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Genesis 29; Genesis 30; Matthew 9:1-17

1 Jacob got to his feet and set out for the land of the easterners. 2 He saw a well in the field in front of him, near which three flocks of sheep were lying down. That well was their source for water because the flocks drank from that well. A huge stone covered the well's opening. 3 When all of the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the well's opening, water the sheep, and return the stone to its place at the well's opening. 4 Jacob said to them, "Where are you from, my brothers?" They said, "We're from Haran." 5 Then he said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?" They said, "We know him." 6 He said to them, "Is he well?" They said, "He's fine. In fact, this is his daughter Rachel now, coming with the flock." 7 He said to them, "It's now only the middle of the day. It's not time yet to gather the animals. Water the flock, and then go, put them out to pasture." 8 They said to him, "We can't until all the herds are gathered, and then we roll the stone away from the well's opening and water the flock." 9 While he was still talking to them, Rachel came with her father's flock since she was its shepherd. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his uncle, and the flock of Laban, Jacob came up, rolled the stone from the well's opening, and watered the flock of his uncle Laban. 11 Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 Jacob told Rachel that he was related to her father and that he was Rebekah's son. She then ran to tell her father. 13 When Laban heard about Jacob his sister's son, he ran to meet him. Laban embraced him, kissed him, and invited him into his house, where Jacob recounted to Laban everything that had happened. 14 Laban said to him, "Yes, you are my flesh and blood." After Jacob had stayed with Laban for a month, 15 Laban said to Jacob, "You shouldn't have to work for free just because you are my relative. Tell me what you would like to be paid." 16 Now Laban had two daughters: the older was named Leah and the younger Rachel. 17 Leah had delicate eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and was good-looking. 18 Jacob loved Rachel and said, "I will work for you for seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter." 19 Laban said, "I'd rather give her to you than to another man. Stay with me." 20 Jacob worked for Rachel for seven years, but it seemed like a few days because he loved her. 21 Jacob said to Laban, "The time has come. Give me my wife so that I may sleep with her." 22 So Laban invited all the people of that place and prepared a banquet. 23 However, in the evening, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 Laban had given his servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her servant. 25 In the morning, there she was—Leah! Jacob said to Laban, "What have you done to me? Didn't I work for you to have Rachel? Why did you betray me?" 26 Laban said, "Where we live, we don't give the younger woman before the oldest. 27 Complete the celebratory week with this woman. Then I will give you this other woman too for your work, if you work for me seven more years." 28 So that is what Jacob did. He completed the celebratory week with this woman, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 Laban had given his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her servant. 30 Jacob slept with Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban seven more years. 31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was unable to have children. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben because she said, "The LORD saw my harsh treatment, and now my husband will love me." 33 She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son. She said, "The LORD heard that I was unloved, so he gave me this son too," and she named him Simeon. 34 She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son. She said, "Now, this time my husband will embrace me, since I have given birth to three sons for him." So she named him Levi. 35 She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son. She said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing children.
1 When Rachel realized that she could bear Jacob no children, Rachel became jealous of her sister and said to Jacob, "Give me children! If you don't, I may as well be dead." 2 Jacob was angry at Rachel and said, "Do you think I'm God? God alone has kept you from giving birth!" 3 She said, "Here's my servant Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will give birth for me. Because of her, I will also have children." 4 So Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob as his wife, and he slept with her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6 Rachel said, "God has judged in my favor, heard my voice, and given me a son." So she named him Dan. 7 Rachel's servant Bilhah became pregnant again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 8 Rachel said, "I've competed fiercely with my sister, and now I've won." So she named him Naphtali. 9 When Leah realized that she had stopped bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as his wife. 10 Leah's servant Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob, 11 and Leah said, "What good luck!" So she named him Gad. 12 Leah's servant Zilpah gave birth to a second son for Jacob, 13 and Leah said, "I'm happy now because women call me happy." So she named him Asher. 14 During the wheat harvest, Reuben found some erotic herbs in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Give me your son's erotic herbs." 15 Leah replied, "Isn't it enough that you've taken my husband? Now you want to take my son's erotic herbs too?" Rachel said, "For your son's erotic herbs, Jacob may sleep with you tonight." 16 When Jacob came back from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, "You must sleep with me because I've paid for you with my son's erotic herbs." So he slept with her that night. 17 God responded to Leah. She became pregnant and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18 Leah said, "God gave me what I paid for, what I deserved for giving my servant to my husband." So she named him Issachar. 19 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob, 20 and she said, "God has given me a wonderful gift. Now my husband will honor me since I've borne him six sons." So she named him Zebulun. 21 After this, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah. 22 Then God remembered Rachel, responded to her, and let her conceive. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, "God has taken away my shame." 24 She named him Joseph, saying to herself, May the LORD give me another son. 25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me off so that I can go to my own place and my own country. 26 Give me my wives and children whom I've worked for, and I will go. You know the work I've done for you." 27 Laban said to him, "Do me this favor. I've discovered by a divine sign that the LORD has blessed me because of you, 28 so name your price and I will pay it." 29 Jacob said to him, "You know how I've worked for you, and how well your livestock have done with me. 30 While in my care, what little you had has multiplied a great deal. The LORD blessed you wherever I took your livestock. Now, when will I be able to work for my own household too?" 31 Laban said, "What will I pay you?" Jacob said, "Don't pay me anything. If you will do this for me, I will take care of your flock again, and keep a portion. 32 I will go through the entire flock today, taking out all of the speckled and spotted sheep, all of the black male lambs, and all of the spotted and speckled female goats. That will be my price. 33 I will be completely honest with you: when you come to check on our agreement, every female goat with me that isn't speckled or spotted and every male lamb with me that isn't black will be considered stolen." 34 Laban said, "All right; let's do it." 35 However, on that very day Laban took out the striped and spotted male goats and all of the speckled and spotted female goats—any with some white in it—and all of the black male lambs, and gave them to his sons. 36 He put a three-day trip between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was watching the rest of Laban's flock. 37 Then Jacob took new branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees; and he peeled white stripes on them, exposing the branches' white color. 38 He set the branches that he had peeled near the watering troughs so that they were in front of the flock when they drank, because they often mated when they came to drink. 39 When the flock mated in front of the branches, they gave birth to striped, speckled, and spotted young. 40 Jacob sorted out the lambs, turning the flock to face the striped and black ones in Laban's flock but keeping his flock separate, setting them apart from Laban's flock. 41 Whenever the strongest of the flock mated, Jacob put the branches in front of them near the watering troughs so that they mated near the branches. 42 But he didn't put branches up for the weakest of the flock. So the weakest became Laban's and the strongest Jacob's. 43 The man Jacob became very, very rich: he owned large flocks, female and male servants, camels, and donkeys.
1 Boarding a boat, Jesus crossed to the other side of the lake and went to his own city. 2 People brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a cot. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man who was paralyzed, "Be encouraged, my child, your sins are forgiven." 3 Some legal experts said among themselves, "This man is insulting God." 4 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, "Why do you fill your minds with evil things? 5 Which is easier—to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, ‘Get up and walk'? 6 But so you will know that the Human One has authority on the earth to forgive sins"—he said to the man who was paralyzed—"Get up, take your cot, and go home." 7 The man got up and went home. 8 When the crowds saw what had happened, they were afraid and praised God, who had given such authority to human beings. 9 As Jesus continued on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at a kiosk for collecting taxes. He said to him, "Follow me," and he got up and followed him. 10 As Jesus sat down to eat in Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners joined Jesus and his disciples at the table. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 12 When Jesus heard it, he said, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. 13 Go and learn what this means: I want mercy and not sacrifice. I didn't come to call righteous people, but sinners." 14 At that time John's disciples came and asked Jesus, "Why do we and the Pharisees frequently fast, but your disciples never fast?" 15 Jesus responded, “The wedding guests can't mourn while the groom is still with them, can they? But the days will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they'll fast. 16 "No one sews a piece of new, unshrunk cloth on old clothes because the patch tears away the cloth and makes a worse tear. 17 No one pours new wine into old wineskins. If they did, the wineskins would burst, the wine would spill, and the wineskins would be ruined. Instead, people pour new wine into new wineskins so that both are kept safe."
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