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The Death of Abraham
25Â Abraham married another wife, whose name was Keturah.Â 2Â She gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.Â 3Â Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. Dedanâ€™s descendants were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites.Â 4Â Midianâ€™s sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. These were all descendants of Abraham through Keturah.
5Â Abraham gave everything he owned to his son Isaac.Â 6Â But before he died, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them off to a land in the east, away from Isaac.
7Â Abraham lived for 175 years,Â 8Â and he died at a ripe old age, having lived a long and satisfying life. He breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death.Â 9Â His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite.Â 10Â This was the field Abraham had purchased from the Hittites and where he had buried his wife Sarah.Â 11Â After Abrahamâ€™s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who settled near Beer-lahai-roi in the Negev.
12Â This is the account of the family of Ishmael, the son of Abraham through Hagar, Sarahâ€™s Egyptian servant.Â 13Â Here is a list, by their names and clans, of Ishmaelâ€™s descendants: The oldest was Nebaioth, followed by Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,Â 14Â Mishma, Dumah, Massa,Â 15Â Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.Â 16Â These twelve sons of Ishmael became the founders of twelve tribes named after them, listed according to the places they settled and camped.Â 17Â Ishmael lived for 137 years. Then he breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death.Â 18Â Ishmaelâ€™s descendants occupied the region from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt in the direction of Asshur. There they lived in open hostility toward all their relatives.
The Births of Esau and Jacob
19Â This is the account of the family of Isaac, the son of Abraham.Â 20Â When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram and the sister of Laban the Aramean.
21Â Isaac pleaded with theÂ LordÂ on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. TheÂ LordÂ answered Isaacâ€™s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins.Â 22Â But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask theÂ LordÂ about it. â€œWhy is this happening to me?â€ she asked.
23Â And theÂ LordÂ told her, â€œThe sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.â€
24Â And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins!Â 25Â The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau.Â 26Â Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esauâ€™s heel. So they named him Jacob.Â Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born.
Esau Sells His Birthright
27Â As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home.Â 28Â Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29Â One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry.Â 30Â Esau said to Jacob, â€œIâ€™m starved! Give me some of that red stew!â€ (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means â€œred.â€)
31Â â€œAll right,â€ Jacob replied, â€œbut trade me your rights as the firstborn son.â€
32Â â€œLook, Iâ€™m dying of starvation!â€ said Esau. â€œWhat good is my birthright to me now?â€
33Â But Jacob said, â€œFirst you must swear that your birthright is mine.â€ So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob.
34Â Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.
Isaac Deceives Abimelech
26Â A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abrahamâ€™s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived.
2Â TheÂ LordÂ appeared to Isaac and said, â€œDo not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you.Â 3Â Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants,Â just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father.Â 4Â I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.Â 5Â I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.â€Â 6Â So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7Â When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, â€œShe is my sister.â€ He was afraid to say, â€œShe is my wife.â€ He thought, â€œThey will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.â€Â 8Â But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.
9Â Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, â€œShe is obviously your wife! Why did you say, â€˜She is my sisterâ€™?â€
â€œBecause I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,â€ Isaac replied.
10Â â€œHow could you do this to us?â€ Abimelech exclaimed. â€œOne of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.â€
11Â Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: â€œAnyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!â€
Conflict over Water Rights
12Â When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for theÂ LordÂ blessed him.Â 13Â He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow.Â 14Â He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him.Â 15Â So the Philistines filled up all of Isaacâ€™s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.
16Â Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. â€œGo somewhere else,â€ he said, â€œfor you have become too powerful for us.â€
17Â So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down.Â 18Â He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abrahamâ€™s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them.
19Â Isaacâ€™s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water.Â 20Â But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. â€œThis is our water,â€ they said, and they argued over it with Isaacâ€™s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means â€œargumentâ€).Â 21Â Isaacâ€™s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means â€œhostilityâ€).Â 22Â Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means â€œopen spaceâ€), for he said, â€œAt last theÂ LordÂ has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.â€
23Â From there Isaac moved to Beersheba,Â 24Â where theÂ LordÂ appeared to him on the night of his arrival. â€œI am the God of your father, Abraham,â€ he said. â€œDo not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.â€Â 25Â Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped theÂ Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.
Isaacâ€™s Covenant with Abimelech
26Â One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander.Â 27Â â€œWhy have you come here?â€ Isaac asked. â€œYou obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.â€
28Â They replied, â€œWe can plainly see that theÂ LordÂ is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Letâ€™s make a covenant.Â 29Â Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how theÂ LordÂ has blessed you!â€
30Â So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together.Â 31Â Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace.
32Â That very day Isaacâ€™s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. â€œWeâ€™ve found water!â€ they exclaimed.33Â So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means â€œoathâ€). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means â€œwell of the oathâ€).
34Â At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon.35Â But Esauâ€™s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.
Jacob Steals Esauâ€™s Blessing
27Â One day when Isaac was old and turning blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, â€œMy son.â€
â€œYes, Father?â€ Esau replied.
2Â â€œI am an old man now,â€ Isaac said, â€œand I donâ€™t know when I may die.Â 3Â Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me.Â 4Â 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.â€
5Â But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game,Â 6Â she said to her son Jacob, â€œListen. I overheard your father say to Esau,Â 7Â â€˜Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in theÂ Lordâ€™s presence before I die.â€™Â 8Â Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you.Â 9Â Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. Iâ€™ll use them to prepare your fatherâ€™s favorite dish.Â 10Â Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.â€
11Â â€œBut look,â€ Jacob replied to Rebekah, â€œmy brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth.Â 12Â What if my father touches me? Heâ€™ll see that Iâ€™m trying to trick him, and then heâ€™ll curse me instead of blessing me.â€
13Â But his mother replied, â€œThen let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!â€
14Â 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.Â 15Â Then she took Esauâ€™s favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob.Â 16Â She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats.Â 17Â Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread.
18Â So Jacob took the food to his father. â€œMy father?â€ he said.
â€œYes, my son,â€ Isaac answered. â€œWho are youâ€”Esau or Jacob?â€
19Â Jacob replied, â€œItâ€™s Esau, your firstborn son. Iâ€™ve done as you told me. Here is the wild game. Now sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing.â€
20Â Isaac asked, â€œHow did you find it so quickly, my son?â€
â€œTheÂ LordÂ your God put it in my path!â€ Jacob replied.
21Â Then Isaac said to Jacob, â€œCome closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau.â€Â 22Â So Jacob went closer to his father, and Isaac touched him. â€œThe voice is Jacobâ€™s, but the hands are Esauâ€™s,â€ Isaac said.Â 23Â But he did not recognize Jacob, because Jacobâ€™s hands felt hairy just like Esauâ€™s. So Isaac prepared to bless Jacob.Â 24Â â€œBut are you really my son Esau?â€ he asked.
â€œYes, I am,â€ Jacob replied.
25Â Then Isaac said, â€œNow, my son, bring me the wild game. Let me eat it, and then I will give you my blessing.â€ So Jacob took the food to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him.Â 26Â Then Isaac said to Jacob, â€œPlease come a little closer and kiss me, my son.â€
27Â 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, â€œAh! The smell of my son is like the smell of the outdoors, which theÂ LordÂ has blessed!
28Â â€œFrom the dew of heaven
30Â As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunt.31Â Esau prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father. Then he said, â€œSit up, my father, and eat my wild game so you can give me your blessing.â€
32Â But Isaac asked him, â€œWho are you?â€
Esau replied, â€œItâ€™s your son, your firstborn son, Esau.â€
33Â Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, â€œThen 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!â€
34Â When Esau heard his fatherâ€™s words, he let out a loud and bitter cry. â€œOh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!â€ he begged.
35Â But Isaac said, â€œYour brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.â€
36Â Esau exclaimed, â€œNo wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice.Â First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Oh, havenâ€™t you saved even one blessing for me?â€
37Â Isaac said to Esau, â€œI 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 wineâ€”what is left for me to give you, my son?â€
38Â Esau pleaded, â€œBut do you have only one blessing? Oh my father, bless me, too!â€ Then Esau broke down and wept.
39Â Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him,
â€œYou will live away from the richness of the earth,
Jacob Flees to Paddan-Aram
41Â From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: â€œI will soon be mourning my fatherâ€™s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.â€
42Â But Rebekah heard about Esauâ€™s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, â€œListen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you.Â 43Â So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran.Â 44Â Stay there with him until your brother cools off.Â 45Â 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?â€
46Â Then Rebekah said to Isaac, â€œIâ€™m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.â€
Do Not Judge Others
7Â â€œDo not judge others, and you will not be judged.Â 2Â For you will be treated as you treat others.Â The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
3Â â€œAnd why worry about a speck in your friendâ€™s eyeÂ when you have a log in your own?Â 4Â How can you think of saying to your friend,Â â€˜Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,â€™ when you canâ€™t see past the log in your own eye?Â 5Â Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friendâ€™s eye.
6Â â€œDonâ€™t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.Â Donâ€™t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
7Â â€œKeep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.Â 8Â For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
9Â â€œYou parentsâ€”if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?Â 10Â Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!Â 11Â So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
The Golden Rule
12Â â€œDo to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
The Narrow Gate
13Â â€œYou can enter Godâ€™s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hellÂ is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.Â 14Â But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
The Tree and Its Fruit
15Â â€œBeware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.Â 16Â You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?Â 17Â A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.Â 18Â A good tree canâ€™t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree canâ€™t produce good fruit.19Â So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.Â 20Â Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
21Â â€œNot everyone who calls out to me, â€˜Lord! Lord!â€™ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.Â 22Â On judgment day many will say to me, â€˜Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.â€™Â 23Â But I will reply, â€˜I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break Godâ€™s laws.â€™
Building on a Solid Foundation
24Â â€œAnyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.Â 25Â Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it wonâ€™t collapse because it is built on bedrock.Â 26Â But anyone who hears my teaching and doesnâ€™t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.27Â When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.â€
28Â When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,Â 29Â for he taught with real authorityâ€”quite unlike their teachers of religious law.