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Историко-культурный контекст Ветхого Завета

В.Сорокин

Борение Иакова

Изложенная в Книге Бытия история Иакова замечательна прежде всего своим динамизмом и насыщенностью событиями. В сущности, ни об одном из Патриархов мы не узнаём столько подробностей, сколько упомянуто их об Иакове. В данном случае перед нами практически полная (хотя и не очень подробная) биография, что для Книги Бытия вообще не характерно; столь подробных биографий других Патриархов мы здесь не найдём. Исключение составляет жизнеописание Иосифа, но это композиционно отдельное произведение, которое изначально, по-видимому, создавалось по особому плану, а в Книгу Бытия было включено лишь при окончательной её редактуре.

Такой интерес к биографии Иакова со стороны автора Торы едва ли можно считать случайным. Было, вероятно, в ней нечто такое, что заставило его присмотреться внимательнее к жизни третьего из Патриархов. Возможно, главным здесь стало то, что Иаков добивается всего в жизни вопреки складывающимся обстоятельствам, но не вопреки воле Бога, Который его ведёт. Вполне возможно, что именно здесь и надо искать смысл биографии Иакова. Надо заметить, что древний язычник был по своему мироощущению прирождённым фаталистом. Рок, судьба, то, что греки называли ἁνανκή , а римляне — fatum , представлялся им безликой и непреодолимой силой, которой невозможно противостоять. Не только люди, но даже и боги были бессильны перед судьбой.

Конечно, с развитием гуманизма (прежде всего, на греческой почве) фаталистическое мироощущение стало подвергаться сомнению, а иногда и прямо отвергаться. Собственно, феномен античной трагедии связан именно с ростом и развитием античного гуманизма, и не случайно, разумеется, главной её темой становится тема борьбы главного героя с роком. Герой, конечно, погибает, проигрывая в этой неравной борьбе, но такая гибель всё же ставит его выше тех безразличных к человеку космических законов, проявлением которых и считали древние судьбу. В связи с этим интересно отметить тот факт, что Библия вообще не знает такого понятия, как «рок» или «судьба» в традиционном языческом понимании. Фатализм совершенно чужд библейским авторам, прежде всего потому, что все они явственно ощущают присутствие в своей собственной жизни и в жизни своего народа промысла Божия.

Но фаталистические концепции неизбежно должны были затрагивать еврейскую общину Вавилона, тем более, что порой они, по-видимому, облекались в одежды своеобразного языческого благочестия, которое, кстати, проявлялось не только в Вавилонии или в Египте, но и в греко-римском мире. Речь идёт о том типе благочестия, который приравнивал рок к воле богов. Подобного рода назидательные тексты хорошо известны в египетской и вавилонской литературе ещё задолго до появления к-л. гуманистических тенденций, а после их появления такая религиозность нередко противопоставлялась гуманизму как своего рода консервативно-охранительная идеология. Конечно, библейским авторам чужд не только фатализм, но и языческий гуманизм.

Отчётливее всего ключевое положение гуманизма сформулировал греческий философ Протагор, живший в V в. и принадлежавший к школе софистов. Он назвал человека «мерой всех вещей, существующих — в их бытии, и несуществующих — в их небытии». Но Библия не знает человека, отдельного от Бога. Она знает лишь человека в динамике его отношений с Богом, и от этих отношений собственно и зависит качество человеческой личности, её, так сказать, «человечность». Такой взгляд на человека называют иногда библейским персонализмом, хотя сами библейские авторы, чуждые каких бы то ни было философских определений, не прибегают ни к каким абстрактным формулировкам. Но само описание сотворения человека (Быт 2:7) связывает воедино ту человеческую природу (евр. נפש חיה нефеш хайа, в Синодальном переводе «душа живая»), которая, собственно, и делает человека человеком, с «дыханием жизни» (евр. נשמת חיים нишмат хайим), которое задаёт динамику отношений человека с Богом. Однако в известном смысле у гуманистического мироощущения всё же больше точек пересечения с персонализмом, чем у фаталистического, которое, в сущности, чрезвычайно низко оценивает значимость человека в мироздании. Неудивительно поэтому, что в биографии Иакова можно обнаружить отчётливую антифаталистическую тенденцию. В самом деле, оставаясь фаталистом, Иаков, очевидно, должен был бы с самого начала отказаться от всяких попыток борьбы за власть в родном племени, между тем, как он, напротив, делает всё, от него зависящее, чтобы эту власть заполучить. Вначале он покупает у своего брата «первородство», то есть право первенца (Быт 25:29-34), а затем хитростью добивается благословения от отца (Быт 27:1-40).

Нам сегодня всё это может показаться странным, так как факт рождения первым одного из двух братьев является объективной данностью, не подлежащей изменению. Но дело в том, что «продавалось», то есть уступалось Исавом именно право первенца, связанное, прежде всего, с вопросом о наследовании власти в племени (не будем забывать, что речь в данном случае идёт о детях вождя). То же самое можно сказать и о получении благословения: оно выражало не просто благоволение отца к одному из двух сыновей, но было связано, в том числе, и с вопросом о передаче власти. Однако было в этом акте и нечто сакральное: один раз отданную власть нельзя было взять обратно и передать, по своему усмотрению, другому сыну, так как, согласно представлениям того времени, вместе с благословением передавалась преемнику и та сверхъестественная сила, которая делает вождя вождём. Потому-то и не может быть у Иакова «второго благословения» для Исава (Быт 27:38).

Но в итоге оказывается, что рок и промысел Божий совсем не одно и то же, и действия Иакова, идущего наперекор судьбе, Богом принимаются и поддерживаются. Но, конечно, происходит это не сразу, а лишь тогда, когда и сам Иаков научается доверять Богу своих отцов и полагаться на Него. А учится такому доверию Иаков на протяжении всей своей жизни, и Бог отцов помогает ему, появляясь перед ним в критические моменты. Так в жизни Иакова находится место теофаниям.

Трудно сказать точно, сколько теофаний было в жизни Иакова, но в Книге Бытия детально описаны две. Одна из них имела место по дороге в Месопотамию, во время бегства Иакова из родной Вирсавии от гнева своего брата (Быт 28:10-22), а вторая — много лет спустя, на обратном пути из Месопотамии в родные места, как раз накануне встречи с братом, которой Иаков имел все основания опасаться (Быт 32:24-32). Современного читателя оба эти описания поражают обычно экзотичностью происходящего. Между тем, с точки зрения человека той эпохи, к которой их относит традиция, ничего особенно необычного в них нет, по крайней мере, с точки зрения тех форм, в которые облекаются упомянутые нами теофании.

Первая из них представляет собой типичное пророческое сновидение, которые были хорошо известны повсеместно в древнем мире. Собственно, именно этот тип сновидений получил у древних римлян название divinatio, а во многих новых европейских языках от него произошли слова, обозначающие нечто, связанное с гаданием или прорицанием. Сам обряд предполагал, что человек, желающий получить ответ от божества или узнать его волю о себе или о том деле, которое собирался предпринять, приходил в святилище, совершал положенные ритуалы и жертвоприношения и оставался в святилище на ночь. Если в эту ночь человек видел во сне нечто необычное или просто понимал, что видел нечто большее, чем обычный сон, он воспринимал своё видение как ответ божества на заданный вопрос или как выражение его воли. Иаков, очевидно, оказывается именно в такой ситуации. Он приходит на некое «место», которое, возможно, было святилищем, и проводит там ночь (Быт 28:11).

Еврейское слово מקום маком может обозначать также «священное место», «святилище», а с определённым артиклем (המקום ха-маком) в иудейских текстах — также Иерусалимский Храм. Речь, по-видимому, должна идти о традиционном святилище того типа, какое бывает у кочевников: выложенный на земле каменный круг, в центре которого находится алтарный камень. Такое святилище ночью легко не заметить, да и днём не всякий обратит на него внимание. Судя по библейскому преданию, после того, что произошло с Иаковом, оно получило новое имя (Быт 28:19) и впоследствии Иаков устроил там святилище, посвящённое явившемуся ему Богу отцов (Быт 35:1-7).

Что же касается смысла видения, то он оказывается понятнее, чем кажется на первый взгляд. Та лестница, которую видит Иаков (Быт 28:12) напоминает об алтарях, существовавших в городах северной Палестины, которые обычно представляли собой сооружение пирамидальной формы, на верхней площадке которой находился алтарь. К этому алтарю и вела лестница, которую видит Иаков, а наверху, на алтарной площадке, он видит Бога своих отцов (Быт 28:13), хотя о форме, в которой Он предстал Иакову, ничего не говорится. Слово, обращённое Богом к Иакову, в сущности, повторяет обещания, данные Им ещё Аврааму. Перед нами, очевидно, не что иное, как церемония обновления союза, заключённого Богом с Авраамом. Такие церемонии на древнем Востоке имели юридически обязывающее значение, так как любой договор считался действующим лишь до тех пор, пока были живы заключившие его стороны. После смерти же одной из сторон, если договор распространялся на наследников, его необходимо было подтвердить и, если необходимо, обновить, и лишь после этой процедуры он считался действующим. Судя по смыслу видения, именно это Бог и делает, подтверждая Иакову все прежние обещания и давая ему тем самым понять, что договор, заключённый ещё с Авраамом, остаётся в силе.

Но и в самой форме алтаря, который Иаков увидел в сновидении, был свой смысл. Вообще, такие алтари не были распространены среди кочевых племён, так как они нуждались в постоянном поддержании и в охране, а кочевники обычно надолго оставляли свои святилища: не имея возможности задерживаться долго на одном месте, они лишь изредка навещали их с тем, чтобы, отпраздновав раз или два в году свои религиозные праздники и совершив положенные ритуалы и жертвоприношения, затем вновь уйти на полгода или на год. К тому же, у евреев подобные святилища рано начали ассоциироваться с язычеством и языческими культами, и не случайно уже в самых ранних частях Книги Исхода появляется запрет на создание алтарей, напоминающий языческие (Исх. 20:24-26; обтёсанные камни и ведущие к алтарю ступени, несомненно, напоминают здесь о традиционном типе северо-палестинского городского алтаря). С такой точки зрения видение Иакова было не совсем обычным. Возможно, Бог отцов хотел дать понять Иакову, что ему предстоит приложить усилие для того, чтобы дойти до алтаря, то есть туда, где станет возможной встреча лицом к лицу.

Что же касается второй теофании, то она, судя по описанию, и стала такой встречей. Вряд ли мы ошибёмся, сказав, что борение Иакова является одним из самых загадочных рассказов в Книге Бытия, а может быть, и во всём Ветхом Завете. И прежде всего встаёт вопрос: с кем же всю ночь боролся Иаков (Быт 32:24)? В еврейском тексте таинственный «Некто» Синодального перевода назван «человеком» (евр. איש иш), причём это слово в еврейском языке обозначает не всякого, но лишь сильного (во всех смыслах) человека. Очевидно, у Иакова оказался сильный противник, которого, однако, он почти одолел, так, что тот вынужден был просить Иакова отпустить его (Быт 32:25-26). И здесь начинается самое интересное: Иаков согласен отпустить своего таинственного противника лишь в обмен на благословение. Нам сегодня это кажется странным: можно ли вырвать благословение силой? Ведь здесь, очевидно, за благословением не стоит ничего, связанного с такими земными реалиями, как, например, передача власти.

Но для человека эпохи Патриархов ничего странного здесь не было: ведь благословение было связано в том числе и с передачей той сверхъестественной силы, которой могли владеть и люди, и боги, и духи. А если так, то эту силу можно было не только получить с согласия того, кто ею владеет, но и отнять её у прежнего хозяина, предварительно победив его в борьбе. У некоторых народов, считавших вместилищем силы, например, печень или сердце, было даже в обычае съедать печень или сердце своего побеждённого врага, и речь в данном случае нужно вести вовсе не о пережитках каннибализма, а о желании заполучить силу своего противника. В дальнейшем, однако, выясняется, что Иаков боролся не с человеком, а с Богом (Быт 32:28; соответствующий еврейский текст говорит שרית עם אלהים ועם אנשים ותוכל сарита им-элохим ве-им-анашим ве-тухаль, то есть, дословно, «ты боролся с Богом и людьми и победил»). Ситуация становится ещё менее понятной; однако не следует забывать, что в древности нередко людям приходилось бороться за власть и за силу не только с другими людьми, но также с богами и с духами, которые обладали тем или другим.

Объективно такая борьба представляла собой обычно бурный экстаз, который мог сопровождаться конвульсиями и каталептическими состояниями, во время которых вполне можно было получить в том числе и вывих бедра (Быт 32:25, 31). Вероятнее всего, именно такой экстаз и переживает Иаков во время теофании, но субъективно он воспринимает ситуацию как человек своего времени, то есть как борьбу с Богом своих отцов за благословение, и можно думать, что именно в такой форме он и рассказывал о ней современникам, сохранившим его рассказ в неизменном виде и передавшим его потомкам.

Но исход борьбы оказался всё же не совсем обычным: ведь после благословения Иаков не просто получил некую сверхъестественную силу для возможной предстоящей борьбы со своим братом, он изменился внутренне, свидетельством чему оказалась перемена имени, подобная той, которая имела место во время встречи с Богом Авраама (гл.17 Книги Бытия). Так Иаков, всю жизнь боровшийся с судьбой, обрёл в борьбе Бога своих отцов.

Отрывки к тексту:
Gen 25
Gen 27
Gen 28
Gen 32
Gen 35
Exo 20
Gen 17
1
Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.
2
She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.
3
Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, the Letushites and the Leummites.
4
The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.
5
Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac.
6
But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
7
Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years.
8
Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.
9
His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite,
10
the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah.
11
After Abraham's death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
12
This is the account of Abraham's son Ishmael, whom Sarah's maidservant, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham.
13
These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,
14
Mishma, Dumah, Massa,
15
Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah.
16
These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps.
17
Altogether, Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people.
18
His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers.
19
This is the account of Abraham's son Isaac.
20
and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21
Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
22
The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the LORD .
23
The LORD said to her,
24
When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.
25
The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.
26
After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents.
28
Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
30
He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom. )
31
Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."
32
"Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"
33
But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
Скрыть
1
When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, "My son." "Here I am," he answered.
2
Isaac said, "I am now an old man and don't know the day of my death.
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Now then, get your weapons-your quiver and bow-and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.
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Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die."
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Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back,
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Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau,
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'Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.'
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Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you:
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Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.
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Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies."
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Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "But my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I'm a man with smooth skin.
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What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing."
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His mother said to him, "My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me."
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So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it.
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Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob.
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She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins.
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Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.
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He went to his father and said, "My father." "Yes, my son," he answered. "Who is it?"
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Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing."
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Isaac asked his son, "How did you find it so quickly, my son?" "The LORD your God gave me success," he replied.
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Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not."
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Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau."
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He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him.
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"Are you really my son Esau?" he asked. "I am," he replied.
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Then he said, "My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing." Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank.
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Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come here, my son, and kiss me."
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So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said,
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May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness- an abundance of grain and new wine.
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May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."
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After Isaac finished blessing him and Jacob had scarcely left his father's presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting.
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He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, "My father, sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing."
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His father Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" "I am your son," he answered, "your firstborn, Esau."
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Isaac trembled violently and said, "Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him-and indeed he will be blessed!"
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When Esau heard his father's words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me-me too, my father!"
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But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing."
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Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob ? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing!" Then he asked, "Haven't you reserved any blessing for me?"
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Isaac answered Esau, "I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?"
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Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!" Then Esau wept aloud.
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His father Isaac answered him,
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You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck."
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Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob."
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When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, "Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you.
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Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran.
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Stay with him for a while until your brother's fury subsides.
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When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I'll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"
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Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living."
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So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: "Do not marry a Canaanite woman.
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Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother.
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May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.
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May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham."
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Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
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Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, "Do not marry a Canaanite woman,"
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and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram.
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Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac;
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so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
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Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.
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When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
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He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
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There above it stood the LORD , and he said: "I am the LORD , the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
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Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.
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I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
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When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."
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He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."
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Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
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He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
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Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear
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so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God
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and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."
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Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
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When Jacob saw them, he said, "This is the camp of God!" So he named that place Mahanaim.
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Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
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He instructed them: "This is what you are to say to my master Esau: 'Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now.
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I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, menservants and maidservants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.' "
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When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, "We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him."
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In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well.
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He thought, "If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape."
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Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD , who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,'
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I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups.
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Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children.
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But you have said, 'I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.' "
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He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau:
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two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,
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thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.
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He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, "Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds."
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He instructed the one in the lead: "When my brother Esau meets you and asks, 'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?'
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then you are to say, 'They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.' "
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He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: "You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him.
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And be sure to say, 'Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.' " For he thought, "I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me."
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So Jacob's gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.
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That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
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After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.
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So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
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When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
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Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
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The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.
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Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."
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Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.
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So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
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The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
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Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.
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Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau."
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So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.
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Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone."
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So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem.
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Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.
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Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan.
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There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.
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Now Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died and was buried under the oak below Bethel. So it was named Allon Bacuth.
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After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him.
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God said to him, "Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. " So he named him Israel.
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And God said to him, "I am God Almighty ; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body.
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The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you."
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Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.
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Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it.
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Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.
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Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty.
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And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid, for you have another son."
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As she breathed her last-for she was dying-she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.
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So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
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Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel's tomb.
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Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder.
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While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father's concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.
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The sons of Leah: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
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The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
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The sons of Rachel's maidservant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali.
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The sons of Leah's maidservant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
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Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.
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Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years.
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Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
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And God spoke all these words:
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"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
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"You shall have no other gods before me.
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"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
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You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
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but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.
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"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
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"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
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Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
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but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
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For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
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"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
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"You shall not murder.
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"You shall not commit adultery.
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"You shall not steal.
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"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
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"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
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When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance
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and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die."
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Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."
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The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
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Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites this: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:
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Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
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" 'Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.
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If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.
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And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.'
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When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty ; walk before me and be blameless.
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I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers."
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Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,
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"As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.
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No longer will you be called Abram ; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
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I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.
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I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
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The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."
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Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.
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This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
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You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
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For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner-those who are not your offspring.
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Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.
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Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
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God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.
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I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."
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Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?"
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And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!"
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Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
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And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.
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But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year."
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When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
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On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.
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Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,
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and his son Ishmael was thirteen;
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Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that same day.
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And every male in Abraham's household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.
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