Two Brothers... and Bernard, Part 1

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#272: “Two Brothers... and Bernard, Part 1”
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Genesis 25:20-33:20
20and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.21Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.22The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.23The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."24When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.25The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.26After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.27The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents.28Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.29Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.30He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.)31Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."32"Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"33But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.34Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.==Chapter 26==1Now there was a famine in the land--besides the earlier famine of Abraham's time--and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar.2The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.3Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.4I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,5because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws."6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.7When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, "She is my sister," because he was afraid to say, "She is my wife." He thought, "The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful."8When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.9So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, "She is really your wife! Why did you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac answered him, "Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her."10Then Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us."11So Abimelech gave orders to all the people: "Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death."12Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him.13The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.14He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.15So all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.16Then Abimelech said to Isaac, "Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us."17So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there.18Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.19Isaac's servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there.20But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen and said, "The water is ours!" So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him.21Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.22He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, "Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land."23From there he went up to Beersheba.24That night the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham."25Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.26Meanwhile, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces.27Isaac asked them, "Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?"28They answered, "We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, 'There ought to be a sworn agreement between us'--between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you29that you will do us no harm, just as we did not molest you but always treated you well and sent you away in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD."30Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank.31Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.32That day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, "We've found water!"33He called it Shibah, and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba.34When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite.35They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.==Chapter 27==1When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, "My son." "Here I am," he answered.2Isaac said, "I am now an old man and don't know the day of my death.3Now then, get your weapons--your quiver and bow--and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.4Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die."5Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back,6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau,7'Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.'8Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you:9Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.10Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies."11Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "But my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I'm a man with smooth skin.12What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing."13His mother said to him, "My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me."14So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it.15Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob.16She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins.17Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.18He went to his father and said, "My father." "Yes, my son," he answered. "Who is it?"19Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing."20Isaac asked his son, "How did you find it so quickly, my son?" "The LORD your God gave me success," he replied.21Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not."22Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau."23He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him.24"Are you really my son Esau?" he asked. "I am," he replied.25Then he said, "My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing." Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank.26Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come here, my son, and kiss me."27So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, "Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed.28May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness-- an abundance of grain and new wine.29May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."30After Isaac finished blessing him and Jacob had scarcely left his father's presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting.31He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, "My father, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing."32His father Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" "I am your son," he answered, "your firstborn, Esau."33Isaac trembled violently and said, "Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him--and indeed he will be blessed!"34When Esau heard his father's words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me--me too, my father!"35But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing."36Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob ? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing!" Then he asked, "Haven't you reserved any blessing for me?"37Isaac answered Esau, "I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?"38Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!" Then Esau wept aloud.39His father Isaac answered him, "Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of heaven above.40You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck."41Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob."42When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, "Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you.43Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran.44Stay with him for a while until your brother's fury subsides.45When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I'll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living."==Chapter 28==1So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: "Do not marry a Canaanite woman.2Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother.3May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.4May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham."5Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.6Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, "Do not marry a Canaanite woman,"7and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram.8Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac;9so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.10Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.11When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.12He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.13There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.14Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.15I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."16When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."17He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."18Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.19He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.20Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear21so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God22and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."==Chapter 29==1Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples.2There he saw a well in the field, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large.3When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well's mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.4Jacob asked the shepherds, "My brothers, where are you from?" "We're from Haran," they replied.5He said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?" "Yes, we know him," they answered.6Then Jacob asked them, "Is he well?" "Yes, he is," they said, "and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep."7"Look," he said, "the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture."8"We can't," they replied, "until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep."9While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess.10When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and Laban's sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle's sheep.11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud.12He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.13As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things.14Then Laban said to him, "You are my own flesh and blood." After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month,15Laban said to him, "Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be."16Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.17Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful.18Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, "I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel."19Laban said, "It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me."20So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.21Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her."22So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.23But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her.24And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant.25When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me?"26Laban replied, "It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.27Finish this daughter's bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work."28And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.29Laban gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.30Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.31When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.32Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."33She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon.34Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi.35She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.==Chapter 30==1When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"2Jacob became angry with her and said, "Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?"3Then she said, "Here is Bilhah, my maidservant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and that through her I too can build a family."4So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her,5and she became pregnant and bore him a son.6Then Rachel said, "God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son." Because of this she named him Dan.7Rachel's servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.8Then Rachel said, "I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won." So she named him Naphtali.9When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.10Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son.11Then Leah said, "What good fortune!" So she named him Gad.12Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.13Then Leah said, "How happy I am! The women will call me happy." So she named him Asher.14During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."15But she said to her, "Wasn't it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son's mandrakes too?" "Very well," Rachel said, "he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes."16So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. "You must sleep with me," she said. "I have hired you with my son's mandrakes." So he slept with her that night.17God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son.18Then Leah said, "God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband." So she named him Issachar.19Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son.20Then Leah said, "God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons." So she named him Zebulun.21Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.22Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb.23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, "God has taken away my disgrace."24She named him Joseph, and said, "May the LORD add to me another son."25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland.26Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I've done for you."27But Laban said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you."28He added, "Name your wages, and I will pay them."29Jacob said to him, "You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care.30The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?"31"What shall I give you?" he asked. "Don't give me anything," Jacob replied. "But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them:32Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages.33And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen."34"Agreed," said Laban. "Let it be as you have said."35That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons.36Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban's flocks.37Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.38Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink,39they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.40Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban's animals.41Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches,42but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob.43In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.==Chapter 31==1Jacob heard that Laban's sons were saying, "Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father."2And Jacob noticed that Laban's attitude toward him was not what it had been.3Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you."4So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were.5He said to them, "I see that your father's attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me.6You know that I've worked for your father with all my strength,7yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me.8If he said, 'The speckled ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, 'The streaked ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks bore streaked young.9So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me.10"In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted.11The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.'12And he said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.'"14Then Rachel and Leah replied, "Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father's estate?15Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us.16Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you."17Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels,18and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.19When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father's household gods.20Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away.21So he fled with all he had, and crossing the River, he headed for the hill country of Gilead.22On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled.23Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.24Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, "Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad."25Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too.26Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done? You've deceived me, and you've carried off my daughters like captives in war.27Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn't you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of tambourines and harps?28You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters good-by. You have done a foolish thing.29I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, 'Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.'30Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father's house. But why did you steal my gods?"31Jacob answered Laban, "I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.32But if you find anyone who has your gods, he shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.33So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two maidservants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah's tent, he entered Rachel's tent.34Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel's saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing.35Rachel said to her father, "Don't be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I'm having my period." So he searched but could not find the household gods.36Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. "What is my crime?" he asked Laban. "What sin have I committed that you hunt me down?37Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.38"I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks.39I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night.40This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.41It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you."43Laban answered Jacob, "The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks. All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne?44Come now, let's make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us."45So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.46He said to his relatives, "Gather some stones." So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap.47Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed.48Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me today." That is why it was called Galeed.49It was also called Mizpah, because he said, "May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.50If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me."51Laban also said to Jacob, "Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me.52This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me.53May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us." So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.54He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.55Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.==Chapter 32==1Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.2When Jacob saw them, he said, "This is the camp of God!" So he named that place Mahanaim.3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.4He instructed them: "This is what you are to say to my master Esau: 'Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now.5I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.'"6When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, "We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him."7In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well.8He thought, "If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape."9Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,'10I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups.11Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children.12But you have said, 'I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.'"13He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau:14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,15thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.16He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, "Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds."17He instructed the one in the lead: "When my brother Esau meets you and asks, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?'18then you are to say, 'They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.'"19He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: "You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.20And be sure to say, 'Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.'" For he thought, "I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me."21So Jacob's gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.22That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.23After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.24So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.25When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.26Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."27The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.28Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."29Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.30So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."31The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.32Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.==Chapter 33==1Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two maidservants.2He put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear.3He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.4But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.5Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. "Who are these with you?" he asked. Jacob answered, "They are the children God has graciously given your servant."6Then the maidservants and their children approached and bowed down.7Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down.8Esau asked, "What do you mean by all these droves I met?" "To find favor in your eyes, my lord," he said.9But Esau said, "I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself."10"No, please!" said Jacob. "If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.11Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need." And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.12Then Esau said, "Let us be on our way; I'll accompany you."13But Jacob said to him, "My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die.14So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the droves before me and that of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir."15Esau said, "Then let me leave some of my men with you." "But why do that?" Jacob asked. "Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord."16So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir.17Jacob, however, went to Succoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Succoth.18After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city.19For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent.20There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.

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Two Brothers... and Bernard, Part 1

“Two Brothers... and Bernard, Part 1” is episode #272 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on June 11, 1994.

Summary

Bernard tells the story of Jacob and Esau – and the cunning deceit that nearly destroyed the brothers. (Part 1 of 2)

Plot

Erica Clark is having trouble with her little sister, Hayley. Bernard Walton tells Erica the story of a real sibling rivalry, one of the greatest in history, in fact, between twin brothers named Esau and Jacob. It's a story filled with treachery, jealousy, thievery, hatred, thoughts of murder, and, ultimately, brotherly love. Read all about it in Genesis!

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. What did God mean when He told Rebekah that "two nations struggle in her womb"?
  2. What is a birthright?
  3. Why was a father's blessing so important?
  4. Why didn't Esau kill Jacob like he vowed?

Cast

Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Bernard Walton Dave Madden
Erica Clark Erin Love
Esau Brian Cummings
God Brian Cummings
Isaac Kenneth Mars
Jacob Corey Burton
Midian Phil Lollar
Rebekah Flo Di Re
Rebekah's servant Unknown

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Hayley Clark Erica Clark


Notes

Trivia
  • When Jacob is bargaining with Esau for the stew, he quotes almost word for word the dialogue from The Little Mermaid when Ursula asks for Ariel's voice. Incidentally, Kenneth Mars (who portrays Isaac in this episode) also provided the voice of Ariel’s father, King Triton.

Quotes

Bernard Walton: You mean to tell me you've never heard the story of Jacob and Esau?
Erica Clark: Will I get in trouble if I say no?
Bernard Walton: No.
Erica Clark: No.
Bernard Walton: And they wonder why society is going down the tubes.


Erica Clark: Who cares? He gave away wealth and power for a little bit of stew. What was he? Nuts?
Bernard Walton: Well, it might seem that way, but the Bible puts it differently. It says Esau despised his birthright.
Erica Clark: What does that mean?
Bernard Walton: Well, he didn't have much respect for his family. And he made it even more clear when he went out and married two women his parents didn't approve of.
Erica Clark: Two women? I thought that was illegal!


Erica Clark: So Rebekah came through again. Pretty sneaky.
Bernard Walton: Maybe. But you need to understand that none of this happened by chance.
Erica Clark: It didn't?
Bernard Walton: Nope, there was a greater power working here. The Lord God.


Erica Clark: Can I have that piece of pie now?
Bernard Walton: Sell me your birthright for it?
Erica Clark: No way!
Bernard Walton: Good girl. Take it.


Bernard Walton: Kids never watch the bucket.