31Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, Jacob has taken all that was our fathers; he has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father. 2And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him as favourably as he did before. 3Then the Lord said to Jacob, Return to the land of your ancestors and to your kindred, and I will be with you. 4So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was, 5and said to them, I see that your father does not regard me as favourably as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I have served your father with all my strength; 7yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not permit him to harm me. 8If he said, The speckled shall be your wages, then all the flock bore speckled; and if he said, The striped shall be your wages, then all the flock bore striped. 9Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father, and given them to me.
10 During the mating of the flock I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats that leaped upon the flock were striped, speckled, and mottled. 11Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, Jacob, and I said, Here I am! 12And he said, Look up and see that all the goats that leap on the flock are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel,* where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and return to the land of your birth. 14Then Rachel and Leah answered him, Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our fathers house? 15Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has been using up the money given for us. 16All the property that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you.
17 So Jacob arose, and set his children and his wives on camels; 18and he drove away all his livestock, all the property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
19 Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her fathers household gods. 20And Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean, in that he did not tell him that he intended to flee. 21So he fled with all that he had; starting out he crossed the Euphrates,* and set his face towards the hill country of Gilead.
22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23So he took his kinsfolk with him and pursued him for seven days until he caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night, and said to him, Take heed that you say not a word to Jacob, either good or bad.
25 Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsfolk camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26Laban said to Jacob, What have you done? You have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword. 27Why did you flee secretly and deceive me and not tell me? I would have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre. 28And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? What you have done is foolish. 29It is in my power to do you harm; but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, Take heed that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad. 30Even though you had to go because you longed greatly for your fathers house, why did you steal my gods? 31Jacob answered Laban, Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32But anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsfolk, point out what I have that is yours, and take it. Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.*
33 So Laban went into Jacobs tent, and into Leahs tent, and into the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leahs tent, and entered Rachels. 34Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camels saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt all about in the tent, but did not find them. 35And she said to her father, Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me. So he searched, but did not find the household gods.
36 Then Jacob became angry, and upbraided Laban. Jacob said to Laban, What is my offence? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37Although you have felt about through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsfolk and your kinsfolk, so that they may decide between us two. 38These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39That which was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself; of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40It was like this with me: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you for fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear* of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked you last night.
43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about their children whom they have borne? 44Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be a witness between you and me. 45So Jacob took a stone, and set it up as a pillar. 46And Jacob said to his kinsfolk, Gather stones, and they took stones, and made a heap; and they ate there by the heap. 47Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha:* but Jacob called it Galeed.* 48Laban said, This heap is a witness between you and me today. Therefore he called it Galeed, 49and the pillar* Mizpah,* for he said, The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent one from the other. 50If you ill-treat my daughters, or if you take wives in addition to my daughters, though no one else is with us, remember that God is witness between you and me.
51 Then Laban said to Jacob, See this heap and see the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass beyond this heap to you, and you will not pass beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahorthe God of their fatherjudge between us. So Jacob swore by the Fear* of his father Isaac, 54and Jacob offered a sacrifice on the height and called his kinsfolk to eat bread; and they ate bread and tarried all night in the hill country.
32Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; 2and when Jacob saw them he said, This is Gods camp! So he called that place Mahanaim.*
3 Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4instructing them, Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, I have lived with Laban as an alien, and stayed until now; 5and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female slaves; and I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favour in your sight.
6 The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him. 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies, 8thinking, If Esau comes to one company and destroys it, then the company that is left will escape.
9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will do you good, 10I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies. 11Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children. 12Yet you have said, I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of their number.
13 So he spent that night there, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty milch camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16These he delivered into the hand of his servants, each drove by itself, and said to his servants, Pass on ahead of me, and put a space between drove and drove. 17He instructed the foremost, When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you? 18then you shall say, They belong to your servant Jacob; they are a present sent to my lord Esau; and moreover he is behind us. 19He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, You shall say the same thing to Esau when you meet him, 20and you shall say, Moreover your servant Jacob is behind us. For he thought, I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterwards I shall see his face; perhaps he will accept me. 21So the present passed on ahead of him; and he himself spent that night in the camp.
22 The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacobs hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, Let me go, for the day is breaking. But Jacob said, I will not let you go, unless you bless me. 27So he said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob. 28Then the man* said, You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,* for you have striven with God and with humans,* and have prevailed. 29Then Jacob asked him, Please tell me your name. But he said, Why is it that you ask my name? And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel,* saying, For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved. 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.
33Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said, Who are these with you? Jacob said, The children whom God has graciously given your servant. 6Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down; 7Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down; and finally Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8Esau said, What do you mean by all this company that I met? Jacob answered, To find favour with my lord. 9But Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself. 10Jacob said, No, please; if I find favour with you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of Godsince you have received me with such favour. 11Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have everything I want. So he urged him, and he took it.
12 Then Esau said, Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you. 13But Jacob said to him, My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me; and if they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die. 14Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.
15 So Esau said, Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me. But he said, Why should my lord be so kind to me? 16So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17But Jacob journeyed to Succoth,* and built himself a house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore the place is called Succoth.
18 Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram; and he camped before the city. 19And from the sons of Hamor, Shechems father, he bought for one hundred pieces of money* the plot of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.*
1 In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
Flee like a bird to the mountains;*
2 for look, the wicked bend the bow,
they have fitted their arrow to the string,
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
3 If the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?
4 The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lords throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
and his soul hates the lover of violence.
6 On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulphur;
a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.
11Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah* was doing, he sent word by his* disciples 3and said to him, Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another? 4Jesus answered them, Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers* are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.
7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?
8What then did you go out to see? Someone* dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces.
9What then did you go out to see? A prophet?* Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10This is the one about whom it is written,
See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.
11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,* and the violent take it by force. 13For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; 14and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15Let anyone with ears* listen!
16 But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,
17 We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners! Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.*
20 Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent.
21Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22But I tell you, on the day of judgement it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
23And you, Capernaum,
will you be exalted to heaven?
No, you will be brought down to Hades.
For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I tell you that on the day of judgement it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.
25 At that time Jesus said, I thank* you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.* 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011