and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac.(BO) I will give you and your descendants the land(BP) on which you are lying.(BQ) 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you(BR) will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south.(BS) All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[e](BT) 15 I am with you(BU) and will watch over you(BV) wherever you go,(BW) and I will bring you back to this land.(BX) I will not leave you(BY) until I have done what I have promised you.(BZ)(CA)

16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep,(CB) he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place!(CC) This is none other than the house of God;(CD) this is the gate of heaven.”

18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head(CE) and set it up as a pillar(CF) and poured oil on top of it.(CG) 19 He called that place Bethel,[f](CH) though the city used to be called Luz.(CI)

20 Then Jacob made a vow,(CJ) saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me(CK) on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear(CL) 21 so that I return safely(CM) to my father’s household,(CN) then the Lord[g] will be my God(CO) 22 and[h] this stone that I have set up as a pillar(CP) will be God’s house,(CQ) and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.(CR)

Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram

29 Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples.(CS) There he saw a well in the open country, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well.(CT) The stone(CU) over the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone(CV) away from the well’s mouth and water the sheep.(CW) Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.

Jacob asked the shepherds, “My brothers, where are you from?”(CX)

“We’re from Harran,(CY)” they replied.

He said to them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?”(CZ)

“Yes, we know him,” they answered.

Then Jacob asked them, “Is he well?”

“Yes, he is,” they said, “and here comes his daughter Rachel(DA) with the sheep.(DB)

“Look,” he said, “the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.”

“We can’t,” they replied, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone(DC) has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water(DD) the sheep.”

While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep,(DE) for she was a shepherd. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel(DF) daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone(DG) away from the mouth of the well and watered(DH) his uncle’s sheep.(DI) 11 Then Jacob kissed(DJ) Rachel and began to weep aloud.(DK) 12 He had told Rachel that he was a relative(DL) of her father and a son of Rebekah.(DM) So she ran and told her father.(DN)

13 As soon as Laban(DO) heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him(DP) and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”(DQ)

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative(DR) of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages(DS) should be.”

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah,(DT) and the name of the younger was Rachel.(DU) 17 Leah had weak[i] eyes, but Rachel(DV) had a lovely figure and was beautiful.(DW) 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel(DX) and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”(DY)

19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel,(DZ) but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.(EA)

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.(EB)

22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.(EC) 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah(ED) and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah(EE) to his daughter as her attendant.(EF)

25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me?(EG) I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?(EH)

26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.(EI) 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week;(EJ) then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.(EK)

28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.(EL) 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah(EM) to his daughter Rachel as her attendant.(EN) 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah.(EO) And he worked for Laban another seven years.(EP)

Jacob’s Children

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved,(EQ) he enabled her to conceive,(ER) but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.(ES) She named him Reuben,[j](ET) for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery.(EU) Surely my husband will love me now.”

33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved,(EV) he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.[k](EW)

34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me,(EX) because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.[l](EY)

35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah.[m](EZ) Then she stopped having children.(FA)


  1. Genesis 27:36 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.
  2. Genesis 28:2 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia; also in verses 5, 6 and 7
  3. Genesis 28:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai
  4. Genesis 28:13 Or There beside him
  5. Genesis 28:14 Or will use your name and the name of your offspring in blessings (see 48:20)
  6. Genesis 28:19 Bethel means house of God.
  7. Genesis 28:21 Or Since God … father’s household, the Lord
  8. Genesis 28:22 Or household, and the Lord will be my God, 22 then
  9. Genesis 29:17 Or delicate
  10. Genesis 29:32 Reuben sounds like the Hebrew for he has seen my misery; the name means see, a son.
  11. Genesis 29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears.
  12. Genesis 29:34 Levi sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for attached.
  13. Genesis 29:35 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.

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