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.
When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.
A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.
Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.
"Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."8
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.11I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.12But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."13
Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.
When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.
This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.
Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."21
Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.
Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"
When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.
"What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"
Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.
The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs."
He said to them, "Go!" So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.
Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.
Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.