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."
Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples.
There he saw a well in the field, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large.
When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well's mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
Jacob asked the shepherds, "My brothers, where are you from?" "We're from Haran," they replied.
He said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?" "Yes, we know him," they answered.
Then Jacob asked them, "Is he well?" "Yes, he is," they said, "and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep."
"Look," he said, "the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture."
"We can't," they replied, "until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep."
While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess.
When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and Laban's sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle's sheep.
Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud.
He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.
As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things.
Then Laban said to him, "You are my own flesh and blood." After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month,
Laban said to him, "Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be."
Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful.
Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, "I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel."
Laban said, "It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me."
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her."
So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.
But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her.
And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant.
When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me?"
Laban replied, "It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.
Finish this daughter's bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work."
And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.
Laban gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.
Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.
Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon.
Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi.
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.