Table of Contents
The First Book of Moses
also called Genesis from the Latin(Part Four)
The 24th Chapter
Abraham was old and stricken in days, and the Lord had blessed him in all things. And he said unto his eldest servant of his house which had the rule over all that he had: Put your hand under my thigh that I may make you swear by the Lord that is God of heaven and God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife unto my son, of the daughters of the Cananites, among which I dwell. But shall go unto my country and to my kindred, and there take a wife unto my son Isaac.
Then said the servant unto him: what and if the woman will not agree to come with me unto this land, shall I bring your son again unto the land which you came out of? And Abraham said unto him: beware of that, that you bring not my son over there. The Lord God of heaven which took me from my fathers house and from the land where I was born, and which spoke unto me and sware unto me saying: unto your seed will I give this land, he shall send his angel before you, that you may take a wife unto my son from there. Nevertheless if the woman will not agree to come with you then shall you be without danger of this oath. But above all things bring not my son over there again. And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham and sware to him as concerning that matter. And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master and departed, and had of all manner goods of his master with him, and stood up and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And made his camels to lie down without the city by a wells side of water, at even: about the time that women come out to draw water, and he said.
Lord God of my master Abraham, send me good speed this day, and show mercy unto my master Abraham. Lo I stand here by the well of water and the daughters of the men of this city will come out to draw water: Now the damsel to whom I say, stoop down your pitcher, and let me drink. If she say: Drink, and I will give your camels drink also, the same is she that you have ordained for your servant Isaac: yea and thereby shall I know that you have showed mercy on my master. And it came to pass before he had left speaking, that Rebecca came out, the daughter of Bethuel, son to Mylca the wife of Nahor Abrahams brother, and her pitcher upon her shoulder: The damsel was very fair to look upon, and yet a maid and unknown of man. And she went down to the well and filled her pitcher and came up again. Then the servant ran unto her and said: let me sip a little water of your pitcher. And she said: drink my lord.
And she hasted and let down her pitcher upon her arm and gave him drink. And when she had given him drink, she said: I will draw water for your camels also, until they have drunk enough. And she poured out her pitcher into the trough hastily, and ran again unto the well, to fetch water: and drew for all his camels. And the fellow wondered at her. But held his peace, to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not. And as the camels had left drinking, he took an earring of half a sickle weight, and two bracelets for her hands, of ten sickles weight of gold, and said unto her: Whose daughter are you? tell me: is there room in your fathers house, for us to lodge in? And she said unto him: I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Mylca which she bare unto Nahor: and said moreover unto him: we have litter (straw) and provender (food/provisions for cattle) enough and also room to lodge in.
And the man bowed himself, and worshiped the Lord, and said: blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham which ceases not to deal mercifully and truly with my master, And has brought me the way to my masters brothers house. And the damsel ran and told them of her mothers house these things. And Rebecca had a brother called Laban.
And Laban ran out unto the man, to the well: for as soon as he had seen the earrings and the bracelets upon his sisters hands, and heard the words of Rebecca his sister saying thus said the man unto me, then he went out unto the man. And lo, he stood yet with the camels by the well side. And Laban said: come in you blessed of the Lord. Wherefore stand you without? I have dressed the house, and made room for the camels. And then the man came into the house: and he unbridled the camels: and brought litter and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and their feet that were with him, and there was meat set before him to eat. But he said: I will not eat, until I have said mine errand. And he said: say on, And he said: I am Abrahams servant, and the Lord has blessed my master out of measure, that he is become great and has given him sheep, oxen, silver and gold, menservants, maidservants, camels and asses. And Sara my masters wife bare him a son, when she was old: and unto him has he given all that he has. And my master made me swear saying: You shall not take a wife to my son among the daughters of the Cananites in whose land I dwell. But you shall go unto my fathers house and to my kindred, and there take a wife unto my son. And I said unto my master: What if the wife will not follow me? And he said unto me: The Lord before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your journey that you shall take a wife for my son, of my kindred and of my fathers house. But and if (when you come unto my kindred) they will not give you one, then shall you bear no peril of mine oath.
And I came this day unto the well and said: O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if it be so that you make my journey which I go, prosperous: behold, I stand by this well of water, and when a virgin comes forth to draw water, and I say to her: give me a little water of your pitcher to drink, and she say again to me: drink you, and I will also draw water for your camels: that same is the wife, whom the Lord has prepared for my masters son.
And before I had made an end of speaking in mine heart: behold Rebecca came forth, and her pitcher on her shoulder, and she went down unto the well and drew. And I said unto her give me drink. And she made haste, and took down her pitcher from off her, and said: drink, and I will give your camels drink also. And I drank, and she gave the camels drink also. And I asked her saying: whose daughter are you? And she answered: the daughter of Bathuel Nahors son, whom Mylca bare unto him. And I put the earring upon her face and the bracelets upon her hands. And I bowed myself, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham which had brought me the right way, to take my masters brothers daughter unto his son. Now therefore if you will deal mercifully and truly with my master, tell me: And if not, tell me also: that I may turn me to the right hand or to the left.
Then answered Laban and Bathuel saying: The thing is proceeded even out of the Lord, we cannot therefore say unto you, either good or bad: Behold Rebecca before your face, take her and go, and let her be your masters son s wife, even as the Lord has said. And when Abrahams servant heard their words, he bowed himself unto the Lord, flat upon the earth. And the servant took forth jewels of silver and jewels of gold and raiment, and gave them to Rebecca: But unto her brother and to her mother, he gave spices. And then they ate and drank, both he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night and rose up in the morning.
And he said: let me depart unto my master. But her brother and her mother said: let the damsel abide with us a while, and it be but even ten days, and then go your ways. And he said unto them, hinder me not, for the Lord has prospered my journey. Send me away that I may go unto my master. And they said: let us call the damsel, and know what she says to the matter. And they called forth Rebecca, and said unto her: will you go with this man? And she said: Yea.
So they let Rebecca their sister go with her nurse and Abrahams servant, and the men that were with him. And they blessed Rebecca, and said unto her: You are our sister, grow into thousand thousands, and your seed possess the gates of their enemies. And Rebecca arose and her damsels, and sat them up upon the camels, and went their way after the man. And the servant took Rebecca, and went his way.
And Isaac was a coming from the well of the living and seeing, for he dwelt in the south country, and was gone out to walk in his meditations before the even tide. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold the camels were coming. And Rebecca lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel, and said unto the servant: what man is this that comes against us in the field? And the servant said: it is my master. And then she took her mantle, and put it about her. And the servant told Isaac all that he had done. Then Isaac brought her in to his mother Saras tent, and took Rebecca, and she became his wife, and he loved her: and so was Isaac comforted over his mother.
The 25th Chapter
Abraham took him another wife called Ketura, which bare him Simran, Jacksan, Medan, Midian, Jesback and Suah. And Jacksan begat Seba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Assurim, Letusim and Leumim. And the sons of Midian were Epha, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Elda. All these were the children of Ketura. But Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. And unto the sons of his concubines he gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son (while he yet lived) eastward, unto the east country.
These are the days of the life of Abraham which he lived: an hundred and seventy five years and then fell sick and died, in a lusty age (when he had lived enough) and was put unto his people. And his sons Isaac and Ismael buried him in the double cave in the field of Ephron son of Zoar the Hethite before Mamre. Which field Abraham bought of the sons of Heth: There was Abraham buried and Sara his wife. And after the death of Abraham God blessed Isaac his son, which dwelled by the well of the living and seeing.
These are the generations of Ismael Abrahams son, which Hagar the Egyptian Saras handmaid bare unto Abraham. And these are the names of the sons of Ismael, with their names in their kindreds. The eldest son of Ismael, Nevaioth, then Cedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Misma, Duma, Masa, Hadar, Thema, Jetur, Naphis and Kedma. These are the sons of Ismael, and these are their names, in their towns and castles twelve princes of nations. And these are the years of the life of Ismael, an hundred and thirty seven years, and then he fell sick and died, and was laid unto his people. And he dwelt from Evila unto Sur that is before Egypt, as men go toward the Assyrians. And he died in the presence of all his brethren.
And these are the generations of Isaac Abrahams son: Abraham begat Isaac. And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebecca to wife the daughter of Bethuel the Sirian of Mesopotamia and sister to Laban the Sirian.
And Isaac made intercession unto the Lord for his wife: because she was barren: and the Lord was entreated of him, and Rebecca his wife conceived: and the children strove together within her. Then she said: if it should go so to pass, what helps it that I am with child? And she went and asked the Lord. And the Lord said unto her: there are two manner of people in your womb, and two nations shall spring out of your bowels, and the one nation shall be mightier than the other, and the eldest shall be servant unto the younger.
And when her time was come to be delivered: behold there were two twins in her womb. And he that came out first was red and rough over all as it were an hide: and they called his name Esau. And afterward his brother came out, and his hand holding Esau by the heel. Wherefore his name was called Jacob. And Isaac was forty years old when she bare them: and the boys grew, and Esau became a cunning hunter and a tillman. But Jacob was a simple man, and dwelled in the tents. Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison, but Rebecca loved Jacob.
Jacob boiled pottage, and Esau came from the field and was fainty, and said to Jacob: let me sip of the red pottage, for I am fainty. And therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said: sell me this day your birthright. And Esau answered: Lo I am at the point to die, and what profit shall this birthright do me? And Jacob said: swear to me then this day. And he swore to him, and sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of red rice. And he ate and drank and rose up, and went his way. And so Esau regarded not his birthright.
The 26th Chapter
And there fell a dearth in the land, passing the first dearth that fell in the days of Abraham. Wherefore Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. Then the Lord appeared unto him, and said: go not down into Egypt, but bide in the land which I say unto you: sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you: for unto you and unto your seed I will give all these countries. And I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham your father, and will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and will give unto your seed all these countries. And through your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because that Abraham hearkened unto my voice and kept mine ordinances, commandments, statutes and laws.
And Isaac dwelled in Gerar. And the men of the place asked him of his wife, and he said that she was his sister: for he feared to call her his wife, least the men of the place should have killed him for her sake, because she was beautiful to the eye. And it happened after he had been there long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw Isaac sporting with Rebecca his wife. And Abimelech sent for Isaac, and said: see, she is of a surety your wife, and why said you that she was your sister? And Isaac said unto him: I thought that I might peradventure have died for her sake. Then said Abimelech: why have you done this unto us? one of the people might lightly have lain by your wife, and so should you have brought sin upon us. Then Abimelech charged all his people, saying: he that touches this man or his wife, shall surely die for it.
And Isaac sowed in the land, and found in the same year an hundred bushels: for the Lord blessed him, and the man waxed mighty, and went forth and grew till he was exceeding great, that he had possession of sheep, of oxen and a mighty household: so that the Philistines had envy at him: Insomuch that they stopped and filled up with earth, all the wells which his fathers servants digged in his father Abrahams time. Then said Abimelech unto Isaac: get you from me, for you are mightier than we a great deal. Then Isaac departed there, and pitched his tent in the valley Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again, the wells of water which they digged in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham, and gave them the same names which his father gave them. As Isaacs servants digged in the valley, they found a well of living water. And the herdsmen of Gerar did strive with Isaacs herdsmen saying: the water is ours. Then called he the well Eseck, because they strove with him.
Then digged they another well, and they strove for that also. Therefore called he it Sitena. And then he departed there, and digged another well for the which they strove not: therefore called he it Rehoboth, saying: the Lord has now made us room, and we are increased upon the earth. Afterward departed he there and came to Berseba. And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said: I am the God of Abraham your father, fear not for I am with you, and will bless you, and multiply your seed for my servant Abrahams sake. And then he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and there pitched his tent. And there Isaacs servants digged a well.
Then came Abimelech to him from Gerar and Ahusath his friend and Phicoll his chief captain. And Isaac said unto them: wherefore come you to me, seeing you hate me and have put me away from you? Then said they: we saw that the Lord was with you, and therefore we said that there should be an oath between us and you, and that we would make a bond with you, that you should do us no hurt, as we have not touched you, and have done unto you nothing but good, and send you away in peace: for you are now the blessed of the Lord. And he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. And they rose up by times in the morning, and sware one to another. And Isaac sent them away. And they departed from him in peace. And the same day came Isaacs servants, and told him of a well which they had digged: and said unto him, that they had found water. And he called it Seba, wherefore the name of the city is called Berseba unto this day.
The 27th Chapter
When Esau was forty years old, he took to wife Judith the daughter of Bery an Hethite, and Basmath the daughter of Elon an Hethite also, which were disobedient unto Isaac and Rebecca. And it came to pass that Isaac waxed old and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see. Then called he Esau his eldest son and said unto him: my son. And he said unto him: here am I. And he said: behold, I am old and know not the day of my death: Now therefore take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and get you to the fields, and take me some venison, and make me meat such as I love, and bring it me, and let me eat that my soul may bless you before that I die. But Rebecca heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And as soon as Esau was gone to the field to catch venison, and to bring it, she spoke unto Jacob her son saying: Behold I have heard your father talking with Esau your brother and saying: bring me venison and make me meat, that I may eat and bless you before the Lord before I die. Now therefore my son hear my voice in that which I command you: get you to the flock, and bring me here two good kids, and I will make meat of them for your father, such as he loves. And you shall bring it to your father, and he shall eat, that he may bless you before his death.
Then said Jacob to Rebecca his mother: Behold Esau my brother is rough and I am smooth. My father shall peradventure feel me, and I shall seem unto him as though I went about to beguile him, and so shall he bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing: and his mother said unto him. Upon me be your curse my son, only hear my voice, and go and fetch me them. And Jacob went and fetched them, and brought them to his mother. And his mother made meat of them, according as his father loved. And she went and fetched goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which she had in the house with her, and put them upon Jacob her youngest son, and she put the skins upon his hands and upon the smooth of his neck. And she put the meat and bread which she had made in the hand of her son Jacob.
And he went in to his father saying: my father? And he answered: here am I, who are you my son? And Jacob said unto his father: I am Esau your eldest son, I have done according as you bade me: up and sit and eat of my venison, that your soul may bless me. But Isaac said unto his son: How comes it that you have found it so quickly my son? He answered: The Lord your God brought it to my hand. Then said Isaac unto Jacob: come near and let me feel you my son, whether you be my son Esau or not. Then went Jacob to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said: the voice is Jacobs voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he knew him not, because his hands were rough as his brother Esaus hands and so he blessed him.
And he asked him: are you my son Esau? And he said: that I am. Then said he: bring me and let me eat of my sons venison, that my soul may bless you. And he brought him, and he ate. And he brought him wine also, and he drank. And his father Isaac said unto him: come near and kiss me my son. And he went to him and kissed him. And he smelled the savour of his raiment and blessed him, and said: See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. People be your servants, and nations bow unto you. Be lord over your brethren, and your mothers children stoop unto you. Cursed be he that curses you, and blessed be he that blesses you.
As soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing, Jacob was scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father: then came Esau his brother from his hunting, and had made also meat, and brought it in unto his father, and said unto him: Arise my father, and eat of your sons venison, that your soul may bless me. Then his father Isaac said unto him: Who are you? he answered: I am your eldest son Esau. And Isaac was greatly astoned (astonished) out of measure, and said: Where is he then that has hunted venison and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him, and he shall be blessed still. When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out greatly and bitterly above measure, and said unto his father: bless me also my father. And he said: your brother came with subtlety, and has taken away your blessing. Then said he: He may well be called Jacob, for he has undermined me now two times, first he took away my birthright: and see, now has he taken away my blessing also. And he said, have you kept never a blessing for me?
Isaac answered and said unto Esau: behold I have made him your lord, and all his mothers children have I made his servants. Moreover with corn and wine have I stablished him, what can I do unto you now my son? And Esau said unto his father: have you but that one blessing my father? bless me also my father: so lifted up Esau his voice and wept. Then Isaac his father answered and said unto him: Behold your dwelling place shall have of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above. And with your sword shall you live, and shall be your brothers servant. But the time will come, when you shall get the mastery, and loose his yoke from off your neck.
And Esau hated Jacob, because of the blessing that his father blessed him withal, and said in his heart: The days of my fathers sorrow are at hand, for I will slay my brother Jacob. And these words of Esau her eldest son, were told to Rebecca. And she sent and called Jacob her youngest son, and said unto him: behold your brother Esau threatens to kill you: Now therefore my son hear my voice, make you ready, and flee to Laban my brother at Haran: And tarry with him a while, until your brothers fierceness be assuaged (less intense), and until your brothers, wrath turn away from you, and he forget that which you have done to him. Then will I send and fetch you away from there. Why should I lose you both in one day? And Rebecca spoke to Isaac: I am weary of my life, for fear of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such one as these are, or of the daughters of the land, what lust should I have to live?
The 28th Chapter
Then Isaac called Jacob his son and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him: see you take not a wife of the daughters of Canaan, but arise and get you to Mesopotamia to the house of Bethuel your mothers father: and there take you a wife of the daughters of Laban your mothers brother. And God almighty bless you, increase you, and multiply you that you may be a number of people, and give you the blessing of Abraham: both to you and to your seed with you, that you may possess the land (wherein you are a stranger) which God gave unto Abraham. Thus Isaac sent forth Jacob, to go to Mesopotamia unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Sirien, and brother to Rebecca Jacobs and Esaus mother.
When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him to Mesopotamia, to fetch him a wife there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying: see you take not a wife of the daughters of Canaan: and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother, and was gone unto Mesopotamia: and seeing also that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father: Then went he unto Ismael, and took unto the wives which he had, Mahala the daughter of Ismael Abrahams son, the sister of Nabaioth to be his wife. Jacob departed from Berseba and went toward Haran, and came unto a place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was down. And took a stone of the place, and put it under his head, and laid him down in the same place to sleep. And he dreamed: and behold there stood a ladder upon the earth, and the top of it reached up to heaven. And see, the angels of God went up and down upon it, yea and the Lord stood upon it and said:
I am the Lord God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac: The land which you sleep upon will I give you and your seed. And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth: And you shall spread abroad: west, east, north and south. And through you and your seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. And see I am with you, and will be your keeper in all places where ever you go, and will bring you again into this land: Neither will I leave you until I have made good all that I have promised you.
When Jacob was awakened out of his sleep, he said: surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware. And he was afraid and said: how fearful is this place? it is none other, but even the house of God and the gate of heaven. And Jacob stood up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had laid under his head, and pitched it up on end, and poured oil on the top of it. And he called the name of the place Bethell, for indeed the name of the city was called Lus before time. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying: If God will be with me, and will keep me in this journey which I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothes to put on, so that I come again unto my fathers house in safety: then shall the Lord be my God, and this stone which I have set up on end, shall be Gods house: And of all that you shall give me, will I give the tenth unto you.
The 29th Chapter
Then Jacob lifted up his feet, and went toward the east country. And as he looked about, behold there was a well in the field, and three flocks of sheep lay thereby (for at that well were the flocks watered) and there lay a great stone at the well mouth. And the manner was to bring the flocks over there, and to roll the stone from the wells mouth, and to water the sheep, and to put the stone again upon the wells mouth unto his place. And Jacob said unto them: brethren, from where be ye? And they said: of Haran are we. And he said unto them: Know you Laban the son of Nahor? And they said: We know him. And he said unto them: is he in good health? And they said: he is in good health: and behold, his daughter Rahel comes with the sheep. And he said: lo, it is yet a great while to night, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water the sheep, and go and feed them. And they said: we may not, until all the flocks be brought together, and the stone be rolled from the wells mouth, and so we water our sheep.
While he yet talked with them, Rahel came with her fathers sheep, for she kept them. As soon as Jacob saw Rahel, the daughter of Laban his mothers brother, and the sheep of Laban his mothers brother, he went and rolled the stone from the wells mouth, and watered the sheep of Laban his mothers brother. And Jacob kissed Rahel, and lifted up his voice and wept: and told her also that he was her fathers brother and Rebeccas son. Then Rahel ran and told her father. When Laban heard tell of Jacob his sisters son, he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him into his house. And then Jacob told Laban all the matter. And then Laban said: well, you are my bone and my flesh. Abide with me the space of a month. And afterward Laban said unto Jacob: though you be my brother, should you therefore serve me for naught? tell me what shall your wages be? And Laban had two daughters, the eldest called Lea and the youngest Rahel. Lea was tender eyed, but Rahel was beautiful and well favored. And Jacob loved her well, and said: I will serve you seven years for Rahel your youngest daughter. And Laban answered: it is better that I give her you, than to another man: bide therefore with me.
And Jacob served seven years for Rahel, and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. And Jacob said unto Laban: give me my wife, that I may lie with her. For the time appointed me is come.
Then Laban bade all the men of that place, and made a feast. And when even was come, he took Lea his daughter and brought her to him: and he went in unto Her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Lea, Zilpha his maid, to be her servant. And when the morning was come, behold it was Lea. Than said he to Laban: wherefore have you played thus with me? did not I serve you for Rahel, wherefore then have you beguiled me? Laban answered: it is not the manner of this place, to marry the youngest before the eldest. Pass out this week, and then shall this also be given you for the service which you shall serve me yet seven years more. And Jacob did even so, and passed out that week, and then he gave him Rahel his daughter to wife also. And Laban gave to Rahel his daughter, Bilha his handmaid to be her servant. So lay he by Rahel also, and loved Rahel more than Lea, and served him yet seven years more.
When the Lord saw that Lea was despised, he made her fruitful: but Rahel was barren. And Lea conceived and bare a son, and called his name Ruben, for she said: the Lord has looked upon my tribulation. And now my husband will love me. And she conceived again and bare a son, and said: the Lord has heard that I am despised, and has therefore given me this son also, and she called him Simeon. And she conceived yet, and bare a son, and said: now this once will my husband keep me company, because I have borne him three sons: and therefore she called his name Levi. And she conceived yet again, and bare a son saying: Now will I praise the Lord: therefore she called his name Juda, and left bearing.
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