Genesis 27-31Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
The Stolen Blessing
27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could not see, he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.”
And he answered, “Here I am.”
2 He said, “Look, I am old and do not know the day of my death. 3 So now take your hunting gear, your quiver and bow, and go out in the field to hunt some game for me. 4 Then make me a delicious meal that I love and bring it to me to eat, so that I can bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening to what Isaac said to his son Esau. So while Esau went to the field to hunt some game to bring in, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Listen! I heard your father talking with your brother Esau. He said, 7 ‘Bring me game and make a delicious meal for me to eat so that I can bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ 8 Now, my son, listen to me and do what I tell you. 9 Go to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, and I will make them into a delicious meal for your father—the kind he loves. 10 Then take it to your father to eat so that he may bless you before he dies.”
11 Jacob answered Rebekah his mother, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am a man with smooth skin. 12 Suppose my father touches me. Then I will be revealed to him as a deceiver and bring a curse rather than a blessing on myself.”
13 His mother said to him, “Your curse be on me, my son. Just obey me and go get them for me.”
14 So he went and got the goats and brought them to his mother, and his mother made the delicious food his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of her older son Esau, which were in the house, and had her younger son Jacob wear them. 16 She put the skins of the young goats on his hands and the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed the delicious food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.
18 When he came to his father, he said, “My father.”
And he answered, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
19 Jacob replied to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may bless me.”
20 But Isaac said to his son, “How did you ever find it so quickly, my son?”
He replied, “Because the Lord your God made it happen for me.”
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so I can touch you, my son. Are you really my son Esau or not?”
22 So Jacob came closer to his father Isaac. When he touched him, he said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. 24 Again he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”
And he replied, “I am.”
25 Then he said, “Bring it closer to me, and let me eat some of my son’s game so that I can bless you.” Jacob brought it closer to him, and he ate; he brought him wine, and he drank.
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come closer and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came closer and kissed him. When Isaac smelled[a] his clothes, he blessed him and said:
Ah, the smell of my son
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob and Jacob had left the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau arrived from his hunting. 31 He had also made some delicious food and brought it to his father. He said to his father, “Let my father get up and eat some of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.”
32 But his father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?”
He answered, “I am Esau your firstborn son.”
33 Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably. “Who was it then,” he said, “who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it all before you came in, and I blessed him. Indeed, he will be blessed!”
34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!”
35 But he replied, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
36 So he said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob?[b] For he has cheated me twice now. He took my birthright, and look, now he has taken my blessing.” Then he asked, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”
37 But Isaac answered Esau, “Look, I have made him a master over you, have given him all of his relatives as his servants, and have sustained him with grain and new wine. What then can I do for you, my son?”
38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau wept loudly.[c]
39 His father Isaac answered him,
Look, your dwelling place will be
41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. And Esau determined in his heart: “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 When the words of her older son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she summoned her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Listen, your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. 43 So now, my son, listen to me. Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44 and stay with him for a few days until your brother’s anger subsides— 45 until your brother’s rage turns away from you and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back from there. Why should I lose you both in one day?”
46 So Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick of my life because of these Hethite girls. If Jacob marries someone from around here,[e] like these Hethite girls, what good is my life?”
28 So Isaac summoned Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite girl. 2 Go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Marry one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you so that you become an assembly of peoples. 4 May God give you and your offspring the blessing of Abraham so that you may possess the land where you live as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.” 5 So Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan-aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 Esau noticed that Isaac blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to get a wife there. When he blessed him, Isaac commanded Jacob, “Do not marry a Canaanite girl.” 7 And Jacob listened to his father and mother and went to Paddan-aram. 8 Esau realized that his father Isaac disapproved of the Canaanite women, 9 so Esau went to Ishmael and married, in addition to his other wives, Mahalath daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son. She was the sister of Nebaioth.
Jacob at Bethel
10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He reached a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set. He took one of the stones from the place, put it there at his head, and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground with its top reaching the sky, and God’s angels were going up and down on it. 13 The Lord was standing there beside him,[f] saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your offspring the land on which you are lying. 14 Your offspring will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out toward the west, the east, the north, and the south. All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! This is none other than the house of God. This is the gate of heaven.”
18 Early in the morning Jacob took the stone that was near his head and set it up as a marker. He poured oil on top of it 19 and named the place Bethel,[g] though previously the city was named Luz. 20 Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me during this journey I’m making, if he provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and if I return safely to my father’s family, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone that I have set up as a marker will be God’s house, and I will give to you a tenth of all that you give me.”
Jacob Meets Rachel
29 Jacob resumed his journey[h] and went to the eastern country.[i] 2 He looked and saw a well in a field. Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it because the sheep were watered from this well. But a large stone covered the opening of the well. 3 The shepherds would roll the stone from the opening of the well and water the sheep when all the flocks[j] were gathered there. Then they would return the stone to its place over the well’s opening.
4 Jacob asked the men at the well, “My brothers! Where are you from?”
“We’re from Haran,” they answered.
5 “Do you know Laban grandson of Nahor?” Jacob asked them.
They answered, “We know him.”
6 “Is he well?” Jacob asked.
“Yes,” they said, “and here is his daughter Rachel, coming with his sheep.”
7 Then Jacob said, “Look, it is still broad daylight. It’s not time for the animals to be gathered. Water the flock, then go out and let them graze.”
8 But they replied, “We can’t until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we will water the sheep.”
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 As soon as Jacob saw his uncle Laban’s daughter Rachel with his sheep,[k] he went up and rolled the stone from the opening and watered his uncle Laban’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept loudly.[l] 12 He told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.
13 When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then he took him to his house, and Jacob told him all that had happened.
14 Laban said to him, “Yes, you are my own flesh and blood.”[m]
After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you’re my relative, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters: the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17 Leah had tender eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he answered Laban, “I’ll work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 Laban replied, “Better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, and they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Since my time is complete, give me my wife, so I can sleep with[n] her.” 22 So Laban invited all the men of the place and sponsored a feast. 23 That evening, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 And Laban gave his slave Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her slave.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Wasn’t it for Rachel that I worked for you? Why have you deceived me?”
26 Laban answered, “It is not the custom in this place to give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn. 27 Complete this week of wedding celebration, and we will also give you this younger one in return for working yet another seven years for me.”
28 And Jacob did just that. He finished the week of celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 And Laban gave his slave Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave. 30 Jacob slept with Rachel also, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was unable to conceive. 32 Leah conceived, gave birth to a son, and named him Reuben,[o] for she said, “The Lord has seen my affliction; surely my husband will love me now.”
33 She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “The Lord heard that I am unloved and has given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon.[p]
34 She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “At last, my husband will become attached to me because I have borne three sons for him.” Therefore he was named Levi.[q]
35 And she conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah.[r] Then Leah stopped having children.
30 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she envied her sister. “Give me sons, or I will die!” she said to Jacob.
2 Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in God’s place, who has withheld offspring[s] from you?”
3 Then she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Go sleep with her, and she’ll bear children for me[t] so that through her I too can build a family.” 4 So Rachel gave her slave Bilhah to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5 Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; yes, he has heard me and given me a son,” so she named him Dan.[u]
9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!”[x] and she named him Gad.[y]
12 When Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, 13 Leah said, “I am happy that the women call me happy,” so she named him Asher.[z]
14 Reuben went out during the wheat harvest and found some mandrakes in the field. When he brought them to his mother Leah, Rachel asked, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But Leah replied to her, “Isn’t it enough that you have taken my husband? Now you also want to take my son’s mandrakes?”
“Well then,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 When Jacob came in from the field that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So Jacob slept with her that night.
17 God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my slave to my husband,” and she named him Issachar.[aa]
19 Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 “God has given me a good gift,” Leah said. “This time my husband will honor me because I have borne six sons for him,” and she named him Zebulun.[ab] 21 Later, Leah bore a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son, and she said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24 She named him Joseph[ac] and said, “May the Lord add another son to me.”
Jacob’s Flocks Multiply
25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so that I can return to my homeland. 26 Give me my wives and my children that I have worked for, and let me go. You know how hard I have worked for you.”
27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor with you, stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28 Then Laban said, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
29 So Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you and how your herds have fared with me. 30 For you had very little before I came, but now your wealth has increased. The Lord has blessed you because of me. And now, when will I also do something for my own family?”
31 Laban asked, “What should I give you?”
And Jacob said, “You don’t need to give me anything. If you do this one thing for me, I will continue to shepherd and keep your flock. 32 Let me go through all your sheep today and remove every sheep that is speckled or spotted, every dark-colored sheep among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the female goats. Such will be my wages. 33 In the future when you come to check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me. If I have any female goats that are not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not black, they will be considered stolen.”
34 “Good,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
35 That day Laban removed the streaked and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats—every one that had any white on it—and every dark-colored one among the lambs, and he placed his sons in charge of them. 36 He put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob. Jacob, meanwhile, was shepherding the rest of Laban’s flock.
37 Jacob then took branches of fresh poplar, almond, and plane wood, and peeled the bark, exposing white stripes on the branches. 38 He set the peeled branches in the troughs in front of the sheep—in the water channels where the sheep came to drink. And the sheep bred when they came to drink. 39 The flocks bred in front of the branches and bore streaked, speckled, and spotted young. 40 Jacob separated the lambs and made the flocks face the streaked sheep and the completely dark sheep in Laban’s flocks. Then he set his own stock apart and didn’t put them with Laban’s sheep.
41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob placed the branches in the troughs, in full view of the flocks, and they would breed in front of the branches. 42 As for the weaklings of the flocks, he did not put out the branches. So it turned out that the weak sheep belonged to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob. 43 And the man became very rich.[ad] He had many flocks, female and male slaves, and camels and donkeys.
Jacob Separates from Laban
31 Now Jacob heard what Laban’s sons were saying: “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s and has built this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2 And Jacob saw from Laban’s face that his attitude toward him was not the same as before.
3 The Lord said to him, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”
4 Jacob had Rachel and Leah called to the field where his flocks were. 5 He said to them, “I can see from your father’s face that his attitude toward me is not the same as before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that with all my strength I have served your father 7 and that he has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God has not let him harm me. 8 If he said, ‘The spotted sheep will be your wages,’ then all the sheep were born spotted. If he said, ‘The streaked sheep will be your wages,’ then all the sheep were born streaked. 9 God has taken away your father’s herds and given them to me.
10 “When the flocks were breeding, I saw in a dream that the streaked, spotted, and speckled males were mating with the females. 11 In that dream the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And he said, ‘Look up and see: all the males that are mating with the flocks are streaked, spotted, and speckled, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you poured oil on the stone marker and made a solemn vow to me. Get up, leave this land, and return to your native land.’”
14 Then Rachel and Leah answered him, “Do we have any portion or inheritance in our father’s family? 15 Are we not regarded by him as outsiders? For he has sold us and has certainly spent our purchase price. 16 In fact, all the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So do whatever God has said to you.”
17 So Jacob got up and put his children and wives on the camels. 18 He took all the livestock and possessions he had acquired in Paddan-aram, and he drove his herds to go to the land of Canaan, to his father Isaac. 19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols. 20 And Jacob deceived[ae] Laban the Aramean, not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 He fled with all his possessions, crossed the Euphrates, and headed for[af] the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Overtakes Jacob
22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 So he took his relatives with him, pursued Jacob for seven days, and overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night. “Watch yourself!” God warned him. “Don’t say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
25 When Laban overtook Jacob, Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban and his relatives also pitched their tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26 Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You have deceived me and taken my daughters away like prisoners of war! 27 Why did you secretly flee from me, deceive me, and not tell me? I would have sent you away with joy and singing, with tambourines and lyres, 28 but you didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters. You have acted foolishly. 29 I could do you great harm, but last night the God of your father said to me: ‘Watch yourself! Don’t say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 Now you have gone off because you long for your father’s family—but why have you stolen my gods?”
31 Jacob answered, “I was afraid, for I thought you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 If you find your gods with anyone here, he will not live! Before our relatives, point out anything that is yours and take it.” Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the idols.
33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, Leah’s tent, and the tents of the two concubines,[ag] but he found nothing. When he left Leah’s tent, he went into Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken Laban’s household idols, put them in the saddlebag of the camel, and sat on them. Laban searched the whole tent but found nothing.
35 She said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I am having my period.” So Laban searched, but could not find the household idols.
Jacob’s Covenant with Laban
36 Then Jacob became incensed and brought charges against Laban. “What is my crime?” he said to Laban. “What is my sin, that you have pursued me? 37 You’ve searched all my possessions! Have you found anything of yours?[ah] Put it here before my relatives and yours, and let them decide between the two of us. 38 I’ve been with you these twenty years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams from your flock. 39 I did not bring you any of the flock torn by wild beasts; I myself bore the loss. You demanded payment from me for what was stolen by day or by night. 40 There I was—the heat consumed me by day and the frost by night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41 For twenty years in your household I served you—fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks—and you have changed my wages ten times! 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, certainly now you would have sent me off empty-handed. But God has seen my affliction and my hard work,[ai] and he issued his verdict last night.”
43 Then Laban answered Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters; the sons, my sons; and the flocks, my flocks! Everything you see is mine! But what can I do today for these daughters of mine or for the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I. Let it be a witness between the two of us.”
45 So Jacob picked out a stone and set it up as a marker. 46 Then Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a mound, then ate there by the mound. 47 Laban named the mound Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob named it Galeed.[aj]
48 Then Laban said, “This mound is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore the place was called Galeed 49 and also Mizpah,[ak] for he said, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are out of each other’s sight. 50 If you mistreat my daughters or take other wives, though no one is with us, understand that God will be a witness between you and me.” 51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Look at this mound and the marker I have set up between you and me. 52 This mound is a witness and the marker is a witness that I will not pass beyond this mound to you, and you will not pass beyond this mound and this marker to do me harm. 53 The God of Abraham, and the gods of Nahor—the gods of their father[al]—will judge between us.” And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac. 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat a meal. So they ate a meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55 Laban got up early in the morning, kissed his grandchildren and daughters, and blessed them. Then Laban left to return home.