Genesis 33-35 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
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,[a] 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,[b] 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[c] 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![d] 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,[e] 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?”
Jacob Returns to Bethel
35 God told Jacob, “Return to Bethel, where I appeared to you when you were running from your brother Esau. Make your home there and build an altar for me.”
2 Jacob said to his family and to everyone else who was traveling with him:
Get rid of your foreign gods! Then make yourselves acceptable to worship God and put on clean clothes. 3 Afterwards, we’ll go to Bethel. I will build an altar there for God, who answered my prayers when I was in trouble and who has always been at my side.
4 So everyone gave Jacob their idols and their earrings,[f] and he buried them under the oak tree near Shechem.
5 While Jacob and his family were traveling through Canaan, God terrified the people in the towns so much that no one dared bother them. 6 Finally, they reached Bethel, also known as Luz. 7 Jacob built an altar there and called it “God of Bethel,” because that was the place where God had appeared to him when he was running from Esau. 8 While they were there, Rebekah’s personal servant Deborah[g] died. They buried her under an oak tree and called it “Weeping Oak.”
God Blesses Jacob at Bethel
9-11 After Jacob came back to the land of Canaan, God appeared to him again. This time he gave Jacob a new name and blessed him by saying:
I am God All-Powerful, and from now on your name will be Israel[h] instead of Jacob. You will have many children. Your descendants will become nations, and some of the men in your family will even be kings. 12 I will give you the land that I promised Abraham and Isaac, and it will belong to your family forever.
13 After God had gone, 14 Jacob set up a large rock, so that he would remember what had happened there. Then he poured wine and olive oil on the rock to show that it was dedicated to God, 15 and he named the place Bethel.[i]
Benjamin Is Born
16 Jacob and his family had left Bethel and were still a long way from Ephrath, when the time came for Rachel’s baby to be born. 17 She was having a rough time, but the woman who was helping her said, “Don’t worry! It’s a boy.” 18 Rachel was at the point of death, and right before dying, she said, “I’ll name him Benoni.”[j] But Jacob called him Benjamin.[k]
19 Rachel was buried beside the road to Ephrath, which is also called Bethlehem. 20 Jacob set up a tombstone over her grave, and it is still there. 21 Jacob, also known as Israel, traveled to the south of Eder Tower, where he set up camp.
22 During their time there, Jacob’s oldest son Reuben slept with Bilhah, who was one of Jacob’s other wives.[l] And Jacob found out about it.
Jacob’s Twelve Sons
23-26 Jacob had twelve sons while living in northern Syria.[m] His first-born Reuben was the son of Leah, who later gave birth to Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Leah’s servant Zilpah had two sons: Gad and Asher.
Jacob and his wife Rachel had Joseph and Benjamin. Rachel’s servant woman Bilhah had two more sons: Dan and Naphtali.
27 Jacob went to his father Isaac at Hebron, also called Mamre or Kiriath-Arba, where Isaac’s father Abraham had lived as a foreigner. 28-29 Isaac died at the ripe old age of one hundred eighty, then his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Matthew 10:1-20 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Jesus Chooses His Twelve Apostles
10 Jesus called together his twelve disciples. He gave them the power to force out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. 2 The first of the twelve apostles was Simon, better known as Peter. His brother Andrew was an apostle, and so were James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. 3 Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector,[a] James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus were also apostles. 4 The others were Simon, known as the Eager One,[b] and Judas Iscariot,[c] who later betrayed Jesus.
Instructions for the Twelve Apostles
5 Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions:
Stay away from the Gentiles and don’t go to any Samaritan town. 6 Go only to the people of Israel, because they are like a flock of lost sheep. 7 As you go, announce that the kingdom of heaven will soon be here.[d] 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy,[e] and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid. 9 Don’t take along any gold, silver, or copper coins. 10 And don’t carry[f] a traveling bag or an extra shirt or sandals or a walking stick.
Workers deserve their food. 11 So when you go to a town or a village, find someone worthy enough to have you as their guest and stay with them until you leave. 12 When you go to a home, give it your blessing of peace. 13 If the home is deserving, let your blessing remain with them. But if the home isn’t deserving, take back your blessing of peace. 14 If someone won’t welcome you or listen to your message, leave their home or town. And shake the dust from your feet at them.[g] 15 I promise you that the day of judgment will be easier for the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah[h] than for that town.
Warning about Trouble
16 I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. So be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Watch out for people who will take you to court and have you beaten in their meeting places. 18 Because of me, you will be dragged before rulers and kings to tell them and the Gentiles about your faith. 19 But when someone arrests you, don’t worry about what you will say or how you will say it. At that time you will be given the words to say. 20 But you will not really be the one speaking. The Spirit from your Father will tell you what to say.
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