Stories from the Old Testament Told to the Children - Louey Chisholm


Now it came to pass that Isaac and Rebekah sent their younger son Jacob away to the land of Padan-aram, that he might find for himself a wife from among the daughters of Laban, his mother's brother.

And Jacob went on till he lighted upon a certain place, and there he tarried all night, because the sun was set. He took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillow, and lay down in that place to sleep.

And he dreamed, and behold there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, "I am the Lord God of thy father Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy children. Behold I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and I will bring thee back again to this land, for I will not leave thee, till I have done all that which I have promised thee."



Then Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not." And he was afraid, and said, "How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stones that he had put for his pillow, and set them up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel, that is, the house of God.

Then Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God. And this stone which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that God gives me, I will surely give again to God the tenth part."

Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.

And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks; and a great stone was upon the well's mouth. Thither were all the flocks gathered. And the shepherds rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth in its place.

And Jacob said to the shepherds, "Know ye Laban?"

And they said, "We know him."

Jacob said to them, "Is he well?"

And they said, "He is well; and behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep."

And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she kept them.

And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.

And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.

Then Jacob told Rachel that he was Rebekah's son, and she ran and told her father.

And it came to pass when Laban heard that Jacob his sister's son had come, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And Jacob abode with him a mouth.

And Laban said, "Because thou art my sister's son, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? Tell me what shall thy wages be?"

Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender-eyed, but Rachel was beautiful; and Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, "I will serve thee seven years for Rachel, that she may be my wife."

And Laban said, "It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man. Abide with me."

And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

And when the seven years were passed, Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife."

And Laban made a feast, and brought Leah to Jacob.

But Jacob said to Laban, "What is this thou hast done? Did not I serve with thee for Rachel?"

And Laban said, "It must not be so done in our country to give the younger before the first-born."

Then Laban said, "Serve me yet other seven years, and thou shalt also have Rachel." And Jacob did so, and fulfilled seven other years.

And it came to pass after many years, that Jacob said unto Laban, "Send me away, that I may go to my own country. Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go."

But Laban said, "I pray thee tarry, for I have learned that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake."

And Jacob said, "Appoint me then wages, and I will serve thee."

And Laban said, "What shall I give thee?"

Jacob said, "Thou shalt not give me anything. If thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock. I will pass through all the flock to-day, removing all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and of such shall be my hire. And so in days to come shalt thou know that every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, shall be counted stolen by me."

And Laban said, "Behold, I would it might be as thou sayest"; and he removed the speckled cattle according to Jacob's words.

And Jacob increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maid-servants, and men-servants, and camels, and asses.

And Jacob heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's."

And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly towards him as before.

Then the Lord said to Jacob, "Return unto the land of thy father, and I will be with thee."

And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, and said unto them, "I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before, but the God of my father hath been with me: and ye know that with all my power I have served your father. And behold now the countenance of your father is no longer friendly towards me,1?ut God has not suffered him to hurt me. And. now the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, 'Jacob, arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy fathers.'"

And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, "Now, then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do."

Then Jacob rose up and set his sons and his wives upon camels; and he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, to go to the land of Canaan.

And Jacob stole away, and told Laban not that he fled. So he fled with all that he had, and he passed over the river, and set his face toward mount Gilead.

And Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's, but Jacob knew not that she had stolen them.

And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled; and he followed after him for seven days, and Laban overtook Jacob in the mount Gilead.

And God came to Laban in a dream by night, and said unto him, "Take heed that thou do no harm to Jacob."

Then Laban overtook Jacob, and said to him, "What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me? Wherefore didst thou not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs? and thou hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters. Thou hast now done foolishly. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt; but the God of your father spake to me yesternight, saying, 'Take heed that thou harm not Jacob my servant.' And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longest after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my images?"

Now Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them. Therefore he answered and said, "With whomsoever thou findest thy images, let him not live."

And Laban searched in all the tents, but found them not, for Rachel had hidden them in the camel's furniture.

Then Jacob was wroth, and chid with Laban and said, "Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found? Set it here before my brethren, that they may judge between us both."

And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, "These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine; and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children? Now therefore, come, let us make a covenant, I and thou, and let it be for a witness between me and thee."

And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. And he said to his men-servants, "Gather stones." And they took stones and made an heap, and they did eat there upon the heap.

And Laban said, "This heap is a witness between me and thee." And he called the name of it Mizpah, for he said, "The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from the other."

Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount Gilead, and they did eat bread and tarried all night in the mount.

And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them.

Then Laban departed, and returned unto his place.

And Jacob went on his way; and he sent messengers before him unto Esau his brother, and he commanded them, saying, "Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau, 'Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban and stayed there until now, and I have oxen and asses, flocks, and men-servants and women-servants, and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.'"

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him."

Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two bands.

And he said, "If Esau come to the one company and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape."

Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my father Isaac, the Lord which said unto me, 'Return unto thy country and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee,' deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children."

And Jacob lodged there that same night, and he got ready a present for Esau his brother; two hundred she-goats, and twenty he-goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, thirty camels with their colts, forty kine and ten bulls, twenty she-asses and ten foals. And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves, and said unto his servants, "Pass over before me, and put a space between drove and drove."

And Jacob commanded the foremost, saying, "When Esau my brother meeteth thee and asketh thee, saying, 'Whose art thou, and whither goest thou, and whose are these before thee?' then thou shalt say, 'They be thy servant Jacob's. It is a present sent unto my lord Esau; and behold also thy servant Jacob is behind us.'"

And so commanded Jacob the second and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, "On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him."

For Jacob said, "I will first give him the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face, and peradventure he will accept of me." So went the present over before him.

And Jacob rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two women-servants, and his eleven sons; and he took them and sent them over the brook.

And Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled a man with him, unto the breaking of the day. And when the man saw that he prevailed not against Jacob, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint as he wrestled with him. And the man said, "Let me go, for the day breaketh"; and Jacob said, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me."

And the man said, "What is thy name?" And he answered, "Jacob."

And the man said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men."

And Jacob asked him and said, "Tell me, I pray thee, thy name."

And the man said, "Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name?" And he blessed Jacob there.

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

And at break of day Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And Jacob passed over before Rachel and Leah and the children, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children. And Esau said, "Who are those with thee?"

And Jacob said, "The children which God hath graciously given thy servant."

Then Esau said, "What meanest thou by all this drove which I met?"

And he said, "These are to find grace in the sight of my lord."

But Esau said, "I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself."

And Jacob said, "Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand"; and he urged Esau, and Esau took it.

And Esau said, "Let us take our journey together, and I will go before thee."

But Jacob said, "My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and if one should over-drive the flock, they will die. Let my lord therefore pass on before his servant, and I will follow as the cattle that goeth before me and the children are able to endure." So Esau returned that day to his own land.

And God said, "Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there, and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee, when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother."

Then Jacob said to his household and all that were with him, "Let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress."

So Jacob journeyed to Bethel; and he built there an altar, and called it El-bethel, because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

And God said to Jacob, "Thy name shall

not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall

be thy name." And he called his name Israel.

And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his

father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.