(from One New Man Bible translated by William Morford)

Vayeitsei

Jacob’s Ladder

28:10. And Jacob went out from Beer-Sheba and went toward Haran. 11. And he lighted upon a certain place and tarried there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12. And he dreamed, and there was   a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven and, behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13. And, behold, the LORD* stood above it and said, “I AM the LORD*, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac: the land on which you are lying, to you will I give it, and to your seed. 14. And your seed will be as the dust of the earth and you will break out to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south: (Mic. 2:13) and in you and in your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed. 15. And, behold, I AM with you and will keep you in all places where you go and will bring you again into this land. I will not leave you until I have done that which I have spoken about to you.”

28:16. And Jacob awakened from his sleep and he said, “Surely the LORD* is in this place, but I did not know it.” 17. And he was in awe and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other but the House of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

28:18. And Jacob rose up early in the morning and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 19. And he called the name of that place Beit-El, but the name of that city was Luz at the first. 20. And Jacob vowed a vow saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I am going and will give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21. so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD* will be my God: 22. and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, will be God’s House: and of all that you will give me I shall surely give the tenth to You.”

Jacob Meets His Brides

29.1. Then Jacob went on his journey and came into the land of the people of the east. 2. And he looked and there was a well in the field and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it, because they watered the flocks out of that well and a great stone was upon the mouth of the well. 3. And all the flocks were gathered there and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the sheep, and put the stone over the well’s mouth again in its place. 4. And Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.” 5. And he said to them, “Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know him.” 6. And he said to them, “Is he well?” And they said, “He is well. And, look, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep.” 7. And he said, “Look, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together. Water your sheep and go feed them.”

8. And they said, “We cannot, until all the flocks are gathered together and until they roll the stone from the well’s mouth, then we water the sheep.”

29:9. And while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10. And it happened, when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11. And Jacob kissed Rachel and lifted up his voice and wept. 12. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman and that he was Rebeccah’s son. Then she ran and told her father.

29:13. And it was when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son that he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 14. And Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him the space of a month.

29:15. And Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me what your wages will be.” 16. And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17. And Leah’s eyes were tender and Rachel was beautiful and well favored. 18. And Jacob loved Rachel and said, “I shall serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.” 19. And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man: stay with me.”

29:20. And Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days, because of the love he had for her. 21. And Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, so I may go in to her.” 22. And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast.

Leah Subs for Rachel

29:23. And it was in the evening that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to him, and he went in to her. 24. And Laban gave Zilpah his maid for a handmaid to his daughter Leah. 25. And it happened that in the morning, behold! It was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?” 26. And Laban said, “It must not be done this way in our country to give the younger before the firstborn. 27. Fulfill her week and we will give you this one also for the service, which you will serve with me yet another seven years.”

Rachel Weds Jacob

29:28. And Jacob did so and fulfilled her week, then he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. 29. And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. 30. And he went in also to Rachel and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

29:31. And when the LORD* saw that Leah was loved less, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben for she said, “Surely the LORD* has looked upon my affliction. Now therefore my husband will love me.” 33. And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the LORD* has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this son also and she called his name Simeon (Shimon).” 34. And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.” 35. And she conceived again and bore a son and she said, “Now I shall praise the LORD*.” Therefore she called his name Judah (Y’hudah) and she left off bearing.

Jacob is Blessed

30.1. And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I am dead.” 2. And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel and he said, “Am I in God’s stead? Who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3. And she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah, go in to her and she will bear upon my knees, so I may also have children by her.” 4. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid for a wife and Jacob went in to her. 5. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6. And Rachel said, “God has judged me and has also heard my voice, and has given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. 7. And Bilhah Rachel’s maid conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8. And Rachel said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed.” And she called his name Naphtali.  9. When Leah saw that she had left off bearing she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob for a wife. 10. And Zilpah Leah’s maid bore Jacob a son. 11. And Leah said, “A troop comes.” And she called his name Gad. 12. And Zilpah, Leah’s maid, bore Jacob a second son. 13. And Leah said, “Happy am I, for the daughters will call me happy.” And she called his name Asher.

30:14. And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Give me, please, some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15. And she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken my husband? And would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” And Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.” 16. And Jacob came out of the field in the evening and Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for surely I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” And he lay with her that night. 17. And God hearkened to Leah and she conceived and bore Jacob the fifth son. 18. And Leah said, “God has given me my reward, because I have given my maiden to my husband.” And she called his name Issachar. 19. And Leah conceived again and bore Jacob the sixth son. 20. And Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good dowry. Now my husband will stay with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.

21. And afterwards she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.

30:22. And God remembered Rachel and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 23. And she conceived and bore a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24. And she called his name Joseph (Yosef) and said, “The LORD* will add another son to me.” 25. And it was, when Rachel had borne Joseph that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, so I can go to my own place, and to my country. 26. Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you and let me go, for you know my service, what I have done for you.” 27. And Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, for I have divined that the LORD* has blessed me because of you. 28. And he said, Tell me your earnings and I shall give it.” 29. And he said to him, “You know how I have worked for you, and how your cattle were with me. 30. For you had little before I came, and it has increased richly and the LORD* has blessed you since my coming, and now when will I also provide for my own house?” 31. And he said, “What will I give you?” And Jacob said, “You will not give me anything, if you will do this thing for me, I shall again feed and keep your flock. 32. I shall pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown ones among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and of such will be my wage. 33. So my acts of loving kindness will answer for me in time to come, when it will come for my pay before your face. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and brown among the sheep, that one will be counted stolen by me.” 34. And Laban said, “Behold, surely it will be according to your word.” 35. And he, Laban, removed that day the he goats that were ring-streaked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and each one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36. And he set three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob tended the rest of Laban’s flocks.

30:37. And Jacob took for himself sticks of green poplar and of the hazel and chestnut tree, and peeled white streaks in them and made the white appear which was in the sticks. 38. And he set the sticks which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, so they would conceive when they came to drink. 39. And the flocks conceived in front of the sticks and brought forth ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted cattle. 40. And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the ring-streaked and all the brown in the flock of Laban, and he put his own flocks by themselves and did not put them by Laban’s cattle. 41. And it was, whenever the stronger cattle conceived, that Jacob laid the sticks before the eyes of the cattle in the troughs, so they would conceive among the sticks. 42. But when the cattle were feeble, he did not put them in, so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43. And the man increased exceedingly and had many cattle and maid servants and men servants, and camels and donkeys.

Jacob and Family Return

31.1. And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and of that which was our father’s he has gotten all this wealth.” 2. And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban and, behold, it was not toward him as before. 3. And the LORD* said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I shall be with you.” 4. And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field to his flock, 5. and said to them, “I see that your father’s countenance is nottoward me as before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6. And you know that I have served your father with all my power. 7. And your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me. 8. If he would say, ‘The speckled will be your wages,’ then the whole flock bore speckled, and if he would say, ‘The ring-streaked will be your pay,’ then the whole flock bore ring-streaked. 9. Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me. 10. And it was at the time that the livestock conceived, that I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the sheep were ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11. And the angel of God spoke to me in a dream, ‘Jacob!’ And I said, ‘Here I am.12. And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the rams which leap upon the flock are ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted, for I have seen all that Laban does to you. 13. I AM the God of Beit-El, where you anointed the pillar, where you vowed a vow to Me. Now arise! Get out from this land! Return to the land of your kindred!’” 14. And Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there still any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15. Are we not counted by him as strangers? For he has sold us and has also quite devoured our money. 16. For all the riches which God has taken from our father, that is ours, and our children’s: now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

31:17. Then Jacob rose and set his sons and his wives upon camels. 18. And he carried away all his cattle and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle in his possession, which he had gotten in Padan-Aram, in order to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan. 19. And Laban went to shear his sheep and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s. 20. And Jacob stole away unaware to Laban the Aramean, in that he did not tell him that he fled. 21. So he fled with all that he had and he rose up and crossed the river and set his face toward Mount Gilead. 22. And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled. 23. So he took his brothers with him and pursued after him seven days’ journey, and they overtook him on Mount Gilead. 24. And God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night, and said to him, “Take heed that you do not speak either good or bad to Jacob.”

31:25. Then Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent on the mountain and Laban pitched with his brothers on Mount Gilead. 26. And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have stolen away unawares to me and carried away my daughters, like captives taken with the sword? 27. Why did you flee away secretly and steal away from me and did not tell me, so I could have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp? 28. And you did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? You have now done foolishly in so doing. 29. It is in the power of my hand to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night saying, ‘Take care that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad.’ 30. And now, though you have gone because you very much long after your father’s house, but why have you stolen my gods?” 31. And Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Perhaps you would take your daughters from me by force.’ 32. With whomever you find your gods, let him not live! Discern for yourself in the presence of our brothers what is yours with me, and take what is yours.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. 33. And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, into the two maid servants’ tents, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34. Now Rachel had taken the images and put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat upon them. And Laban searched the entire tent, but did not find them. 35. And she said to her father, “Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise before you, for the custom of women is upon me.” And he searched, but did not find the images. 36. And Jacob was very angry, and quarreled with Laban. And Jacob answered and said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have so hotly pursued after me?  37. Now that you have searched all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my brothers and your brothers so they may judge between us both. 38. These twenty years I have been with you, your ewes and your she-goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flock. 39. That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it, of my hand did you require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. 40. Thus I was in the day the drought consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from my eyes. 41. I have thus been twenty years in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your cattle, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac had been with me; surely you would have sent me away now empty. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and He judged last night.”

31:43. And Laban answered and said to Jacob, “These daughters are my daughters and these children are my children and these cattle are my cattle and all that you see is mine. What can I do this day to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne? 44. Now therefore come, let us make a covenant, I and you and let it be for a witness between me and you.” 45. And Jacob took a stone and set it up like a pillar. 46. And Jacob said to his (Laban’s) brothers, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there upon the heap. 47. And Laban called it Jegar-sahaduta, but Jacob called it Galeed. 48. And Laban said, “This heap is a witness between me and you this day.” Therefore the name of it was called Galeed. 49. And Mizpah, for he said, “The LORD* watch between me and you, even when we are absent one from another. 50. If you will afflict my daughters, or if you will take other wives besides my daughters, no man is with us: see, God is witness between me and you.” 51. And Laban said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold this pillar, which I have cast between me and you. 52. This heap is a witness and this pillar is a witness that I shall not pass over this heap to you, and that you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me for harm. 53. The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor judge between us, the God of their father.” And Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac. 54.Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and called Laban’s brothers to eat bread, and they ate bread and tarried all night on the mountain.

Laban Returns

32.1. And early in the morning Laban rose up and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. And Laban departed and returned to his place. 2. And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 3. And when Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.,

Next week’s Torah readings: Vayishlakh

(from One New Man Bible translated by William Morford)

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