Holy Bible

New Living Translation

About the New Living Translation

First published in 1996, the New Living Translation sought to create a natural, flowing translation in everyday English that translated not the words of the original scriptures, but the thoughts they contained in order to make the scriptures come alive to their readers, and instill their message into the everyday lives of Christians.


 


Old Testament

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1st Samuel

2nd Samuel

1st Kings

2nd Kings

1st Chronicles

2nd Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

New Testament

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

Romans

1st Corinthians

2nd Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

1st Thessalonians

2nd Thessalonians

1st Timothy

2nd Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Hebrews

James

1st Peter

2nd Peter

1st John

2nd John

3rd John

Jude

Revelation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Genesis


1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface.

3Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

4And God saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.

5God called the light "day" and the darkness "night." Together these made up one day.

6And God said, "Let there be space between the waters, to separate water from water."

7And so it was. God made this space to separate the waters above from the waters below.

8And God called the space "sky." This happened on the second day.

9And God said, "Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered into one place so dry ground may appear." And so it was.

10God named the dry ground "land" and the water "seas." And God saw that it was good.

11Then God said, "Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. The seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came." And so it was.

12The land was filled with seed-bearing plants and trees, and their seeds produced plants and trees of like kind. And God saw that it was good.

13This all happened on the third day.

14And God said, "Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. They will be signs to mark off the seasons, the days, and the years.

15Let their light shine down upon the earth." And so it was.

16For God made two great lights, the sun and the moon, to shine down upon the earth. The greater one, the sun, presides during the day; the lesser one, the moon, presides through the night. He also made the stars.

17God set these lights in the heavens to light the earth,

18to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19This all happened on the fourth day.

20And God said, "Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind."

21So God created great sea creatures and every sort of fish and every kind of bird. And God saw that it was good.

22Then God blessed them, saying, "Let the fish multiply and fill the oceans. Let the birds increase and fill the earth."

23This all happened on the fifth day.

24And God said, "Let the earth bring forth every kind of animal--livestock, small animals, and wildlife." And so it was.

25God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to reproduce more of its own kind. And God saw that it was good.

26Then God said, "Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life--the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals."

27So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.

28God blessed them and told them, "Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals."

29And God said, "Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.

30And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food." And so it was.

31Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. This all happened on the sixth day.

2So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed.

2On the seventh day, having finished his task, God rested from all his work.

3And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation.

4This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the heavens and the earth,

5there were no plants or grain growing on the earth, for the LORD God had not sent any rain. And no one was there to cultivate the soil.

6But water came up out of the ground and watered all the land.

7And the LORD God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person.

8Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had created.

9And the LORD God planted all sorts of trees in the garden--beautiful trees that produced delicious fruit. At the center of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches.

11One of these branches is the Pishon, which flows around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found.

12The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there.

13The second branch is the Gihon, which flows around the entire land of Cush.

14The third branch is the Tigris, which flows to the east of Asshur. The fourth branch is the Euphrates.

15The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.

16But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden

17except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die."

18And the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him."

19So the LORD God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird. He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and Adam chose a name for each one.

20He gave names to all the livestock, birds, and wild animals. But still there was no companion suitable for him.

21So the LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it.

22Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam.

23"At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken out of a man."

24This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

25Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame.

3Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made. "Really?" he asked the woman. "Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?"

2"Of course we may eat it," the woman told him.

3"It's only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die."

4"You won't die!" the serpent hissed.

5"God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil."

6The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too.

7At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.

8Toward evening they heard the LORD God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees.

9The LORD God called to Adam, "Where are you?"

10He replied, "I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked."

11"Who told you that you were naked?" the LORD God asked. "Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?"

12"Yes," Adam admitted, "but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it."

13Then the LORD God asked the woman, "How could you do such a thing?" "The serpent tricked me," she replied. "That's why I ate it."

14So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out from all the domestic and wild animals of the whole earth to be cursed. You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly.

15From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

16Then he said to the woman, "You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master."

17And to Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.

18It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.

19All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return."

20Then Adam named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all people everywhere.

21And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

22Then the LORD God said, "The people have become as we are, knowing everything, both good and evil. What if they eat the fruit of the tree of life? Then they will live forever!"

23So the LORD God banished Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.

24After banishing them from the garden, the LORD God stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life.

4Now Adam slept with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When the time came, she gave birth to Cain, and she said, "With the LORD's help, I have brought forth a man!"

2Later she gave birth to a second son and named him Abel. When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain was a farmer.

3At harvesttime Cain brought to the LORD a gift of his farm produce,

4while Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his offering,

5but he did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected.

6"Why are you so angry?" the LORD asked him. "Why do you look so dejected?

7You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it."

8Later Cain suggested to his brother, Abel, "Let's go out into the fields." And while they were there, Cain attacked and killed his brother.

9Afterward the LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother? Where is Abel?" "I don't know!" Cain retorted. "Am I supposed to keep track of him wherever he goes?"

10But the LORD said, "What have you done? Listen--your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground!

11You are hereby banished from the ground you have defiled with your brother's blood.

12No longer will it yield abundant crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless fugitive on the earth, constantly wandering from place to place."

13Cain replied to the LORD, "My punishment is too great for me to bear!

14You have banished me from my land and from your presence; you have made me a wandering fugitive. All who see me will try to kill me!"

15The LORD replied, "They will not kill you, for I will give seven times your punishment to anyone who does." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him.

16So Cain left the LORD's presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

17Then Cain's wife became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Enoch. When Cain founded a city, he named it Enoch after his son.

18Enoch was the father of Irad. Irad was the father of Mehujael. Mehujael was the father of Methushael. Methushael was the father of Lamech.

19Lamech married two women--Adah and Zillah.

20Adah gave birth to a baby named Jabal. He became the first of the herdsmen who live in tents.

21His brother's name was Jubal, the first musician--the inventor of the harp and flute.

22To Lamech's other wife, Zillah, was born Tubal-cain. He was the first to work with metal, forging instruments of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah.

23One day Lamech said to Adah and Zillah, "Listen to me, my wives. I have killed a youth who attacked and wounded me.

24If anyone who kills Cain is to be punished seven times, anyone who takes revenge against me will be punished seventy-seven times!"

25Adam slept with his wife again, and she gave birth to another son. She named him Seth, for she said, "God has granted me another son in place of Abel, the one Cain killed."

26When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. It was during his lifetime that people first began to worship the LORD.

5This is the history of the descendants of Adam. When God created people, he made them in the likeness of God.

2He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them "human."

3When Adam was 130 years old, his son Seth was born, and Seth was the very image of his father.

4After the birth of Seth, Adam lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters.

5He died at the age of 930.

6When Seth was 105 years old, his son Enosh was born.

7After the birth of Enosh, Seth lived another 807 years, and he had other sons and daughters.

8He died at the age of 912.

9When Enosh was 90 years old, his son Kenan was born.

10After the birth of Kenan, Enosh lived another 815 years, and he had other sons and daughters.

11He died at the age of 905.

12When Kenan was 70 years old, his son Mahalalel was born.

13After the birth of Mahalalel, Kenan lived another 840 years, and he had other sons and daughters.

14He died at the age of 910.

15When Mahalalel was 65 years old, his son Jared was born.

16After the birth of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years, and he had other sons and daughters.

17He died at the age of 895.

18When Jared was 162 years old, his son Enoch was born.

19After the birth of Enoch, Jared lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters.

20He died at the age of 962.

21When Enoch was 65 years old, his son Methuselah was born.

22After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived another 300 years in close fellowship with God, and he had other sons and daughters.

23Enoch lived 365 years in all.

24He enjoyed a close relationship with God throughout his life. Then suddenly, he disappeared because God took him.

25When Methuselah was 187 years old, his son Lamech was born.

26After the birth of Lamech, Methuselah lived another 782 years, and he had other sons and daughters.

27He died at the age of 969.

28When Lamech was 182 years old, his son Noah was born.

29Lamech named his son Noah, for he said, "He will bring us relief from the painful labor of farming this ground that the LORD has cursed."

30After the birth of Noah, Lamech lived 595 years, and he had other sons and daughters.

31He died at the age of 777.

32By the time Noah was 500 years old, he had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

6When the human population began to grow rapidly on the earth,

2the sons of God saw the beautiful women of the human race and took any they wanted as their wives.

3Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, they will live no more than 120 years."

4In those days, and even afterward, giants lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with human women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes mentioned in legends of old.

5Now the LORD observed the extent of the people's wickedness, and he saw that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil.

6So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them. It broke his heart.

7And the LORD said, "I will completely wipe out this human race that I have created. Yes, and I will destroy all the animals and birds, too. I am sorry I ever made them."

8But Noah found favor with the LORD.

9This is the history of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God's will and enjoyed a close relationship with him.

10Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11Now the earth had become corrupt in God's sight, and it was filled with violence.

12God observed all this corruption in the world, and he saw violence and depravity everywhere.

13So God said to Noah, "I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Yes, I will wipe them all from the face of the earth!

14"Make a boat from resinous wood and seal it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior.

15Make it 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.

16Construct an opening all the way around the boat, 18 inches below the roof. Then put three decks inside the boat--bottom, middle, and upper--and put a door in the side.

17"Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing. Everything on earth will die!

18But I solemnly swear to keep you safe in the boat, with your wife and your sons and their wives.

19Bring a pair of every kind of animal--a male and a female--into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood.

20Pairs of each kind of bird and each kind of animal, large and small alike, will come to you to be kept alive.

21And remember, take enough food for your family and for all the animals."

22So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

7Finally, the day came when the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I consider you alone to be righteous.

2Take along seven pairs of each animal that I have approved for eating and for sacrifice, and take one pair of each of the others.

3Then select seven pairs of every kind of bird. There must be a male and a female in each pair to ensure that every kind of living creature will survive the flood.

4One week from today I will begin forty days and forty nights of rain. And I will wipe from the earth all the living things I have created."

5So Noah did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.

6He was 600 years old when the flood came,

7and he went aboard the boat to escape--he and his wife and his sons and their wives.

8With them were all the various kinds of animals--those approved for eating and sacrifice and those that were not--along with all the birds and other small animals.

9They came into the boat in pairs, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah.

10One week later, the flood came and covered the earth.

11When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, the underground waters burst forth on the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky.

12The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights.

13But Noah had gone into the boat that very day with his wife and his sons--Shem, Ham, and Japheth--and their wives.

14With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of breathing animal--domestic and wild, large and small--along with birds and flying insects of every kind.

15Two by two they came into the boat,

16male and female, just as God had commanded. Then the LORD shut them in.

17For forty days the floods prevailed, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth.

18As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface.

19Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth,

20standing more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks.

21All the living things on earth died--birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all kinds of small animals, and all the people.

22Everything died that breathed and lived on dry land.

23Every living thing on the earth was wiped out--people, animals both large and small, and birds. They were all destroyed, and only Noah was left alive, along with those who were with him in the boat.

24And the water covered the earth for 150 days.

8But God remembered Noah and all the animals in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the waters, and the floods began to disappear.

2The underground water sources ceased their gushing, and the torrential rains stopped.

3So the flood gradually began to recede. After 150 days,

4exactly five months from the time the flood began, the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

5Two and a half months later, as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks began to appear.

6After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat

7and released a raven that flew back and forth until the earth was dry.

8Then he sent out a dove to see if it could find dry ground.

9But the dove found no place to land because the water was still too high. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside.

10Seven days later, Noah released the dove again.

11This time, toward evening, the bird returned to him with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Noah now knew that the water was almost gone.

12A week later, he released the dove again, and this time it did not come back.

13Finally, when Noah was 601 years old, ten and a half months after the flood began, Noah lifted back the cover to look. The water was drying up.

14Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry!

15Then God said to Noah,

16"Leave the boat, all of you.

17Release all the animals and birds so they can breed and reproduce in great numbers."

18So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat.

19And all the various kinds of animals and birds came out, pair by pair.

20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and sacrificed on it the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.

21And the LORD was pleased with the sacrifice and said to himself, "I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people's thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood.

22As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night."

9God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, "Multiply and fill the earth.

2All the wild animals, large and small, and all the birds and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them in your power.

3I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables.

4But you must never eat animals that still have their lifeblood in them.

5And murder is forbidden. Animals that kill people must die, and any person who murders must be killed.

6Yes, you must execute anyone who murders another person, for to kill a person is to kill a living being made in God's image.

7Now you must have many children and repopulate the earth. Yes, multiply and fill the earth!"

8Then God told Noah and his sons,

9"I am making a covenant with you and your descendants,

10and with the animals you brought with you--all these birds and livestock and wild animals.

11I solemnly promise never to send another flood to kill all living creatures and destroy the earth."

12And God said, "I am giving you a sign as evidence of my eternal covenant with you and all living creatures.

13I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my permanent promise to you and to all the earth.

14When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the clouds,

15and I will remember my covenant with you and with everything that lives. Never again will there be a flood that will destroy all life.

16When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth."

17Then God said to Noah, "Yes, this is the sign of my covenant with all the creatures of the earth."

18Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah, survived the Flood with their father. (Ham is the ancestor of the Canaanites.)

19From these three sons of Noah came all the people now scattered across the earth.

20After the Flood, Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard.

21One day he became drunk on some wine he had made and lay naked in his tent.

22Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers.

23Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, walked backward into the tent, and covered their father's naked body. As they did this, they looked the other way so they wouldn't see him naked.

24When Noah woke up from his drunken stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done.

25Then he cursed the descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham: "A curse on the Canaanites! May they be the lowest of servants to the descendants of Shem and Japheth."

26Then Noah said, "May Shem be blessed by the LORD my God; and may Canaan be his servant.

27May God enlarge the territory of Japheth, and may he share the prosperity of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant."

28Noah lived another 350 years after the Flood.

29He was 950 years old when he died.

10This is the history of the families of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah. Many children were born to them after the Flood.

2The descendants of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.

3The descendants of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.

4The descendants of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.

5Their descendants became the seafaring peoples in various lands, each tribe with its own language.

6The descendants of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.

7The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

8One of Cush's descendants was Nimrod, who became a heroic warrior.

9He was a mighty hunter in the LORD's sight. His name became proverbial, and people would speak of someone as being "like Nimrod, a mighty hunter in the LORD's sight."

10He built the foundation for his empire in the land of Babylonia, with the cities of Babel, Erech, Akkad, and Calneh.

11From there he extended his reign to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah,

12and Resen--the main city of the empire, located between Nineveh and Calah.

13Mizraim was the ancestor of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites,

14Pathrusites, Casluhites, and the Caphtorites, from whom the Philistines came.

15Canaan's oldest son was Sidon, the ancestor of the Sidonians. Canaan was also the ancestor of the Hittites,

16Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites,

17Hivites, Arkites, Sinites,

18Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites.

19Eventually the territory of Canaan spread from Sidon to Gerar, near Gaza, and to Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, near Lasha.

20These were the descendants of Ham, identified according to their tribes, languages, territories, and nations.

21Sons were also born to Shem, the older brother of Japheth. Shem was the ancestor of all the descendants of Eber.

22The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.

23The descendants of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.

24Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah was the father of Eber.

25Eber had two sons. The first was named Peleg--"division"--for during his lifetime the people of the world were divided into different language groups and dispersed. His brother's name was Joktan.

26Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,

27Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,

28Obal, Abimael, Sheba,

29Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab.

30The descendants of Joktan lived in the area extending from Mesha toward the eastern hills of Sephar.

31These were the descendants of Shem, identified according to their tribes, languages, territories, and nations.

32These are the families that came from Noah's sons, listed nation by nation according to their lines of descent. The earth was populated with the people of these nations after the Flood.

11At one time the whole world spoke a single language and used the same words.

2As the people migrated eastward, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

3They began to talk about construction projects. "Come," they said, "let's make great piles of burnt brick and collect natural asphalt to use as mortar.

4Let's build a great city with a tower that reaches to the skies--a monument to our greatness! This will bring us together and keep us from scattering all over the world."

5But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.

6"Look!" he said. "If they can accomplish this when they have just begun to take advantage of their common language and political unity, just think of what they will do later. Nothing will be impossible for them!

7Come, let's go down and give them different languages. Then they won't be able to understand each other."

8In that way, the LORD scattered them all over the earth; and that ended the building of the city.

9That is why the city was called Babel, because it was there that the LORD confused the people by giving them many languages, thus scattering them across the earth.

10This is the history of Shem's family. When Shem was 100 years old, his son Arphaxad was born. This happened two years after the Flood.

11After the birth of Arphaxad, Shem lived another 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

12When Arphaxad was 35 years old, his son Shelah was born.

13After the birth of Shelah, Arphaxad lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

14When Shelah was 30 years old, his son Eber was born.

15After the birth of Eber, Shelah lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

16When Eber was 34 years old, his son Peleg was born.

17After the birth of Peleg, Eber lived another 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

18When Peleg was 30 years old, his son Reu was born.

19After the birth of Reu, Peleg lived another 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

20When Reu was 32 years old, his son Serug was born.

21After the birth of Serug, Reu lived another 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

22When Serug was 30 years old, his son Nahor was born.

23After the birth of Nahor, Serug lived another 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

24When Nahor was 29 years old, his son Terah was born.

25After the birth of Terah, Nahor lived another 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26When Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

27This is the history of Terah's family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran had a son named Lot.

28But while Haran was still young, he died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the place of his birth. He was survived by Terah, his father.

29Meanwhile, Abram married Sarai, and his brother Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of their brother Haran. (Milcah had a sister named Iscah.)

30Now Sarai was not able to have any children.

31Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai, and his grandson Lot (his son Haran's child) and left Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But they stopped instead at the village of Haran and settled there.

32Terah lived for 205 years and died while still at Haran.

12Then the LORD told Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you.

2I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others.

3I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you."

4So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

5He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth--his livestock and all the people who had joined his household at Haran--and finally arrived in Canaan.

6Traveling through Canaan, they came to a place near Shechem and set up camp beside the oak at Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.

7Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "I am going to give this land to your offspring. " And Abram built an altar there to commemorate the LORD's visit.

8After that, Abram traveled southward and set up camp in the hill country between Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar and worshiped the LORD.

9Then Abram traveled south by stages toward the Negev.

10At that time there was a severe famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to wait it out.

11As he was approaching the borders of Egypt, Abram said to Sarai, "You are a very beautiful woman.

12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife. Let's kill him; then we can have her!'

13But if you say you are my sister, then the Egyptians will treat me well because of their interest in you, and they will spare my life."

14And sure enough, when they arrived in Egypt, everyone spoke of her beauty.

15When the palace officials saw her, they sang her praises to their king, the pharaoh, and she was taken into his harem.

16Then Pharaoh gave Abram many gifts because of her--sheep, cattle, donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.

17But the LORD sent a terrible plague upon Pharaoh's household because of Sarai, Abram's wife.

18So Pharaoh called for Abram and accused him sharply. "What is this you have done to me?" he demanded. "Why didn't you tell me she was your wife?

19Why were you willing to let me marry her, saying she was your sister? Here is your wife! Take her and be gone!"

20Pharaoh then sent them out of the country under armed escort--Abram and his wife, with all their household and belongings.

13So they left Egypt and traveled north into the Negev--Abram with his wife and Lot and all that they owned,

2for Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.

3Then they continued traveling by stages toward Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where they had camped before.

4This was the place where Abram had built the altar, and there he again worshiped the LORD.

5Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also very wealthy with sheep, cattle, and many tents.

6But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. There were too many animals for the available pastureland.

7So an argument broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. At that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land.

8Then Abram talked it over with Lot. "This arguing between our herdsmen has got to stop," he said. "After all, we are close relatives!

9I'll tell you what we'll do. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate. If you want that area over there, then I'll stay here. If you want to stay in this area, then I'll move on to another place."

10Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the LORD or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)

11Lot chose that land for himself--the Jordan Valley to the east of them. He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram.

12So while Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom, among the cities of the plain.

13The people of this area were unusually wicked and sinned greatly against the LORD.

14After Lot was gone, the LORD said to Abram, "Look as far as you can see in every direction.

15I am going to give all this land to you and your offspring as a permanent possession.

16And I am going to give you so many descendants that, like dust, they cannot be counted!

17Take a walk in every direction and explore the new possessions I am giving you."

18Then Abram moved his camp to the oak grove owned by Mamre, which is at Hebron. There he built an altar to the LORD.

14About this time war broke out in the region. King Amraphel of Babylonia, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Kedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim

2fought against King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (now called Zoar).

3The kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela formed an alliance and mobilized their armies in Siddim Valley (that is, the valley of the Dead Sea ).

4For twelve years they had all been subject to King Kedorlaomer, but now in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

5One year later, Kedorlaomer and his allies arrived. They conquered the Rephaites in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in the plain of Kiriathaim,

6and the Horites in Mount Seir, as far as El-paran at the edge of the wilderness.

7Then they swung around to En-mishpat (now called Kadesh) and destroyed the Amalekites, and also the Amorites living in Hazazon-tamar.

8But now the army of the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela (now called Zoar) prepared for battle in the valley of the Dead Sea

9against King Kedorlaomer of Elam and the kings of Goiim, Babylonia, and Ellasar--four kings against five.

10As it happened, the valley was filled with tar pits. And as the army of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some slipped into the tar pits, while the rest escaped into the mountains.

11The victorious invaders then plundered Sodom and Gomorrah and began their long journey home, taking all the wealth and food with them.

12They also captured Lot--Abram's nephew who lived in Sodom--and took everything he owned.

13One of the men who escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was camped at the oak grove belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his relatives, Eshcol and Aner, were Abram's allies.

14When Abram learned that Lot had been captured, he called together the men born into his household, 318 of them in all. He chased after Kedorlaomer's army until he caught up with them in Dan.

15There he divided his men and attacked during the night from several directions. Kedorlaomer's army fled, but Abram chased them to Hobah, north of Damascus.

16Abram and his allies recovered everything--the goods that had been taken, Abram's nephew Lot with his possessions, and all the women and other captives.

17As Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and his allies, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).

18Then Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought him bread and wine.

19Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.

20And blessed be God Most High, who has helped you conquer your enemies." Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

21The king of Sodom told him, "Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered."

22Abram replied, "I have solemnly promised the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,

23that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from you. Otherwise you might say, 'I am the one who made Abram rich!'

24All I'll accept is what these young men of mine have already eaten. But give a share of the goods to my allies--Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre."

15Afterward the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, "Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great."

2But Abram replied, "O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don't even have a son? Since I don't have a son, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth.

3You have given me no children, so one of my servants will have to be my heir."

4Then the LORD said to him, "No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own to inherit everything I am giving you."

5Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, "Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that--too many to count!"

6And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD declared him righteous because of his faith.

7Then the LORD told him, "I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land."

8But Abram replied, "O Sovereign LORD, how can I be sure that you will give it to me?"

9Then the LORD told him, "Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon."

10Abram took all these and killed them. He cut each one down the middle and laid the halves side by side. He did not, however, divide the birds in half.

11Some vultures came down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.

12That evening, as the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. He saw a terrifying vision of darkness and horror.

13Then the LORD told Abram, "You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, and they will be oppressed as slaves for four hundred years.

14But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth.

15(But you will die in peace, at a ripe old age.)

16After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, when the sin of the Amorites has run its course."

17As the sun went down and it became dark, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses.

18So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, "I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River--

19the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,

20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,

21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites."

16But Sarai, Abram's wife, had no children. So Sarai took her servant, an Egyptian woman named Hagar,

2and gave her to Abram so she could bear his children. "The LORD has kept me from having any children," Sarai said to Abram. "Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her." And Abram agreed.

3So Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram first arrived in the land of Canaan.)

4So Abram slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress Sarai with contempt.

5Then Sarai said to Abram, "It's all your fault! Now this servant of mine is pregnant, and she despises me, though I myself gave her the privilege of sleeping with you. The LORD will make you pay for doing this to me! "

6Abram replied, "Since she is your servant, you may deal with her as you see fit." So Sarai treated her harshly, and Hagar ran away.

7The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a desert spring along the road to Shur.

8The angel said to her, "Hagar, Sarai's servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?" "I am running away from my mistress," she replied.

9Then the angel of the LORD said, "Return to your mistress and submit to her authority."

10The angel added, "I will give you more descendants than you can count."

11And the angel also said, "You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard about your misery.

12This son of yours will be a wild one--free and untamed as a wild donkey! He will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live at odds with the rest of his brothers."

13Thereafter, Hagar referred to the LORD, who had spoken to her, as "the God who sees me," for she said, "I have seen the One who sees me!"

14Later that well was named Beer-lahairoi, and it can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.

15So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael.

16Abram was eighty-six years old at that time.

17When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.

2I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation."

3At this, Abram fell face down in the dust. Then God said to him,

4"This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of not just one nation, but a multitude of nations!

5What's more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram; now you will be known as Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.

6I will give you millions of descendants who will represent many nations. Kings will be among them!

7"I will continue this everlasting covenant between us, generation after generation. It will continue between me and your offspring forever. And I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

8Yes, I will give all this land of Canaan to you and to your offspring forever. And I will be their God.

9"Your part of the agreement," God told Abraham, "is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility.

10This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised;

11the flesh of his foreskin must be cut off. This will be a sign that you and they have accepted this covenant.

12Every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family, but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased.

13All must be circumcised. Your bodies will thus bear the mark of my everlasting covenant.

14Anyone who refuses to be circumcised will be cut off from the covenant family for violating the covenant."

15Then God added, "Regarding Sarai, your wife--her name will no longer be Sarai; from now on you will call her Sarah.

16And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings will be among her descendants!"

17Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. "How could I become a father at the age of one hundred?" he wondered. "Besides, Sarah is ninety; how could she have a baby?"

18And Abraham said to God, "Yes, may Ishmael enjoy your special blessing!"

19But God replied, "Sarah, your wife, will bear you a son. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my everlasting covenant with him and his descendants.

20As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will cause him to multiply and become a great nation. Twelve princes will be among his descendants.

21But my covenant is with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year."

22That ended the conversation, and God left Abraham.

23On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and every other male in his household and circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins, exactly as God had told him.

24Abraham was ninety-nine years old at that time,

25and Ishmael his son was thirteen.

26Both were circumcised the same day,

27along with all the other men and boys of the household, whether they were born there or bought as servants.

18The LORD appeared again to Abraham while he was camped near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day about noon, as Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent,

2he suddenly noticed three men standing nearby. He got up and ran to meet them, welcoming them by bowing low to the ground.

3"My lord," he said, "if it pleases you, stop here for a while.

4Rest in the shade of this tree while my servants get some water to wash your feet.

5Let me prepare some food to refresh you. Please stay awhile before continuing on your journey." "All right," they said. "Do as you have said."

6So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, "Quick! Get three measures of your best flour, and bake some bread."

7Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a fat calf and told a servant to hurry and butcher it.

8When the food was ready, he took some cheese curds and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them there beneath the trees.

9"Where is Sarah, your wife?" they asked him. "In the tent," Abraham replied.

10Then one of them said, "About this time next year I will return, and your wife Sarah will have a son." Now Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent nearby.

11And since Abraham and Sarah were both very old, and Sarah was long past the age of having children,

12she laughed silently to herself. "How could a worn-out woman like me have a baby?" she thought. "And when my master--my husband--is also so old?"

13Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, 'Can an old woman like me have a baby?'

14Is anything too hard for the LORD? About a year from now, just as I told you, I will return, and Sarah will have a son."

15Sarah was afraid, so she denied that she had laughed. But he said, "That is not true. You did laugh."

16Then the men got up from their meal and started on toward Sodom. Abraham went with them part of the way.

17"Should I hide my plan from Abraham?" the LORD asked.

18"For Abraham will become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.

19I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the LORD and do what is right and just. Then I will do for him all that I have promised."

20So the LORD told Abraham, "I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are extremely evil, and that everything they do is wicked.

21I am going down to see whether or not these reports are true. Then I will know."

22The two other men went on toward Sodom, but the LORD remained with Abraham for a while.

23Abraham approached him and said, "Will you destroy both innocent and guilty alike?

24Suppose you find fifty innocent people there within the city--will you still destroy it, and not spare it for their sakes?

25Surely you wouldn't do such a thing, destroying the innocent with the guilty. Why, you would be treating the innocent and the guilty exactly the same! Surely you wouldn't do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?"

26And the LORD replied, "If I find fifty innocent people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake."

27Then Abraham spoke again. "Since I have begun, let me go on and speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes.

28Suppose there are only forty-five? Will you destroy the city for lack of five?" And the LORD said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five."

29Then Abraham pressed his request further. "Suppose there are only forty?" And the LORD replied, "I will not destroy it if there are forty."

30"Please don't be angry, my Lord," Abraham pleaded. "Let me speak--suppose only thirty are found?" And the LORD replied, "I will not destroy it if there are thirty."

31Then Abraham said, "Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue--suppose there are only twenty?" And the LORD said, "Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty."

32Finally, Abraham said, "Lord, please do not get angry; I will speak but once more! Suppose only ten are found there?" And the LORD said, "Then, for the sake of the ten, I will not destroy it."

33The LORD went on his way when he had finished his conversation with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his tent.

19That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom, and Lot was sitting there as they arrived. When he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed low to the ground.

2"My lords," he said, "come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up in the morning as early as you like and be on your way again." "Oh no," they said, "we'll just spend the night out here in the city square."

3But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. He set a great feast before them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast. After the meal,

4as they were preparing to retire for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house.

5They shouted to Lot, "Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out so we can have sex with them."

6Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him.

7"Please, my brothers," he begged, "don't do such a wicked thing.

8Look--I have two virgin daughters. Do with them as you wish, but leave these men alone, for they are under my protection."

9"Stand back!" they shouted. "Who do you think you are? We let you settle among us, and now you are trying to tell us what to do! We'll treat you far worse than those other men!" And they lunged at Lot and began breaking down the door.

10But the two angels reached out and pulled Lot in and bolted the door.

11Then they blinded the men of Sodom so they couldn't find the doorway.

12"Do you have any other relatives here in the city?" the angels asked. "Get them out of this place--sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else.

13For we will destroy the city completely. The stench of the place has reached the LORD, and he has sent us to destroy it."

14So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters' fiances, "Quick, get out of the city! The LORD is going to destroy it." But the young men thought he was only joking.

15At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. "Hurry," they said to Lot. "Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out of here right now, or you will be caught in the destruction of the city."

16When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the LORD was merciful.

17"Run for your lives!" the angels warned. "Do not stop anywhere in the valley. And don't look back! Escape to the mountains, or you will die."

18"Oh no, my lords, please," Lot begged.

19"You have been so kind to me and saved my life, and you have granted me such mercy. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die.

20See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don't you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved."

21"All right," the angel said, "I will grant your request. I will not destroy that little village.

22But hurry! For I can do nothing until you are there." From that time on, that village was known as Zoar.

23The sun was rising as Lot reached the village.

24Then the LORD rained down fire and burning sulfur from the heavens on Sodom and Gomorrah.

25He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, eliminating all life--people, plants, and animals alike.

26But Lot's wife looked back as she was following along behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27The next morning Abraham was up early and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the LORD's presence.

28He looked out across the plain to Sodom and Gomorrah and saw columns of smoke and fumes, as from a furnace, rising from the cities there.

29But God had listened to Abraham's request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.

30Afterward Lot left Zoar because he was afraid of the people there, and he went to live in a cave in the mountains with his two daughters.

31One day the older daughter said to her sister, "There isn't a man anywhere in this entire area for us to marry. And our father will soon be too old to have children.

32Come, let's get him drunk with wine, and then we will sleep with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father."

33So that night they got him drunk, and the older daughter went in and slept with her father. He was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.

34The next morning the older daughter said to her younger sister, "I slept with our father last night. Let's get him drunk with wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him. That way our family line will be preserved."

35So that night they got him drunk again, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. As before, he was unaware of her lying down or getting up again.

36So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father.

37When the older daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Moab. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Moabites.

38When the younger daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Ben-ammi. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites.

20Now Abraham moved south to the Negev and settled for a while between Kadesh and Shur at a place called Gerar.

2Abraham told people there that his wife, Sarah, was his sister. So King Abimelech sent for her and had her brought to him at his palace.

3But one night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, "You are a dead man, for that woman you took is married."

4But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, "Lord, will you kill an innocent man?

5Abraham told me, 'She is my sister,' and she herself said, 'Yes, he is my brother.' I acted in complete innocence!"

6"Yes, I know you are innocent," God replied. "That is why I kept you from sinning against me; I did not let you touch her.

7Now return her to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don't return her to him, you can be sure that you and your entire household will die."

8Abimelech got up early the next morning and hastily called a meeting of all his servants. When he told them what had happened, great fear swept through the crowd.

9Then Abimelech called for Abraham. "What is this you have done to us?" he demanded. "What have I done to you that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? This kind of thing should not be done!

10Why have you done this to us?"

11"Well," Abraham said, "I figured this to be a godless place. I thought, 'They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.'

12Besides, she is my sister--we both have the same father, though different mothers--and I married her.

13When God sent me to travel far from my father's home, I told her, 'Wherever we go, have the kindness to say that you are my sister.' "

14Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and servants--both men and women--and gave them to Abraham, and he returned his wife, Sarah, to him.

15"Look over my kingdom, and choose a place where you would like to live," Abimelech told him.

16Then he turned to Sarah. "Look," he said, "I am giving your 'brother' a thousand pieces of silver to compensate for any embarrassment I may have caused you. This will settle any claim against me in this matter."

17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and the other women of the household, so they could have children.

18For the LORD had stricken all the women with infertility as a warning to Abimelech for having taken Abraham's wife.

21Then the LORD did exactly what he had promised.

2Sarah became pregnant, and she gave a son to Abraham in his old age. It all happened at the time God had said it would.

3And Abraham named his son Isaac.

4Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded.

5Abraham was one hundred years old at the time.

6And Sarah declared, "God has brought me laughter! All who hear about this will laugh with me.

7For who would have dreamed that I would ever have a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!"

8As time went by and Isaac grew and was weaned, Abraham gave a big party to celebrate the happy occasion.

9But Sarah saw Ishmael--the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar--making fun of Isaac.

10So she turned to Abraham and demanded, "Get rid of that servant and her son. He is not going to share the family inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won't have it!"

11This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son.

12But God told Abraham, "Do not be upset over the boy and your servant wife. Do just as Sarah says, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.

13But I will make a nation of the descendants of Hagar's son because he also is your son."

14So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food for the journey, and strapped a container of water to Hagar's shoulders. He sent her away with their son, and she walked out into the wilderness of Beersheba, wandering aimlessly.

15When the water was gone, she left the boy in the shade of a bush.

16Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. "I don't want to watch the boy die," she said, as she burst into tears.

17Then God heard the boy's cries, and the angel of God called to Hagar from the sky, "Hagar, what's wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy's cries from the place where you laid him.

18Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants."

19Then God opened Hagar's eyes, and she saw a well. She immediately filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.

20And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness of Paran. He became an expert archer,

21and his mother arranged a marriage for him with a young woman from Egypt.

22About this time, Abimelech came with Phicol, his army commander, to visit Abraham. "It is clear that God helps you in everything you do," Abimelech said.

23"Swear to me in God's name that you won't deceive me, my children, or my grandchildren. I have been loyal to you, so now swear that you will be loyal to me and to this country in which you are living."

24Abraham replied, "All right, I swear to it!"

25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech's servants had taken violently from Abraham's servants.

26"This is the first I've heard of it," Abimelech said. "And I have no idea who is responsible. Why didn't you say something about this before?"

27Then Abraham gave sheep and oxen to Abimelech, and they made a treaty.

28But when Abraham took seven additional ewe lambs and set them off by themselves,

29Abimelech asked, "Why are you doing that?"

30Abraham replied, "They are my gift to you as a public confirmation that I dug this well."

31So ever since, that place has been known as Beersheba--"well of the oath"--because that was where they had sworn an oath.

32After making their covenant, Abimelech left with Phicol, the commander of his army, and they returned home to the land of the Philistines.

33Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and he worshiped the LORD, the Eternal God, at that place.

34And Abraham lived in Philistine country for a long time.

22Later on God tested Abraham's faith and obedience. "Abraham!" God called. "Yes," he replied. "Here I am."

2"Take your son, your only son--yes, Isaac, whom you love so much--and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you."

3The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac. Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go.

4On the third day of the journey, Abraham saw the place in the distance.

5"Stay here with the donkey," Abraham told the young men. "The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back."

6Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's shoulders, while he himself carried the knife and the fire. As the two of them went on together,

7Isaac said, "Father?" "Yes, my son," Abraham replied. "We have the wood and the fire," said the boy, "but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?"

8"God will provide a lamb, my son," Abraham answered. And they both went on together.

9When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood on it. Then he tied Isaac up and laid him on the altar over the wood.

10And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to kill his son as a sacrifice to the LORD.

11At that moment the angel of the LORD shouted to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Yes," he answered. "I'm listening."

12"Lay down the knife," the angel said. "Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me."

13Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son.

14Abraham named the place "The LORD Will Provide." This name has now become a proverb: "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

15Then the angel of the LORD called again to Abraham from heaven,

16"This is what the LORD says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by my own self that

17I will bless you richly. I will multiply your descendants into countless millions, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. They will conquer their enemies,

18and through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed--all because you have obeyed me."

19Then they returned to Abraham's young men and traveled home again to Beersheba, where Abraham lived for quite some time.

20Soon after this, Abraham heard that Milcah, his brother Nahor's wife, had borne Nahor eight sons.

21The oldest was named Uz, the next oldest was Buz, followed by Kemuel (the father of Aram),

22Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.

23Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.

24In addition to his eight sons from Milcah, Nahor had four other children from his concubine Reumah. Their names were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

23When Sarah was 127 years old,

2she died at Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron) in the land of Canaan. There Abraham mourned and wept for her.

3Then, leaving her body, he went to the Hittite elders and said,

4"Here I am, a stranger in a foreign land, with no place to bury my wife. Please let me have a piece of land for a burial plot."

5The Hittites replied to Abraham,

6"Certainly, for you are an honored prince among us. It will be a privilege to have you choose the finest of our tombs so you can bury her there."

7Then Abraham bowed low before them and said,

8"Since this is how you feel, be so kind as to ask Ephron son of Zohar

9to let me have the cave of Machpelah, down at the end of his field. I want to pay the full price, of course, whatever is publicly agreed upon, so I may have a permanent burial place for my family."

10Ephron was sitting there among the others, and he answered Abraham as the others listened, speaking publicly before all the elders of the town.

11"No, sir," he said to Abraham, "please listen to me. I will give you the cave and the field. Here in the presence of my people, I give it to you. Go and bury your dead."

12Abraham bowed again to the people of the land,

13and he replied to Ephron as everyone listened. "No, listen to me," he insisted. "I will buy it from you. Let me pay the full price for the field so I can bury my dead there."

14"Well," Ephron answered,

15"the land is worth four hundred pieces of silver, but what is that between friends? Go ahead and bury your dead."

16So Abraham paid Ephron the amount he had suggested, four hundred pieces of silver, as was publicly agreed.

17He bought the plot of land belonging to Ephron at Machpelah, near Mamre. This included the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees nearby.

18They became Abraham's permanent possession by the agreement made in the presence of the Hittite elders at the city gate.

19So Abraham buried Sarah there in Canaan, in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, which is at Hebron.

20The field and the cave were sold to Abraham by the Hittites as a permanent burial place.

24Abraham was now a very old man, and the LORD had blessed him in every way.

2One day Abraham said to the man in charge of his household, who was his oldest servant,

3"Swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not let my son marry one of these local Canaanite women.

4Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac."

5The servant asked, "But suppose I can't find a young woman who will travel so far from home? May I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives?"

6"No!" Abraham warned. "Be careful never to take my son there.

7For the LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my offspring. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a young woman there to be my son's wife.

8If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there."

9So the servant took a solemn oath that he would follow Abraham's instructions.

10He loaded ten of Abraham's camels with gifts and set out, taking with him the best of everything his master owned. He traveled to Aram-naharaim and went to the village where Abraham's brother Nahor had settled.

11There the servant made the camels kneel down beside a well just outside the village. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water.

12"O LORD, God of my master," he prayed. "Give me success and show kindness to my master, Abraham. Help me to accomplish the purpose of my journey.

13See, here I am, standing beside this spring, and the young women of the village are coming out to draw water.

14This is my request. I will ask one of them for a drink. If she says, 'Yes, certainly, and I will water your camels, too!'--let her be the one you have appointed as Isaac's wife. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."

15As he was still praying, a young woman named Rebekah arrived with a water jug on her shoulder. Her father was Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham's brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah.

16Now Rebekah was very beautiful, and she was a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again.

17Running over to her, the servant asked, "Please give me a drink."

18"Certainly, sir," she said, and she quickly lowered the jug for him to drink.

19When he had finished, she said, "I'll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough!"

20So she quickly emptied the jug into the watering trough and ran down to the well again. She kept carrying water to the camels until they had finished drinking.

21The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not she was the one the LORD intended him to meet.

22Then at last, when the camels had finished drinking, he gave her a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets for her wrists.

23"Whose daughter are you?" he asked. "Would your father have any room to put us up for the night?"

24"My father is Bethuel," she replied. "My grandparents are Nahor and Milcah.

25Yes, we have plenty of straw and food for the camels, and we have a room for guests."

26The man fell down to the ground and worshiped the LORD.

27"Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham," he said. "The LORD has been so kind and faithful to Abraham, for he has led me straight to my master's relatives."

28The young woman ran home to tell her family about all that had happened.

29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban.

30When he saw the nose-ring and the bracelets on his sister's wrists, and when he heard her story, he rushed out to the spring, where the man was still standing beside his camels. Laban said to him,

31"Come and stay with us, you who are blessed by the LORD. Why do you stand here outside the village when we have a room all ready for you and a place prepared for the camels!"

32So the man went home with Laban, and Laban unloaded the camels, gave him straw to bed them down, fed them, and provided water for the camel drivers to wash their feet.

33Then supper was served. But Abraham's servant said, "I don't want to eat until I have told you why I have come." "All right," Laban said, "tell us your mission."

34"I am Abraham's servant," he explained.

35"And the LORD has blessed my master richly; he has become a great man. The LORD has given him flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, a fortune in silver and gold, and many servants and camels and donkeys.

36When Sarah, my master's wife, was very old, she gave birth to my master's son, and my master has given him everything he owns.

37And my master made me swear that I would not let Isaac marry one of the local Canaanite women.

38Instead, I was to come to his relatives here in this far-off land, to his father's home. I was told to bring back a young woman from here to marry his son.

39" 'But suppose I can't find a young woman willing to come back with me?' I asked him.

40'You will,' he told me, 'for the LORD, in whose presence I have walked, will send his angel with you and will make your mission successful. Yes, you must get a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father's family.

41But if you go to my relatives and they refuse to let her come, you will be free from your oath.'

42"So this afternoon when I came to the spring I prayed this prayer: 'O LORD, the God of my master, Abraham, if you are planning to make my mission a success, please guide me in a special way.

43Here I am, standing beside this spring. I will say to some young woman who comes to draw water, "Please give me a drink of water!"

44And she will reply, "Certainly! And I'll water your camels, too!" LORD, let her be the one you have selected to be the wife of my master's son.'

45"Before I had finished praying these words, I saw Rebekah coming along with her water jug on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water and filled the jug. So I said to her, 'Please give me a drink.'

46She quickly lowered the jug from her shoulder so I could drink, and she said, 'Certainly, sir, and I will water your camels, too!' And she did.

47When I asked her whose daughter she was, she told me, 'My father is Bethuel, the son of Nahor and his wife, Milcah.' So I gave her the ring and the bracelets.

48"Then I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham, because he had led me along the right path to find a wife from the family of my master's relatives.

49So tell me--will you or won't you show true kindness to my master? When you tell me, then I'll know what my next step should be, whether to move this way or that."

50Then Laban and Bethuel replied, "The LORD has obviously brought you here, so what can we say?

51Here is Rebekah; take her and go. Yes, let her be the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has directed."

52At this reply, Abraham's servant bowed to the ground and worshiped the LORD.

53Then he brought out silver and gold jewelry and lovely clothing for Rebekah. He also gave valuable presents to her mother and brother.

54Then they had supper, and the servant and the men with him stayed there overnight. But early the next morning, he said, "Send me back to my master."

55"But we want Rebekah to stay at least ten days," her brother and mother said. "Then she can go."

56But he said, "Don't hinder my return. The LORD has made my mission successful, and I want to report back to my master."

57"Well," they said, "we'll call Rebekah and ask her what she thinks."

58So they called Rebekah. "Are you willing to go with this man?" they asked her. And she replied, "Yes, I will go."

59So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham's servant and his men. The woman who had been Rebekah's childhood nurse went along with her.

60They blessed her with this blessing as she parted: "Our sister, may you become the mother of many millions! May your descendants overcome all their enemies."

61Then Rebekah and her servants mounted the camels and left with Abraham's servant.

62Meanwhile, Isaac, whose home was in the Negev, had returned from Beer-lahairoi.

63One evening as he was taking a walk out in the fields, meditating, he looked up and saw the camels coming.

64When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she quickly dismounted.

65"Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?" she asked the servant. And he replied, "It is my master." So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.

66Then the servant told Isaac the whole story.

67And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother's tent, and she became his wife. He loved her very much, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.

25Now Abraham married again. Keturah was his new wife,

2and she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

3Jokshan's two sons were Sheba and Dedan. Dedan's descendants were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites.

4Midian's sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. These were all descendants of Abraham through Keturah.

5Abraham left everything he owned to his son Isaac.

6But before he died, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them off to the east, away from Isaac.

7Abraham lived for 175 years,

8and he died at a ripe old age, joining his ancestors in death.

9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite.

10This was the field Abraham had purchased from the Hittites, where he had buried his wife Sarah.

11After Abraham's death, God poured out rich blessings on Isaac, who settled near Beer-lahairoi in the Negev.

12This is the history of the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham through Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian servant.

13Here is a list, by their names and clans, of Ishmael's descendants: The oldest was Nebaioth, followed by Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,

14Mishma, Dumah, Massa,

15Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.

16These twelve sons of Ishmael became the founders of twelve tribes that bore their names, listed according to the places they settled and camped.

17Ishmael finally died at the age of 137 and joined his ancestors in death.

18Ishmael's descendants were scattered across the country from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt in the direction of Asshur. The clans descended from Ishmael camped close to one another.

19This is the history of the family of Isaac, the son of Abraham.

20When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram and the sister of Laban.

21Isaac pleaded with the LORD to give Rebekah a child because she was childless. So the LORD answered Isaac's prayer, and his wife became pregnant with twins.

22But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the LORD about it. "Why is this happening to me?" she asked.

23And the LORD told her, "The sons in your womb will become two rival nations. One nation will be stronger than the other; the descendants of your older son will serve the descendants of your younger son."

24And when the time came, the twins were born.

25The first was very red at birth. He was covered with so much hair that one would think he was wearing a piece of clothing. So they called him Esau.

26Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau's heel. So they called him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born.

27As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open fields, while Jacob was the kind of person who liked to stay at home.

28Isaac loved Esau in particular because of the wild game he brought home, but Rebekah favored Jacob.

29One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home exhausted and hungry from a hunt.

30Esau said to Jacob, "I'm starved! Give me some of that red stew you've made." (This was how Esau got his other name, Edom--"Red.")

31Jacob replied, "All right, but trade me your birthright for it."

32"Look, I'm dying of starvation!" said Esau. "What good is my birthright to me now?"

33So Jacob insisted, "Well then, swear to me right now that it is mine." So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his younger brother.

34Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate and drank and went on about his business, indifferent to the fact that he had given up his birthright.

26Now a severe famine struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham's time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived.

2The LORD appeared to him there and said, "Do not go to Egypt.

3Do as I say, and stay here in this land. If you do, I will be with you and bless you. I will give all this land to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father.

4I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.

5I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, regulations, and laws."

6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.

7And when the men there asked him about Rebekah, he said, "She is my sister." He was afraid to admit that she was his wife. He thought they would kill him to get her, because she was very beautiful.

8But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out a window and saw Isaac fondling Rebekah.

9Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, "She is obviously your wife! Why did you say she was your sister?" "Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me," Isaac replied.

10"How could you treat us this way!" Abimelech exclaimed. "Someone might have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin."

11Then Abimelech made a public proclamation: "Anyone who harms this man or his wife will die!"

12That year Isaac's crops were tremendous! He harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the LORD blessed him.

13He became a rich man, and his wealth only continued to grow.

14He acquired large flocks of sheep and goats, great herds of cattle, and many servants. Soon the Philistines became jealous of him,

15and they filled up all of Isaac's wells with earth. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.

16And Abimelech asked Isaac to leave the country. "Go somewhere else," he said, "for you have become too rich and powerful for us."

17So Isaac moved to the Gerar Valley and lived there instead.

18He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham's death. Isaac renamed them, using the names Abraham had given them.

19His shepherds also dug in the Gerar Valley and found a gushing spring.

20But then the local shepherds came and claimed the spring. "This is our water," they said, and they argued over it with Isaac's herdsmen. So Isaac named the well "Argument," because they had argued about it with him.

21Isaac's men then dug another well, but again there was a fight over it. So Isaac named it "Opposition."

22Abandoning that one, he dug another well, and the local people finally left him alone. So Isaac called it "Room Enough," for he said, "At last the LORD has made room for us, and we will be able to thrive."

23From there Isaac moved to Beersheba,

24where the LORD appeared to him on the night of his arrival. "I am the God of your father, Abraham," he said. "Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant."

25Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the LORD. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug a well.

26One day Isaac had visitors from Gerar. King Abimelech arrived with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander.

27"Why have you come?" Isaac asked them. "This is obviously no friendly visit, since you sent me from your land in a most unfriendly way."

28They replied, "We can plainly see that the LORD is with you. So we decided we should have a treaty, a covenant between us.

29Swear that you will not harm us, just as we did not harm you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the LORD has blessed you!"

30So Isaac prepared a great feast for them, and they ate and drank in preparation for the treaty ceremony.

31Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath of nonaggression. Then Isaac sent them home again in peace.

32That very day Isaac's servants came and told him about a well they had dug. "We've found water!" they said.

33So Isaac named the well "Oath," and from that time to this, the town that grew up there has been called Beersheba--"well of the oath."

34At the age of forty, Esau married a young woman named Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite. He also married Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite.

35But Esau's wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.

27When Isaac was old and almost blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, "My son?" "Yes, Father?" Esau replied.

2"I am an old man now," Isaac said, "and I expect every day to be my last.

3Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game for me.

4Prepare it just the way I like it so it's savory and good, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die."

5But Rebekah overheard the conversation. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game,

6she said to her son Jacob, "I overheard your father asking Esau

7to prepare him a delicious meal of wild game. He wants to bless Esau in the LORD's presence before he dies.

8Now, my son, do exactly as I tell you.

9Go out to the flocks and bring me two fine young goats. I'll prepare your father's favorite dish from them.

10Take the food to your father; then he can eat it and bless you instead of Esau before he dies."

11"But Mother!" Jacob replied. "He won't be fooled that easily. Think how hairy Esau is and how smooth my skin is!

12What if my father touches me? He'll see that I'm trying to trick him, and then he'll curse me instead of blessing me."

13"Let the curse fall on me, dear son," said Rebekah. "Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats."

14So Jacob followed his mother's instructions, bringing her the two goats. She took them and cooked a delicious meat dish, just the way Isaac liked it.

15Then she took Esau's best clothes, which were there in the house, and dressed Jacob with them.

16She made him a pair of gloves from the hairy skin of the young goats, and she fastened a strip of the goat's skin around his neck.

17Then she gave him the meat dish, with its rich aroma, and some freshly baked bread.

18Jacob carried the platter of food to his father and said, "My father?" "Yes, my son," he answered. "Who is it--Esau or Jacob?"

19Jacob replied, "It's Esau, your older son. I've done as you told me. Here is the wild game, cooked the way you like it. Sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing."

20Isaac asked, "How were you able to find it so quickly, my son?" "Because the LORD your God put it in my path!" Jacob replied.

21Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come over here. I want to touch you to make sure you really are Esau."

22So Jacob went over to his father, and Isaac touched him. "The voice is Jacob's, but the hands are Esau's," Isaac said to himself.

23But he did not recognize Jacob because Jacob's hands felt hairy just like Esau's. So Isaac pronounced his blessing on Jacob.

24"Are you really my son Esau?" he asked. "Yes, of course," Jacob replied.

25Then Isaac said, "Now, my son, bring me the meat. I will eat it, and then I will give you my blessing." So Jacob took the food over to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him. Then Isaac said,

26"Come here and kiss me, my son."

27So 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, "The smell of my son is the good smell of the open fields that the LORD has blessed.

28May God always give you plenty of dew for healthy crops and good harvests of grain and wine.

29May many nations become your servants. May you be the master of your brothers. May all your mother's sons bow low before you. All who curse you are cursed, and all who bless you are blessed."

30As soon as Isaac had blessed Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunting trip.

31Esau prepared his father's favorite meat dish and brought it to him. Then he said, "I'm back, Father, and I have the wild game. Sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing."

32But Isaac asked him, "Who are you?" "Why, it's me, of course!" he replied. "It's Esau, your older son."

33Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, "Then who was it that just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him with an irrevocable blessing before you came."

34When Esau understood, he let out a loud and bitter cry. "O my father, bless me, too!" he begged.

35But Isaac said, "Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has carried away your blessing."

36Esau said bitterly, "No wonder his name is Jacob, for he has deceived me twice, first taking my birthright and now stealing my blessing. Oh, haven't you saved even one blessing for me?"

37Isaac said to Esau, "I 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 wine--what is there left to give?"

38Esau pleaded, "Not one blessing left for me? O my father, bless me, too!" Then Esau broke down and wept.

39His father, Isaac, said to him, "You will live off the land and what it yields,

40and you will live by your sword. You will serve your brother for a time, but then you will shake loose from him and be free."

41Esau hated Jacob because he had stolen his blessing, and he said to himself, "My father will soon be dead and gone. Then I will kill Jacob."

42But someone got wind of what Esau was planning and reported it to Rebekah. She sent for Jacob and told him, "Esau is threatening to kill you.

43This is what you should do. Flee to your uncle Laban in Haran.

44Stay there with him until your brother's fury is spent.

45When he forgets what you have done, I will send for you. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"

46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, "I'm sick and tired of these local Hittite women. I'd rather die than see Jacob marry one of them."

28So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, "Do not marry any of these Canaanite women.

2Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of your uncle Laban's daughters.

3May God Almighty bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants become a great assembly of nations!

4May God pass on to you and your descendants the blessings he promised to Abraham. May you own this land where we now are foreigners, for God gave it to Abraham."

5So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to stay with his uncle Laban, his mother's brother, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.

6Esau heard that his father had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife, and that he had warned Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman.

7He also knew that Jacob had obeyed his parents and gone to Paddan-aram.

8It was now very clear to Esau that his father despised the local Canaanite women.

9So he visited his uncle Ishmael's family and married one of Ishmael's daughters, in addition to the wives he already had. His new wife's name was Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son.

10Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran.

11At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone for a pillow and lay down to sleep.

12As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from earth to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down on it.

13At the top of the stairway stood the LORD, and he said, "I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I will give it to you and your descendants.

14Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will cover the land from east to west and from north to south. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants.

15What's more, I will be with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. I will someday bring you safely back to this land. I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised."

16Then Jacob woke up and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn't even aware of it."

17He was afraid and said, "What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God--the gateway to heaven!"

18The next morning he got up very early. He took the stone he had used as a pillow and set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it.

19He named the place Bethel--"house of God"--though the name of the nearby village was Luz.

20Then Jacob made this vow: "If God will be with me and protect me on this journey and give me food and clothing,

21and if he will bring me back safely to my father, then I will make the LORD my God.

22This memorial pillar will become a place for worshiping God, and I will give God a tenth of everything he gives me."

29Jacob hurried on, finally arriving in the land of the east.

2He saw in the distance three flocks of sheep lying in an open field beside a well, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well.

3It was the custom there to wait for all the flocks to arrive before removing the stone. After watering them, the stone would be rolled back over the mouth of the well.

4Jacob went over to the shepherds and asked them, "Where do you live?" "At Haran," they said.

5"Do you know a man there named Laban, the grandson of Nahor?" "Yes, we do," they replied.

6"How is he?" Jacob asked. "He's well and prosperous. Look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep."

7"Why don't you water the flocks so they can get back to grazing?" Jacob asked. "They'll be hungry if you stop so early in the day."

8"We don't roll away the stone and begin the watering until all the flocks and shepherds are here," they replied.

9As this conversation was going on, Rachel arrived with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherd.

10And because she was his cousin, the daughter of his mother's brother, and because the sheep were his uncle's, Jacob went over to the well and rolled away the stone and watered his uncle's flock.

11Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and tears came to his eyes.

12He explained that he was her cousin on her father's side, her aunt Rebekah's son. So Rachel quickly ran and told her father, Laban.

13As soon as Laban heard about Jacob's arrival, he rushed out to meet him and greeted him warmly. Laban then brought him home, and Jacob told him his story.

14"Just think, my very own flesh and blood!" Laban exclaimed. After Jacob had been there about a month,

15Laban said to him, "You shouldn't work for me without pay just because we are relatives. How much do you want?"

16Now Laban had two daughters: Leah, who was the oldest, and her younger sister, Rachel.

17Leah had pretty eyes, but Rachel was beautiful in every way, with a lovely face and shapely figure.

18Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, "I'll work for you seven years if you'll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife."

19"Agreed!" Laban replied. "I'd rather give her to you than to someone outside the family."

20So Jacob spent the next seven years working to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.

21Finally, the time came for him to marry her. "I have fulfilled my contract," Jacob said to Laban. "Now give me my wife so we can be married."

22So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood to celebrate with Jacob at a wedding feast.

23That night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her.

24And Laban gave Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.

25But when Jacob woke up in the morning--it was Leah! "What sort of trick is this?" Jacob raged at Laban. "I worked seven years for Rachel. What do you mean by this trickery?"

26"It's not our custom to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn," Laban replied.

27"Wait until the bridal week is over, and you can have Rachel, too--that is, if you promise to work another seven years for me."

28So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too.

29And Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid.

30So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her more than Leah. He then stayed and worked the additional seven years.

31But because Leah was unloved, the LORD let her have a child, while Rachel was childless.

32So Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me."

33She soon became pregnant again and had another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, "The LORD heard that I was unloved and has given me another son."

34Again she became pregnant and had a son. She named him Levi, for she said, "Surely now my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!"

35Once again she became pregnant and had a son. She named him Judah, for she said, "Now I will praise the LORD!" And then she stopped having children.

30When Rachel saw that she wasn't having any children, she became jealous of her sister. "Give me children, or I'll die!" she exclaimed to Jacob.

2Jacob flew into a rage. "Am I God?" he asked. "He is the only one able to give you children!"

3Then Rachel told him, "Sleep with my servant, Bilhah, and she will bear children for me."

4So Rachel gave him Bilhah to be his wife, and Jacob slept with her.

5Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son.

6Rachel named him Dan, for she said, "God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son."

7Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son.

8Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, "I have had an intense struggle with my sister, and I am winning!"

9Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn't getting pregnant anymore, so she gave her servant, Zilpah, to Jacob to be his wife.

10Soon Zilpah presented him with another son.

11Leah named him Gad, for she said, "How fortunate I am!"

12Then Zilpah produced a second son,

13and Leah named him Asher, for she said, "What joy is mine! The other women will consider me happy indeed!"

14One day during the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakes growing in a field and brought the roots to his mother, Leah. Rachel begged Leah to give some of them to her.

15But Leah angrily replied, "Wasn't it enough that you stole my husband? Now will you steal my son's mandrake roots, too?" Rachel said, "I will let him sleep with you tonight in exchange for the mandrake roots."

16So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. "You must sleep with me tonight!" she said. "I have paid for you with some mandrake roots my son has found." So Jacob slept with her.

17And God answered her prayers. She became pregnant again and gave birth to her fifth son.

18She named him Issachar, for she said, "God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband as a wife."

19Then she became pregnant again and had a sixth son.

20She named him Zebulun, for she said, "God has given me good gifts for my husband. Now he will honor me, for I have given him six sons."

21Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22Then God remembered Rachel's plight and answered her prayers by giving her a child.

23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. "God has removed my shame," she said.

24And she named him Joseph, for she said, "May the LORD give me yet another son."

25Soon after Joseph was born to Rachel, Jacob said to Laban, "I want to go back home.

26Let me take my wives and children, for I have earned them from you, and let me be on my way. You know I have fully paid for them with my service to you."

27"Please don't leave me," Laban replied, "for I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because you are here.

28How much do I owe you? Whatever it is, I'll pay it."

29Jacob replied, "You know how faithfully I've served you through these many years, and how your flocks and herds have grown.

30You had little indeed before I came, and your wealth has increased enormously. The LORD has blessed you from everything I do! But now, what about me? When should I provide for my own family?"

31"What wages do you want?" Laban asked again. Jacob replied, "Don't give me anything at all. Just do one thing, and I'll go back to work for you.

32Let me go out among your flocks today and remove all the sheep and goats that are speckled or spotted, along with all the dark-colored sheep. Give them to me as my wages.

33This will make it easy for you to see whether or not I have been honest. If you find in my flock any white sheep or goats that are not speckled, you will know that I have stolen them from you."

34"All right," Laban replied. "It will be as you have said."

35But that very day Laban went out and removed all the male goats that were speckled and spotted, the females that were speckled and spotted with any white patches, and all the dark-colored sheep. He placed them in the care of his sons,

36and they took them three days' distance from where Jacob was. Meanwhile, Jacob stayed and cared for Laban's flock.

37Now Jacob took fresh shoots from poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled off strips of the bark to make white streaks on them.

38Then he set up these peeled branches beside the watering troughs so Laban's flocks would see them as they came to drink, for that was when they mated.

39So when the flocks mated in front of the white-streaked branches, all of their offspring were streaked, speckled, and spotted.

40Jacob added them to his own flock, thus separating the lambs from Laban's flock. Then at mating time, he turned the flocks toward the streaked and dark-colored rams in Laban's flock. This is how he built his flock from Laban's.

41Whenever the stronger females were ready to mate, Jacob set up the peeled branches in front of them.

42But he didn't do this with the weaker ones, so the weaker lambs belonged to Laban, and the stronger ones were Jacob's.

43As a result, Jacob's flocks increased rapidly, and he became very wealthy, with many servants, camels, and donkeys.

31But Jacob soon learned that Laban's sons were beginning to grumble. "Jacob has robbed our father!" they said. "All his wealth has been gained at our father's expense."

2And Jacob began to notice a considerable cooling in Laban's attitude toward him.

3Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your father and grandfather and to your relatives there, and I will be with you."

4Jacob called Rachel and Leah out to the field where he was watching the flocks,

5so he could talk things over with them. "Your father has turned against me and is not treating me like he used to," he told them. "But the God of my father has been with me.

6You know how hard I have worked for your father,

7but he has tricked me, breaking his wage agreement with me again and again. But God has not allowed him to do me any harm.

8For if he said the speckled animals were mine, the whole flock began to produce speckled lambs. And when he changed his mind and said I could have the streaked ones, then all the lambs were born streaked.

9In this way, God has made me wealthy at your father's expense.

10During the mating season, I had a dream and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted.

11Then in my dream, the angel of God said to me, 'Jacob!' And I replied, 'Yes, I'm listening!'

12The angel said, 'Look, and you will see that only the streaked, speckled, and spotted males are mating with the females of your flock. For I have seen all that Laban has done to you.

13I am the God you met at Bethel, the place where you anointed the pillar of stone and made a vow to serve me. Now leave this country and return to the land you came from.' "

14Rachel and Leah said, "That's fine with us! There's nothing for us here--none of our father's wealth will come to us anyway.

15He has reduced our rights to those of foreign women. He sold us, and what he received for us has disappeared.

16The riches God has given you from our father are legally ours and our children's to begin with. So go ahead and do whatever God has told you."

17So Jacob put his wives and children on camels.

18He drove the flocks in front of him--all the livestock he had acquired at Paddan-aram--and set out on his journey to the land of Canaan, where his father, Isaac, lived.

19At the time they left, Laban was some distance away, shearing his sheep. Rachel stole her father's household gods and took them with her.

20They set out secretly and never told Laban they were leaving.

21Jacob took all his possessions with him and crossed the Euphrates River, heading for the territory of Gilead.

22Laban didn't learn of their flight for three days.

23But when he did, he gathered a group of his relatives and set out in hot pursuit. He caught up with them seven days later in the hill country of Gilead.

24But the previous night God had appeared to Laban in a dream. "Be careful about what you say to Jacob!" he was told.

25So when Laban caught up with Jacob as he was camped in the hill country of Gilead, he set up his camp not far from Jacob's.

26"What do you mean by sneaking off like this?" Laban demanded. "Are my daughters prisoners, the plunder of war, that you have stolen them away like this?

27Why did you slip away secretly? I would have given you a farewell party, with joyful singing accompanied by tambourines and harps.

28Why didn't you let me kiss my daughters and grandchildren and tell them good-bye? You have acted very foolishly!

29I could destroy you, but the God of your father appeared to me last night and told me, 'Be careful about what you say to Jacob!'

30I know you feel you must go, and you long intensely for your childhood home, but why have you stolen my household gods?"

31"I rushed away because I was afraid," Jacob answered. "I said to myself, 'He'll take his daughters from me by force.'

32But as for your household gods, let the person who has taken them die! If you find anything that belongs to you, I swear before all these relatives of ours, I will give it back without question." But Jacob didn't know that Rachel had taken them.

33Laban went first into Jacob's tent to search there, then into Leah's, and then he searched the tents of the two concubines, but he didn't find the gods. Finally, he went into Rachel's tent.

34Rachel had taken the household gods and had stuffed them into her camel saddle, and now she was sitting on them. So although Laban searched all the tents, he couldn't find them.

35"Forgive my not getting up, Father," Rachel explained. "I'm having my monthly period." So despite his thorough search, Laban didn't find them.

36Then Jacob became very angry. "What did you find?" he demanded of Laban. "What is my crime? You have chased me as though I were a criminal.

37You have searched through everything I own. Now show me what you have found that belongs to you! Set it out here in front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them decide who is the real owner!

38"Twenty years I have been with you, and all that time I cared for your sheep and goats so they produced healthy offspring. In all those years I never touched a single ram of yours for food.

39If any were attacked and killed by wild animals, did I show them to you and ask you to reduce the count of your flock? No, I took the loss! You made me pay for every animal stolen from the flocks, whether the loss was my fault or not.

40I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through cold and sleepless nights.

41Yes, twenty years--fourteen of them earning your two daughters, and six years to get the flock. And you have reduced my wages ten times!

42In fact, except for the grace of God--the God of my grandfather Abraham, the awe-inspiring God of my father, Isaac--you would have sent me off without a penny to my name. But God has seen your cruelty and my hard work. That is why he appeared to you last night and vindicated me."

43Then Laban replied to Jacob, "These women are my daughters, and these children are my grandchildren, and these flocks and all that you have--all are mine. But what can I do now to my own daughters and grandchildren?

44Come now, and we will make a peace treaty, you and I, and we will live by its terms."

45So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a monument.

46He also told his men to gather stones and pile them up in a heap. Jacob and Laban then sat down beside the pile of stones to share a meal.

47They named it "Witness Pile," which is Jegar-sahadutha in Laban's language and Galeed in Jacob's.

48"This pile of stones will stand as a witness to remind us of our agreement," Laban said.

49This place was also called Mizpah, for Laban said, "May the LORD keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this treaty when we are out of each other's sight.

50I won't know about it if you are harsh to my daughters or if you take other wives, but God will see it.

51This heap of stones and this pillar

52stand between us as a witness of our vows. I will not cross this line to harm you, and you will not cross it to harm me.

53I call on the God of our ancestors--the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of my grandfather Nahor--to punish either one of us who harms the other." So Jacob took an oath before the awesome God of his father, Isaac, to respect the boundary line.

54Then Jacob presented a sacrifice to God and invited everyone to a feast. Afterward they spent the night there in the hills.

55Laban got up early the next morning, and he kissed his daughters and grandchildren and blessed them. Then he returned home.

32As Jacob and his household started on their way again, angels of God came to meet him.

2When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, "This is God's camp!" So he named the place Mahanaim.

3Jacob now sent messengers to his brother, Esau, in Edom, the land of Seir.

4He told them, "Give this message to my master Esau: 'Humble greetings from your servant Jacob! I have been living with Uncle Laban until recently,

5and now I own oxen, donkeys, sheep, goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform you of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to us.' "

6The messengers returned with the news that Esau was on his way to meet Jacob--with an army of four hundred men!

7Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps.

8He thought, "If Esau attacks one group, perhaps the other can escape."

9Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac--O LORD, you told me to return to my land and to my relatives, and you promised to treat me kindly.

10I am not worthy of all the faithfulness and unfailing love you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home, I owned nothing except a walking stick, and now my household fills two camps!

11O LORD, please rescue me from my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to kill me, along with my wives and children.

12But you promised to treat me kindly and to multiply my descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore--too many to count."

13Jacob stayed where he was for the night and prepared a present for Esau:

14two hundred female goats, twenty male goats, two hundred ewes, twenty rams,

15thirty female camels with their young, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten male donkeys.

16He told his servants to lead them on ahead, each group of animals by itself, separated by a distance in between.

17He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: "When you meet Esau, he will ask, 'Where are you going? Whose servants are you? Whose animals are these?'

18You should reply, 'These belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present for his master Esau! He is coming right behind us.' "

19Jacob gave the same instructions to each of the herdsmen and told them, "You are all to say the same thing to Esau when you see him.

20And be sure to say, 'Your servant Jacob is right behind us.' " Jacob's plan was to appease Esau with the presents before meeting him face to face. "Perhaps," Jacob hoped, "he will be friendly to us."

21So the presents were sent on ahead, and Jacob spent that night in the camp.

22But during the night Jacob got up and sent his two wives, two concubines, and eleven sons across the Jabbok River.

23After they were on the other side, he sent over all his possessions.

24This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until dawn.

25When the man saw that he couldn't win the match, he struck Jacob's hip and knocked it out of joint at the socket.

26Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is dawn." But Jacob panted, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27"What is your name?" the man asked. He replied, "Jacob."

28"Your name will no longer be Jacob," the man told him. "It is now Israel, because you have struggled with both God and men and have won."

29"What is your name?" Jacob asked him. "Why do you ask?" the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.

30Jacob named the place Peniel--"face of God"--for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared."

31The sun rose as he left Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.

32That is why even today the people of Israel don't eat meat from near the hip, in memory of what happened that night.

33Then, in the distance, Jacob saw Esau coming with his four hundred men.

2Jacob now arranged his family into a column, with his two concubines and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last.

3Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed low seven times before him.

4Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him affectionately and kissed him. Both of them were in tears.

5Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, "Who are these people with you?" "These are the children God has graciously given to me," Jacob replied.

6Then the concubines came forward with their children and bowed low before him.

7Next Leah came with her children, and they bowed down. Finally, Rachel and Joseph came and made their bows.

8"And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?" Esau asked. Jacob replied, "They are gifts, my lord, to ensure your goodwill."

9"Brother, I have plenty," Esau answered. "Keep what you have."

10"No, please accept them," Jacob said, "for what a relief it is to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the smile of God!

11Please take my gifts, for God has been very generous to me. I have more than enough." Jacob continued to insist, so Esau finally accepted them.

12"Well, let's be going," Esau said. "I will stay with you and lead the way."

13But Jacob replied, "You can see, my lord, that some of the children are very young, and the flocks and herds have their young, too. If they are driven too hard, they may die.

14So go on ahead of us. We will follow at our own pace and meet you at Seir."

15"Well," Esau said, "at least let me leave some of my men to guide and protect you." "There is no reason for you to be so kind to me," Jacob insisted.

16So Esau started back to Seir that same day.

17Meanwhile, Jacob and his household traveled on to Succoth. There he built himself a house and made shelters for his flocks and herds. That is why the place was named Succoth.

18Then they arrived safely at Shechem, in Canaan, and they set up camp just outside the town.

19Jacob bought the land he camped on from the family of Hamor, Shechem's father, for a hundred pieces of silver.

20And there he built an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

34One day Dinah, Leah's daughter, went to visit some of the young women who lived in the area.

2But when the local prince, Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, saw her, he took her and raped her.

3But Shechem's love for Dinah was strong, and he tried to win her affection.

4He even spoke to his father about it. "Get this girl for me," he demanded. "I want to marry her."

5Word soon reached Jacob that his daughter had been defiled, but his sons were out in the fields herding cattle so he did nothing until they returned.

6Meanwhile, Hamor, Shechem's father, came out to discuss the matter with Jacob.

7He arrived just as Jacob's sons were coming in from the fields. They were shocked and furious that their sister had been raped. Shechem had done a disgraceful thing against Jacob's family, a thing that should never have been done.

8Hamor told Jacob and his sons, "My son Shechem is truly in love with your daughter, and he longs for her to be his wife. Please let him marry her.

9We invite you to let your daughters marry our sons, and we will give our daughters as wives for your young men.

10And you may live among us; the land is open to you! Settle here and trade with us. You are free to acquire property among us."

11Then Shechem addressed Dinah's father and brothers. "Please be kind to me, and let me have her as my wife," he begged. "I will give whatever you require.

12No matter what dowry or gift you demand, I will pay it--only give me the girl as my wife."

13But Dinah's brothers deceived Shechem and Hamor because of what Shechem had done to their sister.

14They said to them, "We couldn't possibly allow this, because you aren't circumcised. It would be a disgrace for her to marry a man like you!

15But here is a solution. If every man among you will be circumcised like we are,

16we will intermarry with you and live here and unite with you to become one people.

17Otherwise we will take her and be on our way."

18Hamor and Shechem gladly agreed,

19and Shechem lost no time in acting on this request, for he wanted Dinah desperately. Shechem was a highly respected member of his family,

20and he appeared with his father before the town leaders to present this proposal.

21"Those men are our friends," they said. "Let's invite them to live here among us and ply their trade. For the land is large enough to hold them, and we can intermarry with them.

22But they will consider staying here only on one condition. Every one of us men must be circumcised, just as they are.

23But if we do this, all their flocks and possessions will become ours. Come, let's agree to this so they will settle here among us."

24So all the men agreed and were circumcised.

25But three days later, when their wounds were still sore, two of Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi, took their swords, entered the town without opposition, and slaughtered every man there,

26including Hamor and Shechem. They rescued Dinah from Shechem's house and returned to their camp.

27Then all of Jacob's sons plundered the town because their sister had been defiled there.

28They seized all the flocks and herds and donkeys--everything they could lay their hands on, both inside the town and outside in the fields.

29They also took all the women and children and wealth of every kind.

30Afterward Jacob said to Levi and Simeon, "You have made me stink among all the people of this land--among all the Canaanites and Perizzites. We are so few that they will come and crush us. We will all be killed!"

31"Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?" they retorted angrily.

35God said to Jacob, "Now move on to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to worship me--the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau."

2So Jacob told everyone in his household, "Destroy your idols, wash yourselves, and put on clean clothing.

3We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has stayed with me wherever I have gone."

4So they gave Jacob all their idols and their earrings, and he buried them beneath the tree near Shechem.

5When they set out again, terror from God came over the people in all the towns of that area, and no one attacked them.

6Finally, they arrived at Luz (now called Bethel) in Canaan.

7Jacob built an altar there and named it El-bethel, because God had appeared to him there at Bethel when he was fleeing from Esau.

8Soon after this, Rebekah's old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called the "Oak of Weeping."

9God appeared to Jacob once again when he arrived at Bethel after traveling from Paddan-aram. God blessed him

10and said, "Your name is no longer Jacob; you will now be called Israel."

11Then God said, "I am God Almighty. Multiply and fill the earth! Become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants!

12And I will pass on to you the land I gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants."

13Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob.

14Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. He then poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil.

15Jacob called the place Bethel--"house of God"--because God had spoken to him there.

16Leaving Bethel, they traveled on toward Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). But Rachel's pains of childbirth began while they were still some distance away.

17After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, "Don't be afraid--you have another son!"

18Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named him Ben-oni; the baby's father, however, called him Benjamin.

19So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).

20Jacob set up a stone monument over her grave, and it can be seen there to this day.

21Jacob then traveled on and camped beyond the tower of Eder.

22While he was there, Reuben slept with Bilhah, his father's concubine, and someone told Jacob about it. These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob:

23The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob's oldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.

24The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.

25The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's servant, were Dan and Naphtali.

26The sons of Zilpah, Leah's servant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons born to Jacob at Paddan-aram.

27So Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, which is near Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron), where Abraham had also lived.

28Isaac lived for 180 years,

29and he died at a ripe old age, joining his ancestors in death. Then his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.

36This is the history of the descendants of Esau (also known as Edom).

2Esau married two young women from Canaan: Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite; and Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite.

3He also married his cousin Basemath, who was the daughter of Ishmael and the sister of Nebaioth.

4Esau and Adah had a son named Eliphaz. Esau and Basemath had a son named Reuel.

5Esau and Oholibamah had sons named Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. All these sons were born to Esau in the land of Canaan.

6Then Esau took his wives, children, household servants, cattle, and flocks--all the wealth he had gained in the land of Canaan--and moved away from his brother, Jacob.

7There was not enough land to support them both because of all their cattle and livestock.

8So Esau (also known as Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir.

9This is a list of Esau's descendants, the Edomites, who lived in the hill country of Seir.

10Among Esau's sons were Eliphaz, the son of Esau's wife Adah; and Reuel, the son of Esau's wife Basemath.

11The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.

12Eliphaz had another son named Amalek, born to Timna, his concubine. These were all grandchildren of Esau's wife Adah.

13The sons of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These were all grandchildren of Esau's wife Basemath.

14Esau also had sons through Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon. Their names were Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.

15Esau's children and grandchildren became the leaders of different clans. The sons of Esau's oldest son, Eliphaz, became the leaders of the clans of Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz,

16Korah, Gatam, and Amalek. These clans in the land of Edom were descended from Eliphaz, the son of Esau and Adah.

17The sons of Esau's son Reuel became the leaders of the clans of Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These clans in the land of Edom were descended from Reuel, the son of Esau and Basemath.

18The sons of Esau and his wife Oholibamah became the leaders of the clans of Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the clans descended from Esau's wife Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah.

19These are all the clans descended from Esau (also known as Edom).

20These are the names of the tribes that descended from Seir the Horite, one of the families native to the land of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,

21Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These were the Horite clans, the descendants of Seir, who lived in the land of Edom.

22The sons of Lotan were Hori and Heman. Lotan's sister was named Timna.

23The sons of Shobal were Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.

24The sons of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah. This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the wilderness while he was grazing his father's donkeys.

25The son of Anah was Dishon, and Oholibamah was his daughter.

26The sons of Dishon were Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Keran.

27The sons of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.

28The sons of Dishan were Uz and Aran.

29So the leaders of the Horite clans were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,

30Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. The Horite clans are named after their clan leaders, who lived in the land of Seir.

31These are the kings who ruled in Edom before there were kings in Israel :

32Bela son of Beor, who ruled from his city of Dinhabah.

33When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king.

34When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites became king.

35When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad became king and ruled from the city of Avith. He was the one who destroyed the Midianite army in the land of Moab.

36When Hadad died, Samlah from the city of Masrekah became king.

37When Samlah died, Shaul from the city of Rehoboth on the Euphrates River became king.

38When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Acbor became king.

39When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king and ruled from the city of Pau. Hadad's wife was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred and granddaughter of Me-zahab.

40These are the leaders of the clans of Esau, who lived in the places named for them: Timna, Alvah, Jetheth,

41Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon,

42Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar,

43Magdiel, and Iram. These are the names of the clans of Esau, the ancestor of the Edomites, each clan giving its name to the area it occupied.

37So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived.

2This is the history of Jacob's family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father's flocks with his half brothers, the sons of his father's wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.

3Now Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day he gave Joseph a special gift--a beautiful robe.

4But his brothers hated Joseph because of their father's partiality. They couldn't say a kind word to him.

5One night Joseph had a dream and promptly reported the details to his brothers, causing them to hate him even more.

6"Listen to this dream," he announced.

7"We were out in the field tying up bundles of grain. My bundle stood up, and then your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before it!"

8"So you are going to be our king, are you?" his brothers taunted. And they hated him all the more for his dream and what he had said.

9Then Joseph had another dream and told his brothers about it. "Listen to this dream," he said. "The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!"

10This time he told his father as well as his brothers, and his father rebuked him. "What do you mean?" his father asked. "Will your mother, your brothers, and I actually come and bow before you?"

11But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father gave it some thought and wondered what it all meant.

12Soon after this, Joseph's brothers went to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem.

13When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, "Your brothers are over at Shechem with the flocks. I'm going to send you to them." "I'm ready to go," Joseph replied.

14"Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along," Jacob said. "Then come back and bring me word." So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from his home in the valley of Hebron.

15When he arrived there, a man noticed him wandering around the countryside. "What are you looking for?" he asked.

16"For my brothers and their flocks," Joseph replied. "Have you seen them?"

17"Yes," the man told him, "but they are no longer here. I heard your brothers say they were going to Dothan." So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.

18When Joseph's brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance and made plans to kill him.

19"Here comes that dreamer!" they exclaimed.

20"Come on, let's kill him and throw him into a deep pit. We can tell our father that a wild animal has eaten him. Then we'll see what becomes of all his dreams!"

21But Reuben came to Joseph's rescue. "Let's not kill him," he said.

22"Why should we shed his blood? Let's just throw him alive into this pit here. That way he will die without our having to touch him." Reuben was secretly planning to help Joseph escape, and then he would bring him back to his father.

23So when Joseph arrived, they pulled off his beautiful robe

24and threw him into the pit. This pit was normally used to store water, but it was empty at the time.

25Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they noticed a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking spices, balm, and myrrh from Gilead to Egypt.

26Judah said to the others, "What can we gain by killing our brother? That would just give us a guilty conscience.

27Let's sell Joseph to those Ishmaelite traders. Let's not be responsible for his death; after all, he is our brother!" And his brothers agreed.

28So when the traders came by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver, and the Ishmaelite traders took him along to Egypt.

29Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the pit. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in anguish and frustration.

30Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, "The boy is gone! What can I do now?"

31Then Joseph's brothers killed a goat and dipped the robe in its blood.

32They took the beautiful robe to their father and asked him to identify it. "We found this in the field," they told him. "It's Joseph's robe, isn't it?"

33Their father recognized it at once. "Yes," he said, "it is my son's robe. A wild animal has attacked and eaten him. Surely Joseph has been torn in pieces!"

34Then Jacob tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. He mourned deeply for his son for many days.

35His family all tried to comfort him, but it was no use. "I will die in mourning for my son," he would say, and then begin to weep.

36Meanwhile, in Egypt, the traders sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.

38About this time, Judah left home and moved to Adullam, where he visited a man named Hirah.

2There he met a Canaanite woman, the daughter of Shua, and he married her.

3She became pregnant and had a son, and Judah named the boy Er.

4Then Judah's wife had another son, and she named him Onan.

5And when she had a third son, she named him Shelah. At the time of Shelah's birth, they were living at Kezib.

6When his oldest son, Er, grew up, Judah arranged his marriage to a young woman named Tamar.

7But Er was a wicked man in the LORD's sight, so the LORD took his life.

8Then Judah said to Er's brother Onan, "You must marry Tamar, as our law requires of the brother of a man who has died. Her first son from you will be your brother's heir."

9But Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own heir. So whenever he had intercourse with Tamar, he spilled the semen on the ground to keep her from having a baby who would belong to his brother.

10But the LORD considered it a wicked thing for Onan to deny a child to his dead brother. So the LORD took Onan's life, too.

11Then Judah told Tamar, his daughter-in-law, not to marry again at that time but to return to her parents' home. She was to remain a widow until his youngest son, Shelah, was old enough to marry her. (But Judah didn't really intend to do this because he was afraid Shelah would also die, like his two brothers.) So Tamar went home to her parents.

12In the course of time Judah's wife died. After the time of mourning was over, Judah and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went to Timnah to supervise the shearing of his sheep.

13Someone told Tamar that her father-in-law had left for the sheep-shearing at Timnah.

14Tamar was aware that Shelah had grown up, but they had not called her to come and marry him. So she changed out of her widow's clothing and covered herself with a veil to disguise herself. Then she sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim, which is on the way to Timnah.

15Judah noticed her as he went by and thought she was a prostitute, since her face was veiled.

16So he stopped and propositioned her to sleep with him, not realizing that she was his own daughter-in-law. "How much will you pay me?" Tamar asked.

17"I'll send you a young goat from my flock," Judah promised. "What pledge will you give me so I can be sure you will send it?" she asked.

18"Well, what do you want?" he inquired. She replied, "I want your identification seal, your cord, and the walking stick you are carrying." So Judah gave these items to her. She then let him sleep with her, and she became pregnant.

19Afterward she went home, took off her veil, and put on her widow's clothing as usual.

20Judah asked his friend Hirah the Adullamite to take the young goat back to her and to pick up the pledges he had given her, but Hirah couldn't find her.

21So he asked the men who lived there, "Where can I find the prostitute who was sitting beside the road at the entrance to the village?" "We've never had a prostitute here," they replied.

22So Hirah returned to Judah and told him that he couldn't find her anywhere and that the men of the village had claimed they didn't have a prostitute there.

23"Then let her keep the pledges!" Judah exclaimed. "We tried our best to send her the goat. We'd be the laughingstock of the village if we went back again."

24About three months later, word reached Judah that Tamar, his daughter-in-law, was pregnant as a result of prostitution. "Bring her out and burn her!" Judah shouted.

25But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent this message to her father-in-law: "The man who owns this identification seal and walking stick is the father of my child. Do you recognize them?"

26Judah admitted that they were his and said, "She is more in the right than I am, because I didn't keep my promise to let her marry my son Shelah." But Judah never slept with Tamar again.

27In due season the time of Tamar's delivery arrived, and she had twin sons.

28As they were being born, one of them reached out his hand, and the midwife tied a scarlet thread around the wrist of the child who appeared first, saying, "This one came out first."

29But then he drew back his hand, and the other baby was actually the first to be born. "What!" the midwife exclaimed. "How did you break out first?" And ever after, he was called Perez.

30Then the baby with the scarlet thread on his wrist was born, and he was named Zerah.

39Now when Joseph arrived in Egypt with the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, a member of the personal staff of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was the captain of the palace guard.

2The LORD was with Joseph and blessed him greatly as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.

3Potiphar noticed this and realized that the LORD was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did.

4So Joseph naturally became quite a favorite with him. Potiphar soon put Joseph in charge of his entire household and entrusted him with all his business dealings.

5From the day Joseph was put in charge, the LORD began to bless Potiphar for Joseph's sake. All his household affairs began to run smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished.

6So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn't have a worry in the world, except to decide what he wanted to eat! Now Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man.

7And about this time, Potiphar's wife began to desire him and invited him to sleep with her.

8But Joseph refused. "Look," he told her, "my master trusts me with everything in his entire household.

9No one here has more authority than I do! He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I ever do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God."

10She kept putting pressure on him day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.

11One day, however, no one else was around when he was doing his work inside the house.

12She came and grabbed him by his shirt, demanding, "Sleep with me!" Joseph tore himself away, but as he did, his shirt came off. She was left holding it as he ran from the house.

13When she saw that she had his shirt and that he had fled,

14she began screaming. Soon all the men around the place came running. "My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to insult us!" she sobbed. "He tried to rape me, but I screamed.

15When he heard my loud cries, he ran and left his shirt behind with me."

16She kept the shirt with her, and when her husband came home that night,

17she told him her story. "That Hebrew slave you've had around here tried to make a fool of me," she said.

18"I was saved only by my screams. He ran out, leaving his shirt behind!"

19After hearing his wife's story, Potiphar was furious!

20He took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king's prisoners were held.

21But the LORD was with Joseph there, too, and he granted Joseph favor with the chief jailer.

22Before long, the jailer put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison.

23The chief jailer had no more worries after that, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him, making everything run smoothly and successfully.

40Some time later, Pharaoh's chief cup-bearer and chief baker offended him.

2Pharaoh became very angry with these officials,

3and he put them in the prison where Joseph was, in the palace of Potiphar, the captain of the guard.

4They remained in prison for quite some time, and Potiphar assigned Joseph to take care of them.

5One night the cup-bearer and the baker each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning.

6The next morning Joseph noticed the dejected look on their faces.

7"Why do you look so worried today?" he asked.

8And they replied, "We both had dreams last night, but there is no one here to tell us what they mean." "Interpreting dreams is God's business," Joseph replied. "Tell me what you saw."

9The cup-bearer told his dream first. "In my dream," he said, "I saw a vine in front of me.

10It had three branches that began to bud and blossom, and soon there were clusters of ripe grapes.

11I was holding Pharaoh's wine cup in my hand, so I took the grapes and squeezed the juice into it. Then I placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand."

12"I know what the dream means," Joseph said. "The three branches mean three days.

13Within three days Pharaoh will take you out of prison and return you to your position as his chief cup-bearer.

14And please have some pity on me when you are back in his favor. Mention me to Pharaoh, and ask him to let me out of here.

15For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I'm here in jail, but I did nothing to deserve it."

16When the chief baker saw that the first dream had such a good meaning, he told his dream to Joseph, too. "In my dream," he said, "there were three baskets of pastries on my head.

17In the top basket were all kinds of bakery goods for Pharaoh, but the birds came and ate them."

18"I'll tell you what it means," Joseph told him. "The three baskets mean three days.

19Three days from now Pharaoh will cut off your head and impale your body on a pole. Then birds will come and peck away at your flesh."

20Pharaoh's birthday came three days later, and he gave a banquet for all his officials and household staff. He sent for his chief cup-bearer and chief baker, and they were brought to him from the prison.

21He then restored the chief cup-bearer to his former position,

22but he sentenced the chief baker to be impaled on a pole, just as Joseph had predicted.

23Pharaoh's cup-bearer, however, promptly forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.

41Two years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River.

2In his dream, seven fat, healthy-looking cows suddenly came up out of the river and began grazing along its bank.

3Then seven other cows came up from the river, but these were very ugly and gaunt. These cows went over and stood beside the fat cows.

4Then the thin, ugly cows ate the fat ones! At this point in the dream, Pharaoh woke up.

5Soon he fell asleep again and had a second dream. This time he saw seven heads of grain on one stalk, with every kernel well formed and plump.

6Then suddenly, seven more heads appeared on the stalk, but these were shriveled and withered by the east wind.

7And these thin heads swallowed up the seven plump, well-formed heads! Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was a dream.

8The next morning, as he thought about it, Pharaoh became very concerned as to what the dreams might mean. So he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt and told them about his dreams, but not one of them could suggest what they meant.

9Then the king's cup-bearer spoke up. "Today I have been reminded of my failure," he said.

10"Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard.

11One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had a meaning.

12We told the dreams to a young Hebrew man who was a servant of the captain of the guard. He told us what each of our dreams meant,

13and everything happened just as he said it would. I was restored to my position as cup-bearer, and the chief baker was executed and impaled on a pole."

14Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was brought hastily from the dungeon. After a quick shave and change of clothes, he went in and stood in Pharaoh's presence.

15"I had a dream last night," Pharaoh told him, "and none of these men can tell me what it means. But I have heard that you can interpret dreams, and that is why I have called for you."

16"It is beyond my power to do this," Joseph replied. "But God will tell you what it means and will set you at ease."

17So Pharaoh told him the dream. "I was standing on the bank of the Nile River," he said.

18"Suddenly, seven fat, healthy-looking cows came up out of the river and began grazing along its bank.

19But then seven other cows came up from the river. They were very thin and gaunt--in fact, I've never seen such ugly animals in all the land of Egypt.

20These thin, ugly cows ate up the seven fat ones that had come out of the river first,

21but afterward they were still as ugly and gaunt as before! Then I woke up.

22"A little later I had another dream. This time there were seven heads of grain on one stalk, and all seven heads were plump and full.

23Then out of the same stalk came seven withered heads, shriveled by the east wind.

24And the withered heads swallowed up the plump ones! I told these dreams to my magicians, but not one of them could tell me what they mean."

25"Both dreams mean the same thing," Joseph told Pharaoh. "God was telling you what he is about to do.

26The seven fat cows and the seven plump heads of grain both represent seven years of prosperity.

27The seven thin, ugly cows and the seven withered heads of grain represent seven years of famine.

28This will happen just as I have described it, for God has shown you what he is about to do.

29The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt.

30But afterward there will be seven years of famine so great that all the prosperity will be forgotten and wiped out. Famine will destroy the land.

31This famine will be so terrible that even the memory of the good years will be erased.

32As for having the dream twice, it means that the matter has been decreed by God and that he will make these events happen soon.

33"My suggestion is that you find the wisest man in Egypt and put him in charge of a nationwide program.

34Let Pharaoh appoint officials over the land, and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years.

35Have them gather all the food and grain of these good years into the royal storehouses, and store it away so there will be food in the cities.

36That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come. Otherwise disaster will surely strike the land, and all the people will die."

37Joseph's suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his advisers.

38As they discussed who should be appointed for the job, Pharaoh said, "Who could do it better than Joseph? For he is a man who is obviously filled with the spirit of God."

39Turning to Joseph, Pharaoh said, "Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, you are the wisest man in the land!

40I hereby appoint you to direct this project. You will manage my household and organize all my people. Only I will have a rank higher than yours."

41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt."

42Then Pharaoh placed his own signet ring on Joseph's finger as a symbol of his authority. He dressed him in beautiful clothing and placed the royal gold chain about his neck.

43Pharaoh also gave Joseph the chariot of his second-in-command, and wherever he went the command was shouted, "Kneel down!" So Joseph was put in charge of all Egypt.

44And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am the king, but no one will move a hand or a foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval."

45Pharaoh renamed him Zaphenath-paneah and gave him a wife--a young woman named Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis. So Joseph took charge of the entire land of Egypt.

46He was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh's presence, he made a tour of inspection throughout the land.

47And sure enough, for the next seven years there were bumper crops everywhere.

48During those years, Joseph took a portion of all the crops grown in Egypt and stored them for the government in nearby cities.

49After seven years, the granaries were filled to overflowing. There was so much grain, like sand on the seashore, that the people could not keep track of the amount.

50During this time, before the arrival of the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis.

51Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, "God has made me forget all my troubles and the family of my father."

52Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, "God has made me fruitful in this land of my suffering."

53At last the seven years of plenty came to an end.

54Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. There were crop failures in all the surrounding countries, too, but in Egypt there was plenty of grain in the storehouses.

55Throughout the land of Egypt the people began to starve. They pleaded with Pharaoh for food, and he told them, "Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you."

56So with severe famine everywhere in the land, Joseph opened up the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians.

57And people from surrounding lands also came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world.

42When Jacob heard that there was grain available in Egypt, he said to his sons, "Why are you standing around looking at one another?

2I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down and buy some for us before we all starve to death."

3So Joseph's ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain.

4Jacob wouldn't let Joseph's younger brother, Benjamin, go with them, however, for fear some harm might come to him.

5So Jacob's sons arrived in Egypt along with others to buy food, for the famine had reached Canaan as well.

6Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of the sale of the grain, it was to him that his brothers came. They bowed low before him, with their faces to the ground.

7Joseph recognized them instantly, but he pretended to be a stranger. "Where are you from?" he demanded roughly. "From the land of Canaan," they replied. "We have come to buy grain."

8Joseph's brothers didn't recognize him, but Joseph recognized them.

9And he remembered the dreams he had had many years before. He said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become."

10"No, my lord!" they exclaimed. "We have come to buy food.

11We are all brothers and honest men, sir! We are not spies!"

12"Yes, you are!" he insisted. "You have come to discover how vulnerable the famine has made us."

13"Sir," they said, "there are twelve of us brothers, and our father is in the land of Canaan. Our youngest brother is there with our father, and one of our brothers is no longer with us."

14But Joseph insisted, "As I said, you are spies!

15This is how I will test your story. I swear by the life of Pharaoh that you will not leave Egypt unless your youngest brother comes here.

16One of you go and get your brother! I'll keep the rest of you here, bound in prison. Then we'll find out whether or not your story is true. If it turns out that you don't have a younger brother, then I'll know you are spies."

17So he put them all in prison for three days.

18On the third day Joseph said to them, "I am a God-fearing man. If you do as I say, you will live.

19We'll see how honorable you really are. Only one of you will remain in the prison. The rest of you may go on home with grain for your families.

20But bring your youngest brother back to me. In this way, I will know whether or not you are telling me the truth. If you are, I will spare you." To this they agreed.

21Speaking among themselves, they said, "This has all happened because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his terror and anguish and heard his pleadings, but we wouldn't listen. That's why this trouble has come upon us."

22"Didn't I tell you not to do it?" Reuben asked. "But you wouldn't listen. And now we are going to die because we murdered him."

23Of course, they didn't know that Joseph understood them as he was standing there, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter.

24Now he left the room and found a place where he could weep. Returning, he talked some more with them. He then chose Simeon from among them and had him tied up right before their eyes.

25Joseph then ordered his servants to fill the men's sacks with grain, but he also gave secret instructions to return each brother's payment at the top of his sack. He also gave them provisions for their journey.

26So they loaded up their donkeys with the grain and started for home.

27But when they stopped for the night and one of them opened his sack to get some grain to feed the donkeys, he found his money in the sack.

28"Look!" he exclaimed to his brothers. "My money is here in my sack!" They were filled with terror and said to each other, "What has God done to us?"

29So they came to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened.

30"The man who is ruler over the land spoke very roughly to us," they told him. "He took us for spies.

31But we said, 'We are honest men, not spies.

32We are twelve brothers, sons of one father; one brother has disappeared, and the youngest is with our father in the land of Canaan.'

33Then the man, the ruler of the land, told us, 'This is the way I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take grain for your families and go on home.

34But bring your youngest brother back to me. Then I will know that you are honest men and not spies. If you prove to be what you say, then I will give you back your brother, and you may come as often as you like to buy grain.' "

35As they emptied out the sacks, there at the top of each one was the bag of money paid for the grain. Terror gripped them, as it did their father.

36Jacob exclaimed, "You have deprived me of my children! Joseph has disappeared, Simeon is gone, and now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!"

37Then Reuben said to his father, "You may kill my two sons if I don't bring Benjamin back to you. I'll be responsible for him."

38But Jacob replied, "My son will not go down with you, for his brother Joseph is dead, and he alone is left of his mother's children. If anything should happen to him, you would bring my gray head down to the grave in deep sorrow."

43But there was no relief from the terrible famine throughout the land.

2When the grain they had brought from Egypt was almost gone, Jacob said to his sons, "Go again and buy us a little food."

3But Judah said, "The man wasn't joking when he warned that we couldn't see him again unless Benjamin came along.

4If you let him come with us, we will go down and buy some food.

5But if you don't let Benjamin go, we may as well stay at home. Remember that the man said, 'You won't be allowed to come and see me unless your brother is with you.' "

6"Why did you ever tell him you had another brother?" Jacob moaned. "Why did you have to treat me with such cruelty?"

7"But the man specifically asked us about our family," they replied. "He wanted to know whether our father was still living, and he asked us if we had another brother so we told him. How could we have known he would say, 'Bring me your brother'?"

8Judah said to his father, "Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation--and not only we, but you and our little ones.

9I personally guarantee his safety. If I don't bring him back to you, then let me bear the blame forever.

10For we could have gone and returned twice by this time if you had let him come without delay."

11So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, "If it can't be avoided, then at least do this. Fill your bags with the best products of the land. Take them to the man as gifts--balm, honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.

12Take double the money that you found in your sacks, as it was probably someone's mistake.

13Then take your brother and go back to the man.

14May God Almighty give you mercy as you go before the man, that he might release Simeon and return Benjamin. And if I must bear the anguish of their deaths, then so be it."

15So they took Benjamin and the gifts and double the money and hurried to Egypt, where they presented themselves to Joseph.

16When Joseph saw that Benjamin was with them, he said to the manager of his household, "These men will eat with me this noon. Take them inside and prepare a big feast."

17So the man did as he was told and took them to Joseph's palace.

18They were badly frightened when they saw where they were being taken. "It's because of the money returned to us in our sacks," they said. "He plans to pretend that we stole it. Then he will seize us as slaves and take our donkeys."

19As the brothers arrived at the entrance to the palace, they went over to the man in charge of Joseph's household.

20They said to him, "Sir, after our first trip to Egypt to buy food,

21as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. The money we had used to pay for the grain was there in our sacks. Here it is; we have brought it back again.

22We also have additional money to buy more grain. We have no idea how the money got into our sacks."

23"Relax. Don't worry about it," the household manager told them. "Your God, the God of your ancestors, must have put it there. We collected your money all right." Then he released Simeon and brought him out to them.

24The brothers were then led into the palace and given water to wash their feet and food for their donkeys.

25They were told they would be eating there, so they prepared their gifts for Joseph's arrival at noon.

26When Joseph came, they gave him their gifts and bowed low before him.

27He asked them how they had been getting along, and then he said, "How is your father--the old man you spoke about? Is he still alive?"

28"Yes," they replied. "He is alive and well." Then they bowed again before him.

29Looking at his brother Benjamin, Joseph asked, "Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about? May God be gracious to you, my son."

30Then Joseph made a hasty exit because he was overcome with emotion for his brother and wanted to cry. Going into his private room, he wept there.

31Then he washed his face and came out, keeping himself under control. "Bring on the food!" he ordered.

32Joseph ate by himself, and his brothers were served at a separate table. The Egyptians sat at their own table because Egyptians despise Hebrews and refuse to eat with them.

33Joseph told each of his brothers where to sit, and to their amazement, he seated them in the order of their ages, from oldest to youngest.

34Their food was served to them from Joseph's own table. He gave the largest serving to Benjamin--five times as much as to any of the others. So they all feasted and drank freely with him.

44When his brothers were ready to leave, Joseph gave these instructions to the man in charge of his household: "Fill each of their sacks with as much grain as they can carry, and put each man's money back into his sack.

2Then put my personal silver cup at the top of the youngest brother's sack, along with his grain money." So the household manager did as he was told.

3The brothers were up at dawn and set out on their journey with their loaded donkeys.

4But when they were barely out of the city, Joseph said to his household manager, "Chase after them and stop them. Ask them, 'Why have you repaid an act of kindness with such evil?

5What do you mean by stealing my master's personal silver drinking cup, which he uses to predict the future? What a wicked thing you have done!' "

6So the man caught up with them and spoke to them in the way he had been instructed.

7"What are you talking about?" the brothers responded. "What kind of people do you think we are, that you accuse us of such a terrible thing?

8Didn't we bring back the money we found in our sacks? Why would we steal silver or gold from your master's house?

9If you find his cup with any one of us, let that one die. And all the rest of us will be your master's slaves forever."

10"Fair enough," the man replied, "except that only the one who stole it will be a slave. The rest of you may go free."

11They quickly took their sacks from the backs of their donkeys and opened them.

12Joseph's servant began searching the oldest brother's sack, going on down the line to the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin's sack!

13At this, they tore their clothing in despair, loaded the donkeys again, and returned to the city.

14Joseph was still at home when Judah and his brothers arrived, and they fell to the ground before him.

15"What were you trying to do?" Joseph demanded. "Didn't you know that a man such as I would know who stole it?"

16And Judah said, "Oh, my lord, what can we say to you? How can we plead? How can we prove our innocence? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves--we and our brother who had your cup in his sack."

17"No," Joseph said. "Only the man who stole the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may go home to your father."

18Then Judah stepped forward and said, "My lord, let me say just this one word to you. Be patient with me for a moment, for I know you could have me killed in an instant, as though you were Pharaoh himself.

19"You asked us, my lord, if we had a father or a brother.

20We said, 'Yes, we have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, his youngest son. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother's children, and his father loves him very much.'

21And you said to us, 'Bring him here so I can see him.'

22But we said to you, 'My lord, the boy cannot leave his father, for his father would die.'

23But you told us, 'You may not see me again unless your youngest brother is with you.'

24So we returned to our father and told him what you had said.

25And when he said, 'Go back again and buy us a little food,'

26we replied, 'We can't unless you let our youngest brother go with us. We won't be allowed to see the man in charge of the grain unless our youngest brother is with us.'

27Then my father said to us, 'You know that my wife had two sons,

28and that one of them went away and never returned--doubtless torn to pieces by some wild animal. I have never seen him since.

29If you take away his brother from me, too, and any harm comes to him, you would bring my gray head down to the grave in deep sorrow.'

30"And now, my lord, I cannot go back to my father without the boy. Our father's life is bound up in the boy's life.

31When he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We will be responsible for bringing his gray head down to the grave in sorrow.

32My lord, I made a pledge to my father that I would take care of the boy. I told him, 'If I don't bring him back to you, I will bear the blame forever.'

33Please, my lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.

34For how can I return to my father if the boy is not with me? I cannot bear to see what this would do to him."

45Joseph could stand it no longer. "Out, all of you!" he cried out to his attendants. He wanted to be alone with his brothers when he told them who he was.

2Then he broke down and wept aloud. His sobs could be heard throughout the palace, and the news was quickly carried to Pharaoh's palace.

3"I am Joseph!" he said to his brothers. "Is my father still alive?" But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them.

4"Come over here," he said. So they came closer. And he said again, "I am Joseph, your brother whom you sold into Egypt.

5But don't be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it. He sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.

6These two years of famine will grow to seven, during which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.

7God has sent me here to keep you and your families alive so that you will become a great nation.

8Yes, it was God who sent me here, not you! And he has made me a counselor to Pharaoh--manager of his entire household and ruler over all Egypt.

9"Hurry, return to my father and tell him, 'This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all the land of Egypt. Come down to me right away!

10You will live in the land of Goshen so you can be near me with all your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all that you have.

11I will take care of you there, for there are still five years of famine ahead of us. Otherwise you and your household will come to utter poverty.' "

12Then Joseph said, "You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that I really am Joseph!

13Tell my father how I am honored here in Egypt. Tell him about everything you have seen, and bring him to me quickly."

14Weeping with joy, he embraced Benjamin, and Benjamin also began to weep.

15Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and then they began talking freely with him.

16The news soon reached Pharaoh: "Joseph's brothers have come!" Pharaoh was very happy to hear this and so were his officials.

17Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Tell your brothers to load their pack animals and return quickly to their homes in Canaan.

18Tell them to bring your father and all of their families, and to come here to Egypt to live. Tell them, 'Pharaoh will assign to you the very best territory in the land of Egypt. You will live off the fat of the land!'

19And tell your brothers to take wagons from Egypt to carry their wives and little ones and to bring your father here.

20Don't worry about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours."

21So the sons of Jacob did as they were told. Joseph gave them wagons, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he supplied them with provisions for the journey.

22And he gave each of them new clothes--but to Benjamin he gave five changes of clothes and three hundred pieces of silver!

23He sent his father ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten donkeys loaded with grain and all kinds of other food to be eaten on his journey.

24So he sent his brothers off, and as they left, he called after them, "Don't quarrel along the way!"

25And they left Egypt and returned to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan.

26"Joseph is still alive!" they told him. "And he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!" Jacob was stunned at the news--he couldn't believe it.

27But when they had given him Joseph's messages, and when he saw the wagons loaded with the food sent by Joseph, his spirit revived.

28Then Jacob said, "It must be true! My son Joseph is alive! I will go and see him before I die."

46So Jacob set out for Egypt with all his possessions. And when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac.

2During the night God spoke to him in a vision. "Jacob! Jacob!" he called. "Here I am," Jacob replied.

3"I am God," the voice said, "the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will see to it that you become a great nation there.

4I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring your descendants back again. But you will die in Egypt with Joseph at your side."

5So Jacob left Beersheba, and his sons brought him to Egypt. They carried their little ones and wives in the wagons Pharaoh had provided for them.

6They brought their livestock, too, and all the belongings they had acquired in the land of Canaan. Jacob and his entire family arrived in Egypt--

7sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters--all his descendants.

8These are the names of the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob, who went with him to Egypt: Reuben was Jacob's oldest son.

9The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

10The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul. (Shaul's mother was a Canaanite woman.)

11The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

12The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. (But Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan.) The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.

13The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.

14The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.

15These are the sons of Jacob who were born to Leah in Paddan-aram, along with their sister, Dinah. In all, Jacob's descendants through Leah numbered thirty-three.

16The sons of Gad were Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.

17The sons of Asher were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah. Their sister was named Serah. Beriah's sons were Heber and Malkiel.

18These sixteen were descendants of Jacob through Zilpah, the servant given to Leah by her father, Laban.

19The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.

20Joseph's sons, born in the land of Egypt, were Manasseh and Ephraim. Their mother was Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis.

21Benjamin's sons were Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.

22These fourteen were the descendants of Jacob and his wife Rachel.

23The son of Dan was Hushim.

24The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.

25These seven were the descendants of Jacob through Bilhah, the servant given to Rachel by her father, Laban.

26So the total number of Jacob's direct descendants who went with him to Egypt, not counting his sons' wives, was sixty-six.

27Joseph also had two sons who had been born in Egypt. So altogether, there were seventy members of Jacob's family in the land of Egypt.

28Jacob sent Judah on ahead to meet Joseph and get directions to the land of Goshen. And when they all arrived there,

29Joseph prepared his chariot and traveled to Goshen to meet his father. As soon as Joseph arrived, he embraced his father and wept on his shoulder for a long time.

30Then Jacob said to Joseph, "Now let me die, for I have seen you with my own eyes and know you are still alive."

31And Joseph said to his brothers and to all their households, "I'll go and tell Pharaoh that you have all come from the land of Canaan to join me.

32And I will tell him, 'These men are shepherds and livestock breeders. They have brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.'

33So when Pharaoh calls for you and asks you about your occupation,

34tell him, 'We have been livestock breeders from our youth, as our ancestors have been for many generations.' When you tell him this, he will let you live here in the land of Goshen, for shepherds are despised in the land of Egypt."

47So Joseph went to see Pharaoh and said, "My father and my brothers are here from Canaan. They came with all their flocks and herds and possessions, and they are now in the land of Goshen."

2Joseph took five of his brothers with him and presented them to Pharaoh.

3Pharaoh asked them, "What is your occupation?" And they replied, "We are shepherds like our ancestors.

4We have come to live here in Egypt, for there is no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The famine is very severe there. We request permission to live in the land of Goshen."

5And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Now that your family has joined you here,

6choose any place you like for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt--the land of Goshen will be fine. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too."

7Then Joseph brought his father, Jacob, and presented him to Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.

8"How old are you?" Pharaoh asked him.

9Jacob replied, "I have lived for 130 hard years, but I am still not nearly as old as many of my ancestors."

10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before he left.

11So Joseph assigned the best land of Egypt--the land of Rameses--to his father and brothers, just as Pharaoh had commanded.

12And Joseph furnished food to his father and brothers in amounts appropriate to the number of their dependents.

13Meanwhile, the famine became worse and worse, and the crops continued to fail throughout Egypt and Canaan.

14Joseph collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan in exchange for grain, and he brought the money to Pharaoh's treasure-house.

15When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, they came to Joseph crying again for food. "Our money is gone," they said, "but give us bread. Why should we die?"

16"Well, then," Joseph replied, "since your money is gone, give me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange."

17So they gave their livestock to Joseph in exchange for food. Soon all the horses, flocks, herds, and donkeys of Egypt were in Pharaoh's possession. But at least they were able to purchase food for that year.

18The next year they came again and said, "Our money is gone, and our livestock are yours. We have nothing left but our bodies and land.

19Why should we die before your very eyes? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we will then become servants to Pharaoh. Just give us grain so that our lives may be saved and so the land will not become empty and desolate."

20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the famine was so severe, and their land then belonged to Pharaoh.

21Thus, all the people of Egypt became servants to Pharaoh.

22The only land he didn't buy was that belonging to the priests, for they were assigned food from Pharaoh and didn't need to sell their land.

23Then Joseph said to the people, "See, I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I will provide you with seed, so you can plant the fields.

24Then when you harvest it, a fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. Keep four-fifths for yourselves, and use it to plant the next year's crop and to feed yourselves, your households, and your little ones."

25"You have saved our lives!" they exclaimed. "May it please you, sir, to let us be Pharaoh's servants."

26Joseph then made it a law throughout the land of Egypt--and it is still the law--that Pharaoh should receive one-fifth of all the crops grown on his land. But since Pharaoh had not taken over the priests' land, they were exempt from this payment.

27So the people of Israel settled in the land of Goshen in Egypt. And before long, they began to prosper there, and their population grew rapidly.

28Jacob lived for seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, so he was 147 years old when he died.

29As the time of his death drew near, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, "If you are pleased with me, swear most solemnly that you will honor this, my last request: Do not bury me in Egypt.

30When I am dead, take me out of Egypt and bury me beside my ancestors." So Joseph promised that he would.

31"Swear that you will do it," Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.

48One day not long after this, word came to Joseph that his father was failing rapidly. So Joseph went to visit him, and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

2When Jacob heard that Joseph had arrived, he gathered his strength and sat up in bed to greet him.

3Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me.

4He said to me, 'I will make you a multitude of nations, and I will give this land of Canaan to you and your descendants as an everlasting possession.'

5Now I am adopting as my own sons these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born here in the land of Egypt before I arrived. They will inherit from me just as Reuben and Simeon will.

6But the children born to you in the future will be your own. The land they inherit will be within the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh.

7As I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were still on the way, just a short distance from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath."

8Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. "Are these your sons?" he asked.

9"Yes," Joseph told him, "these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt." And Jacob said, "Bring them over to me, and I will bless them."

10Now Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them.

11Then Jacob said to Joseph, "I never thought I would see you again, but now God has let me see your children, too."

12Joseph took the boys from their grandfather's knees, and he bowed low to him.

13Then he positioned the boys so Ephraim was at Jacob's left hand and Manasseh was at his right hand.

14But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys' heads. So his right hand was on the head of Ephraim, the younger boy, and his left hand was on the head of Manasseh, the older.

15Then he blessed Joseph and said, "May God, the God before whom my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac, walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life,

16and the angel who has kept me from all harm--may he bless these boys. May they preserve my name and the names of my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac. And may they become a mighty nation."

17But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father had laid his right hand on Ephraim's head. So he lifted it to place it on Manasseh's head instead.

18"No, Father," he said, "this one over here is older. Put your right hand on his head."

19But his father refused. "I know what I'm doing, my son," he said. "Manasseh, too, will become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. His descendants will become a multitude of nations!"

20So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: "The people of Israel will use your names to bless each other. They will say, 'May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.' " In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21Then Jacob said to Joseph, "I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to Canaan, the land of your ancestors.

22And I give you an extra portion beyond what I have given your brothers--the portion that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow."

49Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, "Gather around me, and I will tell you what is going to happen to you in the days to come.

2"Come and listen, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father.

3"Reuben, you are my oldest son, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first on the list in rank and honor.

4But you are as unruly as the waves of the sea, and you will be first no longer. For you slept with one of my wives; you dishonored me in my own bed.

5"Simeon and Levi are two of a kind-- men of violence.

6O my soul, stay away from them. May I never be a party to their wicked plans. For in their anger they murdered men, and they crippled oxen just for sport.

7Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; cursed be their wrath, for it is cruel. Therefore, I will scatter their descendants throughout the nation of Israel.

8"Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will defeat your enemies. All your relatives will bow before you.

9Judah is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness--who will dare to rouse him?

10The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will obey.

11He ties his foal to a grapevine, the colt of his donkey to a choice vine. He washes his clothes in wine because his harvest is so plentiful.

12His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk.

13"Zebulun will settle on the shores of the sea and will be a harbor for ships; his borders will extend to Sidon.

14"Issachar is a strong beast of burden, resting among the sheepfolds.

15When he sees how good the countryside is, how pleasant the land, he will bend his shoulder to the task and submit to forced labor.

16"Dan will govern his people like any other tribe in Israel.

17He will be a snake beside the road, a poisonous viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so the rider is thrown off.

18I trust in you for salvation, O LORD!

19"Gad will be plundered by marauding bands, but he will turn and plunder them.

20"Asher will produce rich foods, food fit for kings.

21"Naphtali is a deer let loose, producing magnificent fawns.

22"Joseph is a fruitful tree, a fruitful tree beside a fountain. His branches reach over the wall.

23He has been attacked by archers, who shot at him and harassed him.

24But his bow remained strong, and his arms were strengthened by the Mighty One of Jacob, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.

25May the God of your ancestors help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the earth beneath, and blessings of the breasts and womb.

26May the blessings of your ancestors be greater than the blessings of the eternal mountains, reaching to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills. These blessings will fall on the head of Joseph, who is a prince among his brothers.

27"Benjamin is a wolf that prowls. He devours his enemies in the morning, and in the evening he divides the plunder."

28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and these are the blessings with which Jacob blessed his twelve sons. Each received a blessing that was appropriate to him.

29Then Jacob told them, "Soon I will die. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in Ephron's field.

30This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a permanent burial place.

31There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah.

32It is the cave that my grandfather Abraham bought from the Hittites."

33Then when Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he lay back in the bed, breathed his last, and died.

50Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him.

2Then Joseph told his morticians to embalm the body.

3The embalming process took forty days, and there was a period of national mourning for seventy days.

4When the period of mourning was over, Joseph approached Pharaoh's advisers and asked them to speak to Pharaoh on his behalf.

5He told them, "Tell Pharaoh that my father made me swear an oath. He said to me, 'I am about to die; take my body back to the land of Canaan, and bury me in our family's burial cave.' Now I need to go and bury my father. After his burial is complete, I will return without delay."

6Pharaoh agreed to Joseph's request. "Go and bury your father, as you promised," he said.

7So Joseph went, with a great number of Pharaoh's counselors and advisers--all the senior officers of Egypt.

8Joseph also took his brothers and the entire household of Jacob. But they left their little children and flocks and herds in the land of Goshen.

9So a great number of chariots, cavalry, and people accompanied Joseph.

10When they arrived at the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan River, they held a very great and solemn funeral, with a seven-day period of mourning for Joseph's father.

11The local residents, the Canaanites, renamed the place Abel-mizraim, for they said, "This is a place of very deep mourning for these Egyptians."

12So Jacob's sons did as he had commanded them.

13They carried his body to the land of Canaan and buried it there in the cave of Machpelah. This is the cave that Abraham had bought for a permanent burial place in the field of Ephron the Hittite, near Mamre.

14Then Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father's funeral.

15But now that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers became afraid. "Now Joseph will pay us back for all the evil we did to him," they said.

16So they sent this message to Joseph: "Before your father died, he instructed us

17to say to you: 'Forgive your brothers for the great evil they did to you.' So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive us." When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept.

18Then his brothers came and bowed low before him. "We are your slaves," they said.

19But Joseph told them, "Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you?

20As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.

21No, don't be afraid. Indeed, I myself will take care of you and your families." And he spoke very kindly to them, reassuring them.

22So Joseph and his brothers and their families continued to live in Egypt. Joseph was 110 years old when he died.

23He lived to see three generations of descendants of his son Ephraim and the children of Manasseh's son Makir, who were treated as if they were his own.

24"Soon I will die," Joseph told his brothers, "but God will surely come for you, to lead you out of this land of Egypt. He will bring you back to the land he vowed to give to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

25Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath, and he said, "When God comes to lead us back to Canaan, you must take my body back with you."

26So Joseph died at the age of 110. They embalmed him, and his body was placed in a coffin in Egypt.


 


Exodus


1These are the sons of Jacob who went with their father to Egypt, each with his family:

2Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah,

3Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin,

4Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

5Joseph was already down in Egypt. In all, Jacob had seventy direct descendants.

6In time, Joseph and each of his brothers died, ending that generation.

7But their descendants had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so quickly that they soon filled the land.

8Then a new king came to the throne of Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.

9He told his people, "These Israelites are becoming a threat to us because there are so many of them.

10We must find a way to put an end to this. If we don't and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country."

11So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves and put brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down under heavy burdens. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king.

12But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more quickly the Israelites multiplied! The Egyptians soon became alarmed

13and decided to make their slavery more bitter still.

14They were ruthless with the Israelites, forcing them to make bricks and mortar and to work long hours in the fields.

15Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah:

16"When you help the Hebrew women give birth, kill all the boys as soon as they are born. Allow only the baby girls to live."

17But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king and allowed the boys to live, too.

18Then the king called for the midwives. "Why have you done this?" he demanded. "Why have you allowed the boys to live?"

19"Sir," they told him, "the Hebrew women are very strong. They have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time! They are not slow in giving birth like Egyptian women."

20So God blessed the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful.

21And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

22Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Throw all the newborn Israelite boys into the Nile River. But you may spare the baby girls."

2During this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married.

2The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw what a beautiful baby he was and kept him hidden for three months.

3But when she could no longer hide him, she got a little basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the edge of the Nile River.

4The baby's sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him.

5Soon after this, one of Pharaoh's daughters came down to bathe in the river, and her servant girls walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the little basket among the reeds, she told one of her servant girls to get it for her.

6As the princess opened it, she found the baby boy. His helpless cries touched her heart. "He must be one of the Hebrew children," she said.

7Then the baby's sister approached the princess. "Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" she asked.

8"Yes, do!" the princess replied. So the girl rushed home and called the baby's mother.

9"Take this child home and nurse him for me," the princess told her. "I will pay you for your help." So the baby's mother took her baby home and nursed him.

10Later, when he was older, the child's mother brought him back to the princess, who adopted him as her son. The princess named him Moses, for she said, "I drew him out of the water."

11Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his people, the Israelites, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew slaves.

12After looking around to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.

13The next day, as Moses was out visiting his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. "What are you doing, hitting your neighbor like that?" Moses said to the one in the wrong.

14"Who do you think you are?" the man replied. "Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Do you plan to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?" Moses was badly frightened because he realized that everyone knew what he had done.

15And sure enough, when Pharaoh heard about it, he gave orders to have Moses arrested and killed. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and escaped to the land of Midian. When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well.

16Now it happened that the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came regularly to this well to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father's flocks.

17But other shepherds would often come and chase the girls and their flocks away. This time, however, Moses came to their aid, rescuing the girls from the shepherds. Then he helped them draw water for their flocks.

18When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, "How did you get the flocks watered so quickly today?"

19"An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds," they told him. "And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks."

20"Well, where is he then?" their father asked. "Did you just leave him there? Go and invite him home for a meal!"

21Moses was happy to accept the invitation, and he settled down to live with them. In time, Reuel gave Moses one of his daughters, Zipporah, to be his wife.

22Later they had a baby boy, and Moses named him Gershom, for he said, "I have been a stranger in a foreign land."

23Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites still groaned beneath their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their pleas for deliverance rose up to God.

24God heard their cries and remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

25He looked down on the Israelites and felt deep concern for their welfare.

3One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he went deep into the wilderness near Sinai, the mountain of God.

2Suddenly, the angel of the LORD appeared to him as a blazing fire in a bush. Moses was amazed because the bush was engulfed in flames, but it didn't burn up.

3"Amazing!" Moses said to himself. "Why isn't that bush burning up? I must go over to see this."

4When the LORD saw that he had caught Moses' attention, God called to him from the bush, "Moses! Moses!" "Here I am!" Moses replied.

5"Do not come any closer," God told him. "Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground."

6Then he said, "I am the God of your ancestors--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." When Moses heard this, he hid his face in his hands because he was afraid to look at God.

7Then the LORD told him, "You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.

8So I have come to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own good and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey--the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites live.

9The cries of the people of Israel have reached me, and I have seen how the Egyptians have oppressed them with heavy tasks.

10Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You will lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."

11"But who am I to appear before Pharaoh?" Moses asked God. "How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?"

12Then God told him, "I will be with you. And this will serve as proof that I have sent you: When you have brought the Israelites out of Egypt, you will return here to worship God at this very mountain."

13But Moses protested, "If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' they won't believe me. They will ask, 'Which god are you talking about? What is his name?' Then what should I tell them?"

14God replied, "I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS. Just tell them, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

15God also said, "Tell them, 'The LORD, the God of your ancestors--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.' This will be my name forever; it has always been my name, and it will be used throughout all generations.

16"Now go and call together all the leaders of Israel. Tell them, 'The LORD, the God of your ancestors--the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--appeared to me in a burning bush. He said, "You can be sure that I am watching over you and have seen what is happening to you in Egypt.

17I promise to rescue you from the oppression of the Egyptians. I will lead you to the land now occupied by the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites--a land flowing with milk and honey." '

18"The leaders of the people of Israel will accept your message. Then all of you must go straight to the king of Egypt and tell him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us go on a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.'

19"But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go except under heavy pressure.

20So I will reach out and strike at the heart of Egypt with all kinds of miracles. Then at last he will let you go.

21And I will see to it that the Egyptians treat you well. They will load you down with gifts so you will not leave empty-handed.

22The Israelite women will ask for silver and gold jewelry and fine clothing from their Egyptian neighbors and their neighbors' guests. With this clothing, you will dress your sons and daughters. In this way, you will plunder the Egyptians!"

4But Moses protested again, "Look, they won't believe me! They won't do what I tell them. They'll just say, 'The LORD never appeared to you.' "

2Then the LORD asked him, "What do you have there in your hand?" "A shepherd's staff," Moses replied.

3"Throw it down on the ground," the LORD told him. So Moses threw it down, and it became a snake! Moses was terrified, so he turned and ran away.

4Then the LORD told him, "Take hold of its tail." So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it became a shepherd's staff again.

5"Perform this sign, and they will believe you," the LORD told him. "Then they will realize that the LORD, the God of their ancestors--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob--really has appeared to you."

6Then the LORD said to Moses, "Put your hand inside your robe." Moses did so, and when he took it out again, his hand was white as snow with leprosy.

7"Now put your hand back into your robe again," the LORD said. Moses did, and when he took it out this time, it was as healthy as the rest of his body.

8"If they do not believe the first miraculous sign, they will believe the second," the LORD said.

9"And if they do not believe you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, it will turn into blood."

10But Moses pleaded with the LORD, "O Lord, I'm just not a good speaker. I never have been, and I'm not now, even after you have spoken to me. I'm clumsy with words."

11"Who makes mouths?" the LORD asked him. "Who makes people so they can speak or not speak, hear or not hear, see or not see? Is it not I, the LORD?

12Now go, and do as I have told you. I will help you speak well, and I will tell you what to say."

13But Moses again pleaded, "Lord, please! Send someone else."

14Then the LORD became angry with Moses. "All right," he said. "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? He is a good speaker. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. And when he sees you, he will be very glad.

15You will talk to him, giving him the words to say. I will help both of you to speak clearly, and I will tell you what to do.

16Aaron will be your spokesman to the people, and you will be as God to him, telling him what to say.

17And be sure to take your shepherd's staff along so you can perform the miraculous signs I have shown you."

18Then Moses went back home and talked it over with Jethro, his father-in-law. "With your permission," Moses said, "I would like to go back to Egypt to visit my family. I don't even know whether they are still alive." "Go with my blessing," Jethro replied.

19Before Moses left Midian, the LORD said to him, "Do not be afraid to return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead."

20So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.

21Then the LORD reminded him, "When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will make him stubborn so he will not let the people go.

22Then you will tell him, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son.

23I commanded you to let him go, so he could worship me. But since you have refused, be warned! I will kill your firstborn son!' "

24On the journey, when Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the LORD confronted Moses and was about to kill him.

25But Zipporah, his wife, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She threw the foreskin at Moses' feet and said, "What a blood-smeared bridegroom you are to me!"

26(When she called Moses a "blood-smeared bridegroom," she was referring to the circumcision.) After that, the LORD left him alone.

27Now the LORD had said to Aaron, "Go out into the wilderness to meet Moses." So Aaron traveled to the mountain of God, where he found Moses and greeted him warmly.

28Moses then told Aaron everything the LORD had commanded them to do and say. And he told him about the miraculous signs they were to perform.

29So Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called the leaders of Israel to a meeting.

30Aaron told them everything the LORD had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched.

31The leaders were soon convinced that the LORD had sent Moses and Aaron. And when they realized that the LORD had seen their misery and was deeply concerned for them, they all bowed their heads and worshiped.

5After this presentation to Israel's leaders, Moses and Aaron went to see Pharaoh. They told him, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go, for they must go out into the wilderness to hold a religious festival in my honor.' "

2"Is that so?" retorted Pharaoh. "And who is the LORD that I should listen to him and let Israel go? I don't know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go."

3But Aaron and Moses persisted. "The God of the Hebrews has met with us," they declared. "Let us take a three-day trip into the wilderness so we can offer sacrifices to the LORD our God. If we don't, we will surely die by disease or the sword."

4"Who do you think you are," Pharaoh shouted, "distracting the people from their tasks? Get back to work!

5Look, there are many people here in Egypt, and you are stopping them from doing their work."

6That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the slave drivers and foremen he had set over the people of Israel:

7"Do not supply the people with any more straw for making bricks. Let them get it themselves!

8But don't reduce their production quotas by a single brick. They obviously don't have enough to do. If they did, they wouldn't be talking about going into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to their God.

9Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to these liars!"

10So the slave drivers and foremen informed the people: "Pharaoh has ordered us not to provide straw for you.

11Go and get it yourselves. Find it wherever you can. But you must produce just as many bricks as before!"

12So the people scattered throughout the land in search of straw.

13The slave drivers were brutal. "Meet your daily quota of bricks, just as you did before!" they demanded.

14Then they whipped the Israelite foremen in charge of the work crews. "Why haven't you met your quotas either yesterday or today?" they demanded.

15So the Israelite foremen went to Pharaoh and pleaded with him. "Please don't treat us like this," they begged.

16"We are given no straw, but we are still told to make as many bricks as before. We are beaten for something that isn't our fault! It is the fault of your slave drivers for making such unreasonable demands."

17But Pharaoh replied, "You're just lazy! You obviously don't have enough to do. If you did, you wouldn't be saying, 'Let us go, so we can offer sacrifices to the LORD.'

18Now, get back to work! No straw will be given to you, but you must still deliver the regular quota of bricks."

19Since Pharaoh would not let up on his demands, the Israelite foremen could see that they were in serious trouble.

20As they left Pharaoh's court, they met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them.

21The foremen said to them, "May the LORD judge you for getting us into this terrible situation with Pharaoh and his officials. You have given them an excuse to kill us!"

22So Moses went back to the LORD and protested, "Why have you mistreated your own people like this, Lord? Why did you send me?

23Since I gave Pharaoh your message, he has been even more brutal to your people. You have not even begun to rescue them!"

6"Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh," the LORD told Moses. "When he feels my powerful hand upon him, he will let the people go. In fact, he will be so anxious to get rid of them that he will force them to leave his land!"

2And God continued, "I am the LORD.

3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, though I did not reveal my name, the LORD, to them.

4And I entered into a solemn covenant with them. Under its terms, I swore to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living.

5You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. I have remembered my covenant with them.

6"Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will free you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with mighty power and great acts of judgment.

7I will make you my own special people, and I will be your God. And you will know that I am the LORD your God who has rescued you from your slavery in Egypt.

8I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It will be your very own property. I am the LORD!' "

9So Moses told the people what the LORD had said, but they wouldn't listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the increasing burden of their slavery.

10Then the LORD said to Moses,

11"Go back to Pharaoh, and tell him to let the people of Israel leave Egypt."

12"But LORD!" Moses objected. "My own people won't listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I'm no orator!"

13But the LORD ordered Moses and Aaron to return to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and to demand that he let the people of Israel leave Egypt.

14These are the ancestors of clans from some of Israel's tribes: The descendants of Reuben, Israel's oldest son, included Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. Their descendants became the clans of Reuben.

15The descendants of Simeon included Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul (whose mother was a Canaanite). Their descendants became the clans of Simeon.

16These are the descendants of Levi, listed according to their family groups. In the first generation were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. (Levi, their father, lived to be 137 years old.)

17The descendants of Gershon included Libni and Shimei, each of whom is the ancestor of a clan.

18The descendants of Kohath included Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. (Kohath lived to be 133 years old.)

19The descendants of Merari included Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites, listed according to their genealogies.

20Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. (Amram lived to be 137 years old.)

21The descendants of Izhar included Korah, Nepheg, and Zicri.

22The descendants of Uzziel included Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.

23Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

24The descendants of Korah included Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. Their descendants became the clans of Korah.

25Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the ancestors of the Levite clans, listed according to their family groups.

26The Aaron and Moses named in this list are the same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, "Lead all the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt, division by division."

27They are the ones who went to Pharaoh to ask permission to lead the people from the land of Egypt.

28At that time, the LORD had said to them,

29"I am the LORD! Give Pharaoh the message I have given you."

30This is the same Moses who had argued with the LORD, saying, "I can't do it! I'm no orator. Why should Pharaoh listen to me?"

7Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh. Your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet; he will speak for you.

2Tell Aaron everything I say to you and have him announce it to Pharaoh. He will demand that the people of Israel be allowed to leave Egypt.

3But I will cause Pharaoh to be stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.

4Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will crush Egypt with a series of disasters, after which I will lead the forces of Israel out with great acts of judgment.

5When I show the Egyptians my power and force them to let the Israelites go, they will realize that I am the LORD."

6So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them.

7Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three at the time they made their demands to Pharaoh.

8Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,

9"Pharaoh will demand that you show him a miracle to prove that God has sent you. When he makes this demand, say to Aaron, 'Throw down your shepherd's staff,' and it will become a snake."

10So Moses and Aaron went to see Pharaoh, and they performed the miracle just as the LORD had told them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his court, and it became a snake.

11Then Pharaoh called in his wise men and magicians, and they did the same thing with their secret arts.

12Their staffs became snakes, too! But then Aaron's snake swallowed up their snakes.

13Pharaoh's heart, however, remained hard and stubborn. He still refused to listen, just as the LORD had predicted.

14Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh is very stubborn, and he continues to refuse to let the people go.

15So go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes down to the river. Stand on the riverbank and meet him there. Be sure to take along the shepherd's staff that turned into a snake.

16Say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say, "Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness." Until now, you have refused to listen to him.

17Now the LORD says, "You are going to find out that I am the LORD." Look! I will hit the water of the Nile with this staff, and the river will turn to blood.

18The fish in it will die, and the river will stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink any water from the Nile.' "

19Then the LORD said to Moses: "Tell Aaron to point his staff toward the waters of Egypt--all its rivers, canals, marshes, and reservoirs. Everywhere in Egypt the water will turn into blood, even the water stored in wooden bowls and stone pots in the people's homes."

20So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and hit the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood!

21The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn't drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt.

22But again the magicians of Egypt used their secret arts, and they, too, turned water into blood. So Pharaoh's heart remained hard and stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted.

23Pharaoh returned to his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind.

24Then the Egyptians dug wells along the riverbank to get drinking water, for they couldn't drink from the river.

25An entire week passed from the time the LORD turned the water of the Nile to blood.

8Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh once again and tell him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me.

2If you refuse, then listen carefully to this: I will send vast hordes of frogs across your entire land from one border to the other.

3The Nile River will swarm with them. They will come up out of the river and into your houses, even into your bedrooms and onto your beds! Every home in Egypt will be filled with them. They will fill even your ovens and your kneading bowls.

4You and your people will be overwhelmed by frogs!' "

5Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron to point his shepherd's staff toward all the rivers, canals, and marshes of Egypt so there will be frogs in every corner of the land."

6Aaron did so, and frogs covered the whole land of Egypt!

7But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their secret arts. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land.

8Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, "Plead with the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let the people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the LORD."

9"You set the time!" Moses replied. "Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. I will pray that you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. Then only the frogs in the Nile River will remain alive."

10"Do it tomorrow," Pharaoh said. "All right," Moses replied, "it will be as you have said. Then you will know that no one is as powerful as the LORD our God.

11All the frogs will be destroyed, except those in the river."

12So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, and Moses pleaded with the LORD about the frogs he had sent.

13And the LORD did as Moses had promised. The frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields all died.

14They were piled into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land.

15But when Pharaoh saw that the frogs were gone, he hardened his heart. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted.

16So the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron to strike the dust with his staff. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt."

17So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. Suddenly, gnats infested the entire land, covering the Egyptians and their animals. All the dust in the land of Egypt turned into gnats.

18Pharaoh's magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered all the people and animals.

19"This is the finger of God!" the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh's heart remained hard and stubborn. He wouldn't listen to them, just as the LORD had predicted.

20Next the LORD told Moses, "Get up early in the morning and meet Pharaoh as he goes down to the river. Say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me.

21If you refuse, I will send swarms of flies throughout Egypt. Your homes will be filled with them, and the ground will be covered with them.

22But it will be very different in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the LORD and that I have power even in the heart of your land.

23I will make a clear distinction between your people and my people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.' "

24And the LORD did just as he had said. There were terrible swarms of flies in Pharaoh's palace and in every home in Egypt. The whole country was thrown into chaos by the flies.

25Pharaoh hastily called for Moses and Aaron. "All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God," he said. "But do it here in this land. Don't go out into the wilderness."

26But Moses replied, "That won't do! The Egyptians would detest the sacrifices that we offer to the LORD our God. If we offer them here where they can see us, they will be sure to stone us.

27We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, just as he has commanded us."

28"All right, go ahead," Pharaoh replied. "I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God in the wilderness. But don't go too far away. Now hurry, and pray for me."

29"As soon as I go," Moses said, "I will ask the LORD to cause the swarms of flies to disappear from you and all your people. But I am warning you, don't change your mind again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD."

30So Moses left Pharaoh and asked the LORD to remove all the flies.

31And the LORD did as Moses asked and caused the swarms to disappear. Not a single fly remained in the land!

32But Pharaoh hardened his heart again and refused to let the people go.

9"Go back to Pharaoh," the LORD commanded Moses. "Tell him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me.

2If you continue to oppress them and refuse to let them go,

3the LORD will send a deadly plague to destroy your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, and sheep.

4But the LORD will again make a distinction between the property of the Israelites and that of the Egyptians. Not a single one of Israel's livestock will die!' "

5The LORD announced that he would send the plague the very next day,

6and he did it, just as he had said. The next morning all the livestock of the Egyptians began to die, but the Israelites didn't lose a single animal from their flocks and herds.

7Pharaoh sent officials to see whether it was true that none of the Israelites' animals were dead. But even after he found it to be true, his heart remained stubborn. He still refused to let the people go.

8Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Take soot from a furnace, and have Moses toss it into the sky while Pharaoh watches.

9It will spread like fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing boils to break out on people and animals alike."

10So they gathered soot from a furnace and went to see Pharaoh. As Pharaoh watched, Moses tossed the soot into the air, and terrible boils broke out on the people and animals throughout Egypt.

11Even the magicians were unable to stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them, too.

12But the LORD made Pharaoh even more stubborn, and he refused to listen, just as the LORD had predicted.

13Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning. Go to Pharaoh and tell him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me.

14If you don't, I will send a plague that will really speak to you and your officials and all the Egyptian people. I will prove to you that there is no other God like me in all the earth.

15I could have killed you all by now. I could have attacked you with a plague that would have wiped you from the face of the earth.

16But I have let you live for this reason--that you might see my power and that my fame might spread throughout the earth.

17But you are still lording it over my people, and you refuse to let them go.

18So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm worse than any in all of Egypt's history.

19Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields. Every person or animal left outside will die beneath the hail.' "

20Some of Pharaoh's officials believed what the LORD said. They immediately brought their livestock and servants in from the fields.

21But those who had no respect for the word of the LORD left them out in the open.

22Then the LORD said to Moses, "Lift your hand toward the sky, and cause the hail to fall throughout Egypt, on the people, the animals, and the crops."

23So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck the earth. The LORD sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt.

24Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such severe hail and continuous lightning.

25It left all of Egypt in ruins. Everything left in the fields was destroyed--people, animals, and crops alike. Even all the trees were destroyed.

26The only spot in all Egypt without hail that day was the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel lived.

27Then Pharaoh urgently sent for Moses and Aaron. "I finally admit my fault," he confessed. "The LORD is right, and my people and I are wrong.

28Please beg the LORD to end this terrifying thunder and hail. I will let you go at once."

29"All right," Moses replied. "As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands and pray to the LORD. Then the thunder and hail will stop. This will prove to you that the earth belongs to the LORD.

30But as for you and your officials, I know that you still do not fear the LORD God as you should."

31All the flax and barley were destroyed because the barley was ripe and the flax was in bloom.

32But the wheat and the spelt were not destroyed because they had not yet sprouted from the ground.

33So Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. As he lifted his hands to the LORD, all at once the thunder and hail stopped, and the downpour ceased.

34When Pharaoh saw this, he and his officials sinned yet again by stubbornly refusing to do as they had promised.

35Pharaoh refused to let the people leave, just as the LORD had predicted.

10Then the LORD said to Moses, "Return to Pharaoh and again make your demands. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can continue to display my power by performing miraculous signs among them.

2You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvelous things I am doing among the Egyptians to prove that I am the LORD."

3So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me.

4If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will cover the whole country with locusts.

5There will be so many that you won't be able to see the ground. They will devour everything that escaped the hailstorm, including all the trees in the fields.

6They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses of Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt has there been a plague like this one!" And with that, Moses turned and walked out.

7The court officials now came to Pharaoh and appealed to him. "How long will you let these disasters go on? Please let the Israelites go to serve the LORD their God! Don't you realize that Egypt lies in ruins?"

8So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. "All right, go and serve the LORD your God," he said. "But tell me, just whom do you want to take along?"

9"Young and old, all of us will go," Moses replied. "We will take our sons and daughters and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in a festival to the LORD."

10Pharaoh retorted, "The LORD will certainly need to be with you if you try to take your little ones along! I can see through your wicked intentions.

11Never! Only the men may go and serve the LORD, for that is what you requested." And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace.

12Then the LORD said to Moses, "Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and eat all the crops still left after the hailstorm."

13So Moses raised his staff, and the LORD caused an east wind to blow all that day and through the night. When morning arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts.

14And the locusts swarmed over the land of Egypt from border to border. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never again been one like it.

15For the locusts covered the surface of the whole country, making the ground look black. They ate all the plants and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not one green thing remained, neither tree nor plant, throughout the land of Egypt.

16Pharaoh quickly sent for Moses and Aaron. "I confess my sin against the LORD your God and against you," he said to them.

17"Forgive my sin only this once, and plead with the LORD your God to take away this terrible plague."

18So Moses left Pharaoh and pleaded with the LORD.

19The LORD responded by sending a strong west wind that blew the locusts out into the Red Sea. Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt.

20But the LORD made Pharaoh stubborn once again, and he did not let the people go.

21Then the LORD said to Moses, "Lift your hand toward heaven, and a deep and terrifying darkness will descend on the land of Egypt."

22So Moses lifted his hand toward heaven, and there was deep darkness over the entire land for three days.

23During all that time the people scarcely moved, for they could not see. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived.

24Then Pharaoh called for Moses. "Go and worship the LORD," he said. "But let your flocks and herds stay here. You can even take your children with you."

25"No," Moses said, "we must take our flocks and herds for sacrifices and burnt offerings to the LORD our God.

26All our property must go with us; not a hoof can be left behind. We will have to choose our sacrifices for the LORD our God from among these animals. And we won't know which sacrifices he will require until we get there."

27So the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart once more, and he would not let them go.

28"Get out of here!" Pharaoh shouted at Moses. "Don't ever let me see you again! The day you do, you will die!"

29"Very well," Moses replied. "I will never see you again."

11Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will send just one more disaster on Pharaoh and the land of Egypt. After that, Pharaoh will let you go. In fact, he will be so anxious to get rid of you that he will practically force you to leave the country.

2Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold."

3(Now the LORD had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel, and Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt. He was respected by Pharaoh's officials and the Egyptian people alike.)

4So Moses announced to Pharaoh, "This is what the LORD says: About midnight I will pass through Egypt.

5All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest slave. Even the firstborn of the animals will die.

6Then a loud wail will be heard throughout the land of Egypt; there has never been such wailing before, and there never will be again.

7But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites.

8All the officials of Egypt will come running to me, bowing low. 'Please leave!' they will beg. 'Hurry! And take all your followers with you.' Only then will I go!" Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh's presence.

9Now the LORD had told Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you. But this will give me the opportunity to do even more mighty miracles in the land of Egypt."

10Although Moses and Aaron did these miracles in Pharaoh's presence, the LORD hardened his heart so he wouldn't let the Israelites leave the country.

12Now the LORD gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron while they were still in the land of Egypt:

2"From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you.

3Announce to the whole community that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice.

4If a family is too small to eat an entire lamb, let them share the lamb with another family in the neighborhood. Whether or not they share in this way depends on the size of each family and how much they can eat.

5This animal must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no physical defects.

6"Take special care of these lambs until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then each family in the community must slaughter its lamb.

7They are to take some of the lamb's blood and smear it on the top and sides of the doorframe of the house where the lamb will be eaten.

8That evening everyone must eat roast lamb with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast.

9The meat must never be eaten raw or boiled; roast it all, including the head, legs, and internal organs.

10Do not leave any of it until the next day. Whatever is not eaten that night must be burned before morning.

11"Wear your traveling clothes as you eat this meal, as though prepared for a long journey. Wear your sandals, and carry your walking sticks in your hands. Eat the food quickly, for this is the LORD's Passover.

12On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn sons and firstborn male animals in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the LORD!

13The blood you have smeared on your doorposts will serve as a sign. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14"You must remember this day forever. Each year you will celebrate it as a special festival to the LORD.

15For seven days, you may eat only bread made without yeast. On the very first day you must remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast at any time during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel.

16On the first day of the festival, and again on the seventh day, all the people must gather for a time of special worship. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food.

17"Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent regulation for you, to be kept from generation to generation.

18Only bread without yeast may be eaten from the evening of the fourteenth day of the month until the evening of the twenty-first day of the month.

19During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These same regulations apply to the foreigners living with you, as if they had been born among you.

20I repeat, during those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread that has no yeast in it."

21Then Moses called for the leaders of Israel and said, "Tell each of your families to slaughter the lamb they have set apart for the Passover.

22Drain each lamb's blood into a basin. Then take a cluster of hyssop branches and dip it into the lamb's blood. Strike the hyssop against the top and sides of the doorframe, staining it with the blood. And remember, no one is allowed to leave the house until morning.

23For the LORD will pass through the land and strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the LORD will pass over your home. He will not permit the Destroyer to enter and strike down your firstborn.

24"Remember, these instructions are permanent and must be observed by you and your descendants forever.

25When you arrive in the land the LORD has promised to give you, you will continue to celebrate this festival.

26Then your children will ask, 'What does all this mean? What is this ceremony about?'

27And you will reply, 'It is the celebration of the LORD's Passover, for he passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he killed the Egyptians, he spared our families and did not destroy us.' " Then all the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

28So the people of Israel did just as the LORD had commanded through Moses and Aaron.

29And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.

30Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.

31Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron during the night. "Leave us!" he cried. "Go away, all of you! Go and serve the LORD as you have requested.

32Take your flocks and herds, and be gone. Go, but give me a blessing as you leave."

33All the Egyptians urged the people of Israel to get out of the land as quickly as possible, for they thought, "We will all die!"

34The Israelites took with them their bread dough made without yeast. They wrapped their kneading bowls in their spare clothing and carried them on their shoulders.

35And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed and asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold.

36The LORD caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So, like a victorious army, they plundered the Egyptians!

37That night the people of Israel left Rameses and started for Succoth. There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children. And they were all traveling on foot.

38Many people who were not Israelites went with them, along with the many flocks and herds.

39Whenever they stopped to eat, they baked bread from the yeastless dough they had brought from Egypt. It was made without yeast because the people were rushed out of Egypt and had no time to wait for bread to rise.

40The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years.

41In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the LORD's forces left the land.

42This night had been reserved by the LORD to bring his people out from the land of Egypt, so this same night now belongs to him. It must be celebrated every year, from generation to generation, to remember the LORD's deliverance.

43Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the festival of Passover. No foreigners are allowed to eat the Passover lamb.

44But any slave who has been purchased may eat it if he has been circumcised.

45Hired servants and visiting foreigners may not eat it.

46All who eat the lamb must eat it together in one house. You must not carry any of its meat outside, and you may not break any of its bones.

47The whole community of Israel must celebrate this festival at the same time.

48"If there are foreigners living among you who want to celebrate the LORD's Passover, let all the males be circumcised. Then they may come and celebrate the Passover with you. They will be treated just as if they had been born among you. But an uncircumcised male may never eat of the Passover lamb.

49This law applies to everyone, whether a native-born Israelite or a foreigner who has settled among you."

50So the people of Israel followed all the LORD's instructions to Moses and Aaron.

51And that very day the LORD began to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, division by division.

13Then the LORD said to Moses,

2"Dedicate to me all the firstborn sons of Israel and every firstborn male animal. They are mine."

3So Moses said to the people, "This is a day to remember forever--the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. For the LORD has brought you out by his mighty power. (Remember, you are not to use any yeast.)

4This day in early spring will be the anniversary of your exodus.

5You must celebrate this day when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. This is the land he swore to give your ancestors--a land flowing with milk and honey.

6For seven days you will eat only bread without yeast. Then on the seventh day, you will celebrate a great feast to the LORD.

7Eat only bread without yeast during those seven days. In fact, there must be no yeast in your homes or anywhere within the borders of your land during this time.

8"During these festival days each year, you must explain to your children why you are celebrating. Say to them, 'This is a celebration of what the LORD did for us when we left Egypt.'

9This annual festival will be a visible reminder to you, like a mark branded on your hands or your forehead. Let it remind you always to keep the LORD's instructions in your minds and on your lips. After all, it was the LORD who rescued you from Egypt with great power.

10"So celebrate this festival at the appointed time each year.

11And remember these instructions when the LORD brings you into the land he swore to give your ancestors long ago, the land where the Canaanites are now living.

12All firstborn sons and firstborn male animals must be presented to the LORD.

13A firstborn male donkey may be redeemed from the LORD by presenting a lamb in its place. But if you decide not to make the exchange, the donkey must be killed by breaking its neck. However, you must redeem every firstborn son.

14"And in the future, your children will ask you, 'What does all this mean?' Then you will tell them, 'With mighty power the LORD brought us out of Egypt from our slavery.

15Pharaoh refused to let us go, so the LORD killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why we now offer all the firstborn males to the LORD--except that the firstborn sons are always redeemed.'

16Again I say, this ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hands or your forehead. It is a visible reminder that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt with great power."

17When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land. God said, "If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt."

18So God led them along a route through the wilderness toward the Red Sea, and the Israelites left Egypt like a marching army.

19Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear that they would take his bones with them when God led them out of Egypt--as he was sure God would.

20Leaving Succoth, they camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.

21The LORD guided them by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. That way they could travel whether it was day or night.

22And the LORD did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from their sight.

14Then the LORD gave these instructions to Moses:

2"Tell the people to march toward Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, opposite Baal-zephon.

3Then Pharaoh will think, 'Those Israelites are confused. They are trapped between the wilderness and the sea!'

4And once again I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this so I will receive great glory at the expense of Pharaoh and his armies. After this, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD!" So the Israelites camped there as they were told.

5When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites were not planning to return to Egypt after three days, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. "What have we done, letting all these slaves get away?" they asked.

6So Pharaoh called out his troops and led the chase in his chariot.

7He took with him six hundred of Egypt's best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with a commander.

8The LORD continued to strengthen Pharaoh's resolve, and he chased after the people of Israel who had escaped so defiantly.

9All the forces in Pharaoh's army--all his horses, chariots, and charioteers--were used in the chase. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon.

10As Pharaoh and his army approached, the people of Israel could see them in the distance, marching toward them. The people began to panic, and they cried out to the LORD for help.

11Then they turned against Moses and complained, "Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren't there enough graves for us in Egypt? Why did you make us leave?

12Didn't we tell you to leave us alone while we were still in Egypt? Our Egyptian slavery was far better than dying out here in the wilderness!"

13But Moses told the people, "Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the LORD rescue you. The Egyptians that you see today will never be seen again.

14The LORD himself will fight for you. You won't have to lift a finger in your defense!"

15Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!

16Use your shepherd's staff--hold it out over the water, and a path will open up before you through the sea. Then all the people of Israel will walk through on dry ground.

17Yet I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will follow the Israelites into the sea. Then I will receive great glory at the expense of Pharaoh and his armies, chariots, and charioteers.

18When I am finished with Pharaoh and his army, all Egypt will know that I am the LORD!"

19Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to a position behind them, and the pillar of cloud also moved around behind them.

20The cloud settled between the Israelite and Egyptian camps. As night came, the pillar of cloud turned into a pillar of fire, lighting the Israelite camp. But the cloud became darkness to the Egyptians, and they couldn't find the Israelites.

21Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land.

22So the people of Israel walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!

23Then the Egyptians--all of Pharaoh's horses, chariots, and charioteers--followed them across the bottom of the sea.

24But early in the morning, the LORD looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw them into confusion.

25Their chariot wheels began to come off, making their chariots impossible to drive. "Let's get out of here!" the Egyptians shouted. "The LORD is fighting for Israel against us!"

26When all the Israelites were on the other side, the LORD said to Moses, "Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back over the Egyptian chariots and charioteers."

27So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea. The water roared back into its usual place, and the LORD swept the terrified Egyptians into the surging currents.

28The waters covered all the chariots and charioteers--the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.

29The people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry land, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides.

30This was how the LORD rescued Israel from the Egyptians that day. And the Israelites could see the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore.

31When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had displayed against the Egyptians, they feared the LORD and put their faith in him and his servant Moses.

15Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD: "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has thrown both horse and rider into the sea.

2The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my victory. He is my God, and I will praise him; he is my father's God, and I will exalt him!

3The LORD is a warrior; yes, the LORD is his name!

4Pharaoh's chariots and armies, he has thrown into the sea. The very best of Pharaoh's officers have been drowned in the Red Sea.

5The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the bottom like a stone.

6"Your right hand, O LORD, is glorious in power. Your right hand, O LORD, dashes the enemy to pieces.

7In the greatness of your majesty, you overthrew those who rose against you. Your anger flashed forth; it consumed them as fire burns straw.

8At the blast of your breath, the waters piled up! The surging waters stood straight like a wall; in the middle of the sea the waters became hard.

9"The enemy said, 'I will chase them, catch up with them, and destroy them. I will divide the plunder, avenging myself against them. I will unsheath my sword; my power will destroy them.'

10But with a blast of your breath, the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11"Who else among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is glorious in holiness like you-- so awesome in splendor, performing such wonders?

12You raised up your hand, and the earth swallowed our enemies.

13"With unfailing love you will lead this people whom you have ransomed. You will guide them in your strength to the place where your holiness dwells.

14The nations will hear and tremble; anguish will grip the people of Philistia.

15The leaders of Edom will be terrified; the nobles of Moab will tremble. All the people of Canaan will melt with fear;

16terror and dread will overcome them. Because of your great power, they will be silent like a stone, until your people pass by, O LORD, until the people whom you purchased pass by.

17You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain-- the place you have made as your home, O LORD, the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have made.

18The LORD will reign forever and ever!"

19When Pharaoh's horses, chariots, and charioteers rushed into the sea, the LORD brought the water crashing down on them. But the people of Israel had walked through on dry land!

20Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine and led all the women in rhythm and dance.

21And Miriam sang this song: "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has thrown both horse and rider into the sea."

22Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the Shur Desert. They traveled in this desert for three days without water.

23When they came to Marah, they finally found water. But the people couldn't drink it because it was bitter. (That is why the place was called Marah, which means "bitter.")

24Then the people turned against Moses. "What are we going to drink?" they demanded.

25So Moses cried out to the LORD for help, and the LORD showed him a branch. Moses took the branch and threw it into the water. This made the water good to drink. It was there at Marah that the LORD laid before them the following conditions to test their faithfulness to him:

26"If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and laws, then I will not make you suffer the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the LORD who heals you."

27After leaving Marah, they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the springs.

16Then they left Elim and journeyed into the Sin Desert, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there a month after leaving Egypt.

2There, too, the whole community of Israel spoke bitterly against Moses and Aaron.

3"Oh, that we were back in Egypt," they moaned. "It would have been better if the LORD had killed us there! At least there we had plenty to eat. But now you have brought us into this desert to starve us to death."

4Then the LORD said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. The people can go out each day and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether they will follow my instructions.

5Tell them to pick up twice as much as usual on the sixth day of each week."

6Then Moses and Aaron called a meeting of all the people of Israel and told them, "In the evening you will realize that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

7In the morning you will see the glorious presence of the LORD. He has heard your complaints, which are against the LORD and not against us.

8The LORD will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. Yes, your complaints are against the LORD, not against us."

9Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say this to the entire community of Israel: 'Come into the LORD's presence, and hear his reply to your complaints.' "

10And as Aaron spoke to the people, they looked out toward the desert. Within the guiding cloud, they could see the awesome glory of the LORD.

11And the LORD said to Moses,

12"I have heard the people's complaints. Now tell them, 'In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' "

13That evening vast numbers of quail arrived and covered the camp. The next morning the desert all around the camp was wet with dew.

14When the dew disappeared later in the morning, thin flakes, white like frost, covered the ground.

15The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. "What is it?" they asked. And Moses told them, "It is the food the LORD has given you.

16The LORD says that each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts for each person."

17So the people of Israel went out and gathered this food--some getting more, and some getting less.

18By gathering two quarts for each person, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.

19Then Moses told them, "Do not keep any of it overnight."

20But, of course, some of them didn't listen and kept some of it until morning. By then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. And Moses was very angry with them.

21The people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the food they had not picked up melted and disappeared.

22On the sixth day, there was twice as much as usual on the ground--four quarts for each person instead of two. The leaders of the people came and asked Moses why this had happened.

23He replied, "The LORD has appointed tomorrow as a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. On this day we will rest from our normal daily tasks. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow."

24The next morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor.

25Moses said, "This is your food for today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD. There will be no food on the ground today.

26Gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is a Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground for you on that day."

27Some of the people went out anyway to gather food, even though it was the Sabbath day. But there was none to be found.

28"How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions?" the LORD asked Moses.

29"Do they not realize that I have given them the seventh day, the Sabbath, as a day of rest? That is why I give you twice as much food on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must stay in your places. Do not pick up food from the ground on that day."

30So the people rested on the seventh day.

31In time, the food became known as manna. It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey cakes.

32Then Moses gave them this command from the LORD: "Take two quarts of manna and keep it forever as a treasured memorial of the LORD's provision. By doing this, later generations will be able to see the bread that the LORD provided in the wilderness when he brought you out of Egypt."

33Moses said to Aaron, "Get a container and put two quarts of manna into it. Then store it in a sacred place as a reminder for all future generations."

34Aaron did this, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. He eventually placed it for safekeeping in the Ark of the Covenant.

35So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived in the land of Canaan, where there were crops to eat.

36(The container used to measure the manna was an omer, which held about two quarts.)

17At the LORD's command, the people of Israel left the Sin Desert and moved from place to place. Eventually they came to Rephidim, but there was no water to be found there.

2So once more the people grumbled and complained to Moses. "Give us water to drink!" they demanded. "Quiet!" Moses replied. "Why are you arguing with me? And why are you testing the LORD?"

3But tormented by thirst, they continued to complain, "Why did you ever take us out of Egypt? Why did you bring us here? We, our children, and our livestock will all die!"

4Then Moses pleaded with the LORD, "What should I do with these people? They are about to stone me!"

5The LORD said to Moses, "Take your shepherd's staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile. Then call some of the leaders of Israel and walk on ahead of the people.

6I will meet you by the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come pouring out. Then the people will be able to drink." Moses did just as he was told; and as the leaders looked on, water gushed out.

7Moses named the place Massah--"the place of testing"--and Meribah--"the place of arguing"--because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the LORD by saying, "Is the LORD going to take care of us or not?"

8While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek came to fight against them.

9Moses commanded Joshua, "Call the Israelites to arms, and fight the army of Amalek. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand."

10So Joshua did what Moses had commanded. He led his men out to fight the army of Amalek. Meanwhile Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of a nearby hill.

11As long as Moses held up the staff with his hands, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites gained the upper hand.

12Moses' arms finally became too tired to hold up the staff any longer. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side, holding up his hands until sunset.

13As a result, Joshua and his troops were able to crush the army of Amalek.

14Then the LORD instructed Moses, "Write this down as a permanent record, and announce it to Joshua: I will blot out every trace of Amalek from under heaven."

15Moses built an altar there and called it "The LORD Is My Banner."

16He said, "They have dared to raise their fist against the LORD's throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation."

18Word soon reached Jethro, the priest of Midian and Moses' father-in-law, about all the wonderful things God had done for Moses and his people, the Israelites. He had heard about how the LORD had brought them safely out of Egypt.

2Some time before this, Moses had sent his wife, Zipporah, and his two sons to live with Jethro, his father-in-law.

3The name of Moses' first son was Gershom, for Moses had said when the boy was born, "I have been a stranger in a foreign land."

4The name of his second son was Eliezer, for Moses had said at his birth, "The God of my fathers was my helper; he delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh."

5Jethro now came to visit Moses, and he brought Moses' wife and two sons with him. They arrived while Moses and the people were camped near the mountain of God.

6Moses was told, "Jethro, your father-in-law, has come to visit you. Your wife and your two sons are with him."

7So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. He bowed to him respectfully and greeted him warmly. They asked about each other's health and then went to Moses' tent to talk further.

8Moses told his father-in-law about everything the LORD had done to rescue Israel from Pharaoh and the Egyptians. He also told him about the problems they had faced along the way and how the LORD had delivered his people from all their troubles.

9Jethro was delighted when he heard about all that the LORD had done for Israel as he brought them out of Egypt.

10"Praise be to the LORD," Jethro said, "for he has saved you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. He has rescued Israel from the power of Egypt!

11I know now that the LORD is greater than all other gods, because his people have escaped from the proud and cruel Egyptians."

12Then Jethro presented a burnt offering and gave sacrifices to God. As Jethro was doing this, Aaron and the leaders of Israel came out to meet him. They all joined him in a sacrificial meal in God's presence.

13The next day, Moses sat as usual to hear the people's complaints against each other. They were lined up in front of him from morning till evening.

14When Moses' father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, "Why are you trying to do all this alone? The people have been standing here all day to get your help."

15Moses replied, "Well, the people come to me to seek God's guidance.

16When an argument arises, I am the one who settles the case. I inform the people of God's decisions and teach them his laws and instructions."

17"This is not good!" his father-in-law exclaimed.

18"You're going to wear yourself out--and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself.

19Now let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people's representative before God, bringing him their questions to be decided.

20You should tell them God's decisions, teach them God's laws and instructions, and show them how to conduct their lives.

21But find some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as judges over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.

22These men can serve the people, resolving all the ordinary cases. Anything that is too important or too complicated can be brought to you. But they can take care of the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you.

23If you follow this advice, and if God directs you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace."

24Moses listened to his father-in-law's advice and followed his suggestions.

25He chose capable men from all over Israel and made them judges over the people. They were put in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.

26These men were constantly available to administer justice. They brought the hard cases to Moses, but they judged the smaller matters themselves.

27Soon after this, Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, who returned to his own land.

19The Israelites arrived in the wilderness of Sinai exactly two months after they left Egypt.

2After breaking camp at Rephidim, they came to the base of Mount Sinai and set up camp there.

3Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The LORD called out to him from the mountain and said, "Give these instructions to the descendants of Jacob, the people of Israel:

4'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I brought you to myself and carried you on eagle's wings.

5Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the nations of the earth; for all the earth belongs to me.

6And you will be to me a kingdom of priests, my holy nation.' Give this message to the Israelites."

7Moses returned from the mountain and called together the leaders of the people and told them what the LORD had said.

8They all responded together, "We will certainly do everything the LORD asks of us." So Moses brought the people's answer back to the LORD.

9Then the LORD said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a thick cloud so the people themselves can hear me as I speak to you. Then they will always have confidence in you." Moses told the LORD what the people had said.

10Then the LORD told Moses, "Go down and prepare the people for my visit. Purify them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing.

11Be sure they are ready on the third day, for I will come down upon Mount Sinai as all the people watch.

12Set boundary lines that the people may not pass. Warn them, 'Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Those who do will certainly die!

13Any people or animals that cross the boundary must be stoned to death or shot with arrows. They must not be touched by human hands.' The people must stay away from the mountain until they hear one long blast from the ram's horn. Then they must gather at the foot of the mountain."

14So Moses went down to the people. He purified them for worship and had them wash their clothing.

15He told them, "Get ready for an important event two days from now. And until then, abstain from having sexual intercourse."

16On the morning of the third day, there was a powerful thunder and lightning storm, and a dense cloud came down upon the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram's horn, and all the people trembled.

17Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

18All Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain shook with a violent earthquake.

19As the horn blast grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his reply for all to hear.

20The LORD came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.

21Then the LORD told Moses, "Go back down and warn the people not to cross the boundaries. They must not come up here to see the LORD, for those who do will die.

22Even the priests who regularly come near to the LORD must purify themselves, or I will destroy them."

23"But LORD, the people cannot come up on the mountain!" Moses protested. "You already told them not to. You told me to set boundaries around the mountain and to declare it off limits."

24But the LORD said, "Go down anyway and bring Aaron back with you. In the meantime, do not let the priests or the people cross the boundaries to come up here. If they do, I will punish them."

25So Moses went down to the people and told them what the LORD had said.

20Then God instructed the people as follows:

2"I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.

3"Do not worship any other gods besides me.

4"Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish.

5You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.

6But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations.

7"Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

8"Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

9Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work,

10but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.

11For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

12"Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you.

13"Do not murder.

14"Do not commit adultery.

15"Do not steal.

16"Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.

17"Do not covet your neighbor's house. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns."

18When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the horn, and when they saw the lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

19And they said to Moses, "You tell us what God says, and we will listen. But don't let God speak directly to us. If he does, we will die!"

20"Don't be afraid," Moses said, "for God has come in this way to show you his awesome power. From now on, let your fear of him keep you from sinning!"

21As the people stood in the distance, Moses entered into the deep darkness where God was.

22And the LORD said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel: You are witnesses that I have spoken to you from heaven.

23Remember, you must not make or worship idols of silver or gold.

24"The altars you make for me must be simple altars of earth. Offer on such altars your sacrifices to me--your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Build altars in the places where I remind you who I am, and I will come and bless you there.

25If you build altars from stone, use only uncut stones. Do not chip or shape the stones with a tool, for that would make them unfit for holy use.

26And you may not approach my altar by steps. If you do, someone might look up under the skirts of your clothing and see your nakedness.

21"Here are some other instructions you must present to Israel:

2"If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.

3If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him.

4"If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master.

5But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.'

6If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.

7"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.

8If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.

9And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.

10If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.

11If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

12"Anyone who hits a person hard enough to cause death must be put to death.

13But if it is an accident and God allows it to happen, I will appoint a place where the slayer can run for safety.

14However, if someone deliberately attacks and kills another person, then the slayer must be dragged even from my altar and put to death.

15"Anyone who strikes father or mother must be put to death.

16"Kidnappers must be killed, whether they are caught in possession of their victims or have already sold them as slaves.

17"Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death.

18"Now suppose two people quarrel, and one hits the other with a stone or fist, causing injury but not death.

19If the injured person is later able to walk again, even with a crutch, the assailant will be innocent. Nonetheless, the assailant must pay for time lost because of the injury and must pay for the medical expenses.

20"If a male or female slave is beaten and dies, the owner must be punished.

21If the slave recovers after a couple of days, however, then the owner should not be punished, since the slave is the owner's property.

22"Now suppose two people are fighting, and in the process, they hurt a pregnant woman so her child is born prematurely. If no further harm results, then the person responsible must pay damages in the amount the woman's husband demands and the judges approve.

23But if any harm results, then the offender must be punished according to the injury. If the result is death, the offender must be executed.

24If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it. Similarly, the payment must be hand for hand, foot for foot,

25burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

26"If an owner hits a male or female slave in the eye and the eye is blinded, then the slave may go free because of the eye.

27And if an owner knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave, the slave should be released in payment for the tooth.

28"If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull must be stoned, and its flesh may not be eaten. In such a case, however, the owner will not be held liable.

29Suppose, on the other hand, that the owner knew the bull had gored people in the past, yet the bull was not kept under control. If this is true and if the bull kills someone, it must be stoned, and the owner must also be killed.

30However, the dead person's relatives may accept payment from the owner of the bull to compensate for the loss of life. The owner will have to pay whatever is demanded.

31"The same principle applies if the bull gores a boy or a girl.

32But if the bull gores a slave, either male or female, the slave's owner is to be given thirty silver coins in payment, and the bull must be stoned.

33"Suppose someone digs or uncovers a well and fails to cover it, and then an ox or a donkey falls into it.

34The owner of the well must pay in full for the dead animal but then gets to keep it.

35"If someone's bull injures a neighbor's bull and the injured bull dies, then the two owners must sell the live bull and divide the money between them. Each will also own half of the dead bull.

36But if the bull was known from past experience to gore, yet its owner failed to keep it under control, the money will not be divided. The owner of the living bull must pay in full for the dead bull but then gets to keep it.

22"A fine must be paid by anyone who steals an ox or sheep and then kills or sells it. For oxen the fine is five oxen for each one stolen. For sheep the fine is four sheep for each one stolen.

2"If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty.

3But if it happens in daylight, the one who killed the thief is guilty of murder. "A thief who is caught must pay in full for everything that was stolen. If payment is not made, the thief must be sold as a slave to pay the debt.

4If someone steals an ox or a donkey or a sheep and it is recovered alive, then the thief must pay double the value.

5"If an animal is grazing in a field or vineyard and the owner lets it stray into someone else's field to graze, then the animal's owner must pay damages in the form of high-quality grain or grapes.

6"If a fire gets out of control and goes into another person's field, destroying the sheaves or the standing grain, then the one who started the fire must pay for the lost crops.

7"Suppose someone entrusts money or goods to a neighbor, and they are stolen from the neighbor's house. If the thief is found, the fine is double the value of what was stolen.

8But if the thief is not found, God will determine whether or not it was the neighbor who stole the property.

9"Suppose there is a dispute between two people as to who owns a particular ox, donkey, sheep, article of clothing, or anything else. Both parties must come before God for a decision, and the person whom God declares guilty must pay double to the other.

10"Now suppose someone asks a neighbor to care for a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal, but it dies or is injured or gets away, and there is no eyewitness to report just what happened.

11The neighbor must then take an oath of innocence in the presence of the LORD. The owner must accept the neighbor's word, and no payment will be required.

12But if the animal or property was stolen, payment must be made to the owner.

13If it was attacked by a wild animal, the carcass must be shown as evidence, and no payment will be required.

14"If someone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is injured or killed, and if the owner was not there at the time, the person who borrowed it must pay for it.

15But if the owner is there, no payment is required. And no payment is required if the animal was rented because this loss was covered by the rental fee.

16"If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and sleeps with her, he must pay the customary dowry and accept her as his wife.

17But if her father refuses to let her marry him, the man must still pay the money for her dowry.

18"A sorceress must not be allowed to live.

19"Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must be executed.

20"Anyone who sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed.

21"Do not oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

22"Do not exploit widows or orphans.

23If you do and they cry out to me, then I will surely help them.

24My anger will blaze forth against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Your wives will become widows, and your children will become fatherless.

25"If you lend money to a fellow Hebrew in need, do not be like a money lender, charging interest.

26If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge of repayment, you must return it by nightfall.

27Your neighbor will need it to stay warm during the night. If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am very merciful.

28"Do not blaspheme God or curse anyone who rules over you.

29"Do not hold anything back when you give me the tithe of your crops and your wine. "You must make the necessary payment for redemption of your firstborn sons.

30"You must also give me the firstborn of your cattle and sheep. Leave the newborn animal with its mother for seven days; then give it to me on the eighth day.

31"You are my own holy people. Therefore, do not eat any animal that has been attacked and killed by a wild animal. Throw its carcass out for the dogs to eat.

23"Do not pass along false reports. Do not cooperate with evil people by telling lies on the witness stand.

2"Do not join a crowd that intends to do evil. When you are on the witness stand, do not be swayed in your testimony by the opinion of the majority.

3And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.

4"If you come upon your enemy's ox or donkey that has strayed away, take it back to its owner.

5If you see the donkey of someone who hates you struggling beneath a heavy load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and offer to help.

6"Do not twist justice against people simply because they are poor.

7"Keep far away from falsely charging anyone with evil. Never put an innocent or honest person to death. I will not allow anyone guilty of this to go free.

8"Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see. A bribe always hurts the cause of the person who is in the right.

9"Do not oppress the foreigners living among you. You know what it is like to be a foreigner. Remember your own experience in the land of Egypt.

10"Plant and harvest your crops for six years,

11but let the land rest and lie fallow during the seventh year. Then let the poor among you harvest any volunteer crop that may come up. Leave the rest for the animals to eat. The same applies to your vineyards and olive groves.

12"Work for six days, and rest on the seventh. This will give your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It will also allow the people of your household, including your slaves and visitors, to be refreshed.

13"Be sure to obey all my instructions. And remember, never pray to or swear by any other gods. Do not even mention their names.

14"Each year you must celebrate three festivals in my honor.

15The first is the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast, just as I commanded you before. This festival will be an annual event at the appointed time in early spring, for that is the anniversary of your exodus from Egypt. Everyone must bring me a sacrifice at that time.

16You must also celebrate the Festival of Harvest, when you bring me the first crops of your harvest. Finally, you are to celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season.

17At these three times each year, every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign LORD.

18"Sacrificial blood must never be offered together with bread that has yeast in it. And no sacrificial fat may be left unoffered until the next morning.

19"As you harvest each of your crops, bring me a choice sample of the first day's harvest. It must be offered to the LORD your God. "You must not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.

20"See, I am sending my angel before you to lead you safely to the land I have prepared for you.

21Pay attention to him, and obey all of his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sins. He is my representative--he bears my name.

22But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you.

23For my angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, so you may live there. And I will destroy them.

24Do not worship the gods of these other nations or serve them in any way, and never follow their evil example. Instead, you must utterly conquer them and break down their shameful idols.

25"You must serve only the LORD your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will keep you healthy.

26There will be no miscarriages or infertility among your people, and I will give you long, full lives.

27"I will send my terror upon all the people whose lands you invade, and they will panic before you.

28I will send hornets ahead of you to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites.

29But I will not do this all in one year because the land would become a wilderness, and the wild animals would become too many to control.

30I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to fill the land.

31And I will fix your boundaries from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the southern deserts to the Euphrates River. I will help you defeat the people now living in the land, and you will drive them out ahead of you.

32"Make no treaties with them and have nothing to do with their gods.

33Do not even let them live among you! If you do, they will infect you with their sin of idol worship, and that would be disastrous for you."

24Then the LORD instructed Moses: "Come up here to me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of Israel's leaders. All of them must worship at a distance.

2You alone, Moses, are allowed to come near to the LORD. The others must not come too close. And remember, none of the other people are allowed to climb on the mountain at all."

3When Moses had announced to the people all the teachings and regulations the LORD had given him, they answered in unison, "We will do everything the LORD has told us to do."

4Then Moses carefully wrote down all the LORD's instructions. Early the next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He also set up twelve pillars around the altar, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

5Then he sent some of the young men to sacrifice young bulls as burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD.

6Moses took half the blood from these animals and drew it off into basins. The other half he splashed against the altar.

7Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They all responded again, "We will do everything the LORD has commanded. We will obey."

8Then Moses sprinkled the blood from the basins over the people and said, "This blood confirms the covenant the LORD has made with you in giving you these laws."

9Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the leaders of Israel went up the mountain.

10There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a pavement of brilliant sapphire, as clear as the heavens.

11And though Israel's leaders saw God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they shared a meal together in God's presence!

12And the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there while I give you the tablets of stone that I have inscribed with my instructions and commands. Then you will teach the people from them."

13So Moses and his assistant Joshua climbed up the mountain of God.

14Moses told the other leaders, "Stay here and wait for us until we come back. If there are any problems while I am gone, consult with Aaron and Hur, who are here with you."

15Then Moses went up the mountain, and the cloud covered it.

16And the glorious presence of the LORD rested upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from the cloud.

17The Israelites at the foot of the mountain saw an awesome sight. The awesome glory of the LORD on the mountaintop looked like a devouring fire.

18Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

25The LORD said to Moses,

2"Tell the people of Israel that everyone who wants to may bring me an offering.

3Here is a list of items you may accept on my behalf: gold, silver, and bronze;

4blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; fine linen; goat hair for cloth;

5tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood;

6olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense;

7onyx stones, and other stones to be set in the ephod and the chestpiece.

8"I want the people of Israel to build me a sacred residence where I can live among them.

9You must make this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the plans I will show you.

10"Make an Ark of acacia wood--a sacred chest 3 3/4 feet long, 2 1/4 feet wide, and 2 1/4 feet high.

11Overlay it inside and outside with pure gold, and put a molding of gold all around it.

12Cast four rings of gold for it, and attach them to its four feet, two rings on each side.

13Make poles from acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.

14Fit the poles into the rings at the sides of the Ark to carry it.

15These carrying poles must never be taken from the rings; they are to be left there permanently.

16When the Ark is finished, place inside it the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, which I will give to you.

17"Then make the Ark's cover--the place of atonement--out of pure gold. It must be 3 3/4 feet long and 2 1/4 feet wide.

18Then use hammered gold to make two cherubim, and place them at the two ends of the atonement cover.

19Attach the cherubim to each end of the atonement cover, making it all one piece.

20The cherubim will face each other, looking down on the atonement cover with their wings spread out above it.

21Place inside the Ark the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, which I will give to you. Then put the atonement cover on top of the Ark.

22I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant. From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel.

23"Then make a table of acacia wood, 3 feet long, 1 1/2 feet wide, and 2 1/4 feet high.

24Overlay it with pure gold and run a molding of gold around it.

25Put a rim about three inches wide around the top edge, and put a gold molding all around the rim.

26Make four gold rings, and put the rings at the four corners by the four legs,

27close to the rim around the top. These rings will support the poles used to carry the table.

28Make these poles from acacia wood and overlay them with gold.

29And make gold plates and dishes, as well as pitchers and bowls to be used in pouring out drink offerings.

30You must always keep the special Bread of the Presence on the table before me.

31"Make a lampstand of pure, hammered gold. The entire lampstand and its decorations will be one piece--the base, center stem, lamp cups, buds, and blossoms.

32It will have six branches, three branches going out from each side of the center stem.

33Each of the six branches will hold a cup shaped like an almond blossom, complete with buds and petals.

34The center stem of the lampstand will be decorated with four almond blossoms, complete with buds and petals.

35One blossom will be set beneath each pair of branches where they extend from the center stem.

36The decorations and branches must all be one piece with the stem, and they must be hammered from pure gold.

37Then make the seven lamps for the lampstand, and set them so they reflect their light forward.

38The lamp snuffers and trays must also be made of pure gold.

39You will need seventy-five pounds of pure gold for the lampstand and its accessories.

40"Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.

26"Make the Tabernacle from ten sheets of fine linen. These sheets are to be decorated with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, with figures of cherubim skillfully embroidered into them.

2Each sheet must be forty-two feet long and six feet wide. All ten sheets must be exactly the same size.

3Join five of these sheets together into one set; then join the other five sheets into a second set.

4Put loops of blue yarn along the edge of the last sheet in each set.

5The fifty loops along the edge of one set are to match the fifty loops along the edge of the other.

6Then make fifty gold clasps to fasten the loops of the two sets of sheets together, making the Tabernacle a single unit.

7"Make heavy sheets of cloth from goat hair to cover the Tabernacle. There must be eleven of these sheets,

8each forty-five feet long and six feet wide. All eleven of these sheets must be exactly the same size.

9Join five of these together into one set, and join the other six into a second set. The sixth sheet of the second set is to be doubled over at the entrance of the sacred tent.

10Put fifty loops along the edge of the last sheet in each set,

11and fasten them together with fifty bronze clasps. In this way, the two sets will become a single unit.

12An extra half sheet of this roof covering will be left to hang over the back of the Tabernacle,

13and the covering will hang down an extra eighteen inches on each side.

14On top of these coverings place a layer of tanned ram skins, and over them put a layer of fine goatskin leather. This will complete the roof covering.

15"The framework of the Tabernacle will consist of frames made of acacia wood.

16Each frame must be 15 feet high and 2 1/4 feet wide.

17There will be two pegs on each frame so they can be joined to the next frame. All the frames must be made this way.

18Twenty of these frames will support the south side of the Tabernacle.

19They will fit into forty silver bases--two bases under each frame.

20On the north side there will also be twenty of these frames,

21with their forty silver bases, two bases for each frame.

22On the west side there will be six frames,

23along with an extra frame at each corner.

24These corner frames will be connected at the bottom and firmly attached at the top with a single ring, forming a single unit. Both of these corner frames will be made the same way.

25So there will be eight frames on that end of the Tabernacle, supported by sixteen silver bases--two bases under each frame.

26"Make crossbars of acacia wood to run across the frames, five crossbars for the north side of the Tabernacle

27and five for the south side. Also make five crossbars for the rear of the Tabernacle, which will face westward.

28The middle crossbar, halfway up the frames, will run all the way from one end of the Tabernacle to the other.

29Overlay the frames with gold and make gold rings to support the crossbars. Overlay the crossbars with gold as well.

30"Set up this Tabernacle according to the design you were shown on the mountain.

31"Across the inside of the Tabernacle hang a special curtain made of fine linen, with cherubim skillfully embroidered into the cloth using blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

32Hang this inner curtain on gold hooks set into four posts made from acacia wood and overlaid with gold. The posts will fit into silver bases.

33When the inner curtain is in place, put the Ark of the Covenant behind it. This curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.

34"Then put the Ark's cover--the place of atonement--on top of the Ark of the Covenant inside the Most Holy Place.

35Place the table and lampstand across the room from each other outside the inner curtain. The lampstand must be placed on the south side, and the table must be set toward the north.

36"Make another curtain from fine linen for the entrance of the sacred tent, and embroider exquisite designs into it, using blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

37Hang this curtain on gold hooks set into five posts made from acacia wood and overlaid with gold. The posts will fit into five bronze bases.

27"Using acacia wood, make a square altar 7 1/2 feet wide, 7 1/2 feet long, and 4 1/2 feet high.

2Make a horn at each of the four corners of the altar so the horns and altar are all one piece. Overlay the altar and its horns with bronze.

3The ash buckets, shovels, basins, meat hooks, and firepans will all be made of bronze.

4Make a bronze grating, with a metal ring at each corner.

5Fit the grating halfway down into the firebox, resting it on the ledge built there.

6For moving the altar, make poles from acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze.

7To carry it, put the poles into the rings at two sides of the altar.

8The altar must be hollow, made from planks. Be careful to build it just as you were shown on the mountain.

9"Then make a courtyard for the Tabernacle, enclosed with curtains made from fine linen. On the south side the curtains will stretch for 150 feet.

10They will be held up by twenty bronze posts that fit into twenty bronze bases. The curtains will be held up with silver hooks attached to the silver rods that are attached to the posts.

11It will be the same on the north side of the courtyard--150 feet of curtains held up by twenty posts fitted into bronze bases, with silver hooks and rods.

12The curtains on the west end of the courtyard will be 75 feet long, supported by ten posts set into ten bases.

13The east end will also be 75 feet long.

14The courtyard entrance will be on the east end, flanked by two curtains. The curtain on the right side will be 22 1/2 feet long, supported by three posts set into three bases.

15The curtain on the left side will also be 22 1/2 feet long, supported by three posts set into three bases.

16"For the entrance to the courtyard, make a curtain that is 30 feet long. Fashion it from fine linen, and decorate it with beautiful embroidery in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. It will be attached to four posts that fit into four bases.

17All the posts around the courtyard must be connected by silver rods, using silver hooks. The posts are to be set in solid bronze bases.

18So the entire courtyard will be 150 feet long and 75 feet wide, with curtain walls 7 1/2 feet high, made from fine linen. The bases supporting its walls will be made of bronze.

19"All the articles used in the work of the Tabernacle, including all the tent pegs used to support the Tabernacle and the courtyard curtains, must be made of bronze.

20"Tell the people of Israel to bring you pure olive oil for the lampstand, so it can be kept burning continually.

21The lampstand will be placed outside the inner curtain of the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle. Aaron and his sons will keep the lamps burning in the LORD's presence day and night. This is a permanent law for the people of Israel, and it must be kept by all future generations.

28"Your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, will be set apart from the common people. They will be my priests and will minister to me.

2Make special clothing for Aaron to show his separation to God--beautiful garments that will lend dignity to his work.

3Instruct all those who have special skills as tailors to make the garments that will set Aaron apart from everyone else, so he may serve me as a priest.

4They are to make a chestpiece, an ephod, a robe, an embroidered tunic, a turban, and a sash. They will also make special garments for Aaron's sons to wear when they serve as priests before me.

5These items must be made of fine linen cloth and embroidered with gold thread and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

6"The ephod must be made of fine linen cloth and skillfully embroidered with gold thread and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

7It will consist of two pieces, front and back, joined at the shoulders with two shoulder-pieces.

8And the sash will be made of the same materials: fine linen cloth embroidered with gold thread and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

9Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel.

10Six names will be on each stone, naming all the tribes in the order of their ancestors' births.

11Engrave these names in the same way a gemcutter engraves a seal. Mount the stones in gold settings.

12Fasten the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the people of Israel. Aaron will carry these names before the LORD as a constant reminder.

13The settings are to be made of gold filigree,

14and two cords made of pure gold will be attached to the settings on the shoulders of the ephod.

15"Then, with the most careful workmanship, make a chestpiece that will be used to determine God's will. Use the same materials as you did for the ephod: fine linen cloth embroidered with gold thread and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

16This chestpiece will be made of two folds of cloth, forming a pouch nine inches square.

17Four rows of gemstones will be attached to it. The first row will contain a red carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald.

18The second row will contain a turquoise, a sapphire, and a white moonstone.

19The third row will contain a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst.

20The fourth row will contain a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. All these stones will be set in gold.

21Each stone will represent one of the tribes of Israel, and the name of that tribe will be engraved on it as though it were a seal.

22"To attach the chestpiece to the ephod, make braided cords of pure gold.

23Then make two gold rings and attach them to the top corners of the chestpiece.

24The two gold cords will go through the rings on the chestpiece,

25and the ends of the cords will be tied to the gold settings on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod.

26Then make two more gold rings, and attach them to the two lower inside corners of the chestpiece next to the ephod.

27And make two more gold rings and attach them to the ephod near the sash.

28Then attach the bottom rings of the chestpiece to the rings on the ephod with blue cords. This will hold the chestpiece securely to the ephod above the beautiful sash.

29In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the chestpiece over his heart when he goes into the presence of the LORD in the Holy Place. Thus, the LORD will be reminded of his people continually.

30Insert into the pocket of the chestpiece the Urim and Thummim, to be carried over Aaron's heart when he goes into the LORD's presence. Thus, Aaron will always carry the objects used to determine the LORD's will for his people whenever he goes in before the LORD.

31"Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth,

32with an opening for Aaron's head in the middle of it. The opening will be reinforced by a woven collar so it will not tear.

33Make pomegranates out of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and attach them to the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them.

34The gold bells and pomegranates are to alternate all the way around the hem.

35Aaron will wear this robe whenever he enters the Holy Place to minister to the LORD, and the bells will tinkle as he goes in and out of the LORD's presence. If he wears it, he will not die.

36"Next make a medallion of pure gold. Using the techniques of an engraver, inscribe it with these words: SET APART AS HOLY TO THE LORD.

37This medallion will be attached to the front of Aaron's turban by means of a blue cord.

38Aaron will wear it on his forehead, thus bearing the guilt connected with any errors regarding the sacred offerings of the people of Israel. He must always wear it so the LORD will accept the people.

39"Weave Aaron's patterned tunic from fine linen cloth. Fashion the turban out of this linen as well. Also make him an embroidered sash.

40"Then for Aaron's sons, make tunics, sashes, and headdresses to give them dignity and respect.

41Clothe Aaron and his sons with these garments, and then anoint and ordain them. Set them apart as holy so they can serve as my priests.

42Also make linen underclothes for them, to be worn next to their bodies, reaching from waist to thigh.

43These must be worn whenever Aaron and his sons enter the Tabernacle or approach the altar in the Holy Place to perform their duties. Thus they will not incur guilt and die. This law is permanent for Aaron and his descendants.

29"This is the ceremony for the dedication of Aaron and his sons as priests: Take a young bull and two rams with no physical defects.

2Then using fine wheat flour and no yeast, make loaves of bread, thin cakes mixed with olive oil, and wafers with oil poured over them.

3Place these various kinds of bread in a single basket, and present them at the entrance of the Tabernacle, along with the young bull and the two rams.

4"Present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and wash them with water.

5Then put Aaron's tunic on him, along with the embroidered robe of the ephod, the ephod itself, the chestpiece, and the sash.

6And place on his head the turban with the gold medallion.

7Then take the anointing oil and pour it over his head.

8Next present his sons, and dress them in their tunics

9with their woven sashes and their headdresses. They will then be priests forever. In this way, you will ordain Aaron and his sons.

10"Then bring the young bull to the entrance of the Tabernacle, and Aaron and his sons will lay their hands on its head.

11You will then slaughter it in the LORD's presence at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

12Smear some of its blood on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour out the rest at the base of the altar.

13Take all the fat that covers the internal organs, also the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and burn them on the altar.

14Then take the carcass (including the skin and the dung) outside the camp, and burn it as a sin offering.

15"Next Aaron and his sons must lay their hands on the head of one of the rams

16as it is slaughtered. Its blood will be collected and sprinkled on the sides of the altar.

17Cut up the ram and wash off the internal organs and the legs. Set them alongside the head and the other pieces of the body,

18and burn them all on the altar. This is a burnt offering to the LORD, which is very pleasing to him.

19"Now take the other ram and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head

20as it is slaughtered. Collect the blood and place some of it on the tip of the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons. Also put it on their right thumbs and the big toes of their right feet. Sprinkle the rest of the blood on the sides of the altar.

21Then take some of the blood from the altar and mix it with some of the anointing oil. Sprinkle it on Aaron and his sons and on their clothes. In this way, they and their clothing will be set apart as holy to the LORD.

22"Since this is the ram for the ordination of Aaron and his sons, take the fat of the ram, including the fat tail and the fat that covers the internal organs. Also, take the long lobe of the liver, the two kidneys with their fat, and the right thigh.

23Then take one loaf of bread, one cake mixed with olive oil, and one wafer from the basket of yeastless bread that was placed before the LORD.

24Put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons to be lifted up as a special gift to the LORD.

25Afterward take the bread from their hands, and burn it on the altar as a burnt offering that will be pleasing to the LORD.

26Then take the breast of Aaron's ordination ram, and lift it up in the LORD's presence as a special gift to him. Afterward keep it for yourself.

27"Set aside as holy the parts of the ordination ram that belong to Aaron and his sons. This includes the breast and the thigh that were lifted up before the LORD in the ordination ceremony.

28In the future, whenever the people of Israel offer up peace offerings or thanksgiving offerings to the LORD, these parts will be the regular share of Aaron and his descendants.

29"Aaron's sacred garments must be preserved for his descendants who will succeed him, so they can be anointed and ordained in them.

30Whoever is the next high priest after Aaron will wear these clothes for seven days before beginning to minister in the Tabernacle and the Holy Place.

31"Take the ram used in the ordination ceremony, and boil its meat in a sacred place.

32Aaron and his sons are to eat this meat, along with the bread in the basket, at the Tabernacle entrance.

33They alone may eat the meat and bread used for their atonement in the ordination ceremony. The ordinary people may not eat them, for these things are set apart and holy.

34If any of the ordination meat or bread remains until the morning, it must be burned. It may not be eaten, for it is holy.

35"This is how you will ordain Aaron and his sons to their offices. The ordination ceremony will go on for seven days.

36Each day you must sacrifice a young bull as an offering for the atonement of sin. Afterward make an offering to cleanse the altar. Purify the altar by making atonement for it; make it holy by anointing it with oil.

37Make atonement for the altar every day for seven days. After that, the altar will be exceedingly holy, and whatever touches it will become holy.

38"This is what you are to offer on the altar. Offer two one-year-old lambs each day,

39one in the morning and the other in the evening.

40With one of them, offer two quarts of fine flour mixed with one quart of olive oil; also, offer one quart of wine as a drink offering.

41Offer the other lamb in the evening, along with the same offerings of flour and wine as in the morning. It will be a fragrant offering to the LORD, an offering made by fire.

42"This is to be a daily burnt offering given from generation to generation. Offer it in the LORD's presence at the Tabernacle entrance, where I will meet you and speak with you.

43I will meet the people of Israel there, and the Tabernacle will be sanctified by my glorious presence.

44Yes, I will make the Tabernacle and the altar most holy, and I will set apart Aaron and his sons as holy, that they may be my priests.

45I will live among the people of Israel and be their God,

46and they will know that I am the LORD their God. I am the one who brought them out of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the LORD their God.

30"Then make a small altar out of acacia wood for burning incense.

2It must be eighteen inches square and three feet high, with horns at the corners carved from the same piece of wood as the altar.

3Overlay the top, sides, and horns of the altar with pure gold, and run a gold molding around the entire altar.

4Beneath the molding, on opposite sides of the altar, attach two gold rings to support the carrying poles.

5The poles are to be made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold.

6Place the incense altar just outside the inner curtain, opposite the Ark's cover--the place of atonement--that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. I will meet with you there.

7"Every morning when Aaron trims the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar.

8And each evening when he tends to the lamps, he must again burn incense in the LORD's presence. This must be done from generation to generation.

9Do not offer any unholy incense on this altar, or any burnt offerings, grain offerings, or drink offerings.

10"Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by placing on its horns the blood from the offering made for the atonement of sin. This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the LORD's supremely holy altar."

11And the LORD said to Moses,

12"Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the LORD. Then there will be no plagues among the people as you count them.

13His payment to the LORD will be one-fifth of an ounce of silver.

14All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this offering to the LORD.

15When this offering is given to the LORD to make atonement for yourselves, the rich must not give more, and the poor must not give less.

16Use this money for the care of the Tabernacle. It will bring you, the Israelites, to the LORD's attention, and it will make atonement for your lives."

17And the LORD said to Moses,

18"Make a large bronze washbasin with a bronze pedestal. Put it between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water.

19Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet there

20before they go into the Tabernacle to appear before the LORD and before they approach the altar to burn offerings to the LORD. They must always wash before ministering in these ways, or they will die.

21This is a permanent law for Aaron and his descendants, to be kept from generation to generation."

22Then the LORD said to Moses,

23"Collect choice spices--12 1/2 pounds of pure myrrh, 6 1/4 pounds each of cinnamon and of sweet cane,

2412 1/2 pounds of cassia, and one gallon of olive oil.

25Blend these ingredients into a holy anointing oil.

26Use this scented oil to anoint the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant,

27the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and all its accessories, the incense altar,

28the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the large washbasin with its pedestal.

29Sanctify them to make them entirely holy. After this, whatever touches them will become holy.

30Use this oil also to anoint Aaron and his sons, sanctifying them so they can minister before me as priests.

31And say to the people of Israel, 'This will always be my holy anointing oil.

32It must never be poured on the body of an ordinary person, and you must never make any of it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy.

33Anyone who blends scented oil like it or puts any of it on someone who is not a priest will be cut off from the community.' "

34These were the LORD's instructions to Moses concerning the incense: "Gather sweet spices--resin droplets, mollusk scent, galbanum, and pure frankincense--weighing out the same amounts of each.

35Using the usual techniques of the incense maker, refine it to produce a pure and holy incense.

36Beat some of it very fine and put some of it in front of the Ark of the Covenant, where I will meet with you in the Tabernacle. This incense is most holy.

37Never make this incense for yourselves. It is reserved for the LORD, and you must treat it as holy.

38Those who make it for their own enjoyment will be cut off from the community."

31The LORD also said to Moses,

2"Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.

3I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts.

4He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver, and bronze.

5He is skilled in cutting and setting gemstones and in carving wood. Yes, he is a master at every craft!

6"And I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the naturally talented craftsmen so they can make all the things I have instructed you to make:

7the Tabernacle itself; the Ark of the Covenant; the Ark's cover--the place of atonement; all the furnishings of the Tabernacle;

8the table and all its utensils; the gold lampstand with all its accessories; the incense altar;

9the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils; the washbasin and its pedestal;

10the beautifully stitched, holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests;

11the anointing oil; and the special incense for the Holy Place. They must follow exactly all the instructions I have given you."

12The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses:

13"Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.

14Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community.

15Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.

16The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day forever.

17It is a permanent sign of my covenant with them. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but he rested on the seventh day and was refreshed."

18Then as the LORD finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, written by the finger of God.

32When Moses failed to come back down the mountain right away, the people went to Aaron. "Look," they said, "make us some gods who can lead us. This man Moses, who brought us here from Egypt, has disappeared. We don't know what has happened to him."

2So Aaron said, "Tell your wives and sons and daughters to take off their gold earrings, and then bring them to me."

3All the people obeyed Aaron and brought him their gold earrings.

4Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded and tooled it into the shape of a calf. The people exclaimed, "O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!"

5When Aaron saw how excited the people were about it, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, "Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD!"

6So the people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and indulged themselves in pagan revelry.

7Then the LORD told Moses, "Quick! Go down the mountain! The people you brought from Egypt have defiled themselves.

8They have already turned from the way I commanded them to live. They have made an idol shaped like a calf, and they have worshiped and sacrificed to it. They are saying, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of Egypt.' "

9Then the LORD said, "I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are.

10Now leave me alone so my anger can blaze against them and destroy them all. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation instead of them."

11But Moses pleaded with the LORD his God not to do it. "O LORD!" he exclaimed. "Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and mighty acts?

12The Egyptians will say, 'God tricked them into coming to the mountains so he could kill them and wipe them from the face of the earth.' Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you are planning against your people!

13Remember your covenant with your servants--Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You swore by your own self, 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. Yes, I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.' "

14So the LORD withdrew his threat and didn't bring against his people the disaster he had threatened.

15Then Moses turned and went down the mountain. He held in his hands the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.

16These stone tablets were God's work; the words on them were written by God himself.

17When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting below them, he exclaimed to Moses, "It sounds as if there is a war in the camp!"

18But Moses replied, "No, it's neither a cry of victory nor a cry of defeat. It is the sound of a celebration."

19When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing. In terrible anger, he threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain.

20He took the calf they had made and melted it in the fire. And when the metal had cooled, he ground it into powder and mixed it with water. Then he made the people drink it.

21After that, he turned to Aaron. "What did the people do to you?" he demanded. "How did they ever make you bring such terrible sin upon them?"

22"Don't get upset, sir," Aaron replied. "You yourself know these people and what a wicked bunch they are.

23They said to me, 'Make us some gods to lead us, for something has happened to this man Moses, who led us out of Egypt.'

24So I told them, 'Bring me your gold earrings.' When they brought them to me, I threw them into the fire--and out came this calf!"

25When Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control--and much to the amusement of their enemies--

26he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, "All of you who are on the LORD's side, come over here and join me." And all the Levites came.

27He told them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Strap on your swords! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other, killing even your brothers, friends, and neighbors."

28The Levites obeyed Moses, and about three thousand people died that day.

29Then Moses told the Levites, "Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Because of this, he will now give you a great blessing."

30The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin, but I will return to the LORD on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for you."

31So Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Alas, these people have committed a terrible sin. They have made gods of gold for themselves.

32But now, please forgive their sin--and if not, then blot me out of the record you are keeping."

33The LORD replied to Moses, "I will blot out whoever has sinned against me.

34Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Look! My angel will lead the way before you! But when I call the people to account, I will certainly punish them for their sins."

35And the LORD sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.

33The LORD said to Moses, "Now that you have brought these people out of Egypt, lead them to the land I solemnly promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them long ago that I would give this land to their descendants.

2And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.

3Theirs is a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not travel along with you, for you are a stubborn, unruly people. If I did, I would be tempted to destroy you along the way."

4When the people heard these stern words, they went into mourning and refused to wear their jewelry and ornaments.

5For the LORD had told Moses to tell them, "You are an unruly, stubborn people. If I were there among you for even a moment, I would destroy you. Remove your jewelry and ornaments until I decide what to do with you."

6So from the time they left Mount Sinai, the Israelites wore no more jewelry.

7It was Moses' custom to set up the tent known as the Tent of Meeting far outside the camp. Everyone who wanted to consult with the LORD would go there.

8Whenever Moses went out to the Tent of Meeting, all the people would get up and stand in their tent entrances. They would all watch Moses until he disappeared inside.

9As he went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at the entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses.

10Then all the people would stand and bow low at their tent entrances.

11Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, stayed behind in the Tent of Meeting.

12Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, 'Take these people up to the Promised Land.' But you haven't told me whom you will send with me. You call me by name and tell me I have found favor with you.

13Please, if this is really so, show me your intentions so I will understand you more fully and do exactly what you want me to do. Besides, don't forget that this nation is your very own people."

14And the LORD replied, "I will personally go with you, Moses. I will give you rest--everything will be fine for you."

15Then Moses said, "If you don't go with us personally, don't let us move a step from this place.

16If you don't go with us, how will anyone ever know that your people and I have found favor with you? How else will they know we are special and distinct from all other people on the earth?"

17And the LORD replied to Moses, "I will indeed do what you have asked, for you have found favor with me, and you are my friend."

18Then Moses had one more request. "Please let me see your glorious presence," he said.

19The LORD replied, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, 'the LORD,' to you. I will show kindness to anyone I choose, and I will show mercy to anyone I choose.

20But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live."

21The LORD continued, "Stand here on this rock beside me.

22As my glorious presence passes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed.

23Then I will remove my hand, and you will see me from behind. But my face will not be seen."

34The LORD told Moses, "Prepare two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed.

2Be ready in the morning to come up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me there on the top of the mountain.

3No one else may come with you. In fact, no one is allowed anywhere on the mountain. Do not even let the flocks or herds graze near the mountain."

4So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first ones. Early in the morning he climbed Mount Sinai as the LORD had told him, carrying the two stone tablets in his hands.

5Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and called out his own name, "the LORD," as Moses stood there in his presence.

6He passed in front of Moses and said, "I am the LORD, I am the LORD, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness.

7I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so I do not leave sin unpunished, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations."

8Moses immediately fell to the ground and worshiped.

9And he said, "If it is true that I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, then please go with us. Yes, this is an unruly and stubborn people, but please pardon our iniquity and our sins. Accept us as your own special possession."

10The LORD replied, "All right. This is the covenant I am going to make with you. I will perform wonders that have never been done before anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the LORD--the awesome power I will display through you.

11Your responsibility is to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then I will surely drive out all those who stand in your way--the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.

12"Be very careful never to make treaties with the people in the land where you are going. If you do, you soon will be following their evil ways.

13Instead, you must break down their pagan altars, smash the sacred pillars they worship, and cut down their carved images.

14You must worship no other gods, but only the LORD, for he is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.

15"Do not make treaties of any kind with the people living in the land. They are spiritual prostitutes, committing adultery against me by sacrificing to their gods. If you make peace with them, they will invite you to go with them to worship their gods, and you are likely to do it.

16And you will accept their daughters, who worship other gods, as wives for your sons. Then they will cause your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods.

17You must make no gods for yourselves at all.

18"Be sure to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days, just as I instructed you, at the appointed time each year in early spring, for that was when you left Egypt.

19"Every firstborn male belongs to me--of both cattle and sheep.

20A firstborn male donkey may be redeemed from the LORD by presenting a lamb in its place. But if you decide not to make the exchange, you must kill the donkey by breaking its neck. However, you must redeem every firstborn son. No one is allowed to appear before me without a gift.

21"Six days are set aside for work, but on the Sabbath day you must rest, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.

22And you must remember to celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season.

23Three times each year all the men of Israel must appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.

24No one will attack and conquer your land when you go to appear before the LORD your God those three times each year. I will drive out the nations that stand in your way and will enlarge your boundaries.

25"You must not offer bread made with yeast as a sacrifice to me. And none of the meat of the Passover lamb may be kept over until the following morning.

26You must bring the best of the first of each year's crop to the house of the LORD your God. "You must not cook a young goat in its mother's milk."

27And the LORD said to Moses, "Write down all these instructions, for they represent the terms of my covenant with you and with Israel."

28Moses was up on the mountain with the LORD forty days and forty nights. In all that time he neither ate nor drank. At that time he wrote the terms of the covenant--the Ten Commandments--on the stone tablets.

29When Moses came down the mountain carrying the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn't aware that his face glowed because he had spoken to the LORD face to face.

30And when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses' face, they were afraid to come near him.

31But Moses called to them and asked Aaron and the community leaders to come over and talk with him.

32Then all the people came, and Moses gave them the instructions the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.

33When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.

34But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the LORD, he removed the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the LORD had given him,

35and the people would see his face aglow. Afterward he would put the veil on again until he returned to speak with the LORD.

35Now Moses called a meeting of all the people and told them, "You must obey these instructions from the LORD.

2Each week, work for six days only. The seventh day is a day of total rest, a holy day that belongs to the LORD. Anyone who works on that day will die.

3Do not even light fires in your homes on that day."

4Then Moses said to all the people, "This is what the LORD has commanded.

5Everyone is invited to bring these offerings to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze;

6blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; fine linen; goat hair for cloth;

7tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood;

8olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense;

9onyx stones, and other stones to be set in the ephod and the chestpiece.

10"Come, all of you who are gifted craftsmen. Construct everything that the LORD has commanded:

11the entire Tabernacle, including the sacred tent and its coverings, the clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases;

12the Ark and its poles; the Ark's cover--the place of atonement; the inner curtain to enclose the Ark in the Most Holy Place;

13the table, its carrying poles, and all of its utensils; the Bread of the Presence;

14the lampstand and its accessories; the lamp cups and the oil for lighting;

15the incense altar and its carrying poles; the anointing oil and fragrant incense; the curtain for the entrance of the Tabernacle;

16the altar of burnt offering; the bronze grating of the altar and its carrying poles and utensils; the large washbasin with its pedestal;

17the curtains for the walls of the courtyard; the posts and their bases; the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard;

18the tent pegs of the Tabernacle and courtyard and their cords;

19the beautifully stitched clothing for the priests to wear while ministering in the Holy Place; the sacred garments for Aaron and his sons to wear while officiating as priests."

20So all the people left Moses and went to their tents to prepare their gifts.

21If their hearts were stirred and they desired to do so, they brought to the LORD their offerings of materials for the Tabernacle and its furnishings and for the holy garments.

22Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. Some brought to the LORD their offerings of gold--medallions, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind to the LORD.

23Others brought blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, fine linen, or goat hair for cloth. Some gave tanned ram skins or fine goatskin leather.

24Others brought silver and bronze objects as their offering to the LORD. And those who had acacia wood brought it.

25All the women who were skilled in sewing and spinning prepared blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen cloth, and they brought them in.

26All the women who were willing used their skills to spin and weave the goat hair into cloth.

27The leaders brought onyx stones and the other gemstones to be used for the ephod and the chestpiece.

28They also brought spices and olive oil for the light, the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense.

29So the people of Israel--every man and woman who wanted to help in the work the LORD had given them through Moses--brought their offerings to the LORD.

30And Moses told them, "The LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.

31The LORD has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts.

32He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver, and bronze.

33He is skilled in cutting and setting gemstones and in carving wood. In fact, he has every necessary skill.

34And the LORD has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others.

35The LORD has given them special skills as jewelers, designers, weavers, and embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn on fine linen cloth. They excel in all the crafts needed for the work.

36"Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other craftsmen whom the LORD has gifted with wisdom, skill, and intelligence will construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the LORD has commanded."

2So Moses told Bezalel and Oholiab to begin the work, along with all those who were specially gifted by the LORD.

3Moses gave them the materials donated by the people for the completion of the sanctuary. Additional gifts were brought each morning.

4But finally the craftsmen left their work to meet with Moses.

5"We have more than enough materials on hand now to complete the job the LORD has given us to do!" they exclaimed.

6So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: "Bring no more materials! You have already given more than enough." So the people stopped bringing their offerings.

7Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

8The skilled weavers first made ten sheets from fine linen. One of the craftsmen then embroidered blue, purple, and scarlet cherubim into them.

9Each sheet was exactly the same size--forty-two feet long and six feet wide.

10Five of these sheets were joined together to make one set, and a second set was made of the other five.

11Fifty blue loops were placed along the edge of the last sheet in each set.

12The fifty loops along the edge of the first set of sheets matched the loops along the edge of the second set.

13Then fifty gold clasps were made to connect the loops on the edge of each set. Thus the Tabernacle was joined together in one piece.

14Above the Tabernacle, a roof covering was made from eleven sheets of cloth made from goat hair.

15Each sheet was exactly the same size--forty-five feet long and six feet wide.

16The craftsmen joined five of these sheets together to make one set, and the six remaining sheets were joined to make a second set.

17Then they made fifty loops along the edge of the last sheet in each set.

18They also made fifty small bronze clasps to couple the loops, so the two sets of sheets were firmly attached to each other. In this way, the roof covering was joined together in one piece.

19Then they made two more layers for the roof covering. The first was made of tanned ram skins, and the second was made of fine goatskin leather.

20For the framework of the Tabernacle, they made frames of acacia wood standing on end.

21Each frame was 15 feet high and 2 1/4 feet wide.

22There were two pegs on each frame so they could be joined to the next frame. All the frames were made this way.

23They made twenty frames to support the south side,

24along with forty silver bases, two for each frame.

25They also made twenty frames for the north side of the Tabernacle,

26along with forty silver bases, two for each frame.

27The west side of the Tabernacle, which was its rear, was made from six frames,

28plus an extra frame at each corner.

29These corner frames were connected at the bottom and firmly attached at the top with a single ring, forming a single unit from top to bottom. They made two of these, one for each rear corner.

30So for the west side they made a total of eight frames, along with sixteen silver bases, two for each frame.

31Then they made five crossbars from acacia wood to tie the frames on the south side together.

32They made another five for the north side and five for the west side.

33The middle crossbar of the five was halfway up the frames, along each side, running from one end to the other.

34The frames and crossbars were all overlaid with gold. The rings used to hold the crossbars were made of pure gold.

35The inner curtain was made of fine linen cloth, and cherubim were skillfully embroidered into it with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

36This curtain was then attached to four gold hooks set into four posts of acacia wood. The posts were overlaid with gold and set into four silver bases.

37Then they made another curtain for the entrance to the sacred tent. It was made of fine linen cloth and embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

38This curtain was connected by five hooks to five posts. The posts with their decorated tops and bands were overlaid with gold. The five bases were molded from bronze.

37Next Bezalel made the Ark out of acacia wood. It was 3 3/4 feet long, 2 1/4 feet wide, and 2 1/4 feet high.

2It was overlaid with pure gold inside and out, and it had a molding of gold all the way around.

3Four gold rings were fastened to its four feet, two rings at each side.

4Then he made poles from acacia wood and overlaid them with gold.

5He put the poles into the rings at the sides of the Ark to carry it.

6Then, from pure gold, he made the Ark's cover--the place of atonement. It was 3 3/4 feet long and 2 1/4 feet wide.

7He made two figures of cherubim out of hammered gold and placed them at the two ends of the atonement cover.

8They were made so they were actually a part of the atonement cover--it was all one piece.

9The cherubim faced each other as they looked down on the atonement cover, and their wings were stretched out above the atonement cover to protect it.

10Then he made a table out of acacia wood, 3 feet long, 1 1/2 feet wide, and 2 1/4 feet high.

11It was overlaid with pure gold, with a gold molding all around the edge.

12A rim about 3 inches wide was attached along the edges of the table, and a gold molding ran around the rim.

13Then he cast four rings of gold and attached them to the four table legs

14next to the rim. These were made to hold the carrying poles in place.

15He made the carrying poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold.

16Next, using pure gold, he made the plates, dishes, bowls, and pitchers to be placed on the table. These utensils were to be used in pouring out drink offerings.

17Then he made the lampstand, again using pure, hammered gold. Its base, center stem, lamp cups, blossoms, and buds were all of one piece.

18The lampstand had six branches, three going out from each side of the center stem.

19Each of the six branches held a cup shaped like an almond blossom, complete with buds and petals.

20The center stem of the lampstand was also decorated with four almond blossoms.

21One blossom was set beneath each pair of branches, where they extended from the center stem.

22The decorations and branches were all one piece with the stem, and they were hammered from pure gold.

23He also made the seven lamps, the lamp snuffers, and the trays, all of pure gold.

24The entire lampstand, along with its accessories, was made from seventy-five pounds of pure gold.

25The incense altar was made of acacia wood. It was eighteen inches square and three feet high, with its corner horns made from the same piece of wood as the altar itself.

26He overlaid the top, sides, and horns of the altar with pure gold and ran a gold molding around the edge.

27Two gold rings were placed on opposite sides, beneath the molding, to hold the carrying poles.

28The carrying poles were made of acacia wood and were overlaid with gold.

29Then he made the sacred oil, for anointing the priests, and the fragrant incense, using the techniques of the most skilled incense maker.

38The altar for burning animal sacrifices also was constructed of acacia wood. It was 7 1/2 feet square at the top and 4 1/2 feet high.

2There were four horns, one at each of the four corners, all of one piece with the rest. This altar was overlaid with bronze.

3Then he made all the bronze utensils to be used with the altar--the ash buckets, shovels, basins, meat hooks, and firepans.

4Next he made a bronze grating that rested on a ledge about halfway down into the firebox.

5Four rings were cast for each side of the grating to support the carrying poles.

6The carrying poles themselves were made of acacia wood and were overlaid with bronze.

7These poles were inserted into the rings at the side of the altar. The altar was hollow and was made from planks.

8The bronze washbasin and its bronze pedestal were cast from bronze mirrors donated by the women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

9Then he constructed the courtyard. The south wall was 150 feet long. It consisted of curtains made of fine linen.

10There were twenty posts, each with its own bronze base, and there were silver hooks and rods to hold up the curtains.

11The north wall was also 150 feet long, with twenty bronze posts and bases and with silver hooks and rods.

12The west end was 75 feet wide. The walls were made from curtains supported by ten posts and bases and with silver hooks and rods.

13The east end was also 75 feet wide.

14The courtyard entrance was on the east side, flanked by two curtains. The curtain on the right side was 22 1/2 feet long and was supported by three posts set into three bases.

15The curtain on the left side was also 22 1/2 feet long and was supported by three posts set into three bases.

16All the curtains used in the courtyard walls were made of fine linen.

17Each post had a bronze base, and all the hooks and rods were silver. The tops of the posts were overlaid with silver, and the rods to hold up the curtains were solid silver.

18The curtain that covered the entrance to the courtyard was made of fine linen cloth and embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. It was 30 feet long and 7 1/2 feet high, just like the curtains of the courtyard walls.

19It was supported by four posts set into four bronze bases. The tops of the posts were overlaid with silver, and the hooks and rods were also made of silver.

20All the tent pegs used in the Tabernacle and courtyard were made of bronze.

21Here is an inventory of the materials used in building the Tabernacle of the Covenant. Moses directed the Levites to compile the figures, and Ithamar son of Aaron the priest served as recorder.

22Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, was in charge of the whole project, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

23He was assisted by Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, a craftsman expert at engraving, designing, and embroidering blue, purple, and scarlet yarn on fine linen cloth.

24The people brought gifts of gold totaling about 2,200 pounds, all of which was used throughout the Tabernacle.

25The amount of silver that was given was about 7,545 pounds.

26It came from the tax of one-fifth of an ounce of silver collected from each of those registered in the census. This included all the men who were twenty years old or older, 603,550 in all.

27The 100 bases for the frames of the sanctuary walls and for the posts supporting the inner curtain required 7,500 pounds of silver, about 75 pounds for each base.

28The rest of the silver, about 45 pounds, was used to make the rods and hooks and to overlay the tops of the posts.

29The people also brought 5,310 pounds of bronze,

30which was used for casting the bases for the posts at the entrance to the Tabernacle, and for the bronze altar with its bronze grating and altar utensils.

31Bronze was also used to make the bases for the posts that supported the curtains around the courtyard, the bases for the curtain at the entrance of the courtyard, and all the tent pegs used to hold the curtains of the courtyard in place.

39For the priests, the craftsmen made beautiful garments of blue, purple, and scarlet cloth--clothing to be worn while ministering in the Holy Place. This same cloth was used for Aaron's sacred garments, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

2The ephod was made from fine linen cloth and embroidered with gold thread and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

3A skilled craftsman made gold thread by beating gold into thin sheets and cutting it into fine strips. He then embroidered it into the linen with the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

4They made two shoulder-pieces for the ephod, which were attached to its corners so it could be tied down.

5They also made an elaborate woven sash of the same materials: fine linen cloth; blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; and gold thread, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

6The two onyx stones, attached to the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, were set in gold filigree. The stones were engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel, just as initials are engraved on a seal.

7These stones served as reminders to the LORD concerning the people of Israel. All this was done just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

8The chestpiece was made in the same style as the ephod, crafted from fine linen cloth and embroidered with gold thread and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

9It was doubled over to form a pouch, nine inches square.

10Four rows of gemstones were set across it. In the first row were a red carnelian, a chrysolite, and an emerald.

11In the second row were a turquoise, a sapphire, and a white moonstone.

12In the third row were a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst.

13In the fourth row were a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. Each of these gemstones was set in gold.

14The stones were engraved like a seal, each with the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

15To attach the chestpiece to the ephod, they made braided cords of pure gold.

16They also made two gold rings and attached them to the top corners of the chestpiece.

17The two gold cords were put through the gold rings on the chestpiece,

18and the ends of the cords were tied to the gold settings on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod.

19Two more gold rings were attached to the lower inside corners of the chestpiece next to the ephod.

20Then two gold rings were attached to the ephod near the sash.

21Blue cords were used to attach the bottom rings of the chestpiece to the rings on the ephod. In this way, the chestpiece was held securely to the ephod above the beautiful sash. All this was done just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

22The robe of the ephod was woven entirely of blue yarn,

23with an opening for Aaron's head in the middle of it. The edge of this opening was reinforced with a woven collar, so it would not tear.

24Pomegranates were attached to the bottom edge of the robe. These were finely crafted of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn.

25Bells of pure gold were placed between the pomegranates along the hem of the robe,

26with bells and pomegranates alternating all around the hem. This robe was to be worn when Aaron ministered to the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

27Tunics were then made for Aaron and his sons from fine linen cloth.

28The turban, the headdresses, and the underclothes were all made of this fine linen.

29The sashes were made of fine linen cloth and embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

30Finally, they made the sacred medallion of pure gold to be worn on the front of the turban. Using the techniques of an engraver, they inscribed it with these words: SET APART AS HOLY TO THE LORD.

31This medallion was tied to the turban with a blue cord, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

32And so at last the Tabernacle was finished. The Israelites had done everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

33And they brought the entire Tabernacle to Moses: the sacred tent with all its furnishings, the clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases;

34the layers of tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; the inner curtain that enclosed the Most Holy Place;

35the Ark of the Covenant and its carrying poles; the Ark's cover--the place of atonement;

36the table and all its utensils; the Bread of the Presence;

37the gold lampstand and its accessories; the lamp cups and the oil for lighting;

38the gold altar; the anointing oil; the fragrant incense; the curtain for the entrance of the sacred tent;

39the bronze altar; the bronze grating; its poles and utensils; the large washbasin and its pedestal;

40the curtains for the walls of the courtyard and the posts and bases holding them up; the curtain at the courtyard entrance; the cords and tent pegs; all the articles used in the operation of the Tabernacle;

41the beautifully crafted garments to be worn while ministering in the Holy Place--the holy garments for Aaron the priest and for his sons to wear while on duty.

42So the people of Israel followed all of the LORD's instructions to Moses.

43Moses inspected all their work and blessed them because it had been done as the LORD had commanded him.

40The LORD now said to Moses,

2"Set up the Tabernacle on the first day of the new year.

3Place the Ark of the Covenant inside, and install the inner curtain to enclose the Ark within the Most Holy Place.

4Then bring in the table, and arrange the utensils on it. And bring in the lampstand, and set up the lamps.

5"Place the incense altar just outside the inner curtain, opposite the Ark of the Covenant. Set up the curtain made for the entrance of the Tabernacle.

6Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the Tabernacle entrance.

7Set the large washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar and fill it with water.

8Then set up the courtyard around the outside of the tent, and hang the curtain for the courtyard entrance.

9"Take the anointing oil and sprinkle it on the Tabernacle and on all its furnishings to make them holy.

10Sprinkle the anointing oil on the altar of burnt offering and its utensils, sanctifying them. Then the altar will become most holy.

11Next anoint the large washbasin and its pedestal to make them holy.

12"Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the Tabernacle, and wash them with water.

13Clothe Aaron with the holy garments and anoint him, setting him apart to serve me as a priest.

14Then bring his sons and dress them in their tunics.

15Anoint them as you did their father, so they may serve me as priests. With this anointing, Aaron's descendants are set apart for the priesthood forever, from generation to generation."

16Moses proceeded to do everything as the LORD had commanded him.

17So the Tabernacle was set up on the first day of the new year.

18Moses put it together by setting its frames into their bases and attaching the crossbars and raising the posts.

19Then he spread the coverings over the Tabernacle framework and put on the roof layers, just as the LORD had commanded him.

20He placed inside the Ark the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, and then he attached the Ark's carrying poles. He also set the Ark's cover--the place of atonement--on top of it.

21Then he brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle and set up the inner curtain to shield it from view, just as the LORD had commanded.

22Next he placed the table in the Tabernacle, along the north side of the Holy Place, just outside the inner curtain.

23And he arranged the Bread of the Presence on the table that stands before the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded.

24He set the lampstand in the Tabernacle across from the table on the south side of the Holy Place.

25Then he set up the lamps in the LORD's presence, just as the LORD had commanded.

26He also placed the incense altar in the Tabernacle, in the Holy Place in front of the inner curtain.

27On it he burned the fragrant incense made from sweet spices, just as the LORD had commanded.

28He attached the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle,

29and he placed the altar of burnt offering near the Tabernacle entrance. On it he offered a burnt offering and a grain offering, just as the LORD had commanded.

30Next he placed the large washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar. He filled it with water so the priests could use it to wash themselves.

31Moses and Aaron and Aaron's sons washed their hands and feet in the basin.

32Whenever they walked past the altar to enter the Tabernacle, they were to stop and wash, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

33Then he hung the curtains forming the courtyard around the Tabernacle and the altar. And he set up the curtain at the entrance of the courtyard. So at last Moses finished the work.

34Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glorious presence of the LORD filled it.

35Moses was no longer able to enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the Tabernacle was filled with the awesome glory of the LORD.

36Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle and moved, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it.

37But if the cloud stayed, they would stay until it moved again.

38The cloud of the LORD rested on the Tabernacle during the day, and at night there was fire in the cloud so all the people of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.


 


Leviticus


1The LORD called to Moses from the Tabernacle and said to him,

2"Give the following instructions to the Israelites: Whenever you present offerings to the LORD, you must bring animals from your flocks and herds.

3"If your sacrifice for a whole burnt offering is from the herd, bring a bull with no physical defects to the entrance of the Tabernacle so it will be accepted by the LORD.

4Lay your hand on its head so the LORD will accept it as your substitute, thus making atonement for you.

5Then slaughter the animal in the LORD's presence, and Aaron's sons, the priests, will present the blood by sprinkling it against the sides of the altar that stands in front of the Tabernacle.

6When the animal has been skinned and cut into pieces,

7the sons of Aaron the priest will build a wood fire on the altar.

8Aaron's sons will then put the pieces of the animal, including its head and fat, on the wood fire.

9But the internal organs and legs must first be washed with water. Then the priests will burn the entire sacrifice on the altar. It is a whole burnt offering made by fire, very pleasing to the LORD.

10"If your sacrifice for a whole burnt offering is from the flock, bring a male sheep or goat with no physical defects.

11Slaughter the animal on the north side of the altar in the LORD's presence. Aaron's sons, the priests, will sprinkle its blood against the sides of the altar.

12Then you must cut the animal in pieces, and the priests will lay the pieces of the sacrifice, including the head and fat, on top of the wood fire on the altar.

13The internal organs and legs must first be washed with water. Then the priests will burn the entire sacrifice on the altar. It is a whole burnt offering made by fire, very pleasing to the LORD.

14"If you bring a bird as a burnt offering to the LORD, choose either a turtledove or a young pigeon.

15The priest will take the bird to the altar, twist off its head, and burn the head on the altar. He must then let its blood drain out against the sides of the altar.

16The priest must remove the crop and the feathers and throw them to the east side of the altar among the ashes.

17Then, grasping the bird by its wings, the priest will tear the bird apart, though not completely. Then he will burn it on top of the wood fire on the altar. It is a whole burnt offering made by fire, very pleasing to the LORD.

2"When you bring a grain offering to the LORD, the offering must consist of choice flour. You are to pour olive oil on it and sprinkle it with incense.

2Bring this offering to one of Aaron's sons, and he will take a handful of the flour mixed with olive oil, together with all the incense, and burn this token portion on the altar fire. It is an offering made by fire, very pleasing to the LORD.

3The rest of the flour will be given to Aaron and his sons. It will be considered a most holy part of the offerings given to the LORD by fire.

4"When you present some kind of baked bread as a grain offering, it must be made of choice flour mixed with olive oil but without any yeast. It may be presented in the form of cakes mixed with olive oil or wafers spread with olive oil.

5If your grain offering is cooked on a griddle, it must be made of choice flour and olive oil, and it must contain no yeast.

6Break it into pieces and pour oil on it; it is a kind of grain offering.

7If your offering is prepared in a pan, it also must be made of choice flour and olive oil.

8"No matter how a grain offering has been prepared before being offered to the LORD, bring it to the priests who will present it at the altar.

9The priests will take a token portion of the grain offering and burn it on the altar as an offering made by fire, and it will be very pleasing to the LORD.

10The rest of the grain offering will be given to Aaron and his sons as their food. It will be considered a most holy part of the offerings given to the LORD by fire.

11"Do not use yeast in any of the grain offerings you present to the LORD, because no yeast or honey may be burned as an offering to the LORD by fire.

12You may add yeast and honey to the offerings presented at harvesttime, but these must never be burned on the altar as an offering pleasing to the LORD.

13Season all your grain offerings with salt, to remind you of God's covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.

14"If you present a grain offering to the LORD from the first portion of your harvest, bring kernels of new grain that have been roasted on a fire.

15Since it is a grain offering, put olive oil on it and sprinkle it with incense.

16The priests will take a token portion of the roasted grain mixed with olive oil, together with all the incense, and burn it as an offering given to the LORD by fire.

3"If you want to present a peace offering from the herd, use either a bull or a cow. The animal you offer to the LORD must have no physical defects.

2Lay your hand on the animal's head, and slaughter it at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Aaron's sons, the priests, will then sprinkle the animal's blood against the sides of the altar.

3Part of this peace offering must be presented to the LORD as an offering made by fire. This includes the fat around the internal organs,

4the two kidneys with the fat around them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is to be removed with the kidneys.

5The sons of Aaron will burn these on the altar on top of the burnt offering on the wood fire. It is an offering made by fire, very pleasing to the LORD.

6"If you present a peace offering to the LORD from the flock, you may bring either a goat or a sheep. It may be either male or female, and it must have no physical defects.

7If you bring a sheep as your gift, present it to the LORD

8by laying your hand on its head and slaughtering it at the entrance of the Tabernacle. The sons of Aaron will then sprinkle the sheep's blood against the sides of the altar.

9Part of this peace offering must be presented to the LORD as an offering made by fire. This includes the fat of the entire tail cut off near the backbone, the fat around the internal organs,

10the two kidneys with the fat around them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is to be removed with the kidneys.

11The priest will burn them on the altar as food, an offering given to the LORD by fire.

12"If you bring a goat as your offering to the LORD,

13lay your hand on its head, and slaughter it at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Then the sons of Aaron will sprinkle the goat's blood against the sides of the altar.

14Part of this offering must be presented to the LORD as an offering made by fire. This part includes the fat around the internal organs,

15the two kidneys with the fat around them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is to be removed with the kidneys.

16The priest will burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire; these will be very pleasing to the LORD. Remember, all the fat belongs to the LORD.

17"You must never eat any fat or blood. This is a permanent law for you and all your descendants, wherever they may live."

4Then the LORD said to Moses,

2"Give the Israelites the following instructions for dealing with those who sin unintentionally by doing anything forbidden by the LORD's commands.

3"If the high priest sins, bringing guilt upon the entire community, he must bring to the LORD a young bull with no physical defects.

4He must present the bull to the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle, lay his hand on the bull's head, and slaughter it there in the LORD's presence.

5The priest on duty will then take some of the animal's blood into the Tabernacle,

6dip his finger into the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD in front of the inner curtain of the Most Holy Place.

7The priest will put some of the blood on the horns of the incense altar that stands in the LORD's presence in the Tabernacle. The rest of the bull's blood must be poured out at the base of the altar of burnt offerings at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

8The priest must remove all the fat around the bull's internal organs,

9the two kidneys with the fat around them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver.

10Then he must burn them on the altar of burnt offerings, just as is done with the bull or cow sacrificed as a peace offering.

11But the rest of the bull--its hide, meat, head, legs, internal organs, and dung--

12must be carried away to a ceremonially clean place outside the camp, the place where the ashes are thrown. He will burn it all on a wood fire in the ash heap.

13"If the entire Israelite community does something forbidden by the LORD and the matter escapes the community's notice, all the people will be guilty.

14When they discover their sin, the leaders of the community must bring a young bull for a sin offering and present it at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

15The leaders must then lay their hands on the bull's head and slaughter it there before the LORD.

16The priest will bring some of its blood into the Tabernacle,

17dip his finger into the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD in front of the inner curtain.

18He will then put some of the blood on the horns of the incense altar that stands in the LORD's presence in the Tabernacle. The rest of the blood must then be poured out at the base of the altar of burnt offerings at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

19The priest must remove all the animal's fat and burn it on the altar,

20following the same procedure as with the sin offering for the priest. In this way, the priest will make atonement for the people, and they will be forgiven.

21The priest must then take what is left of the bull outside the camp and burn it there, just as is done with the sin offering for the high priest. This is a sin offering for the entire community of Israel.

22"If one of Israel's leaders does something forbidden by the LORD his God, he will be guilty even if he sinned unintentionally.

23When he becomes aware of his sin, he must bring as his offering a male goat with no physical defects.

24He is to lay his hand on the goat's head and slaughter it before the LORD at the place where burnt offerings are slaughtered. This will be his sin offering.

25Then the priest will dip his finger into the blood of the sin offering, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings, and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar.

26He must burn all the goat's fat on the altar, just as is done with the peace offering. In this way, the priest will make atonement for the leader's sin, and he will be forgiven.

27"If any of the citizens of Israel do something forbidden by the LORD, they will be guilty even if they sinned unintentionally.

28When they become aware of their sin, they must bring as their offering a female goat with no physical defects. It will be offered for their sin.

29They are to lay a hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place where burnt offerings are slaughtered.

30The priest will then dip his finger into the blood, put the blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings, and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar.

31Those who are guilty must remove all the goat's fat, just as is done with the peace offering. Then the priest will burn the fat on the altar, and it will be very pleasing to the LORD. In this way, the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.

32"If any of the people bring a sheep as their sin offering, it must be a female with no physical defects.

33They are to lay a hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place where the burnt offerings are slaughtered.

34The priest will then dip his finger into the blood, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings, and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar.

35Those who are guilty must remove all the sheep's fat, just as is done with a sheep presented as a peace offering. Then the priest will burn the fat on the altar on top of the offerings given to the LORD by fire. In this way, the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.

5"If any of the people are called to testify about something they have witnessed, but they refuse to testify, they will be held responsible and be subject to punishment.

2"Or if they touch something that is ceremonially unclean, such as the dead body of an animal that is ceremonially unclean--whether a wild animal, a domesticated animal, or an animal that scurries along the ground--they will be considered ceremonially unclean and guilty, even if they are unaware of their defilement.

3"Or if they come into contact with any source of human defilement, even if they don't realize they have been defiled, they will be considered guilty as soon as they become aware of it.

4"Or if they make a rash vow of any kind, whether its purpose is for good or bad, they will be considered guilty even if they were not fully aware of what they were doing at the time.

5"When any of the people become aware of their guilt in any of these ways, they must confess their sin

6and bring to the LORD as their penalty a female from the flock, either a sh