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Old Testament:  Genesis 27-28

Genesis 27

Jacob Steals Esau's Blessing
 1  One day when Isaac was old and turning blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, "My son."
  "Yes, Father?" Esau replied.
   2  "I am an old man now," Isaac said, "and I don't know when I may die.  3  Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me.  4  "Prepare my favorite dish, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die."    5  But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game,  6  she said to her son Jacob, "Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau,  7  `Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the LORD's presence before I die.'  8  Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you.  9  Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I'll use them to prepare your father's favorite dish.  10  Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies."
   11  "But look," Jacob replied to Rebekah, "my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth.  12  What if my father touches me? He'll see that I'm trying to trick him, and then he'll curse me instead of blessing me."
   13  But his mother replied, "Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!"
   14  So Jacob went out and got the young goats for his mother. Rebekah took them and prepared a delicious meal, just the way Isaac liked it.  15  Then she took Esau's favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob.  16  She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats.  17  Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread.
   18  So Jacob took the food to his father. "My father?" he said.
  "Yes, my son," Isaac answered. "Who are you—Esau or Jacob?"
   19  Jacob replied, "It's Esau, your firstborn son. I've done as you told me. Here is the wild game. Now sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing."
   20  Isaac asked, "How did you find it so quickly, my son?"
  "The LORD your God put it in my path!" Jacob replied.
   21  Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau."  22  So Jacob went closer to his father, and Isaac touched him. "The voice is Jacob's, but the hands are Esau's," Isaac said.  23  But he did not recognize Jacob, because Jacob's hands felt hairy just like Esau's. So Isaac prepared to bless Jacob.  24  "But are you really my son Esau?" he asked.
  "Yes, I am," Jacob replied.
   25  Then Isaac said, "Now, my son, bring me the wild game. Let me eat it, and then I will give you my blessing." So Jacob took the food to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him.  26  Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come a little closer and kiss me, my son."
   27  So Jacob went over and kissed him. And when Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son. He said, "Ah! The smell of my son is like the smell of the outdoors, which the LORD has blessed!

 28  "From the dew of heaven
  and the richness of the earth,
may God always give you abundant harvests of grain
  and bountiful new wine.
 29  May many nations become your servants,
  and may they bow down to you.
May you be the master over your brothers,
  and may your mother's sons bow down to you.
All who curse you will be cursed,
  and all who bless you will be blessed."

   30  As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunt.  31  Esau prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father. Then he said, "Sit up, my father, and eat my wild game so you can give me your blessing."
   32  But Isaac asked him, "Who are you?"
  Esau replied, "It's your son, your firstborn son, Esau."
   33  Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, "Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!"
   34  When Esau heard his father's words, he let out a loud and bitter cry. "Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!" he begged.
   35  But Isaac said, "Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing."
   36  Esau exclaimed, "No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice. [36]  First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Oh, haven't you saved even one blessing for me?"
   37  Isaac said to Esau, "I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?"
   38  Esau pleaded, "But do you have only one blessing? Oh my father, bless me, too!" Then Esau broke down and wept.
   39  Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him,

"You will live away from the richness of the earth,
  and away from the dew of the heaven above.
 40  You will live by your sword,
  and you will serve your brother.
But when you decide to break free,
  you will shake his yoke from your neck."

Jacob Flees to Paddan-Aram
 41  From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: "I will soon be mourning my father's death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob."
   42  But Rebekah heard about Esau's plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, "Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you.  43  So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran.  44  Stay there with him until your brother cools off.  45  When he calms down and forgets what you have done to him, I will send for you to come back. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"
   46  Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them."

Genesis 28

 1  So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, "You must not marry any of these Canaanite women.  2  Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of your uncle Laban's daughters.  3  May God Almighty [3]  bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants multiply and become many nations!  4  May God pass on to you and your descendants [4]  the blessings he promised to Abraham. May you own this land where you are now living as a foreigner, for God gave this land to Abraham."
   5  So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to stay with his uncle Laban, his mother's brother, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.
   6  Esau knew that his father, Isaac, had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife, and that he had warned Jacob, "You must not marry a Canaanite woman."  7  He also knew that Jacob had obeyed his parents and gone to Paddan-aram.  8  It was now very clear to Esau that his father did not like the local Canaanite women.  9  So Esau visited his uncle Ishmael's family and married one of Ishmael's daughters, in addition to the wives he already had. His new wife's name was Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son.

Jacob's Dream at Bethel
 10  Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran.  11  At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep.  12  As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
   13  At the top of the stairway stood the LORD, and he said, "I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants.  14  Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants.  15  What's more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you."
   16  Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn't even aware of it!"  17  But he was also afraid and said, "What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!"
   18  The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it.  19  He named that place Bethel (which means "house of God"), although it was previously called Luz.
   20  Then Jacob made this vow: "If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing,  21  and if I return safely to my father's home, then the LORD will certainly be my God.  22  And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me."
<<  27:36 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew words for "heel" and "deceiver."
<<  28:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai.
<<  28:4 Hebrew seed; also in 28:13, 14.

New Testament:  Matthew 8:18-34

Matthew 8 : 18-34

The Cost of Following Jesus
 18  When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.
   19  Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."    20  But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man [20]  has no place even to lay his head."
   21  Another of his disciples said, "Lord, first let me return home and bury my father."
   22  But Jesus told him, "Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead. [22] "

Jesus Calms the Storm
 23  Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples.  24  Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  25  The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
   26  Jesus responded, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!" Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.    27  The disciples were amazed. "Who is this man?" they asked. "Even the winds and waves obey him!"

Jesus Heals Two Demon-Possessed Men
 28  When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, [28]  two men who were possessed by demons met him. They lived in a cemetery and were so violent that no one could go through that area.
   29  They began screaming at him, "Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God's appointed time?"
   30  There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance.  31  So the demons begged, "If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs."
   32  "All right, go!" Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.
   33  The herdsmen fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men.  34  Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.
<<  8:20 "Son of Man" is a title Jesus used for himself.
<<  8:22 Greek Let the dead bury their own dead.
<<  8:28 Other manuscripts read Gerasenes; still others read Gergesenes. Compare Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26.

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