Now there was a famine in the land--besides the earlier famine of Abraham's time--and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar.
The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.
Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.
I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,
because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws."
So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, "She is my sister," because he was afraid to say, "She is my wife." He thought, "The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful."
When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.
So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, "She is really your wife! Why did you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac answered him, "Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her."
Then Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us."
So Abimelech gave orders to all the people: "Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death."
Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him.
The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.
He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.
So all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
Then Abimelech said to Isaac, "Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us."
So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there.
Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.
Isaac's servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there.
But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen and said, "The water is ours!" So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him.
Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.
He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, "Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land."
From there he went up to Beersheba.
That 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; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham."
Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
Meanwhile, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces.
Isaac asked them, "Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?"
They answered, "We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, 'There ought to be a sworn agreement between us'--between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you
that you will do us no harm, just as we did not molest you but always treated you well and sent you away in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD."
Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank.
Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.
That day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, "We've found water!"
He called it Shibah, and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba.
When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite.
They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, "My son." "Here I am," he answered.
Isaac said, "I am now an old man and don't know the day of my death.
Now then, get your weapons--your quiver and bow--and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.
Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die."
Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back,
Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau,
'Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.'
Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you:
Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.
Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies."
Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "But my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I'm a man with smooth skin.
What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing."
His mother said to him, "My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me."
So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it.
Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob.
She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins.
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," he answered. "Who is it?"
Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may 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, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not."
Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau."
He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him.
"Are you really my son Esau?" he asked. "I am," he replied.
Then he said, "My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing." Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank.
Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come here, my son, and kiss me."
So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, "Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed.
May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness-- an abundance of grain and new wine.
May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."
After Isaac finished blessing him and Jacob had scarcely left his father's presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting.
He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, "My father, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing."
His father Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" "I am your son," he answered, "your firstborn, Esau."
Isaac trembled violently and said, "Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him--and indeed he will be blessed!"
When Esau heard his father's words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me--me too, my father!"
But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing."
Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob ? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing!" Then he asked, "Haven't you reserved any blessing for me?"
Isaac answered Esau, "I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new 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 wept aloud.
His father Isaac answered him, "Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of heaven above.
You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck."
Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob."
When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, "Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you.
Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran.
Stay with him for a while until your brother's fury subsides.
When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I'll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"
Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living."
So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: "Do not marry a Canaanite woman.
Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother.
May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.
May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham."
Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, "Do not marry a Canaanite woman,"
and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram.
Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac;
so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.
When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.
I am with you and will watch over you wherever 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."
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."
He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear
so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God
and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."