When Yahva started creation, the primordial substance was a formless void, enclosed in darkness. The spirit of Yahva moved over the void and light was created. The light pleased Yahva and he divided it from darkness. He called the light 'day' and the darkness 'night.' Then evening came and morning followed–the first day.
Yahva made an arc to separate the region under it from the region above. Yahva called the arc 'sky'–the second day.
Yahva gathered the water under the dome into a pool so that dry land appeared. He called the dry land 'earth' and the water 'seas.' Yahva made vegetation; seed bearing plants and all fruit trees containing seeds. The earth sprouted vegetation of all kind. It pleased him–the third day.
Yahva created lights in the sky to separate day from night; to mark the seasons, days, and years; and to give light on earth. He made two great lights; the greater for the day and the lesser for the night. He also made the stars. Yahva set them in the arc of the sky to give light to the earth and separate day from night. It pleased him–the fourth day.
Yahva created every species of living creatures—fowl that fly above the earth in the open sky. He created even the great whale. He was pleased. Yahva blessed them; “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the seas and earth.”–the fifth day.
Yahva created every species of living creatures; livestock, creeping thing, and beast of the earth;” and it was so. Yahva made the beast of the earth, and livestock, and all things that creeps; each conforming to its type: and he was pleased. Yahva said, Let us make man in our image and give them dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the livestock, all the earth, and all things that creeps. So Yahva created man in his own image; male and female created he them. Yahva blessed them, saying; “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth; subdue it with dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and every living thing that moves. Yahva said; “I have given you every plant bearing seed and every fruit bearing tree that yields seed for your food. To every beast, every fowl, and all things that creeps, I have given every green vegetation for food; and it was so. Yahva observed all things he had created, and he was very pleased.–the sixth day.
Thus creation was finished; every part of it. On the seventh day Yahva ended his work and rested. He blessed the seventh day and consecrated it because he had rested from all his work. These are the origins of the heavens and the earth as Yahva created them, with every plant of the field before they were on the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for Yahva had not caused rain on earth and there was no man to till the ground. Then a mist arose from the earth and watered all the ground. Yahva formed man from the dust of the ground and infused the breath of life into his nostrils; and man became a living person. Yahva planted a garden eastward in Eden put the man he had created there.
Out of the ground Yahva made every tree that is pleasant to the sight or good for food; the tree of life also grew in the center of the garden along with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; from there it was parted into four streams. The first is Pison which encompasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good: there is also aromatic resins and precious stones. The second is Gihon which encompasses the whole land of Ethiopia. The third is Hiddekel which goes toward the east of Assyria and the fourth is Euphrates.
Yahva put the man in the garden of Eden to cultivate and maintain it. Yahva ordered the man; “You may freely eat from every tree of the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you must not eat fruit from it. The day that you eat from it you will surely die.“
Yahva said; “It is not good for a man to be alone. I will make a partner for him.” From the ground Yahva formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air. He brought them to Adam for him to name them: and whatever Adam called a living creature, that was its name. Adam gave names to all domestic animals, to the birds of the air, and to every wild beast; but there was no partner for Adam.
Yahva brought a deep sleep to Adam. While he slept Yahva took one of his ribs and healed the flesh. From this rib Yahva made a woman and gave her to the man.
Adam said; “This is the bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and cling to his wife and they shall be as one flesh. They were both nude, the man and his wife, but were not ashamed.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any wild animal which Yahva had made. He asked the woman; “Has Yahva said; 'You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?” The woman answered the serpent; “We may eat of the fruit of any trees of the garden except the fruit of the tree which is in the center of the garden. Yahva has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor touch it, else you will die.'” The serpent said; “You will not die, Yahva knows that when you eat it, then your vision will expand and you will be like divine beings; knowing good and evil.”
When she saw that the fruit of the tree appeared good to eat and pleasant to the eyes, a tree to be desired to make one wise; she took the fruit and ate it and gave it to her husband who also ate it. Their eyes were opened, both of them, and they understood that they were nude. They laced fig leaves together and made themselves clothes.
They heard the voice of Yahva walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahva among the trees of the garden. Yahva called to Adam, saying; “Where are you?” Adam replies; “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was nude so I hid myself.” He said; “Who told you that you were nude? Have you eaten of the tree, that I ordered you should not eat?” The man said; “The woman, whom you made for me, gave me the fruit and I ate it.” Yahva said to the woman: “What have you done?” The woman replied; “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate it.”
Yahva said to the serpent;
Because you have done this,
You are cursed above all animals;
You shall crawl on your belly,
And eat the dust all your life:
I will put hatred between you and the woman,
And between your descendants and hers;
They shall bruise your head
And you shall bruise their heel.
To the woman he said;
I will greatly make your
Suffering severe in child birth;
In suffering you shall give birth to children
Your desire shall be for your husband
And he shall rule over you.
To Adam he said; “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree which I forbade you;
The ground is cursed because of you;
By labor shall you eat
From its produce all your life.
Thorns and thistles will sprout for you;
While you shall eat the plants of the field;
Only by the sweat of your body
Shall you have food to eat,
Until you return to the ground;
For from dust were you created:
To dust you shall return.
Adam called his wife Eve; because she was the mother of all the living people. Yahva made garments of skins for Adam and his wife to clothe them.
Yahva said; “Now the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Will he eat fruit from the tree of life and live for ever?” Then Yahva expelled him from the garden of Eden and placed Cherubim to the east of the garden. Cherubim with a fiery swords guard the way to the tree of life from any direction.
Adam took his wife Eve to bed. She conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gained a son by blessing from Yahva.” She again bore his brother Abel. Abel was a sheep herder, but Cain was a farmer. At the appropriate time, Cain brought produce of the ground as an offering to Yahva, while Abel brought a fattened first born of his flock. Yahva honored Abel and his offering but did not honor Cain and his offering. Cain was very distressed and his face expressed anger. Yahva said to Cain;
Why are you distressed?
And why is your demeanor resentful?
If you do well, will you not be honored?
And if you do not do well,
Then sin lies at your door.
Its urge is toward you,
Yet you must master it.
Cain argued with Abel, his brother, and when they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother and killed him.
Yahva said to Cain;” Where is your brother Abel?” He replied; “I do not know; Am I my brother's keeper?” Yahva said; “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to me from the ground. Now are you cursed by the earth which opened to receive your brother's blood. When you till the ground, it will never be fully productive.
You will be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth.” Cain replied; “The punishment is greater than I can bear. You have driven me out from my home and I must avoid your presence. Am I to be a fugitive wandering the earth? May anyone I meet kill me?” Yahva answered; “If anyone kills Cain, he will receive severe vengeance. This I promise!” Yahva branded Cain as one not to be killed. Cain left the presence of Yahva and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Cain married and his wife conceived, and bore a son which he named Enoch. He then built a city which he named for his son. Enoch fathered Irad who fathered Mehujael. Mehujael fathered Methusael who fathered Lamech. Lamech took to two wives, Adah and Zillah. Adah bore Jaba, the ancestor of nomadic herders. His brother was Jubal, the ancestor of musicians. Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who engendered everyone who forges brass and iron, and Naamah was the sister of Tubal-cain. Lamech said to his wives;
Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
Wives of Lamech, listen to my words:
I have slain a man for wounding me,
And a youth who hurt me.
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
Adam took his wife again and she bore a son, who they named Seth; “For Yahva,” she said, “has fashioned another son for me to replace Abel, who Cain killed.” A son was born to Seth, who named him Enos. At that time men began to invoke Yahva by name. This is the record of the descendants of Adam. When Yahva created man, he made them in his own likeness; male and female he created them and blessed them, and called them Man on the day when they were created.
Adam was 130 years old when he fathered a son in his own likeness and named him Seth. Adam lived 800 years after he had fathered Seth, during which he fathered other children. Adam lived 930 years before he died. Seth lived 105 years then fathered Enos. Seth lived 807 years after he fathered Enos and had other children; Seth lived 912 years. Enos lived 90 years then fathered Cainan. Enos lived 815 years after he fathered Cainan and had other children; Enos lived 905 years. Cainan lived 70 years then fathered Mahalaleel. After that Cainan lived 840 years and had other children; Cainan lived 910 years. Mahalaleel lived 65 years then fathered Jared. Then Mahalaleel lived 830 years and had other children; Mahalaleel lived 895. Jared lived 162 years then fathered Enoch After that Jared lived 800 years and had other children. Jared lived 962 years. Enoch lived 65 years then fathered Methuselah. Enoch followed the ways of Yahva 300 years after siring Methuselah and had other children. Enoch lived 365 years but did not die, for Yahva took him alive. Methuselah lived 187 years then fathered Lamech. Then he lived 782 years after Lamech and had other children; Methuselah lived 969 years. Lamech lived 182 years and had a son whom he named Noah, saying; “This name shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahva has cursed.” After the birth of Noah, Lamech lived 595 years and had other children; Lamech lived 777 years. When Noah was 500 old, Shem was born then Ham and Japheth.
When the population began to increase on earth, the sons of Yahva saw that the daughters of the people were beautiful. They took wives from among them as they desired. When the sons of Yahva bred with the daughters of men, they bore children to them. These were the powerful men and giants renown in legend. Yahva said; “My spirit need not always strive with man: He is only flesh. Let his life span be limited 120 years.”
Yahva saw that there was great wickedness in men on earth with continual evil imagination and deeds. Their thoughts were constantly evil. He regretted that he had ever made men, and it grieved his spirit. Yahva saw the earth was corrupt and filled with violence. All beings had corrupted their existence on the earth. He decided; “I will exterminate all that I have created from the earth; men, beasts, every swarming thing, and the birds of the air; for I loathe the day I made them.”
But Noah found favor from Yahva. This is the era of Noah: He was an honorable man without blame in his era who followed the laws of Yahva. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Yahva said to Noah; “The end of all life will occur soon for the earth is filled with violence through them; thus I will destroy them.”
Make an ark of gopher wood and seal it inside and outside with pitch. Make rooms in the ark. Make it to these specifications: The ark shall be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. The ark shall be three stories high with a railed top deck, a window for light, and a door in the side. Then I, Yes I!, will flood the earth of water to destroy all life from under the sky. All things on the earth will die.
But I will establish a pact with you: You shall come into the ark along with your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives. To keep them alive take a male and a female of every kind of living thing; birds, beasts, and creeping things into the ark with you. Also take food that is eaten by any of them. Collect it now and have it ready for people and animals.” Noah did as Yahva commanded.
Yahva said to Noah, “Go with all your family into the ark, for only in you have I found an honorable man in this era. Take seven pairs or every clean beast and one pair of unclean beasts; and take seven pairs of birds, to keep their species alive on the earth.
Seven days from now I will cause it to rain on the earth for 40 days and nights. Every living thing that I have made will be destroyed.” Noah did as Yahva commanded.
Noah was 600 years old when the waters flooded the earth. Noah, his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Clean beasts, unclean beasts, birds, and every swarming thing followed Noah into the ark, male and female, as Yahva had commanded. After seven days the waters flooded the earth. In the 600th year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the fountains of the great deep erupted and the floodgates of the sky opened. The rain fell on the earth for 40 days and nights. That same day Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah with Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons entered the ark along with every kind of beast, livestock, swarming things, and birds. They entered with Noah into the ark by pairs, male and female, of all animals that breath as Yahva commanded. Then Yahva sealed the ark. As the flood increased it bore up the ark until it floated above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly. The ark drifted on the waters until the waters covered all the high hills on earth. The flood increased to 15 cubits above the highest mountains.
All living beings on the earth died; fowl, livestock, beast, and all things that swarms; and every man. All those who breathed and every living substance was destroyed from the earth: men, livestock, swarming things, and the birds of the sky. They were destroyed: Only Noah and those in the ark with him survived. The flood continued for 150 days.
Yahva remembered Noah and every living thing that was with him in the ark. Yahva caused a wind to pass over the earth and the waters calmed. The fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky stopped, and the rain ceased; then the waters gradually went down. After 150 days the flood ceased and the ark came to rest in the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. The waters decreased gradually until the first day of the tenth month when the tops of the mountains could be seen.
Forty days later Noah opened the window of the ark and released a raven which flew around until the waters dried from the earth. He then released a dove to see if the waters had dried from the ground; but the dove found no place to perch and returned to the ark for the flood still covered the earth. Noah took it into the ark. He waited seven days and again released the dove. The dove returned in the evening with an olive leaf in her mouth. Thus Noah knew that the waters were abated from the earth. He waited yet other seven days and released the dove which did not return to him.
When Noah way 601, on the first day the first month, the waters dried from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw that the ground was dry. In the second month on day 27, the earth was dry. Yahva said to Noah; “Leave the ark with your family. Bring with you every living thing that is in the ark so that they may breed abundantly, be fruitful, and multiply on the earth. Noah left with his family and every beast, swarming thing, and bird.
Noah built an altar to Yahva and presented burnt offerings on the altar from every clean beast and every clean bird.
Yahva smelled a pleasant savor and thought; “I will not again curse the ground because of man; for man's desires are evil from his youth, nor will I again destroy all things living, as I have done."
While the earth remains,
Seed time and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
Day and night,
Shall not cease.
Yahva blessed Noah and his sons; “Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth. The fear and dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, every bird of the air, all that moves upon the earth, and all the fish of the sea; they are delivered into your hand.
Every living thing will be food for you including the green vegetables I have given you. But you shall not eat meat with the essence of life still in it; which is the blood.
I will require vengeance for the shedding your life blood. I will require it from every beast, and also man. I will require it from every man who sheds human blood."
Whoever sheds man's blood,
By man shall his blood be shed,
For in his own image
Yahva has made man.
"Be fertile and grow; expand abundantly over the earth and increase your descendants.”
Yahva spoke to Noah and his sons; “I: Yes even I! Establish my pact with you and with your descendants; with every living creature that is with you: the bird, livestock, every beast of the earth; all that left the ark, every living thing on the earth. I will keep my covenant with you; never again shall all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again shall there be a flood that destroys earth.” Yahva said; “This is the sign of the covenant which I have made between us, and every living creature for future generations: I set my arc in the cloud to be a sign of a covenant between me and the earth. When I bring a cloud over the earth the arc shall be seen in the cloud: I will remember my covenant and the waters will not become a flood to destroy all life. The arc will be in the cloud where I can see it and remember the eternal pact with every living creature that is on the earth.” Yahva said to Noah; “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all life on earth.”
The sons of Noah were Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Ham was the father of Canaan. From these sons of Noah the whole earth was populated.
Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard. He drank its wine, became drunk, and he undressed inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's genitals and told his brothers. Shem and Japheth put a cloth over their shoulders and walked backward to cover their father. Their faces turned away and they did not see his genitals. When Noah awoke from the wine and learned what his younger son had done, he said;
Cursed be Canaan;
May he be the lowest
Slave to his brothers.”
May Yahva bless Shem;
Canaan shall be his slave.
Let Yahva enlarge Japheth,
He shall dwell in Shem's tents;
Canaan shall be his slave.
After the flood Noah lived for 350 years. Noah had lived 950 years when he died. Now these are the descendants of the sons of Noah; Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and of their sons born after the flood.
The sons of Japheth were; Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were; Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were; Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
Descendants from these clans populated the maritime nations; divided into separate lands, each with its own language and traditions.
The sons of Ham were; Cush, Egypt, Phut, and Canaan. The sons of Cush were; Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Cush also fathered Nimrod who became a great warrior. He was a mighty hunter who found favor from Yahva, from which the saying originated; “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter favored by Yahva.” The foundation of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Asshur left this land and built Nineveh plus the cities Rehoboth and Calah, also the great city Resen between Nineveh and Calah. Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim (ancestor of tee Philistines), and Caphtorim.
Canaan fathered Sidon, his first born, and Heth. His descendants included the Jebusite, Amorite, Girgasite, Hivite, Arkite, Sinite, Arvadite, Zemarite, and Hamathite clans. Later the Canaanites clans spread widely. The original border of the Canaanites extended from Sidon, as far as Gerar, passing Gaza toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, and finally reaching Lasha. These are the descendants of Ham by clans, languages, lands, and nations.
Sons were fathered by Shem, the elder brother of Japheth and the ancestor of all the tribes of Eber. The sons of Shem were; Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aram were; Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad fathered Salah, and Salah fathered Eber. To Eber were born two sons; one named Peleg, for in his days was the earth divided, and his brother was Joktan. Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab: all these were sons of Joktan. Their settlements were from Mesha as far as Sephar, the hill country in the east. These are the descendants of Shem by clans, languages, lands, and nations.
These are the clans of the sons of Noah's descendants by their nations, from which the nations were divided after the flood. The entire earth had one language with the same words. As the people traveled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They talked among themselves; “Let us make hard brick by burning them thoroughly.”They had brick for building and bitumen for mortar. They said; “Let us build a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and make ourselves renown so that we may not be scattered over the whole earth.” Yahva observed the city and tower which the people had built and said; If the people acting together and speaking one language have started this, then nothing will restrain them from doing whatever they imagine. Let us confound their language so that they may not understand each other.” So Yahva scattered them across the face of the earth and they ceased building the city. This is why it is called Babel because Yahva confound the language and scattered them around the earth.
These are the descendants of Shem: When Shem was 100 old he fathered Arphaxad two years after the flood. Shem lived 500 years after he fathered Arphaxad, and had other children.
Arphaxad lived 35 years and fathered Salah. Arphaxad lived another 403 years and had other children. Salah lived 30 years and fathered Eber: He lived another 403 years, and had other children. Eber lived 34 years, and fathered Peleg. He lived four hundred and thirty years, and had other children. Peleg lived 30 years, and fathered Reu. After which he lived 209 years, and had children. Reu lived 230 years and fathered Serug. After Reu he lived 207 years, and had other children. Serug lived thirty years and fathered Nahor. Then he lived t200 years, and had other children. Nahor lived 29 years and fathered Terah. After that Nahor lived 119 years. Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
These are the descendants of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran fathered Lot. Haran died before his father, Terah, in the land of his birth, Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives. Abram's wife was named Sarai and Nahor's wife Milcah, daughter of Haran who was the father of Milcah and Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, son of Haran, with Sarai his daughter in law; and went with them from Ur of the Chaldeans, to Canaan; but when they came to Haran they settled there. Terah lived 205 years: and died in Haran.
Then Yahva had said to Abram; “Leave your native land and your father's house, and go to a land that I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation.
I will bless you and
Make your name renown;
You shall be a blessing:
I will bless them who bless you,
And curse them who curse you:
Through you shall be blessed
All the families of the earth.
Abram departed as Yahva had ordered him; Lot went with him: Abram was 75 years old when he departed Haran. Abram took Sarai, his wife, and Lot, his brother's son, with the wealth that they had accumulated including the slaves that they had got in Haran. They went toward Canaan. When they came into Canaan, Abram passed through it to Sichem, near the woods of Moreh. The Canaanites then occupied the land.
Yahva appeared to Abram, saying; “To your descendants I give this land.” He built an altar there to Yahva, who appeared to him. He moved from there to a mountain east of Bethel, and camped there with Bethel to the west, and Hai to the east. There he built an altar and invoked the name of Yahva. Abram continued toward the south.
There was a grievous famine in the land and Abram went to Egypt to reside there.
As he approached the border to Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife; “I know that you are a beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you they will say; 'This is his wife:' and will kill me but will keep you alive. Please tell them that you are my sister so that they may spare me for your sake; I will live thanks to you.” When Abram entered Egypt, they saw that she was very beautiful. The officials who saw her praised her beauty to Pharaoh. She was taken to Pharaoh's palace. Pharaoh treated Abram well for her sake and gave him sheep, cattle, donkeys, servants, and camels. But Yahva inflicted Pharaoh and his court with severe plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife.
Pharaoh called Abram, saying; “What have you done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, 'She is my sister?' so I might take her as my wife. Now here is your wife, take her, and go your way.” Pharaoh ordered his men about Abram and they sent him away with his wife and all his possessions.
Abram left Egypt with his wife and his possessions, and Lot with him. Now Abram was very rich in cattle, silver, and gold.
He traveled from Egypt to Bethel, where he had camped earlier between Bethel and Hai, to the altar which he had make before going to Egypt. There Abram invoked Yahva.
Lot, who traveled with Abram, had flocks, herds, and tents. The land was not fertile to support them if they camped together, for their herds and flocks were numerous. There was dispute between Abram's herders and Lot's herders, as well as strife with the Canaanites and Perizzites who lived there. Abram said to Lot; “Let there be no conflict between us or between our herders, for we are kin. The whole land before us? Let us separate. If you move to the left, I will go to the right; or if you depart to the right, then I will go to the left. Lot looked around and observed the plain of Jordan, and saw that it was well watered (This was before Yahva destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah), like the garden of Yahva or Egypt near Zoar. Lot chose the plain of Jordan and moved east. They separated and Abram stayed in Canaan while Lot resided among the cities of the plain and camped near Sodom. (The men of Sodom were wicked sinners before Yahva.)
Yahva said to Abram after Lot left; “Raise your eyes and look in all directions: I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth. Only if a man can count the dust of the earth, then your descendants may also be counted. Arise and walk through the length and width of the land that I give it to you. Then Abram moved his tent and camped near the woods of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built an altar to Yahva there.
When Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedor-laomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiium went to war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and king of Bela (now called Zoar). All these later joined together in the valley of Siddim, which is the salt sea. For twelve years they had been ruled by Chedor-laomer but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedor-laomer came with his allied kings and defeated the Rephaims at Ashteroth-Karnaim, the Zuzims at Ham, the Emins at Shaveh-Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hills of Seir, even El-paran, which is near the desert. As they returned, they came to Enmishpat, (now called Kadesh), and subdued the territory of the Amalekites and also the Amorites who lived in Hazezon-tamar.
Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (Zoar) engaged in battle with those in the valley of Siddim; Chedor-laomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiium, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against five. The valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled they fell there, while the survivors fled to the hills. They took all the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food, and departed. They also took Lot, son of Abram's brother and his property, for he had settled in Sodom, when they departed.
A person who had escaped told Abram, the Hebrew who he lived near the woods of Mamre; Amorite, brother of Eshcol; and Aner who were allied with Abram. When Abram heard that his kin was captive, he assembled 318 of his soldiers and pursued them to Dan. He and his soldiers deployed against them by night, defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, which is north of Damascus. He returned all the loot of the battle as well as Lot and his possession, also he took the women and other captives.
As Abram returned from the destruction of Chedor-laomer and his allied kings, the king of Sodom met him at the valley of Shaveh (that is the king's valley). Melchizedek king of Salem served them with bread and wine: He was the priest of their most high god.
He blessed Abram;
“Blessed be Abram by the most high,
Creator of heaven and earth:
And blessed be the most high,
Who has delivered your enemies to you.”
Then Abram gave him one tenth of the loot and captives. The king of Sodom said to Abram; “Give me the captives and keep the loot to yourself.” Then Abram replied to the king of Sodom; “I have sworn to Yahva, our most high God, the creator of heaven and earth, that I will not take so much as a thread or a sandal strap; and I will not take anything that is yours, else you might say; 'I have made Abram rich.' We will accept only supplies which my soldiers have used up, plus the share due the men allies with me; Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre: Let them take their shares.”
Sometime after these events the word of Yahva came to Abram in a vision, saying;
“Fear not, Abram:
I am your shield,
I give you a great reward.”
Abram said; “O Yahva, what will you give me as I am childless, and my heir is the steward of my house, Eliezer of Damascus?” Abram continued; “O, you have given no descendant to me so one of my servants will be my heir.” Then the word of Yahva came to him; “No, this one shall not be your heir; but your own child shall be your heir.” Yahva brought him outside and said; “Look toward the sky and name the stars, if you be able to count them” and he continued; “Your descendants shall be as many.
He put his faith in Yahva who credited him for righteousness. He said; “I am Yahva who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as an inheritance.” He replied, O Yahva, how will I know that I shall possess it?” He answered; “Bring me a heifer, a female goat, and a ram, each three years old; and a turtledove and a young pigeon.” He brought all these to Yahva, cut them in half, and laid each piece beside the other: but he did not cut up the birds. When scavenger birds swooped down on the carcases, Abram drove them away. As sun was setting, a trance fell on Abram; and a terrifying darkness enveloped him. Yahva said; “Understand that your descendants will be aliens in a foreign land where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. Understand also, I will punish that nation which enslave you. Eventually your descendants will escape with great wealth. You will go to your fathers in peace and be buried in a fullness of age. After the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites will not reach its fullness before then.” When the sun had set darkness, a smoking brazier and a flaming torch passed over the sacrifices. That same day Yahva made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates: The land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaims, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
Sarai, Abram's wife bore him no children: but she had an Egyptian maid named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram; “Since I cannot bear children, please to take my maid to bed so that I may obtain children through her.” Abram heeded the request of Sarai. After Abram had lived in Canaan ten years, Sarai gave Hagar her Egyptian maid to her husband Abram to be as his wife.
He had intercourse Hagar who conceived; when she knew that she was pregnant, she viewed her mistress with disdain. So Sarai said to Abram; “You are responsible for this outrage against me. I gave my maid to you and when she knew that she was pregnant, she despised me. Let Yahva judge between us.” Abram said to Sarai; “Your maid belongs to you; do as you wish with her. Sarai abused her until she ran away. The angel of Yahva found her by a spring in the desert on the way to Shur. He asked Hagar, Sarai's maid; “Where have you come from and where are you going?” She answered; “I flee from my mistress Sarai.” The angel said to her; “Return to your mistress and submit yourself to her. The angel continued; “I will increase your descendants so greatly that they cannot be counted.”
“You are pregnant with a son.
You shall name him Ishmael;
Yahva has heard your affliction.
He will be a violent man;
Eternally combating every person,
While everyone opposes him;
He will live in conflict with his kin.”
She said the angel that spoke to her; “You are the god of vision;” but she meant; “Have I really seen Yahva and remained alive?” This is the reason that the spring is called Beer-lahai-roi. It is between Kadesh and Bered. Hagar bore Abram a son and he named him Ishmael. Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.
When Abram was 99 years old, Yahva appeared to him, saying; “I am the almighty God; walk in my presence and be perfect. I will make a covenant between us and will increase your descendants greatly.” Abram prostrated himself and Yahva talked to him; “My covenant is with you and you shall be the father of many nations. You shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I make you a father of many nations. I will make you exceeding fruitful. Hosts of nations shall come from you and your descendants shall be kings. I establish my covenant between us, and your descendants throughout their eras as an everlasting pact. I will be a God to you and your descendants. I will give to you and your descendants this land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan for your eternal possession. I will be their God.”
Yahva said to Abraham; “You and your descendants shall keep my covenant eternally. This is my covenant for you to keep; between me and you, and your descendants. Every boy among you shall be circumcised. You shall cut off the flesh of the foreskin. It is a token of the covenant between me and you. When he is eight days old, he shall be circumcised; every boy that is born in your house or purchased although he is not your descendant. Any boy born in your house or purchased must be circumcised. My covenant shall be an eternal pact. The uncircumcised boy shall be expelled from his people for he has broken my covenant.
Yahva said to Abraham; “You shall no longer call tour wife Sarai for her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and give you a son by her. I bless her and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of many people shall descend from her.” Then Abraham prostrated himself and laughed, thinking; “Shall a child be born to a man who is 100 years old? Will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” Abraham said to Yahva; “O that Ishmael might stand before you!” Yahva replied; “Sarah your wife shall indeed bear you a son and you shall name him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him for an eternal pact and with his descendants. Concerning Ishmael, I have heard you. I bless him and will make him fruitful. He shall father twelve princes and I will make for him a great nation. But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, who Sarah will bear to you next year.”
He quit talking and the presence of Yahva departed from Abraham. Abraham took Ishmael his son, all males born in his house, and all servants and slaves; every male within Abraham's house and circumcised them that day as Yahva ordered. Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised. Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised.
Yahva appeared to him at the woods of Mamre as Abraham sat in the tent door during the heat of day. He raised his eyes and saw three men. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and bowed toward the ground, saying; “My Lord, if your servant have found favor in you, please do not pass us by. Let a little water be brought to wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. I will fetch a little food to comfort you; after which you may depart, for you have come to your servant.” They replied, “You may do as you have said.”
Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, saying; “Quickly make bread with three measures of fine flour.” Abraham ran to the herd and brought a choice tender calf which he gave to a servant to be butchered and prepared it. He took curds, milk and the calf which he had roasted and served them. Then he stood near them under the tree while they ate. They asked him; “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he answered; “There, in the tent.” One of them said; “I will certainly return to you this time next year when Sarah has a son.”
Sarah heard it from the tent door which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were old, enfeebled with age, and had long ceased having her womanly periods. Sarah laughed to herself; “Now that I have grown old, shall I have the pleasure of intercourse with my husband who is also old? Then Yahva said to Abraham; “Why did Sarah laugh; 'Shall I bear a child at my age?' Is anything too hard for God? At the time appointed I will return to you next year and Sarah shall have a son.” Sarah denied; I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. But he said; “You did laugh.”
The men arose and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on the way. Yahva reflected; “Shall I hide what I do from Abraham, knowing that Abraham will become a large, strong nation with all the nations blessed through him? For I know him. He will teach his children and descendants to follow my commands by doing that which is just and right. I can in good faith give Abraham all that I have promised him.”
Yahva said; “The outrage against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin is very grave. I will go there now and see whether they have, or have not, acted as the complaints that I have received describe. I must know.”
Two of the men left and went toward Sodom but Abraham faced Yahva. Abraham came close, saying; “Will you destroy the innocent along with the wicked? If there should be 50 innocent men within the city, will you destroy them too, not sparing the place for the sake of the 50 innocent ones? It is not your manner to kill the innocent along with the wicked. Treating the innocent as the wicked is not like you. Should not the judge of all the earth act with justice?” Yahva replied; “If I find in Sodom 50 innocent men, then I will spare the place for their sakes.”
Abraham said; “Oh, I have taken on me to speak to Yahva, while am but dust and ashes;. If there should be 45 innocent: will you destroy all the city for lack of five?” He replied; “If I find there are 45 I will not destroy it.” He spoke to him again, saying; “If by chance there should be 40 there?” Yahva said; “I will not do it for the sake 40.” Again he said to Yahva; “Oh, do not be angry and I will speak; “If there should be 30 found there?” He replied; “I will not do it if I find 30 there.” Abraham said; “I have taken on me to speak to Yahva. If by chance there should be 20 found there?” He replied; “I will not destroy it for the sake of 20.” He said; “Oh do not be angry if I will speak once more. “Should ten shall be found there?” Yahva said; “I will not destroy it for ten's sake.” Yahva went his way as soon as he finished talking with Abraham who returned to his place.
Two traders came to Sodom at sunset while Lot sat at the gate of Sodom. Lot seeing them, arose to meet them and bowed toward the ground, saying; “See me now, my lords, I beg you to come into your servant's house and rest all night. You may wash your feet and rise early to go on your way.” They said; “No, we will camp in the square tonight.” But he persisted until they entered his house. He made a feast for them and baked unleavened bread which they ate. But before they lay down, the men of Sodom, old and young—every man from the city—surrounded the house. They called to Lot; “Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out so that we may trade with them.” Lot went out and shut the door after him, saying; “I beg you, brothers, do not do this wicked thing. As you know, I have two daughters who have never had sexual intercourse; Please, let me give them to you so that you may do whatever you desire to them. Only do assault these men who have come under the protection of my house.” But they said; “Stand aside. You are a foreigner who resides here. Do you pretend to be the judge? We will treat you worse than them.” They attacked Lot tried to break the door. But the visitors inside pulled Lot into the house and shut the door. Then all the men outside the door became blind so that they were unable to find the door. The visitors said to Lot; “Who else do you have here? Son-in-law, sons, daughters, and anyone you have in the city? Take them away from this city for we will soon destroy this place. The great outrage has reached Yahva against those in this city, so that Yahva sent us to destroy it.”
So Lot told his sons-in-law, who had betrothed his daughters; “Leave here for Yahva will destroy this city.” But they treated the warning as a joke. When morning arose, the angels prodded Lot; “Arise, take your wife and daughters. If you stay the punishment of the city will consume you.” While he lingered, the angels grabbed his hand and the hands his wife, and daughters; brought them out of the city. Yahva was being merciful to them. When they had brought them outside, one of them said; “Flee if you value your life, do not look back nor rest on the plains. Escape to the hills or you be consumed.” Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lord! You have been so gracious to your servant and have already shown great mercy to save my life. But I cannot escape to the hills for this destruction will overtake me and I will die. Look there, this town is close enough for me to reach, it is a little town. Oh, let me escape to there and my life be preserved.” He said to him; “Very well, I grant you this favor also and not destroy the town which you have indicated. Hurry, flee there for I cannot do anything until you reach it. Thus the town came to be called Zoar.
The sun had just risen when Lot entered Zoar. Then Yahva rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and sulfurous fire from the sky on Gomorrah. He destroyed those cities with all their inhabitants and everything that grew on the surrounding plain. But Lot's wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.
Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood with Yahva and looked toward Sodom, Gomorrah and the plain. He saw smoke rise from the entire region like that from a furnace.
When Yahva destroyed these cities he remembered Abraham and saved Lot from the destruction although he lived there. Lot left Zoar and moved to the hills with his two daughters because he was afraid to live in Zoar. He lived in a cave with his daughters. The oldest daughter said to the younger; “Our father is old and there is no man to have sexual intercourse with us. Come, let us ply our father with wine and we will lie with him so that we may preserve his offspring.” They plied their father with wine. The oldest went to his bed had intercourse with her father, but he did not know when she lay down nor when she arose. On the next day, the oldest said to the younger; “Last night I lay with our father. Let us ply him with wine tonight also so you can have intercourse with him to preserve his offspring.” They again plied their father with wine. The younger went to his bed and had intercourse with him but he did not know. Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. The oldest bore a son who was named, Moab, the ancestor of all the Moabites. The younger also bore a son who was named Benamm, the ancestor of all the Ammonites.
Abraham traveled from there toward the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he resided in Gerar. Abraham described Sarah his wife as his sister. Abimelech, king of Gerar sent for her and took Sarah as a wife. Then Yahva came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him; “You are about to die for the woman you have taken is married.” Abimelech had not yet slept with her. He said; “Lord, will you kill an innocent man? Did he not say to me; 'She is my sister' and she herself say; 'He is my brother.' I did this in innocence and with good faith."”
Yahva answered him in the dream; “Truly, I know that you did this innocently. It was I who prevented you from sinning against me by sleeping with her. Now restore the man's wife—he is a holy man who will intercede for you—and you will live, but if you do not restore her, understand that you and all those with you will die.” Early the next morning, Abimelech assembled his court officials and told them what had happened, and the men were frightened. Then Abimelech summoned Abraham, saying to him; “How could you do this to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought this enormous guilt on me and my kingdom? This should have never been done.” Abimelech continued; “What scared you so much that you did thing?” Abraham replied; “I was afraid because I thought; 'Surely there is no respect for Yahva in this place. They will kill me to take my wife.' Truly she is my sister, my father's daughter but not my mother's; so she became my wife. When Yahva caused me to leave my father's house and wander, I said to her; 'Would you do this favor for me? Wherever we may come, say of me; “He is my brother.”'”
Abimelech gave sheep, cattle, and servants to Abraham, and restored Sarah to him. Abimelech said; “You may camp in my land wherever you like.” To Sarah he said; “I have given your brother 1,000 pieces of silver; let it be an exoneration to all who are with you. Your honor is preserved before everyone.” So Abraham interceded with Yahva who restored health to Abimelech's wife and and servants so that they could bear children. Yahva had blocked conception of all women in Abimelech's house when he took Sarah.
Yahva took note of Sarah as he had said and did for Sarah as he had promised. Then Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which Yahva had told him. Abraham named his son, Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac at eight days old as Yahva had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Sarah said; “Yahva has given me a reason to laugh, all who hear will laugh with me.” She continued; “Who would have said to Abraham, that Sarah would nurse children? But I have born him a son in his old age.” The child grew and was weaned: Abraham prepared a great feast for Isaac's weaning.
Sarah noticed Ishmael, son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had born to Abraham, teasing Isaac. For this she said to Abraham; “Drive out this slave and her son. The son of this slave shall not be an heir along with my son Isaac.” Abraham very distressed because of his love for Ishmael, but Yahva said; “Do not be distressed for him or his mother. Do as Sarah demands for Isaac descendants shall perpetuate your name. As for the son of the servant, I will make a nation from him because he is your descendant.”
Abraham rose up early in the morning and gave bread and a water skin to Hagar, and put the child on her back. He sent her away and she wandered in the desert of Beersheba. The water was consumed and she sheltered the child under a shrub. Then she went away the distance of a bow shot and sat down saying; “Do not let me see the death of my child.” As she sat facing him, the boy started to cry. Yahva heard his cry and an angel called to Hagar from the sky; “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not for Yahva hears his voice wherever he may be. Arise, lift the child, and hold him in your arms. I will make of him a great nation.” Yahva gave her vision and she saw a well of water. She filled the skin with water and let the boy drink. Yahva protected the boy as he grew while living in the desert of Paran. He became an archer. His mother brought him a wife from Egypt.
About that time, Abimelech and Phichol, chief captain of his army spoke to Abraham; “Yahva supports you in all that you do. Now swear to me by Yahva that you will not deal falsely with me nor my descendants but will return the kindness I have shown you and be to me and the land where you have lived.” Abraham said; “I swear this.”
Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a water well which Abimelech's servants had seized. Abimelech said; “I do not know who did this. You did not tell me nor have I heard of it before today.” Abraham gave sheep and cattle to Abimelech and they made a pact. Abraham selected seven ewe lambs from the flock. Abimelech asked Abraham; “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have separated from the flock? He replied; “You will take these lambs as witness that I have dug this well. He called that place Beersheba because there they both swore. Thus they made a pact at Beersheba, then Abimelech rose with Phichol, chief captain of his army, and returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba and invoked the name of Yahva, the everlasting God. Abraham lived in the Philistines' land for a long time.
Sometime later Yahva tempted Abraham, calling; “Abraham.” who answered; “Yes.” Yahva continued; “Take your son Isaac, your only son, whom you love, into the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on the mountain which I choose.” Abraham arose early the next morning and saddled his donkey. Taking two of his retainers along with Isaac, his son, they cut the wood for the burnt offering and departed for the place of which Yahva had told him. On the third day Abraham saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his retainers; “Wait here with the donkey: With the boy, I will go there to worship, then return to you.”
Abraham prepared the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on Isaac's back. He took the flint in one hand and a knife in the other; and they went toward the place together. Isaac spoke to Abraham; “Father:” who replied; “Yes, my son.” Isaac said; “We have the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham replied: “My son, Yahva will provide a lamb for a burnt offering.”
They both went until they came to the place that Yahva had selected. Abraham built an altar there, laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar on the wood. Then Abraham took the knife to kill his son, the voice of Yahva called to him from the skies; “Abraham, Abraham,:” who said; “Yes.” He said; “Do not touch the boy, nor hurt him. Now I know that you are devoted to me, since you do not withheld your only son from me.” Abraham raised his eyes and saw a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. Abraham took the ram and offered it as burnt offering instead of his son. Abraham named that place Yahva-yireh: so people still say; “ On the mount of Yahva it shall be seen.”
The angel called Abraham again; “By myself have I sworn,” said Yahva, “for because you have obeyed and have not withheld your only son. I will bless you and in multiply your descendants as the stars of the sky and as the sand on the sea shore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of your enemies. Through your descendants all the nations of on earth will be blessed because you obeyed me. Abraham returned to his retainers and returned to Beersheba where he lived.”
Later, Abraham learned that Milcah had born children to his brother Nahor; Huz his firstborn, Buz, Kemuel the father of Aram, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, Bethuel. Bethuel fathered Rebekah. His concubine, Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Thahash, and Maachah.
Sarah lived 127 years old then died in Kirjatharba—now called Hebron—in Canaan. Abraham mourned and wept for her. Then he left the side his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites; “I am a foreigner residing in your land: Please sell me property for a burying place so that I may bury my dead.” The Hittites answered Abraham, saying; “My lord, your God has made you prominent among us. You may select from our best tombs to bury your dead, no one of us will withhold his tomb. You may bury your dead.” Abraham stood and bowed to the Hittite people of the land. He conversed with them, saying; “If you are willing for me to bury my dead here, urge with Ephron, son of Zohar, to sell me the cave of Machpelah which is at the edge of his land. I will pay whatever it is worth if he will sell it to me for a burying place among you.”
Ephron was there and answered Abraham in the presence of the Hittites including those who lived outside his city; “No, honored sir; I freely give you the land and the cave facing it. I give it you: In the presence of the descendants of my people, I give it you to bury your dead.” Abraham bowed to the people. He spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people; “If you will give it, I ask you to hear me. I will give you money for the pasture. Accept it from me and I will bury my dead there.” Ephron answered Abraham; “My lord, listen to me. A piece land worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that between us? As long as you bury your dead.” Abraham listened to Ephron and weighed the silver, as much as Ephron had mentioned in the presence of the Hittites; four hundred shekels of silver at the current market value.
The field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah facing Mamre, with the cave and all the trees in the field, including the border, were transferred to Abraham for his property in the presence of the Hittites, including those who lived outside his city. After this, Abraham buried Sarah, his wife, in the cave beside the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (now called Hebron) in Canaan. Thus the field and the cave beside it were transferred by the Hittites to Abraham as a burying place.
Abraham was old and enfeebled by age. Yahva had blessed Abraham in all things. Abraham said to the steward of his house, who managed all his possessions; “I beg you, Put your hand under my thigh swear by Yahva, the supreme God, that you will not choose a wife for my son from the Canaanites, although I dwell among them. But go to the country of my kin and choose a wife for my son Isaac. The steward asked; “Suppose the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land. Must I take your son to the land from where you came?” Abraham answered; “Never take my son there again. Yahva, who took me from my father's house and kindred, who spoke to me; swore to me; 'I will give this land to your descendants.' He will send his angel ahead of you. You shall choose a wife to my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you shall be free from this oath, only do not take my son there again.” The steward put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his master, and swore to him concerning that matter.
The servant departed with ten of his master's camels. Bearing all kinds gifts from his master, he went to the city of Nahor in Aram-naharaim. He let his camels kneel outside the city by a well in the evening when women go out to draw water. He said; “O Yahva. God of my master Abraham, please give me good fortune today and show kindness to my master Abraham. I stand here by the well and the young women of the city come out to draw water. Let the girl to whom I say; 'Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink;' and she says; “Drink. I will also give water to your camels.' Let her be the one you have chosen for Isaac. Then I will know that you show kindness to my master.”
Before he finished speaking, Rebekah (daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother) came with her pitcher on her shoulder. The girl was very pretty, a virgin never touched any man. She went to the welled, filled her pitcher, and stood up. The steward hurried to meet her; “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.” She said; “Drink, my lord:” and she lowered her pitcher to her hand, and let him drink. When he had drank his fill, she said; “I will also draw water for your camels until they are full. She emptied her pitcher into the trough and rushed to the well to draw water for all his camels. The man looked at her silently wondering if Yahva had made his task successful.
When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a golden nose ring weighing about half a shekel and two gold bands for her arms weighing ten shekels. He asked; “Whose daughter are you? Is there room in your father's house for us to lodge?” She answered him; “I am the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, wife of Nahor.” She continued; “We have both straw and feed enough, and also room to spend the night. The man bowed his head in homage to Yahva. He said; “Blessed be Yahva, God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld his mercy I have been guided to my master's kin.” The girl ran to her mother's house and told them of this. Rebekah's brother Laban ran to the man at the well. When he saw the ring and arm bands on his sister, and heard the words of Rebekah; “Thus the man spoke to me;” he came to the man standing by the camels at the well. He said; “Welcome to one blessed by Yahva. Why do you stand outside? I have prepared the house and space for the camels.” The man came to the house, unloaded his camels, and gave them straw and feed. Then he and his companions washed their feet. Food was set before him but he said; “I will not eat until I have told you my errand.” Laban said; “Tell us.”
He said; “I am Abraham's servant. Yahva has blessed my master and he is wealthy for Yahva has given him flocks, herds, silver, gold, servants, camels, and donkeys. Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old and he has given all his possessions to his son. My master made me swear; 'Do not choose a wife for my son from the Canaanites in whose land I dwell. Go to my father's house, to my kin, and choose a wife to my son.' I asked my master; 'What if the woman will not follow me?' He said; 'The lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you to prepare your way. You shall choose a wife for my son from my kindred and from my father's house. Then you shall be free from this oath, even if you come to my kin but if they will not give her to you, you shall be released from my oath.'
When I came to the well today and said; 'O God of my master Abraham, if now you prepare my way, I stand by the water well.' When the virgin comes to draw water, and I say to her; 'Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink.' If she says to me; 'Drink and I will also draw water for your camels.' Let her be the woman Yahva has chosen for my master's son.' Before I had finished speaking to myself, Rebekah came with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the well, and drew water. I said to her 'Please let me drink.' She quickly lowered her pitcher from her shoulder and said; 'Drink and I will also give your camels water' so I drank and she also gave the camels water. I asked her; 'Whose daughter are you?' She said; the daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.' Then I put the rings on her face and the bracelets on her arms. I bowed my head and blessed Yahva, God of my master Abraham, who had guided me to take the daughter of my master's for his son. Now if you will accept my master's proposal or not, tell me so that I may seek another.” Then Laban and Bethuel answered; “Since this comes from Yahva, we cannot say yes or no. Rebekah is here. Take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son as Yahva has decided.” When Abraham's steward heard their words, he worshiped Yahva bowing to the earth. Then the servant brought jewels of silver and gold, and fine clothes and presented them to Rebekah: He also gave precious gifts to her brother and mother. They ate and drank. He and his companions stayed that night.
When they arose in the morning, he said; “Let me go to my master.” But her brother and her mother said; “Let the girl stay with us a short time, say ten days, after that she may go. He said to them; “Do not hinder me, since Yahva has prepared my way. Let me go to my master.” They replied; “We will call the girl and ask her.” They called Rebekah and asked her; “Will you go with this man?” She answered; “I will go.” So they sent Rebekah, their sister, and her maids with Abraham's steward and his men. They blessed Rebekah and said to her; “You are our sister who will have many millions descendants. May your descendants possess the property of those who hate them.” Rebekah arose with her maids and they rode on the camels following him. The steward returned with Rebekah to Abraham's home.
Meanwhile Isaac had left Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the Negev. As Isaac was in the field one evening he saw camels approaching. When Rebekah and saw Isaac, she slid off the camel, for she had asked the steward; “What man is this who walks in the field to meet us?” The steward answered; “It is my master.” She took a veil, and covered herself. The servant told Isaac everything he had done. Isaac brought her into his mother's tent and took Rebekah to bed. Thus she became his wife. He came to love her and was comforted from his mother's death.
Then Abraham took another wife named Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan; the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian were; Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the descendants of Keturah.
Abraham had given all that he had to Isaac. However, to the children of his concubines, Abraham gave grants while he lived and sent them eastward to Kedem—away from his son Isaac. The span of Abraham's life was 175 years. Then he drew his breath and died at a ripe old age, grown old with a fullness of life; then he was gathered to his ancestors. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah by the field of Ephron, son of Zohar the Hittite, which faces Mamre—the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. Abraham was buried with Sarah his wife. After the death of Abraham, Yahva blessed his son Isaac who lived by the well Beer-lahai-roi. These are the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian bore to Abraham. These are the names of the Ishmael's sons in order of birth: Nebajoth the oldest, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. They gave their names of their towns and fortresses; twelve princes according to their nations. Ishmael lived 137 years then he breathed his last and died. He was gathered to his ancestors. He ranged from Havila-by-Shur on the Egyptian border all the way to Asshur and settled close to his kin.
These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham's son; Abraham fathered Isaac. When Isaac was forty years old he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram and the sister of Laban. Isaac pleaded with Yahva for his wife because she was barren. Yahva heard him and Rebekah conceived. The children struggled within her and she said; “If this is to be, what good will come from it?” She consulted Yahva, who said to her;
Two nations are in your womb,
Two manner of people shall be born from you.
One shall be stronger than the other,
The elder shall serve the younger.
When the time for delivery came, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red all over like a hairy garment and they named Esau. Then his brother came out with his hand holding Esau's heel and he was named Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when she bore them.
As the boys grew Esau became a cunning hunter who liked to live outdoors while Jacob was a simple man who preferred living in the camp. Isaac loved Esau because he provided them with savory meat but Rebekah preferred Jacob.
Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau was famished when he came from the hunt. Esau said to Jacob: “Give me some of that red stuff to gulp down for I am starving.” Therefore he was called Edom. Jacob said, First sell me your birthright. Esau said; ”I am at the point of dying, what good is this birthright to me?” Jacob said; “Swear to me today.” He swore to him and he sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and stew. He ate and drank then rose up and went his way. Thus Esau spurned his birthright.
There was a famine in the land—the first since the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. Yahva appeared to him, saying; “Do not go to Egypt, stay in the land of which I will tell you. Remain in this land and I will aid and bless you. For your sake and for your descendants, I will give all these countries while honoring the oath I gave to Abraham. I will make your descendants a multitude like the stars in the sky and give these countries to your descendants. Through your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because Abraham obeyed me, and kept my commandments and laws.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
The men there asked him about his wife and he said; “She is my sister;” for he feared to say; “She is my wife;” he thought that the men would kill him to take Rebekah—she was very pretty. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines saw from a window Isaac playing with his wife Rebekah. Abimelech called Isaac, saying; Truly she is your wife; why did you say; “She is my sister?” Isaac replied; “Because I feared being killed by someone who wanted her.” Abimelech said; “What have you thought of us? That one of my people might lightly desire your wife and bring guilt on us.” Abimelech decreed to all his people, saying; “He who molests this man or his wife shall be executed.
That year Isaac sowed the fields and harvested abundantly for Yahva blessed him. His prosperity grew and continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He owned flocks and herds, and had many retainers and servants. The Philistines envied him destroyed the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham. Abimelech ordered Isaac; “Leave us, for you are more numerous than we. Isaac departed and usually camped in the valley of Gerar. He reopened the wells that the Philistines had filled—the wells dug in Abraham's time—and called them names his father had called them. Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found a well of spring water. The herders of Gerar disputed with Isaac's herders; “The water is ours.” He called the well Esek because they disputed it. They dug another well which was also disputed and he called it Sitnah. Then he moved and dug another well which was not disputed. He called it Rehoboth and said; “Now Yahva has given us ample space and we will flourish in this land.”
Then he went to Beersheba. That night Yahva appeared to him, saying; “I am the God of Abraham, your father. Do not fear, for I support and bless you, and increase your descendants for Abraham's sake.” Isaac built an altar there and invoked Yahva. He camped there and his servants started digging a well. Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, his councilor and Phichol, commander of his army. Isaac asked them; “Why do you come to me, seeing you hate me and have chased me away? They answered; “We are certain that God blesses you. We thought: Let there be a sworn treaty between our two nations, between me and you. Let us make a pact. You will not harm us, as we have not molested you, have done nothing but good to you, and have let you depart in peace. May you be always blessed by Yahva.” Isaac had a feast prepared them. They ate and drank. When they arose late in the morning they exchanged oaths. Isaac bade them farewell and they departed in peace. Later that day, that Isaac's servants told him about the well which they had dug; “We have found water.” He called it Shebah. The name of the city Beersheba comes from this well.
When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith, daughter of Beeri, the Hittite and Bashemath the daughter of Elon, the Hivite. This became a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, “My son.” Who answered; “Yes.” He said; “I am old, I do not know when I may die. Please take your quiver and bow, and go to the pasture and bring me some game. Cook the tasty meat which I love. Bring it to me so that I may eat it. Let me bless you before I die.“ Then Esau went to the pasture to hunt.
But Rebekah was listening to what Isaac said to Esau. Rebekah said to her son Jacob; “I heard your father say to your brother; 'Bring me game and make me tasty meat so that I may eat, and bless you before Yahva before my death.' My son: Do what I tell you. Go to the flock and fetch me two good goat kids. I will make them into savory meat which your father loves. You shall take it to your father so that he may eat, and bless you before his death.“ Jacob said to Rebekah; “Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. If my father should feel me then I will be revealed as a deceiver. That will bring a curse on me, not a blessing”. His mother said; “Let the curse be on me; just do as I say and fetch them.”
He brought them to his mother who made tasty meat such as his father loved. Rebekah took Esau's best clothes that she had in the house and had Jacob wear them. She put the skins of the kids on his hands and the front of his neck. She gave the tasty meat and bread, which she had prepared, to Jacob.
Bringing them to his father, he said; “My father,” and he said: “Yes, which of my sons are you?” Jacob said; “I am Esau your first born. I have done as you requested. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may bless me.” But Isaac asked his son; “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” He said; “Because Yahva, your God, favored my hunt.” Then Isaac said to Jacob; “Please come close so that I may feel you and know if you are my good son Esau.” Jacob went close to his father who felt him and said; “The voice is Jacob's but the hands are Esau's. (He failed identify him because the hands were hairy like Esau's, so he gave Jacob his blessing.)
He said; “Are you truly my son Esau?” Jacob answered; “I am.” Then he said; “Bring it to me and I will eat of my son's game, and give you my blessing.” He brought it and Isaac ate. He brought drink to him. Isaac said to him; “Come close, and kiss me, my son.”
Jacob came close and kissed him. Isaac smelled the odor of his clothes and gave his blessing;
The odor of my son is the odor
Of a field which Yahva has blessed.
May Yahva give you
The dew of the sky,
The fertility of the earth,
And abundance of grain and wine.
May people serve you
And nations bow to you:
Be master over your kin:
May your mother's sons bow to you:
Cursed be everyone who curses you;
Blessed be he that blesses you.
As soon as Isaac blessed him Jacob left. Esau returned from the hunt and made a tasty meal, and brought it to his father, saying; “Father, Please sit up and eat some game so that you may give me your blessing.” Isaac said to him: “Who are you?” He answered; I am your oldest son, Esau. Isaac shuddered and said; “Who? Where is the man who brought game to me? I ate some of it before you arrived. I gave him my blessing, and it cannot be revoked.
When Esau heard the words of his father, he screamed with anguish and said to his father: “Please bless me too, O my father.“ He said' “Your brother deceived me and has stolen your blessing.” Esau said; “Is not he rightly named Jacob? He has supplanted me twice. First he stole my birthright and now he has stolen my blessing”. He continued; “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” Isaac answered Esau; “Truly, I have appointed him your master and given all his kin to be his servants. I have enriched him with grain and wine. What can I now give to you, my son?” Esau said to his father; “Have you even one for me blessing, my father, to bless me?” Esau raised his voice and wept.
Finally his father answered;
our dwelling shall be the fertile earth,
Moistened by the dew from sky from above;
By your sword shall you live and serve your brother;
But when you ready to be free,
You will break the yoke from your neck.
Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing which he had stolen from his father. Esau murmured to himself; “The death of my father is near, then will I kill Jacob.” When these words reached Rebekah, she called Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is a threat to you. He is consoling himself by planning to kill you. Therefore, my son, heed me and flee to Laban, my brother in Haran. Stay with him a few days until your brother's anger subsides and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send for you. Why should I be deprived of you both in one day?” Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of life because of the Hittite girls. If Jacob should take a Hittite wife, such as those near here, what good shall my life be to me?”
Isaac called Jacob, blessed him, and gave him instructions; “Do not take a wife from Canaan. Go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father, and find a wife among the descendants of Laban, your mother's brother. May the supreme God bless you, make you fertile, and increase your prodigy, so that you may be a multitude of people. May he give you the blessing of Abraham and your descendants so that you may inherit the land where you are now a foreigner, but which Yahva promised to Abraham. Isaac sent Jacob away and he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife; and that as he blessed him he gave instruction to not take a Canaanite wife; and that Jacob obeyed his parents and had gone to Paddan-aram. Esau, seeing how much Canaanite women displeased his father, went to Ishmael and took a third wife, Mahalath, daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son and the sister of Nebajot.
Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there all night because the sun had already set. He used the stones there as his pillows and lay down to sleep. He dreamed that the bottom of a ladder was on the earth and its top reached to the sky with the angels of Yahva ascending and descending on it. Yahva was above it, saying; “I am the God of Abraham and Isaac, your father. The land where you lie, I give to you and your descendants. Your descendants shall be as numerous as the dust, and you shall spread to the west, east, north, and south: for through you and your descendants, all the people of the earth shall be blessed. I am with you and will protect you in all places where you go, and will return you to this land. I will not abandon you until I have finished all that I have promised.”
Jacob awoke and said; “Truly, Yahva is here and I did not know.” He was afraid, saying; “How awesome is this place! This can be none other but the house of Yahva and the gate to heaven.” Jacob rose up early in the morning; took the stone that he had used for his pillows, set it up as a shrine, and anointed it with oil. He named that place Beth-el; but the city was formerly called Luz. Jacob made a vow, saying; “If Yahva will be with me, protect me in my travels, give me bread to eat, and clothes to wear, so that I may return to my father's house in peace; then Yahva will be my God. This stone, which I have set as a shrine, shall be Yahva's house and I will truly give a tenth to you of all I receive.”
Jacob continued his journey and came to the land of his kin in the east. He saw a well in the field with three flocks of sheep lying near it, for they watered the flocks from that well. A large stone was on the well. When the flocks gathered there, and they rolled the stone from the well and watered the sheep, then put the stone back in its place on the well. Jacob said to them; “My friends, where is your home?” They replied; “We are from Haran.” And he asked them; “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they replied; “Yes.” He asked them; “Is he well?” And they answered; “He is well and Rachel his daughter herds the sheep.” He said; “The sun still high nor is it time for cattle should be brought together for watering and feeding.” They said; “When all the flocks are brought here and we roll the stone from the well and then water the sheep.
While he talked with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep. When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, with Laban's sheep he rolled the stone from the well and watered Laban's flock. He greeted Rachel, raised his voice, and wept. Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kin and that he was Rebekah's son then she ran and told her father. When Laban heard the news of Jacob, his sister's son, he ran to meet him, embraced him, and brought him to his house. He told Laban all these things. Laban said to him; “Truly you are from my family.”
After he had lived with them for about a month, Laban said to Jacob” Although you are my kin, why should you serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?” Laban had two daughters: older was named Leah and the younger Rachel. Leah was lovely but Rachel was beautiful and well favored. Jacob preferred Rachel and replied; “I will serve you seven years for Rachel.” Laban said; “It would be better to give her to you than to another man; stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel which seemed to him only a few days, for he loved her.
Then Jacob said to Laban; “Give me my wife so that I may consummate my marriage; I have fulfilled my contract. Laban invited all the people there to a feast. That night he took Leah his older daughter to Jacob's tent who consummated marriage with her. (Also Laban gave the slave girl Zilpah to be a handmaid to Leah.) In the morning, when Jacob saw that it was Leah, he cried out to Laban; “What have you done to me? Did not I serve you for Rachel? Why have you tricked me?” Laban said; “In our country, a younger daughter must not be married before the firstborn. Complete her week of wedding ceremonies and I will also give you Rachel if you will serve me for another seven years.” Jacob fulfilled her week and Laban gave him Rachel for his wife. (Laban gave to Rachel his slave Bilhah to be her maid.) He consummated his marriage with Rachel. He loved Rachel more than Leah and served another seven other years.
When Yahva saw that Leah was not loved, he made her fertile, while Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son whom she named Reuben for she said; “Surely Yahva has seen my misery, now my husband will love me.” She conceived again and bore another son, and said, “Since Yahva knows I was not loved, he has given me this son.” She named him Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son, and said; “This time surely will my husband be joined to me, for I have born him three sons:” Therefore she named him Levi. She conceived yet again and bore a son, and said; “Now I will praise Yahva, therefore she named him Judah; With that she ceased bearing children.
Since Rachel bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister and said to Jacob; “Give me children, else I will die. Jacob's anger inflamed against Rachel and he said; “Can I contravene Yahva, who has prevented you from conceiving?” Then she said; “Take my maid Bilhah; let her bear a child on my knees so that I may have children through her.” She gave him Bilhah as a concubine. Bilhah conceived and bore a son. Rachel said; “Yahva has heard and judged me. He has given me a son, therefore she named him Dan. Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Rachel said; “In struggles with my sister, I have prevailed,” thus she named him Naphtali.
When Leah knew that she could no longer conceive, she gave Zilpah her maid to Jacob as a concubine. Zilpah, Leah's maid, bore Jacob a son. Leah said; “A troop comes,” and she named him Gad. Zilpah bore Jacob another son. Leah said; “I am happy. Women will call me fortunate,” and she named him Asher.
During the wheat harvest Reuben found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother. Rachel said to Leah; “Please give me some of your son's mandrakes.” Leah replied; “Does it mean so little that you have taken my husband? Would you also take my son's mandrakes?” Rachel said; “In exchange for your son's mandrakes, Jacob may sleep with you tonight.” When Jacob came out of the field that evening, Leah went to meet him, saying; “You must come to me for I have rented you with my son's mandrakes.” He lay with her that night. Yahva heard Leah's prayer so she conceived and bore Jacob the fifth son. Leah said; “Yahva has given me my reward, because I gave my maid to my husband.” She named him Issachar.” Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. Leah said; “Yahva has given me with a precious gift. Now my husband will give me honor for six sons I have born him.” She named him Zebulun. Later she bore a daughter and named her Dinah.
Finally Yahva remembered Rachel, heeded her prayer, and made her fertile. She conceived and bore a son and said; “Yahva has taken away my reproach.” She named Joseph and said; “May the lord give me another son.”
When Rachel had born Joseph, Jacob said to Laban; “Let me depart so that I may go to my own place and country. Give me my wives and children for whom I have served you. You well know the service which I have rendered to you.”
Laban answered him; “If you will indulge for a moment, I know that I have experienced Yahva's blessing because of you. Tell me what wages you want and I will pay them.” He replied; “You know how I served you and how your livestock fare with me.
Your herds and flocks were small before I came but now they have increased to multitudes. Yahva has blessed you since my coming. Now what shall I provide for my own house also?” Laban said; “What shall I give you?” Jacob said; “You do not need to give me anything if you will do this small thing for me. I will again feed and herd your flock. As I pass through your flock today, I will remove all the striped and spotted livestock, and all the brown sheep' These alone will be my wages. Let my honesty testify for me when you tally my wages, any goat that is not striped or spotted and any sheep that is not brown shall be counted as stolen.” Laban agreed; “Let it be as you have said.”
That day he removed the goats that were striped and spotted, (every one that had some white in it) and all the brown sheep. He gave them to the care of his sons who pastured the livestock a three days' journey toward Jacob home, while Jacob herded the rest of Laban's flocks. For a long time, Jacob had taken shoots from green poplar, almond, and plane trees, and made white streaks in them by peeling off the bark until the white appeared. He set the shoots that he had peeled so that they would be in front of the flocks when they came to the watering troughs to drink. Animals in heat would mate as they drank and those conceived before the rods bore striped and spotted kids. Jacob would separate the young with striped or spotted and all the brown lambs going into his own flock. He did not let them mix with Laban's flocks. When the stronger livestock bred, Jacob put the shoots in front of them so that they might conceive while looking at the shoots. But when the livestock was weak, he did not use the shoots, so Laban's flocks became weaker and Jacob's stronger. Thus Jacob's wealth grew and he had many livestock, servants, camels, and donkeys.
Jacob heard the things Laban's sons saying; “Jacob has stolen all that was our father's which was earned during our father's prime. Jacob saw that the manner of Laban did not show kindness to him as before. Yahva said to Jacob; “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kin. I will be with you.” Jacob had Rachel and Leah called to the pasture to his flock, saying; “I see your father's manner that he no longer likes me, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my ability. But your father has deceived me and changed my wages many times but Yahva would not let him hurt me. If he said; 'The spotted shall be your wages,' then all the livestock born were spotted. If he said; 'The spotted shall be your hire;' then the livestock were spotted.' Thus Yahva has taken away the flocks of your father and given them to me.
When the livestock conceived, I saw in a dream that the copulating females were striped, speckled, or gray. The angel of Yahva spoke to me in a dream, saying; 'Jacob,' I answered; 'Yes.' 'Observe; all the rams which copulate are striped, spotted, or mottled for I have seen how Laban treats you. I am the God of Bethel where you anointed the pillar and sworn an oath to me. Now arise, leave this land, and return to the land of your kin.'”
Rachel and Leah answered; “Is there still any inheritance for us in our father's house? Are we not regarded as foreigners by him? He has sold us and has consumed the money he received. All the riches which Yahva has taken from our father should be ours and our children's, thus do as Yahva ordered. Jacob arose, and put his children and wives on camels, and departed with all his livestock and possessions to go to Isaac, his father, in the land of Canaan.
While Laban was shearing shear his sheep, Rachel had taken her father's household idols. Jacob deceived Laban, the Aramean, by departing without telling him that he was leaving. He fled with all his possessions. Soon he crossed the Euphrates and headed toward the mount Gilead. On the third day Laban learned that Jacob had departed. He took his retainers with him and pursued Jacob for seven days. They overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. Yahva came to Laban in a dream that night, saying; “Beware of attempting anything good or bad to Jacob.”
Then Laban overtook Jacob who had camped on the high ground. Laban with his retainers did the same. Laban asked Jacob; “What do you mean by leaving secretly and carrying away my daughters as if they were captives? Why did you flee secretly from me? If you had told me, I would have sent you away with merry singing to the tambourine and harp. Why have you not permitted me to kiss my children? You have been foolishly in what you did. I have the power harm you but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying; 'Take heed to not attempt either good or bad to Jacob.' Although you long to go to your father's house, still why have you stolen my gods?” Jacob answered saying to Laban; “Because I was afraid that you would take your daughters from me by force. If you find anyone who has taken your gods , you may kill him and take your gods before our kin tally what is yours and mine. (Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) Laban searched the tents of Jacob, Leah, and the two maidservant; but did not find them. Then went into Rachel's tent. Rachel had taken the idols, put them in the camel's saddle, and sat on them. Laban searched the tent, but did not find them. She said to her father; “Do not be displease that I cannot get up for you for this is my period. He searched but did not find the idols.
Jacob was angry and argued with Laban. Jacob asked Laban; “What is my crime? What is my sin for which you have chased me? Although you have searched all my belongings, what have you found from all your household goods? Place it here before our kin so that they may judge between us. For these twenty years have I served you; your sheep and goats have not had a miscarriage and I have not eaten a ram from your flock. I did not charge you for your animals that were killed by wild animals. I bore the loss of it from mine as you stipulated, whether taken by day or night. I did this during the consuming drought and the frost by night. To protect your flocks, I did not sleep. Thus I have lived twenty years in your house. I served you fourteen years for your daughters and six years for your livestock while you have changed our agreement ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac; surely you would have sent me away with nothing. Yahva has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”
Laban answered, saying; “These women are my daughters, these children are my descendants, these animals are my livestock, and all that you see is mine. What can I do this day for my daughters or for the children they have born? Now, let us make a covenant, I and you. Let it be a testament between me and you.” Jacob set it a stone pillar, and had his kin gather stones and made a mound. They ate there on the stone mound. Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.
Laban said; “This mound is a testament between us today.” It will be called Galeed (It was previously called Mizpah); for he said; “The lord watchs over us when we are not together. If you harm my daughters or take other wives, our agreement will be void. Yahva is witness between me and you.” Laban said to Jacob; “Look at this mound and this pillar which I have placed between us: May this pile and this pillar be a testament that neither of us will cross this pile to harm the other. Let the God of Abraham and Nahor; the God of their father judge between us. Jacob swore by the honor of his father, Isaac. Then Jacob offered sacrifice on the mound and called his kin to eat. They ate and tarried all night on the hill. Early the next morning Laban arose, kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place. As Jacob went on his way and the angels of Yahva appeared him. When Jacob saw them, he said; “This is Yahva's host,” and he called that place Mahanaim.
Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to Esau, his brother, in Seir, in the country of Edom; He instructed them to say; “To my lord Esau; Your servant Jacob says; 'I have lived with Laban and been detained until now. I have cattle, donkeys, flocks, and servants. I am sending this information to my lord so that I may find your favor.'” The messengers returned to Jacob, saying; “We met your brother Esau. He comes to meet you 400 men.” Jacob was greatly frightened and distressed. In his worry he divided his people, flocks, herds, and camels into two camps, saying; If Esau attacks one camp and destroys it, the other may escape.”
Jacob implored; “O God of my ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, the God which said to me; 'Return to your country and to your kin. I will treat you with favor.' I am truly not worthy of the least of all the mercies which you have shown to your servant. With only my staff I crossed Jordan and now I have two companies. Please deliver me from the anger of my brother Esau. I fear that he will attack me and the mothers with the children. And you said; 'Truly, I will do you good, and make your descendants as many as the sand of the sea which cannot be counted.'”
After spending the night, he prepared a present for Esau: 200 female goats and 20 male goats, 200 ewes and 20 rams, 30 milk camels with their colts, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys with ten foals. He delivered them to his servants, with every drove by itself, and said to his servants; “Proceed me and keep the droves separated. He instructed the front drove, saying; “When Esau meets you and asks you; 'Whose are you? Where are you going? Who are these before you?' Then you shall say; 'They belong to your servant Jacob, but are a present sent to my lord Esau, and he is following us.'” He gave similar instructions to the second and third droves and everyone following the droves. Each one was instructed to say; “Your servant Jacob is behind us.” For he reasoned; “I will appease him with the presents in advance and later, when I meet him, perhaps he will welcome me.” So the present went ahead of him as he stayed that night in the camp. During the night he arose and sent his two wives, their two women servants, and his eleven sons across the ford of the Jabbok along with all his possessions.
Jacob was left alone and a being, appearing to be a man, wrestled with him until sunrise. When he saw that he could not win, he touched Jacob's thigh joint and dislocated it. Then he said; “Let me go for the sun will soon rise,” but Jacob said: “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” He asked; “What is your name?” He replies; “Jacob.” He said” “Your name is no longer Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince have you have contested with both the divine and men, and have prevailed. Jacob asked him; “What is your name.” And he replied; “You cannot hear my name?” Then he blessed Jacob and departed. Jacob called place Peniel: meaning; “I have seen Yahva's face, and survived.” He passed over Penuel as the sun rose, limping because of his thigh. Therefore the Israelites still do not eat the thigh muscle connected at the joint because that is where he dislocated Jacob's thigh.
Jacob saw Esau coming with his 400 men. He divided the children to Leah, Rachel and their maids. He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel with Joseph last. He went ahead if them, bowing himself to the ground seven times until he approached his brother. Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, and kissed him; and they wept.
When Esau saw the women and children, he asked; “Who are those with you?” Jacob replied; “The children which Yahva has graciously given your servant.” Then the maids came near with their children and bowed, followed by Leah with her children, and last came Joseph and Rachel. All of them bowed. Esau asked; “What do you mean by this drove which I have met?” He answered, “It is to find my lord's favor.” Esau replied; “I have plenty, my brother, please keep what you have for yourself.” But Jacob said; “Nay, please, if I have found your favor receive my present, for I have seen in your face, as if I had seen the face of Yahva, that you were pleased with me. Please take my gift that is brought to you for Yahva has dealt graciously with me and I have large flocks.” He continued to urge him and Esau finally took it.
He said; “Let us break camp and go. I will go alongside you.” Jacob said to him; “My lord can see, the children are fragile, and the flocks and herds have suckling young. If we should push them for only one day, part of the flock will die. Please, Let my lord proceed his servant and I will follow at a pace the flocks and children can endure until I meet my lord at Seir.” Esau said; “Let me leave with you some of my men. He said; “For what purpose? Please indulge me, my lord.” So Esau then started on his return trip to Seir. Meanwhile, Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and corrals for his cattle.
Having come safely from Paddan-aram, Jacob arrived at Shechem, a Canaanite city, and camped in sight of the city. He bought the parcel of land, where he was camping, from the sons of Hamor, ruler of Shechem, for a hundred pieces of money. Then he erected an altar and called it El-elohe-yisrael (The god of Israel).
Dinah, Leah's daughter, visited the local Hittite girls. When Shechem, son of Hamor the Hittite prince of the area, saw her, he took her and raped her. His loved Dinah, daughter of Jacob and treated her tenderly. Shechem said to his father; “Get me this girl for a wife.”
Jacob heard that Dinah had been defiled by the Hittite while his sons were herding his livestock in the pasture, Jacob held his peace until they returned. Hamor, father of Shechem, went to Jacob to negotiate with him. Just then, Jacob's sons returned from the pasture and heard of it. They were shocked and irate because he had done evil to Israel in raping Jacob's daughter. This can never be tolerated!
Hamor appealed to them; “My son's spirit longs for your daughter. Please give her to him for a wife. Let us make a marriage pact, give your daughters to us and take our daughters to you. May you settle with us and the land shall be open for you to settle. You can dwell and trade here, and acquire properties of land.” Shechem appealed to her father and brothers; “Grant me your favor and whatever you ask of me, I will give. Ask anything from me as dowry and gift and I will give what you ask: but, please, give me the girl to be my wife.”
Jacob's sons answered Shechem and Hamor deceitfully because he had raped their sister Dinah. They said to them; “We cannot give our sister to one who is uncircumcised for that would be an insult to us. We will consent to you if you will be as we are; Every male among you must be circumcised. Then we can give our daughters to you and we will take your daughters. Then we will settle among you and become one people. But if you will not be circumcised, then we will take our sister and leave here. Their words satisfied Hamor and Shechem. The young man did not hesitate because he loved Jacob's daughter and he was more honorable than the rest his clan. Hamor and Shechem went to the city gate and discussed with the men, saying; “These men are peaceable with us, therefore let them dwell in the land and trade with us. The land is large enough for them as well as for us. Let us take their daughters for wives and give them our daughters. However they will consent to settle among us and to be one people, only if every male among us is circumcised. Their livestock, their belongings, and every animal they possess be the same as ours? Let us consent to circumcision so that they will settle among us.” Then all the townsmen consented and were circumcised.
On the third day when they were in pain, two sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, came to the city boldly, each with his sword and killed all the men. After they put Hamor and Shechem to death, they took Dinah from Shechem's house and departed. The other sons of Jacob followed the massacre and sacked the city because their sister had been defiled. They took their flocks, herds, donkeys, wealth; everything in the city and the pasture. The took the children and wives captive, and looted every house.
Jacob said to Simeon and Levi; “You have made me loathsome among the inhabitants of the land; the Canaanites and Perizzites. I have so few men that they can combine against me and kill me with all my house.” But they retorted; “Should we let our sister be treated as a whore?”
Yahva said to Jacob; “Arise, go to Bethel and settle there. Make an altar to Yahva who appeared to you as you fled from Esau.” Then Jacob said to his household and to all people with him; “Put away any idols that you have, purify yourselves, and change your garments. We will go to Bethel where I will make an altar to Yahva. He answered me in the day of my distress and was with me wherever I went.” They gave Jacob all the idols which they had and their earrings and he hid them under an oak near Shechem.
The cities they traveled past were in terror of Yahva and did not pursue the sons of Jacob. Jacob came to Luz, in Canaan (now called Bethel) with all his people. He built an altar there and called the place El-bethel because Yahva had appeared to him there when he fled from his brother. There Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died and was buried near Bethel under an oak. The place was called Allon-bachuth.
As he came out of Paddan-aram, Yahva appeared to Jacob again and blessed him, saying;
You who have been named Jacob
Shall no longer be called Jacob;
Israel shall be your name.”
Thus Yahva named him Israel saying to him;
“I am Yahva, the Almighty.
Be fertile and increase.
A nation, even an assembly of nations
Shall descend from you.
Kings shall come from your loins.
The land I gave Abraham and Isaac,
I will give it to you,
And to your descendants,
I promise to give this land.
Then Yahva left him as he had appeared. Jacob erected a stone pillar in that place and poured a libation and oil on it. Jacob called the place where Yahva had spoken with him, Bethel (Beth-El).
They departed Bethel and as they came near Ephrath, Rachel entered hard and painful labor. In the depths of her distress, the midwife consoled her; “Do not be afraid for you shall have another son. But as she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named him Benoni, but his father called him Benjamin. Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (now called Bethlehem). Jacob set a pillar on her grave and it stands even to this day. Israel journeyed and spread his tent beyond Migdal-Edar.
While they camped in that land, Israel learned that Reuben had sexual intercourse with Bilhah, his father's concubine. Jacob had twelve sons: From Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun: From Rachel; Joseph and Benjamin: From Bilhah, Rachel's maid; Dan and Naphtali: From Zilpah, Leah's maid; Gad and Asher: These sons of Jacob were born in Paddan-aram.
Jacob came to Isaac, his father at Mamre, the city of Arbah, (now callled Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had lived. Isaac lived 180 years. Isaac died in the fullness of his life and was gathered to his ancestors. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Esau took his wives, children, and all the people of his house; and his livestock, animals, and all his belongings that he had accumulated in Canaan; and went to another country, for their combined livestock was more than the land could bear. Esau settled in the hills of Seir.
These are the descendants of Esau (who became the nation of Edom). Esau married two Canaanite women; Adah, daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah, daughter of Anah, daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; also Bashemath, Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth. These are the sons of Esau born to him in Canaan.
- Eliphaz, son of Adah
- Amalek, son of the concubine Timna
- Reuel, son of Bashemath
- Jeush, son Aholibamah
- Jaalam, son Aholibamah
- Korah, son Aholibamah
These are the clans of Esau by their family names.
These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land of Seir in Edom.
- Anah, who found hot springs as he herded his father's donkeys
- Dishon, Aholibamah, his daughter married Esau
- Timna, daughter who was Eliphaz's concubine
The clans of the Horites in Seir are Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.
Kings reigned in Edom long before any king reigned over the Israelites. These are the kings in Edom in order of their succession.
- Bela son of Beor, named his city Dinhabah
- Jobab son of Zerah of Bozrah
- Husham from of Temani
- Hadad son of Bedad, who destroyed Midian at Moab; his city was Avith
- Samlah of Masrekah
- Saul of Rehoboth by the river
- Baalhanan son of Achbor
- Hadar, his city was Pau. His wife was Mehetabel, daughter of Matred, daughter of Mezahab
These are the clans descended from Esau according to their territorial settlements; Timnah, Alvah, Jetheth, Aholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram. Esau was the ancestor of the Edomites.
Jacob settled in the land of Canaan where his father had been a foreigner. These are the generations of Jacob.
At the age of seventeen, Joseph herded the flocks with his older brothers, sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. Joseph told his father of their cruel actions. Israel loved Joseph more than all his other children because he was the son of his old age. He made him an decorated tunic. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more his other brothers, they hated him and would not greet him without rancor.
Joseph had a dream which he told to his brothers. Then they hated him even more. He said to them; “Listen, I will tell you the dream which I had. We were binding sheaves in the field and my sheaf stood upright while yours bowed to mine.” His brothers asked him; “Do you expect reign over us? Can you indeed rule us?” They hated him more for describing his dream. He had another dream and told it his brothers and his father; “I have had another dream. The sun, moon and the eleven stars bowed to me.” His father rebuked him, saying; “What is the importance of this dream? Shall I, your mother, and brothers truly prostrate ourselves before you?” His brothers envied him but his father wondered about the meaning.
His brothers were pasturing their father's flock in Shechem. Israel said to Joseph; “Your brothers herding the flock in Shechem? Prepare yourself and I will send you to them.” Joseph said; “I am ready.” He said to him; “Please go to see if everything is well with your brothers and the flocks. Return to me with the news.” So he sent him from Hebron valley and Joseph came to Shechem. While searching through the pastures he met a man who asked him; “What you looking for?” He replied; “I am looking for my brothers: Can you tell me where they keep their flocks. The man said; “They have left here. I heard them say that they were going toward Dothan. Joseph went to Dothan and found his brothers there.
When they saw him in the distance, they conspired to kill him even before he approached them. They talked among themselves; “Look, the dreamer comes. Let us slay him and hide him in a pit. We will say; 'Some wild beast must have devoured him.' Then we will see what becomes of his dreams.” When Reuben heard it, and he rescued him, saying; “We must not kill him.” Reuben said to them; “Do not kill him, instead throw him into that empty well in the desert without hurting him.” Ruben intended to free him from the well and return him to his father. When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped the decorated tunic from him and threw him into a dry empty well.
While they were eating, they saw an Ishmaelite caravan from Gilead going toward Egypt, with their camels bearing spice, balm, and myrrh. Judah said to his brothers; “How does it benefit us to kill our brother and conceal his body? We can sell him to the Ishmaelites without injuring him. After all he is our brother.” His brothers agreed. When the merchant caravan passed, they lifted Joseph out of the well and sold him to the Midianites for twenty pieces of silver. Thus Joseph was taken to Egypt.
Reuben returned to the pit; but Joseph was not there. He tore his clothes in morning. He returned to his brothers, saying; “Joseph is gone; and I—What shall I do?”
They slaughtered a goat and splattered Joseph's tunic with blood. They sent the tunic bt a messenger to their father; to say; “We found this tunic. Does it belong to your son?” He recognized it, and cried; “It is my son's tunic. A wild beast must have devoured him. Beyond doubt, Joseph has been torn into pieces. Jacob tore his clothes, wore sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days.” All his children tried to comfort him, but he refused, saying; I will go into the grave mourning my son. He father continued to weep for Joseph. In Egypt, the Midianites sold him to Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh and high officer of the guard.
Shortly after this time, Judah left his brothers and settled near an Adullamite named Hirah. Judah married a Canaanite woman named Shuah. She conceived and bore a son whom he named Er. She bore a second son name Onan. Then she conceived again, and bore a third son name Shelah while they camped at Chezib.
Judah procured a wife named Tamar for Er his firstborn. But Er did evil things and Yahva killed him. Judah said to Onan; “Marry your brother's wife and produce descendants for your brother.” Onan knew that the descendants should not be his, therefore, when he had sex with his brother's wife, he withdrew early and spilled his sperm so that his brother would have no descendants. This displeased Yahva, therefore he also killed Onan. Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter in law; “Remain a widow at your father's house until Shelah my remaining son is grown, for he feared that Shelah might also die.” Tamar lived in her father's house.
Sometime later Shuah, Judah's wife, died. When Judah finished mourning, he went to Timnath with his friend Hirah, the Adullamite, and his sheep shearers.
Someone told Tamar; “Your father-in-law goes to Timnath to shear sheep.” She put aside her widow's garments and dressed herself provocatively with a veil to hide her face. Then she sat in a public place by the road to Timnath. She saw that Shelah was grown but she had not been given to him as a wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a prostitute, because she had covered her face. He approached her, saying; “Come, have sex with me,” (for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.) She asked; “What will you give me for this?” He replied; “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked; “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?” He asked; “What pledge should I give you?” She answered, Your seal, your cords, and the staff you carry.” He gave them to her. They lay together and she conceived by him. She arose and went to her father's tent where again put on the garments of her widowhood.
When Judah sent the goat by his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman, he did not find her. Then he asked the local men, saying; “Where is the prostitute that was openly soliciting beside the road?” They said; “There was no prostitute in this place.” He returned to Judah, and said; “I cannot find her and the men say that there was no prostitute here.” Judah said; “Let her keep the pledge so that we are not shamed: I sent this goat and but have not found her.” About three months later Judah was told; “Tamar, your daughter-in- law, has been a prostitute and bears a child.” Judah cried; “Bring her to me to be burnt.” As she was being brought before him, she sent to her father-in-law, saying; “The man who owns these is the father of my child. Examine these. To whom do these belong; the seal, cords, and staff.” Judah acknowledged them, and said; “She has been more righteous than I because that I did not give her to Shelah my son.” He never lay with her again.
At the time of her labor, it was discovered that twins were in her womb. During her labor, one put out his hand and the midwife tied a scarlet thread around it, saying; “This came out first.” But he drew back his hand and his brother came out:and she said; “How have you broken forth? This breach is on you: therefore he was named Pharez. Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand and he was named Zarah.
The Ishmaelites brought Joseph to Egypt where Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh and a high officer of the guard, bought him. Yahva was with Joseph. He lived in the house of his Egyptian master who was a prosperous man. His master saw that a god supported Joseph and everything that he did flourished. Joseph impressed his master and served him well. He was placed in charge of the house and all the master's possessions. From this time, Yahva blessed the Egyptian's house including his possessions and farms for Joseph's sake. Having put all that owned in Joseph's care, he did not question their management, except the food he ate. Joseph was well behaved, personable, and handsome.
Eventually his master's wife observed Joseph and tried to seduce him. But he refused, saying to his master's wife; “Consider, my master does not know what I do in the house. He has assigned the management of all his possessions to me. He has given no one greater authority than I, nor has he reserved anything from me. But you are his wife. How can I betray him by committing this wickedness and being condemned before my God?” She continued her attempts to seduce him for several days but he ignored her and would not associate with her.
Sometime after this, Joseph went to the house conduct his business when there no other men in the house. She caught him by his garment, saying; “Lie with me,” but he left his garment in her hand and fled from the house. When she saw that she had his garment, she called the staff of her house and said to them; “Look, my husband has brought a Hebrew to us to mock us. He tried to rape me but I screamed. When he heard my scream, he left his garment. She kept his garment until his master came home. She spoke to him, saying; The Hebrew servant, which you have brought to us, tried to rape but as I screamed and he left his garment, and fled. When his master heard the words of his wife, saying; “This is how he treated me. Then his wrath was inflamed.
Joseph's master put him in a prison where the king's prisoners were confined. But Yahva was with Joseph showing him mercy so that the prison warden was pleased. The warden made Joseph the trustee of all the prisoners. He was the manager of whatever they were assigned. The warden did not have to concern himself because Yahva made everything prosper.
The chief butler and the chief baker for the king of Egypt offended their lord. Pharaoh was irate and put both in prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard placed Joseph in charge of them and he aided them. They remained for a season in the prison.
One night the butler and the baker each had dreams. When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were sad. He asked; “Why do you look so sadly today?” They answered; “We have had dreams and there is no one who can interpret them.” Joseph said; “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”
The chief butler told his dream to Joseph; “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me with three branches. It budded, then blossoms appeared and became clusters of ripe grapes. Pharaoh's cup was in my hand. I plucked the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup; then I gave the cup to Pharaoh.” Joseph said to him; “This is the interpretation: The three branches are three days. In three days Pharaoh will restore you to your place and you will deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, as you did previously. Please remember me when all is well with you and show kindness to me. Mention me to Pharaoh so that he may release me; for I was stolen from the land of the Hebrews. I have done nothing here that would justify putting me in prison.”
When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph; “I also had a dream I had three white baskets on my head. In the top basket there was of all kinds of pastries for Pharaoh. The birds ate them from the basket on my head. Joseph answered; “This is the interpretation: The three baskets are three days. In three days Pharaoh will take your head from your shoulders and hang you on a tree for the birds to eat your flesh.”
On the third day, Pharaoh's birthday, he had a feast for all his servants. He brought the chief butler and the chief baker from the prison. He restored the chief butler to his duties who gave the cup to Pharaoh. He hanged the chief baker as Joseph had interpreted the dream. The chief butler forgot Joseph.
Two years later Pharaoh dreamed: He stood by the river. Seven cows, healthy and fat, came out of the river and fed in a meadow. Then seven other cows, unhealthy and lean, followed them and stood beside the other cows upon the river bank. The unhealthy cows ate the healthy ones. Then Pharaoh awoke. He slept again and dreamed the second time: Seven ears of grain came grew on one stalk, full and good. Seven ears, thin and withered, grew after them. And the thin ears devoured the full ones. Then Pharaoh awoke from his dream.
In the morning his mind was troubled, he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dream but no one that could interpret them.
Then the chief butler to Pharaoh said; “Today I am reminded of my negligence. Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me with the chief baker in prison. We dreamed one night, I and he, our separate dreams. There was a young man with us, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams and he interpreted them to us our dreams, the interpretation to his dream to each man. Events occurred as he interpreted. I was restored to my office and the baker was hanged.” Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph and they hastily brought him from the prison. He shaved, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Joseph; “I had a dream that no one that can interpret. I have heard that you can interpret a dream.” Joseph answered Pharaoh; “The interpretation is not from me, it is God who gives Pharaoh a true answer.
Pharaoh said to Joseph; “In my dream, I stood on the river bank. Seven cows, healthy and fat, came out of the river and fed in a meadow. Then seven other cows, unhealthy and lean, followed them such as I never saw in all Egypt. The unhealthy cows ate the healthy ones. When they had eaten them, it appeared they had not eaten for they were still as thin as at the beginning. So I awoke. Then I had another dream. Seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good, followed by seven ears, thin, withered, and blasted by the east wind. The thin ears devoured the full ones. I told this to the magicians but no one could interpret it for me.”
Joseph said to Pharaoh; “The dreams of Pharaoh are really one. God has shown Pharaoh what he is must do. The seven good cows are seven years and the seven good ears are seven years, the dreams are the same. The seven thin and unhealthy cows and the seven empty ears are seven years of famine. This is what I say to Pharaoh. There will be seven years of plenty throughout of Egypt followed by seven years of famine. The time plenty will be forgotten for the grievous famine will consume the land. The dream was repeated because it is determined by God and he will soon start it. Let Pharaoh appoint a discerning and wise man to plan for this famine in Egypt. Let Pharaoh appoint officers to oversee the collection of one fifth of the harvest in the plenteous years. Let them gather all the food possible during those good years and store grain by mandate from Pharaoh. Let each city store food. That stored food shall be protection against the seven years of famine which will come to Egypt. Thus the land will not perish not during the famine.”
This appeared as good advice to Pharaoh and his officers. Pharaoh asked his servants; “Can we find such a man as this, a man in whom the spirit of God resides?” Pharaoh said to Joseph; “Since Yahva has showed you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall manage my house and your word shall rule all my people. Only on the throne will I be greater than you.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph; “I have given you all Egypt to manage. Pharaoh took off his ring, put it on Joseph's hand, dressed him in fine linen clothes, and put a gold chain about his neck. Pharaoh let him to ride in the second chariot and they cried before him; “Bow the knee,” and he made him ruler over all Egypt. Pharaoh said to Joseph; “I am Pharaoh but without your consent no man will start any project in Egypt. Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphnath-paaneah and he gave him Asenath as a wife. She was the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On.
Joseph was thirty years old when he faced Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Joseph traveled throughout Egypt. In the seven plenteous years, the earth produced bountiful harvests, he gathered all the food available in Egypt for the seven years and stored the food in the cities. He gathered grain as numerous as the sand of the sea until he quit counting, for it was uncountable.
Asenath daughter of Potipherah priest of On, bore Joseph two sons before the years of famine started. Joseph named of firstborn Manasseh: “For Yahva has made me forget all my toil and my father's house. He named the second Ephraim: “For Yahva has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
The seven plentiful years in Egypt ended and the seven years of famine began, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands but in Egypt there was food. When the harvest failed and Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said; “Go to Joseph and do whatever he says. When the famine covered the land, Joseph opened the storehouses and rationed grain to the Egyptians. The famine became severe in the land of Egypt. And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain because that the famine was severe in all lands.
When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons; “Why do you glare at each other? I have heard that there is grain in Egypt: Go there and buy grain so that we may live. Joseph's ten brothers went to buy corn in Egypt. But Jacob would not send Benjamin with his brothers for fear that mischief might befall him. The sons of Israel came to buy grain along with others, for the famine was in the land of Canaan. Joseph was the governor of the land and he sold to all the people. Joseph's brothers came and prostrated themselves before him. When Joseph recognized his brothers, he concealed his appearance and spoke roughly to them, saying; “Where do you come from?” They answered; “From the land of Canaan to buy food.” Joseph knew his brothers, but they did not recognize him. Then Joseph remembered the dreams which he had of them and said to them; “You are spies, looking the weakness of the land you intend to raid.” They replied; “No, my lord, your servants come only to buy food. We are all sons of one man. We are honest men, no spies.” But he said to them; “No, you have come only to discover our weakness.” Then they said; “Your servants are twelve brothers, all sons of one man in Canaan; the youngest is still with our father and one no longer lives.” Joseph said to them; “It is as I said; 'You are spies,' unless you can prove otherwise. By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave, unless your youngest brother comes here. Send one of you and have him bring your brother. You shall be kept in prison until your words can be verified, otherwise, by the life of Pharaoh, you are spies.”
He put them all under guard for three days. Then Joseph said to them; “If you want to live do as I say for I fear God. If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay in prison. The others may take grain for your houses. But bring your youngest brother to me to verify your words, then you shall not die. They agreed.
They talked among themselves; “We are guilty about our brother. We saw his anguish when he pleaded to us but we would not listen and for our crime this distress comes to us.” Reuben answered them, saying; “Did I not tell you; 'Do not sin against the child;' but you would not listen. Therefore punishment is required for his blood.” They did not know that Joseph understood, since he talked with them through an interpreter. He left them and wept, then returned and talked with them. He imprisoned Simeon in their view.
Joseph ordered their sacks to be filled with grain, to place their money in the sacks, and to give them provision for the trip. They loaded their donkeys with the grain and departed. When one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey at an inn, he saw the money at the top of the sack. He said to his brothers; “My money is restored and it is now in my sack.” Their hearts dropped and they were afraid, saying; “What has Yahva done to us?” They came to Jacob, their father, in Canaan and told him all that happened; “The lord of the land spoke roughly to us and accused us of being spies. But we said to him; 'We are honest men, not spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One is no longer with us and the youngest is with our father in Canaan.' Then the lord of the country said to us; 'If you do this, I know that you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me and take food for the famine of your households. Bring your youngest brother to me and I will know that you are not spies, but honest men. Then will I return your brother to you and you may freely trade in Egypt.
As they emptied their sacks, every man's money was in his sack. When they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were scared. Jacob said to them; “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is gone and now Simeon is lost, and you want take Benjamin away. All these things are against me.” Reuben said to his father; “You may kill my two sons, if I fail to return him to you. Give him to me and I will return him to you.” But Jacob said: “My son shall not go there with you. His brother is dead and he is alone. If injury should happen to him on the trip, then you may lay my gray hair with sorrow into the grave.
The famine became more and more severe in the land. When they had eaten the grain which they had brought from Egypt, their father said; “Go again and buy us a little food.” Judah said to him; “The man did solemnly protest to us; 'You shall not see me again unless your brother is with you.' If you send our brother with us, we will buy food for you. But if you will not send him, we cannot not go there. The lord said to us; 'You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.'”
Israel said; “Why have you done so ill to me by telling the man that you had another brother?” They answered; “The man asked us directly of our status and kin; 'Is your father yet alive? Have you another brother?' We told him, for by the tone of his voice, we could not know that he would say; 'Bring your brother down.'” Judah said to Israel; “Send the boy with me. We will go and get food so that we may live, but if we do not go, we will die; you, we, and all our children. I will ensure his safety and you shall receive him. If I fail to bring him to you, then let me bear the blame for ever. We could have already returned from this second trip if we had not lingered.”
Israel said to them; “If it must be so. Load the best fruits of the land in your vessels and take the man a present; a little balm, a little honey, spices, myrrh, nuts, and almonds. Take double money, the money that was in your sacks and the money for this second purchase. Take it again for it might have been an oversight. Take also your brother and go again to the man, May Yahva grant you mercy before the man so that he may return your other brother and Benjamin. If I am to be deprived of my children, let it be now.”
They took that presents, twice the money, and Benjamin, They went again to Egypt and stood before Joseph. When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house; ”Bring these men to my home and prepare a feast, for they shall dine with me at noon.” The steward did as Joseph requested and brought the brothers into Joseph's house. They were afraid because they were brought into Joseph's house. They said to themselves; “Because of the money that was returned in our sacks, he may attack us, make us slaves, and steal our donkeys.” They approached the steward of Joseph's house and conversed with him at the door. They said; “O sir, we came previously to buy food and when we came to the inn, we opened our sacks and each man's money was in his sack; our money in full weight. We have brought it again along with money to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks.”
He said; “Relax and do not be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, gave you treasure in your sacks. I had your money and put it in your sacks.” He brought Simeon to them and brought all of them into Joseph's house, gave them water, and they washed their feet while he fed their donkeys.
They prepared the present to give Joseph when he would come at noon, for they heard that they should eat there. When Joseph came home, they brought the present into the house and prostrated themselves before him. He asked of their welfare; “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” They answered; “Your servant, our father is in good health and is still alive.” They bowed their heads and made homage to him.
He raised his eyes and looked at his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and asked; “Is this your younger brother of whom you told me?” He said; “God be gracious to you, my son.” Joseph rushed to his bedroom, for he loved his brother and he needed to weep. He washed his face and refraining himself returned, saying; “Serve the food.”
They sat separately, him by himself and his brothers by themselves. The Egyptians did not eat with him but by themselves since the Egyptians considered it an abomination to eat with the Hebrews. They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth. The men marveled one at another. He sent plates to them that had been presented to him: Benjamin's plate was much greater than their plates. They drank and were cheerful with him.
He told the steward of his house to fill each man's sacks with as much food as they can carry and to put each man's money in his sack. Also to put his silver cup in the sack of the youngest with his grain money. He did as Joseph said. At sunrise, the men were went away with their donkeys. When they were outside the city, but not yet distant, Joseph said to his steward; “Follow these men and when you overtake them, say to them; “Why have you returned evil for good? Is this not the cup from which my lord drinks and indeed by which he divines? You have done evil in this.” He overtook them and said this to them. They replied; “Why does my lord say this? God forbid that your servants should do this. The money, which we found in our sacks, we returned it to you. Why then should we steal silver or gold from your lord's house? If it is found on any of your servants, let him die and take us as slaves.” He said; “Let it be as you say, he with whom it is found shall be my servant and the rest shall be blameless.
Then they speedily took down every sack and opened every one. He began searching the sack of the eldest and continued to the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin's sack. They rent their clothes, reloaded the donkeys, and returned to the city. Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, for he was still there, and they prostrated themselves before him. Joseph said to them; “What have you done? Don't you know that a man such as I can divine?” Judah replied; “What can we say to my lord? How shall we clear ourselves? Yahva has revealed the crime of your servants. We are my lord's servants, all of us including the one where the cup was found.” He said; “God forbids that I should do so. Only the one who had the cup shall be my slave. The rest you may go in peace to your father.”
Then Judah approached, saying; “Oh my lord, please let your servant speak a few words, and do not let your anger turn against your servant for you are like Pharaoh. My lord asked his servants; 'Do you have you a father or a brother?' We said to my lord; 'We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother. His father loves him.' You said to your servants; 'Bring him to me so that I may see him.' We said to my lord; 'The boy cannot leave his father, else his father would die.' And you said to your servants; “Unless your youngest brother comes, you shall not see me again.' When we returned to your servant, my father, we told him your decree. Our father said; 'Go again, and buy us a little food.' But we said; 'We cannot go again unless our youngest brother is with us. Your servant, my father said to us; “You know that my wife bore me two sons, and one was taken from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn in pieces;” and I saw him never since. If you take this one from me, and mischief befall him, you bury my gray hairs in sorrow.' Now when I return to your servant, my father without the boy, seeing that his life is bound up in the boy's life; when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die and your servants shall bury the gray hairs of your servant, our father, with sorrow. For your servant became surety for the boy to his father, saying; 'If I do not return him to you then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.' Now, Please, let your servant be your slave instead of the boy. Let the boy go with his brothers. How can I go to my father without the boy? For I would see the pain that will come to my father.”
Then Joseph could not refrain himself and cried; “Everyone leave me.” No Egyptian stayed while Joseph identified himself to his brothers. He wept aloud. The Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. Joseph said; “I am Joseph. Does my father still live?” His brothers could not answer for they were troubled at his presence. Joseph said to his brothers; “Please come to me,” and they came. He said; “I am your brother Joseph the one you sold to Egypt. Do not grieve or be angry with yourselves because you sold me. Yahva sent me to preserve your life. For two years the famine has been in the land and there are still five years in which there will be no harvest. Yahva sent me to preserve your progeny on earth and to save your lives. It was not you that sent me here, but Yahva. He has made me like a son to Pharaoh, lord of all his house and ruler throughout Egypt. Hurry to my father and tell him that his son Joseph says; 'Yahva has made me lord of Egypt. Come to me without delay. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen and be near me with your descendants, flocks, herds, and all your possessions. There I will provide food for you, for there are still five years of famine. Otherwise you, your household, and all you have would be destitute. Let your eyes see, and those of my brother Benjamin, that it is I that speaks to you.' Tell my father of my glory in Egypt and all that you have seen. Hurry to bring my father here.”
He embraced his brother Benjamin and they wept. He also embraced all his brothers and after that his brothers talked with him.
The story was heard in Pharaoh's house; “Joseph's brothers have come.” Pharaoh and his servants were well pleased. Pharaoh said to Joseph; “Tell your brothers this; 'Load your animals and go to Canaan. Bring your father and your households to me. I will give you stored food of Egypt; you shall eat the best. Now you are commanded to take wagons from Egypt for your children, wives, and your father. Do not consider the value of your belongings, for the property of Egypt is your's to use.'” The children of Israel did as directed and Joseph gave them wagons and provision for the trip, as Pharaoh had ordered. To each of them, he gave changes of clothes; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of clothes. To his father, he sent ten male donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and meat for the trip.
He sent his brothers and as they departed he said to them; “Do not fail on the trip.” They left Egypt and came to Canaan, to Jacob their father, and told him; “Joseph is still alive and is governor over Egypt. Jacob fainted for he did not believe them.
They repeated Joseph's message. When he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob revived. Israel said; “This is enough, Joseph, my son, is still alive. I will go to see him before I die.” Israel took with him all that he possessed on the journey and came to Beersheba where he offered sacrifices to Yahva, God of his father Isaac. Yahva spoke to Israel in dreams that night; “Jacob, Jacob.” He answered; “Yes.” He said; “I am Yahva, the God of your father. Do not fear to go to Egypt for I will there make a great nation from you. I will go with you to Egypt and will also return you again. Joseph shall put his hand on your brow.
Jacob rose from Beersheba and the sons of Israel carried Jacob, their small children, and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent.
They took their livestock and the goods which they had accumulated in Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob with all his descendants. He brought his children, his grandchildren, and all his prodigy with him into Egypt.
These are the children of Israel, wh0 came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: These are the sons of Leah, born to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah. There were 33 descendants of Leah.
- Reuben, Jacob's firstborn
- Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman
- Er: Er and Onan died in Canaan
These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter. Zilpah has 16 descendants.
- Serah their sister
These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob. Rachel had 14 descendants.
- Joseph with Asenath, daughter of Potipherah priest of On
These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel and she bore these to Jacob. Bilhah had 7 descendants.
All the persons who came with Jacob to Egypt, his descendants plus his sons' wives totaled 66; The Joseph had two sons who were born in Egypt. All the persons of the house of Jacob who came to Egypt totaled 70.
Jacob sent Judah ahead to Joseph to receive directions to Goshen. Thus they came to Goshen. Joseph harnessed his chariot and went to meet Israel, his father, in Goshen. He presented himself and embraced his father and they wept for a long time. Israel said to Joseph; “Now let me die for I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” Joseph said to his brothers and his father's household; “I will go to Pharaoh and say to him; 'My brothers and my father's household, who were in Canaan, have come to me. The men are shepherds and their purchases have been to feed livestock. They have brought their flocks, herds, and all they possess.' When Pharaoh calls you and asks; 'What is your occupation?' Then you shall say; 'your servants' trade has been livestock since our youth and continues now,' so that you may settle in Goshen. Shepherd are abominations to the Egyptians.”
Joseph told Pharaoh; “My father and my brothers with their flocks, herds, and all that they have, have come from Canaan and are in Goshen.” He took five of his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked his brothers;” What is your occupation?” They replied to Pharaoh; “Your servants are shepherds, we and our ancestors.” They continued to Pharaoh; “We have come to settle in the land for your servants have no pasture for their flocks because the famine is severe in Canaan. Please let your servants live in Goshen.” Pharaoh said to Joseph; “Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is yours to manage. Let your father and brothers settle in the best land, the land of Goshen. If you know any capable men, then make them guardians of my livestock.”
Joseph presented Jacob, his father, to Pharaoh and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked Jacob; “How old are you?” And Jacob replied; “The years of my pilgrimage in this life are 130. My years have been difficult and few, not near the years of my ancestors in the days of their pilgrimage.” Jacob again blessed Pharaoh and left his presence.
Joseph settled his father and brother with a property in Egypt, the best the land in Rameses as Pharaoh had commanded. Joseph nourished his father, his brothers, and all his father's household with bread, according to the size of their families.
Eventually, there was no bread in all the land for the famine was very severe; the people of Egypt and Canaan became weak for lack food. Joseph collected the money in Egypt and Canaan for the grain which they bought, and brought the money to Pharaoh's house. When the value of money failed, the Egyptians came to Joseph, saying; “Give us bread, otherwise we will die in your presence since the money has failed.” Joseph said; “Give your livestock and I will give you food.” They brought their livestock to Joseph and he gave them bread in exchange for horses, flocks, herd animals, and donkeys. He fed them with bread in exchange for their livestock for that year.
The next year, they came to him again, saying; “We will not hide it from my lord, our money is spent and my lord also has our livestock; there is nothing left except our bodies and lands. Without food we will die here. Buy us and our land for bread and we will be slaves to Pharaoh. Give us food so that we may live for the land is so desolate.” So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. Every Egyptian sold his field because the famine prevailed. Thus the land became Pharaoh's. He moved the people to cities throughout the land of Egypt. Only the priests kept their land, because the priests had a portion assigned to them by Pharaoh and they ate that portion, thus they did not sell their lands.
As the famine ended, Joseph said to the people; “I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you to sow the land. From the harvest, you shall give one fifth to Pharaoh. Four parts will be your own for seed and food for your and your households.” They said; “You have saved our lives. Let us find mercy from my lord and we will be Pharaoh's servants.” Joseph made it a law, which exists even today in Egypt, that Pharaoh should receive one fifth of the harvest except from the land of the priests which was not Pharaoh's.
The Israelites settled in Egypt, in Goshen on land given to them. They grew rapidly. Jacob lived in Egypt for 17 years so that he was 147 years old. The time approached when Israel must die. He called his son Joseph and said to him; “If you honor me, please swear to me that you will deal kindly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt for I wish lie with my fathers. You shall take me out of Egypt and bury me in our burying place.” Joseph said; “I will honor your wishes.” He said; “Swear it to me.” Joseph swore to him. Then Israel rested on his bed.
Sometime after this, news came to Joseph; “Your father is sick.” He took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him to Goshen. Jacob was told; “Your son Joseph comes to you.” Israel revived himself and sat up on the bed.
Jacob said to Joseph; “Yahva appeared to me at Luz in Canaan and blessed me. He said to me; 'I will make you fruitful with a multitude of people and will give this land to your descendants as an eternal possession.' Your sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born in Egypt before I came to you, will be treated as mine; the same as Reuben and Simeon. And your other children will be yours but will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance.
When I came from Padan, Rachel died in Canaan on the trip when we were very close to Ephrath (Bethlehem) and I buried her there.” Israel saw Joseph's sons, saying; “Who are these?” Joseph replied; “They are my sons, who Yahva has given here.” He said; “Please bring them to me and I will bless them.” But Israel's eyes of were dim with age so that he could not see. Joseph brought them near to him, he kissed them and embraced them. Israel said to Joseph; “I had not hoped to see your face and now Yahva has also shown me your children.”
He blessed Joseph, saying, “Yahva, with whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who nourished me all my life, the Angel who redeemed me from all evil; Bless these children and let them be named as my sons and prodigy of my ancestors, Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude on earth.” Joseph brought them forward and bowed low. Joseph placed Ephraim on his right toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh on his left toward Israel's right hand and brought them near him. Israel laid his right hand on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, crossing his arms artfully; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, he was displeased: and tried to lift his father's hand from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's. Joseph said to his father; “Father, this is wrong, put your right hand on the head of the firstborn.” But his father refused; “I know, my son, I know. He will become a great nation but truly his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will become many nations.”
Then he blessed them, saying; “Let Israel bless you. May Yahva make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh” and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
Israel said to Joseph; “I am dying but Yahva will return you to the land of your fathers. I have given you one share more than your brothers which I took from the Amorites with my weapons.”
Jacob called his sons, saying; “Come close so that I may tell you that which shall befall you. Come to me, you sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel, your father.”
“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength; the excellence of dignity and power. Unstable as water, you shall not excel because you defiled your father's bed when you lay with his wife.”
“Simeon and Levi are brothers; cruelty is their habitations. (May my spirit never heed their council nor my honor be associated with them.) In their anger they killed men, and in their pride they maimed animals. Let their fierce anger and their cruel rage be cursed: I will splinter them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”
“Judah; your brothers shall praise you and bow for you shall crush enemies. Judah is a lion's cub, my son, you have grown from the prey. He reclines like a lion and like a fierce lion; who will dare rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, He will receive tribute and honor from the people. Binding his donkey to a vine and his donkey's foal to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine and his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine and his teeth whiter than milk.”
“Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore, He shall be a haven of ships and his border shall extend to Sidon.”
“Issachar is a strong donkey couching between two packs. When he saw the benefit of security in the pleasant country, he shouldered his burden to become a laborer.”
“Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the trail, an adder in the path that bites the horse's heel so that his rider shall be thrown backward.”
“I long for your deliverance, O Yahva.”
“Gad shall be overcome by raiders: but he shall devastate them in the end.”
“Asher's bread shall be rich; he shall yield royal dainties.”
“Naphtali is a deer let loose which spawns beautiful fawns.”
“Joseph is a fruitful tree by a well whose branches run over the wall. Archers have attacked him with bitter hatred. They shot at him but his bow remained powerful, and the arms were strengthened by the mighty God of Jacob—guided by the Rock of Israel. Even by the God of your father, who shall help you and give you the blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph who was separated from his brothers.”
“Benjamin is ravenous wolf: in the morning he devours the prey and at night he divides the spoil.”
These became the twelve tribes of Israel. Their father blessed each of them. Then he charged them and said to them; “I will soon be gathered to my people. Bury me with my father in the cave by the field of Machpelah facing Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah. I purchased the field and that cave from the children of Heth.”
When Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he reclined on his bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his ancestors.
Joseph embraced his father weeping and kissing him. Then Joseph ordered the physicians in his service to embalm him. They embalmed Israel the full 40 day period required for complete embalming. The Egyptians mourned for him 70 days.
When the period of mourning were past, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh's courtiers; “Please grant me this favor and give Pharaoh my request. Since my dying father made me swear to bury him in the grave which he prepared in Canaan. May I bury my father and then return?” Pharaoh replied; “Go, bury your father as he ordered you.
So Joseph went to bury his father: and with him went officials of Pharaoh, the senior members of his court, and dignitaries; together with Joseph's household, his brothers, and his father's household. Only their children, flocks, and herds were left in Goshen. Israel's grand funeral entourage was accompanied by chariots and horsemen.
Then they came to Goren-ha-Atad, which is west of the Jordan river. For seven days they mourned for Jacob with bitter and loud lamentations. When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning they said; “This is a grievous period for the Egyptians,” therefore it was named Abel-mizraim. As he requested, his sons bore him into Canaan and buried him in the cave which Abraham had bought for a burial site from Ephron, the Hittite, along with the field of Machpelah which faced Mamre. After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and the entire funeral entourage.
When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they wondered; “Will Joseph hate us and avenge the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent a messenger to Joseph, saying; “Your father ordered before he died; 'Ask Joseph to forgive the evil actions of your brothers.' Please forgive the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him and comforted them speaking kindly. His brothers prostrated themselves to him and said; “Let us be your servants.” Joseph said to them; “Do not be afraid. Am I a substitute for Yahva? Although you did wrong to me, Yahva intended it to benefit everyone and to save the lives for many people. Do not fear: I will protect you and your descendants.”
Joseph and Israel's descendants continued to reside in Egypt. Joseph lived 110 years. Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim's children and the children of Machi, son of Manasseh, playing on Joseph's lap.
Joseph said to his brothers; “I am dying. Yahva will surely appear to you and take you from Egypt to the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Take my bones with you to that promised land.” So Joseph died at 110 years old. They embalmed him and put him in a coffin in Egypt.
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