Through the Bible – Day 13

Bible text(s)

Jacob gets ready to meet Esau

1As Jacob was on his way back home, some of God's angels came and met him. 2When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God's camp.” So he named the place Mahanaim.

3Jacob sent messengers on ahead to Esau, who lived in the land of Seir, also known as Edom. 4Jacob told them to say to Esau, “Master, I am your servant! I have lived with Laban all this time, 5and now I own cattle, donkeys, and sheep, as well as many slaves. Master, I am sending these messengers in the hope that you will be kind to me.”

6When the messengers returned, they told Jacob, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is heading this way with four hundred men.”

7Jacob was so frightened that he divided his people, sheep, cattle, and camels into two groups. 8He thought, “If Esau attacks one group, perhaps the other can escape.”

9Then Jacob prayed:

You, LORD, are the God who was worshipped by my grandfather Abraham and by my father Isaac. You told me to return home to my family, and you promised to be with me and make me successful. 10I don't deserve all the good things you have done for me, your servant. When I first crossed the Jordan, I had only my walking stick, but now I have two large groups of people and animals. 11Please rescue me from my brother. I am afraid he will come and attack not only me, but my wives and children as well. 12But you have promised that I would be a success and that some day it will be as hard to count my descendants as it is to count the stars in the sky.

13After Jacob had spent the night there, he chose some animals as gifts for Esau: 14-15two hundred female goats and twenty males, two hundred female sheep and twenty males, thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten males.

16Jacob put servants in charge of each herd and told them, “Go ahead of me and keep a space between each herd.” 17Then he said to the servant in charge of the first herd, “When Esau meets you, he will ask whose servant you are. He will want to know where you are going and who owns those animals in front of you. 18So tell him, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, who is coming this way. He is sending them as a gift to his master Esau.’ ”

19Jacob also told the men in charge of the second and third herds and those who followed to say the same thing when they met Esau. 20And Jacob told them to be sure to say that he was just behind them. Jacob hoped the gifts would make Esau friendly, so Esau would be glad to see him when they met. 21Jacob's men took the gifts on ahead of him, but he spent the night in camp.

Jacob's name is changed to Israel

22-23Jacob got up in the middle of the night and took his wives, his eleven children, and everything he owned across to the other side of the River Jabbok for safety. 24Afterwards, Jacob went back and spent the rest of the night alone.

A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak. 25When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint. 26They kept on wrestling until the man said, “Let go of me! It's almost daylight.”

“You can't go until you bless me,” Jacob replied.

27Then the man asked, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That's why your name will be Israel.”

29Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”

“Don't you know who I am?” he asked. And he blessed Jacob.

30Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive.” So he named the place Peniel. 31The sun was coming up as Jacob was leaving Peniel. He was limping because he had been struck on the hip, 32and the muscle on his hip joint had been injured. That's why even today the people of Israel don't eat the hip muscle of any animal.

Jacob meets Esau

1Later that day Jacob met Esau coming with his four hundred men. So Jacob made his children walk with their mothers. 2The two servant women, Zilpah and Bilhah, together with their children went first, followed by Leah and her children, then by Rachel and Joseph. 3Jacob himself walked in front of them all, bowing to the ground seven times as he came near his brother.

4But Esau ran towards Jacob and hugged and kissed him. Then the two brothers started crying.

5When Esau noticed the women and children he asked, “Whose children are these?”

Jacob answered, “These are the ones the LORD has been kind enough to give to me, your servant.”

6Then the two servant women and their children came and bowed down to Esau. 7Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down; finally, Joseph and Rachel also came and bowed down.

8Esau asked Jacob, “What did you mean by these herds I met along the road?”

“Master,” Jacob answered, “I sent them so that you would be friendly to me.”

9“But, brother, I already have plenty,” Esau replied. “Keep them for yourself.”

10“No!” Jacob said. “Please accept these gifts as a sign of your friendship for me. When you welcomed me and I saw your face, it was like seeing the face of God. 11Please accept these gifts I brought to you. God has been good to me, and I have everything I need.” Jacob kept insisting until Esau accepted the gifts.

12“Let's get ready to travel,” Esau said. “I'll go along with you.”

13But Jacob answered, “Master, you know travelling is hard on children, and I have to look after the sheep and goats that are nursing their young. If my animals travel too much in one day, they will all die. 14Why don't you go on ahead and let me travel along slowly with the children, the herds, and the flocks. We can meet again in the country of Edom.”

15Esau replied, “Let me leave some of my men with you.”

“You don't have to do that,” Jacob answered. “I am happy, simply knowing that you are friendly to me.”

16So Esau left for Edom. 17But Jacob went to Succoth, where he built a house for himself and set up shelters for his animals. That's why the place is called Succoth.

Jacob arrives at Shechem

18After leaving northern Syria, Jacob arrived safely at Shechem in Canaan and set up camp outside the city. 19The land where he camped was owned by the descendants of Hamor, the father of Shechem. So Jacob paid them one hundred pieces of silver for the property, 20then he set up his tents and built an altar there to honour the God of Israel.

Dinah is raped

1Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the women who lived there. 2She was seen by Hamor's son Shechem, the leader of the Hivites, and he grabbed her and raped her. 3But Shechem was attracted to Dinah, so he told her how much he loved her. 4He even asked his father to get her for his wife.

5Meanwhile, Jacob heard what had happened. But his sons were out in the fields with the cattle, so he did not do anything at the time. 6Hamor arrived at Jacob's home 7just as Jacob's sons were coming in from work. When they learnt that their sister had been raped, they became furiously angry. Nothing is more disgraceful than rape, and it should not be tolerated in Israel.

8Hamor said to Jacob and his sons:

My son Shechem really loves Dinah. Please let him marry her. 9Why don't you start letting your families marry into our families and ours marry into yours? 10You can share this land with us. Move freely about until you find the property you want; then buy it and settle down here.

11Shechem added, “Do this favour for me, and I'll give whatever you want. 12Ask anything, no matter how expensive. I'll do anything, just let me marry Dinah.”

13Jacob's sons wanted to get even with Shechem and his father because of what had happened to their sister. 14So they tricked them by saying:

You're not circumcised! It would be a disgrace for us to let you marry Dinah now. 15But we will let you marry her, if you and the other men in your tribe get circumcised. 16Then your families can marry into ours, and ours can marry into yours, and we can live together like one nation. 17But if you don't agree to get circumcised, we'll take Dinah and leave this place.

18Hamor and Shechem liked what was said. 19Shechem was the most respected person in his family, and he was so in love with Dinah that he hurried off to get everything done. 20The two men met with the other leaders of their city and told them:

21These people really are friendly. Why not let them move freely about until they find the property they want? There's enough land here for them and for us. Then our families can marry into theirs, and theirs can marry into ours.

22We have to do only one thing before they will agree to stay here and become one nation with us. Our men will have to be circumcised like their men. 23Just think! We'll get their property, as well as their flocks and herds. All we have to do is to agree, and they will live here with us.

24Every grown man followed this advice and got circumcised.

Dinah's brothers take revenge

25Three days later the men who had been circumcised were still weak from pain. So Simeon and Levi, two of Dinah's brothers, attacked with their swords and killed every man in town, 26including Hamor and Shechem. Then they took Dinah and left. 27Jacob's other sons came and took everything they wanted. All this was done because of the horrible thing that had happened to their sister. 28They took sheep, goats, donkeys, and everything else that was in the town or the fields. 29After taking everything of value from the houses, they dragged away the wives and children of their victims.

30Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “Look what you've done! Now I'm in real trouble with the Canaanites and Perizzites who live around here. There aren't many of us, and if they attack, they'll kill everyone in my household.”

31They answered, “Was it right to let our own sister be treated that way?”

Genesis 32:1-34:31CEVOpen in Bible reader

A dying girl and a sick woman

18While Jesus was still speaking, an official came and knelt in front of him. The man said, “My daughter has just died! Please come and place your hand on her. Then she will live again.”

19Jesus and his disciples got up and went with the man.

20A woman who had been bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus and barely touched his clothes. 21She had said to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well.”

22Jesus turned. He saw the woman and said, “Don't worry! You are now well because of your faith.” At that moment she was healed.

23When Jesus went into the home of the official and saw the musicians and the crowd of mourners, 24he said, “Get out of here! The little girl isn't dead. She is just asleep.” Everyone started laughing at Jesus. 25But after the crowd had been sent out of the house, Jesus went to the girl's bedside. He took her by the hand and helped her up.

26News about this spread all over that part of the country.

Jesus heals two blind men

27As Jesus was walking along, two blind men began following him and shouting, “Son of David, have pity on us!”

28After Jesus had gone indoors, the two blind men came up to him. He asked them, “Do you believe I can make you well?”

“Yes, Lord,” they answered.

29Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, you will be healed.” 30They were able to see, and Jesus strictly warned them not to tell anyone about him. 31But they left and talked about him to everyone in that part of the country.

Jesus heals a man who could not talk

32As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, some people brought to him a man who could not talk because a demon was in him. 33After Jesus had forced the demon out, the man started talking. The crowds were so amazed that they began saying, “Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!”

34But the Pharisees said, “The leader of the demons gives him the power to force out demons.”

Jesus has pity on people

35Jesus went to every town and village. He taught in their meeting places and preached the good news about God's kingdom. Jesus also healed every kind of disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them. They were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37He said to his disciples, “A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. 38Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in.”

Matthew 9:18-38CEVOpen in Bible reader
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