New Revised Standard Version
The primeval history; creation culminating in sabbath
1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was
a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from
God swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light";
and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated
the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he
called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it
separate the waters from the waters." 7 So God made the dome and separated the
waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And
it was so. 8 God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was
morning, the second day.
9 And God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one
place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry land
Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw
that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation:
plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit
with the seed in it." And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation:
plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with
the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and
there was morning, the third day.
14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the
day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and
years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the
earth." And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights – the greater light to
rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars. 17 God
set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over
the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And
God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the
20 And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and
let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky." 21 So God created
the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind,
with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw
that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and
fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 And
there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind:
cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind." And
it was so. 25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the
cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every
kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our
likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the
birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the
earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
27 So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill
the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over
the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
29 God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the
face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have
them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the
air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the
breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31
God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there
was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And
on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on
the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the
seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that
he had done in creation.
4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were
Creation in the garden
In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 when no plant
of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up –
for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no
one to till the ground; 6 but a stream would rise from the earth, and water
the whole face of the ground – 7 then the LORD God formed man from the dust of
the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man
became a living being. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the
east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the
LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for
food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides
and becomes four branches. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one
that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the
gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of
the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of
Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria.
And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and
keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You may freely eat of every
tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you
shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die."
18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I
will make him a helper as his partner." 19 So out of the ground the LORD God
formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them
to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every
living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and
to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man
there was not found a helper as his partner. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep
sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and
closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken
from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man
"This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken."
24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife,
and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and
were not ashamed.
Garden disobedience and punishment
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God
had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You shall not eat from any tree
in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of
the trees in the garden; 3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of
the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you
shall die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die; 5 for God
knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like
God, knowing good and evil." 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good
for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be
desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave
some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both
were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves
together and made loincloths for themselves.
8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of
the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence
of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to
the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10 He said, "I heard the sound of
you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of
which I commanded you not to eat?" 12 The man said, "The woman whom you gave
to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate." 13 Then the LORD
God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The
serpent tricked me, and I ate." 14 The LORD God said to the serpent,
"Because you have done this,
cursed are you among all animals
and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel."
16 To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you."
17 And to the man he said,
"Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
and have eaten of the tree
about which I commanded you,
'You shall not eat of it,'
cursed is the ground because of you;
in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return."
20 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21
And the LORD God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and
22 Then the LORD God said, "See, the man has become like one of us, knowing
good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the
tree of life, and eat, and live forever" – 23 therefore the LORD God sent him
forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24
He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the
cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of
Cain and Abel
1 Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I
have produced a man with the help of the LORD." 2 Next she bore his brother
Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. 3 In
the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the
ground, 4 and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their
fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for
Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his
countenance fell. 6 The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has
your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if
you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you
must master it."
8 Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let us go out to the field." And when they
were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. 9
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" He said, "I do not
know; am I my brother's keeper?" 10 And the LORD said, "What have you done?
Listen; your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground! 11 And now
you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your
brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it will no longer
yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the
earth." 13 Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear!
14 Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from
your face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and anyone who
meets me may kill me." 15 Then the LORD said to him, "Not so! Whoever kills
Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance." And the LORD put a mark on Cain, so
that no one who came upon him would kill him. 16 Then Cain went away from the
presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
First overview of generations from creation to flood
17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city,
and named it Enoch after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad
was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methushael, and
Methushael the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech took two wives; the name of the one
was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the
ancestor of those who live in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother's name
was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22
Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. The
sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23 Lamech said to his wives:
"Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold."
25 Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she
said, "God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain
killed him." 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that
time people began to invoke the name of the LORD.
Second overview of generations from creation to flood
1 This is the list of the descendants of Adam. When God created humankind, he
made them in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he
blessed them and named them "Humankind" when they were created.
3 When Adam had lived one hundred thirty years, he became the father of a son
in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of
Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years; and he had
other sons and daughters. 5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were nine
hundred thirty years; and he died.
6 When Seth had lived one hundred five years, he became the father of Enosh. 7
Seth lived after the birth of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and had other
sons and daughters. 8 Thus all the days of Seth were nine hundred twelve
years; and he died.
9 When Enosh had lived ninety years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 Enosh
lived after the birth of Kenan eight hundred fifteen years, and had other sons
and daughters. 11 Thus all the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years; and
12 When Kenan had lived seventy years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13
Kenan lived after the birth of Mahalalel eight hundred and forty years, and
had other sons and daughters. 14 Thus all the days of Kenan were nine hundred
and ten years; and he died.
15 When Mahalalel had lived sixty-five years, he became the father of Jared.
16 Mahalalel lived after the birth of Jared eight hundred thirty years, and
had other sons and daughters. 17 Thus all the days of Mahalalel were eight
hundred ninety-five years; and he died.
18 When Jared had lived one hundred sixty-two years he became the father of
Enoch. 19 Jared lived after the birth of Enoch eight hundred years, and had
other sons and daughters. 20 Thus all the days of Jared were nine hundred
sixty-two years; and he died.
21 When Enoch had lived sixty-five years, he became the father of Methuselah.
22 Enoch walked with God after the birth of Methuselah three hundred years,
and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were three
hundred sixty-five years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more,
because God took him.
25 When Methuselah had lived one hundred eighty-seven years, he became the
father of Lamech. 26 Methuselah lived after the birth of Lamech seven hundred
eighty-two years, and had other sons and daughters. 27 Thus all the days of
Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years; and he died.
28 When Lamech had lived one hundred eighty-two years, he became the father of
a son; 29 he named him Noah, saying, "Out of the ground that the LORD has
cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our
hands." 30 Lamech lived after the birth of Noah five hundred ninety-five
years, and had other sons and daughters. 31 Thus all the days of Lamech were
seven hundred seventy-seven years; and he died.
32 After Noah was five hundred years old, Noah became the father of Shem, Ham,
1 When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were
born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives
for themselves of all that they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, "My spirit shall
not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one
hundred twenty years." 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and
also afterward – when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who
bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of
The great flood
5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and
that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil
continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth,
and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the LORD said, "I will blot out from the
earth the human beings I have created – people together with animals and
creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8
But Noah found favor in the sight of the LORD.
9 These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in
his generation; Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham,
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with
violence. 12 And God saw that the earth was corrupt; for all flesh had
corrupted its ways upon the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, "I have determined
to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of
them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth. 14 Make yourself an
ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with
pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark three hundred
cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 Make a roof
for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and put the door of the ark in
its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For my part, I am
going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven
all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth
shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come
into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. 19 And
of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into
the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the
birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds,
of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind
shall come in to you, to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every kind of
food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and
for them." 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
1 Then the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and all your household,
for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. 2
Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a
pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; 3 and seven
pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive
on the face of all the earth. 4 For in seven days I will send rain on the
earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made
I will blot out from the face of the ground." 5 And Noah did all that the LORD
had commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth. 7
And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives went into the ark to
escape the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean animals, and of animals that are
not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, 9 two
and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded
Noah. 10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the
seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep
burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12 The rain fell on
the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 On the very same day Noah with his
sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his
sons entered the ark, 14 they and every wild animal of every kind, and all
domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the
earth, and every bird of every kind – every bird, every winged creature. 15
They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was
the breath of life. 16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh,
went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.
17 The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and
bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters swelled and
increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.
19 The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains
under the whole heaven were covered; 20 the waters swelled above the
mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. 21 And all flesh died that moved
on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures
that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; 22 everything on dry land in
whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living
thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and
creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth.
Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters
swelled on the earth for one hundred fifty days.
Divine commitments after the flood
1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic
animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the
earth, and the waters subsided; 2 the fountains of the deep and the windows of
the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the
waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred fifty days
the waters had abated; 4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of
the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 The waters
continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day
of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.
6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made
7 and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried
up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters
had subsided from the face of the ground; 9 but the dove found no place to set
its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the
face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it
into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent out
the dove from the ark; 11 and the dove came back to him in the evening, and
there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the
waters had subsided from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days, and
sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.
13 In the six hundred first year, in the first month, on the first day of the
month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering
of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. 14 In
the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 "Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your
sons and your sons' wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing
that is with you of all flesh – birds and animals and every creeping thing
that creeps on the earth – so that they may abound on the earth, and be
fruitful and multiply on the earth." 18 So Noah went out with his sons and his
wife and his sons' wives. 19 And every animal, every creeping thing, and every
bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of
every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the
LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never
again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human
heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature
as I have done.
22 As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night,
shall not cease."
1 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply,
and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of
the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the
ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. 3
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you
the green plants, I give you everything. 4 Only, you shall not eat flesh with
its life, that is, its blood. 5 For your own lifeblood I will surely require a
reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one
for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.
6 Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
by a human shall that person's blood be shed;
for in his own image
God made humankind.
7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, abound on the earth and multiply in it."
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 "As for me, I am
establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with
every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and
every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11 I
establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by
the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the
earth." 12 God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me
and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future
generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the
covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and
the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between
me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never
again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I
will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living
creature of all flesh that is on the earth." 17 God said to Noah, "This is the
sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is
on the earth."
Noah and his sons
18 The sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham
was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah; and from these
the whole earth was peopled.
20 Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 He drank
some of the wine and became drunk, and he lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And
Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two
brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both
their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their
father; their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father's
nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had
done to him, 25 he said,
"Cursed be Canaan;
lowest of slaves shall he be to his brothers."
26 He also said,
"Blessed by the LORD my God be Shem;
and let Canaan be his slave.
27 May God make space for Japheth,
and let him live in the tents of Shem;
and let Canaan be his slave."
28 After the flood Noah lived three hundred fifty years. 29 All the days of
Noah were nine hundred fifty years; and he died.
The table of nations
1 These are the descendants of Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; children
were born to them after the flood.
2 The descendants of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and
Tiras. 3 The descendants of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The
descendants of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim. 5 From these the
coastland peoples spread. These are the descendants of Japheth in their lands,
with their own language, by their families, in their nations.
6 The descendants of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. 7 The descendants of
Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah:
Sheba and Dedan. 8 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first on earth
to become a mighty warrior. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD;
therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD." 10 The
beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, and Accad, all of them in the land
of Shinar. 11 From that land he went into Assyria, and built Nineveh,
Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and 12 Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great
city. 13 Egypt became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14
Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, from which the Philistines come.
15 Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 16 and the
Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the
Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the
families of the Canaanites spread abroad. 19 And the territory of the
Canaanites extended from Sidon, in the direction of Gerar, as far as Gaza, and
in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. 20
These are the descendants of Ham, by their families, their languages, their
lands, and their nations.
21 To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of
Japheth, children were born. 22 The descendants of Shem: Elam, Asshur,
Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The descendants of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and
Mash. 24 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah; and Shelah became the father
of Eber. 25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in
his days the earth was divided, and his brother's name was Joktan. 26 Joktan
became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal,
Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were
the descendants of Joktan. 30 The territory in which they lived extended from
Mesha in the direction of Sephar, the hill country of the east. 31 These are
the descendants of Shem, by their families, their languages, their lands, and
32 These are the families of Noah's sons, according to their genealogies, in
their nations; and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the
The tower of Babel
1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as they
migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and
settled there. 3 And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and
burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top
in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be
scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." 5 The LORD came down to
see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. 6 And the LORD said,
"Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only
the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now
be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down, and confuse their language
there, so that they will not understand one another's speech." 8 So the LORD
scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left
off building the city. 9 Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD
confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them
abroad over the face of all the earth.
10 These are the descendants of Shem. When Shem was one hundred years old, he
became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood; 11 and Shem lived
after the birth of Arpachshad five hundred years, and had other sons and
12 When Arpachshad had lived thirty-five years, he became the father of Shelah;
13 and Arpachshad lived after the birth of Shelah four hundred three years,
and had other sons and daughters.
14 When Shelah had lived thirty years, he became the father of Eber; 15 and
Shelah lived after the birth of Eber four hundred three years, and had other
sons and daughters.
16 When Eber had lived thirty-four years, he became the father of Peleg; 17
and Eber lived after the birth of Peleg four hundred thirty years, and had
other sons and daughters.
18 When Peleg had lived thirty years, he became the father of Reu; 19 and
Peleg lived after the birth of Reu two hundred nine years, and had other sons
The descendants of Shem
20 When Reu had lived thirty-two years, he became the father of Serug; 21 and
Reu lived after the birth of Serug two hundred seven years, and had other sons
22 When Serug had lived thirty years, he became the father of Nahor; 23 and
Serug lived after the birth of Nahor two hundred years, and had other sons and
24 When Nahor had lived twenty-nine years, he became the father of Terah; 25
and Nahor lived after the birth of Terah one hundred nineteen years, and had
other sons and daughters.
26 When Terah had lived seventy years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor,
Introduction of the Abraham story
27 Now these are the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram,
Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. 28 Haran died before his
father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Abram and
Nahor took wives; the name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's
wife was Milcah. She was the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah.
30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his
daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out together from
Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran,
they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were two hundred five years; and
Terah died in Haran.
The LORD's call and promise to Abraham
1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your
father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great
nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a
blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I
will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Abraham's first journey to the land
4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was
seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Abram took his wife
Sarai and his brother's son Lot, and all the possessions that they had
gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth
to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram
passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that
time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram, and
said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built there an altar to
the LORD, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved on to the hill
country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west
and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and invoked the
name of the LORD. 9 And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb.
First story of endangerment of the matriarch
10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to reside
there as an alien, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about
to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "I know well that you are a woman
beautiful in appearance; 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say,
'This is his wife'; then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say
you are my sister, so that it may go well with me because of you, and that my
life may be spared on your account." 14 When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians
saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 When the officials of Pharaoh saw
her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's
house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen,
male donkeys, male and female slaves, female donkeys, and camels.
17 But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of
Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram, and said, "What is this you
have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did
you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is
your wife, take her, and be gone." 20 And Pharaoh gave his men orders
concerning him; and they set him on the way, with his wife and all that he
Split of Abraham and Lot
1 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot
with him, into the Negeb.
2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 He journeyed
on by stages from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had
been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place where he had made
an altar at the first; and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. 5 Now
Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6 so that the
land could not support both of them living together; for their possessions
were so great that they could not live together, 7 and there was strife
between the herders of Abram's livestock and the herders of Lot's livestock.
At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites lived in the land.
8 Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and
between your herders and my herders; for we are kindred. 9 Is not the whole
land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I
will go to the right; or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the
left." 10 Lot looked about him, and saw that the plain of the Jordan was well
watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the
direction of Zoar; this was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
11 So Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed
eastward; thus they separated from each other. 12 Abram settled in the land of
Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain and moved his tent as
far as Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against
14 The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Raise your eyes
now, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and
eastward and westward; 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and
to your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the
earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can
be counted. 17 Rise up, walk through the length and the breadth of the land,
for I will give it to you." 18 So Abram moved his tent, and came and settled
by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the
Abraham's rescue of Lot from the eastern kings
1 In the days of King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King
Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim, 2 these kings made war with
King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King
Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3 All these joined
forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea). 4 Twelve years they
had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 In the
fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and subdued
the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in
Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in the hill country of Seir as far as El-paran
on the edge of the wilderness; 7 then they turned back and came to En-mishpat
(that is, Kadesh), and subdued all the country of the Amalekites, and also the
Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar. 8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of
Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that
is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim 9 with King
Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King
Arioch of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was
full of bitumen pits; and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell
into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. 11 So the enemy took all the
goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way; 12
they also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who lived in Sodom, and his
goods, and departed.
13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by
the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner; these were
allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken captive,
he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred eighteen of
them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 He divided his forces against them
by night, he and his servants, and routed them and pursued them to Hobah,
north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the goods, and also brought
back his nephew Lot with his goods, and the women and the people.
17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were
with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that
is, the King's Valley). 18 And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and
wine; he was priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him and said,
"Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!"
And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything. 21 Then the king of Sodom said to
Abram, "Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself." 22 But Abram
said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD, God Most High, maker of
heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or
anything that is yours, so that you might not say, 'I have made Abram rich.'
24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the
men who went with me – Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their share."
The first covenant with Abraham
1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, "Do not
be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." 2 But
Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and
the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have
given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir." 4
But the word of the LORD came to him, "This man shall not be your heir; no one
but your very own issue shall be your heir." 5 He brought him outside and
said, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them."
Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." 6 And he believed the
LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7 Then he said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans,
to give you this land to possess." 8 But he said, "O Lord GOD, how am I to
know that I shall possess it?" 9 He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three
years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove,
and a young pigeon." 10 He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying
each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And
when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and
terrifying darkness descended upon him. 13 Then the LORD said to Abram, "Know
this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not
theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four
hundred years; 14 but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and
afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for yourself, you
shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16
And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of
the Amorites is not yet complete."
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a
flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a
covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I give this land, from the
river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the
Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the
Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
Hagar's encounter with God and the birth of Ishmael
1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian
slave-girl whose name was Hagar, 2 and Sarai said to Abram, "You see that the
LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be
that I shall obtain children by her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
3 So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's
wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband
Abram as a wife. 4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw
that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. 5 Then Sarai
said to Abram, "May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to
your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with
contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!" 6 But Abram said to Sarai,
"Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please." Then Sarai dealt
harshly with her, and she ran away from her.
7 The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the
spring on the way to Shur. 8 And he said, "Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where
have you come from and where are you going?" She said, "I am running away from
my mistress Sarai." 9 The angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your
mistress, and submit to her." 10 The angel of the LORD also said to her, "I
will so greatly multiply your offspring that they cannot be counted for
multitude." 11 And the angel of the LORD said to her,
"Now you have conceived and shall bear a son;
you shall call him Ishmael,
for the LORD has given heed to your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild ass of a man,
with his hand against everyone,
and everyone's hand against him;
and he shall live at odds with all his kin."
13 So she named the LORD who spoke to her, "You are El-roi"; for she said,
"Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?" 14 Therefore the
well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
15 Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
The everlasting covenant and sign of circumcision
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said
to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2 And I will
make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous."
3 Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4 "As for me, this is my
covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 5 No
longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have
made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly
fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 I
will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you
throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you
and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you, and to your
offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of
Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God."
9 God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your
offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant,
which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every
male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your
foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12
Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he
is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought
with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring. 13 Both the
slave born in your house and the one bought with your money must be
circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14
Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin
shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
15 God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai,
but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover I will give you
a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of
peoples shall come from her." 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed,
and said to himself, "Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old?
Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" 18 And Abraham said to God,
"O that Ishmael might live in your sight!" 19 God said, "No, but your wife
Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac. I will establish my
covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20
As for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will bless him and make him fruitful and
exceedingly numerous; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will
make him a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom
Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year." 22 And when he had finished
talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
23 Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all the slaves born in his house or
bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and he
circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to
him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh
of his foreskin. 25 And his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was
circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very day Abraham and his son
Ishmael were circumcised; 27 and all the men of his house, slaves born in the
house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
The LORD's visit to Abraham and Sarah
1 The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance
of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men standing
near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and
bowed down to the ground. 3 He said, "My lord, if I find favor with you, do
not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet,
and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 Let me bring a little bread, that you
may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on – since you have come
to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said." 6 And Abraham hastened
into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Make ready quickly three measures of choice
flour, knead it, and make cakes." 7 Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf,
tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. 8
Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it
before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 They said to him, "Where is your wife Sarah?" And he said, "There, in the
tent." 10 Then one said, "I will surely return to you in due season, and your
wife Sarah shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance
behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased
to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself,
saying, "After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have
pleasure?" 13 The LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, and say, 'Shall
I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too wonderful for
the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall
have a son." 15 But Sarah denied, saying, "I did not laugh"; for she was
afraid. He said, "Oh yes, you did laugh."
Abraham's intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah
16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked toward Sodom; and Abraham
went with them to set them on their way. 17 The LORD said, "Shall I hide from
Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall become a great and
mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19
No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household
after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice; so
that the LORD may bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." 20 Then
the LORD said, "How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how
very grave their sin! 21 I must go down and see whether they have done
altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will
22 So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained
standing before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham came near and said, "Will you indeed
sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous
within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the
fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to
slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked!
Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?"
26 And the LORD said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will
forgive the whole place for their sake." 27 Abraham answered, "Let me take it
upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five
of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack
of five?" And he said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there." 29
Again he spoke to him, "Suppose forty are found there." He answered, "For the
sake of forty I will not do it." 30 Then he said, "Oh do not let the Lord be
angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there." He answered, "I will not do
it, if I find thirty there." 31 He said, "Let me take it upon myself to speak
to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of
twenty I will not destroy it." 32 Then he said, "Oh do not let the Lord be
angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there." He answered,
"For the sake of ten I will not destroy it." 33 And the LORD went his way,
when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
The rescue of Lot and his family from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the
gateway of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed down with
his face to the ground. 2 He said, "Please, my lords, turn aside to your
servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you can rise
early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the
square." 3 But he urged them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered
his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young
and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; 5 and they
called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to
us, so that we may know them." 6 Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the
door after him, 7 and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8
Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to
you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have
come under the shelter of my roof." 9 But they replied, "Stand back!" And they
said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and he would play the judge! Now we
will deal worse with you than with them." Then they pressed hard against the
man Lot, and came near the door to break it down. 10 But the men inside
reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the
door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the
house, both small and great, so that they were unable to find the door.
12 Then the men said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons,
daughters, or anyone you have in the city – bring them out of the place. 13
For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people
has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it." 14
So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters,
"Up, get out of this place; for the LORD is about to destroy the city." But he
seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.
15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Get up, take your wife
and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be consumed in the
punishment of the city." 16 But he lingered; so the men seized him and his
wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and
they brought him out and left him outside the city. 17 When they had brought
them outside, they said, "Flee for your life; do not look back or stop
anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed." 18
And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords; 19 your servant has found favor with
you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee
to the hills, for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die. 20 Look, that
city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there –
is it not a little one? – and my life will be saved!" 21 He said to him, "Very
well, I grant you this favor too, and will not overthrow the city of which you
have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there, for I can do nothing until you arrive
there." Therefore the city was called Zoar. 23 The sun had risen on the earth
when Lot came to Zoar.
24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD
out of heaven; 25 and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all
the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot's wife,
behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before
the LORD; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the
land of the Plain and saw the smoke of the land going up like the smoke of a
29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, God remembered
Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the
cities in which Lot had settled.
30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and settled in the hills with his two
daughters, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; so he lived in a cave with his
two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old,
and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the
world. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him,
so that we may preserve offspring through our father." 33 So they made their
father drink wine that night; and the firstborn went in, and lay with her
father; he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. 34 On the next
day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Look, I lay last night with my
father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with
him, so that we may preserve offspring through our father." 35 So they made
their father drink wine that night also; and the younger rose, and lay with
him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. 36 Thus both the
daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son,
and named him Moab; he is the ancestor of the Moabites to this day. 38 The
younger also bore a son and named him Ben-ammi; he is the ancestor of the
Ammonites to this day.
The second story of the endangerment of the matriarch
1 From there Abraham journeyed toward the region of the Negeb, and settled
between Kadesh and Shur. While residing in Gerar as an alien, 2 Abraham said
of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." And King Abimelech of Gerar sent and
took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him,
"You are about to die because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a
married woman." 4 Now Abimelech had not approached her; so he said, "Lord,
will you destroy an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me, 'She is
my sister'? And she herself said, 'He is my brother.' I did this in the
integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands." 6 Then God said to him
in the dream, "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart;
furthermore it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not
let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and
he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know
that you shall surely die, you and all that are yours."
8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants and told
them all these things; and the men were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelech
called Abraham, and said to him, "What have you done to us? How have I sinned
against you, that you have brought such great guilt on me and my kingdom? You
have done things to me that ought not to be done." 10 And Abimelech said to
Abraham, "What were you thinking of, that you did this thing?" 11 Abraham
said, "I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this
place, and they will kill me because of my wife. 12 Besides, she is indeed my
sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother; and she
became my wife. 13 And when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I
said to her, 'This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we
come, say of me, He is my brother.'" 14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen,
and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and restored his wife
Sarah to him. 15 Abimelech said, "My land is before you; settle where it
pleases you." 16 To Sarah he said, "Look, I have given your brother a thousand
pieces of silver; it is your exoneration before all who are with you; you are
completely vindicated." 17 Then Abraham prayed to God; and God healed
Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore
children. 18 For the LORD had closed fast all the wombs of the house of
Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
Isaac and Ishmael
1 The LORD dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as he
had promised. 2 Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the
time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son
whom Sarah bore him. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight
days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his
son Isaac was born to him. 6 Now Sarah said, "God has brought laughter for me;
everyone who hears will laugh with me." 7 And she said, "Who would ever have
said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in
his old age."
8 The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day
that Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she
had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. 10 So she said to Abraham,
"Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall
not inherit along with my son Isaac." 11 The matter was very distressing to
Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not be
distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah
says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall
be named for you. 13 As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation
of him also, because he is your offspring." 14 So Abraham rose early in the
morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it
on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed,
and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the
bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the
distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Do not let me look on the death of the
child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And
God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from
heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God
has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Come, lift up the boy and hold
him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him." 19 Then God
opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin
with water, and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and
became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his
mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Abraham's dispute with Abimelech
22 At that time Abimelech, with Phicol the commander of his army, said to
Abraham, "God is with you in all that you do; 23 now therefore swear to me
here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or
with my posterity, but as I have dealt loyally with you, you will deal with me
and with the land where you have resided as an alien." 24 And Abraham said, "I
25 When Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech's
servants had seized, 26 Abimelech said, "I do not know who has done this; you
did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today." 27 So Abraham took
sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant. 28
Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs of the flock. 29 And Abimelech said to
Abraham, "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set
apart?" 30 He said, "These seven ewe lambs you shall accept from my hand, in
order that you may be a witness for me that I dug this well." 31 Therefore
that place was called Beer-sheba; because there both of them swore an oath. 32
When they had made a covenant at Beer-sheba, Abimelech, with Phicol the
commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of
the LORD, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham resided as an alien many days in
the land of the Philistines.
The testing of Abraham
1 After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he
said, "Here I am." 2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you
love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on
one of the mountains that I shall show you." 3 So Abraham rose early in the
morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his
son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the
place in the distance that God had shown him. 4 On the third day Abraham
looked up and saw the place far away. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men,
"Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship,
and then we will come back to you." 6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt
offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the
knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7 Isaac said to his father
Abraham, "Father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "The fire and
the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" 8 Abraham
said, "God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So the
two of them walked on together.
9 When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar
there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the
altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the
knife to kill his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven,
and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 12 He said, "Do not
lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear
God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." 13 And
Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham
went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his
son. 14 So Abraham called that place "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to
this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."
15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and
said, "By myself I have sworn, says the LORD: Because you have done this, and
have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you, and I
will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand
that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their
enemies, 18 and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain
blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice." 19 So Abraham
returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beer-sheba; and
Abraham lived at Beer-sheba.
The descendants of Abraham's brother Nahor
20 Now after these things it was told Abraham, "Milcah also has borne
children, to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel
the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel." 23
Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor,
Abraham's brother. 24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore
Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
Abraham's purchase of a family burial place
1 Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years; this was the length of Sarah's
life. 2 And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of
Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3 Abraham
rose up from beside his dead, and said to the Hittites, 4 "I am a stranger and
an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying place,
so that I may bury my dead out of my sight." 5 The Hittites answered Abraham,
6 "Hear us, my lord; you are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the
choicest of our burial places; none of us will withhold from you any burial
ground for burying your dead." 7 Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the
people of the land. 8 He said to them, "If you are willing that I should bury
my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me Ephron son of Zohar, 9 so
that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of
his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as a
possession for a burying place." 10 Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites;
and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of all
who went in at the gate of his city, 11 "No, my lord, hear me; I give you the
field, and I give you the cave that is in it; in the presence of my people I
give it to you; bury your dead." 12 Then Abraham bowed down before the people
of the land. 13 He said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land,
"If you only will listen to me! I will give the price of the field; accept it
from me, so that I may bury my dead there." 14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 "My
lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver –
what is that between you and me? Bury your dead." 16 Abraham agreed with
Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the
hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the
weights current among the merchants.
17 So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the
field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field,
throughout its whole area, passed 18 to Abraham as a possession in the
presence of the Hittites, in the presence of all who went in at the gate of
his city. 19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the
field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20
The field and the cave that is in it passed from the Hittites into Abraham's
possession as a burying place.
Finding a wife for Isaac
1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the LORD had blessed
Abraham in all things. 2 Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house,
who had charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh 3 and I will
make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not get
a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, 4
but will go to my country and to my kindred and get a wife for my son Isaac."
5 The servant said to him, "Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me
to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?"
6 Abraham said to him, "See to it that you do not take my son back there. 7
The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the
land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, 'To your offspring I
will give this land,' he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a
wife for my son from there. 8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you,
then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son
back there." 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his
master and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, taking all
kinds of choice gifts from his master; and he set out and went to
Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor. 11 He made the camels kneel down outside
the city by the well of water; it was toward evening, the time when women go
out to draw water. 12 And he said, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please
grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 I am
standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are
coming out to draw water. 14 Let the girl to whom I shall say, 'Please offer
your jar that I may drink,' and who shall say, 'Drink, and I will water your
camels' – let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac.
By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master."
15 Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel
son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, coming out with her water
jar on her shoulder. 16 The girl was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no
man had known. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up. 17
Then the servant ran to meet her and said, "Please let me sip a little water
from your jar." 18 "Drink, my lord," she said, and quickly lowered her jar
upon her hand and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a
drink, she said, "I will draw for your camels also, until they have finished
drinking." 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to
the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. 21 The man gazed at her in
silence to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful.
22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose-ring
weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold
shekels, 23 and said, "Tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your
father's house for us to spend the night?" 24 She said to him, "I am the
daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor." 25 She added, "We
have plenty of straw and fodder and a place to spend the night." 26 The man
bowed his head and worshiped the LORD 27 and said, "Blessed be the LORD, the
God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his
faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the way to
the house of my master's kin."
28 Then the girl ran and told her mother's household about these things. 29
Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to the man, to
the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the nose-ring, and the bracelets on his
sister's arms, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, "Thus the
man spoke to me," he went to the man; and there he was, standing by the camels
at the spring. 31 He said, "Come in, O blessed of the LORD. Why do you stand
outside when I have prepared the house and a place for the camels?" 32 So the
man came into the house; and Laban unloaded the camels, and gave him straw and
fodder for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who
were with him. 33 Then food was set before him to eat; but he said, "I will
not eat until I have told my errand." He said, "Speak on."
34 So he said, "I am Abraham's servant. 35 The LORD has greatly blessed my
master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver
and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. 36 And Sarah my master's
wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that
he has. 37 My master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my
son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38 but you
shall go to my father's house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.' 39 I
said to my master, 'Perhaps the woman will not follow me.' 40 But he said to
me, 'The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you and make your
way successful. You shall get a wife for my son from my kindred, from my
father's house. 41 Then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my
kindred; even if they will not give her to you, you will be free from my
42 "I came today to the spring, and said, 'O LORD, the God of my master
Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! 43 I am
standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to
draw, to whom I shall say, "Please give me a little water from your jar to
drink," 44 and who will say to me, "Drink, and I will draw for your camels
also" – let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's son.'
45 "Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out
with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew.
I said to her, 'Please let me drink.' 46 She quickly let down her jar from her
shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will also water your camels.' So I drank,
and she also watered the camels. 47 Then I asked her, 'Whose daughter are
you?' She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to
him.' So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. 48 Then I
bowed my head and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my
master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my
master's kinsman for his son. 49 Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly
with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the
right hand or to the left."
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, "The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot
speak to you anything bad or good. 51 Look, Rebekah is before you, take her
and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has spoken."
52 When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground
before the LORD. 53 And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold,
and garments, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave to her brother and to her
mother costly ornaments. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and
drank, and they spent the night there. When they rose in the morning, he said,
"Send me back to my master." 55 Her brother and her mother said, "Let the girl
remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go." 56 But he
said to them, "Do not delay me, since the LORD has made my journey successful;
let me go that I may go to my master." 57 They said, "We will call the girl,
and ask her." 58 And they called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with
this man?" She said, "I will." 59 So they sent away their sister Rebekah and
her nurse along with Abraham's servant and his men. 60 And they blessed
Rebekah and said to her,
"May you, our sister, become
thousands of myriads;
may your offspring gain possession
of the gates of their foes."
61 Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the
man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
62 Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. 63
Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw
camels coming. 64 And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped
quickly from the camel, 65 and said to the servant, "Who is the man over
there, walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master."
So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all
the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's
tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was
comforted after his mother's death.
The death of Abraham
1 Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2 She bore him Zimran,
Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan was the father of Sheba
and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. 4 The sons
of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the
children of Keturah. 5 Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. 6 But to the sons of
his concubines Abraham gave gifts, while he was still living, and he sent them
away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.
7 This is the length of Abraham's life, one hundred seventy-five years. 8
Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of
years, and was gathered to his people. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him
in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite,
east of Mamre, 10 the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There
Abraham was buried, with his wife Sarah. 11 After the death of Abraham God
blessed his son Isaac. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.
Overview of the descendants of Ishmael
12 These are the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the
Egyptian, Sarah's slave-girl, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of the
sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of
Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema,
Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are
their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes
according to their tribes. 17 (This is the length of the life of Ishmael, one
hundred thirty-seven years; he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to
his people.) 18 They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in
the direction of Assyria; he settled down alongside of all his people.
Introduction of the descendants of Isaac
19 These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham was the father
of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter
of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac
prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted
his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 The children struggled together
within her; and she said, "If it is to be this way, why do I live?" So she
went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her,
"Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder shall serve the younger."
24 When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25
The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him
Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau's heel;
so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field,
while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau, because he
was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Jacob buys Esau's birthright
29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was
famished. 30 Esau said to Jacob, "Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am
famished!" (Therefore he was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, "First sell me your
birthright." 32 Esau said, "I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to
me?" 33 Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore to him, and sold his
birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate
and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Interlude on Isaac
1 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that had
occurred in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar, to King Abimelech of
the Philistines. 2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to
Egypt; settle in the land that I shall show you. 3 Reside in this land as an
alien, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for to you and to your
descendants I will give all these lands, and I will fulfill the oath that I
swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your offspring as numerous as the
stars of heaven, and will give to your offspring all these lands; and all the
nations of the earth shall gain blessing for themselves through your
offspring, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my
commandments, my statutes, and my laws."
6 So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7 When the men of the place asked him about his
wife, he said, "She is my sister"; for he was afraid to say, "My wife,"
thinking, "or else the men of the place might kill me for the sake of Rebekah,
because she is attractive in appearance." 8 When Isaac had been there a long
time, King Abimelech of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw him
fondling his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech called for Isaac, and said, "So she
is your wife! Why then did you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac said to him,
"Because I thought I might die because of her." 10 Abimelech said, "What is
this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your
wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us." 11 So Abimelech warned all
the people, saying, "Whoever touches this man or his wife shall be put to
12 Isaac sowed seed in that land, and in the same year reaped a hundredfold.
The LORD blessed him, 13 and the man became rich; he prospered more and more
until he became very wealthy. 14 He had possessions of flocks and herds, and a
great household, so that the Philistines envied him. 15 (Now the Philistines
had stopped up and filled with earth all the wells that his father's servants
had dug in the days of his father Abraham.) 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac,
"Go away from us; you have become too powerful for us."
17 So Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar and settled
there. 18 Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of
his father Abraham; for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of
Abraham; and he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But
when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring
water, 20 the herders of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herders, saying, "The
water is ours." So he called the well Esek, because they contended with him.
21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also; so he
called it Sitnah. 22 He moved from there and dug another well, and they did
not quarrel over it; so he called it Rehoboth, saying, "Now the LORD has made
room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."
23 From there he went up to Beer-sheba. 24 And that very night the LORD
appeared to him and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham; do not be
afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and make your offspring numerous
for my servant Abraham's sake." 25 So he built an altar there, called on the
name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac's servants dug a
26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol
the commander of his army. 27 Isaac said to them, "Why have you come to me,
seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you?" 28 They said, "We see
plainly that the LORD has been with you; so we say, let there be an oath
between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you 29 so that you will do
us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but
good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the LORD." 30
So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose
early and exchanged oaths; and Isaac set them on their way, and they departed
from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac's servants came and told him about
the well that they had dug, and said to him, "We have found water!" 33 He
called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba to this day.
The transfer of blessing to Jacob and not Esau
34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the
Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite; 35 and they made life
bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.
1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called
his elder son Esau and said to him, "My son"; and he answered, "Here I am." 2
He said, "See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now then, take
your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game
for me. 4 Then prepare for me savory food, such as I like, and bring it to me
to eat, so that I may bless you before I die."
5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau
went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6 Rebekah said to her son
Jacob, "I heard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 'Bring me game, and
prepare for me savory food to eat, that I may bless you before the LORD before
I die.' 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. 9 Go to the
flock, and get me two choice kids, so that I may prepare from them savory food
for your father, such as he likes; 10 and you shall take it to your father to
eat, so that he may bless you before he dies." 11 But Jacob said to his mother
Rebekah, "Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a man of smooth skin.
12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and
bring a curse on myself and not a blessing." 13 His mother said to him, "Let
your curse be on me, my son; only obey my word, and go, get them for me." 14
So he went and got them and brought them to his mother; and his mother
prepared savory food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best
garments of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them
on her younger son Jacob; 16 and she put the skins of the kids on his hands
and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed the savory food, and
the bread that she had prepared, to her son Jacob.
18 So he went in to his father, and said, "My father"; and he said, "Here I
am; who are you, my son?" 19 Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your
firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, so that
you may bless me." 20 But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have
found it so quickly, my son?" He answered, "Because the LORD your God granted
me success." 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near, that I may feel you, my
son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not." 22 So Jacob went up
to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but
the hands are the hands of Esau." 23 He did not recognize him, because his
hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. 24 He said,
"Are you really my son Esau?" He answered, "I am." 25 Then he said, "Bring it
to me, that I may eat of my son's game and bless you." So he brought it to
him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 Then his father
Isaac said to him, "Come near and kiss me, my son." 27 So he came near and
kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and
"Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed.
28 May God give you of the dew of heaven,
and of the fatness of the earth,
and plenty of grain and wine.
29 Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may your mother's sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
and blessed be everyone who blesses you!"
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone
out from the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau came in from his
hunting. 31 He also prepared savory food, and brought it to his father. And he
said to his father, "Let my father sit up and eat of his son's game, so that
you may bless me." 32 His father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?" He
answered, "I am your firstborn son, Esau." 33 Then Isaac trembled violently,
and said, "Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it
all before you came, and I have blessed him? – yes, and blessed he shall be!"
34 When Esau heard his father's words, he cried out with an exceedingly great
and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me, me also, father!" 35 But he
said, "Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing." 36
Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two
times. He took away my birthright; and look, now he has taken away my
blessing." Then he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?" 37 Isaac
answered Esau, "I have already made him your lord, and I have given him all
his brothers as servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What
then can I do for you, my son?" 38 Esau said to his father, "Have you only one
blessing, father? Bless me, me also, father!" And Esau lifted up his voice and
39 Then his father Isaac answered him:
"See, away from the fatness of the earth shall your home be,
and away from the dew of heaven on high.
40 By your sword you shall live,
and you shall serve your brother;
but when you break loose,
you shall break his yoke from your neck."
41 Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had
blessed him, and Esau said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are
approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob." 42 But the words of her elder
son Esau were told to Rebekah; so she sent and called her younger son Jacob
and said to him, "Your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill
you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; flee at once to my brother Laban
in Haran, 44 and stay with him a while, until your brother's fury turns away –
45 until your brother's anger against you turns away, and he forgets what you
have done to him; then I will send, and bring you back from there. Why should
I lose both of you in one day?"
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I am weary of my life because of the Hittite
women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women such as these, one of the
women of the land, what good will my life be to me?"
The split between Jacob and Esau
1 Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, "You shall not
marry one of the Canaanite women. 2 Go at once to Paddan-aram to the house of
Bethuel, your mother's father; and take as wife from there one of the
daughters of Laban, your mother's brother. 3 May God Almighty bless you and
make you fruitful and numerous, that you may become a company of peoples. 4
May he give to you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with
you, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an
alien – land that God gave to Abraham." 5 Thus Isaac sent Jacob away; and he
went to Paddan-aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of
Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
6 Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram
to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he charged him, "You
shall not marry one of the Canaanite women," 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his
father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. 8 So when Esau saw that the
Canaanite women did not please his father Isaac, 9 Esau went to Ishmael and
took Mahalath daughter of Abraham's son Ishmael, and sister of Nebaioth, to be
his wife in addition to the wives he had.
10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place
and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the
stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12
And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it
reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 And the LORD stood beside him and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham
your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you
and to your offspring; 14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the
earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the
north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in
you and in your offspring. 15 Know that I am with you and will keep you
wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave
you until I have done what I have promised you." 16 Then Jacob woke from his
sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place – and I did not know it!" 17
And he was afraid, and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other
than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put
under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19
He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20
Then Jacob made 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 clothing to wear, 21 so
that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my
God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's
house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you."
Jacob's marriages to Laban's daughters
1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the people of the
east. 2 As he looked, he saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep
lying there beside it; for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone
on the well's mouth was large, 3 and when all the flocks were gathered there,
the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well, and water the
sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the mouth of the well.
4 Jacob said to them, "My brothers, where do you come from?" They said, "We
are from Haran." 5 He said to them, "Do you know Laban son of Nahor?" They
said, "We do." 6 He said to them, "Is it well with him?" "Yes," they replied,
"and here is his daughter Rachel, coming with the sheep." 7 He said, "Look, it
is still broad daylight; it is not time for the animals to be gathered
together. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them." 8 But they said, "We cannot
until all the flocks are gathered together, and the stone is rolled from the
mouth of the well; then we water the sheep."
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep;
for she kept them. 10 Now when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother's
brother Laban, and the sheep of his mother's brother Laban, Jacob went up and
rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of his mother's
brother Laban. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told
Rachel that he was her father's kinsman, and that he was Rebekah's son; and
she ran and told her father.
13 When Laban heard the news about his sister's son Jacob, he ran to meet him;
he embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban
all these things, 14 and Laban said to him, "Surely you are my bone and my
flesh!" And he stayed with him a month.
15 Then Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore
serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?" 16 Now Laban had two
daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was
Rachel. 17 Leah's eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful. 18
Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, "I will serve you seven years for your younger
daughter Rachel." 19 Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than
that I should give her to any other man; stay with me." 20 So Jacob served
seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the
love he had for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my
time is completed." 22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place,
and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought
her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his
daughter Leah to be her maid.) 25 When morning came, it was Leah! And Jacob
said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for
Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?" 26 Laban said, "This is not done in
our country – giving the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of
this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another
seven years." 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his
daughter Rachel as a wife. 29 (Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter
Rachel to be her maid.) 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved
Rachel more than Leah. He served Laban for another seven years.
The birth of eleven of Jacob's sons and Dinah
31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was
barren. 32 Leah conceived and bore a son, and she named him Reuben; for she
said, "Because the LORD has looked on my affliction; surely now my husband
will love me." 33 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Because the
LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also"; and she named
him Simeon. 34 Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, "Now this time my
husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons"; therefore
he was named Levi. 35 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "This time
I will praise the LORD"; therefore she named him Judah; then she ceased
1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and
she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!" 2 Jacob became very
angry with Rachel and said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from
you the fruit of the womb?" 3 Then she said, "Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to
her, that she may bear upon my knees and that I too may have children through
her." 4 So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife; and Jacob went in to her. 5
And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Then Rachel said, "God has judged
me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son"; therefore she named him
Dan. 7 Rachel's maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8
Then Rachel said, "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and
have prevailed"; so she named him Naphtali.
9 When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her maid Zilpah
and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Leah's maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son.
11 And Leah said, "Good fortune!" so she named him Gad. 12 Leah's maid Zilpah
bore Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah said, "Happy am I! For the women will
call me happy"; so she named him Asher.
14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field,
and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me
some of your son's mandrakes." 15 But she said to her, "Is it a small matter
that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son's mandrakes
also?" Rachel said, "Then he may lie with you tonight for your son's
mandrakes." 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to
meet him, and said, "You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my
son's mandrakes." So he lay with her that night. 17 And God heeded Leah, and
she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, "God has given me my
hire because I gave my maid to my husband"; so she named him Issachar. 19 And
Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, "God
has endowed me with a good dowry; now my husband will honor me, because I have
borne him six sons"; so she named him Zebulun. 21 Afterwards she bore a
daughter, and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God heeded her and opened her womb. 23 She
conceived and bore a son, and said, "God has taken away my reproach"; 24 and
she named him Joseph, saying, "May the LORD add to me another son!"
The birth of Jacob's flocks
25 When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me away, that I
may go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children for
whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know very well the service I
have given you." 27 But Laban said to him, "If you will allow me to say so, I
have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you; 28
name your wages, and I will give it." 29 Jacob said to him, "You yourself know
how I have served you, and how your cattle have fared with me. 30 For you had
little before I came, and it has increased abundantly; and the LORD has
blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own
household also?" 31 He said, "What shall I give you?" Jacob said, "You shall
not give me anything; if you will do this for me, I will again feed your flock
and keep it: 32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it
every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and
speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33 So my honesty will
answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one
that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if
found with me, shall be counted stolen." 34 Laban said, "Good! Let it be as
you have said." 35 But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped
and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every
one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in
charge of his sons; 36 and he set a distance of three days' journey between
himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban's flock.
37 Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane, and peeled white
streaks in them, exposing the white of the rods. 38 He set the rods that he
had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering
places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to
drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the rods, and so the flocks produced
young that were striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 Jacob separated the lambs,
and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and the completely black
animals in the flock of Laban; and he put his own droves apart, and did not
put them with Laban's flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were
breeding, Jacob laid the rods in the troughs before the eyes of the flock,
that they might breed among the rods, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he
did not lay them there; so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
43 Thus the man grew exceedingly rich, and had large flocks, and male and
female slaves, and camels and donkeys.
Jacob's departure from Laban's family
1 Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, "Jacob has taken all
that was our father's; he has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our
father." 2 And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him as favorably as he did
before. 3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your ancestors
and to your kindred, and I will be with you." 4 So Jacob sent and called
Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was, 5 and said to them, "I see
that your father does not regard me as favorably as he did before. But the God
of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have served your father with
all my strength; 7 yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten
times, but God did not permit him to harm me. 8 If he said, 'The speckled
shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore speckled; and if he said, 'The
striped shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore striped. 9 Thus God has
taken away the livestock of your father, and given them to me.
10 During the mating of the flock I once had a dream in which I looked up and
saw that the male goats that leaped upon the flock were striped, speckled, and
mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I
said, 'Here I am!' 12 And he said, 'Look up and see that all the goats that
leap on the flock are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that
Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar
and made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and return to the land of
your birth.'" 14 Then Rachel and Leah answered him, "Is there any portion or
inheritance left to us in our father's house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as
foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has been using up the money given for
us. 16 All the property that God has taken away from our father belongs to us
and to our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you."
17 So Jacob arose, and set his children and his wives on camels; 18 and he
drove away all his livestock, all the property that he had gained, the
livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to his
father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
19 Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's
household gods. 20 And Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean, in that he did not
tell him that he intended to flee. 21 So he fled with all that he had;
starting out he crossed the Euphrates, and set his face toward the hill
country of Gilead.
22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 So he took his
kinsfolk with him and pursued him for seven days until he caught up with him
in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream
by night, and said to him, "Take heed that you say not a word to Jacob, either
good or bad."
25 Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country,
and Laban with his kinsfolk camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26 Laban
said to Jacob, "What have you done? You have deceived me, and carried away my
daughters like captives of the sword. 27 Why did you flee secretly and deceive
me and not tell me? I would have sent you away with mirth and songs, with
tambourine and lyre. 28 And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my
daughters farewell? What you have done is foolish. 29 It is in my power to do
you harm; but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, 'Take
heed that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.' 30 Even though you had to
go because you longed greatly for your father's house, why did you steal my
gods?" 31 Jacob answered Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you
would take your daughters from me by force. 32 But anyone with whom you find
your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsfolk, point out what I
have that is yours, and take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had
stolen the gods.
33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the tent of
the two maids, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent, and
entered Rachel's. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in
the camel's saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt all about in the tent, but did
not find them. 35 And she said to her father, "Let not my lord be angry that I
cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me." So he searched, but
did not find the household gods.
36 Then Jacob became angry, and upbraided Laban. Jacob said to Laban, "What is
my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Although you
have felt about through all my goods, what have you found of all your
household goods? Set it here before my kinsfolk and your kinsfolk, so that
they may decide between us two. 38 These twenty years I have been with you;
your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the
rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to
you; I bore the loss of it myself; of my hand you required it, whether stolen
by day or stolen by night. 40 It was like this with me: by day the heat
consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These
twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your
two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten
times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac,
had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed.
God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night."
43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, the
children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is
mine. But what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about their
children whom they have borne? 44 Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I;
and let it be a witness between you and me." 45 So Jacob took a stone, and set
it up as a pillar. 46 And Jacob said to his kinsfolk, "Gather stones," and
they took stones, and made a heap; and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban
called it Jegar-sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Laban said, "This
heap is a witness between you and me today." Therefore he called it Galeed, 49
and the pillar Mizpah, for he said, "The LORD watch between you and me, when
we are absent one from the other. 50 If you ill-treat my daughters, or if you
take wives in addition to my daughters, though no one else is with us,
remember that God is witness between you and me."
51 Then Laban said to Jacob, "See this heap and see the pillar, which I have
set between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a
witness, that I will not pass beyond this heap to you, and you will not pass
beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53 May the God of Abraham
and the God of Nahor" – the God of their father – "judge between us." So Jacob
swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, 54 and Jacob offered a sacrifice on the
height and called his kinsfolk to eat bread; and they ate bread and tarried
all night in the hill country.
55 Early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his grandchildren and his
daughters and blessed them; then he departed and returned home.
Journey toward Esau
1 Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; 2 and when Jacob saw
them he said, "This is God's camp!" So he called that place Mahanaim.
3 Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir,
the country of Edom, 4 instructing them, "Thus you shall say to my lord Esau:
Thus says your servant Jacob, 'I have lived with Laban as an alien, and stayed
until now; 5 and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female slaves; and I
have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.'"
6 The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to your brother Esau, and
he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him." 7 Then Jacob was
greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him,
and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies, 8 thinking, "If Esau
comes to the one company and destroys it, then the company that is left will
9 And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O
LORD who said to me, 'Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will
do you good,' 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and
all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my
staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies. 11 Deliver
me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am
afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children. 12
Yet you have said, 'I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the
sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of their number.'"
13 So he spent that night there, and from what he had with him he took a
present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male
goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milch camels and their
colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.
16 These he delivered into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself,
and said to his servants, "Pass on ahead of me, and put a space between drove
and drove." 17 He instructed the foremost, "When Esau my brother meets you,
and asks you, 'To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these
ahead of you?' 18 then you shall say, 'They belong to your servant Jacob; they
are a present sent to my lord Esau; and moreover he is behind us.'" 19 He
likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves,
"You shall say the same thing to Esau when you meet him, 20 and you shall say,
'Moreover your servant Jacob is behind us.'" For he thought, "I may appease
him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterwards I shall see his
face; perhaps he will accept me." 21 So the present passed on ahead of him;
and he himself spent that night in the camp.
22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his
eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent
them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24 Jacob was left
alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he
did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's
hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, "Let me go,
for the day is breaking." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go, unless you
bless me." 27 So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." 28
Then the man said, "You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you
have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed." 29 Then Jacob
asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my
name?" And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying,
"For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved." 31 The sun
rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to
this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket,
because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.
Partial reunion with Esau
1 Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So
he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2 He put the
maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel
and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to
the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed
him, and they wept. 5 When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he
said, "Who are these with you?" Jacob said, "The children whom God has
graciously given your servant." 6 Then the maids drew near, they and their
children, and bowed down; 7 Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed
down; and finally Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8 Esau
said, "What do you mean by all this company that I met?" Jacob answered, "To
find favor with my lord." 9 But Esau said, "I have enough, my brother; keep
what you have for yourself." 10 Jacob said, "No, please; if I find favor with
you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like
seeing the face of God – since you have received me with such favor. 11 Please
accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with
me, and because I have everything I want." So he urged him, and he took it.
12 Then Esau said, "Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you."
13 But Jacob said to him, "My lord knows that the children are frail and that
the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me; and if they are
overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead
of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle
that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to
my lord in Seir."
15 So Esau said, "Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me."
But he said, "Why should my lord be so kind to me?" 16 So Esau returned that
day on his way to Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a
house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore the place is called Succoth.
The stay in Shechem and the rape of Dinah
18 Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan,
on his way from Paddan-aram; and he camped before the city. 19 And from the
sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for one hundred pieces of money the
plot of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar
and called it El-Elohe-Israel.
1 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to
visit the women of the region. 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, prince
of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force. 3 And his
soul was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl, and spoke
tenderly to her. 4 So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, "Get me this
girl to be my wife."
5 Now Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah; but his sons
were with his cattle in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. 6
And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him, 7 just as
the sons of Jacob came in from the field. When they heard of it, the men were
indignant and very angry, because he had committed an outrage in Israel by
lying with Jacob's daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done.
8 But Hamor spoke with them, saying, "The heart of my son Shechem longs for
your daughter; please give her to him in marriage. 9 Make marriages with us;
give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You shall
live with us; and the land shall be open to you; live and trade in it, and get
property in it." 11 Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, "Let
me find favor with you, and whatever you say to me I will give. 12 Put the
marriage present and gift as high as you like, and I will give whatever you
ask me; only give me the girl to be my wife."
13 The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully,
because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14 They said to them, "We cannot do
this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be
a disgrace to us. 15 Only on this condition will we consent to you: that you
will become as we are and every male among you be circumcised. 16 Then we will
give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and
we will live among you and become one people. 17 But if you will not listen to
us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone."
18 Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor's son Shechem. 19 And the young man did
not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob's daughter. Now
he was the most honored of all his family. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem
came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, 21
"These people are friendly with us; let them live in the land and trade in it,
for the land is large enough for them; let us take their daughters in
marriage, and let us give them our daughters. 22 Only on this condition will
they agree to live among us, to become one people: that every male among us be
circumcised as they are circumcised. 23 Will not their livestock, their
property, and all their animals be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they
will live among us." 24 And all who went out of the city gate heeded Hamor and
his son Shechem; and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate
of his city.
25 On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of the sons of Jacob,
Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and came against the city
unawares, and killed all the males. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem
with the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went away. 27 And
the other sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because
their sister had been defiled. 28 They took their flocks and their herds,
their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. 29 All their
wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses,
they captured and made their prey. 30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You
have brought trouble on me by making me odious to the inhabitants of the land,
the Canaanites and the Perizzites; my numbers are few, and if they gather
themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my
household." 31 But they said, "Should our sister be treated like a whore?"
Jacob's return to Bethel
1 God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel, and settle there. Make an altar
there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau." 2
So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Put away the
foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your
clothes; 3 then come, let us go up to Bethel, that I may make an altar there
to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me
wherever I have gone." 4 So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they
had, and the rings that were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak
that was near Shechem.
5 As they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities all around them,
so that no one pursued them. 6 Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is
in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, 7 and there he
built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because it was there that God
had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. 8 And Deborah,
Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So it was
9 God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and he blessed
him. 10 God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; no longer shall you be called
Jacob, but Israel shall be your name." So he was called Israel. 11 God said to
him, "I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of
nations shall come from you, and kings shall spring from you. 12 The land that
I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to
your offspring after you." 13 Then God went up from him at the place where he
had spoken with him. 14 Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken
with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured out a drink offering on it, and
poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob called the place where God had spoken with him
The birth of Benjamin and death of Rachel
16 Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when they were still some distance
from Ephrath, Rachel was in childbirth, and she had hard labor. 17 When she
was in her hard labor, the midwife said to her, "Do not be afraid; for now you
will have another son." 18 As her soul was departing (for she died), she named
him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin. 19 So Rachel died, and she
was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), 20 and Jacob set up a
pillar at her grave; it is the pillar of Rachel's tomb, which is there to this
day. 21 Israel journeyed on, and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
Concluding materials on Jacob's sons and Isaac's death and burial
22 While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his
father's concubine; and Israel heard of it.
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's
firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel:
Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's maid: Dan and Naphtali.
26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah's maid: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of
Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
27 Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron),
where Abraham and Isaac had resided as aliens. 28 Now the days of Isaac were
one hundred eighty years. 29 And Isaac breathed his last; he died and was
gathered to his people, old and full of days; and his sons Esau and Jacob
Overview of the descendants of Esau and prior inhabitants of Edom/Sier
1 These are the descendants of Esau (that is, Edom). 2 Esau took his wives
from the Canaanites: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah daughter of
Anah son of Zibeon the Hivite, 3 and Basemath, Ishmael's daughter, sister of
Nebaioth. 4 Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau; Basemath bore Reuel; 5 and Oholibamah
bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him
in the land of Canaan.
6 Then Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of
his household, his cattle, all his livestock, and all the property he had
acquired in the land of Canaan; and he moved to a land some distance from his
brother Jacob. 7 For their possessions were too great for them to live
together; the land where they were staying could not support them because of
their livestock. 8 So Esau settled in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom.
9 These are the descendants of Esau, ancestor of the Edomites, in the hill
country of Seir. 10 These are the names of Esau's sons: Eliphaz son of Adah
the wife of Esau; Reuel, the son of Esau's wife Basemath. 11 The sons of
Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. 12 (Timna was a concubine
of Eliphaz, Esau's son; she bore Amalek to Eliphaz.) These were the sons of
Adah, Esau's wife. 13 These were the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah,
and Mizzah. These were the sons of Esau's wife, Basemath. 14 These were the
sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah, daughter of Anah son of Zibeon: she bore to
Esau Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
15 These are the clans of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn
of Esau: the clans Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, Gatam, and Amalek;
these are the clans of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Adah.
17 These are the sons of Esau's son Reuel: the clans Nahath, Zerah, Shammah,
and Mizzah; these are the clans of Reuel in the land of Edom; they are the
sons of Esau's wife Basemath. 18 These are the sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah:
the clans Jeush, Jalam, and Korah; these are the clans born of Esau's wife
Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah. 19 These are the sons of Esau (that is,
Edom), and these are their clans.
20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan,
Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; these are the clans of the
Horites, the sons of Seir in the land of Edom. 22 The sons of Lotan were Hori
and Heman; and Lotan's sister was Timna. 23 These are the sons of Shobal:
Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. 24 These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah
and Anah; he is the Anah who found the springs in the wilderness, as he
pastured the donkeys of his father Zibeon. 25 These are the children of Anah:
Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah. 26 These are the sons of Dishon:
Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 27 These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan,
Zaavan, and Akan. 28 These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. 29 These are
the clans of the Horites: the clans Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 30 Dishon,
Ezer, and Dishan; these are the clans of the Horites, clan by clan in the land
31 These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king
reigned over the Israelites. 32 Bela son of Beor reigned in Edom, the name of
his city being Dinhabah. 33 Bela died, and Jobab son of Zerah of Bozrah
succeeded him as king. 34 Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites
succeeded him as king. 35 Husham died, and Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated
Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him as king, the name of his city
being Avith. 36 Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah succeeded him as king. 37
Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates succeeded him as king. 38
Shaul died, and Baal-hanan son of Achbor succeeded him as king. 39 Baal-hanan
son of Achbor died, and Hadar succeeded him as king, the name of his city
being Pau; his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, daughter of
40 These are the names of the clans of Esau, according to their families and
their localities by their names: the clans Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41
Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel, and Iram; these
are the clans of Edom (that is, Esau, the father of Edom), according to their
settlements in the land that they held.
Joseph's dreams of power
1 Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land
of Canaan. 2 This is the story of the family of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his
brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's
wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3 Now Israel
loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of
his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. 4 But when his
brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they
hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
5 Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him
even more. 6 He said to them, "Listen to this dream that I dreamed. 7 There we
were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright;
then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf." 8 His
brothers said to him, "Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have
dominion over us?" So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his
9 He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, "Look, I have had
another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." 10
But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him,
and said to him, "What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we
indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before
you?" 11 So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter
Joseph is sold into slavery
12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem. 13 And
Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem?
Come, I will send you to them." He answered, "Here I am." 14 So he said to
him, "Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and
bring word back to me." So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.
He came to Shechem, 15 and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man
asked him, "What are you seeking?" 16 "I am seeking my brothers," he said;
"tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock." 17 The man said, "They
have gone away, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'" So Joseph went
after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. 18 They saw him from a distance,
and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. 19 They said to
one another, "Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw
him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured
him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams." 21 But when Reuben
heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, "Let us not take his
life." 22 Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in
the wilderness, but lay no hand on him" – that he might rescue him out of
their hand and restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his
brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he
wore; 24 and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there
was no water in it.
25 Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites
coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their
way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, "What
profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us
sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our
brother, our own flesh." And his brothers agreed. 28 When some Midianite
traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold
him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to
29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he
tore his clothes. 30 He returned to his brothers, and said, "The boy is gone;
and I, where can I turn?" 31 Then they took Joseph's robe, slaughtered a goat,
and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They had the long robe with sleeves taken
to their father, and they said, "This we have found; see now whether it is
your son's robe or not." 33 He recognized it, and said, "It is my son's robe!
A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces." 34
Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for
his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort
him; but he refused to be comforted, and said, "No, I shall go down to Sheol
to my son, mourning." Thus his father bewailed him. 36 Meanwhile the
Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials, the
captain of the guard.
Judah and Tamar
1 It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and settled
near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. 2 There Judah saw the daughter
of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her.
3 She conceived and bore a son; and he named him Er. 4 Again she conceived and
bore a son whom she named Onan. 5 Yet again she bore a son, and she named him
Shelah. She was in Chezib when she bore him. 6 Judah took a wife for Er his
firstborn; her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the
sight of the LORD, and the LORD put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan,
"Go in to your brother's wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her;
raise up offspring for your brother." 9 But since Onan knew that the offspring
would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to
his brother's wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother. 10
What he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death
also. 11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Remain a widow in your
father's house until my son Shelah grows up" – for he feared that he too would
die, like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her father's house.
12 In course of time the wife of Judah, Shua's daughter, died; when Judah's
time of mourning was over, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and
his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 When Tamar was told, "Your father-in-law
is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep," 14 she put off her widow's
garments, put on a veil, wrapped herself up, and sat down at the entrance to
Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. She saw that Shelah was grown up, yet
she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought
her to be a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He went over to her
at the roadside, and said, "Come, let me come in to you," for he did not know
that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, "What will you give me, that you
may come in to me?" 17 He answered, "I will send you a kid from the flock."
And she said, "Only if you give me a pledge, until you send it." 18 He said,
"What pledge shall I give you?" She replied, "Your signet and your cord, and
the staff that is in your hand." So he gave them to her, and went in to her,
and she conceived by him. 19 Then she got up and went away, and taking off her
veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.
20 When Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to recover the pledge
from the woman, he could not find her. 21 He asked the townspeople, "Where is
the temple prostitute who was at Enaim by the wayside?" But they said, "No
prostitute has been here." 22 So he returned to Judah, and said, "I have not
found her; moreover the townspeople said, 'No prostitute has been here.'" 23
Judah replied, "Let her keep the things as her own, otherwise we will be
laughed at; you see, I sent this kid, and you could not find her."
24 About three months later Judah was told, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar has
played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of whoredom." And Judah
said, "Bring her out, and let her be burned." 25 As she was being brought out,
she sent word to her father-in-law, "It was the owner of these who made me
pregnant." And she said, "Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and
the cord and the staff." 26 Then Judah acknowledged them and said, "She is
more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah." And he
did not lie with her again.
27 When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb. 28 While
she was in labor, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his
hand a crimson thread, saying, "This one came out first." 29 But just then he
drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, "What a breach you
have made for yourself!" Therefore he was named Perez. 30 Afterward his
brother came out with the crimson thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.
Joseph's success, temptation, and imprisonment
1 Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the
captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had
brought him down there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful
man; he was in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 His master saw that the
LORD was with him, and that the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his
hands. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him; he made him
overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. 5 From the
time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the LORD
blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the LORD was
on all that he had, in house and field. 6 So he left all that he had in
Joseph's charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the
food that he ate.
Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking. 7 And after a time his master's wife
cast her eyes on Joseph and said, "Lie with me." 8 But he refused and said to
his master's wife, "Look, with me here, my master has no concern about
anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand. 9 He
is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me
except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great
wickedness, and sin against God?" 10 And although she spoke to Joseph day
after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her. 11 One
day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one
else was in the house, 12 she caught hold of his garment, saying, "Lie with
me!" But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. 13 When
she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, 14 she
called out to the members of her household and said to them, "See, my husband
has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me,
and I cried out with a loud voice; 15 and when he heard me raise my voice and
cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside." 16 Then she kept
his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same
story, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to
me to insult me; 18 but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left
his garment beside me, and fled outside."
19 When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, "This
is the way your servant treated me," he became enraged. 20 And Joseph's master
took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners
were confined; he remained there in prison. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph
and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief
jailer. 22 The chief jailer committed to Joseph's care all the prisoners who
were in the prison, and whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23
The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph's care, because
the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.
Joseph establishes his expertise as dream interpreter
1 Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker
offended their lord the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two
officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and he put them in
custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph
was confined. 4 The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he
waited on them; and they continued for some time in custody. 5 One night they
both dreamed – the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were
confined in the prison – each his own dream, and each dream with its own
meaning. 6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were
troubled. 7 So he asked Pharaoh's officers, who were with him in custody in
his master's house, "Why are your faces downcast today?" 8 They said to him,
"We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them." And Joseph said
to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me."
9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my
dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine there were three
branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and the clusters ripened
into grapes. 11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and
pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand." 12
Then Joseph said to him, "This is its interpretation: the three branches are
three days; 13 within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore
you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you
used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But remember me when it is well
with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so
get me out of this place. 15 For in fact I was stolen out of the land of the
Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should have put me into
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to
Joseph, "I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, 17 and
in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but
the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head." 18 And Joseph
answered, "This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; 19
within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head – from you! – and hang you on
a pole; and the birds will eat the flesh from you."
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his
servants, and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the
chief baker among his servants. 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his
cupbearing, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand; 22 but the chief baker he
hanged, just as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did
not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
1 After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, 2
and there came up out of the Nile seven sleek and fat cows, and they grazed in
the reed grass. 3 Then seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the
Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4 The
ugly and thin cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. And Pharaoh awoke. 5
Then he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; seven ears of grain, plump and
good, were growing on one stalk. 6 Then seven ears, thin and blighted by the
east wind, sprouted after them. 7 The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump
and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and it was a dream. 8 In the morning his spirit
was troubled; so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its
wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could
interpret them to Pharaoh.
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, "I remember my faults today. 10
Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me and the chief baker in
custody in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 We dreamed on the same
night, he and I, each having a dream with its own meaning. 12 A young Hebrew
was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he
interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each according to
his dream. 13 As he interpreted to us, so it turned out; I was restored to my
office, and the baker was hanged."
14 Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the
dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before
Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, and there is no
one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a
dream you can interpret it." 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, "It is not I; God
will give Pharaoh a favorable answer." 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "In my
dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile; 18 and seven cows, fat and
sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Then seven other
cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly
ones in all the land of Egypt. 20 The thin and ugly cows ate up the first
seven fat cows, 21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that
they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke. 22 I
fell asleep a second time and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and
good, growing on one stalk, 23 and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by
the east wind, sprouting after them; 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the
seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who
could explain it to me."
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "Pharaoh's dreams are one and the same; God
has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are
seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27
The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are
the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of
famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about
to do. 29 There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land
of Egypt. 30 After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the
plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the
land. 31 The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine
that will follow, for it will be very grievous. 32 And the doubling of
Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly
bring it about. 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning
and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh proceed to
appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land
of Egypt during the seven plenteous years. 35 Let them gather all the food of
these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of
Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 That food shall be a
reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the
land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine."
37 The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 Pharaoh said to his
servants, "Can we find anyone else like this – one in whom is the spirit of
God?" 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has shown you all this, there
is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and
all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the
throne will I be greater than you." 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I
have set you over all the land of Egypt." 42 Removing his signet ring from his
hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph's hand; he arrayed him in garments of fine
linen, and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in the chariot
of his second-in-command; and they cried out in front of him, "Bow the knee!"
Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover Pharaoh said to
Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or
foot in all the land of Egypt." 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name
Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,
as his wife. Thus Joseph gained authority over the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of
Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through all
the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven plenteous years the earth produced
abundantly. 48 He gathered up all the food of the seven years when there was
plenty in the land of Egypt, and stored up food in the cities; he stored up in
every city the food from the fields around it. 49 So Joseph stored up grain in
such abundance – like the sand of the sea – that he stopped measuring it; it
was beyond measure.
50 Before the years of famine came, Joseph had two sons, whom Asenath daughter
of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph named the firstborn
Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my hardship and all my
father's house." 52 The second he named Ephraim, "For God has made me fruitful
in the land of my misfortunes."
53 The seven years of plenty that prevailed in the land of Egypt came to an
end; 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said.
There was famine in every country, but throughout the land of Egypt there was
bread. 55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh
for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; what he says to
you, do." 56 And since the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened
all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in
the land of Egypt. 57 Moreover, all the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy
grain, because the famine became severe throughout the world.
Joseph's brothers' first journey to Egypt
1 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, "Why
do you keep looking at one another? 2 I have heard," he said, "that there is
grain in Egypt; go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not
die." 3 So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4 But
Jacob did not send Joseph's brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he feared
that harm might come to him. 5 Thus the sons of Israel were among the other
people who came to buy grain, for the famine had reached the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was governor over the land; it was he who sold to all the people
of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and bowed themselves before him with
their faces to the ground. 7 When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them,
but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them. "Where do you
come from?" he said. They said, "From the land of Canaan, to buy food." 8
Although Joseph had recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9
Joseph also remembered the dreams that he had dreamed about them. He said to
them, "You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land!" 10 They
said to him, "No, my lord; your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all
sons of one man; we are honest men; your servants have never been spies." 12
But he said to them, "No, you have come to see the nakedness of the land!" 13
They said, "We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of a certain man
in the land of Canaan; the youngest, however, is now with our father, and one
is no more." 14 But Joseph said to them, "It is just as I have said to you;
you are spies! 15 Here is how you shall be tested: as Pharaoh lives, you shall
not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here! 16 Let one of
you go and bring your brother, while the rest of you remain in prison, in
order that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you; or else,
as Pharaoh lives, surely you are spies." 17 And he put them all together in
prison for three days.
18 On the third day Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live, for I
fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here where
you are imprisoned. The rest of you shall go and carry grain for the famine of
your households, 20 and bring your youngest brother to me. Thus your words
will be verified, and you shall not die." And they agreed to do so. 21 They
said to one another, "Alas, we are paying the penalty for what we did to our
brother; we saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen.
That is why this anguish has come upon us." 22 Then Reuben answered them, "Did
I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you would not listen. So now there
comes a reckoning for his blood." 23 They did not know that Joseph understood
them, since he spoke with them through an interpreter. 24 He turned away from
them and wept; then he returned and spoke to them. And he picked out Simeon
and had him bound before their eyes. 25 Joseph then gave orders to fill their
bags with grain, to return every man's money to his sack, and to give them
provisions for their journey. This was done for them.
26 They loaded their donkeys with their grain, and departed. 27 When one of
them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw
his money at the top of the sack. 28 He said to his brothers, "My money has
been put back; here it is in my sack!" At this they lost heart and turned
trembling to one another, saying, "What is this that God has done to us?"
29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him
all that had happened to them, saying, 30 "The man, the lord of the land,
spoke harshly to us, and charged us with spying on the land. 31 But we said to
him, 'We are honest men, we are not spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of
our father; one is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in the
land of Canaan.' 33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, 'By this I
shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, take
grain for the famine of your households, and go your way. 34 Bring your
youngest brother to me, and I shall know that you are not spies but honest
men. Then I will release your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.'"
35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each one's sack was his bag of
money. When they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were
dismayed. 36 And their father Jacob said to them, "I am the one you have
bereaved of children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you
would take Benjamin. All this has happened to me!" 37 Then Reuben said to his
father, "You may kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him
in my hands, and I will bring him back to you." 38 But he said, "My son shall
not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm
should come to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down
my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol."
Joseph's brothers' second journey to Egypt
1 Now the famine was severe in the land. 2 And when they had eaten up the
grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, "Go again,
buy us a little more food." 3 But Judah said to him, "The man solemnly warned
us, saying, 'You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.' 4 If
you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; 5 but if
you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, 'You shall
not see my face, unless your brother is with you.'" 6 Israel said, "Why did
you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?" 7 They
replied, "The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred,
saying, 'Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?' What we told
him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would
say, 'Bring your brother down'?" 8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, "Send
the boy with me, and let us be on our way, so that we may live and not die –
you and we and also our little ones. 9 I myself will be surety for him; you
can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him
before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we
would now have returned twice."
11 Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be so, then do this:
take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry them down
as a present to the man – a little balm and a little honey, gum, resin,
pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the money with you. Carry back
with you the money that was returned in the top of your sacks; perhaps it was
an oversight. 13 Take your brother also, and be on your way again to the man;
14 may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, so that he may send back
your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I
am bereaved." 15 So the men took the present, and they took double the money
with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt, and
stood before Joseph.
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house,
"Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the
men are to dine with me at noon." 17 The man did as Joseph said, and brought
the men to Joseph's house. 18 Now the men were afraid because they were
brought to Joseph's house, and they said, "It is because of the money,
replaced in our sacks the first time, that we have been brought in, so that he
may have an opportunity to fall upon us, to make slaves of us and take our
donkeys." 19 So they went up to the steward of Joseph's house and spoke with
him at the entrance to the house. 20 They said, "Oh, my lord, we came down the
first time to buy food; 21 and when we came to the lodging place we opened our
sacks, and there was each one's money in the top of his sack, our money in
full weight. So we have brought it back with us. 22 Moreover we have brought
down with us additional money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in
our sacks." 23 He replied, "Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the
God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received
your money." Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 When the steward had
brought the men into Joseph's house, and given them water, and they had washed
their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25 they made the
present ready for Joseph's coming at noon, for they had heard that they would
26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that they had carried
into the house, and bowed to the ground before him. 27 He inquired about their
welfare, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he
still alive?" 28 They said, "Your servant our father is well; he is still
alive." And they bowed their heads and did obeisance. 29 Then he looked up and
saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, "Is this your youngest
brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!" 30 With
that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his
brother, and he was about to weep. So he went into a private room and wept
there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he
said, "Serve the meal." 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves,
and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could
not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 When
they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the
youngest according to his youth, the men looked at one another in amazement.
34 Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was
five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.
Joseph's final test of his brothers
1 Then he commanded the steward of his house, "Fill the men's sacks with food,
as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the top of his sack. 2
Put my cup, the silver cup, in the top of the sack of the youngest, with his
money for the grain." And he did as Joseph told him. 3 As soon as the morning
was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. 4 When they had gone
only a short distance from the city, Joseph said to his steward, "Go, follow
after the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you returned
evil for good? Why have you stolen my silver cup? 5 Is it not from this that
my lord drinks? Does he not indeed use it for divination? You have done wrong
in doing this.'"
6 When he overtook them, he repeated these words to them. 7 They said to him,
"Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants that
they should do such a thing! 8 Look, the money that we found at the top of our
sacks, we brought back to you from the land of Canaan; why then would we steal
silver or gold from your lord's house? 9 Should it be found with any one of
your servants, let him die; moreover the rest of us will become my lord's
slaves." 10 He said, "Even so; in accordance with your words, let it be: he
with whom it is found shall become my slave, but the rest of you shall go
free." 11 Then each one quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each
opened his sack. 12 He searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the
youngest; and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13 At this they tore their
clothes. Then each one loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
14 Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house while he was still there; and
they fell to the ground before him. 15 Joseph said to them, "What deed is this
that you have done? Do you not know that one such as I can practice
divination?" 16 And Judah said, "What can we say to my lord? What can we
speak? How can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your
servants; here we are then, my lord's slaves, both we and also the one in
whose possession the cup has been found." 17 But he said, "Far be it from me
that I should do so! Only the one in whose possession the cup was found shall
be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father."
18 Then Judah stepped up to him and said, "O my lord, let your servant please
speak a word in my lord's ears, and do not be angry with your servant; for you
are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, 'Have you a
father or a brother?' 20 And we said to my lord, 'We have a father, an old
man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead; he
alone is left of his mother's children, and his father loves him.' 21 Then you
said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me, so that I may set my eyes on
him.' 22 We said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father, for if he
should leave his father, his father would die.' 23 Then you said to your
servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my
face no more.' 24 When we went back to your servant my father we told him the
words of my lord. 25 And when our father said, 'Go again, buy us a little
food,' 26 we said, 'We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother goes with
us, will we go down; for we cannot see the man's face unless our youngest
brother is with us.' 27 Then your servant my father said to us, 'You know that
my wife bore me two sons; 28 one left me, and I said, Surely he has been torn
to pieces; and I have never seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from
me, and harm comes to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in sorrow to
Sheol.' 30 Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father and the boy is
not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy's life, 31 when he sees
that the boy is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring down
the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32 For your
servant became surety for the boy to my father, saying, 'If I do not bring him
back to you, then I will bear the blame in the sight of my father all my
life.' 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord
in place of the boy; and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can
I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the suffering
that would come upon my father."
Joseph makes himself known to his brothers and father
1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by
him, and he cried out, "Send everyone away from me." So no one stayed with him
when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that
the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 Joseph said
to his brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?" But his brothers
could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come closer to me." And they came closer.
He said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do
not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God
sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land
these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither
plowing nor harvest. 7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on
earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent
me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his
house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father and
say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt;
come down to me, do not delay. 10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and
you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, as
well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 I will provide for
you there – since there are five more years of famine to come – so that you
and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.' 12 And
now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth
that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in
Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here." 14
Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, while Benjamin wept
upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after
that his brothers talked with him.
16 When the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, "Joseph's brothers have
come," Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Say
to your brothers, 'Do this: load your animals and go back to the land of
Canaan. 18 Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may
give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the
land.' 19 You are further charged to say, 'Do this: take wagons from the land
of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and
come. 20 Give no thought to your possessions, for the best of all the land of
Egypt is yours.'"
21 The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the
instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. 22 To
each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three
hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments. 23 To his father he sent
the following: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten
female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the
journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving
he said to them, "Do not quarrel along the way."
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of
Canaan. 26 And they told him, "Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over
all the land of Egypt." He was stunned; he could not believe them. 27 But when
they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he
saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father
Jacob revived. 28 Israel said, "Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must
go and see him before I die."
Jacob's migration to Egypt
1 When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba,
he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God spoke to Israel in
visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here I am." 3
Then he said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down
to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. 4 I myself will go down
with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph's own hand
shall close your eyes."
5 Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their
father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh
had sent to carry him. 6 They also took their livestock and the goods that
they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and
all his offspring with him, 7 his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his
daughters, and his sons' daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into
8 Now these are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his offspring, who came
to Egypt. Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, 9 and the children of Reuben: Hanoch,
Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 The children of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad,
Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 The children of
Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 The children of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah,
Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the
children of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 The children of Issachar: Tola,
Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron. 14 The children of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and
Jahleel 15 (these are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram,
together with his daughter Dinah; in all his sons and his daughters numbered
thirty-three). 16 The children of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri,
Arodi, and Areli. 17 The children of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and
their sister Serah. The children of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel 18 (these are
the children of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and these she
bore to Jacob – sixteen persons). 19 The children of Jacob's wife Rachel:
Joseph and Benjamin. 20 To Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and
Ephraim, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. 21 The
children of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim,
Huppim, and Ard 22 (these are the children of Rachel, who were born to Jacob –
fourteen persons in all). 23 The children of Dan: Hashum. 24 The children of
Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem 25 (these are the children of
Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and these she bore to Jacob –
seven persons in all). 26 All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into
Egypt, who were his own offspring, not including the wives of his sons, were
sixty-six persons in all. 27 The children of Joseph, who were born to him in
Egypt, were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt
Jacob's family settles in Egypt
28 Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph to lead the way before him into Goshen.
When they came to the land of Goshen, 29 Joseph made ready his chariot and
went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. He presented himself to him, fell
on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. 30 Israel said to Joseph, "I
can die now, having seen for myself that you are still alive." 31 Joseph said
to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and tell Pharaoh,
and will say to him, 'My brothers and my father's household, who were in the
land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds, for they have been
keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and
all that they have.' 33 When Pharaoh calls you, and says, 'What is your
occupation?' 34 you shall say, 'Your servants have been keepers of livestock
from our youth even until now, both we and our ancestors' – in order that you
may settle in the land of Goshen, because all shepherds are abhorrent to the
1 So Joseph went and told Pharaoh, "My father and my brothers, with their
flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan;
they are now in the land of Goshen." 2 From among his brothers he took five
men and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, "What is
your occupation?" And they said to Pharaoh, "Your servants are shepherds, as
our ancestors were." 4 They said to Pharaoh, "We have come to reside as aliens
in the land; for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks because the
famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, we ask you, let your servants
settle in the land of Goshen." 5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Your father and
your brothers have come to you. 6 The land of Egypt is before you; settle your
father and your brothers in the best part of the land; let them live in the
land of Goshen; and if you know that there are capable men among them, put
them in charge of my livestock."
7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob, and presented him before Pharaoh,
and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How many are the years of
your life?" 9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my earthly sojourn are one
hundred thirty; few and hard have been the years of my life. They do not
compare with the years of the life of my ancestors during their long sojourn."
10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh. 11
Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and granted them a holding in the
land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as
Pharaoh had instructed. 12 And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and
all his father's household with food, according to the number of their
13 Now there was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe. The
land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14
Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt and in the
land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought; and Joseph brought
the money into Pharaoh's house. 15 When the money from the land of Egypt and
from the land of Canaan was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said,
"Give us food! Why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone." 16
And Joseph answered, "Give me your livestock, and I will give you food in
exchange for your livestock, if your money is gone." 17 So they brought their
livestock to Joseph; and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the
flocks, the herds, and the donkeys. That year he supplied them with food in
exchange for all their livestock. 18 When that year was ended, they came to
him the following year, and said to him, "We can not hide from my lord that
our money is all spent; and the herds of cattle are my lord's. There is
nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands. 19 Shall we
die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange
for food. We with our land will become slaves to Pharaoh; just give us seed,
so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate."
20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold
their fields, because the famine was severe upon them; and the land became
Pharaoh's. 21 As for the people, he made slaves of them from one end of Egypt
to the other. 22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests
had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh, and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh
gave them; therefore they did not sell their land. 23 Then Joseph said to the
people, "Now that I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh, here
is seed for you; sow the land. 24 And at the harvests you shall give one-fifth
to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as
food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones." 25
They said, "You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be slaves
to Pharaoh." 26 So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and
it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. The land of the
priests alone did not become Pharaoh's.
27 Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; and they
gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly. 28
Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the
years of his life, were one hundred forty-seven years.
Jacob's preparations for death, including the adoption and blessing of
Ephraim and Manasseh
29 When the time of Israel's death drew near, he called his son Joseph and
said to him, "If I have found favor with you, put your hand under my thigh and
promise to deal loyally and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt. 30 When I
lie down with my ancestors, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial
place." He answered, "I will do as you have said." 31 And he said, "Swear to
me"; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself on the head of his bed.
1 After this Joseph was told, "Your father is ill." So he took with him his
two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 When Jacob was told, "Your son Joseph has
come to you," he summoned his strength and sat up in bed. 3 And Jacob said to
Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and he
blessed me, 4 and said to me, 'I am going to make you fruitful and increase
your numbers; I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land
to your offspring after you for a perpetual holding.' 5 Therefore your two
sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt,
are now mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon
are. 6 As for the offspring born to you after them, they shall be yours. They
shall be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their
inheritance. 7 For when I came from Paddan, Rachel, alas, died in the land of
Canaan on the way, while there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I
buried her there on the way to Ephrath" (that is, Bethlehem).
8 When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, "Who are these?" 9 Joseph said to
his father, "They are my sons, whom God has given me here." And he said,
"Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them." 10 Now the eyes of Israel
were dim with age, and he could not see well. So Joseph brought them near him;
and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, "I did not
expect to see your face; and here God has let me see your children also." 12
Then Joseph removed them from his father's knees, and he bowed himself with
his face to the earth. 13 Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand
toward Israel's left, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right, and
brought them near him. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it
on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of
Manasseh, crossing his hands, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 He blessed
Joseph, and said,
"The God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
16 the angel who has redeemed me from all harm, bless the boys;
and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my ancestors
Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitude on the earth."
17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim,
it displeased him; so he took his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's
head to Manasseh's head. 18 Joseph said to his father, "Not so, my father!
Since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head." 19 But his
father refused, and said, "I know, my son, I know; he also shall become a
people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless his younger brother shall be
greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations." 20 So
he blessed them that day, saying,
"By you Israel will invoke blessings, saying,
'God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.'"
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. 21 Then Israel said to Joseph, "I am
about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of
your ancestors. 22 I now give to you one portion more than to your brothers,
the portion that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with
Jacob's blessing on his twelve sons
1 Then Jacob called his sons, and said: "Gather around, that I may tell you
what will happen to you in days to come.
2 Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel your father.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might and the first fruits of my vigor,
excelling in rank and excelling in power.
4 Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel
because you went up onto your father's bed;
then you defiled it – you went up onto my couch!
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords.
6 May I never come into their council;
may I not be joined to their company –
for in their anger they killed men,
and at their whim they hamstrung oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will divide them in Jacob,
and scatter them in Israel.
8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion's whelp;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion,
like a lioness – who dares rouse him up?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and the obedience of the peoples is his.
11 Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey's colt to the choice vine,
he washes his garments in wine
and his robe in the blood of grapes;
12 his eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea;
he shall be a haven for ships,
and his border shall be at Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong donkey,
lying down between the sheepfolds;
15 he saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant;
so he bowed his shoulder to the burden,
and became a slave at forced labor.
16 Dan shall judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a snake by the roadside,
a viper along the path,
that bites the horse's heels
so that its rider falls backward.
18 I wait for your salvation, O LORD.
19 Gad shall be raided by raiders,
but he shall raid at their heels.
20 Asher's food shall be rich,
and he shall provide royal delicacies.
21 Naphtali is a doe let loose
that bears lovely fawns.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.
23 The archers fiercely attacked him;
they shot at him and pressed him hard.
24 Yet his bow remained taut,
and his arms were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father, who will help you,
by the Almighty who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father
are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains,
the bounties of the everlasting hills;
may they be on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
in the morning devouring the prey,
and at evening dividing the spoil."
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father
said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable
Order to bury Jacob at Machpelah
29 Then he charged them, saying to them, "I am about to be gathered to my
people. Bury me with my ancestors – in the cave in the field of Ephron the
Hittite, 30 in the cave in the field at Machpelah, near Mamre, in the land of
Canaan, in the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial
site. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his
wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah – 32 the field and the cave
that is in it were purchased from the Hittites." 33 When Jacob ended his
charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and
was gathered to his people.
Burial of Jacob and final days of Joseph
1 Then Joseph threw himself on his father's face and wept over him and kissed
him. 2 Joseph commanded the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So
the physicians embalmed Israel; 3 they spent forty days in doing this, for
that is the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him
4 When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph addressed the household
of Pharaoh, "If now I have found favor with you, please speak to Pharaoh as
follows: 5 My father made me swear an oath; he said, 'I am about to die. In
the tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall
bury me.' Now therefore let me go up, so that I may bury my father; then I
will return." 6 Pharaoh answered, "Go up, and bury your father, as he made you
swear to do."
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of
Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
8 as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father's
household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the
land of Goshen. 9 Both chariots and charioteers went up with him. It was a
very great company. 10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is
beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and
he observed a time of mourning for his father seven days. 11 When the
Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning on the threshing floor of
Atad, they said, "This is a grievous mourning on the part of the Egyptians."
Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan. 12 Thus
his sons did for him as he had instructed them. 13 They carried him to the
land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, the field
near Mamre, which Abraham bought as a burial site from Ephron the Hittite. 14
After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and
all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers said, "What if
Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the
wrong that we did to him?" 16 So they approached Joseph, saying, "Your father
gave this instruction before he died, 17 'Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive
the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.' Now
therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father."
Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also wept, fell down
before him, and said, "We are here as your slaves." 19 But Joseph said to
them, "Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20 Even though you intended
to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous
people, as he is doing today. 21 So have no fear; I myself will provide for
you and your little ones." In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to
22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father's household; and Joseph
lived one hundred ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third
generation; the children of Machir son of Manasseh were also born on Joseph's
24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die; but God will surely
come to you, and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to
Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." 25 So Joseph made the Israelites swear,
saying, "When God comes to you, you shall carry up my bones from here." 26 And
Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old; he was embalmed and placed in a
coffin in Egypt.