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arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me." And Isaac his father said unto him, "Who art thou?" And he said, "I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau." And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said: "Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed."
And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father: "Bless me, even me also, O my father." And he said: "Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing.' And he said: "Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times:1 he took away my birthright; and behold, now he hath taken away my blessing." And he said, “Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?" And Isaac answered and said unto Esau: "Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?" And Esau said unto his father: "Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father." And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him:
"Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the
And of the dew of heaven from above;
And by thy sword shalt thou live,
And shalt serve thy brother.
And it shall come to pass when thou shalt have
That thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck." "
Jacob's Flight (Gen. xxvii. 41-xxix. 12). And Esau hated. Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him : and Esau said in his heart: "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob." And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah. And she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him: "Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. Now therefore, my son, obey my
1 In the Hebrew a play on the word 'Jacob' gives 'supplant.'
2 The Edomites were subjected by David (p. 283), but in the reign of Joram, king of Judah, they made a successful revolt.
voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother, to Haran; and tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence. Why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?” 1
And Rebekah said to Isaac: "I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?"
And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him: "Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham." And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padan-aram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying: "Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; " and that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padan-aram; and Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it, and said: "I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall
1 After killing Jacob, Esau would have to flee from the blood-avenger.
be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said: "Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not." And he was afraid, and said: "How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying: "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house :1 and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east. And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well's mouth. And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth in its place.3
And Jacob said unto them, "My brethren, whence be ye?" And they said, "Of Haran are we." And he said unto them,
1 The veneration of an erect stone or "pillar" as the abode of deity is common among peoples of primitive culture. Pausanias (ix. 38) says: "By a!! the Greeks [of earlier days] the honors due to images of the gods were paid to unwrought stones," and he mentions a sacred stone at Delphi, upon which oil was poured daily. In parts of India to-day, every village has a fetish stone. 2 land .. east. That is, Mesopotamia.
3 were gathered, rolled, watered, put in this sentence denote customary action. When a well belonged to two or three families, a stone cover so heavy that it took all their shepherds together to remove it, would prevent any one family from coming and taking more than its share.
"Know ye Laban son of Nahor?" And they said, "We know him." And he said unto them, "Is he well?" And they said, "He is well and behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep." And he said: "Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them." And they said: "We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep."
And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep for she kept them. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother,1 and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.
Jacob and Laban (Gen. xxix. 13-xxxii. 2). And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. And Laban said to him: "Surely thou art my bone and my flesh." And he abode with him the space of a month. And Laban said unto Jacob: "Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?" And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favored. And Jacob loved Rachel; and said: "I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter." And Laban said: "It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me." And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
And Jacob said unto Laban: "Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her." And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. And 1 brother. Nephew.
it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban: "What is this thou hast done unto me? Did not I serve with thee for Rachel ? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?" And Laban said: "It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfil her week,1 and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years." And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: 2 for she said: "Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me." And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said: "Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also:" and she called his name Simeon.' And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said: "Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons: "therefore was his name called Levi. And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, "Now will I praise the Lord: " therefore she called his name Judah; 2 and left bearing.
And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die." And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel : and he said: "Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?" And she said: "Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her." And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. And Rachel said: "God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: "therefore called she his name Dan. And Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son. And Rachel
1 week. The week of wedding festivities.
2 Reuben. 'Behold a son.' Simeon. 'Hearing.' Levi. 'Joined.' Judah. 'Praise.'
3 Dan. 'Judging.'