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Genesis 29-35 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jacob Meets Rachel

29 Then Jacob [a]went on his journey, and came to the land of the sons of the east. He looked, and [b]saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it, for from that well they watered the flocks. Now the stone on the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, they would then roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the mouth of the well.

Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.” He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know him.” And he said to them, “Is it well with him?” And they said, “It is well, and here is Rachel his daughter coming with the sheep.” He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them.” But they said, “We cannot, until all the flocks are gathered, and they roll the stone from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”

While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted his voice and wept. 12 Jacob told Rachel that he was a [c]relative of her father and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.

13 So when Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister’s son, he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Then he related to Laban all these things. 14 Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him a month.

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my [d]relative, 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 And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and [e]face. 18 Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than to give her to another man; stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

Laban’s Treachery

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my [f]time is completed, that I may go in to her.” 22 Laban gathered all the men of the place and made a feast. 23 Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah, and brought her to him; and Jacob went in to her. 24 Laban also gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. 25 So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?” 26 But Laban said, “It is not [g]the practice in our place to [h]marry off the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.” 28 Jacob did so and completed her week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 Laban also gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid. 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with [i]Laban for another seven years.

31 Now the Lord saw that Leah was [j]unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah conceived and bore a son and named him [k]Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has [l]seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” 33 Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the Lord has [m]heard that I am [n]unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. 34 She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become [o]attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will [p]praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him [q]Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

The Sons of Jacob

30 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, [r]she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die.” Then Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” She said, “Here is my maid Bilhah, go in to her that she may bear on my knees, that [s]through her I too may have children.” So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has [t]vindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore she named him [u]Dan. Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. So Rachel said, “With [v]mighty wrestlings I have [w]wrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed.” And she named him Naphtali.

When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “[x]How fortunate!” So she named him [y]Gad. 12 Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “[z]Happy am I! For women will call me happy.” So she named him [aa]Asher.

14 Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes 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 for you to take my husband? And would you take my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Therefore he may lie with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, then Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17 God gave heed to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has given me my [ab]wages because I gave my maid to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19 Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good gift; now my husband [ac]will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21 Afterward she bore a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb. 23 So she conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24 She named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord [ad]give me another son.”

Jacob Prospers

25 Now it came about when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my own country. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me depart; for you yourself know my service which I have [ae]rendered you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If now [af]it pleases you, stay with me; I have divined that the Lord has blessed me on your account.” 28 He [ag]continued, “Name me your wages, and I will give it.” 29 But he said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you and how your cattle have [ah]fared with me. 30 For you had little before [ai]I came and it has [aj]increased to a multitude, and the Lord has blessed you [ak]wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31 So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: 32 let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted sheep and every black [al]one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33 So my [am]honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my [an]wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34 Laban said, “[ao]Good, let it be according to your word.” 35 So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the [ap]care of his sons. 36 And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 Then Jacob [aq]took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was [ar]in the rods. 38 He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they [as]mated when they came to drink. 39 So the flocks [at]mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 Jacob separated the lambs, and [au]made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Moreover, whenever the [av]stronger of the flock [aw]were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, so that they might [ax]mate by the rods; 42 but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the [ay]stronger Jacob’s. 43 So the man [az]became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks and female and male servants and camels and donkeys.

Jacob Leaves Secretly for Canaan

31 Now [ba]Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this [bb]wealth.” Jacob saw the [bc]attitude of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as formerly. Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field, and said to them, “I see your father’s [bd]attitude, that it is not friendly toward me as formerly, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength. Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times; however, God did not allow him to hurt me. If he spoke thus, ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flock brought forth speckled; and if he spoke thus, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock brought forth striped. Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me. 10 And it came about at the time when the flock were [be]mating that I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which were [bf]mating were striped, speckled, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 He said, ‘Lift up now your eyes and see that all the male goats which are [bg]mating are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, [bh]leave this land, and return to the land of your birth.’” 14 Rachel and Leah said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house? 15 Are we not reckoned by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also [bi]entirely consumed [bj]our purchase price. 16 Surely all the wealth which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you.”

17 Then Jacob arose and put his children and his wives upon camels; 18 and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had gathered, his acquired livestock which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 When Laban had gone to shear his flock, then Rachel stole the [bk]household idols that were her father’s. 20 And Jacob [bl]deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he arose and crossed the Euphrates River, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 then he took his [bm]kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night and said to him, “[bn]Be careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad.”

25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his [bo]kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done [bp]by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly and [bq]deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre; 28 and did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is in [br]my power to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘[bs]Be careful not to speak either good or bad to Jacob.’ 30 Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal my gods?” 31 Then Jacob replied to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our [bt]kinsmen [bu]point out what is yours [bv]among my belongings and take it for yourself.” For 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 maids, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the [bw]household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them. 35 She said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the [bx]household idols.

36 Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Though you have felt through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my [by]kinsmen and your [bz]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, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself. You required it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 Thus I was: by day the [ca]heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night.”

The Covenant of Mizpah

43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these my daughters or to their children whom they have borne? 44 So now come, let us make a covenant, [cb]you and I, and let it be a witness between [cc]you and me.” 45 Then Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 Jacob said to his [cd]kinsmen, “Gather stones.” So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Now Laban called it [ce]Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it [cf]Galeed. 48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between [cg]you and me this day.” Therefore it was named Galeed, 49 and [ch]Mizpah, for he said, “May the Lord watch between [ci]you and me when we are [cj]absent one from the other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, see, God is witness between [ck]you and me.” 51 Laban said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between [cl]you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac. 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his [cm]kinsmen to [cn]the meal; and they ate [co]the meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55 [cp]Early in the morning Laban arose, and kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place.

Jacob’s Fear of Esau

32 Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him. Jacob said when he saw them, “This is God’s [cq]camp.” So he named that place [cr]Mahanaim.

Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the [cs]country of Edom. He also commanded them saying, “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 and donkeys and flocks and male and female servants; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight.”’”

The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies; for he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and [ct]attacks it, then the company which is left will escape.”

Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will [cu]prosper you,’ 10 [cv]I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the [cw]faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. 11 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and [cx]attack me and the mothers with the children. 12 For You said, ‘I will surely [cy]prosper you and make your [cz]descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.’”

13 So he spent the night there. Then he [da]selected from what [db]he had with him a 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 colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on before me, and put a space between droves.” 17 He commanded the [dc]one in front, saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these animals in front of you belong?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘These belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my lord Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.’” 19 Then he commanded also the second and the third, and all those who followed the droves, saying, “After this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him; 20 and you shall say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob also is behind us.’” For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me. Then afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the present passed on before him, while he himself spent that night in the camp.

22 Now he arose that same night and took his two wives and his two maids and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream. And he sent across whatever he had.

Jacob Wrestles

24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but [dd]Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob named the place [de]Peniel, for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my [df]life has been preserved.” 31 Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh. 32 Therefore, to this day the sons of Israel do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the socket of the thigh, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip.

Jacob Meets Esau

33 Then Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children [dg]among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. He put the maids and their children [dh]in front, and Leah and her children [di]next, and Rachel and Joseph [dj]last. But he himself passed on ahead of them and bowed down to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. He lifted his eyes and saw the women and the children, and said, “[dk]Who are these with you?” So he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Then the maids came near [dl]with their children, and they bowed down. Leah likewise came near with her children, and they bowed down; and afterward Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed down. And he said, “What do you mean by all this company which I have met?” And he said, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother; let what you have be your own.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if now I have found favor in your sight, then take my present from my hand, [dm]for I see your face as one sees the face of God, and you have received me favorably. 11 Please take my [dn]gift which has been brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me and because I have [do]plenty.” Thus he urged him and he took it.

12 Then [dp]Esau said, “Let us take our journey and go, and I will go before you.” 13 But he said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds which are nursing are [dq]a care to me. And if they are driven hard one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Please let my lord pass on before his servant, and I will proceed at my leisure, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”

15 Esau said, “Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “[dr]What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 Jacob journeyed to [ds]Succoth, and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Succoth.

Jacob Settles in Shechem

18 Now Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram, and camped before the city. 19 He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred [dt]pieces of money. 20 Then he erected there an altar and called it [du]El-Elohe-Israel.

The Treachery of Jacob’s Sons

34 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to [dv]visit the daughters of the land. When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her [dw]by force. [dx]He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and [dy]spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this young girl for a wife.” Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; but his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob kept silent until they came in. Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. Now the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved, and they were very angry because he had done a [dz]disgraceful thing in Israel [ea]by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done.

But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter; please give her to him [eb]in marriage. Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 Thus you shall [ec]live with us, and the land shall be open before you; [ed]live and trade in it and acquire property in it.” 11 Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “If I find favor in your sight, then I will give whatever you say to me. 12 Ask me ever so much bridal payment and gift, and I will give according as you say to me; but give me the girl [ee]in marriage.”

13 But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor with deceit, because he had defiled Dinah their sister. 14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. 15 Only on this condition will we consent to you: if you will become like us, in that every male of you be circumcised, 16 then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will [ef]live with you and become one people. 17 But if you will not listen to us to be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and go.”

18 Now their words seemed [eg]reasonable to Hamor and Shechem, Hamor’s son. 19 The young man did not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was more respected than all the household of his father. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, 21 “These men are [eh]friendly with us; therefore let them [ei]live in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is [ej]large enough for them. Let us take their daughters [ek]in marriage, and give our daughters to them. 22 Only on this condition will the men consent to us to [el]live with us, to become one people: that every male among us be circumcised as they are circumcised. 23 Will not their livestock and their property and all their animals be ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will [em]live with us.” 24 All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.

25 Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came upon the city unawares, and killed every male. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and went forth. 27 Jacob’s sons came upon the slain and looted the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their flocks and their herds and their donkeys, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field; 29 and they captured and looted all their wealth and all their little ones and their wives, even all that was in the houses. 30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and [en]my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and [eo]attack me and I will be destroyed, I and my household.” 31 But they said, “Should he [ep]treat our sister as a harlot?”

Jacob Moves to Bethel

35 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and [eq]live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled [er]from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments; and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me [es]wherever I have gone.” So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which [et]they had and the rings which were in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the [eu]oak which was near Shechem.

As they journeyed, there was [ev]a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. He built an altar there, and called the place [ew]El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled [ex]from his brother. Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the oak; it was named [ey]Allon-bacuth.

Jacob Is Named Israel

Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him,

“Your name is Jacob;
[ez]You shall no longer be called Jacob,
But Israel shall be your name.”

Thus He called [fa]him Israel. 11 God also said to him,

“I am [fb]God Almighty;
Be fruitful and multiply;
A nation and a company of nations shall [fc]come from you,
And kings shall [fd]come forth from [fe]you.
12 The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac,
I will give it to you,
And I will give the land to your [ff]descendants after you.”

13 Then God went up from him in the place where He had spoken with him. 14 Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, [fg]Bethel.

16 Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and she [fh]suffered severe labor. 17 When she was in severe labor the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” 18 It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him [fi]Ben-oni; but his father called him [fj]Benjamin. 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day. 21 Then Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the [fk]tower of [fl]Eder.

22 It came about while Israel was dwelling in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard of it.

The Sons of Israel

Now there were twelve sons of Jacob— 23 the sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, then Simeon and Levi and Judah and Issachar and Zebulun; 24 the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; 25 and the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid: Dan and Naphtali; 26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maid: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

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

28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29 Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, an old man [fm]of ripe age; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 29:1 Lit lifted up his feet
  2. Genesis 29:2 Lit behold
  3. Genesis 29:12 Lit brother
  4. Genesis 29:15 Lit brother
  5. Genesis 29:17 Lit beautiful of appearance
  6. Genesis 29:21 Lit days are
  7. Genesis 29:26 Lit done thus in
  8. Genesis 29:26 Lit give
  9. Genesis 29:30 Lit him
  10. Genesis 29:31 Lit hated
  11. Genesis 29:32 I.e. see, a son
  12. Genesis 29:32 Lit looked upon
  13. Genesis 29:33 Heb shama, related to Simeon
  14. Genesis 29:33 Lit hated
  15. Genesis 29:34 Heb lavah, related to Levi
  16. Genesis 29:35 Heb Jadah, related to Judah
  17. Genesis 29:35 Heb Jehudah
  18. Genesis 30:1 Lit Rachel
  19. Genesis 30:3 Lit from her I too may be built
  20. Genesis 30:6 Lit judged
  21. Genesis 30:6 I.e. He judged
  22. Genesis 30:8 Lit wrestlings of God
  23. Genesis 30:8 Heb niphtal, related to Naphtali
  24. Genesis 30:11 Lit With fortune! Some versions read Fortune has come
  25. Genesis 30:11 I.e. Fortune
  26. Genesis 30:13 Lit With my happiness!
  27. Genesis 30:13 I.e. happy
  28. Genesis 30:18 Heb sachar, related to Issachar
  29. Genesis 30:20 Heb zabal, related to Zebulun. Some translate will honor
  30. Genesis 30:24 Lit add to me; Heb Joseph
  31. Genesis 30:26 Lit served
  32. Genesis 30:27 Lit I have found favor in your eyes
  33. Genesis 30:28 Lit said
  34. Genesis 30:29 Lit been
  35. Genesis 30:30 Lit me
  36. Genesis 30:30 Lit broken forth
  37. Genesis 30:30 Lit at my foot
  38. Genesis 30:32 Lit sheep
  39. Genesis 30:33 Lit righteousness
  40. Genesis 30:33 Lit wages which are before you
  41. Genesis 30:34 Lit Behold, would that it might be
  42. Genesis 30:35 Lit hand
  43. Genesis 30:37 Lit took to himself
  44. Genesis 30:37 Lit on
  45. Genesis 30:38 Or conceived
  46. Genesis 30:39 Or conceived
  47. Genesis 30:40 Lit set the faces
  48. Genesis 30:41 Lit bound ones; i.e. firm and compact
  49. Genesis 30:41 Or conceived
  50. Genesis 30:41 Or conceive
  51. Genesis 30:42 Lit bound ones; i.e. firm and compact
  52. Genesis 30:43 Lit broke forth
  53. Genesis 31:1 Lit he
  54. Genesis 31:1 Lit glory
  55. Genesis 31:2 Lit face
  56. Genesis 31:5 Lit face
  57. Genesis 31:10 Or conceiving
  58. Genesis 31:10 Lit leaping upon the flock
  59. Genesis 31:12 Lit leaping upon the flock
  60. Genesis 31:13 Lit go out from
  61. Genesis 31:15 I.e. enjoyed the benefit of
  62. Genesis 31:15 Lit our money
  63. Genesis 31:19 Heb teraphim
  64. Genesis 31:20 Lit stole the heart of
  65. Genesis 31:23 Lit brothers
  66. Genesis 31:24 Lit Take heed to yourself
  67. Genesis 31:25 Lit brothers
  68. Genesis 31:26 Lit and you have stolen my heart
  69. Genesis 31:27 Lit steal me
  70. Genesis 31:29 Lit the power of my hand
  71. Genesis 31:29 Lit Take heed to yourself
  72. Genesis 31:32 Lit brothers
  73. Genesis 31:32 Lit recognize
  74. Genesis 31:32 Lit with me
  75. Genesis 31:34 Heb teraphim
  76. Genesis 31:35 Heb teraphim
  77. Genesis 31:37 Lit brothers
  78. Genesis 31:37 Lit brothers
  79. Genesis 31:40 Or drought
  80. Genesis 31:44 Lit I and you
  81. Genesis 31:44 Lit me and you
  82. Genesis 31:46 Lit brothers
  83. Genesis 31:47 I.e. the heap of witness, in Aram
  84. Genesis 31:47 I.e. the heap of witness, in Heb
  85. Genesis 31:48 Lit me and you
  86. Genesis 31:49 Lit the Mizpah; i.e. the watchtower
  87. Genesis 31:49 Lit me and you
  88. Genesis 31:49 Lit hidden
  89. Genesis 31:50 Lit me and you
  90. Genesis 31:51 Lit me and you
  91. Genesis 31:54 Lit brothers
  92. Genesis 31:54 Lit eat bread
  93. Genesis 31:54 Lit bread
  94. Genesis 31:55 Ch 32:1 in Heb
  95. Genesis 32:2 Or company
  96. Genesis 32:2 I.e. Two Camps, or Two Companies
  97. Genesis 32:3 Lit field
  98. Genesis 32:8 Lit smites
  99. Genesis 32:9 Lit do good with you
  100. Genesis 32:10 Lit I am less than all
  101. Genesis 32:10 Or truth
  102. Genesis 32:11 Lit smite
  103. Genesis 32:12 Lit do good with
  104. Genesis 32:12 Lit seed
  105. Genesis 32:13 Lit took
  106. Genesis 32:13 Lit had come to his hand
  107. Genesis 32:17 Lit first
  108. Genesis 32:28 I.e. he who strives with God; or God strives
  109. Genesis 32:30 I.e. the face of God
  110. Genesis 32:30 Lit soul
  111. Genesis 33:1 Or to
  112. Genesis 33:2 Lit first
  113. Genesis 33:2 Lit behind
  114. Genesis 33:2 Lit behind
  115. Genesis 33:5 Or What relation are these to you?
  116. Genesis 33:6 Lit they and
  117. Genesis 33:10 Lit for therefore I have seen your face like seeing God’s face
  118. Genesis 33:11 Lit blessing
  119. Genesis 33:11 Lit all
  120. Genesis 33:12 Lit he
  121. Genesis 33:13 Lit upon me
  122. Genesis 33:15 Lit Why this?
  123. Genesis 33:17 I.e. booths
  124. Genesis 33:19 Heb qesitah
  125. Genesis 33:20 I.e. God, the God of Israel
  126. Genesis 34:1 Lit see
  127. Genesis 34:2 Lit and humbled her
  128. Genesis 34:3 Lit His soul clung
  129. Genesis 34:3 Lit spoke to the heart of the girl
  130. Genesis 34:7 Lit senseless
  131. Genesis 34:7 Lit to lie
  132. Genesis 34:8 Lit for a wife
  133. Genesis 34:10 Lit dwell
  134. Genesis 34:10 Lit dwell
  135. Genesis 34:12 Lit for a wife
  136. Genesis 34:16 Lit dwell
  137. Genesis 34:18 Lit good
  138. Genesis 34:21 Lit peaceful
  139. Genesis 34:21 Lit dwell
  140. Genesis 34:21 Lit wide of hands before them
  141. Genesis 34:21 Lit to us for wives
  142. Genesis 34:22 Lit dwell
  143. Genesis 34:23 Lit dwell
  144. Genesis 34:30 Lit I, few in number
  145. Genesis 34:30 Lit smite
  146. Genesis 34:31 Or make
  147. Genesis 35:1 Lit dwell
  148. Genesis 35:1 Lit from the face of
  149. Genesis 35:3 Lit in the way which
  150. Genesis 35:4 Lit were in their hand
  151. Genesis 35:4 Or terebinth
  152. Genesis 35:5 Or a terror of God
  153. Genesis 35:7 I.e. the God of Bethel
  154. Genesis 35:7 Lit from the face of
  155. Genesis 35:8 I.e. oak of weeping
  156. Genesis 35:10 Lit Your name
  157. Genesis 35:10 Lit his name
  158. Genesis 35:11 Heb El Shaddai
  159. Genesis 35:11 Or come into being
  160. Genesis 35:11 Or come into being
  161. Genesis 35:11 Lit your loins
  162. Genesis 35:12 Lit seed
  163. Genesis 35:15 I.e. the house of God
  164. Genesis 35:16 Lit had difficulty in her giving birth
  165. Genesis 35:18 I.e. the son of my sorrow
  166. Genesis 35:18 I.e. the son of the right hand
  167. Genesis 35:21 Heb Migdal-eder
  168. Genesis 35:21 Or flock
  169. Genesis 35:29 Lit and satisfied with days
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Genesis 29-35 New International Version (NIV)

Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram

29 Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples. 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. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s mouth and water the sheep. 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?”

“We’re from Harran,” they replied.

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

“Yes, we know him,” they answered.

Then Jacob asked them, “Is he well?”

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

“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 has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.”

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

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him 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.”

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 of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”

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

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, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

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

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

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

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

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

Jacob’s Children

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[b] for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. 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, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.[c]

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

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.[e] Then she stopped having children.

30 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”

Then she said, “Here is Bilhah, my servant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her.”

So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, and she became pregnant and bore him a son. Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.” Because of this she named him Dan.[f]

Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali.[g]

When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!”[h] So she named him Gad.[i]

12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher.[j]

14 During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15 But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?”

“Very well,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”

16 So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me,” she said. “I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night.

17 God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.[k]

19 Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.[l]

21 Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24 She named him Joseph,[m] and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”

Jacob’s Flocks Increase

25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.”

27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28 He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”

29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. 30 The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?

31 “What shall I give you?” he asked.

“Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. 33 And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen.

34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.” 35 That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. 36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38 Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals. 41 Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches, 42 but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob. 43 In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

Jacob Flees From Laban

31 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.

Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.

10 “In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’”

14 Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate? 15 Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. 16 Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.”

17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram,[n] to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.

19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. 21 So he fled with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed for the hill country of Gilead.

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war. 27 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps? 28 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. 29 I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household. But why did you steal my gods?

31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. 32 But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel’s saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing.

35 Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I’m having my period.” So he searched but could not find the household gods.

36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged you that you hunt me down? 37 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.

38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.

43 Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks. All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”

45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed.[o]

48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah,[p] because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.”

51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me. 53 May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.”

So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac. 54 He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.

55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.[q]

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

32 [r]Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.[s]

Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”

When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”

In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,[t] and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group,[u] the group[v] that is left may escape.”

Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.”

17 He instructed the one in the lead: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?’ 18 then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.’”

19 He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: “You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20 And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.” 21 So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[w] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[x] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[y] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Jacob Meets Esau

33 Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.

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

Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.

Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down. Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down.

Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?”

“To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said.

But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”

10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.

12 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.”

13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.

15 Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.”

“But why do that?” Jacob asked. “Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.”

16 So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir. 17 Jacob, however, went to Sukkoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth.[z]

18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram,[aa] he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver,[ab] he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. 20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.[ac]

Dinah and the Shechemites

34 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her. His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. And Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me this girl as my wife.”

When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he did nothing about it until they came home.

Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. Meanwhile, Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were shocked and furious, because Shechem had done an outrageous thing in[ad] Israel by sleeping with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done.

But Hamor said to them, “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You can settle among us; the land is open to you. Live in it, trade[ae] in it, and acquire property in it.

11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12 Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I’ll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the young woman as my wife.”

13 Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob’s sons replied deceitfully as they spoke to Shechem and his father Hamor. 14 They said to them, “We can’t do such a thing; we can’t give our sister to a man who is not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us. 15 We will enter into an agreement with you on one condition only: that you become like us by circumcising all your males. 16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We’ll settle among you and become one people with you. 17 But if you will not agree to be circumcised, we’ll take our sister and go.”

18 Their proposal seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man, who was the most honored of all his father’s family, lost no time in doing what they said, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city to speak to the men of their city. 21 “These men are friendly toward us,” they said. “Let them live in our land and trade in it; the land has plenty of room for them. We can marry their daughters and they can marry ours. 22 But the men will agree to live with us as one people only on the condition that our males be circumcised, as they themselves are. 23 Won’t their livestock, their property and all their other animals become ours? So let us agree to their terms, and they will settle among us.

24 All the men who went out of the city gate agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male in the city was circumcised.

25 Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male. 26 They put Hamor and his son Shechem to the sword and took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the dead bodies and looted the city where[af] their sister had been defiled. 28 They seized their flocks and herds and donkeys and everything else of theirs in the city and out in the fields. 29 They carried off all their wealth and all their women and children, taking as plunder everything in the houses.

30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”

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

Jacob Returns to Bethel

35 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”

So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone. So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.

Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel,[ag] because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.

Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.[ah]

After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram,[ai] God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob,[aj] but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.[ak] So he named him Israel.

11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty[al]; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you. 13 Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.

14 Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.[am]

The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac

16 Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. 17 And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” 18 As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni.[an] But his father named him Benjamin.[ao]

19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.

21 Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.

Jacob had twelve sons:

23 The sons of Leah:

Reuben the firstborn of Jacob,

Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.

24 The sons of Rachel:

Joseph and Benjamin.

25 The sons of Rachel’s servant Bilhah:

Dan and Naphtali.

26 The sons of Leah’s servant Zilpah:

Gad and Asher.

These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.

27 Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28 Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 29:17 Or delicate
  2. Genesis 29:32 Reuben sounds like the Hebrew for he has seen my misery; the name means see, a son.
  3. Genesis 29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears.
  4. Genesis 29:34 Levi sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for attached.
  5. Genesis 29:35 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.
  6. Genesis 30:6 Dan here means he has vindicated.
  7. Genesis 30:8 Naphtali means my struggle.
  8. Genesis 30:11 Or “A troop is coming!”
  9. Genesis 30:11 Gad can mean good fortune or a troop.
  10. Genesis 30:13 Asher means happy.
  11. Genesis 30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for reward.
  12. Genesis 30:20 Zebulun probably means honor.
  13. Genesis 30:24 Joseph means may he add.
  14. Genesis 31:18 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  15. Genesis 31:47 The Aramaic Jegar Sahadutha and the Hebrew Galeed both mean witness heap.
  16. Genesis 31:49 Mizpah means watchtower.
  17. Genesis 31:55 In Hebrew texts this verse (31:55) is numbered 32:1.
  18. Genesis 32:1 In Hebrew texts 32:1-32 is numbered 32:2-33.
  19. Genesis 32:2 Mahanaim means two camps.
  20. Genesis 32:7 Or camps
  21. Genesis 32:8 Or camp
  22. Genesis 32:8 Or camp
  23. Genesis 32:28 Israel probably means he struggles with God.
  24. Genesis 32:30 Peniel means face of God.
  25. Genesis 32:31 Hebrew Penuel, a variant of Peniel
  26. Genesis 33:17 Sukkoth means shelters.
  27. Genesis 33:18 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  28. Genesis 33:19 Hebrew hundred kesitahs; a kesitah was a unit of money of unknown weight and value.
  29. Genesis 33:20 El Elohe Israel can mean El is the God of Israel or mighty is the God of Israel.
  30. Genesis 34:7 Or against
  31. Genesis 34:10 Or move about freely; also in verse 21
  32. Genesis 34:27 Or because
  33. Genesis 35:7 El Bethel means God of Bethel.
  34. Genesis 35:8 Allon Bakuth means oak of weeping.
  35. Genesis 35:9 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia; also in verse 26
  36. Genesis 35:10 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he deceives.
  37. Genesis 35:10 Israel probably means he struggles with God.
  38. Genesis 35:11 Hebrew El-Shaddai
  39. Genesis 35:15 Bethel means house of God.
  40. Genesis 35:18 Ben-Oni means son of my trouble.
  41. Genesis 35:18 Benjamin means son of my right hand.
New International Version (NIV)

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