Isaac had become old. His eyes were so weak he couldn't see anymore. One day he called for his older son Esau. He said to him, "My son." "Here I am," he answered.
Isaac said, "I'm an old man now. And I don't know when I'll die.
Now then, get your weapons. Get your bow and arrows. Go out to the open country. Hunt some wild animals for me.
Prepare for me the kind of tasty food I like. Bring it to me to eat. Then I'll give you my blessing before I die."
Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. Esau left for the open country. He went to hunt for a wild animal and bring it back.
Then Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "Look, I heard your father speaking to your brother Esau.
He said, 'Bring me a wild animal. Prepare some tasty food for me to eat. Then I'll give you my blessing before I die. The LORD will be my witness.' "
Rebekah continued, "My son, listen carefully. Do what I tell you.
Go out to the flock. Bring me two of the finest young goats. I will prepare tasty food for your father. I'll make it just the way he likes it.
I want you to take it to your father to eat. Then he'll give you his blessing before he dies."
Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, "My brother Esau's body is covered with hair. But my skin is smooth.
What if my father touches me? He would know I was trying to trick him. That would bring a curse down on me instead of a blessing."
His mother said to him, "My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say. Go and get the goats for me."
So he went and got the goats. He brought them to his mother. And she prepared some tasty food. She made it just the way his father liked it.
The clothes of her older son Esau were in her house. She took the best of them and put them on her younger son Jacob.
She covered his hands with the skins of the goats. She also covered the smooth part of his neck with them.
Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.
He went to his father and said, "My father." "Yes, my son," Isaac answered. "Who is it?"
Jacob said to his father, "I'm your oldest son Esau. I've done as you told me. Please sit up. Eat some of my wild meat. Then give me your blessing."
Isaac asked his son, "How did you find it so quickly, my son?" "The LORD your God gave me success," he replied.
Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near so I can touch you, my son. I want to know whether you really are my son Esau."
Jacob went close to his father. Isaac touched him and said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob. But the hands are the hands of Esau."
Isaac didn't recognize him. His hands were covered with hair like those of his brother Esau. So Isaac blessed him.
"Are you really my son Esau?" he asked. "I am," Jacob replied.
Isaac said, "My son, bring me some of your wild meat to eat. Then I'll give you my blessing." Jacob brought it to him. So Isaac ate. Jacob also brought some wine. And Isaac drank.
Then Jacob's father Isaac said to him, "Come here, my son. Kiss me."
So Jacob went to him and kissed him. When Isaac smelled the clothes, he gave Jacob his blessing. He said, "It really is the smell of my son. It's like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed.
May God give you dew from heaven. May he give you the richness of the earth. May he give you plenty of grain and fresh wine.
May nations serve you. May they bow down to you. Rule over your brothers. May the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who call down curses on you be cursed. And may those who bless you be blessed."
When Isaac finished blessing him, Jacob left his father. Just then his brother Esau came in from hunting.
He too prepared some tasty food. He brought it to his father. Then Esau said to him, "My father, sit up. Eat some of my wild meat. Then give me your blessing."
His father Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" "I'm your son," he answered. "I'm your oldest son. I'm Esau."
Isaac was shaking all over. He said, "Then who was it that hunted a wild animal and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came. I gave him my blessing. And he will certainly be blessed!"
Esau heard his father's words. Then he began crying loudly and bitterly. He said to his father, "Bless me! Bless me too, my father!"
But Isaac said, "Your brother came and tricked me. He took your blessing."
Esau said, "Isn't Jacob just the right name for him? He has cheated me two times. First, he took my rights as the oldest son. And now he's taken my blessing!" Then Esau asked, "Haven't you saved any blessing for me?"
Isaac answered Esau, "I've made him ruler over you. I've made all of his relatives serve him. And I've provided him with grain and fresh wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?"
Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!" Then Esau sobbed loudly.
His father Isaac answered him, "You will live far away from the richness of the earth. You will live far away from the dew of heaven above.
You will live by the sword. And you will serve your brother. But you will grow restless. Then you will throw off the heavy load he put on your shoulders."
Esau was angry with Jacob. He was angry because of the blessing his father had given to Jacob. He said to himself, "My father will soon die. The days of sorrow over him are near. Then I'll kill my brother Jacob."
Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said. So she sent for her younger son Jacob. She said to him, "Your brother Esau is comforting himself with the thought of killing you.
"Now then, my son, do what I say. Go at once to my brother Laban in Haran.
Stay with him until your brother's anger calms down.
Stay until your brother isn't angry with you anymore. When he forgets what you did to him, I'll let you know. Then you can come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"
Then Rebekah spoke to Isaac. She said, "I'm sick of living because of Esau's Hittite wives. Suppose Jacob also marries a Hittite woman. If he does, my life won't be worth living."
So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. He commanded him, "Don't get married to a woman from Canaan.
Go at once to Paddan Aram. Go to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Find a wife for yourself there. Take her from among the daughters of your mother's brother Laban.
"May the Mighty God bless you. May he give you children. May he increase your numbers until you become a community of nations.
May he give you and your children after you the blessing he gave to Abraham. Then you can take over the land where you now live as an outsider. It's the land God gave to Abraham."
Isaac sent Jacob on his way. Jacob went to Paddan Aram. He went to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean. Laban was the brother of Rebekah. And Rebekah was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
Esau found out that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram. Isaac wanted him to get a wife from there. Esau heard that when Isaac blessed Jacob, he commanded him, "Don't get married to a woman from Canaan."
Esau also learned that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram.
Then Esau realized how much his father Isaac disliked the women of Canaan.
So he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Abraham's son Ishmael. Esau added her to the wives he already had.
Jacob left Beersheba and started out for Haran.
He reached a certain place and stopped for the night. The sun had already set. He took one of the stones there and placed it under his head. Then he lay down to sleep.
In a dream he saw a stairway standing on the earth. Its top reached to heaven. The angels of God were going up and coming down on it.
The LORD stood above the stairway. He said, "I am the Lord. I am the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your children after you the land on which you are lying.
They will be like the dust of the earth that can't be counted. They will spread out to the west and to the east. They will spread out to the north and to the south. All nations on earth will be blessed because of you and your children after you.
"I am with you. I will watch over you everywhere you go. And I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Jacob woke up from his sleep. Then he thought, "The LORD is certainly in this place. And I didn't even know it."
Jacob was afraid. He said, "How holy this place is! This must be the house of God. This is the gate of heaven."
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head. He set it up as a pillar. And he poured oil on top of it.
He named that place Bethel. But the city used to be called Luz.
Then Jacob made a promise. He said, "May God be with me. May he watch over me on this journey I'm taking. May he give me food to eat and clothes to wear.
May he do as he has promised so that I can return safely to my father's home. Then you, Lord, will be my God.
This stone I've set up as a pillar will be God's house. And I'll give you a tenth of everything you give me."
Jesus saw the crowd around him. So he gave his disciples orders to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
Then a teacher of the law came to him. He said, "Teacher, I will follow you no matter where you go."
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes. Birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
Another follower said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
But Jesus told him, "Follow me. Let the dead bury their own dead."
Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him.
Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went and woke him up. They said, "Lord! Save us! We're going to drown!"
He replied, "Your faith is so small! Why are you so afraid?" Then Jesus got up and ordered the winds and the waves to stop. It became completely calm.
The disciples were amazed. They asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
Jesus arrived at the other side of the lake in the area of the Gadarenes. Two men controlled by demons met him. They came from the tombs. The men were so wild that no one could pass that way.
"Son of God, what do you want with us?" they shouted. "Have you come here to punish us before the time for us to be judged?"
Not very far away, a large herd of pigs was feeding.
The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs."
Jesus said to them, "Go!" So the demons came out of the men and went into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the steep bank. They ran into the lake and drowned in the water.
Those who were tending the pigs ran off. They went into the town and reported all this. They told the people what had happened to the men who had been controlled by demons.
Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. When they saw him, they begged him to leave their area.