Weekly Bible Reading
Parashat Vayishlach | Gen. 32:4(3)-36:43
Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
4Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom.
5He also commanded them saying, “This is what you should say to my lord, to Esau: ‘This is what your servant Jacob said: I’ve been staying with Laban, and have lingered until now.
6Now I’ve come to possess oxen and donkeys, flocks, male servants and female servants. I sent word to tell my lord, in order to find favor in your eyes.’”
7The messengers returned to Jacob saying, “We went to your brother, to Esau, and he’s also coming out to meet you—and 400 men with him.”
8So Jacob became extremely afraid and distressed. He divided the people with him, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps,
9for he thought, “If Esau comes to one camp and strikes it, the camp that’s left will escape.”
10Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, Adonai, who said to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will do good with you.’
11I am unworthy of all the proofs of mercy and of all the dependability that you have shown to your servant. For with only my staff I crossed over this Jordan, and now I’ve become two camps.
12Deliver me, please, from my brother’s hand, from Esau’s hand, for I’m afraid of him that he’ll come and strike me—the mothers with the children.
13You Yourself said, ‘I will most certainly do good with you, and will make your seed like the sand of the sea that cannot be counted because of its abundance.’”
14So he stayed overnight there. Then from all that had come into his possession he took an offering for Esau his brother:
15 200 female goats, 20 billy goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams,
16 30 milking camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 male donkeys.
17He put them in the hands of his servants, each herd by itself, and he said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and put a gap between each of the herds.”
18Then he commanded the first one saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do all these before you belong?’
19then you are to say, ‘To your servant, to Jacob—it’s an offering sent to my lord, to Esau. And look, he’s also behind us.’”
20And he also commanded the second one, the third one, and all those who were going behind the flocks, saying, “Say the same exact thing to Esau when you find him.
21Then you are to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is also behind us.’” For he thought, “Let me appease him with the offering that goes ahead of me, and afterward see his face, perhaps he’ll lift up my face.”
22So the offering passed over ahead of him, while he spent that night in the camp.
23Then he got up that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of the Jabbok.
24He took them and sent them across the stream, and he sent across whatever he had.
Jacob Wrestles With God
25So Jacob remained all by himself. Then a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.
26When He saw that He had not overcome him, He struck the socket of his hip, so He dislocated the socket of Jacob’s hip when He wrestled with him.
27Then He said, “Let Me go, for the dawn has broken.” But he said, “I won’t let You go unless You bless me.”
28Then He said to him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he said.
29Then He said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but rather Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men, and you have overcome.”
30Then Jacob asked and said, “Please tell me Your name.” But He said, “What’s this—you are asking My name?” Then He blessed him there.
31So Jacob named the place Peniel, “for I’ve seen God face to face, and my life has been spared.”
32Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed by Peniel—limping because of his hip.
33That is why the children of Israel do not eat the tendon of the hip socket, to this very day, because He struck the socket of Jacob’s thigh on the tendon of the hip.
Jacob Meets Esau
1Then Jacob glanced up and saw, behold, there was Esau coming—and 400 men with him. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants.
2He put the female servants and their children first, then Leah and her children behind them, then Rachel and Joseph behind them.
3But he himself passed on ahead of them, and bowed to the ground seven times until he came near to his brother.
4But Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, fell on his neck and kissed him—and they wept.
5His eyes glanced up and he saw the women and the children, and said, “Who are these with you?” “The children whom God has graciously given your servant,” he said.
6Then the female servants approached, they and their children, and bowed down.
7Leah also approached, along with her children, and they bowed down, and finally, Joseph and Rachel approached and bowed down.
8“What do you mean by this whole caravan that I’ve met?” So he said, “To find favor in your eyes, my lord.”
9But Esau said, “I have plenty! O my brother, do keep all that belongs to you.”
10Yet Jacob said, “No, please! If I have found favor in your eyes, then you will take my offering from my hand. For this is the reason I’ve seen your face—it is like seeing the face of God—and you’ve accepted me!
11Please, take my blessing that was brought to you, because God has been gracious to me, and because I have everything.” So he kept urging him until he accepted.
12Then he said, “Let’s journey and be on our way, and I’ll go ahead of you.
13He continued, “My lord knows that the children are tender, and that the flocks and the cattle in my care are nursing. So if they were pushed hard just one day, all the flocks would die.
14Please, let my lord pass on ahead of your servant, and I’ll move on further gradually, at a pace suited to the livestock that are before me and at a pace suited to the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
15Then Esau said, “Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What’s this? Let me find favor in my lord’s eyes.”
16So on that day Esau returned on his way to Seir,
17but Jacob journeyed to Sukkot and built a house for himself, and for his livestock he made booths. That is the reason that place is called Sukkot.
18So Jacob arrived in shalom to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram, and camped right in front of the city.
19He purchased the portion of the field there where he had pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for 100 pieces of money.
20There he set up an altar, and he called it, El is Israel’s God.
Dinah Defiled by Shechem
1Now Dinah, Leah’s daughter whom she bore for Jacob, went out to look at the daughters of the land.
2When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her and raped her.
3But his soul clung to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, and he loved the young woman and spoke reassuringly to the young woman.
4So Shechem said to his father Hamor saying, “Get me this girl for a wife.”
5Now Jacob had heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah while his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob kept quiet until they came in.
6Meanwhile Shechem’s father Hamor went out to Jacob in order to speak with him.
7Jacob’s sons had already come in from the field when they heard, and the men were deeply grieved and furious, because he had committed a vile deed in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, which ought never to be done.
8But Hamor spoke with them saying, “My son Shechem—he’s very attached to your daughter. Please give her to him for a wife.
9Intermarry with us. You can give your daughters to us, and you can take our daughters for yourselves.
10You can live with us, and the land will be open to you: live in it, move about freely in it, and settle down in it.”
11Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Would that I find favor in your eyes! Whatever you say to me I’ll give.
12Set the dowry and the presents as high as you like and I’ll give whatever you say to me. But give me the young woman as a wife.”
13But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully as they spoke, because he had defiled their sister Dinah.
14They said to them, “We can’t do this thing—give our sister to a man who is uncircumcised—for this is a disgrace to us.
15Only by this will we consent to you: if you will become like us, by circumcising every male.
16Then we’ll give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves, and live with you, and become one people.
17But if you don’t listen to us and be circumcised, we’ll take our daughter and leave.”
18Now their words seemed good to Hamor as well as Hamor’s son Shechem.
19So the young man did not hesitate to do it, since he delighted in Jacob’s daughter. Now he was honored above everyone else in his father’s house.
20So Hamor and his son Shechem came into the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying:
21“These men are enjoying a peaceful relationship with us and they are living in the land and moving about freely in it. As for the land, look, it’s spread out on both sides before us. We can take their daughters to be our wives, and we can give our daughters to them.
22But by this did these men consent to us, to live with us and to become one people—when all our males are circumcised as they are circumcised.
23Their livestock and their possessions: won’t they be ours? Only let us consent to them so that they’ll live with us.”
24Now everyone who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, every one who went out the gate of his city.
25Then on the third day while they were in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came against the city undisturbed and killed every male.
26Hamor and his son Shechem they killed with the sword, then took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left.
27Jacob’s sons came upon the slain and plundered the city because they defiled their sister.
28They took their flocks, their cattle and their donkeys, those that were in the city as well as those that were in the field.
29All their wealth, their little children, and their wives they captured and plundered, as well as everything that was in the houses.
30But Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You’ve brought trouble on me, making me a stench among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I am but a few men—they’ll gather against me and strike me—then I’ll be destroyed, my household and I.”
31But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”
Rededication at Beth-El
1Then God said to Jacob, “Get up! Go up to Beth-El and stay there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”
2So Jacob said to his household and to everyone who was with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Cleanse yourselves and change your clothes.
3Now let’s get up and go up to Beth-El so that I can make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and has been with me in the way that I have gone.”
4So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods in their hand and the rings in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak tree near Shechem.
5Then they journeyed, and the terror of God was on the cities that were around them, so they did not pursue Jacob’s sons.
6Then Jacob arrived at Luz in the land of Canaan (that is Beth-El), he and all the people who were with him.
7He built an altar there and called the place El-Beth-El because God had revealed Himself to him there when he fled from the presence of his brother.
8Then Rebekah’s nurse Deborah died, and was buried below Beth-El, under the oak—so it was named Oak of Weeping.
9God appeared to Jacob again, after he returned from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.
10God said to him: “Your name was Jacob. No longer will your name be Jacob, for your name will be Israel.” So He named him Israel.
11God also said to him: “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and an assembly of nations will come from you. From your loins will come forth kings.
12The land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac— I give it to you, and to your seed after you I will give the land.”
13Then God went up from him at the place where He had spoken with him.
14Jacob set up a memorial stone in the place where He had spoken with him—a stone pillar—and he poured a drink offering on it and poured oil on it.
15Jacob named the place where God spoke with him Beth-El.
Rachel’s Death in Childbirth
16Then they traveled from Beth-El, and while they were still a distance from entering Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth, but her labor was difficult.
17While she was struggling to give birth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for this is also a son for you.”
18Now as her soul was departing (for she died), she named him Ben-Oni, but his father named him Benjamin.
19Then Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
20Jacob set up a memorial stone over her grave. (It is the memorial stone over Rachel’s grave to this day.)
Israel Returns to Isaac
21Then Israel journeyed on and set up his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
22While Israel was living in that land, Reuben went and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it. Now Jacob had twelve sons.
23Leah’s sons were Jacob’s firstborn Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
24Rachel’s sons were Joseph and Benjamin.
25The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s female servant, were Dan and Naphtali,
26and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s female servant, were Gad and Asher. These are Jacob’s sons, who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
27Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre of Kiriat-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.
28Now Isaac’s days were 180 years.
29Then Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his peoples, old and full of days. So his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Esau Fathers the Edomites
1Now these are the genealogies of Esau (that is, Edom).
2Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah, daughter of Tzivion the Hivite,
3and Basemath daughter of Ishmael, sister of Nebaioth.
4Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel,
5and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were Esau’s sons, who were born to him in the land of Canaan.
6Now Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters and all the people of his household, as well as his livestock, all his cattle, and all his possessions that he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to a land away from his brother Jacob.
7For their possessions were too numerous for them to dwell together, and the land where they were residing was unable to support them because of their livestock.
8So Esau lived in Mount Seir (Esau is Edom).
9So these are the genealogies of Esau, the father of Edom in the hill country of Seir.
10These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz son of Esau’s wife Adah and Reuel son of Esau’s wife Basemath.
11The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz.
12Now Timna was a concubine to Esau’s son Eliphaz, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. These are the sons of Esau’s wife Adah.
13These are Reuel’s sons: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were the sons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
14These were the sons of Oholibamah, daughter of Anah, daughter of Esau’s wife Zibion—she bore to Esau Jeush, Jalam and Korah.
15These are the chiefs from Esau’s sons. The sons of Eliphaz, Esau’s firstborn were chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz,
16chief Korah, chief Gatam, chief Amalek. These are the chiefs from Eliphaz in the land of Edom. These are the sons of Adah.
17These are the sons of Esau’s son Reuel: chief Nahath, chief Zerah, chief Shammah, chief Mizzah. These are chiefs from Reuel in the land of Edom. These are the sons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
18These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah: chief Jeush, chief Jalam, chief Korah. These are the chiefs from Oholibamah, daughter of Esau’s wife Anah.
19These are Esau’s sons, and these are their chiefs (that is, Edom).
20These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,
21Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. These are the chiefs of the Horites, the sons of Seir in the land of Edom.
22The sons of Lotan were Hori and Hemam. Lotan’s sister is Timna.
23These are Shobal’s sons: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam.
24These are Zibeon’s sons: Aiah and Anah (that is, the Anah who found the hot springs in the desert while he was pasturing the donkeys of his father Zibeon).
25These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah, Anah’s daughter.
26These are Dishon’s sons: Hemdan, Eshban, Itran and Cheran.
27These are Ezer’s sons: Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan.
28These are Dishan’s sons: Uz and Aran.
29These are the chiefs of the Horites: chief Lotan, chief Shobal, chief Tzivion, chief Anah,
30chief Dishon, chief Ezer, chief Dishan—these are the chiefs of the Horites according to their chiefly divisions in the land of Seir.
31Now these are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the sons of Israel.
32Bela son of Beor reigned in Edom—the name of his city was Dinhabah.
33When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah reigned in his place.
34When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites reigned in his place.
35When Husham died, Haddad son of Bedad, who struck down the Midianites in the field of Moab, reigned in his place—the name of his city was Avit.
36When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah reigned in his place.
37When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehovot by the River reigned in his place.
38When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Achbor reigned in his place.
39When Baal-hanan son of Achbor died, Hadar reigned in his place—the name of his city is Pau, and his wife’s name is Mehetabel, daughter of Matred, daughter of Me-zehab.
40Now these are the names of the chiefs from Esau according to their family divisions, according to their places, by their names: chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth,
41chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon,
42chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar,
43chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These are the chiefs of Edom according to their places of residence in the land of their possession. This is Esau, the father of Edom.