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Bereishis/Genesis  28:10 - 32:3

Chapter 28

10 Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and went toward Haran.  11 He encountered the place and spent the night there because the sun had set; he took from the stones of the place which he arranged around his head, and lay down in that place.  12 And he dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and behold! angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

13 And behold! Hashem was standing over him, and He said, "I am Hashem, God of Abraham your father and God of Isaac; the ground upon which you are lying, to you will I give it and to your descendants.  14 Your offspring shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out powerfully westward, eastward, northward and southward; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and by your offspring.  15 Behold, I am with you; I will guard you wherever you go, and I will return you to this soil; for I will not forsake you until I will have done what I have spoken about you."

16 Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely Hashem is present in this place and I did not know!"  17 And he became frightened and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God and this is the gate of the heavens!"  18 Jacob arose early in the morning and took the stone that he placed around his head and set it up as a pillar; and he poured oil on its top.  19 And he named that place Beth-el; however, Luz was the city's name originally.

20 Then Jacob took a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, will guard me on this way that I am going; will give me bread to eat and clothes to wear;  21 and I return in peace to my father's house, and Hashem will be a God to me —  22 then this stone which I have set up as a pillar shall become a house of God, and whatever You will give me, I shall repeatedly tithe to You."

Chapter 29

1 So Jacob lifted his feet, and went toward the land of the easterners.  2 He looked, and behold — a well in the field! And behold! three flocks of sheep lay there beside it, for from that well they would water the flocks, and the stone over the mouth of the well was large.  3 When all the flocks would be assembled there they would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep; then they would put back the stone over the mouth of the well, in its place.

4 Jacob said to them, "My brothers, where are you from?" And they said, "We are from Charan."  5 He said to them, "Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?" And they said, "We know."

6 Then he said to them, "Is it well with him?" They answered, "It is well; and see — his daughter Rachel is coming with the flock!"

7 He said, "Look, the day is still long; it is not yet time to bring the livestock in; water the flock and go on grazing."  8 But they said, "We will be unable to, until all the flocks will have been gathered and they will roll the stone off the mouth of the well; we will then water the flock."

9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel had arrived with her father's flock, for she was a shepherdess.  10 And it was, when Jacob saw Rachel, daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the flock of Laban his mother's brother, Jacob came forward and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of Laban his mother's brother.  11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel; and he raised his voice and wept.  12 Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's relative, and that he was Rebecca's son; then she ran and told her father.

13 And it was, when Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister's son, he ran toward him, embraced him, kissed him, and took him to his house; he recounted to Laban all these events.

14 Then Laban said to him, "Nevertheless, you are my flesh and blood!" And he stayed with him a month's time.

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, "Just because you are my relative, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me - What are your wages?"

16 (Laban had two daughters. The name of the older one was Leah and the name of the younger one was Rachel.  17 Leah's eyes were tender, while Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.)

18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, "I will work for you seven years, for Rachel your younger daughter."

19 Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I give her to another man; remain with me."  20 So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him a few days because of his love for her.

21 Jacob said to Laban, "Deliver my wife for my term is fulfilled, and I will consort with her."

22 So Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast.  23 And it was in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to him; and he consorted with her.

24 — And Laban gave her Zilpah his maidservant — a maidservant to Leah his daughter.

25 And it was, in the morning, that behold it was Leah! So he said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I worked for you? Why have you deceived me?"

26 Laban said, "Such is not done in our place, to give the younger before the elder.  27 Complete the week of this one and we will give you the other one too, for the work which you will perform for me yet another seven years."

28 So Jacob did so and he completed the week for her; and he gave him Rachel his daughter to him as a wife.  29 And Laban gave Rachel his daughter Bilhah his maidservant — to her as a maidservant.  30 He consorted also with Rachel and loved Rachel even more than Leah; and he worked for him yet another seven years.

31 Hashem saw that Leah was unloved, so He opened her womb; but Rachel remained barren.

32 Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, as she had declared, "Because Hashem has discerned my humiliation, for now my husband will love me."

33 And she conceived again and bore a son and declared, "Because Hashem has heard that I am unloved, He has given me this one also," and she called his name Simeon.

34 Again she conceived, and bore a son and declared, "This time my husband will become attached to me for I have borne him three sons"; therefore He called his name Levi.

35 She conceived again, and bore a son and declared, "This time let me gratefully praise Hashem"; therefore she called his name Judah; then she stopped giving birth.

Chapter 30

1 Rachel saw that she had not borne children to Jacob, so Rachel became envious of her sister; she said to Jacob, "Give me children — otherwise I am dead."

2 Jacob's anger flared up at Rachel, and he said, "Am I instead of God Who has withheld from you fruit of the womb?"

3 She said, "Here is my maid Bilhah, consort with her, that she may bear upon my knees and I too may be built up through her."

4 So she gave him Bilhah her maidservant as a wife, and Jacob consorted with her.  5 Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son.  6 Then Rachel said, "God has judged me, He has also heard my voice and has given me a son." She therefore called his name Dan.

7 Bilhah, Rachel's maidservant, conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.  8 And Rachel said, "Sacred schemes have I maneuvered to equal my sister, and I have also prevailed!" And she called his name Naphtali.

9 When Leah saw that she had stopped giving birth, she took Zilpah her maidservant and gave her to Jacob as a wife.  10 Zilpah, Leah's maidservant, bore Jacob a son.  11 And Leah declared, "Good luck has come!" So she called his name Gad.

12 Zilpah, Leah's maidservant, bore a second son to Jacob.  13 Leah declared, "In my good fortune! For women have deemed me fortunate!" So she called his name Asher.

14 Reuben went out in the days of the wheat harvest; he found dudaim in the field and brought them to Leah his mother; Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's dudaim."

15 But she said to her, "Was your taking my husband insignificant? — And now to take even my son's dudaim!" Rachel said, "Therefore, he shall lie with you tonight in return for your son's dudaim."

16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, "It is to me that you must come for I have clearly hired you with my son's dudaim." So he lay with her that night.

17 God hearkened to Leah; and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son.  18 And Leah declared, "God has granted me my reward because I gave my maidservant to my husband." So she called his name Issachar.

19 Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son.  20 Leah said, "God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will make his permanent home with me for I have borne him six sons." So she called his name Zebulun.  21 Afterwards, she bore a daughter and she called her name Dinah.

22 God remembered Rachel; God hearkened to her and He opened her womb.  23 She conceived and bore a son, and said, "God has taken away my disgrace."  24 So she called his name Joseph, saying, "May Hashem add on for me another son."

25 And it was, when Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Grant me leave that I may go to my place and to my land.  26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and I will go; for you are aware of my service that I labored for you."

27 But Laban said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes! — I have learned by divination that Hashem has blessed me on account of you".  28 And he said, "Specify your wage to me and I will give it."  29 But he said to him, "You know how I served you and what your livestock were with me.  30 For the little that you had before I came has expanded substantially as Hashem has blessed you with my coming; and now, when will I also do something for my own house?"

31 He said, "What shall I give you?" And Jacob said, "Do not give me anything; if you will do this thing for me, I will resume pasturing and guarding your flocks.  32 Let me pass through your whole flock today. Remove from there every speckled or spotted lamb, every brownish lamb among the sheep and the spotted or speckled among the goats — that will be my wage.  33 Let my integrity testify for me in the future when it comes before you regarding my wage; any among the goats that is not speckled or spotted, or among the sheep that is not brownish, is stolen, if in my possession."

34 And Laban said, "Agreed! If only it will be as you say."

35 So he removed on that very day the ringed and spotted he-goats and all the speckled and spotted goats — every one that contained white, as well as all the brownish ones among the sheep — and he left them in charge of his sons.  36 And he put a distance of three days between himself and Jacob; and Jacob tended Laban's remaining flock.

37 Jacob then took himself fresh rods of poplar and hazel and chestnut. He peeled white streaks in them, laying bare the white of the rods.  38 And he set up the rods which he had peeled, in the runnels — in the watering receptacles to which the flocks came to drink — facing the flocks, so they would become stimulated when they came to drink.  39 Then the flocks became stimulated by the rods and the flocks gave birth to ringed ones, speckled ones, and spotted ones

40 Jacob segregated the lambs and he made the flocks face the ringed ones and all the brownish ones among Laban's flocks. He formed separate droves of his own and did not mingle them with Laban's flocks.

41 Whenever it was mating time for the early-bearing flocks, Jacob would place the rods in the runnels, in full view of the flock to stimulate them among the rods.  42 But when the sheep were late bearing, he would not emplace; thus, the late-bearing ones went to Laban and the early-bearing ones to Jacob.

43 The man became exceedingly prosperous and he attained fecund flocks, maidservants and servants, camels and donkeys.

Chapter 31

1 Then he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob has taken all that belonged to our father, and from that which belonged to our father he amassed all this wealth."  2 Jacob also noticed Laban's disposition that, behold, it was not toward him as in earlier days.  3 And Hashem said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your native land, and I will be with you."

4 Jacob sent and summoned Rachel and Leah to the field, to his flock,  5 and said to them, "I have noticed that your father's disposition is not toward me as in earlier days; but the God of my father was with me.  6 Now you have known that it was with all my might that I served your father,  7 yet your father mocked me and changed my wage a hundred times; but God did not permit him to harm me.  8 If he would stipulate - 'Speckled ones shall be your wages,' then the entire flock bore spotted ones; and if he would stipulate - 'Ringed ones shall be your wages,' then the entire flock bore ringed ones.  9 Thus, God took away your father's livestock, and gave them to me.  10 It once happened at the mating time of the flock that I raised my eyes and saw in a dream — Behold! The he-goats that mounted the flock were ringed, speckled, and checkered.  11 And an angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob!' And I said, 'Here I am.'

12 And he said, 'Raise your eyes, if you please, and see that all the he-goats mounting the flocks are ringed, speckled, and checkered, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.  13 I am the God of Bethel where you anointed a pillar and where you made Me a vow. Now — arise, leave this land and return to your native land.' "

14 Then Rachel and Leah replied and said to him, "Have we then still a share and an inheritance in our father's house?  15 Are we not considered by him as strangers? For he has sold us and even totally consumed our money.  16 But, all the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children; so now, whatever God has said to you, do."

17 Jacob arose and lifted his children and his wives onto the camels.  18 He led away all his livestock and all the wealth which he had amassed — his purchased property which he had amassed in Paddan-aram — to go to his father Isaac, to the land of Canaan.

19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole the teraphim that belonged to her father.  20 Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing.

21 Thus, he fled with all he had. He arose and crossed the river, and he set his direction toward Mount Gilead.

22 It was told to Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled.  23 So he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days, catching up with him on Mount Gilead.  24 But God had come to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, "Beware lest you speak with Jacob either good or bad."

25 Laban overtook Jacob. Jacob had pitched his tent on the mountain, while Laban had stationed his kinsmen on Mount Gilead.  26 Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done that you have deceived me and led my daughters away like captives of the sword?  27 Why have you fled so stealthily, and cheated me? Nor did you tell me — for I would have sent you off with gladness, with songs, with timbrel, and with lyre.  28 And you did not even allow me to kiss my sons and daughters; now you have acted foolishly.  29 It is in my power to do you all harm; but the God of your father addressed me last night, saying, 'Beware of speaking with Jacob either good or bad.'  30 Now — you have left because you longed greatly for your father's house; but why did you steal my gods?"

31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought, perhaps you might steal your daughters from me.  32 With whomever you find your gods, he shall not live; in the presence of our kinsmen ascertain for yourself what is with me and take it back." (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.)

33 Laban came into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two maidservants, but he found nothing. When he had left Leah's tent, he came into Rachel's tent.  34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them into the camel's packsaddle and sat on them. Laban rummaged through the whole tent, but found nothing.  35 She said to her father, "Let not my lord find it annoying that I cannot rise up before you, for the way of women is upon me." Thus he searched but did not find the teraphim.

36 Then Jacob became angered and he took up his grievance with Laban; Jacob spoke up and said to Laban, "What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me?  37 When you rummaged through all my things, what did you find of all your household objects? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, and let them decide between the two of us.

38 "These twenty years I have been with you, your ewes and she-goats never miscarried, nor did I eat rams of your flock.  39 That which was mangled I never brought you — I myself would bear the loss, from me you would exact it, whether it was stolen by day or stolen by night.

40 This is how I was - By day scorching heat consumed me, and frost by night; my sleep drifted from my eyes.  41 This is my twenty years in your household - I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flocks; and you changed my wage a hundred times.

42 Had not the God of my father — the God of Abraham and the Dread of Isaac — been with me, you would surely have now sent me away empty handed; God saw my wretchedness and the toil of my hands, so He admonished you last night."

43 Then Laban spoke up and said to Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children and the flock is my flock, and all that you see is mine. Yet to my daughters — what could I do to them this day? Or to their children whom they have borne.  44 So now, come, let us make a covenant, I and you, and He shall be a witness between me and you."

45 Then Jacob took a stone and raised it up as a monument.  46 And Jacob said to his brethren, "Gather stones!" So they took stones and made a mound, and they ate there on the mound.

47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed.

48 And Laban declared, "This mound is a witness between me and you today"; therefore he called its name Galeed.  49 And as for the Mizpah — because he said, "May Hashem keep watch between me and you when we are out of each other's sight.  50 If you will ill-treat my daughters or if you will marry wives in addition to my daughters — though no man may be among us — but see! God is a witness between me and you."  51 And Laban said to Jacob, "Here is this mound, and here is the monument which I have cast between me and you.  52 This mound shall be witness and the monument shall be witness that I may not cross over to you past this mound, nor may you cross over to me past this mound and this monument for evil.  53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nachor judge between us — the god of their father." And Jacob swore by the Dread of his father Isaac.  54 Then Jacob slaughtered for a feast on the mountain and summoned his kinsmen to break bread; and they broke bread and spent the night on the mountain.

Chapter 32

1 And Laban awoke early in the morning; he kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them; then Laban went and returned to his place.  2 Jacob went on his way, and angels of God encountered him.  3 Jacob said when he saw them, "This is a Godly camp!" So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.


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