There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; settle down in the land that I will point out to you. 3 Stay in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will fulfill the solemn promise I made to your father Abraham. 4 I will multiply your descendants so they will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants. 5 All this will come to pass because Abraham obeyed me and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” 6 So Isaac settled in Gerar.
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself, “The men of this place will kill me to get Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”
8 After Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac replied, “Because I thought someone might kill me to get her.”
10 Then Abimelech exclaimed, “What in the world have you done to us? One of the men might easily have had sexual relations with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!” 11 So Abimelech commanded all the people, “Whoever touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
12 When Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became wealthy. His influence continued to grow until he became very prominent. 14 He had so many sheep and cattle and such a great household of servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15 So the Philistines took dirt and filled up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham.
16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us and go elsewhere, for you have become much more powerful than we are.” 17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham died. Isaac gave these wells the same names his father had given them.
19 When Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing water there, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac named the well Esek because they argued with him about it. 21 His servants dug another well, but they quarreled over it too, so Isaac named it Sitnah. 22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac named it Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in the land.”
23 From there Isaac went up to Beer Sheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.
26 Now Abimelech had come to him from Gerar along with Ahuzzah his friend and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me and sent me away from you.” 28 They replied, “We could plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we decided there should be a pact between us – between us and you. Allow us to make a treaty with you 29 so that you will not do us any harm, just as we have not harmed you, but have always treated you well before sending you away in peace. Now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30 So Isaac held a feast for them and they celebrated. 31 Early in the morning the men made a treaty with each other. Isaac sent them off; they separated on good terms.
32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported. 33 So he named it Shibah; that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba to this day.
34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They caused Isaac and Rebekah great anxiety.
When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he was almost blind, he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son!” “Here I am!” Esau replied. 2 Isaac said, “Since I am so old, I could die at any time. 3 Therefore, take your weapons – your quiver and your bow – and go out into the open fields and hunt down some wild game for me. 4 Then prepare for me some tasty food, the kind I love, and bring it to me. Then I will eat it so that I may bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah had been listening while Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau went out to the open fields to hunt down some wild game and bring it back, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father tell your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare for me some tasty food. Then I will eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before I die.’ 8 Now then, my son, do exactly what I tell you! 9 Go to the flock and get me two of the best young goats. I’ll prepare them in a tasty way for your father, just the way he loves them. 10 Then you will take it to your father. Thus he will eat it and bless you before he dies.”
11 “But Esau my brother is a hairy man,” Jacob protested to his mother Rebekah, “and I have smooth skin! 12 My father may touch me! Then he’ll think I’m mocking him and I’ll bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing.” 13 So his mother told him, “Any curse against you will fall on me, my son! Just obey me! Go and get them for me!”
14 So he went and got the goats and brought them to his mother. She prepared some tasty food, just the way his father loved it. 15 Then Rebekah took her older son Esau’s best clothes, which she had with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She put the skins of the young goats on his hands and the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed the tasty food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.
18 He went to his father and said, “My father!” Isaac replied, “Here I am. Which are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I’ve done as you told me. Now sit up and eat some of my wild game so that you can bless me.” 20 But Isaac asked his son, “How in the world did you find it so quickly, my son?” “Because the Lord your God brought it to me,” he replied. 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you, my son, and know for certain if you really are my son Esau.” 22 So Jacob went over to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s.” 23 He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy, like his brother Esau’s hands. So Isaac blessed Jacob. 24 Then he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” “I am,” Jacob replied. 25 Isaac said, “Bring some of the wild game for me to eat, my son. Then I will bless you.” So Jacob brought it to him, and he ate it. He also brought him wine, and Isaac drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” 27 So Jacob went over and kissed him. When Isaac caught the scent of his clothing, he blessed him, saying,
“Yes, my son smells
like the scent of an open field
which the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you
the dew of the sky
and the richness of the earth,
and plenty of grain and new wine.
29 May peoples serve you
and nations bow down to you.
You will be lord over your brothers,
and the sons of your mother will bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed,
and those who bless you be blessed.”
30 Isaac had just finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, when his brother Esau returned from the hunt. 31 He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Esau said to him, “My father, get up and eat some of your son’s wild game. Then you can bless me.” 32 His father Isaac asked, “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,” he replied, “Esau!” 33 Isaac began to shake violently and asked, “Then who else hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it just before you arrived, and I blessed him. He will indeed be blessed!”
34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly. He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 35 But Isaac replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away your blessing.” 36 Esau exclaimed, “‘Jacob’ is the right name for him! He has tripped me up two times! He took away my birthright, and now, look, he has taken away my blessing!” Then he asked, “Have you not kept back a blessing for me?”
37 Isaac replied to Esau, “Look! I have made him lord over you. I have made all his relatives his servants and provided him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only that one blessing, my father? Bless me too!” Then Esau wept loudly.
39 So his father Isaac said to him,
“Indeed, your home will be
away from the richness of the earth,
and away from the dew of the sky above.
40 You will live by your sword
but you will serve your brother.
When you grow restless,
you will tear off his yoke
from your neck.”
41 So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing his father had given to his brother. Esau said privately, “The time of mourning for my father is near; then I will kill my brother Jacob!”
42 When Rebekah heard what her older son Esau had said, she quickly summoned her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is planning to get revenge by killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say. Run away immediately to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 Live with him for a little while until your brother’s rage subsides. 45 Stay there until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I’ll send someone to bring you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am deeply depressed because of these daughters of Heth. If Jacob were to marry one of these daughters of Heth who live in this land, I would want to die!”
So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman! 2 Leave immediately for Paddan Aram! Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and find yourself a wife there, among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May the sovereign God bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants! Then you will become a large nation. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing he gave to Abraham so that you may possess the land God gave to Abraham, the land where you have been living as a temporary resident.” 5 So Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean and brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan Aram to find a wife there. As he blessed him, Isaac commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” 7 Jacob obeyed his father and mother and left for Paddan Aram. 8 Then Esau realized that the Canaanite women were displeasing to his father Isaac. 9 So Esau went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, along with the wives he already had.
10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beer Sheba and set out for Haran. 11 He reached a certain place where he decided to camp because the sun had gone down. He took one of the stones and placed it near his head. Then he fell asleep in that place 12 and had a dream. He saw a stairway erected on the earth with its top reaching to the heavens. The angels of God were going up and coming down it 13 and the Lord stood at its top. He said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the ground you are lying on. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west, east, north, and south. All the families of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using your name and that of your descendants. 15 I am with you! I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you!”
16 Then Jacob woke up and thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, but I did not realize it!” 17 He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! This is nothing else than the house of God! This is the gate of heaven!”
18 Early in the morning Jacob took the stone he had placed near his head and set it up as a sacred stone. Then he poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, although the former name of the town was Luz. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God is with me and protects me on this journey I am taking and gives me food to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will become my God. 22 Then this stone that I have set up as a sacred stone will be the house of God, and I will surely give you back a tenth of everything you give me.”