Genesis 32-34 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Jacob Gets Ready To Meet Esau
32 As Jacob was on his way back home, some of God’s angels came and met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” So he named the place Mahanaim.[a]
3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead to Esau, who lived in the land of Seir, also known as Edom. 4 Jacob told them to say to Esau, “Master, I am your servant! I have lived with Laban all this time, 5 and now I own cattle, donkeys, and sheep, as well as many slaves. Master, I am sending these messengers in the hope that you will be kind to me.”
6 When the messengers returned, they told Jacob, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is heading this way with four hundred men.”
7 Jacob was so frightened that he divided his people, sheep, cattle, and camels into two groups. 8 He thought, “If Esau attacks one group, perhaps the other can escape.”
9 Then Jacob prayed:
You, Lord, are the God who was worshiped by my grandfather Abraham and by my father Isaac. You told me to return home to my family, and you promised to be with me and make me successful. 10 I don’t deserve all the good things you have done for me, your servant. When I first crossed the Jordan, I had only my walking stick, but now I have two large groups of people and animals. 11 Please rescue me from my brother. I am afraid he will come and attack not only me, but my wives and children as well. 12 But you have promised that I would be a success and that someday it will be as hard to count my descendants as it is to count the stars in the sky.
13 After Jacob had spent the night there, he chose some animals as gifts for Esau: 14-15 two hundred female goats and twenty males, two hundred female sheep and twenty males, thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten males.
16 Jacob put servants in charge of each herd and told them, “Go ahead of me and keep a space between each herd.” 17 Then he said to the servant in charge of the first herd, “When Esau meets you, he will ask whose servant you are. He will want to know where you are going and who owns those animals in front of you. 18 So tell him, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, who is coming this way. He is sending them as a gift to his master Esau.’”
19 Jacob also told the men in charge of the second and third herds and those who followed to say the same thing when they met Esau. 20 And Jacob told them to be sure to say that he was right behind them. Jacob hoped the gifts would make Esau friendly, so Esau would be glad to see him when they met. 21 Jacob’s men took the gifts on ahead of him, but he spent the night in camp.
Jacob’s Name Is Changed to Israel
22-23 Jacob got up in the middle of the night and took his wives, his eleven children, and everything he owned across to the other side of the Jabbok River for safety. 24 Afterwards, Jacob went back and spent the rest of the night alone.
A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint. 26 They kept on wrestling until the man said, “Let go of me! It’s almost daylight.”
“You can’t go until you bless me,” Jacob replied.
27 Then the man asked, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That’s why your name will be Israel.”[b]
29 Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”
“Don’t you know who I am?” he asked. And he blessed Jacob.
30 Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive.” So he named the place Peniel.[c] 31 The sun was coming up as Jacob was leaving Peniel. He was limping because he had been struck on the hip, 32 and the muscle on his hip joint had been injured. That’s why even today the people of Israel don’t eat the hip muscle of any animal.
Jacob Meets Esau
33 Later that day Jacob met Esau coming with his four hundred men. So Jacob had his children walk with their mothers. 2 The two servant women, Zilpah and Bilhah, together with their children went first, followed by Leah and her children, then by Rachel and Joseph. 3 Jacob himself walked in front of them all, bowing to the ground seven times as he came near his brother.
4 But Esau ran toward Jacob and hugged and kissed him. Then the two brothers started crying.
5 When Esau noticed the women and children he asked, “Whose children are these?”
Jacob answered, “These are the ones the Lord has been kind enough to give to me, your servant.”
6 Then the two servant women and their children came and bowed down to Esau. 7 Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down; finally, Joseph and Rachel also came and bowed down.
8 Esau asked Jacob, “What did you mean by these herds I met along the road?”
“Master,” Jacob answered, “I sent them so that you would be friendly to me.”
9 “But, brother, I already have plenty,” Esau replied. “Keep them for yourself.”
10 “No!” Jacob said. “Please accept these gifts as a sign of your friendship for me. When you welcomed me and I saw your face, it was like seeing the face of God. 11 Please accept these gifts I brought to you. God has been good to me, and I have everything I need.” Jacob kept insisting until Esau accepted the gifts.
12 “Let’s get ready to travel,” Esau said. “I’ll go along with you.”
13 But Jacob answered, “Master, you know traveling is hard on children, and I have to look after the sheep and goats that are nursing their young. If my animals travel too much in one day, they will all die. 14 Why don’t you go on ahead and let me travel along slowly with the children, the herds, and the flocks. We can meet again in the country of Edom.”
15 Esau replied, “Let me leave some of my men with you.”
“You don’t have to do that,” Jacob answered. “I am happy, simply knowing that you are friendly to me.”
16 So Esau left for Edom. 17 But Jacob went to Succoth,[d] where he built a house for himself and set up shelters for his animals. That’s why the place is called Succoth.
Jacob Arrives at Shechem
18 After leaving northern Syria,[e] Jacob arrived safely at Shechem in Canaan and set up camp outside the city. 19 The land where he camped was owned by the descendants of Hamor, the father of Shechem. So Jacob paid them one hundred pieces of silver[f] for the property, 20 then he set up his tents and built an altar there to honor the God of Israel.
Dinah Is Raped
34 Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the women who lived there. 2 She was seen by Hamor’s son Shechem, the leader of the Hivites, and he grabbed her and raped her. 3 But Shechem was attracted to Dinah, so he told her how much he loved her. 4 He even asked his father to get her for his wife.
5 Meanwhile, Jacob heard what had happened. But his sons were out in the fields with the cattle, so he did not do anything at the time. 6 Hamor arrived at Jacob’s home 7 just as Jacob’s sons were coming in from work. When they learned that their sister had been raped, they became furiously angry. Nothing is more disgraceful than rape, and it should not be tolerated in Israel.
8 Hamor said to Jacob and his sons:
My son Shechem really loves Dinah. Please let him marry her. 9 Why don’t you start letting your families marry into our families and ours marry into yours? 10 You can share this land with us. Move freely about until you find the property you want; then buy it and settle down here.
11 Shechem added, “Do this favor for me, and I’ll give whatever you want. 12 Ask anything, no matter how expensive. I’ll do anything, just let me marry Dinah.”
13 Jacob’s sons wanted to get even with Shechem and his father because of what had happened to their sister. 14 So they tricked them by saying:
You’re not circumcised![g] It would be a disgrace for us to let you marry Dinah now. 15 But we will let you marry her, if you and the other men in your tribe get circumcised. 16 Then your families can marry into ours, and ours can marry into yours, and we can live together like one nation. 17 But if you don’t agree to get circumcised, we’ll take Dinah and leave this place.
18 Hamor and Shechem liked what was said. 19 Shechem was the most respected person in his family, and he was so in love with Dinah that he hurried off to get everything done. 20 The two men met with the other leaders of their city and told them:
21 These people really are friendly. Why not let them move freely about until they find the property they want? There’s enough land here for them and for us. Then our families can marry into theirs, and theirs can marry into ours.
22 We have to do only one thing before they will agree to stay here and become one nation with us. Our men will have to be circumcised like their men. 23 Just think! We’ll get their property, as well as their flocks and herds. All we have to do is to agree, and they will live here with us.
24 Every grown man followed this advice and got circumcised.
Dinah’s Brothers Take Revenge
25 Three days later the men who had been circumcised were still weak from pain. So Simeon and Levi,[h] two of Dinah’s brothers, attacked with their swords and killed every man in town, 26 including Hamor and Shechem. Then they took Dinah and left. 27 Jacob’s other sons came and took everything they wanted. All this was done because of the horrible thing that had happened to their sister. 28 They took sheep, goats, donkeys, and everything else that was in the town or the fields. 29 After taking everything of value from the houses, they dragged away the wives and children of their victims.
30 Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “Look what you’ve done! Now I’m in real trouble with the Canaanites and Perizzites who live around here. There aren’t many of us, and if they attack, they’ll kill everyone in my household.”
31 They answered, “Was it right to let our own sister be treated that way?”
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