Gen 30-31; Psalm 11; Mark 12
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, ”Give me children, or I shall die!”
Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, ”Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
Then she said, ”Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her.”
So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her.
And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son.
Then Rachel said, ”God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan.
Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
Then Rachel said, ”With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.
When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.
Then Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son.
And Leah said, ”Good fortune has come!” so she called his name Gad.
Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.
And Leah said, ”Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.
In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, ”Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
But she said to her, ”Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, ”Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, ”You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night.
And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son.
Leah said, ”God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.
And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son.
Then Leah said, ”God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.
Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.
Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.
She conceived and bore a son and said, ”God has taken away my reproach.”
And she called his name Joseph, saying, ”May the LORD add to me another son!”
As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, ”Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country.
Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you.”
But Laban said to him, ”If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.
Name your wages, and I will give it.”
Jacob said to him, ”You yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me.
For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?”
He said, ”What shall I give you?” Jacob said, ”You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it:
let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and they shall be my wages.
So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.”
Laban said, ”Good! Let it be as you have said.”
But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in charge of his sons.
And he set a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban’s flock.
Then Jacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks.
He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink,
the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted.
And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban’s flock.
Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks,
but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s.
Thus the man increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, ”Jacob has taken all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has gained all this wealth.”
And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before.
Then the LORD said to Jacob, ”Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”
So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was
and said to them, ”I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me.
You know that I have served your father with all my strength,
yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me.
If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped.
Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me.
In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled.
Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’
And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.
I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.”’
Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, ”Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house?
Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money.
All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”
So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels.
He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac.
Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father’s household gods.
And Jacob tricked Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee.
He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the Euphrates, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.
When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled,
he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead.
But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, ”Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead.
And Laban said to Jacob, ”What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword?
Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre?
And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly.
It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’
And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house, but why did you steal my gods?”
Jacob answered and said to Laban, ”Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.
Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s.
Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them.
And she said to her father, ”Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.
Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, ”What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me?
For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two.
These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks.
What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.
There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes.
These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times.
If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.”
Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, ”The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne?
Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.”
So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.
And Jacob said to his kinsmen, ”Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap.
Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed.
Laban said, ”This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed,
and Mizpah, for he said, ”The LORD watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight.
If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.”
Then Laban said to Jacob, ”See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me.
This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm.
The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac,
and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.
Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.
In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, ”Flee like a bird to your mountain,
for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test, the children of man.
The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.
And he began to speak to them in parables. ”A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country.
When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.
And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully.
And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed.
He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.
What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this Scripture: ”’The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.
And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk.
And they came and said to him, ”Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”
But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ”Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”
And they brought one. And he said to them, ”Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, ”Caesar’s.”
Jesus said to them, ”Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.
And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying,
‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.
There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring.
And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise.
And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died.
In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”
Jesus said to them, ”Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?
For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?
He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, ”Which commandment is the most important of all?”
Jesus answered, ”The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
And the scribe said to him, ”You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.
And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ”You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, ”How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?
David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, ”’The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.’
David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
And in his teaching he said, ”Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces
and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,
who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.
And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ”Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.
For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”