Genesis 27-28 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Isaac Blesses Jacob
27 After Isaac had become old and almost blind, he called in his first-born son Esau, who asked him, “Father, what can I do for you?”
2 Isaac replied, “I am old and might die at any time. 3 So take your bow and arrows, then go out in the fields, and kill a wild animal. 4 Cook some of that tasty food that I love so much and bring it to me. I want to eat it once more and give you my blessing before I die.”
5 Rebekah had been listening, and as soon as Esau left to go hunting, 6 she said to Jacob, “I heard your father tell Esau 7 to kill a wild animal and cook some tasty food for your father before he dies. Your father said this because he wants to bless your brother with the Lord as his witness. 8 Now, my son, listen carefully to what I want you to do. 9 Go and kill two of your best young goats and bring them to me. I’ll cook the tasty food that your father loves so much. 10 Then you can take it to him, so he can eat it and give you his blessing before he dies.”
11 “My brother Esau is a hairy man,” Jacob reminded her. “And I am not. 12 If my father touches me and realizes I am trying to trick him, he will put a curse on me instead of giving me a blessing.”
13 Rebekah insisted, “Let his curse fall on me! Just do what I say and bring me the meat.” 14 So Jacob brought the meat to his mother, and she cooked the tasty food that his father liked. 15 Then she took Esau’s best clothes and put them on Jacob. 16 She also covered the smooth part of his hands and neck with goatskins 17 and gave him some bread and the tasty food she had cooked.
18 Jacob went to his father and said, “Father, here I am.”
“Which one of my sons are you?” his father asked.
19 Jacob replied, “I am Esau, your first-born, and I have done what you told me. Please sit up and eat the meat I have brought. Then you can give me your blessing.”
20 Isaac asked, “My son, how did you find an animal so quickly?”
“The Lord your God was kind to me,” Jacob answered.
21 “My son,” Isaac said, “come closer, where I can touch you and find out if you really are Esau.” 22 Jacob went closer. His father touched him and said, “You sound like Jacob, but your hands feel hairy like Esau’s.” 23 And so Isaac blessed Jacob, thinking he was Esau.
24 Isaac asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”
“Yes, I am,” Jacob answered.
25 So Isaac told him, “Serve me the wild meat, and I can give you my blessing.”
Jacob gave him some meat, and he ate it. He also gave him some wine, and he drank it. 26 Then Isaac said, “Son, come over here and kiss me.” 27 While Jacob was kissing him, Isaac caught the smell of his clothes and said:
“The smell of my son
30 Right after Isaac had given Jacob his blessing and Jacob had gone, Esau came back from hunting. 31 He cooked the tasty food, brought it to his father, and said, “Father, please sit up and eat the meat I have brought you, so you can give me your blessing.”
32 “Who are you?” Isaac asked.
“I am Esau, your first-born son.”
33 Isaac started trembling and said, “Then who brought me some wild meat right before you came in? I ate it and gave him a blessing that cannot be taken back.”
34 Esau cried loudly and begged, “Father, give me a blessing too!”
35 Isaac answered, “Your brother tricked me and stole your blessing.”
36 Esau replied, “My brother deserves the name Jacob,[a] because he has already cheated me twice. The first time he cheated me out of my rights as the first-born son, and now he has cheated me out of my blessing.” Then Esau asked his father, “Don’t you still have any blessing left for me?”
37 “My son,” Isaac answered, “I have made Jacob the ruler over you and your brothers, and all of you will be his servants. I have also promised him all the grain and grapes that he needs. There’s nothing left that I can do for you.”
38 “Father,” Esau asked, “don’t you have more than one blessing? You can surely give me a blessing too!” Then Esau started crying again.
39 So his father said:
“Your home will be far
41 Esau hated his brother Jacob because he had stolen the blessing that was supposed to be his. So he said to himself, “Just as soon as my father dies, I’ll kill Jacob.”
42 When Rebekah found out what Esau planned to do, she sent for Jacob and told him, “Son, your brother Esau is just waiting for the time when he can kill you. 43 Now listen carefully and do what I say. Go to the home of my brother Laban in Haran 44 and stay with him for a while. When Esau stops being angry 45 and forgets what you have done to him, I’ll send for you to come home. Why should I lose both of my sons on the same day?”[b]
46 Rebekah later told Isaac, “Those Hittite wives of Esau are making my life miserable! If Jacob marries a Hittite woman, I’d be better off dead.”
Isaac’s Instructions to Jacob
28 Isaac called in Jacob, then gave him a blessing, and said:
Don’t marry any of those Canaanite women. 2 Go at once to your mother’s father Bethuel in northern Syria[c] and choose a wife from one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 I pray that God All-Powerful will bless you with many descendants and let you become a great nation. 4 May he bless you with the land he gave Abraham, so that you will take over this land where we now live as foreigners.
5 Isaac then sent Jacob to stay with Rebekah’s brother Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.
Esau Marries the Daughter of Ishmael
6 Esau found out that his father Isaac had blessed Jacob and had warned him not to marry any of the Canaanite women. He also learned that Jacob had been sent to find a wife in northern Syria[d] 7 and that he had obeyed his father and mother. 8 Esau already had several wives, but he realized at last how much his father hated the Canaanite women. 9 So he married Ishmael’s daughter Mahalath, who was the sister of Nebaioth[e] and the granddaughter of Abraham.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left the town of Beersheba and started out for Haran. 11 At sunset he stopped for the night and went to sleep, resting his head on a large rock. 12 In a dream he saw a ladder[f] that reached from earth to heaven, and God’s angels were going up and down on it.
13 The Lord was standing beside the ladder[g] and said:
I am the Lord God who was worshiped by Abraham and Isaac. I will give to you and your family the land on which you are now sleeping. 14 Your descendants will spread over the earth in all directions and will become as numerous as the specks of dust. Your family will be a blessing to all people.[h] 15 Wherever you go, I will watch over you, then later I will bring you back to this land. I won’t leave you—I will do all I have promised.
16 Jacob woke up suddenly and thought, “The Lord is in this place, and I didn’t even know it.” 17 Then Jacob became frightened and said, “This is a fearsome place! It must be the house of God and the ladder[i] to heaven.”
18 When Jacob got up early the next morning, he took the rock that he had used for a pillow and stood it up for a place of worship. Then he poured olive oil on the rock to dedicate it to God, 19 and he named the place Bethel.[j] Before that it had been named Luz.
20 Jacob solemnly promised God, “If you go with me and watch over me as I travel, and if you give me food and clothes 21 and bring me safely home again, you will be my God. 22 This rock will be your house, and I will give back to you a tenth of everything you give me.”
Matthew 8:18-34 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Some Who Wanted To Go with Jesus
18 When Jesus saw the crowd,[a] he went across Lake Galilee. 19 A teacher of the Law of Moses came up to him and said, “Teacher, I’ll go anywhere with you!”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens, and birds have nests. But the Son of Man doesn’t have a place to call his own.”
21 Another disciple said to Jesus, “Lord, let me wait till I bury my father.”
22 Jesus answered, “Come with me, and let the dead bury their dead.”[b]
23 After Jesus left in a boat with his disciples, 24 a terrible storm suddenly struck the lake, and waves started splashing into their boat.
Jesus was sound asleep, 25 so the disciples went over to him and woke him up. They said, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 But Jesus replied, “Why are you so afraid? You surely don’t have much faith.” Then he got up and ordered the wind and the waves to calm down. And everything was calm.
27 The men in the boat were amazed and said, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.”
Two Men with Demons in Them
28 After Jesus had crossed the lake, he came to shore near the town of Gadara[c] and started down the road. Two men with demons in them came to him from the tombs.[d] They were so fierce that no one could travel that way. 29 Suddenly they shouted, “Jesus, Son of God, what do you want with us? Have you come to punish us before our time?”
30 Not far from there a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 So the demons begged Jesus, “If you force us out, please send us into those pigs!” 32 Jesus told them to go, and they went out of the men and into the pigs. All at once the pigs rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
33 The people taking care of the pigs ran to the town and told everything, especially what had happened to the two men. 34 Everyone in town came out to meet Jesus. When they saw him, they begged him to leave their part of the country.
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