Berean Study Bible
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Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians,
for they received the message with great eagerness
and examined the Scriptures every day
to see if these teachings were true. – Acts 17:11
The Berean Study Bible (BSB) is a completely new translation of the Holy Bible, effective for public reading, study, memorization, and evangelism. Based on the best available manuscripts and sources, each word is connected back to the Greek or Hebrew text to produce a transparent text that can be studied for its root meanings.
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make sure that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans,
and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea. – Colossians 4:16
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(John 1:1–5; Hebrews 11:1–3)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
The First Day
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” a and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.”
And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. b
The Second Day
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse c between the waters, to separate the waters from the waters.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the waters beneath it from the waters above. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.”
And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
The Third Day
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered into one place, so that the dry land may appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land “earth,” and the gathering of waters He called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each bearing fruit with seed according to its kind.” And it was so. 12 The earth produced vegetation: seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
The Fourth Day
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to distinguish between the day and the night, and let them be signs to mark the seasons and days and years. 15 And let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.” And it was so.
16 God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. And He made the stars as well.
19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
The Fifth Day
20 And God said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters teemed according to their kinds, and every bird of flight after its kind. And God saw that it was good.
22 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
The Sixth Day
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, land crawlers, and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that crawls upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself d and every creature that crawls upon it.”
27 So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them. e
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.”
29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be yours for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth—everything that has the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 And God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
3 a Cited in 2 Corinthians 4:6
5 b Literally day one
6 c Or a canopy or a firmament or a vault ; also in verses 7, 8, 14, 15, 17, and 20
26 d MT; Syriac and over all the beasts of the earth
27 e Cited in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6
The Seventh Day
(Exodus 16:22–30; Hebrews 4:1–11)
3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on that day He rested from all the work of creation that He had accomplished.
Man and Woman in the Garden
5 Now no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth, nor had any plant of the field sprouted; for the LORD God had not yet sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But springs c welled up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.
8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, where He placed the man He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God gave growth to every tree that is pleasing to the eye and good for food. And in the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it branched into four headwaters:
13 The name of the second river is Gihon;it winds through the whole land of Cush.
14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it runs along the east side of Assyria.
And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 Then the LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.
16 And the LORD God commanded him, “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”
18 The LORD God also said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make for him a suitable helper.”
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and He brought them to the man to see what he would name each one. And whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam e no suitable helper was found.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he slept, He took one of the man’s ribs f and closed up the area with flesh. 22 And from the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man, He made a woman and brought her to him. 23 And the man said:
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and they were not ashamed.
2 a Cited in Hebrews 4:4
4 b LORD or GOD , with capital letters, represents the proper name of the God of Israel and the one true God, transliterated from the Hebrew as YHWH ; here and throughout the Scriptures.
6 c Or mist
7 d Or a living soul ; cited in 1 Corinthians 15:45
20 e Or the man , as in verses 19 and 21
21 f Or took part of the man’s side ; similarly in verse 22
24 g LXX and the two will become one flesh ; cited in Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7–8, 1 Corinthians 6:16, and Ephesians 5:31
The Serpent’s Deception
2 The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, 3 but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You must not eat of it or touch it, or you will die.’ ”
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom, she took the fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.
7 And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed together fig leaves and made coverings for themselves.
God Arraigns Adam and Eve
9 But the LORD God called out to the man, “Where are you?”
10 “I heard Your voice in the garden,” he replied, “and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
11 “Who told you that you were naked?” asked the LORD God. “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12 And the man answered, “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied, “and I ate.”
The Fate of the Serpent
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and every beast of the field!
On your belly will you go,
and dust you will eat,
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed.
He will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel. c”
The Punishment of Mankind
16 To the woman He said:
“I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth;
in pain you will bring forth children.
Your desire will be for your husband, d
and he will rule over you.”
17 And to Adam He said:
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten from the tree
of which I commanded you not to eat,
cursed is the ground because of you;
through toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it will yield for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your bread,
until you return to the ground—
because out of it were you taken.
For dust you are,
and to dust you shall return.”
The Expulsion from Paradise
21 And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.
22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. And now, lest he reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...”
23 Therefore the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 So He drove out the man and stationed cherubim on the east side of the Garden of Eden, along with a whirling sword of flame to guard the way to the tree of life.
1 a Hebrew nachash , translated in this chapter as serpent , is translated in most cases as snake .
8 b Or at the breezy (time) ; Hebrew unto the Ruach
15 c Or He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel . The same Hebrew root for crush , bruise , or strike appears twice in this verse.
16 d Or You will desire to control your husband
20 e Eve sounds like the Hebrew for giving life or living .
Cain and Abel
“With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man,” she said.
2 Later she gave birth to Cain’s brother Abel.
Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, while Cain was a tiller of the soil. 3 So in the course of time, Cain brought some of the fruit of the soil as an offering to the LORD, 4 while Abel brought the best portions of the firstborn of his flock.
And the LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but He had no regard for Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry, and his countenance fell.
6 “Why are you angry,” said the LORD to Cain, “and why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you refuse to do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires you, b but you must master it.”
9 And the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I do not know!” he answered. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 “What have you done?” replied the LORD. “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it will no longer yield its produce to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
13 But Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment d is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, this day You have driven me from the face of the earth, and from Your face I will be hidden; I will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
The Descendants of Cain
17 And Cain had relations with his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain built a city and named it after his son Enoch.
18 Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methusael, and Methusael was the father of Lamech. 19 And Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.
22 And Zillah gave birth to Tubal-cain, a forger of every implement of bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23 Then Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
wives of Lamech, listen to my speech.
For I have slain a man for wounding me,
24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” g
Seth and Enosh
26 And to Seth also a son was born, and he called him Enosh.
At that time men began to call upon i the name of the LORD.
1 a Cain sounds like the Hebrew for acquired or brought forth .
7 b Or it desires to control you
8 c SP, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate; Hebrew Then Cain spoke to his brother Abel.
13 d Or guilt or sin
15 e LXX, Vulgate, and Syriac; Hebrew “Very well!” or “Therefore:”
16 f Nod means wandering .
24 g Hebrew; LXX can be translated as either seventy times seven or seventy-sevenfold ; see also Matthew 18:22.
25 h Seth probably means granted or appointed .
26 i Or to proclaim ; some translators to invoke or to call themselves by or to profane
The Descendants of Adam
(1 Chronicles 1:1–3)
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in His own likeness. 2 Male and female He created them, a and He blessed them. And in the day they were created, He called them “man.” b
3 When Adam was 130 years old, he had a son in his own likeness, after his own image;and he named him Seth. 4 And after he had become the father of Seth, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 So Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
6 When Seth was 105 years old, he became the father of Enosh. 7 And after he had become the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 So Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.
9 When Enosh was 90 years old, he became the father of Kenan. 10 And after he had become the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 So Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.
12 When Kenan was 70 years old, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 And after he had become the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 So Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.
15 When Mahalalel was 65 years old, he became the father of Jared. 16 And after he had become the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 So Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.
God Takes Up Enoch
18 When Jared was 162 years old, he became the father of Enoch. 19 And after he had become the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 So Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.
21 When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he had become the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God c 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 So Enoch lived a total of 365 years.
From Methuselah to Noah
25 When Methuselah was 187 years old, he became the father of Lamech. 26 And after he had become the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 So Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.
28 When Lamech was 182 years old, he had a son. 29 And he named him Noah, e saying, “May this one comfort us in the labor and toil of our hands caused by the ground that the LORD has cursed.” 30 And after he had become the father of Noah, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 So Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.
32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
2 a Cited in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6
2 b Hebrew Adam
22 c LXX pleased God ; also in verse 24
24 d LXX and he was not found, because God had taken him away ; cited in Hebrews 11:5
29 e Noah sounds like the Hebrew for rest or comfort .
Corruption on the Earth
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and afterward as well—when the sons of God had relations with the daughters of men. And they bore them children who became the mighty men of old, men of renown.
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time. 6 And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—every man and beast and crawling creature and bird of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”
Noah’s Favor with God
8 Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Preparing the Ark
13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all living creatures has come before Me, because through them the earth is full of violence. Now behold, I will destroy both them and the earth.
14 Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; c make rooms in the ark and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 And this is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. d 16 You are to make a roof e for the ark, finish its walls a cubit from the top, f place a door in the side of the ark, and build lower, middle, and upper decks.
17 And behold, I will bring floodwaters upon the earth to destroy every creature under the heavens that has the breath of life. Everything on the earth will perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.
19 And you are to bring two of every living creature into the ark—male and female—to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird and animal and crawling creature will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are also to take for yourself every kind of food that is eaten and gather it as food for yourselves and for the animals.”
22 So Noah did everything precisely as God had commanded him.
3 a LXX and Syriac My Spirit will not remain in man forever
12 b Literally all flesh ; similarly in verses 13, 17, and 19
14 c Gopher is an unknown kind of tree; possibly cypress or cedar .
15 d The ark was approximately 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high (137.2 meters long, 22.9 meters wide, and 13.7 meters high).
16 e Or skylight or window
16 f A cubit is approximately 18 inches or 45.7 centimeters.
The Great Flood
(2 Peter 3:1–7)
1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 You are to take with you seven pairs of a every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate;a pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate; 3 and seven pairs of every kind of bird of the air, male and female, to preserve their offspring on the face of all the earth. 4 For seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living thing I have made.”
5 And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.
6 Now Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters came upon the earth. 7 And Noah and his wife, with his sons and their wives, entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 The clean and unclean animals, the birds, and everything that crawls along the ground 9 came to Noah to enter the ark, two by two, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And after seven days the floodwaters came upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.
13 On that very day Noah entered the ark, along with his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and his wife, and the three wives of his sons— 14 they and every kind of wild animal, livestock, crawling creature, bird, and winged creature. 15 They came to Noah to enter the ark, two by two of every creature b with the breath of life. 16 And they entered, the male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and the waters rose and lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 So the waters continued to surge and rise greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the waters. 19 Finally, the waters completely inundated the earth, so that all the high mountains under all the heavens were covered.
20 The waters rose and covered the mountaintops to a depth of fifteen cubits. c 21 And every living thing that moved upon the earth perished—birds, livestock, animals, every creature that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind. 22 Of all that was on dry land, everything that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 And every living thing on the face of the earth was destroyed—man and livestock, crawling creatures and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth, and only Noah and those with him in the ark remained.
24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth for 150 days.
2 a Or by sevens ; also in verse 3
15 b Literally of all flesh ; similarly in verses 16 and 21
20 c 15 cubits is approximately 22.5 feet or 6.9 meters.
The Ark Rests on Ararat
1 But God remembered Noah and all the animals and livestock that were with him in the ark. And God sent a wind over the earth, and the waters began to subside. 2 The springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained. 3 The waters receded steadily from the earth, and after 150 days the waters had gone down.
4 On the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
Noah Sends a Raven and a Dove
8 Then Noah sent out a a dove to see if the waters had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove found no place to rest her foot, and she returned to him in the ark, because the waters were still covering the surface of all the earth. So he reached out his hand and brought her back inside the ark.
10 Noah waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 And behold, the dove returned to him in the evening with a freshly plucked olive leaf in her beak. So Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.
12 And Noah waited seven more days and sent out the dove again, but this time she did not return to him.
Exiting the Ark
13 In Noah’s six hundred and first year, on the first day of the first month, the waters had dried up from the earth. So Noah removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was fully dry.
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife, along with your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out all the living creatures that are with you—birds, livestock, and everything that crawls upon the ground—so that they can spread out over the earth and be fruitful and multiply upon it.”
18 So Noah came out, along with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 Every living creature, every creeping thing, and every bird—everything that moves upon the earth—came out of the ark, kind by kind.
Noah Builds an Altar
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD. And taking from every kind of clean animal and clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 When the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, He said in His heart, “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from his youth. And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.
22 As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
shall never cease.”
8 a Literally sent out from him or sent out from it
The Covenant of the Rainbow
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall on every living creature on the earth, every bird of the air, every creature that crawls on the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are delivered into your hand. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you; just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you all things. 4 But you must not eat meat with its lifeblood still in it. 5 And surely I will require the life of any man or beast by whose hand your lifeblood is shed. I will demand an accounting from anyone who takes the life of his fellow man:
6 Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man his blood will be shed;
for in His own image
God has made mankind.
7 But as for you,
be fruitful and multiply;
spread out across the earth
and multiply upon it.”
8 Then God said to Noah and his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I now establish My covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth—every living thing that came out of the ark. 11 And I establish My covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
14 Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 And whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of every kind that is on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and every creature on the earth.”
Noah’s Shame and Canaan’s Curse
20 Now Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded a to plant a vineyard. 21 But when he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside.
23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment and placed it across their shoulders, and walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned away so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.
“Cursed be Canaan!
A servant of servants
shall he be to his brothers.”
Shem’s Blessing and Noah’s Death
26 He also declared:
“Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the servant of Shem.
may he dwell in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be his servant.”
20 a Or was the first
27 b Japheth sounds like the Hebrew for expand .
The Table of Nations
(1 Chronicles 1:4–27)
1 This is the account of Noah’s sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, who also had sons after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth:
3 The sons of Gomer:
Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
4 And the sons of Javan:
6 The sons of Ham:
7 The sons of Cush:
Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, b Raamah, and Sabteca.
And the sons of Raamah:
Sheba and Dedan.
8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who began to be a mighty one c on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before d the LORD; so it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10 His kingdom began in Babylon, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. e 11 From that land he went forth into Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, 12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and the great city of Calah.
15 And Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, g and of the Hittites, 16 the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.
Later the Canaanite clans were scattered, 19 and the borders of Canaan extended from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
20 These are the sons of Ham according to their clans, languages, lands, and nations.
22 The sons of Shem:
23 The sons of Aram:
Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. i
26 And Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan. 30 Their territory extended from Mesha to Sephar, in the eastern hill country.
31 These are the sons of Shem, according to their clans, languages, lands, and nations.
32 All these are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their generations and nations. From these the nations of the earth spread out after the flood.
4 a SP and some MT manuscripts (see also LXX and 1 Chronicles 1:7);most MT manuscripts Dodanites
7 b Sabtah is a variant of Sabta ; see 1 Chronicles 1:9.
8 c Or who established himself as a mighty warrior or who became the first fearless leader
9 d Or in defiance of ; twice in this verse
10 e That is, Babylonia
14 f Some translators adjust the Hebrew word order to the Casluhites, and the Caphtorites (from whom the Philistines came) ; see also Jeremiah 47:4 and Amos 9:7.
15 g Or of the Sidonians, the foremost
21 h Or Shem, whose older brother was Japheth
23 i Hebrew; LXX and 1 Chronicles 1:17 Meshech
24 j Hebrew; LXX (see also Luke 3:35–36) And Arphaxad was the father of Cainan, and Cainan was the father of Shelah,
25 k Peleg means division .
The Tower of Babel
(Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 2:1–13)
3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” So they used brick instead of stone, and tar instead of mortar.
4 “Come,” they said, “let us build for ourselves a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens, that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of all the earth.”
5 Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men were building. 6 And the LORD said, “If they have begun to do this as one people speaking the same language, then nothing they devise will be beyond them. 7 Come, let Us go down and confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
8 So the LORD scattered them from there over the face of all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it is called Babel, c for there the LORD confused the language of the whole world, and from that place the LORD scattered them over the face of all the earth.
Genealogy from Shem to Abram
(1 Chronicles 1:17–27)
10 This is the account of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 And after he had become the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
26 When Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27 This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 During his father Terah’s lifetime, Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
29 And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. Abram’s wife was named Sarai, and Nahor’s wife was named Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, who was the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had no children.
31 And Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai the wife of Abram, and they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan. But when they arrived in Haran, they settled there. 32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.
2 a Or from the east or in the east
2 b That is, Babylonia
9 c Or Babylon ; the Hebrew word for Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused .
13 d Hebrew; LXX (see also Luke 3:35–36) 12When Arphaxad was 135 years old, he became the father of Cainan. 13And after he had become the father of Cainan, Arphaxad lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters, and then he died. When Cainan had lived 130 years, he became the father of Shelah. And after he had become the father of Shelah, Cainan lived 330 years and had other sons and daughters. Note that LXX also adds 100 years to the ages of Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, and Nahor in this genealogy.
The Call of Abram
(Genesis 26:1–5; Acts 7:1–8)
2 I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
3 I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you;
and all the families of the earth
will be blessed through you. b”
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and people they had acquired in Haran, and set out for the land of Canaan.
8 From there Abram moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to the LORD, and he called on the name of the LORD.
9 And Abram journeyed on toward the Negev.
Abram and Sarai in Egypt
10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, I know that you are a beautiful woman, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Please say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake, and on account of you my life will be spared.”
14 So when Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw Sarai, they commended her to him, and she was taken into the palace of Pharaoh. 16 He treated Abram well on her account, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels.
17 The LORD, however, afflicted Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram and asked, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!”
20 Then Pharaoh gave his men orders concerning Abram, and they sent him away with his wife and all his possessions.
Abram and Lot Part Ways
3 From the Negev he journeyed from place to place toward Bethel, until he came to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been pitched, 4 to the site where he had built the altar. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
5 Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6 But the land was unable to support both of them while they stayed together, for they had so many possessions that they were unable to coexist. 7 And there was discord between the herdsmen of Abram and the herdsmen of Lot. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were also living in the land.
8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no contention between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen. After all, we are brothers. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Now separate yourself from me. If you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”
Lot Proceeds toward Sodom
10 And Lot looked out and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan, all the way to Zoar, was well watered like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose the whole plain of the Jordan for himself and set out toward the east. And Abram and Lot parted company.
God Renews the Promise to Abram
14 After Lot had departed, the LORD said to Abram, “Now lift up your eyes from the place where you are, and look to the north and south and east and west, 15 for all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring forever. a
16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Get up and walk around the land, through its length and breadth, for I will give it to you.”
The War of the Kings
1 In those days Amraphel king of Shinar, a Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim 2 went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar).
5 In the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in the area of Mount Seir, as far as El-paran, which is near the desert. 7 Then they turned back to invade En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar.
8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and arrayed themselves for battle in the Valley of Siddim c 9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five.
Abram Rescues Lot
10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some men fell into the pits, but the survivors fled to the hill country.
11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food, and they went on their way. 12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since Lot was living in Sodom.
13 Then an escapee came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the Oaks d of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshcol and Aner, all of whom were bound by treaty e to Abram. 14 And when Abram heard that his relative had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men born in his household, and they set out in pursuit as far as Dan.
15 During the night, Abram divided his forces and routed Chedorlaomer’s army, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He retrieved all the goods, as well as his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the rest of the people.
Melchizedek Blesses Abram
(Psalm 110:1–7; Hebrews 7:1–10)
17 After Abram returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth,
20 and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people, but take the goods for yourself.”
22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not accept even a thread, or a strap of a sandal, or anything that belongs to you, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share for the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. They may take their portion.”
1 a That is, Babylonia; also in verse 9
3 b That is, the Dead Sea
8 c That is, the Valley of the Dead Sea
13 d Or Terebinths or Great Trees
13 e Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant .
18 f Hebrew El-Elyon ; also in verses 19, 20, and 22; cited in Hebrews 7:1
God’s Covenant with Abram
(Romans 4:1–12; Hebrews 11:8–19)
1 After these events, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
2 But Abram replied, “O Lord GOD, what can You give me, since I remain childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Abram continued, “Behold, You have given me no offspring, so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to Abram, saying, “This one will not be your heir, but one who comes from your own body will be your heir.” 5 And the LORD took him outside and said, “Now look to the heavens and count the stars, if you are able.” Then He told him, “So shall your offspring be.” a
7 The LORD also told him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”
God Confirms His Promise
(Numbers 34:1–15; Romans 4:13–25)
8 But Abram replied, “Lord GOD, how can I know that I will possess it?”
9 And the LORD said to him, “Bring Me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a turtledove and a young pigeon.”
10 So Abram brought all these to Him, split each of them down the middle, and laid the halves opposite each other. The birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 And the birds of prey descended on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and suddenly great terror and darkness overwhelmed him.
13 Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will judge the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will depart with many possessions. c 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a ripe old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the halves of the carcasses. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land—from the river of Egypt to the great River Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
Hagar and Ishmael
1 Now Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no children, but she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Look now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go to my maidservant;perhaps I can build a family by her.”
And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 So after he had lived in Canaan for ten years, his wife Sarai took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to Abram to be his wife. 4 And he slept with Hagar, and she conceived. But when Hagar realized that she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. a
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be upon you! I delivered my servant into your arms, and ever since she saw that she was pregnant, she has treated me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me.”
6 “Here,” said Abram, “your servant is in your hands. Do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she fled from her.
7 Now the angel b of the LORD found Hagar by a spring of water in the desert—the spring along the road to Shur. 8 “Hagar, servant of Sarai,” he said, “where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I am running away from my mistress Sarai,” she replied.
9 So the angel of the LORD told her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority.” 10 Then the angel added, “I will greatly multiply your offspring so that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the LORD proceeded:
“Behold, you have conceived and will bear a son.
And you shall name him Ishmael, c
for the LORD has heard your cry of affliction.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man,
and his hand will be against everyone,
and everyone’s hand against him;
he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”
13 So Hagar gave this name to the LORD who had spoken to her: “You are the God who sees me, d” for she said, “Here I have seen the One who sees me!” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi. e It is located between Kadesh and Bered.
4 a Or her mistress became despised in her sight
7 b Or Angel ; also in verses 9, 10, and 11; corresponding pronouns may also be capitalized.
11 c Ishmael means God hears .
13 d Hebrew El-Roi
14 e Beer-lahai-roi means well of the Living One who sees me .
Abraham to Father Many Nations
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty. a Walk before Me and be blameless. 2 I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.”
3 Then Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram, b but your name will be Abraham, c for I have made you a father of many nations. d
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you.
7 I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
8 And to you and your descendants I will give the land where you are residing—all the land of Canaan—as an eternal possession; and I will be their God.”
The Covenant of Circumcision
9 God also said to Abraham, “You must keep My covenant—you and your descendants in the generations after you. 10 This is My covenant with you and your descendants after you, which you are to keep: Every male among you must be circumcised. 11 You are to circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and this will be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12 Generation after generation, every male must be circumcised when he is eight days old, including those born in your household and those purchased from a foreigner—even those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether they are born in your household or purchased, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh will be an everlasting covenant.
14 But if any male is not circumcised, he will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, do not call her Sarai, for her name is to be Sarah. e 16 And I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will descend from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live under Your blessing!”
19 But God replied, “Your wife Sarah will indeed bear you a son, and you are to name him Isaac. f I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you, and I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He will become the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.”
22 When He had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or purchased with his money—every male among the members of Abraham’s household—and he circumcised them, just as God had told him.
24 So Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27 And all the men of Abraham’s household—both servants born in his household and those purchased from foreigners—were circumcised with him.
1 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
5 b Abram means exalted father .
5 c Abraham means father of many .
5 d Cited in Romans 4:17
15 e Both Sarai and Sarah mean princess ; the change in spelling may reflect the difference in dialect between Ur and Canaan.
19 f Isaac means he laughs .
The Three Visitors
1 Then the LORD appeared to Abraham by the Oaks a of Mamre in the heat of the day, while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. 2 And Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 “My lord,” said Abraham, “if I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 And I will bring a bit of bread so that you may refresh yourselves. This is why you have passed your servant’s way. After that, you may continue on your way.”
“Yes,” they replied, “you may do as you have said.”
7 Meanwhile, Abraham ran to the herd, selected a tender and choice calf, and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 Then Abraham brought curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and he set them before the men and stood by them under the tree as they ate.
Sarah Laughs at the Promise
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked.
“There, in the tent,” he replied.
10 Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year, and your wife Sarah will have a son!”
Now Sarah was behind him, listening at the entrance to the tent. 11 And Abraham and Sarah were already old and well along in years; Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 So she laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 And the LORD asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Can I really bear a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you—in about a year—and Sarah will have a son.” c
15 But Sarah was afraid, so she denied it and said, “I did not laugh.”
“No,” replied the LORD, “but you did laugh.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked out over Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them off.
17 And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, in order that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has promised.”
20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great. Because their sin is so grievous, 21 I will go down to see if their actions fully justify the outcry that has reached Me. If not, I will find out.”
22 And the two men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.
23 Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous ones in the city? Will You really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous ones who are there? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Will not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”
26 So the LORD replied, “If I find fifty righteous ones within the city of Sodom, on their account I will spare the whole place.”
27 Then Abraham answered, “Now that I have ventured to speak to the Lord—though I am but dust and ashes— 28 suppose the fifty righteous ones lack five. Will You destroy the whole city for the lack of five?”
He replied, “If I find forty-five there, I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again Abraham spoke to the LORD, “Suppose forty are found there?”
He answered, “On account of the forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?”
He replied, “If I find thirty there, I will not do it.”
31 And Abraham said, “Now that I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose twenty are found there?”
He answered, “On account of the twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Finally, Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak once more. Suppose ten are found there?”
And He answered, “On account of the ten, I will not destroy it.”
33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, He departed, and Abraham returned home.
Lot Welcomes the Angels
1 Now the two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them, bowed facedown, 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside into the house of your servant; wash your feet and spend the night. Then you can rise early and go on your way.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
3 But Lot insisted so strongly that they followed him into his house. He prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded the house. 5 They called out to Lot, saying, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have relations with them!”
6 Lot went outside to meet them, shutting the door behind him. 7 “Please, my brothers,” he pleaded, “don’t do such a wicked thing! 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them to you, and you can do to them as you please. But do not do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
9 “Get out of the way!” they replied. And they declared, “This one came here as a foreigner, and he is already acting like a judge! Now we will treat you worse than them.” And they pressed in on Lot and moved in to break down the door.
10 But the men inside reached out, pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men at the entrance, young and old, with blindness, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the door.
Lot Flees to Zoar
12 Then the two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—a son-in-law, your sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are about to destroy this place. For the outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that He has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to the sons-in-law who were pledged in marriage to his daughters. “Get up,” he said. “Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 At daybreak the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But when Lot hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters. And they led them safely out of the city, because of the LORD’s compassion for them.
17 As soon as the men had brought them out, one of them said, “Run for your lives! Do not look back, and do not stop anywhere on the plain! Flee to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot replied, “No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has indeed found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness by sparing my life. But I cannot run to the mountains; the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. 20 Look, there is a town nearby where I can flee, and it is a small place. Please let me flee there—is it not a small place? Then my life will be saved.”
21 “Very well,” he answered, “I will grant this request as well, and will not demolish the town you indicate. 22 Hurry! Run there quickly, for I cannot do anything until you reach it.” That is why the town was called Zoar. a
23 And by the time the sun had risen over the land, Lot had reached Zoar.
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
24 Then the LORD rained down sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus He destroyed these cities and the entire plain, including all the inhabitants of the cities and everything that grew on the ground.
26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning, Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain, and he saw the smoke rising from the land like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham, and He brought Lot out of the catastrophe that destroyed the cities where he had lived.
Lot and His Daughters
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains—for he was afraid to stay in Zoar—where they lived in a cave.
31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the land to sleep with us, as is the custom over all the earth. 32 Come, let us get our father drunk with wine so we can sleep with him and preserve his line.”
33 So that night they got their father drunk with wine, and the firstborn went in and slept with her father; he was not aware when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Look, I slept with my father last night. Let us get him drunk with wine again tonight so you can go in and sleep with him and we can preserve our father’s line.”
35 So again that night they got their father drunk with wine, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him; he was not aware when she lay down or when she got up.
36 Thus both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter gave birth to a son and named him Moab. b He is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son, and she named him Ben-ammi. c He is the father of the Ammonites of today.
22 a Zoar means small .
37 b Moab sounds like the Hebrew for from my father .
38 c Ben-ammi means son of my people .
Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech
1 Now Abraham journeyed from there to the region of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was staying in Gerar, 2 Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.
3 One night, however, God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.”
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he replied, “Lord, would You destroy a nation even though it is innocent? 5 Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands.”
6 Then God said to Abimelech in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against Me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet; he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, be aware that you will surely die—you and all who belong to you.”
8 Early the next morning Abimelech got up and summoned all his servants; and when he described to them all that had happened, the men were terrified.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and asked, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought such tremendous guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done.” 10 Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What prompted you to do such a thing?”
11 Abraham replied, “I thought to myself, ‘Surely there is no fear of God in this place. They will kill me on account of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father—though not the daughter of my mother—and she became my wife. 13 So when God had me journey from my father’s house, I said to Sarah, ‘This is how you can show your loyalty to me:Wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”
14 So Abimelech brought sheep and cattle, menservants and maidservants, and he gave them to Abraham and restored his wife Sarah to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you. Settle wherever you please.” 16 And he said to Sarah, “See, I am giving your brother a thousand pieces of silver. a It is your vindication before all who are with you; you are completely cleared.”
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maidservants, so that they could again bear children— 18 for on account of Abraham’s wife Sarah, the LORD had completely closed all the wombs in Abimelech’s household.
16 a Or a thousand shekels of silver ; that is, approximately 25.1 pounds or 11.4 kilograms of silver
The Birth of Isaac
3 And Abraham gave the name Isaac a to the son Sarah bore to him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Then Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears of this will laugh with me.” 7 She added, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
8 So the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned.
Sarah Turns against Hagar
9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking her son, b 10 and she said to Abraham, “Expel the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac!” c
11 Now this matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son Ishmael. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to everything that Sarah tells you, for through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned. d 13 But I will also make a nation of the slave woman’s son, because he is your offspring.”
14 Early in the morning, Abraham got up, took bread and a skin of water, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her away with the boy. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I cannot bear to watch the boy die!” And as she sat nearby, she lifted up her voice and wept. e
17 Then God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “What is wrong, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he lies. 18 Get up, lift up the boy, and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up and settled in the wilderness and became a great archer. 21 And while he was dwelling in the Wilderness of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
The Covenant at Beersheba
22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now, therefore, swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or descendants. Show to me and to the country in which you reside the same kindness that I have shown to you.”
24 And Abraham replied, “I swear it.”
25 But when Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had seized, 26 Abimelech replied, “I do not know who has done this. You did not tell me, so I have not heard about it until today.”
27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant. 28 Abraham separated seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29 and Abimelech asked him, “Why have you set apart these seven ewe lambs?”
30 He replied, “You are to accept the seven ewe lambs from my hand as my witness that I dug this well.” 31 So that place was called Beersheba, f because it was there that the two of them swore an oath. 32 After they had made the covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army got up and returned to the land of the Philistines.
3 a Isaac means he laughs .
9 b LXX and Vulgate; Hebrew lacks her son
10 c Cited in Galatians 4:30
12 d Cited in Romans 9:7 and Hebrews 11:18
16 e Hebrew; LXX the child lifted up his voice and wept
31 f Beersheba means well of seven or well of the oath .
33 g Hebrew El-Olam
The Offering of Isaac
1 Some time later God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he answered.
2 “Take your son,” God said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
3 So Abraham got up early the next morning, saddled his donkey, and took along two of his servants and his son Isaac. He split the wood for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had designated.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told his servants. “The boy and I will go over there to worship, and then we will return to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac. He himself carried the fire and the sacrificial knife, and the two of them walked on together.
7 Then Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!”
“Here I am, my son,” he replied.
“The fire and the wood are here,” said Isaac, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two walked on together.
9 When they arrived at the place God had designated, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar, atop the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
The LORD Provides the Sacrifice
“Here I am,” he replied.
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw behind him a ram c in a thicket, caught by its horns. So he went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 And Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. d So to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time, 16 saying, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will multiply your descendants e like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the gates of their enemies. 18 And through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed, f because you have obeyed My voice.”
19 Abraham went back to his servants, and they got up and set out together for Beersheba. And Abraham settled in Beersheba.
The Sons of Nahor
20 Some time later, Abraham was told, “Milcah has also borne sons to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.”
11 a Or Angel ; also in verses 12 and 15
12 b Or from Me
13 c Most MT manuscripts; other Hebrew manuscripts, SP, LXX, and Syriac saw one ram
14 d Hebrew YHWH Yireh
17 e Cited in Hebrews 6:14
18 f Cited in Acts 3:25
The Death and Burial of Sarah
7 Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. 8 “If you are willing for me to bury my dead,” he said to them, “listen to me, and approach Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9 to sell me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me in your presence for full price, so that I may have a burial site.”
10 Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth. So in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city, Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham, 11 “No, my lord. Listen to me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”
12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and said to Ephron in their presence, “If you will please listen to me, I will pay you the price of the field. Accept it from me, so that I may bury my dead there.”
16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the standard of the merchants.
17 So Ephron’s field at Machpelah near Mamre, the cave that was in it, and all the trees within the boundaries of the field were deeded over 18 to Abraham’s possession in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. 19 After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field at Machpelah near Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and its cave were deeded by the Hittites to Abraham as a burial site.
3 a Or sons of Heth ; also in verses 5, 7, 10, 16, 18, and 20
15 b 400 shekels is approximately 10.1 pounds or 4.6 kilograms of silver; also in verse 16.
A Wife for Isaac
1 By now Abraham was old and well along in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. 2 So Abraham instructed the chief servant of his household, who managed all he owned, “Place your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will have you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I am dwelling, 4 but will go to my country and my kindred to take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6 Abraham replied, “Make sure that you do not take my son back there. 7 The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me from my father’s house and my native land, who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you so that you can take a wife for my son from there. 8 And if the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.”
9 So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed with all manner of good things from his master in hand. And he set out for Nahor’s hometown in Aram-naharaim. a 11 As evening approached, he made the camels kneel down near the well outside the town at the time when the women went out to draw water.
12 “O LORD, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “please grant me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Here I am, standing beside the spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 Now may it happen that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who responds, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels as well’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. By this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
Rebekah Is Chosen
15 Before the servant had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 Now the girl was very beautiful, a virgin who had not had relations with any man. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up again.
17 So the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me have a little water from your jar.”
18 “Drink, my lord,” she replied, and she quickly lowered her jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I will also draw water for your camels, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 And she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran back to the well to draw water, until she had drawn water for all his camels.
21 Meanwhile, the man watched her silently to see whether or not the LORD had made his journey a success.
22 And after the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring weighing a beka, b and two gold bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels. c 23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, 27 saying, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His kindness and faithfulness from my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28 The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he rushed out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and heard Rebekah’s words, “The man said this to me,” he went and found the man standing by the camels near the spring.
31 “Come, you who are blessed by the LORD,” said Laban. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32 So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were brought to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of his companions.
33 Then a meal was set before the man, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I came to say.”
So Laban said, “Please speak.”
34 “I am Abraham’s servant,” he replied. 35 “The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and my master has given him everything he owns.
37 My master made me swear an oath and said, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I dwell, 38 but you shall go to my father’s house and to my kindred to take a wife for my son.’
39 Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’
40 And he told me, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you may take a wife for my son from my kindred and from my father’s house. 41 And when you go to my kindred, if they refuse to give her to you, then you will be released from my oath.’
42 So when I came to the spring today, I prayed: O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if only You would make my journey a success! 43 Here I am, standing beside this spring. Now if a maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar,’ 44 and she replies, ‘Drink, and I will draw water for your camels as well,’ may she be the woman the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.
45 And before I had finished praying in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46 She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels as well.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
She replied, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 Then I bowed down and worshiped the LORD; and I blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who led me on the right road to take the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49 Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; but if not, let me know, so that I may go elsewhere.”
50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the LORD; we have no choice in the matter. 51 Rebekah is here before you. Take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, just as the LORD has decreed.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD. 53 Then he brought out jewels of silver and gold, and articles of clothing, and he gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother. 54 Then he and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night there.
When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”
55 But her brother and mother said, “Let the girl remain with us ten days or so. After that, she may go.”
56 But he replied, “Do not delay me, since the LORD has made my journey a success. Send me on my way so that I may go to my master.”
57 So they said, “We will call the girl and ask her opinion.”
58 They called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she replied.
“Our sister, may you become the mother
of thousands upon thousands.
May your offspring possess
the gates of their enemies.”
61 Then Rebekah and her servant girls got ready, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
Isaac Marries Rebekah
“It is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 Then the servant told Isaac all that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah and took Rebekah as his wife. And Isaac loved her and was comforted after his mother’s death.
10 a That is, Mesopotamia; Aram-naharaim means Aram of the two rivers , likely the region between the Euphrates and Balih Rivers in northwestern Mesopotamia.
22 b A beka is half a shekel, or approximately 0.2 ounces or 5.7 grams.
22 c 10 shekels is approximately 4 ounces or 114 grams.
Abraham and Keturah
(1 Chronicles 1:32–33)
3 Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were the Asshurites, the Letushites, and the Leummites.
4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah.
All these were descendants of Keturah.
The Death of Abraham
9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite. 10 This was the field that Abraham had bought from the Hittites. Abraham was buried there with his wife Sarah.
11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who lived near Beer-lahai-roi.
The Descendants of Ishmael
(1 Chronicles 1:28–31)
12 This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maidservant, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
16 These were the sons of Ishmael, and these were their names by their villages and encampments—twelve princes of their tribes. 17 Ishmael lived a total of 137 years. Then he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.
Jacob and Esau
(Malachi 1:1–5; Romans 9:6–29)
19 This is the account of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram b and the sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Later, Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD heard his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.” c
24 When her time came to give birth, there were indeed twins in her womb. 25 The first one came out red, covered with hair like a fur coat; so they named him Esau. d 26 After this, his brother came out grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. e And Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Because Isaac had a taste for wild game, he loved Esau; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Esau Sells His Birthright
29 One day, while Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the field and was famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am famished.” (That is why he was also called Edom. f)
31 “First sell me your birthright,” Jacob replied.
32 “Look,” said Esau, “I am about to die, so what good is a birthright to me?”
33 “Swear to me first,” Jacob said.
So Esau swore to Jacob and sold him the birthright. 34 Then Jacob gave some bread and lentil stew to Esau, who ate and drank and then got up and went away. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
18 a Or Assyria
20 b That is, northwest Mesopotamia
23 c Cited in Romans 9:12
25 d Esau sounds like a Hebrew term that means hairy .
26 e Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives .
30 f Edom means red .
God’s Promise to Isaac
1 Now there was another famine in the land, subsequent to the one that had occurred in Abraham’s time. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar.
2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Settle in the land where I tell you. 3 Stay in this land as a foreigner, and I will be with you and bless you. For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring, and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
Isaac Deceives Abimelech
6 So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7 But when the men of that place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister.” For he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” since he thought to himself, “The men of this place will kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is so beautiful.”
8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from the window and was surprised to see Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So she is really your wife! How could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac replied, “Because I thought I might die on account of her.”
10 “What is this you have done to us?” asked Abimelech. “One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoever harms this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
12 Now Isaac sowed seed in the land, and that very year he reaped a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, 13 and he became richer and richer, until he was exceedingly wealthy. 14 He owned so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So the Philistines took dirt and stopped up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham.
16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Depart from us, for you are much too powerful for us.”
17 So Isaac left that place and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died. And he gave these wells the same names his father had given them.
19 Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of fresh water a there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, b because they contended with him.
23 From there Isaac went up to Beersheba, 24 and that night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham.”
25 So Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, and he pitched his tent there. His servants also dug a well there.
Isaac’s Covenant with Abimelech
26 Later, Abimelech came to Isaac from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army.
27 “Why have you come to me?” Isaac asked them. “You hated me and sent me away.”
28 “We can plainly see that the LORD has been with you,” they replied. “We recommend that there should now be an oath between us and you. Let us make a covenant with you 29 that you will not harm us, just as we have not harmed you but have done only good to you, sending you on your way in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 So Isaac prepared a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 And they got up early the next morning and swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.
32 On that same day, Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We have found water!” they told him. 33 So he called it Shibah, e and to this day the name of the city is Beersheba. f
19 a Or flowing water or living water
20 b Esek means contention .
21 c Sitnah means enmity or hostility .
22 d Rehoboth means broad places or open spaces .
33 e Shibah can mean oath or seven .
33 f Beersheba means well of seven or well of the oath .
Isaac Blesses Jacob
1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.”
“Here I am,” Esau replied.
2 “Look,” said Isaac, “I am now old, and I do not know the day of my death. 3 Take your weapons—your quiver and bow—and go out into the field to hunt some game for me. 4 Then prepare a tasty dish that I love and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening to what Isaac told his son Esau. So when Esau went into the field to hunt game and bring it back, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Behold, I overheard your father saying to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare me a tasty dish to eat, so that I may bless you in the presence of the LORD before I die.’
8 Now, my son, listen to my voice and do exactly as I tell you. 9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so that I can make them into a tasty dish for your father—the kind he loves. 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.”
11 Jacob answered his mother Rebekah, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am smooth-skinned. 12 What if my father touches me? Then I would be revealed to him as a deceiver, and I would bring upon myself a curse rather than a blessing.”
13 His mother replied, “Your curse be on me, my son. Just obey my voice and go get them for me.”
14 So Jacob went and got two goats and brought them to his mother, who made the tasty food his father loved. 15 And Rebekah took the finest clothes in the house that belonged to her older son Esau, and she put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She also put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed her son Jacob the tasty food and bread she had made.
18 So Jacob went to his father and said, “My father.”
“Here I am!” he answered. “Which one are you, my son?”
19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may bless me.”
20 But Isaac asked his son, “How did you ever find it so quickly, my son?”
“Because the LORD your God brought it to me,” he replied.
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so I can touch you, my son. Are you really my son Esau, or not?”
22 So Jacob came close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 Isaac did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him.
24 Again he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?”
And he replied, “I am.”
25 “Serve me,” said Isaac, “and let me eat some of my son’s game, so that I may bless you.”
Jacob brought it to him, and he ate; then he brought him wine, and he drank.
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come near and kiss me, my son.”
27 So he came near and kissed him. When Isaac smelled his clothing, he blessed him and said:
“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the LORD has blessed.
28 May God give to you the dew of heaven
and the richness of the earth—
an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May peoples serve you
and nations bow down to you.
May you be the master of your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed,
and those who bless you be blessed.”
Esau’s Lost Hope
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing him and Jacob had left his father’s presence, his brother Esau returned from the hunt. 31 He too made some tasty food, brought it to his father, and said to him, “My father, sit up and eat of your son’s game, so that you may bless me.”
32 But his father Isaac replied, “Who are you?”
“I am Esau, your firstborn son,” he answered.
33 Isaac began to tremble violently and said, “Who was it, then, who hunted the game and brought it to me? Before you came in, I ate it all and blessed him—and indeed, he will be blessed!”
34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he let out a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me too, O my father!”
35 But Isaac replied, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
37 But Isaac answered Esau: “Look, I have made him your master and given him all his relatives as servants; I have sustained him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?”
38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, O my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.
39 His father Isaac answered him:
“Behold, your dwelling place shall be
away from the richness of the land,
away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You shall live by the sword
and serve your brother.
But when you rebel,
you will tear his yoke from your neck.”
41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. And Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand;then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 When the words of her older son Esau were relayed to Rebekah, she sent for her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you. 43 So now, my son, obey my voice and flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 Stay with him for a while, until your brother’s fury subsides— 45 until your brother’s rage against you wanes and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
36 a Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives .
46 b Or daughters of Heth
1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. “Do not take a wife from the Canaanite women,” he commanded. 2 “Go at once to Paddan-aram, a to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel, and take a wife from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty b bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, so that you may become a company of peoples. 4 And may He give the blessing of Abraham to you and your descendants, so that you may possess the land where you dwell as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”
5 So Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan-aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
Esau Marries Mahalath
6 Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to take a wife there, commanding him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman,” 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and gone to Paddan-aram.
8 And seeing that his father Isaac disapproved of the Canaanite women, 9 Esau went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, in addition to the wives he already had.
10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. 11 On reaching a certain place, he spent the night there because the sun had set. And taking one of the stones from that place, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
12 And Jacob had a dream about a ladder that rested on the earth with its top reaching up to heaven, and God’s angels were going up and down the ladder. 13 And there at the top c the LORD was standing and saying, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you now lie. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and east and north and south. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 Look, I am with you, and I will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob woke up, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was unaware of it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven!”
The Stone of Bethel
18 Early the next morning, Jacob took the stone that he had placed under his head, and he set it up as a pillar. He poured oil on top of it, 19 and he called that place Bethel, d though previously the city had been named Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and watch over me on this journey, and if He will provide me with food to eat and clothes to wear, 21 so that I may return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God. 22 And this stone I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give You a tenth.”
2 a That is, northwest Mesopotamia; also in verses 5, 6, and 7
3 b Hebrew El-Shaddai
13 c Or there beside him
19 d Bethel means house of God .
Jacob Meets Rachel
1 Jacob resumed his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. 2 He looked and saw a well in the field, and near it lay three flocks of sheep, because the sheep were watered from this well. And a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 3 When all the flocks had been gathered there, the shepherds would roll away the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
4 “My brothers,” Jacob asked the shepherds, “where are you from?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
5 “Do you know Laban the grandson of Nahor?” Jacob asked.
“We know him,” they replied.
6 “Is he well?” Jacob inquired.
“Yes,” they answered, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with his sheep.”
7 “Look,” said Jacob, “it is still broad daylight; it is not yet time to gather the livestock. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.”
8 But they replied, “We cannot, until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.”
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 As soon as Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother’s brother Laban, with Laban’s sheep, he went up and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 He told Rachel that he was Rebekah’s son, a relative of her father, and she ran and told her father.
13 When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, where Jacob told him all that had happened.
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
14 Then Laban declared, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”
After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are my relative, should you work for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, a but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18 Since Jacob loved Rachel, he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
21 Finally Jacob said to Laban, “Grant me my wife, for my time is complete, and I want to sleep with her.”
22 So Laban invited all the men of that place and prepared a feast. 23 But when evening came, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maidservant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob said to Laban. “Wasn’t it for Rachel that I served you? Why have you deceived me?”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. 27 Finish this week’s celebration, and we will give you the younger one in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did just that. He finished the week’s celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 Laban also gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.
30 Jacob slept with Rachel as well, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. So he worked for Laban another seven years.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah
31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Reuben, b for she said, “The LORD has seen my affliction. Surely my husband will love me now.”
17 a Or had delicate eyes
32 b Reuben means Look, a son and also sounds like the Hebrew for He has seen my misery .
33 c Simeon probably means one who hears .
34 d Levi sounds like the Hebrew for being attached to or feeling affection for .
35 e Judah sounds like the Hebrew for praise .
Dan and Naphtali
1 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing any children for Jacob, she envied her sister. “Give me children, or I will die!” she said to Jacob.
2 Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld children from you?”
4 So Rachel gave Jacob her servant Bilhah as a wife, and he slept with her, 5 and Bilhah conceived and bore him a son. 6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; He has heard my plea and given me a son.” So she named him Dan. b
Gad and Asher
9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10 And Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” d So she named him Gad. e
14 Now during the wheat harvest, Reuben went out and found some mandrakes in the field. When he brought them to his mother, Rachel begged Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But Leah replied, “Is it not enough that you have taken away my husband? Now you want to take my son’s mandrakes as well?”
“Very well,” said Rachel, “he may sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 When Jacob came in from the field that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night.
Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah
19 Again Leah conceived and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20 “God has given me a good gift,” she said. “This time my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” And she named him Zebulun. h
21 After that, Leah gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb, 23 and she conceived and gave birth to a son. “God has taken away my shame,” she said. 24 She named him Joseph, i and said, “May the LORD add to me another son.”
25 Now after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can return to my homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children for whom I have served you, that I may go on my way. You know how hard I have worked for you.”
27 But Laban replied, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.” 28 And he added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
29 Then Jacob answered, “You know how I have served you and how your livestock have thrived under my care. 30 Indeed, you had very little before my arrival, but now your wealth has increased many times over. The LORD has blessed you wherever I set foot. But now, when may I also provide for my own household?”
31 “What can I give you?” Laban asked.
“You do not need to give me anything,” Jacob replied. “If you do this one thing for me, I will keep on shepherding and keeping your flocks. 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, and every spotted or speckled goat. These will be my wages. 33 So my honesty will testify for me when you come to check on my wages in the future. If I have any goats that are not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not dark-colored, they will be considered stolen.”
34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
35 That very day Laban removed all the streaked or spotted male goats and every speckled or spotted female goat—every one that had any white on it—and every dark-colored lamb, and he placed them under the care of his sons. 36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was shepherding the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37 Jacob, however, took fresh branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees, and peeled the bark, exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38 Then he set the peeled branches in the watering troughs in front of the flocks coming in to drink. So when the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob set apart the young, but made the rest face the streaked dark-colored sheep in Laban’s flocks. Then he set his own stock apart and did not put them with Laban’s animals.
41 Whenever the stronger females of the flock were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs, in full view of the animals, so that they would breed in front of the branches. 42 But if the animals were weak, he did not set out the branches. So the weaker animals went to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob.
43 Thus Jacob became exceedingly prosperous. He owned large flocks, maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.
3 a Literally bear children on my knees
6 b Dan means He has judged or He has vindicated .
8 c Naphtali sounds like the Hebrew for wrestling .
11 d Alternate MT reading (see also LXX);the other alternate reads “A troop is coming!”
11 e Gad sounds like the Hebrew for good fortune , or alternately for band of raiders .
13 f Asher means happy .
18 g Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for wages or reward .
20 h Zebulun sounds like the Hebrew for honor .
24 i Joseph means may He add .
Jacob Flees from Laban
1 Now Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken away all that belonged to our father and built all this wealth at our father’s expense.” 2 And Jacob saw from the countenance of Laban that his attitude toward him had changed.
3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”
4 So Jacob sent word and called Rachel and Leah to the field where his flocks were, 5 and he told them, “I can see from your father’s countenance that his attitude toward me has changed;but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have served your father with all my strength. 7 And although he has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, God has not allowed him to harm me. 8 If he said, ‘The speckled will be your wages,’ then the whole flock bore speckled offspring. If he said, ‘The streaked will be your wages,’ then the whole flock bore streaked offspring. 9 Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me.
And I replied, ‘Here I am.’
12 ‘Look up,’ he said, ‘and see that all the males that are mating with the flock are streaked, spotted, or speckled; for I have seen all that Laban has done to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and made a solemn vow to Me. Now get up and leave this land at once, and return to your native land.’ ”
14 And Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we have any portion or inheritance left in our father’s house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as outsiders? Not only has he sold us, but he has certainly squandered what was paid for us. 16 Surely all the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So do whatever God has told you.”
17 Then Jacob got up and put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock before him, along with all the possessions he had acquired in Paddan-aram, b to go to his father Isaac in the land in Canaan.
19 Now while Laban was out shearing his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols. 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived c Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was running away. 21 So he fled with all his possessions, crossed the Euphrates, d and headed for the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob
22 On the third day Laban was informed that Jacob had fled. 23 So he took his relatives with him, pursued Jacob for seven days, and overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But that night God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream and warned him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
25 Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there as well. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You have deceived me and carried off my daughters like captives of war! 27 Why did you run away secretly and deceive me, without even telling me? I would have sent you away with joy and singing, with tambourines and harps. 28 But you did not even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. Now you have done a foolish thing.
29 I have power to do you great harm, but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 Now you have gone off because you long for your father’s house. But why have you stolen my gods?”
31 “I was afraid,” Jacob answered, “for I thought you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 If you find your gods with anyone here, he shall not live! In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself if anything is yours, and take it back.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the idols.
33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, then Leah’s tent, and then the tents of the two maidservants, but he found nothing. Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken Laban’s household idols, put them in the saddlebag of her camel, and was sitting on them. And Laban searched everything in the tent but found nothing.
35 Rachel said to her father, “Sir, do not be angry that I cannot stand up before you;for I am having my period.” So Laban searched, but could not find the household idols.
36 Then Jacob became incensed and challenged Laban. “What is my crime?” he said. “For what sin of mine have you so hotly pursued me? 37 You have searched all my goods! Have you found anything that belongs to you? Put it here before my brothers and yours, that they may judge between the two of us.
38 I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flock. 39 I did not bring you anything torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for what was stolen by day or night. 40 As it was, the heat consumed me by day and the frost by night, and sleep fled from my eyes.
41 Thus for twenty years I have served in your household—fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks—and you have changed my wages ten times! 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, surely by now you would have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, and last night He rendered judgment.”
Jacob’s Covenant with Laban
43 But Laban answered Jacob, “These daughters are my daughters, these sons are my sons, and these flocks are my flocks! Everything you see is mine! Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine or the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between you and me.”
45 So Jacob picked out a stone and set it up as a pillar, 46 and he said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and made a mound, and there by the mound they ate. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed. e
48 Then Laban declared, “This mound is a witness between you and me this day.”
Therefore the place was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah, f because Laban said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are absent from each other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters or take other wives, although no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.”
51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is the mound, and here is the pillar I have set up between you and me. 52 This mound is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this mound to harm you, and you will not go past this mound and pillar to harm me. 53 May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.”
So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac.
54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat a meal. And after they had eaten, they spent the night on the mountain. 55 Early the next morning, Laban got up and kissed his grandchildren and daughters and blessed them. Then he left to return home.
11 a Or Angel
18 b That is, northwest Mesopotamia
20 c Or stole the heart of ; also in verses 26 and 27
21 d Hebrew the River
47 e The Aramaic Jegar-sahadutha and the Hebrew Galeed both mean heap of witnesses .
49 f Mizpah means watchtower .
Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them, “You are to say to my master Esau, ‘Your servant Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban and have remained there until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, menservants, and maidservants. I have sent this message to inform my master, so that I may find favor in your sight.’ ”
6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you—he and four hundred men with him.”
9 Then Jacob declared, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, the LORD who told me, ‘Go back to your country and to your kindred, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant. Indeed, with only my staff I came across the Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid that he may come and attack me and the mothers and children with me. 12 But You have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, too numerous to count.’ ”
13 Jacob spent the night there, and from what he had brought with him, he selected a gift for his brother Esau: 14 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 15 30 milk camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys. 16 He entrusted them to his servants in separate herds and told them, “Go on ahead of me, and keep some distance between the herds.”
17 He instructed the one in the lead, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong, where are you going, and whose animals are these before you?’ 18 then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift, sent to my lord Esau. And behold, Jacob is behind us.’ ”
19 He also instructed the second, the third, and all those following behind the herds: “When you meet Esau, you are to say the same thing to him. 20 You are also to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I will appease Esau b with the gift that is going before me. After that I can face him, and perhaps he will accept me. c”
21 So Jacob’s gifts went on before him, while he spent the night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22 During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven sons, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, along with all his possessions.
24 So Jacob was left all alone, and there a man d wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower Jacob, he struck the socket of Jacob’s hip and dislocated it as they wrestled. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 “What is your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he replied.
29 And Jacob requested, “Please tell me your name.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed by Penuel, h and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon which is at the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was struck near that tendon.
2 a Mahanaim means two camps .
20 b Or I will appease his face
20 c Literally perhaps he will lift up my face
24 d Or Man ; here and in verses 25–28; corresponding pronouns may also be capitalized
28 e Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives .
28 f Israel means he struggles with God .
30 g Peniel means the face of God .
31 h Penuel is a variant of Peniel ; see verse 30.
Jacob Meets Esau
1 Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming toward him with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants. 2 He put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3 But Jacob himself went on ahead and bowed to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.
4 Esau, however, ran to him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.
5 When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he asked, “Who are these with you?”
Jacob answered, “These are the children God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the maidservants and their children approached and bowed down. 7 Leah and her children also approached and bowed down, and then Joseph and Rachel approached and bowed down.
8 “What do you mean by sending this whole company to meet me?” asked Esau.
“To find favor in your sight, my lord,” Jacob answered.
9 “I already have plenty, my brother,” Esau replied. “Keep what belongs to you.”
10 But Jacob insisted, “No, please! If I have found favor in your sight, then receive this gift from my hand. For indeed, I have seen your face, and it is like seeing the face of God, since you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept my gift a that was brought to you, because God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” So Jacob pressed him until he accepted.
12 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way, and I will go ahead of you.”
13 But Jacob replied, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and I must care for sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard for even a day, all the animals will die. 14 Please let my lord go ahead of his servant. I will continue on slowly, at a comfortable pace for the livestock and children, until I come to my lord at Seir.”
15 “Let me leave some of my people with you,” Esau said.
But Jacob replied, “Why do that? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”
Jacob Settles in Shechem
18 After Jacob had come from Paddan-aram, c he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped just outside the city. 19 And the plot of ground where he pitched his tent, he purchased from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of silver. d 20 There he set up an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel. e
11 a Or blessing or treaty of peace
17 b Succoth means booths or shelters or tabernacles ; twice in this verse.
18 c That is, northwest Mesopotamia
19 d Hebrew a hundred kesitahs ; the value or weight of the kesitah is no longer known
20 e El-Elohe-Israel means God is the God of Israel or mighty is the God of Israel .
The Defiling of Dinah
1 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the region, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. 3 And his soul was drawn to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young girl and spoke to her tenderly. 4 So Shechem told his father Hamor, “Get me this girl as a wife.”
5 Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah, but since his sons were with his livestock in the field, he remained silent about it until they returned. 6 Meanwhile, Shechem’s father Hamor came to speak with Jacob. 7 When Jacob’s sons heard what had happened, they returned from the field. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had committed an outrage in Israel a by lying with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done.
8 But Hamor said to them, “My son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. 9 Intermarry with us; give us your daughters, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You may settle among us, and the land will be open to you. Live here, move about freely, and acquire your own property.”
11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Grant me this favor, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12 Demand a high dowry and an expensive gift, and I will give you whatever you ask. Only give me the girl as my wife!”
The Revenge of Dinah’s Brothers
13 But because Shechem had defiled their sister Dinah, Jacob’s sons answered him and his father Hamor deceitfully. 14 “We cannot do such a thing,” they said. “To give our sister to an uncircumcised man would be a disgrace to us. 15 We will consent to this on one condition, that you become circumcised like us—every one of your males. 16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We will dwell among you and become one people. 17 But if you will not agree to be circumcised, then we will take our sister and go.”
18 Their offer seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man, who was the most respected of all his father’s household, did not hesitate to fulfill this request, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter.
20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city and addressed the men of their city: 21 “These men are at peace with us. Let them live and trade in our land; indeed, it is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters in marriage and give our daughters to them. 22 But only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us and be one people: if all our men are circumcised as they are. 23 Will not their livestock, their possessions, and all their animals become ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will dwell among us.”
24 All the men who went out of the city gate listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male of the city was circumcised.
25 Three days later, while they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons (Dinah’s brothers Simeon and Levi) took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and slaughtered every male. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with their swords, took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away.
27 Jacob’s other sons came upon the slaughter and looted the city, because their sister had been defiled. 28 They took their flocks and herds and donkeys, and everything else in the city or in the field. 29 They carried off all their possessions and women and children, and they plundered everything in their houses.
30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble upon me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people of this land. We are few in number; if they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”
31 But they replied, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”
7 a Or against Israel
Jacob Returns to Bethel
1 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel, and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”
2 So Jacob told his household and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Purify yourselves and change your garments. 3 Then let us arise and go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to God, who answered me in my day of distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”
5 As they set out, a terror from God fell over the surrounding cities, so that they did not pursue Jacob’s sons. 6 So Jacob and everyone with him arrived in Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 There Jacob built an altar, and he called that place El-bethel, b because it was there that God had revealed Himself to Jacob as he fled from his brother.
9 After Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, e God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Though your name is Jacob, f you will no longer be called Jacob. Instead, your name will be Israel. g” So God named him Israel.
11 And God told him, “I am God Almighty. h Be fruitful and multiply. A nation—even a company of nations—shall come from you, and kings shall descend from you. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”
13 Then God went up from the place where He had spoken with him.
14 So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where God had spoken with him—a stone marker—and he poured out a drink offering on it and anointed it with oil. 15 Jacob called the place where God had spoken with him Bethel. i
Benjamin Born, Rachel Dies
16 Later, they set out from Bethel, and while they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth, and her labor was difficult. 17 During her severe labor, the midwife said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you are having another son.”
The Sons of Jacob
(1 Chronicles 2:1–2)
21 Israel again set out and pitched his tent beyond the Tower of Eder. 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it.
Jacob had twelve sons:
23 The sons of Leah were Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25 The sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah were Dan and Naphtali.
26 And the sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah were Gad and Asher.
These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
The Death of Isaac
27 Jacob returned to his father Isaac at Mamre, near Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.
4 a Or terebinth or great tree
7 b El-bethel means God of Bethel .
8 c Or great tree
8 d Allon-bacuth means oak of weeping .
9 e That is, northwest Mesopotamia; also in verse 26
10 f Jacob means he grasps the heel or he deceives .
10 g Israel means he struggles with God .
11 h Hebrew El-Shaddai
15 i Bethel means house of God .
18 j Ben-oni could mean son of my sorrow or son of my strength .
18 k Benjamin means son of my right hand .
The Descendants of Esau
(1 Chronicles 1:35–37)
1 This is the account of Esau (that is, Edom). 2 Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite, 3 and Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. 4 And Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath gave birth to Reuel, 5 and Oholibamah gave birth to Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These were the sons of Esau, who were born to him in the land of Canaan.
6 Later, Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the people of his household, along with his livestock, all his other animals, and all the property he had acquired in Canaan, and he moved to a land far away from his brother Jacob. 7 For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together; the land where they stayed could not support them because of their livestock. 8 So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the area of Mount Seir.
9 This is the account of Esau, the father of the Edomites, in the area of Mount Seir.
10 These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel son of Esau’s wife Basemath.
13 These are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. They are the grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
14 These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah (daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon) whom she bore to Esau: Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
15 These are the chiefs among the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, a Gatam, and Amalek. They are the chiefs of Eliphaz in the land of Edom, and they are the grandsons of Adah.
17 These are the sons of Esau’s son Reuel: Chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. They are the chiefs descended from Reuel in the land of Edom, and they are the grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
18 These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah: Chiefs Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. They are the chiefs descended from Esau’s wife Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah.
19 All these are the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and they were their chiefs.
The Descendants of Seir
(1 Chronicles 1:38–42)
20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who were living in the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. They are the chiefs of the Horites, the descendants of Seir in the land of Edom.
23 These are the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
24 These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. (This is the Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness as he was pasturing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.)
25 These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah.
27 These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.
28 These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.
The Kings of Edom
(1 Chronicles 1:43–54)
32 Bela son of Beor reigned in Edom; the name of his city was Dinhabah.
33 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah reigned in his place.
34 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites reigned in his place.
35 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, reigned in his place. And the name of his city was Avith.
36 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah reigned in his place.
38 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Achbor reigned in his place.
40 These are the names of Esau’s chiefs, according to their families and regions, by their names: Chiefs Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel, and Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their settlements in the land they possessed. Esau was the father of the Edomites.
16 a Hebrew; SP (also in verse 11 and 1 Chronicles 1:36) does not include Korah .
22 b Hemam is a variant of Homam ; see 1 Chronicles 1:39.
26 c Hebrew Dishan , a variant of Dishon
31 d Or before an Israelite king reigned over them:
37 e Hebrew the River
39 f Some MT manuscripts, SP, and Syriac (see also 1 Chronicles 1:50); other MT manuscripts Hadar
1 Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had resided, the land of Canaan.
2 This is the account of Jacob. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he was tending the flock with his brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons, because Joseph had been born to him in his old age; so he made him a robe of many colors. a 4 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
5 Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain in the field, and suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to mine.”
8 “Do you intend to reign over us?” his brothers asked. “Will you actually rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and his statements.
9 Then Joseph had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 He told his father and brothers, but his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream that you have had? Will your mother and brothers and I actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept in mind what he had said.
Joseph Sold into Egypt
12 Some time later, Joseph’s brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks near Shechem. 13 Israel said to him, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flocks at Shechem? Get ready;I am sending you to them.”
“I am ready,” Joseph replied.
14 Then Israel told him, “Go now and see how your brothers and the flocks are faring, and bring word back to me.”
So he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. And when Joseph arrived in Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering in the field and asked, “What are you looking for?”
16 “I am looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Can you please tell me where they are pasturing their flocks?”
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18 Now Joseph’s brothers saw him in the distance, and before he arrived, they plotted to kill him. 19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to one another. 20 “Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal has devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams!”
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue Joseph from their hands. “Let us not take his life,” he said. 22 “Do not shed his blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this so that he could rescue Joseph from their hands and return him to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the robe of many colors he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, with no water in it.
25 And as they sat down to eat a meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh on their way down to Egypt.
26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him; for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And they agreed. 28 So when the Midianite traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty shekels of silver b to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
Jacob Mourns Joseph
31 Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a young goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. 32 They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe or not.”
33 His father recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him.
3 a Possibly a robe with long sleeves ; also in verses 23 and 32
28 b 20 shekels is approximately 8 ounces or 228 grams of silver.
36 c Hebrew the Medanites
Judah and Tamar
(1 Chronicles 2:3–4)
1 About that time, Judah left his brothers and settled near a man named Hirah, an Adullamite. 2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua, and he took her as a wife and slept with her. 3 So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and Judah named him Er. 4 Again she conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan. 5 Then she gave birth to another son and named him Shelah; it was at Chezib that she gave birth to him.
6 Now Judah acquired a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; so the LORD put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife. Perform your duty as her brother-in-law and raise up offspring for your brother.”
9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not belong to him; so whenever he would sleep with his brother’s wife, he would spill his seed on the ground so that he would not produce offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the sight of the LORD, so He put Onan to death as well.
11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up.” For he thought, “He may die too, like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.
12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. When Judah had finished mourning, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah. 13 When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she removed her widow’s garments, covered her face with a veil to disguise herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the way to Timnah. For she saw that although Shelah had grown up, she had not been given to him as a wife.
15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 16 Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”
“What will you give me for sleeping with you?” she inquired.
17 “I will send you a young goat from my flock,” Judah answered.
But she replied, “Only if you leave me something as a pledge until you send it.”
18 “What pledge should I give you?” he asked.
She answered, “Your seal and your cord, and the staff in your hand.” So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. 19 Then Tamar got up and departed. And she removed her veil and put on her widow’s garments again.
20 Now when Judah sent his friend Hirah the Adullamite with the young goat to collect the items he had left with the woman, he could not find her. 21 He asked the men of that place, “Where is the shrine prostitute who was beside the road at Enaim?”
“No shrine prostitute has been here,” they answered.
22 So Hirah returned to Judah and said, “I could not find her, and furthermore, the men of that place said, ‘No shrine prostitute has been here.’ ”
24 About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has prostituted herself, and now she is pregnant.”
“Bring her out!” Judah replied. “Let her be burned to death!”
25 As she was being brought out, Tamar sent a message to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these items belong.” And she added, “Please examine them. Whose seal and cord and staff are these?”
26 Judah recognized the items and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not have relations with her again.
The Birth of Perez and Zerah
27 When the time came for Tamar to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 28 And as she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it around his wrist. “This one came out first,” she announced. 29 But when he pulled his hand back and his brother came out, she said, “You have broken out first!” So he was named Perez. b 30 Then his brother came out with the scarlet thread around his wrist, and he was named Zerah. c
23 a Or we will become despised
29 b Perez means breaking out .
30 c Zerah can mean scarlet or brightness .
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
1 Meanwhile, Joseph had been taken down to Egypt, where an Egyptian named Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master.
Potiphar put him in charge of his household and entrusted him with everything he owned. 5 From the time that he put Joseph in charge of his household and all he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s household on account of him. The LORD’s blessing was on everything he owned, both in his house and in his field. 6 So Potiphar left all that he owned in Joseph’s care; he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after some time his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph and said, “Sleep with me.”
8 But he refused. “Look,” he said to his master’s wife, “with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in his house, and he has entrusted everything he owns to my care. 9 No one in this house is greater than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. So how could I do such a great evil and sin against God?”
10 Although Potiphar’s wife spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be near her. 11 One day, however, Joseph went into the house to attend to his work, and not a single household servant was inside. 12 She grabbed Joseph by his cloak and said, “Sleep with me!” But leaving his cloak in her hand, he escaped and ran outside.
Joseph Falsely Imprisoned
13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us. He came to me so he could sleep with me, but I screamed as loud as I could. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
16 So Potiphar’s wife kept Joseph’s cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him the same story: “The Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me, 18 but when I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” he burned with anger. 20 So Joseph’s master took him and had him thrown into the prison where the king’s prisoners were confined.
While Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him and extended kindness to him, granting him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 And the warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care, so that he was responsible for all that was done in the prison. 23 The warden did not concern himself with anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
The Cupbearer and the Baker
1 Some time later, the king’s cupbearer and baker offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard, the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he became their personal attendant.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 both of these men—the Egyptian king’s cupbearer and baker, who were being held in the prison—had a dream on the same night, and each dream had its own meaning.
6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were distraught. 7 So he asked the officials of Pharaoh who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why are your faces so downcast today?”
8 “We both had dreams,” they replied, “but there is no one to interpret them.”
Then Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream: “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into his cup, and placed the cup in his hand.”
12 Joseph replied, “This is the interpretation: The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore your position. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when it goes well for you, please remember me and show me kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh, that he might bring me out of this prison. 15 For I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing for which they should have put me in this dungeon.”
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: There were three baskets of white bread on my head. 17 In the top basket were all sorts of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
18 Joseph replied, “This is the interpretation: The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. a Then the birds will eat the flesh of your body.”
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he held a feast for all his officials, and in their presence he lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. 21 Pharaoh restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But Pharaoh hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had described to them in his interpretation. b
23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot all about him.
19 a Or and impale you on a pole ; similarly in verse 22
22 b Literally had interpreted to them
The Dreams of Pharaoh
1 After two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing beside the Nile, 2 when seven cows, sleek and well-fed, came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, sickly and thin, came up from the Nile and stood beside the well-fed cows on the bank of the river. 4 And the cows that were sickly and thin devoured the seven sleek, well-fed cows.
Then Pharaoh woke up, 5 but he fell back asleep and dreamed a second time: Seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, came up on one stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted, thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 And the thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven plump, ripe ones. Then Pharaoh awoke and realized it was a dream.
8 In the morning his spirit was troubled, so he summoned all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he put me and the chief baker in the custody of the captain of the guard. 11 One night both the chief baker and I had dreams, and each dream had its own meaning. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams and he interpreted them for us individually. 13 And it happened to us just as he had interpreted: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged.”
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, who was quickly brought out of the dungeon. After he had shaved and changed his clothes, he went in before Pharaoh.
15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16 “I myself cannot do it,” Joseph replied, “but God will give Pharaoh a sound answer.”
17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when seven cows, well-fed and sleek, came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows—sickly, ugly, and thin—came up. I have never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt! 20 Then the thin, ugly cows devoured the seven well-fed cows that were there first. 21 When they had devoured them, however, no one could tell that they had done so; their appearance was as ugly as it had been before. Then I awoke.
22 In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind. 24 And the thin heads of grain swallowed the seven plump ones.
I told this dream to the magicians, but no one could explain it to me.”
25 At this, Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads of grain are seven years. The dreams have the same meaning. 27 Moreover, the seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind—they are seven years of famine.
28 It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will devastate the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, since the famine that follows it will be so severe.
32 Moreover, because the dream was given to Pharaoh in two versions, the matter has been decreed by God, and He will carry it out shortly.
33 Now, therefore, Pharaoh should look for a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh take action and appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest a of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 Under the authority of Pharaoh, let them collect all the excess food from these good years, that they may come and lay up the grain to be preserved as food in the cities. 36 This food will be a reserve for the land during the seven years of famine to come upon the land of Egypt. Then the country will not perish in the famine.”
Joseph Given Charge of Egypt
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my house, and all my people are to obey your commands. Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41 Pharaoh also told Joseph, “I hereby place you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh removed the signet ring from his finger, put it on Joseph’s finger, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, with men calling out before him, “Bow the knee!” c So he placed him over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh declared to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission, no one in all the land of Egypt shall lift his hand or foot.”
The Seven Years of Plenty
46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout the land of Egypt.
47 During the seven years of abundance, the land brought forth bountifully. 48 During those seven years, Joseph collected all the excess food in the land of Egypt and stored it in the cities. In every city he laid up the food from the fields around it. 49 So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance, like the sand of the sea, that he stopped keeping track of it; for it was beyond measure.
50 Before the years of famine arrived, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, f saying, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s household.” 52 And the second son he named Ephraim, g saying, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
The Famine Begins
53 When the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. And although there was famine in every country, there was food throughout the land of Egypt. 55 When extreme hunger came to all the land of Egypt and the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56 When the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened up all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians; for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 And every nation came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.
34 a See LXX; MT a fifth from the land
38 b Or the spirit of the gods
43 c That is, “Abrek,” probably an Egyptian word that sounds similar to the Hebrew for kneel
45 d Zaphenath-paneah probably means Revealer of Mysteries or God speaks and lives .
45 e That is, Heliopolis, as in LXX; also in verse 50
51 f Manasseh sounds like the Hebrew for making to forget .
52 g Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for making fruitful or twice fruitful .
Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt
1 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?”
2 “Look,” he added, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”
5 So the sons of Israel were among those who came to buy grain, since the famine had also spread to the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was the ruler of the land; he was the one who sold grain to all its people. So when his brothers arrived, they bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. 7 And when Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them as strangers and spoke harshly to them. “Where have you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We are here to buy food.”
12 “No,” he told them. “You have come to see if our land is vulnerable.”
13 But they answered, “Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”
14 Then Joseph declared, “Just as I said, you are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be confined so that the truth of your words may be tested. If they are untrue, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!”
17 So Joseph imprisoned them for three days, 18 and on the third day he said to them, “I fear God. So do this and you will live: 19 If you are honest, leave one of your brothers in custody while the rest of you go and take back grain to relieve the hunger of your households. 20 Then bring your youngest brother to me so that your words can be verified, that you may not die.”
And to this they consented.
21 Then they said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.”
22 And Reuben responded, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you would not listen. Now we must account for his blood!”
23 They did not realize that Joseph understood them, since there was an interpreter between them. 24 And he turned away from them and wept. When he turned back and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and had him bound before their eyes.
Joseph’s Brothers Return to Canaan
25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return each man’s silver a to his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. This order was carried out, 26 and they loaded the grain on their donkeys and departed.
27 At the place where they lodged for the night, one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of the sack. 28 “My silver has been returned!” he said to his brothers. “It is here in my sack.”
Their hearts sank, and trembling, they turned to one another and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29 When they reached their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they described to him all that had happened to them: 30 “The man who is lord of the land spoke harshly to us and accused us of spying on the country.
33 Then the man who is lord of the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest: Leave one brother with me, take food to relieve the hunger of your households, and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the land.’ ”
35 As they began emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his bag of silver! And when they and their father saw the bags of silver, they were dismayed.
36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my sons. Joseph is gone and Simeon is no more. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is going against me!”
37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I fail to bring him back to you. Put him in my care, and I will return him.”
38 But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If any harm comes to him on your journey, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”
25 a Or money ; here and throughout chapters 42–44
The Return to Egypt with Benjamin
3 But Judah replied, “The man solemnly warned us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go; for the man told us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ ”
6 “Why did you bring this trouble upon me?” Israel asked. “Why did you tell the man you had another brother?”
7 They replied, “The man questioned us in detail about ourselves and our family: ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ And we answered him accordingly. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother here’?”
8 And Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and we will go at once, so that we may live and not die—neither we, nor you, nor our children. 9 I will guarantee his safety. You may hold me personally responsible. If I do not bring him back and set him before you, then may I bear the guilt before you all my life. 10 If we had not delayed, we could have come and gone twice by now.”
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your packs and carry them down as a gift for the man—a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. 12 Take double the silver with you so that you may return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother as well, and return to the man at once. 14 May God Almighty a grant you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother along with Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15 So the men took these gifts, along with double the amount of silver, and Benjamin as well. Then they hurried down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Joseph’s Hospitality to His Brothers
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with his brothers, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for they shall dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph had commanded and took the brothers to Joseph’s house.
18 But the brothers were frightened that they had been taken to Joseph’s house. “We have been brought here because of the silver that was returned in our bags the first time,” they said. “They intend to overpower us and take us as slaves, along with our donkeys.”
19 So they approached Joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20 “Please, sir,” they said, “we really did come down here the first time to buy food. 21 But when we came to the place we lodged for the night, we opened our sacks and, behold, each of us found his silver in the mouth of his sack! It was the full amount of our silver, and we have brought it back with us. 22 We have brought additional silver with us to buy food. We do not know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23 “It is fine,” said the steward. “Do not be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, gave you the treasure that was in your sacks. I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 And the steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet, and provided food for their donkeys.
25 Since the brothers had been told that they were going to eat a meal there, they prepared their gift for Joseph’s arrival at noon. 26 When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought, and they bowed to the ground before him.
27 He asked if they were well, and then he asked, “How is your elderly father you told me about? Is he still alive?”
28 “Your servant our father is well,” they answered. “He is still alive.” And they bowed down to honor him.
29 When Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” Then he declared, “May God be gracious to you, my son.”
30 Joseph hurried out because he was moved to tears for his brother, and he went to a private room to weep. 31 Then he washed his face and came back out. Regaining his composure, he said, “Serve the meal.”
32 They separately served Joseph, his brothers, and the Egyptians. They ate separately because the Egyptians would not eat with the Hebrews, since that was detestable to them. 33 They were seated before Joseph in order by age, from the firstborn to the youngest, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34 When the portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times larger than any of the others. So they feasted and drank freely with Joseph.
14 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
Benjamin and the Silver Cup
1 Then Joseph instructed his steward: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each one’s silver in the mouth of his sack. 2 Put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.”
So the steward did as Joseph had instructed.
3 At daybreak, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph told his steward, “Pursue the men at once, and when you overtake them, ask, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? a 5 Is this not the cup b my master drinks from and uses for divination? What you have done is wicked!’ ”
6 When the steward overtook them, he relayed these words to them.
7 “Why does my lord say these things?” they asked. “Your servants could not possibly do such a thing. 8 We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found in the mouths of our sacks. Why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9 If any of your servants is found to have it, he must die, and the rest will become slaves of my lord.”
10 “As you say,” replied the steward. “But only the one who is found with the cup will be my slave, and the rest of you shall be free of blame.”
11 So each one quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12 The steward searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest—and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they all tore their clothes, loaded their donkeys, and returned to the city.
14 When Judah and his brothers arrived at Joseph’s house, he was still there, and they fell to the ground before him.
15 “What is this deed you have done?” Joseph declared. “Do you not know that a man like me can surely divine the truth?”
16 “What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “How can we plead? How can we justify ourselves? God has exposed the iniquity of your servants. We are now my lord’s slaves—both we and the one who was found with the cup.”
17 But Joseph replied, “Far be it from me to do this. The man who was found with the cup will be my slave. The rest of you may return to your father in peace.”
Judah Pleads for Benjamin
18 Then Judah approached Joseph and said, “Sir, please let your servant speak personally to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, for you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’
20 And we answered, ‘We have an elderly father and a younger brother, the child of his old age. The boy’s brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
21 Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so that I can see him for myself.’
22 So we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he were to leave, his father would die.’
23 But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your younger brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’
24 Now when we returned to your servant my father, we relayed your words to him.
25 Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us some food.’
26 But we answered, ‘We cannot go down there unless our younger brother goes with us. So if our younger brother is not with us, we cannot see the man.’
27 And your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 When one of them was gone, I said: “Surely he has been torn to pieces.” And I have not seen him since. 29 Now if you also take this one from me and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.’
30 So if the boy is not with us when I return to your servant, and if my father, whose life is wrapped up in the boy’s life, 31 sees that the boy is not with us, he will die. Then your servants will have brought the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in sorrow. 32 Indeed, your servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father, saying, ‘If I do not return him to you, I will bear the guilt before you, my father, all my life.’
33 Now please let your servant stay here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy. Let him return with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father without the boy? I could not bear to see the misery that would overwhelm him.”
4 a LXX includes Why have you stolen my silver cup?
5 b Hebrew Is it not this which
Joseph Reveals His Identity
1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me!”
So none of them were with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 But he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household soon heard of it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?”
But they were unable to answer him, because they were terrified in his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near me.” And they did so.
“I am Joseph, your brother,” he said, “the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed or angry with yourselves that you sold me into this place, because it was to save lives that God sent me before you. 6 For the famine has covered the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. 7 God sent me before you to preserve you as a remnant on the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. a 8 Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God, who has made me a father to Pharaoh—lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Joseph Sends for His Father
9 Now return quickly to my father and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says:God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me without delay. 10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen and be near me—you and your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you own. 11 And there I will provide for you, because there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise, you and your household and everything you own will come to destitution.’
12 Behold! You and my brother Benjamin can see that I, Joseph, am the one speaking with you. 13 Tell my father about all my splendor in Egypt and everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
14 Then Joseph threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept as they embraced. 15 Joseph kissed each of his brothers as he wept over them. And afterward his brothers talked with him.
Pharaoh Invites Jacob to Egypt
16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s house that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and his servants were pleased.
17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do as follows: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan. 18 Then bring your father and your families and return to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat from the fat of the land.’ 19 You are also directed to tell them:‘Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your young children and your wives, and bring your father and come back. 20 But pay no regard to your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ ”
21 So the sons of Israel did as they were told. Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 He gave new garments to each of them, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver b and five sets of clothes. 23 And he sent to his father the following:ten donkeys loaded with the best of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and provisions for his father’s journey.
24 Then Joseph sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the way!”
The Revival of Jacob
But Jacob was stunned, for he did not believe them. 27 However, when they relayed all that Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob was revived.
28 “Enough!” declared Israel. “My son Joseph is still alive! I will go to see him before I die.”
7 a Or and to keep you alive as a great band of survivors
22 b 300 shekels is approximately 7.5 pounds or 3.4 kilograms of silver.
Jacob’s Journey to Egypt
1 So Israel set out with all that he had, and when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 And that night God spoke to Israel in a vision: “Jacob, Jacob!” He said.
“Here I am,” replied Jacob.
3 “I am God,” He said, “the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will surely bring you back. And Joseph’s own hands will close your eyes.”
5 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba, and the sons of Israel took their father Jacob in the wagons Pharaoh had sent to carry him, along with their children and wives. 6 They also took the livestock and possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt.
Those Who Went to Egypt
7 Jacob took with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.
The Children of Leah
8 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.
9 The sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.
14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
The Children of Zilpah
17 The children of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah.
The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.
18 These are the sons of Jacob born to Zilpah—whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.
The Children of Rachel
19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
22 These are the sons of Rachel born to Jacob—fourteen in all.
The Children of Bilhah
23 The son of Dan: Hushim.
24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
25 These are the sons of Jacob born to Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel—seven in all.
26 All those belonging to Jacob who came to Egypt—his direct descendants, besides the wives of Jacob’s sons—numbered sixty-six persons. 27 And with the two sons i who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family who went to Egypt were seventy j in all.
Jacob Arrives in Egypt
28 Now Jacob had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When Jacob’s family arrived in the land of Goshen, 29 Joseph prepared his chariot and went there to meet his father Israel. Joseph presented himself to him, embraced him, and wept profusely.
30 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Finally I can die, now that I have seen your face and know that you are still alive!”
31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and inform Pharaoh: ‘My brothers and my father’s household from the land of Canaan have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they raise livestock, and they have brought their flocks and herds and all that they own.’
33 When Pharaoh summons you and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you are to say, ‘Your servants have raised livestock ever since our youth—both we and our fathers.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the land of Goshen, since all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”
10 a Jemuel is another name for Nemuel ; see Numbers 26:12.
10 b Zohar is a variant of Zerah ; see Numbers 26:13 and 1 Chronicles 4:24.
13 c Hebrew; SP and Syriac Puah ; see 1 Chronicles 7:1.
13 d Hebrew; SP and some LXX manuscripts Jashub ; see Numbers 26:24 and 1 Chronicles 7:1.
15 e That is, northwest Mesopotamia
16 f SP and LXX Zephon ; see also Numbers 26:15.
16 g Arodi is a variant of Arod ; see Numbers 26:17.
20 h That is, Heliopolis, as in LXX
27 i Hebrew; LXX the nine sons , probably including Joseph’s grandsons through Ephraim and Manasseh; see 1 Chronicles 7:14–29.
27 j Hebrew (see also Exodus 1:5); LXX (see also Acts 7:14) seventy-five
Jacob Settles in Goshen
1 So Joseph went and told Pharaoh: “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.”
2 And he chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3 “What is your occupation?” Pharaoh asked Joseph’s brothers.
“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied, “both we and our fathers.”
4 Then they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live in the land for a time, because there is no pasture for the flocks of your servants, since the famine in the land of Canaan has been severe. So now, please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”
5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have come to you, 6 the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and brothers in the best part of the land. They may dwell in the land of Goshen. And if you know of any talented men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8 “How many years have you lived?” Pharaoh asked.
10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and departed from his presence.
11 So Joseph settled his father and brothers in the land of Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12 Joseph also provided his father and brothers and all his father’s household with food for their families.
The Famine Continues
13 There was no food, however, in all that region, because the famine was so severe; the lands of Egypt and Canaan had been exhausted by the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan in exchange for the grain they were buying, and he brought it into Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money from the lands of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? For our funds have run out!”
16 “Then bring me your livestock,” said Joseph. “Since the money is gone, I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their flocks and herds, and their donkeys. Throughout that year he provided them with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18 When that year was over, they came to him the second year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord that our money is gone and all our livestock belongs to you. There is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Purchase us and our land in exchange for food. Then we, along with our land, will be slaves to Pharaoh. Give us seed that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”
20 So Joseph acquired for Pharaoh all the land in Egypt; the Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields because the famine was so severe upon them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude b from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not acquire the priests’ portion of the land, for it had been given to them by Pharaoh. They ate the rations that Pharaoh supplied; so they did not sell their land.
23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have acquired you and your land for Pharaoh this day, here is seed for you to sow in the land. 24 At harvest time, you are to give a fifth of it to Pharaoh, and four-fifths will be yours as seed for the field and food for yourselves and your households and children.”
25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “We have found favor in our lord’s eyes, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.” 26 So Joseph established a law that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh, and it is in effect in the land of Egypt to this day. Only the priests’ land does not belong to Pharaoh.
The Israelites Prosper in Goshen
27 Now the Israelites settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and became fruitful and increased greatly in number. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years, and the length of his life was 147 years.
29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise to show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I lie down with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me with them.”
Joseph answered, “I will do as you have requested.”
31 “Swear to me,” Jacob said.
So Joseph swore to him, and Israel bowed in worship at the head of his bed. c
9 a Hebrew sojourns ; twice in this verse
21 b SP, LXX, Vulgate; Hebrew removed the people to the cities
31 c Hebrew; LXX Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff ; see Hebrews 11:21.
Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up in bed.
3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty a appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there He blessed me 4 and told me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you; I will make you a multitude of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’
5 And now your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here shall be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them shall be yours, and they shall be called by the names of their brothers in the territory they inherit.
7 Now as for me, when I was returning from Paddan, b to my sorrow Rachel died along the way in the land of Canaan, some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”
9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the sons God has given me in this place.”
So Jacob said, “Please bring them to me, that I may bless them.”
10 Now Israel’s eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly see. Joseph brought his sons to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.
11 “I never expected to see your face again,” Israel said to Joseph, “but now God has let me see your children as well.”
12 Then Joseph removed his sons from his father’s knees and bowed facedown.
13 And Joseph took both of them—with Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand—and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger; and crossing his hands, he put his left on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said:
“May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
may He bless these boys.
And may they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they grow into a multitude upon the earth.”
17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he was displeased and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18 “Not so, my father!” Joseph said. “This one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father refused. “I know, my son, I know!” he said. “He too shall become a people, and he too shall be great; nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”
20 So that day Jacob blessed them and said:
“By you shall Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”
So he put Ephraim before Manasseh.
21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you, as one who is above your brothers, I give the ridge of land d that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”
3 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
7 b That is, northwest Mesopotamia
16 c Or Angel
22 d Or one portion of the land ; Hebrew shekem , which sounds like the town and district called Shechem
Jacob Blesses His Sons
1 Then Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the days to come:
2 Come together and listen, O sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might,
and the beginning of my strength,
excelling in honor,
excelling in power.
4 Uncontrolled as the waters,
you will no longer excel,
because you went up to your father’s bed,
onto my couch, and defiled it.
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers;
their swords a are weapons of violence.
6 May I never enter their council;
may I never join their assembly.
For they kill men in their anger,
and hamstring oxen on a whim.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is strong,
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will disperse them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
Your hand shall be on the necks of your enemies;
your father’s sons shall bow down to you.
9 Judah is a young lion—
my son, you return from the prey.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down;
like a lioness, who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the staff from between his feet, c
until Shiloh d comes
and the allegiance of the nations is his.
11 He ties his donkey to the vine,
his colt to the choicest branch.
He washes his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore
and become a harbor for ships;
his border shall extend to Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong donkey,
lying down between the sheepfolds. e
15 He saw that his resting place was good
and that his land was pleasant,
so he bent his shoulder to the burden
and submitted to labor as a servant.
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 He will be a snake by the road,
a viper in the path
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider tumbles backward.
18 I await Your salvation, O LORD.
but he will attack their heels.
20 Asher’s food will be rich;
he shall provide royal delicacies.
21 Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns. h
22 Joseph is a fruitful vine—
a fruitful vine by a spring,
whose branches scale the wall. i
23 The archers attacked him with bitterness;
they aimed at him in hostility.
24 Yet he steadied his bow,
and his strong arms were tempered
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
in the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father who helps you,
and by the Almighty j who blesses you,
with blessings of the heavens above,
with blessings of the depths below,
with blessings of the breasts and womb.
26 The blessings of your father have surpassed
the blessings of the ancient mountains k
and the bounty of the everlasting hills.
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince of his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning he devours the prey,
in the evening he divides the plunder.”
28 These are the tribes of Israel, twelve in all, and this was what their father said to them. He blessed them, and he blessed each one with a suitable blessing.
The Death of Jacob
29 Then Jacob instructed them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30 The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, in the land of Canaan. This is the field Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.”
33 When Jacob had finished instructing his sons, he pulled his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and he was gathered to his people.
5 a Or dwelling places
8 b Judah sounds like the Hebrew for praise .
10 c Or from his descendants
10 d Or until the one to whom tribute belongs
14 e Or saddlebags or hearths
16 f Or Dan shall judge his people ; Dan means He has judged or He has vindicated .
19 g Gad sounds like the Hebrew for raid and also for band of raiders .
21 h Or gives beautiful words or bears fawns of the fold
22 i Or Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey by a spring, with his wild colts beside the wall
25 j Hebrew Shaddai
26 k Or of my ancestors
Mourning and Burial for Jacob
1 Then Joseph fell upon his father’s face, wept over him, and kissed him.
2 And Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So they embalmed him, 3 taking the forty days required to complete the embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4 When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s court, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please tell Pharaoh that 5 my father made me swear an oath when he said, ‘I am about to die. You must bury me in the tomb that I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.’ Now let me go and bury my father, and then return.”
6 Pharaoh replied, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”
7 Then Joseph went to bury his father, and all the servants of Pharaoh accompanied him—the elders of Pharaoh’s household and all the elders of the land of Egypt— 8 along with all of Joseph’s household, and his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children and flocks and herds were left in Goshen.
9 Chariots and horsemen alike went up with him, and it was an exceedingly large procession. 10 When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, which is across the Jordan, they lamented and wailed loudly, and Joseph mourned for his father seven days.
11 When the Canaanites of the land saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a solemn ceremony of mourning by the Egyptians.” Thus the place across the Jordan is called Abel-mizraim. a
12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had charged them. 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave at Machpelah in the field near Mamre, which Abraham had purchased from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site.
14 After Joseph had buried his father, he returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone with him to bury his father.
Joseph Comforts His Brothers
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge? Then he will surely repay us for all the evil that we did to him.”
16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Before he died, your father commanded, 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I beg you, please forgive the transgression and sin of your brothers, for they did you wrong.’ So now, Joseph, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.”
When their message came to him, Joseph wept. 18 His brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, “We are your slaves!”
19 But Joseph replied, “Do not be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this—to preserve the lives of many people. 21 Therefore do not be afraid. I will provide for you and your little ones.” So Joseph reassured his brothers and spoke kindly to them.
The Death of Joseph
22 Now Joseph and his father’s household remained in Egypt, and Joseph lived to the age of 110. 23 He saw Ephraim’s sons to the third generation, and indeed the sons of Machir son of Manasseh were brought up b on Joseph’s knees.
24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely visit you and bring you up from this land to the land He promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath and said, “God will surely attend to you, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
26 So Joseph died at the age of 110. And they embalmed his body and placed it in a coffin in Egypt.
11 a Abel-mizraim means mourning of the Egyptians .
23 b Or born or placed at birth
The Israelites Multiply in Egypt
1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family:
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah;
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin;
4 Dan and Naphtali;
6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7 but the Israelites were fruitful and increased rapidly; they multiplied and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.
Oppression by a New King
8 Then a new king, who did not know Joseph, came to power in Egypt. 9 “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become too numerous and too powerful for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase even more; and if a war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country. b”
11 So the Egyptians appointed taskmasters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor. As a result, they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and flourished; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.
15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you help the Hebrew women give birth, observe them on the birthstools. If the child is a son, kill him; but if it is a daughter, let her live.”
17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had instructed; they let the boys live. 18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife arrives.”
The Birth and Adoption of Moses
(Acts 7:20–22; Hebrews 11:23)
3 But when she could no longer hide him, she got him a papyrus basket a and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in the basket and set it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 And his sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 Soon the daughter of Pharaoh went down to bathe in the Nile, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. And when she saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maidservant to retrieve it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the little boy was crying. So she had compassion on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew children.”
7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”
8 “Go ahead,” Pharaoh’s daughter told her. And the girl went and called the boy’s mother.
9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the boy and nursed him.
The Rejection and Flight of Moses
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his own people c and observed their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 After looking this way and that and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.
13 The next day Moses went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you attacking your companion?”
Then Moses was afraid and thought, “This thing I have done has surely become known.”
15 When Pharaoh heard about this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, where he sat down beside a well.
16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 And when some shepherds came along and drove them away, Moses rose up to help them and watered their flock.
19 “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they replied. “He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “So where is he?” their father asked. “Why did you leave the man behind? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 And she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, g saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
God Hears the Cry of the Israelites
23 After a long time, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned and cried out under their burden of slavery, and their cry for deliverance from bondage ascended to God.
3 a The Hebrew can also mean ark ; also in verse 5; see Genesis 6:14.
10 b Moses sounds like a Hebrew term that means to lift out .
11 c Or his brothers
14 d Cited in Acts 7:27 and Acts 7:35
14 e LXX Are you planning to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday? Cited in Acts 7:28
18 f Reuel was also called Jethro ; see Exodus 3:1.
22 g Gershom sounds like the Hebrew for foreigner .
Moses at the Burning Bush
1 Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, a the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, b the mountain of God. 2 There the angel c of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from within a bush. Moses saw the bush ablaze with fire, but it was not consumed. 3 So Moses thought, “I must go over and see this marvelous sight. Why is the bush not burning up?”
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from within the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” d 6 Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” e
At this, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the affliction of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I am aware of their sufferings. 8 I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached Me, and I have seen how severely the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Therefore, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring My people the Israelites out of Egypt.” f
11 But Moses asked God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
13 Then Moses asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ What should I tell them?”
15 God also told Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.
16 Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me and said: I have surely attended to you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your affliction in Egypt, into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
18 The elders of Israel will listen to what you say, and you must go with them to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’
19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless a mighty hand compels him. i 20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders I will perform among them. And after that, he will release you.
21 And I will grant this people such favor in the sight of the Egyptians that when you leave, you will not go away empty-handed. 22 Every woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman staying in her house for silver and gold jewelry and clothing, and you will put them on your sons and daughters. So you will plunder the Egyptians.”
1 a Moses’ father-in-law Jethro was also called Reuel ; see Exodus 2:18.
1 b That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai
2 c Or Angel
5 d Cited in Acts 7:33
6 e Cited in Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:26, Luke 20:37, and Acts 7:32
10 f Cited in Acts 7:34
12 g Cited in Acts 7:7
14 h Or I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE
19 i Literally except by a mighty hand
1 Then Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to my voice? For they may say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’ ”
2 And the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?”
4 “Stretch out your hand and grab it by the tail,” the LORD said to Moses, who reached out his hand and caught the snake, and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
7 “Put your hand back inside your cloak,” said the LORD.
So Moses put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his skin.
8 And the LORD said, “If they refuse to believe you or heed the witness of the first sign, they may believe that of the second. 9 But if they do not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. Then the water you take from the Nile will become blood on the ground.”
The Appointment of Aaron
10 “Please, Lord,” Moses replied, “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant, for I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11 And the LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Or who makes the mute or the deaf, the sighted or the blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go! I will help you as you speak, and I will teach you what to say.”
13 But Moses replied, “Please, Lord, send someone else.”
14 Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He said, “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well, and he is now on his way to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth. I will help both of you to speak, and I will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and it will be as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform signs with it.”
Moses Leaves for Egypt
“Go in peace,” Jethro replied.
19 Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who sought to kill you are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
21 The LORD instructed Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put within your power. But I will harden e his heart so that he will not let the people go.
22 Then tell Pharaoh that this is what the LORD says: ‘Israel is My firstborn son, 23 and I told you to let My son go so that he may worship Me. But since you have refused to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son!’ ”
24 Now at a lodging place along the way, the LORD met Moses f and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched it to Moses’ feet. g “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said.
26 So the LORD let him alone. (When she said, “bridegroom of blood,” she was referring to the circumcision.)
The People Believe Moses and Aaron
27 Meanwhile, the LORD had said to Aaron, “Go and meet Moses in the wilderness.” So he went and met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron everything the LORD had sent him to say, and all the signs He had commanded him to perform.
And Moses performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD had attended to the Israelites and had seen their affliction, they bowed down and worshiped.
3 a Hebrew nachash , in contrast to Aaron’s staff, which became a tannin in Exodus 7:10
6 b Hebrew into your bosom ; twice in this verse and twice in verse 7
6 c The Hebrew word traditionally translated as leprous was used for various skin diseases; see Leviticus 13.
18 d Moses’ father-in-law Jethro was also called Reuel ; see Exodus 2:18.
21 e Or stiffen or strengthen
24 f Hebrew him
25 g Hebrew his feet
Pharaoh’s First Refusal
1 After that, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ”
2 But Pharaoh replied, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go.”
3 “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” they answered. “Please let us go on a three-day journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the LORD our God, or He may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”
4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labor!” 5 Pharaoh also said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you would be stopping them from their labor.”
Bricks and Straw
6 That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen: 7 “You shall no longer supply the people with straw for making bricks. They must go and gather their own straw. 8 But require of them the same quota of bricks as before; do not reduce it. For they are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Make the work harder on the men so they will be occupied and pay no attention to these lies.”
10 So the taskmasters and foremen of the people went out and said to them, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I am no longer giving you straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it; but your workload will in no way be reduced.’ ”
12 So the people scattered all over the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The taskmasters kept pressing them, saying, “Fulfill your quota each day, just as you did when straw was provided.”
14 Then the Israelite foremen, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over the people, were beaten and asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as you did before?”
The Cry of the Israelites
15 So the Israelite foremen went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why are you treating your servants this way? 16 No straw has been given to your servants, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Look, your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.”
17 “You are slackers!” Pharaoh replied. “Slackers! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ 18 Now get to work. You will be given no straw, yet you must deliver the full quota of bricks.”
19 The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You must not reduce your daily quota of bricks.” 20 When they left Pharaoh, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who stood waiting to meet them.
21 “May the LORD look upon you and judge you,” the foremen said, “for you have made us a stench before Pharaoh and his officials; you have placed in their hand a sword to kill us!”
22 So Moses returned to the LORD and asked, “Lord, why have You brought trouble upon this people? Is this why You sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and You have not delivered Your people in any way.”
God Promises Deliverance
1 But the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, for because of My mighty hand he will let the people go; because of My strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
2 God also told Moses, “I am the LORD. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, a but by My name the LORD I did not make Myself known to them. 4 I also established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land where they lived as foreigners. 5 Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant.
6 Therefore tell the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians and deliver you from their bondage. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD!’ ”
9 Moses relayed this message to the Israelites, but on account of their broken spirit and cruel bondage, they did not listen to him.
13 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge concerning both the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.
Genealogies of Moses and Aaron
14 These were the heads of their fathers’ houses:
16 These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.
17 The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimei, by their clans.
18 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years.
19 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi.
These were the clans of the Levites according to their records.
20 And Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.
21 The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri.
23 And Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
25 Aaron’s son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas.
These were the heads of the Levite families by their clans.
26 It was this Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by their divisions.” 27 Moses and Aaron were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt in order to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.
30 But in the LORD’s presence Moses replied, “Since I am unskilled in speech, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”
3 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
12 b Hebrew I have uncircumcised lips ; also in verse 30
15 c Zohar is a variant of Zerah ; see Numbers 26:13 and 1 Chronicles 4:24.
22 d Elzaphan is a variant of Elizaphan ; see Numbers 3:30.
24 e Abiasaph is a variant of Ebiasaph ; see 1 Chronicles 6:23 and 1 Chronicles 9:19.
God Commands Moses and Aaron
1 The LORD answered Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his land.
Then I will lay My hand on Egypt, and by mighty acts of judgment I will bring the divisions of My people the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out from among them.”
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD had commanded. Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent.
11 But Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers and magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same things by their magic arts. 12 Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up the other staffs.
The First Plague: Blood
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; c he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as you see him walking out to the water. Wait on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you: Let My people go, so that they may worship Me in the wilderness. But you have not listened until now. 17 This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD. Behold, with the staff in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will turn to blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, the river will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink its water.’ ”
19 And the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over their rivers and canals and ponds and reservoirs—that they may become blood.’ There will be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in the vessels of wood and stone.”
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded; in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials, Aaron raised the staff d and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was turned to blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. And there was blood throughout the land of Egypt.
22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same things by their magic arts. So Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said. 23 Instead, Pharaoh turned around, went into his palace, and did not take any of this to heart. 24 So all the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, because they could not drink the water from the river.
25 And seven full days passed after the LORD had struck the Nile.
9 a Hebrew tannin ; here and in verse 10, in contrast to Moses’ staff, which became a nachash in Exodus 4:3 and was noted again in Exodus 7:15
13 b Or stiffened or strengthened ; also in verse 22
14 c Or heavy or stubborn
20 d Hebrew he raised the staff ; see verse 19; some translators Moses raised the staff .
The Second Plague: Frogs
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him that this is what the LORD says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. 3 The Nile will teem with frogs, and they will come into your palace and up to your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and your people, and into your ovens and kneading bowls. 4 The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.’ ”
5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers and canals and ponds, and cause the frogs to come up onto the land of Egypt.’ ”
6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.
7 But the magicians did the same thing by their magic arts, and they also brought frogs up onto the land of Egypt.
8 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people. Then I will let your people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD.”
9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor over me. When shall I pray for you and your officials and your people that the frogs (except for those in the Nile) may be taken away from you and your houses?”
10 “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh answered.
“May it be as you say,” Moses replied, “so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 The frogs will depart from you and your houses and your officials and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.”
12 After Moses and Aaron had left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the LORD for help with the frogs that He had brought against Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did as Moses requested, and the frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields died. 14 They were piled into countless heaps, and there was a terrible stench in the land.
The Third Plague: Gnats
16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, that it may turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’ ”
17 This they did, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, gnats came upon man and beast. All the dust of the earth turned into gnats throughout the land of Egypt.
18 The magicians tried to produce gnats using their magic arts, but they could not. And the gnats remained on man and beast.
The Fourth Plague: Flies
20 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, and when Pharaoh goes out to the water, stand before him and tell him that this is what the LORD says:‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 21 But if you will not let My people go, I will send swarms of flies c upon you and your officials and your people and your houses. The houses of the Egyptians and even the ground where they stand will be full of flies.
22 But on that day I will give special treatment to the land of Goshen, where My people live; no swarms of flies will be found there. In this way you will know that I, the LORD, am in the land. 23 I will make a distinction d between My people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.’ ”
24 And the LORD did so. Thick swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials. Throughout Egypt the land was ruined by swarms of flies.
25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within this land.”
26 But Moses replied, “It would not be right to do that, because the sacrifices we offer to the LORD our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. If we offer sacrifices that are detestable before the Egyptians, will they not stone us? 27 We must make a three-day journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He commands us.”
28 Pharaoh answered, “I will let you go and sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.”
29 “As soon as I leave you,” Moses said, “I will pray to the LORD, so that tomorrow the swarms of flies will depart from Pharaoh and his officials and his people. But Pharaoh must not act deceitfully again by refusing to let the people go and sacrifice to the LORD.”
30 Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD, 31 and the LORD did as Moses requested. He removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not one fly remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time as well, and he would not let the people go.
15 a Or made heavy ; also in verse 32
19 b Or stiffened or strengthened
21 c Literally a noxious mixture ; also in verses 22, 24, 29, and 31
23 d LXX and Vulgate; Hebrew I will set redemption
The Fifth Plague: Livestock
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him that this is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 2 But if you continue to restrain them and refuse to let them go, 3 then the hand of the LORD will bring a severe plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys, camels, herds, and flocks. 4 But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’ ”
5 The LORD set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this in the land.” 6 And the next day the LORD did just that. All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. 7 Pharaoh sent officials and found that none of the livestock of the Israelites had died. But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, a and he would not let the people go.
The Sixth Plague: Boils
8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the furnace; in the sight of Pharaoh, Moses is to toss it into the air. 9 It will become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on man and beast throughout the land.”
10 So they took soot from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on man and beast. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them and on all the Egyptians.
The Seventh Plague: Hail
13 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh, and tell him that this is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 14 Otherwise, I will send all My plagues against you c and your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.
15 For by this time I could have stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the earth. 16 But I have raised you up d for this very purpose, that I might display My power to you, e and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth. f 17 Still, you lord it over My people and do not allow them to go.
18 Behold, at this time tomorrow I will rain down the worst hail that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded until now. 19 So give orders now to shelter your livestock and everything you have in the field. Every man or beast that remains in the field and is not brought inside will die when the hail comes down upon them.’ ”
20 Those among Pharaoh’s officials who feared the word of the LORD hurried to bring their servants and livestock to shelter, 21 but those who disregarded the word of the LORD left their servants and livestock in the field.
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that hail may fall on all the land of Egypt—on man and beast and every plant of the field throughout the land of Egypt.”
23 So Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck the earth. So the LORD rained down hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 The hail fell and the lightning continued flashing through it. The hail was so severe that nothing like it had ever been seen in all the land of Egypt from the time it became a nation.
25 Throughout the land of Egypt, the hail struck down everything in the field, both man and beast; it beat down every plant of the field and stripped every tree. 26 The only place where it did not hail was in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived.
27 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he said. “The LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. 28 Pray to the LORD, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go; you do not need to stay any longer.”
29 Moses said to him, “When I have left the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s. 30 But as for you and your officials, I know that you still do not fear the LORD our God.”
33 Then Moses departed from Pharaoh, went out of the city, and spread out his hands to the LORD. The thunder and hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured down on the land.
34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart—he and his officials. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the LORD had said through Moses.
7 a Or made heavy ; also in verse 34
12 b Or stiffened or strengthened ; also in verse 35
14 c Hebrew against your heart or against your inner man
16 d Or have spared you
16 e LXX in you
16 f Cited in Romans 9:17
The Eighth Plague: Locusts
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened a his heart and the hearts of his officials, that I may perform these miraculous signs of Mine among them, 2 and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how severely I dealt with the Egyptians when I performed miraculous signs among them, so that all of you may know that I am the LORD.”
3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him, “This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 4 But if you refuse to let My people go, I will bring locusts into your territory tomorrow. 5 They will cover the face of the land so that no one can see it. They will devour whatever is left after the hail and eat every tree that grows in your fields. 6 They will fill your houses and the houses of all your officials and every Egyptian—something neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since the day they came into this land.’ ”
Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh’s presence.
7 Pharaoh’s officials asked him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is in ruins?”
8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the LORD your God,” he said. “But who exactly will be going?”
9 “We will go with our young and old,” Moses replied. “We will go with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the LORD.”
10 Then Pharaoh told them, “May the LORD be with you if I ever let you go with your little ones. Clearly you are bent on evil. 11 No, only the men may go and worship the LORD, since that is what you have been requesting.” And Moses and Aaron were driven from Pharaoh’s presence.
12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt, so that the locusts may swarm over it and devour every plant in the land—everything that the hail has left behind.”
13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and throughout that day and night the LORD sent an east wind across the land. By morning the east wind had brought the locusts.
14 The locusts swarmed across the land and settled over the entire territory of Egypt. Never before had there been so many locusts, and never again will there be. 15 They covered the face of all the land until it was black, and they consumed all the plants on the ground and all the fruit on the trees that the hail had left behind. Nothing green was left on any tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you. 17 Now please forgive my sin once more and appeal to the LORD your God, that He may remove this death from me.”
18 So Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and appealed to the LORD. 19 And the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind that carried off the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. b Not a single locust remained anywhere in Egypt.
The Ninth Plague: Darkness
21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that darkness may spread over the land of Egypt—a palpable darkness.”
22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and total darkness covered all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see anyone else, and for three days no one left his place. Yet all the Israelites had light in their dwellings.
24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the LORD. Even your little ones may go with you; only your flocks and herds must stay behind.”
25 But Moses replied, “You must also provide us with sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God. 26 Even our livestock must go with us; not a hoof will be left behind, for we will need some of them to worship the LORD our God, and we will not know how we are to worship the LORD until we arrive.”
27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwilling to let them go. 28 “Depart from me!” Pharaoh said to Moses. “Make sure you never see my face again, for on the day you see my face, you will die.”
29 “As you say,” Moses replied, “I will never see your face again.”
1 a Or made heavy
19 b Or the Sea of Reeds
20 c Or stiffened or strengthened ; also in verse 27
The Plague on the Firstborn Foretold
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will bring upon Pharaoh and Egypt one more plague. After that, he will allow you to leave this place. And when he lets you go, he will drive you out completely. 2 Now announce to the people that men and women alike should ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”
3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.
4 So Moses declared, “This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt, 5 and every firstborn son in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn of the servant girl behind the hand mill, as well as the firstborn of all the cattle. 6 Then a great cry will go out over all the land of Egypt. Such an outcry has never been heard before and will never be heard again. 7 But among all the Israelites, not even a dog will snarl at man or beast.’ a
Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 And all these officials of yours will come and bow before me, saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that, I will depart.”
And hot with anger, Moses left Pharaoh’s presence.
9 The LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
7 a Some translators close this quotation at the end of the verse.
10 b Or stiffened or strengthened
The First Passover
3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man must select a lamb a for his family, one per household. 4 If the household is too small for a whole lamb, they are to share with the nearest neighbor based on the number of people, and apportion the lamb accordingly.
5 Your lamb must be an unblemished year-old male, and you may take it from the sheep or the goats. 6 You must keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel will slaughter the animals at twilight. b 7 They are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes c of the houses where they eat the lambs.
8 They are to eat the meat that night, roasted over the fire, along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
9 Do not eat any of the meat raw or cooked in boiling water, but only roasted over the fire—its head and legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it until morning; before the morning you must burn up any part that is left over.
12 On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn male, both man and beast, and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood on the houses where you are staying will distinguish them; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will fall on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
(Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 28:16–25; Deuteronomy 16:1–8)
14 And this day will be a memorial for you, and you are to celebrate it as a feast to the LORD, as a permanent statute for the generations to come. 15 For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you are to remove the leaven from your houses. Whoever eats anything leavened from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.
16 On the first day you are to hold a sacred assembly, and another on the seventh day. You must not do any work on those days, except to prepare the meals—that is all you may do.
17 So you are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, e for on this very day I brought your divisions out of the land of Egypt. You must keep this day as a permanent statute for the generations to come. 18 In the first month you are to eat unleavened bread, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days there must be no leaven found in your houses. If anyone eats something leavened, that person, whether a foreigner or native of the land, must be cut off from the congregation of Israel. 20 You are not to eat anything leavened;eat unleavened bread in all your homes.”
21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and told them, “Go at once and select for yourselves a lamb for each family, and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin, and brush the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.
23 When the LORD passes through to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway; so He will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’ 27 you are to reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when He struck down the Egyptians and spared our homes.’ ”
Then the people bowed down and worshiped. 28 And the Israelites went and did just what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.
The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn
29 Now at midnight the LORD struck down every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon, as well as all the firstborn among the livestock.
30 During the night Pharaoh got up—he and all his officials and all the Egyptians—and there was loud wailing in Egypt; for there was no house without someone dead.
The Exodus Begins
31 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Get up, leave my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds as well, just as you have said, and depart! And bless me also.”
33 And in order to send them out of the land quickly, the Egyptians urged the people on. “For otherwise,” they said, “we are all going to die!” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, carrying it on their shoulders in kneading bowls wrapped in clothing.
35 Furthermore, the Israelites acted on Moses’ word and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold, and for clothing. 36 And the LORD gave the people such favor in the sight of the Egyptians that they granted their request. In this way they plundered the Egyptians.
37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth f with about 600,000 men on foot, besides women and children. 38 And a mixed multitude also went up with them, along with great droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.
39 Since their dough had no leaven, the people baked what they had brought out of Egypt into unleavened loaves. For when they had been driven out of Egypt, they could not delay and had not prepared any provisions for themselves.
40 Now the duration of the Israelites’ stay in Egypt g was 430 years. 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD’s divisions went out of the land of Egypt. 42 Because the LORD kept a vigil that night to bring them out of the land of Egypt, this same night is to be a vigil to the LORD, to be observed by all the Israelites for the generations to come.
Instructions for the Passover
43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: No foreigner is to eat of it. 44 But any slave who has been purchased may eat of it, after you have circumcised him. 45 A temporary resident or hired hand shall not eat the Passover.
46 It must be eaten inside one house. You are not to take any of the meat outside the house, and you may not break any of the bones.
47 The whole congregation of Israel must celebrate it. 48 If a foreigner resides with you and wants to celebrate the LORD’s Passover, all the males in the household must be circumcised; then he may come near to celebrate it, and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised man may eat of it. 49 The same law shall apply to both the native and the foreigner who resides among you.”
3 a The Hebrew word can mean lamb or kid ; also in verses 4 and 5.
6 b Hebrew between the two evenings
7 c Literally on the two doorposts and on the lintel ; similarly in verses 22 and 23
11 d Literally Gird up your loins
17 e That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten
37 f Succoth means booths or shelters or tabernacles .
40 g MT; SP in Canaan and Egypt ; LXX in Egypt and Canaan
The Dedication of the Firstborn
3 So Moses told the people, “Remember this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; for the LORD brought you out of it by the strength of His hand. And nothing leavened shall be eaten.
4 Today, in the month of Abib, b you are leaving. 5 And when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites—the land He swore to your fathers that He would give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you shall keep this service in this month.
6 For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten during those seven days. Nothing leavened may be found among you, nor shall leaven be found anywhere within your borders.
8 And on that day you are to explain to your son, ‘This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 It shall be a sign for you on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the Law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For with a mighty hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt. 10 Therefore you shall keep this statute at the appointed time year after year.
11 And after the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as He swore to you and your fathers, 12 you are to present to the LORD the firstborn male of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD. 13 You must redeem every firstborn donkey with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, you are to break its neck. And every firstborn of your sons you must redeem.
14 In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you are to tell him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 15 And when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both of man and beast. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the firstborn male of every womb, but I redeem all the firstborn of my sons.’ 16 So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead, for with a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.”
The Pillars of Cloud and Fire
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road through the land of the Philistines, though it was shorter. For God said, “If the people face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. c And the Israelites left the land of Egypt arrayed for battle. d
19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear a solemn oath when he said, “God will surely attend to you, and then you must carry my bones with you from this place.” e
20 They set out from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them in a pillar of cloud to guide their way by day, and in a pillar of fire to give them light by night, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place before the people.
2 a Cited in Luke 2:23
4 b Abib was the first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April.
18 c Or the Sea of Reeds
18 d LXX left the land of Egypt in the fifth generation
19 e Genesis 50:25
Pharaoh Pursues the Israelites
3 For Pharaoh will say of the Israelites, ‘They are wandering the land in confusion;the wilderness has boxed them in.’ 4 And I will harden a Pharaoh’s heart so that he will pursue them. But I will gain honor by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”
So this is what the Israelites did.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have released Israel from serving us.”
8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out defiantly. b 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi-hahiroth, opposite Baal-zephon.
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians marching after them, and they were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us into the wilderness to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
13 But Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the LORD’s salvation, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Parting the Red Sea
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16 And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. Then I will gain honor by means of Pharaoh and all his army and chariots and horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I am honored through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
19 And the angel c of God, who had gone before the camp of Israel, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from before them and stood behind them, 20 so that it came between the camps of Egypt and Israel. The cloud was there in the darkness, but it lit up the night. d So all night long neither camp went near the other.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove back the sea with a strong east wind that turned it into dry land. So the waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on their right and on their left.
23 And the Egyptians chased after them—all Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and horsemen—and followed them into the sea. 24 At morning watch, however, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and cloud, and He threw their camp into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to wobble, e so that they had difficulty driving. “Let us flee from the Israelites,” said the Egyptians, “for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt!”
26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal state. As the Egyptians were retreating, the LORD swept them into the sea. 28 The waters flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had chased the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
29 But the Israelites had walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the shore. 31 When Israel saw the great power that the LORD had exercised over the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and believed in Him and in His servant Moses.
4 a Or stiffen or strengthen ; similarly in verses 8 and 17
8 b Or marching out boldly ; literally marching out with an upraised hand
19 c Or Angel
20 d LXX and the night passed
25 e Or to swerve or to come off or to bind ; see also SP, LXX, and Syriac.
The Song at the Sea
1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
“I will sing to the LORD,
for He is highly exalted.
The horse and rider
He has thrown into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and my song,
and He has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise Him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
3 The LORD is a warrior,
the LORD is His name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and army
He has cast into the sea;
the finest of his officers
are drowned in the Red Sea. a
5 The depths have covered them;
they sank there like a stone.
6 Your right hand, O LORD,
is majestic in power;
Your right hand, O LORD,
has shattered the enemy.
7 You overthrew Your adversaries
by Your great majesty.
You unleashed Your burning wrath;
it consumed them like stubble.
8 At the blast of Your nostrils
the waters piled up;
like a wall the currents stood firm;
the depths congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy declared,
‘I will pursue, I will overtake.
I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword;
my hand will destroy them.’
10 But You blew with Your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.
11 Who among the gods is like You, O LORD?
Who is like You—majestic in holiness,
revered with praises,
12 You stretched out Your right hand,
and the earth swallowed them up.
the people You have redeemed;
with Your strength You will guide them
to Your holy dwelling.
14 The nations will hear and tremble;
anguish will grip the dwellers of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;
trembling will seize the leaders of Moab;
those who dwell in Canaan will melt away,
16 and terror and dread will fall on them.
By the power of Your arm
they will be as still as a stone
until Your people pass by, O LORD,
until the people You have bought pass by.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of Your inheritance—
the place, O LORD, You have prepared for Your dwelling,
the sanctuary, O Lord, Your hands have established.
18 The LORD will reign forever and ever!”
19 For when Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them. But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.
“Sing to the LORD,
for He is highly exalted;
the horse and rider
He has thrown into the sea.”
The Waters of Marah
22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the Desert of Shur. For three days they walked in the desert without finding water. 23 And when they came to Marah, c they could not drink the water there because it was bitter. (That is why it was named Marah.)
There the LORD made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there He tested them, 26 saying, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His eyes, and pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, then I will not bring on you any of the diseases I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”
27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there by the waters.
4 a Or the Sea of Reeds ; also in verse 22
13 b Forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion ; the range of meaning includes love , goodness , kindness , faithfulness , and mercy , as well as loyalty to a covenant .
23 c Marah means bitter .
Manna and Quail from Heaven
1 On the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left the land of Egypt, the whole congregation of Israel set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, a which is between Elim and Sinai. 2 And there in the desert they all grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt!” they said. “There we sat by pots of meat and ate our fill of bread, but you have brought us into this desert to starve this whole assembly to death!”
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test whether or not they will follow My instructions. 5 Then on the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “This evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the LORD’s glory, because He has heard your grumbling against Him. For who are we that you should grumble against us?”
8 And Moses added, “The LORD will give you meat to eat this evening and bread to fill you in the morning, for He has heard your grumbling against Him. Who are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole congregation of Israel, ‘Come before the LORD, for He has heard your grumbling.’ ”
10 And as Aaron was speaking to the whole congregation of Israel, they looked toward the desert, and there in a cloud the glory of the LORD appeared.
11 Then the LORD said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight b you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”
13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew had evaporated, there were thin flakes on the desert floor, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they asked one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
So Moses told them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. You may take an omer c for each person in your tent.’ ”
17 So the Israelites did this. Some gathered more, and some less. 18 When they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much had no excess, and he who gathered little had no shortfall. d Each one gathered as much as he needed to eat.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one may keep any of it until morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses; some people left part of it until morning, and it became infested with maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Every morning each one gathered as much as was needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.
The Sabbath Observed
(Genesis 2:1–3; Hebrews 4:1–11)
22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much food—two omers per person e —and all the leaders of the congregation came and reported this to Moses. 23 He told them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil. Then set aside whatever remains and keep it until morning.’ ”
24 So they set it aside until morning as Moses had commanded, and it did not smell or contain any maggots. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. Today you will not find anything in the field. 26 For six days you may gather, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, it will not be there.”
27 Yet on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they did not find anything. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My commandments and instructions? 29 Understand that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day He will give you bread for two days. On the seventh day, everyone must stay where he is; no one may leave his place.”
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
The Jar of Manna
31 Now the house of Israel called the bread manna. f It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Keep an omer of manna for the generations to come, so that they may see the bread I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ ”
33 So Moses told Aaron, “Take a jar and fill it with an omer of manna. Then place it before the LORD to be preserved for the generations to come.” 34 And Aaron placed it in front of the Testimony, g to be preserved just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
1 a The geographical name Sin is related to Sinai and should not be mistaken for the English word sin .
12 b Hebrew Between the two evenings
16 c An omer is approximately 2 dry quarts or 2.2 liters; also in verses 18, 32, 33, and 36.
18 d Cited in 2 Corinthians 8:15
22 e 2 omers is approximately 4 dry quarts or 4.4 liters per person.
31 f Manna sounds like the Hebrew for What is it? (see verse 15).
34 g The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
36 h An ephah was a dry measure having the capacity of about 20 dry quarts or 22 liters.
Water from the Rock
1 Then the whole congregation of Israel left the Desert of Sin, a moving from place to place as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So the people contended with Moses, “Give us water to drink.”
“Why do you contend with me?” Moses replied. “Why do you test the LORD?”
3 But the people thirsted for water there, and they grumbled against Moses: “Why have you brought us out of Egypt—to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
4 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What should I do with these people? A little more and they will stone me!”
5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people and take some of the elders of Israel with you. Take along in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. b And when you strike the rock, water will come out of it for the people to drink.”
So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He named the place Massah c and Meribah d because the Israelites quarreled, and because they tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”
The Defeat of the Amalekites
8 After this, the Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the hilltop with the staff of God in my hand.”
10 Joshua did as Moses had instructed him and fought against the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed; but when he lowered them, Amalek prevailed. 12 When Moses’ hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on each side, so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down.
13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his army with the sword.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as a reminder and recite it to Joshua, because I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 And Moses built an altar and named it The LORD Is My Banner. e 16 “Indeed,” he said, “a hand was lifted up toward the throne of the LORD. The LORD will war against Amalek from generation to generation.”
1 a The geographical name Sin is related to Sinai and should not be mistaken for the English word sin .
6 b Horeb is another name for Sinai.
7 c Massah means testing .
7 d Meribah means quarreling .
15 e Hebrew YHWH Nissi
The Visit of Jethro
2 After Moses had sent back his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro had received her, 3 along with her two sons. One son was named Gershom, b for Moses had said, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” 4 The other son was named Eliezer, c for Moses had said, “The God of my father was my helper and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”
5 Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, along with Moses’ wife and sons, came to him in the desert, where he was encamped at the mountain of God. 6 He sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.”
7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and went into the tent. 8 Then Moses recounted to his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardships they had encountered along the way, and how the LORD had delivered them.
9 And Jethro rejoiced over all the good things the LORD had done for Israel, whom He had rescued from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 Jethro declared, “Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods, for He did this when they treated Israel with arrogance.”
12 Then Moses’ father-in-law Jethro brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
Jethro Advises Moses
13 The next day Moses took his seat to judge the people, and they stood around him from morning until evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone as judge, with all the people standing around you from morning till evening?”
15 “Because the people come to me to inquire of God,” Moses replied. 16 “Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me to judge between one man and another, and I make known to them the statutes and laws of God.”
17 But Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 Surely you and these people with you will wear yourselves out, because the task is too heavy for you. You cannot handle it alone.
19 Now listen to me; I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their causes to Him. 20 Teach them the statutes and laws, and show them the way to live and the work they must do.
21 Furthermore, select capable men from among the people—God-fearing, trustworthy men who are averse to dishonest gain. Appoint them over the people as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.
22 Have these men judge the people at all times. Then they can bring you any major issue, but all minor cases they can judge on their own, so that your load may be lightened as they share it with you.
23 If you follow this advice and God so directs you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people can go home in peace.”
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 So Moses chose capable men from all Israel and made them heads over the people as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all times; they would bring the difficult cases to Moses, but any minor issue they would judge themselves.
27 Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own land.
Israel at Mount Sinai
1 In the third month, on the same day of the month a that the Israelites had left the land of Egypt, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 After they had set out from Rephidim, they entered the Wilderness of Sinai, and Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, “This is what you are to tell the house of Jacob and explain to the sons of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen for yourselves what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 Now if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you will be My treasured possession out of all the nations—for the whole earth is Mine. 6 And unto Me you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, “We will do everything that the LORD has spoken.”
So Moses brought their words back to the LORD.
9 The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you, and they will always put their trust in you.”
And Moses relayed to the LORD what the people had said.
10 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes 11 and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
12 And you are to set up a boundary for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful not to go up on the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows—whether man or beast, he must not live.’ b
Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain. c”
The LORD Visits Sinai
16 On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud was upon the mountain, and a very loud blast of the ram’s horn went out, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
18 Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke, because the LORD had descended on it in fire. And the smoke rose like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. 19 And as the sound of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder.
20 The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the summit. So Moses went up, 21 and the LORD said to him, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the LORD, lest many of them perish. 22 Even the priests who approach the LORD must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them.”
23 But Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, for You solemnly warned us, ‘Put a boundary around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’ ”
24 And the LORD replied, “Go down and bring Aaron with you. But the priests and the people must not break through to come up to the LORD, or He will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.
The Ten Commandments
1 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters beneath. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing loving devotion to a thousand generations b of those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who takes His name in vain.
8 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant or livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Moses Comforts the People
(Deuteronomy 5:22–33; Hebrews 12:18–29)
18 When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sounding of the ram’s horn, and the mountain enveloped in smoke, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 “Speak to us yourself and we will listen,” they said to Moses. “But do not let God speak to us, or we will die.”
20 “Do not be afraid,” Moses replied. “For God has come to test you, so that the fear of Him may be before you, to keep you from sinning.” 21 And the people stood at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
(1 Corinthians 10:14–22)
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “This is what you are to tell the Israelites: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven. 23 You are not to make any gods alongside Me; you are not to make for yourselves gods of silver or gold.
24 You are to make for Me an altar of earth, and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats and cattle. In every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.
25 Now if you make an altar of stones for Me, you must not build it with stones shaped by tools; for if you use a chisel on it, you will defile it. 26 And you must not go up to My altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.’
3 a Or besides Me
6 b Or to thousands
12 c Cited in Matthew 15:4, Matthew 19:19, Mark 7:10, Luke 18:20, and Ephesians 6:2–3
13 d Cited in Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, and James 2:11
14 e Cited in Matthew 5:27, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, and James 2:11
15 f Cited in Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, and Romans 13:9
16 g Cited in Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, and Luke 18:20
17 h Cited in Romans 7:7 and Romans 13:9
1 “These are the ordinances that you are to set before them:
2 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free without paying anything. 3 If he arrived alone, he is to leave alone; if he arrived with a wife, she is to leave with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
5 But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children; I do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master is to bring him before the judges. a And he shall take him to the door or doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he shall serve his master for life.
7 And if a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as the menservants do. 8 If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who had designated her for himself, b he must allow her to be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, since he has broken faith with her. 9 And if he chooses her for his son, he must deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing, or marital rights of his first wife. 11 If, however, he does not provide her with these three things, she is free to go without monetary payment.
Personal Injury Laws
14 But if a man schemes and acts willfully against his neighbor to kill him, you must take him away from My altar to be put to death.
15 Whoever strikes his father or mother must surely be put to death.
16 Whoever kidnaps another man must be put to death, whether he sells him or the man is found in his possession.
18 If men are quarreling and one strikes the other with a stone or a fist, and he does not die but is confined to bed, 19 then the one who struck him shall go unpunished, as long as the other can get up and walk around outside with his staff. Nevertheless, he must compensate the man for his lost work and see that he is completely healed.
20 If a man strikes his manservant or maidservant with a rod, and the servant dies by his hand, he shall surely be punished. 21 However, if the servant gets up after a day or two, the owner shall not be punished, since the servant is his property.
22 If men who are fighting strike a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, e but there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband demands and as the court allows. 23 But if a serious injury results, then you must require a life for a life— 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, f hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, and stripe for stripe.
26 If a man strikes and blinds the eye of his manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free as compensation for the eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of his manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free as compensation for the tooth.
29 But if the ox has a habit of goring, and its owner has been warned yet does not restrain it, and it kills a man or woman, then the ox must be stoned and its owner must also be put to death. 30 If payment is demanded of him instead, he may redeem his life by paying the full amount demanded of him.
31 If the ox gores a son or a daughter, it shall be done to him according to the same rule.
35 If a man’s ox injures his neighbor’s ox and it dies, they must sell the live one and divide the proceeds; they also must divide the dead animal. 36 But if it was known that the ox had a habit of goring, yet its owner failed to restrain it, he shall pay full compensation, ox for ox, and the dead animal will be his.
6 a Or before God
8 b Or so that he does not designate her for himself
17 c Or dishonors or reviles
17 d Cited in Matthew 15:4 and Mark 7:10
22 e Or she has a miscarriage
24 f Cited in Matthew 5:38
28 g Or a bull ; also in verses 29–36
32 h 30 shekels is approximately 12 ounces or 342 grams of silver.
A thief must make full restitution; if he has nothing, he himself shall be sold for his theft. 4 If what was stolen is actually found alive in his possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—he must pay back double.
5 If a man grazes his livestock in a field or vineyard and allows them to stray so that they graze in someone else’s field, he must make restitution from the best of his own field or vineyard.
6 If a fire breaks out and spreads to thornbushes so that it consumes stacked or standing grain, or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make full restitution.
7 If a man gives his neighbor money or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges b to determine whether he has taken his neighbor’s property.
9 In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any lost item that someone claims, ‘This is mine,’ both parties shall bring their cases before the judges. The one whom the judges find guilty c must pay back double to his neighbor.
10 If a man gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any other animal to be cared for by his neighbor, but it dies or is injured or stolen while no one is watching, 11 an oath before the LORD shall be made between the parties to determine whether or not the man has taken his neighbor’s property. The owner must accept the oath and require no restitution.
12 But if the animal was actually stolen from the neighbor, he must make restitution to the owner.
13 If the animal was torn to pieces, he shall bring it as evidence; he need not make restitution for the torn carcass.
14 If a man borrows an animal from his neighbor and it is injured or dies while its owner is not present, he must make full restitution. 15 If the owner was present, no restitution is required. If the animal was rented, the fee covers the loss.
Laws of Social Responsibility
16 If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged in marriage and sleeps with her, he must pay the full dowry for her to be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, the man still must pay an amount comparable to the bridal price of a virgin.
18 You must not allow a sorceress to live.
19 Whoever lies with an animal must surely be put to death.
21 You must not exploit or oppress a foreign resident, for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
22 You must not mistreat any widow or orphan. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to Me in distress, I will surely hear their cry. 24 My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword; then your wives will become widows and your children will be fatherless.
25 If you lend money to one of My people among you who is poor, you must not act as a creditor to him; you are not to charge him interest.
26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as collateral, return it to him by sunset, 27 because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep in? And if he cries out to Me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.
29 You must not hold back offerings from your granaries or vats. You are to give Me the firstborn of your sons. 30 You shall do likewise with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but on the eighth day you are to give them to Me.
31 You are to be My holy people. You must not eat the meat of a mauled animal found in the field; you are to throw it to the dogs.
1 a Or a bull or a cow ; also in verses 4, 9, and 10
8 b Or before God ; also in verse 9
9 c Or whom God condemns
20 d Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
28 e LXX or speak evil about the ruler of your people ; cited in Acts 23:5
Justice and Mercy
1 “You shall not spread a false report. Do not join the wicked by being a malicious witness.
4 If you encounter your enemy’s stray ox or donkey, you must return it to him.
5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you fallen under its load, do not leave it there; you must help him with it.
8 Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous.
9 Do not oppress a foreign resident, since you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners; for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
(Leviticus 25:1–7; Deuteronomy 15:1–6)
10 For six years you are to sow your land and gather its produce, 11 but in the seventh year you must let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people may eat from the field and the wild animals may consume what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and olive grove.
12 For six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you must cease, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the son of your maidservant may be refreshed, as well as the foreign resident.
13 Pay close attention to everything I have said to you. You must not invoke the names of other gods; they must not be heard on your lips.
The Three Feasts of Pilgrimage
14 Three times a year you are to celebrate a feast to Me.
15 You are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread a as I commanded you: At the appointed time in the month of Abib b you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days, because that was the month you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before Me empty-handed.
And keep the Feast of Ingathering d at the end of the year, when you gather your produce from the field.
17 Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD.
18 You must not offer the blood of My sacrifices with anything leavened, nor may the fat of My feast remain until morning.
19 Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
God’s Angel to Lead
20 Behold, I am sending an angel before you to protect you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to his voice; do not defy him, for he will not forgive rebellion, since My Name is in him.
22 But if you will listen carefully to his voice and do everything I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. 23 For My angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will annihilate them.
24 You must not bow down to their gods or serve them or follow their practices. Instead, you are to demolish them and smash their sacred stones to pieces.
25 So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless e your bread and your water. And I will take away sickness from among you. 26 No woman in your land will miscarry or be barren; I will fulfill the number of your days.
27 I will send My terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn and run. 28 I will send the hornet before you to drive the Hivites and Canaanites and Hittites out of your way.
29 I will not drive them out before you in a single year; otherwise the land would become desolate and wild animals would multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out ahead of you, until you become fruitful and possess the land.
31 And I will establish your borders from the Red Sea f to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the Euphrates. g For I will deliver the inhabitants into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33 They must not remain in your land, lest they cause you to sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
15 a That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten; see Exodus 12:14–20.
15 b Abib was the first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April.
16 c That is, Shavuot, the late spring feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is also known as the Feast of Weeks (see Exodus 34:22) or the Feast of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1).
16 d That is, Sukkot, the autumn feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is later called the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths or Shelters ).
25 e LXX and Vulgate I will bless
31 f Or the Sea of Reeds
31 g Hebrew the River
The Covenant Sealed
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD—you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders—and you are to worship at a distance. 2 Moses alone shall approach the LORD, but the others must not come near. And the people may not go up with him.”
3 When Moses came and told the people all the words and ordinances of the LORD, they all responded with one voice: “All the words that the LORD has spoken, we will do.”
4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD.
Early the next morning he got up and built an altar at the base of the mountain, along with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent out some young men of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD.
6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people, who replied, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”
9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet was a work like a pavement made of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. 11 But God did not lay His hand on the nobles of Israel; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.
Moses on the Mountain
12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay here, so that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”
13 So Moses set out with Joshua his attendant and went up on the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. Aaron and Hur are here with you. Whoever has a dispute can go to them.”
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered it, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop in the eyes of the Israelites.
18 Moses entered the cloud as he went up on the mountain, and he remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Offerings for the Tabernacle
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring Me an offering. You are to receive My offering from every man whose heart compels him. 3 This is the offering you are to accept from them:
gold, silver, and bronze;
4 blue, purple, and scarlet yarn;
6 olive oil for the light;
spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;
7 and onyx stones and gemstones to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
The Ark of the Covenant
10 And they are to construct an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. b 11 Overlay it with pure gold both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.
12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, two rings on one side and two on the other. 13 And make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, in order to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of the ark; they must not be removed. 16 And place inside the ark the Testimony, c which I will give you.
The Mercy Seat
17 And you are to construct a mercy seat d of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. e 18 Make two cherubim of hammered gold at the ends of the mercy seat, 19 one cherub on one end and one on the other, all made from one piece of gold. 20 And the cherubim are to have wings that spread upward, overshadowing the mercy seat. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the mercy seat.
21 Set the mercy seat atop the ark, and put the Testimony that I will give you into the ark.
The Table of Showbread
(Exodus 37:10–16; Leviticus 24:5–9)
23 You are also to make a table of acacia wood two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. g 24 Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. 25 And make a rim around it a handbreadth wide h and put a gold molding on the rim.
26 Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners at its four legs. 27 The rings are to be close to the rim, to serve as holders for the poles used to carry the table. 28 Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them.
29 You are also to make the plates and dishes, as well as the pitchers and bowls for pouring drink offerings. Make them out of pure gold.
30 And place the Bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times.
(Exodus 37:17–24; Numbers 8:1–4)
31 Then you are to make a lampstand of pure, hammered gold. It shall be made of one piece, including its base and shaft, its cups, and its buds and petals.
32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33 There are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms on the first branch, each with buds and petals, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches that extend from the lampstand.
34 And on the lampstand there shall be four cups shaped like almond blossoms with buds and petals. 35 For the six branches that extend from the lampstand, a bud must be under the first pair of branches, a bud under the second pair, and a bud under the third pair. 36 The buds and branches are to be all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
37 Make seven lamps and set them up on the lampstand so that they illuminate the area in front of it. 38 The wick trimmers and their trays must be of pure gold. 39 The lampstand and all these utensils shall be made from a talent of pure gold. i
5 a Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
10 b The ark was approximately 3.75 feet long, 2.25 feet wide, and 2.25 feet high (114.3 centimeters long, 68.6 centimeters wide, and 68.6 centimeters high).
16 c The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments; also in verses 21 and 22.
17 d Or an atonement cover ; here and throughout Exodus
17 e The mercy seat was approximately 3.75 feet long and 2.25 feet wide (114.3 centimeters long and 68.6 centimeters wide).
22 f That is, the ark of the covenant
23 g The table was approximately 3 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and 2.25 feet high (91.4 centimeters long, 45.7 centimeters wide, and 68.6 centimeters high).
25 h A handbreadth is approximately 2.9 inches or 7.4 centimeters.
39 i A talent is approximately 75.4 pounds or 34.2 kilograms of gold.
40 j Cited in Hebrews 8:5
The Ten Curtains for the Tabernacle
1 “You are to construct the tabernacle itself with ten curtains of finely spun linen, each with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and cherubim skillfully worked into them. 2 Each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide a —all curtains the same size.
3 Five of the curtains are to be joined together, and the other five joined as well. 4 Make loops of blue material on the edge of the end curtain in the first set, and do the same for the end curtain in the second set.
5 Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the second set, so that the loops line up opposite one another. 6 Make fifty gold clasps as well, and join the curtains together with the clasps, so that the tabernacle will be a unit.
The Eleven Curtains of Goat Hair
9 Join five of the curtains into one set and the other six into another. Then fold the sixth curtain over double at the front of the tent.
10 Make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in the first set, and fifty loops along the edge of the corresponding curtain in the second set. 11 Make fifty bronze clasps and put them through the loops to join the tent together as a unit.
12 As for the overlap that remains of the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over shall hang down over the back of the tabernacle. 13 And the tent curtains will be a cubit c longer on either side, and the excess will hang over the sides of the tabernacle to cover it.
The Frames and Bases
15 You are to construct upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. 16 Each frame is to be ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. e 17 Two tenons f must be connected to each other for each frame. Make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way.
22 Make six frames for the rear of the tabernacle, the west side, 23 and two frames for the two back corners of the tabernacle, 24 coupled together from bottom to top and fitted into a single ring. These will serve as the two corners. 25 So there are to be eight frames and sixteen silver bases—two under each frame.
26 You are also to make five crossbars of acacia wood for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, 27 five for those on the other side, and five for those on the rear side of the tabernacle, to the west.
28 The central crossbar in the middle of the frames shall extend from one end to the other. 29 Overlay the frames with gold and make gold rings to hold the crossbars. Also overlay the crossbars with gold.
30 So you are to set up the tabernacle according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
31 Make a veil of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen, with cherubim skillfully worked into it. 32 Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood, overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases. 33 And hang the veil from the clasps and place the ark of the Testimony g behind the veil. So the veil will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. h
34 Put the mercy seat on the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy Place. 35 And place the table outside the veil on the north side of the tabernacle, and put the lampstand opposite the table, on the south side.
The Curtain for the Entrance
36 For the entrance to the tent, you are to make a curtain embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen. 37 Make five posts of acacia wood for the curtain, overlay them with gold hooks, and cast five bronze bases for them.
2 a Each of the ten curtains was approximately 42 feet long and 6 feet wide (12.8 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
8 b Each of the eleven curtains was approximately 45 feet long and 6 feet wide (13.7 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
13 c A cubit is approximately 18 inches or 45.7 centimeters.
14 d Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
16 e Each frame was approximately 15 feet long and 2.25 feet wide (4.6 meters long and 68.6 centimeters wide).
17 f That is, projecting pieces of wood made for insertion into another piece; similarly in verse 19.
33 g That is, the ark of the covenant ; also in verse 34
33 h Or the Holy of Holies ; also in verse 34
The Bronze Altar
1 “You are to build an altar of acacia wood. The altar must be square, five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high. a 2 Make a horn on each of its four corners, so that the horns are of one piece, and overlay it with bronze.
3 Make all its utensils of bronze—its pots for removing ashes, its shovels, its sprinkling bowls, its meat forks, and its firepans. 4 Construct for it a grate of bronze mesh, and make a bronze ring at each of the four corners of the mesh. 5 Set the grate beneath the ledge of the altar, so that the mesh comes halfway up the altar.
8 Construct the altar with boards so that it is hollow. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.
9 You are also to make a courtyard for the tabernacle. On the south side of the courtyard make curtains of finely spun linen, a hundred cubits long b on one side, 10 with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, and silver hooks and bands on the posts.
11 Likewise there are to be curtains on the north side, a hundred cubits long, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 12 The curtains on the west side of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits wide, c with ten posts and ten bases.
13 The east side of the courtyard, toward the sunrise, is to be fifty cubits wide. 14 Make the curtains on one side fifteen cubits long, d with three posts and three bases, 15 and the curtains on the other side fifteen cubits long, with three posts and three bases.
17 All the posts around the courtyard shall have silver bands, silver hooks, and bronze bases. 18 The entire courtyard shall be a hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide, f with curtains of finely spun linen five cubits high, g and with bronze bases. 19 All the utensils of the tabernacle for every use, including all its tent pegs and the tent pegs of the courtyard, shall be made of bronze.
The Oil for the Lamps
20 And you are to command the Israelites to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually.
21 In the Tent of Meeting, outside the veil that is in front of the Testimony, h Aaron and his sons are to tend the lamps before the LORD from evening until morning. This is to be a permanent statute for the Israelites for the generations to come.
1 a The altar was approximately 7.5 feet in length and width, and 4.5 feet high (2.3 meters in length and width, and 1.4 meters high).
9 b 100 cubits is approximately 150 feet or 45.7 meters; also in verse 11.
12 c 50 cubits is approximately 75 feet or 22.9 meters; also in verse 13.
14 d 15 cubits is approximately 22.5 feet or 6.9 meters; also in verse 15.
16 e 20 cubits is approximately 30 feet or 9.1 meters.
18 f The courtyard was approximately 150 feet long and 75 feet wide (45.7 meters long and 22.9 meters wide).
18 g 5 cubits is approximately 7.5 feet or 2.3 meters.
21 h The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
Garments for the Priests
1 “Next, have your brother Aaron brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, to serve Me as priests. 2 Make holy garments for your brother Aaron, to give him glory and splendor.
3 You are to instruct all the skilled craftsmen, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, to make garments for Aaron’s consecration, so that he may serve Me as priest. 4 These are the garments that they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make these holy garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so that they may serve Me as priests. 5 They shall use gold, along with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.
6 They are to make the ephod of finely spun linen embroidered with gold, and with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. 7 It shall have two shoulder pieces attached at two of its corners, so it can be fastened. 8 And the skillfully woven waistband of the ephod must be of one piece, of the same workmanship—with gold, with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and with finely spun linen.
9 Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel: 10 six of their names on one stone and the remaining six on the other, in the order of their birth. 11 Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings. 12 Fasten both stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear their names on his two shoulders as a memorial before the LORD.
15 You are also to make a breastpiece of judgment with the same workmanship as the ephod. Construct it with gold, with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and with finely spun linen. 16 It must be square when folded over double, a span long and a span wide. a
In the first row there shall be a ruby, a topaz, and an emerald;
18 in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond;
19 in the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
20 and in the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.
Mount these stones in gold filigree settings. 21 The twelve stones are to correspond to the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
22 For the breastpiece, make braided chains like cords of pure gold. 23 You are also to make two gold rings and fasten them to the two corners of the breastpiece. 24 Then fasten the two gold chains to the two gold rings at the corners of the breastpiece, 25 and fasten the other ends of the two chains to the two filigree settings, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front.
26 Make two more gold rings and attach them to the other two corners of the breastpiece, on the inside edge next to the ephod.
27 Make two additional gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, on its front, near its seam just above its woven waistband. 28 The rings of the breastpiece shall be tied to the rings of the ephod with a cord of blue yarn, so that the breastpiece is above the waistband of the ephod and does not swing out from the ephod.
29 Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he shall bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of judgment, as a continual reminder before the LORD.
30 And place the Urim and Thummim c in the breastpiece of judgment, so that they will also be over Aaron’s heart whenever he comes before the LORD. Aaron will continually carry the judgment of the sons of Israel over his heart before the LORD.
Additional Priestly Garments
31 You are to make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening at its top in the center. Around the opening shall be a woven collar with an opening like that of a garment, d so that it will not tear.
35 Aaron must wear the robe whenever he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he enters or exits the sanctuary before the LORD, so that he will not die.
36 You are to make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal:
HOLY TO THE LORD. e
37 Fasten to it a blue cord to mount it on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban. 38 And it will be worn on Aaron’s forehead, so that he may bear the iniquity of the holy things that the sons of Israel consecrate with regard to all their holy gifts. It shall always be on his forehead, so that they may be acceptable before the LORD.
41 After you put these garments on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint them, ordain them, and consecrate them so that they may serve Me as priests.
42 Make linen undergarments to cover their bare flesh, extending from waist to thigh. 43 Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they will not incur guilt and die. This is to be a permanent statute for Aaron and his descendants.
16 a The breastpiece, when folded over, was approximately 9 inches or 22.9 centimeters in both length and width.
17 b The precise identification of some of these gemstones is uncertain.
30 c Literally Lights and Perfections
32 d The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; possibly a coat of mail .
36 e That is, the LORD
Consecration of the Priests
1 “Now this is what you are to do to consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve Me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams without blemish, 2 along with unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil. Make them out of fine wheat flour, 3 put them in a basket, and present them in the basket, along with the bull and the two rams.
4 Then present Aaron and his sons at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. 5 Take the garments and clothe Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod itself, and the breastplate. Fasten the ephod on him with its woven waistband. 6 Put the turban on his head and attach the holy diadem to the turban. 7 Then take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head.
8 Present his sons as well and clothe them with tunics. 9 Wrap the sashes around Aaron and his sons and tie headbands on them. The priesthood shall be theirs by a permanent statute. In this way you are to ordain Aaron and his sons.
The Order of the Sacrifices
10 You are to present the bull at the front of the Tent of Meeting, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on its head. 11 And you shall slaughter the bull before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 12 Take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; then pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 13 Take all the fat that covers the entrails and the lobe of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. 14 But burn the flesh of the bull and its hide and dung outside the camp; it is a sin offering. a
15 Take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. 16 You are to slaughter the ram, take its blood, and sprinkle it on all sides of the altar. 17 Cut the ram into pieces, wash the entrails and legs, and place them with its head and other pieces. 18 Then burn the entire ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
19 Take the second ram, and Aaron and his sons are to lay their hands on its head. 20 Slaughter the ram, take some of its blood, and put it on the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Sprinkle the remaining blood on all sides of the altar. 21 And take some of the blood on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments, as well as on his sons and their garments. Then he and his garments will be consecrated, as well as his sons and their garments.
22 Take the fat from the ram, the fat tail, the fat covering the entrails, the lobe of the liver, both kidneys with the fat on them, and the right thigh (since this is a ram for ordination), 23 along with one loaf of bread, one cake of bread made with oil, and one wafer from the basket of unleavened bread that is before the LORD. 24 Put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons and wave them before the LORD as a wave offering. 25 Then take them from their hands and burn them on the altar atop the burnt offering as a pleasing aroma before the LORD; it is an offering made by fire to the LORD.
26 Take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s ordination and wave it before the LORD as a wave offering, and it will be your portion. 27 Consecrate for Aaron and his sons the breast of the wave offering that is waved and the thigh of the heave offering that is lifted up from the ram of ordination. 28 This will belong to Aaron and his sons as a regular portion from the Israelites, for it is the heave offering the Israelites will make to the LORD from their peace offerings.
29 The holy garments that belong to Aaron will belong to his sons after him, so they can be anointed and ordained in them. 30 The son who succeeds him as priest and enters the Tent of Meeting to minister in the Holy Place must wear them for seven days.
Food for the Priests
31 You are to take the ram of ordination and boil its flesh in a holy place. 32 At the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that is in the basket. 33 They must eat those things by which atonement was made for their ordination and consecration. But no outsider may eat them, because these things are sacred. 34 And if any of the meat of ordination or any bread is left until the morning, you are to burn up the remainder. It must not be eaten, because it is sacred.
35 This is what you are to do for Aaron and his sons based on all that I have commanded you, taking seven days to ordain them. 36 Sacrifice a bull as a sin offering each day for atonement. Purify the altar by making atonement for it, and anoint it to consecrate it. 37 For seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will become most holy; whatever touches the altar will be holy.
The Daily Offerings
38 This is what you are to offer regularly on the altar, each day: two lambs that are a year old. 39 Offer one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight. b 40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour, c mixed with a quarter hin of oil from pressed olives, d and a drink offering of a quarter hin of wine. 41 And offer the second lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and drink offering as in the morning, as a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
42 For the generations to come, this burnt offering shall be made regularly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD, where I will meet you to speak with you. 43 I will also meet with the Israelites there, and that place will be consecrated by My glory. 44 So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve Me as priests.
God Will Dwell among the People
I am the LORD their God.
14 a Or purification offering ; also in verse 36
39 b Hebrew between the two evenings ; also in verse 41
40 c A tenth of an ephah is approximately 2 dry quarts or 2.2 liters (probably about 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kilograms of flour).
40 d Hebrew a quarter hin of pressed oil ; that is, approximately 0.97 quarts or 0.92 liters
The Altar of Incense
1 “You are also to make an altar of acacia wood for the burning of incense. 2 It is to be square, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high. a Its horns must be of one piece. 3 Overlay with pure gold the top and all the sides and horns, and make a molding of gold around it. 4 And make two gold rings below the molding on opposite sides to hold the poles used to carry it. 5 Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
6 Place the altar in front of the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony b—before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony—where I will meet with you. 7 And Aaron is to burn fragrant incense on it every morning when he tends the lamps. 8 When Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, c he must burn the incense perpetually before the LORD for the generations to come. 9 On this altar you must not offer unauthorized d incense or a burnt offering or grain offering; nor are you to pour a drink offering on it.
10 Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on the horns of the altar. Throughout your generations he shall make atonement on it annually with the blood of the sin offering e of atonement. The altar is most holy to the LORD.”
The Census Offering
(2 Samuel 24:1–9; 1 Chronicles 21:1–6)
11 Then the LORD said to Moses, 12 “When you take a census of the Israelites to number them, each man must pay the LORD a ransom for his life when he is counted. Then no plague will come upon them when they are numbered. 13 Everyone who crosses over to those counted must pay a half shekel, f according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. g This half shekel is an offering to the LORD.
14 Everyone twenty years of age or older who crosses over must give this offering to the LORD. 15 In making the offering to the LORD to atone for your lives, the rich shall not give more than a half shekel, nor shall the poor give less. 16 Take the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will serve as a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD to make atonement for your lives.”
The Bronze Basin
17 And the LORD said to Moses, 18 “You are to make a bronze basin with a bronze stand for washing. Set it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it, 19 with which Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet. 20 Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made by fire to the LORD, they must wash with water so that they will not die. 21 Thus they are to wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this shall be a permanent statute for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.”
The Anointing Oil
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, 23 “Take the finest spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, h half that amount (250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, i 250 shekels of fragrant cane, j 24 500 shekels of cassia k —all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. l 25 Prepare from these a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer; it will be a sacred anointing oil.
26 Use this oil to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony, 27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You are to consecrate them so that they will be most holy. Whatever touches them shall be holy. 30 Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them to serve Me as priests.
31 And you are to tell the Israelites, ‘This will be My sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. 32 It must not be used to anoint an ordinary man, and you must not make anything like it with the same formula. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 33 Anyone who mixes perfume like it or puts it on an outsider shall be cut off from his people.’ ”
34 The LORD also said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense—in equal measures, 35 and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36 Grind some of it into fine powder and place it in front of the Testimony m in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. 37 You are never to use this formula to make incense for yourselves; you shall regard it as holy to the LORD. 38 Anyone who makes something like it to enjoy its fragrance shall be cut off from his people.”
2 a The altar was approximately 1.5 feet in length and width, and 3 feet high (45.7 centimeters in length and width, and 91.4 centimeters high).
6 b That is, the ark of the covenant ; also in verse 26
8 c Hebrew between the two evenings
9 d Or strange
10 e Or purification offering
13 f A half shekel is approximately 0.2 ounces or 5.7 grams; also in verse 15.
13 g 20 gerahs is equivalent to one shekel (approximately 0.4 ounces or 11.4 grams).
23 h 500 shekels is approximately 12.6 pounds or 5.7 kilograms of myrrh.
23 i 250 shekels is approximately 6.3 pounds or 2.9 kilograms of cinnamon.
23 j 250 shekels is approximately 6.3 pounds or 2.9 kilograms of cane.
24 k 500 shekels is approximately 12.6 pounds or 5.7 kilograms of cassia.
24 l A hin is approximately 0.97 gallons or 3.67 liters of olive oil.
36 m The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
Bezalel and Oholiab
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship, 4 to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 to cut gemstones for settings, and to carve wood, so that he may be a master of every craft.
6 Moreover, I have selected Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, as his assistant.
I have also given skill to all the craftsmen, that they may fashion all that I have commanded you: 7 the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony a and the mercy seat upon it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— 8 the table with its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its stand— 10 as well as the woven garments, both the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests, 11 in addition to the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them according to all that I have commanded you.”
The Sign of the Sabbath
12 And the LORD said to Moses, 13 “Tell the Israelites, ‘Surely you must keep My Sabbaths, for this will be a sign between Me and you for the generations to come, so that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. 14 Keep the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Anyone who profanes it must surely be put to death. Whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from among his people. 15 For six days work may be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must surely be put to death.
16 The Israelites must keep the Sabbath, celebrating it as a permanent covenant for the generations to come. 17 It is a sign between Me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”
Moses Receives the Tablets
18 When the LORD had finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
7 a That is, the ark of the covenant
The Golden Calf
(Deuteronomy 9:7–29;Acts 7:39–43)
1 Now when the people saw that Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him!” a
2 So Aaron told them, “Take off the gold earrings that are on your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”
3 Then all the people took off their gold earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the gold from their hands, and with an engraving tool he fashioned it into a molten calf. And they said, “These, O Israel, are your gods, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before the calf and proclaimed: “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.”
7 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 How quickly they have turned aside from the way that I commanded them! They have made for themselves a molten calf and have bowed down to it. They have sacrificed to it and said, ‘These, O Israel, are your gods, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’ ”
9 The LORD also said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave Me alone, so that My anger may burn against them and consume them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God, saying, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people, whom You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians declare, ‘He brought them out with evil intent, to kill them in the mountains and wipe them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce anger and relent from doing harm to Your people. 13 Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, to whom You swore by Your very self when You declared, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give your descendants all this land that I have promised, and it shall be their inheritance forever.’ ”
14 So the LORD relented from the calamity He had threatened to bring on His people.
15 Then Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
17 When Joshua heard the sound of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “The sound of war is in the camp.”
18 But Moses replied:
“It is neither the cry of victory nor the cry of defeat;
I hear the sound of singing!”
19 As Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, he burned with anger and threw the tablets out of his hands, shattering them at the base of the mountain. 20 Then he took the calf they had made, burned it in the fire, ground it to powder, and scattered the powder over the face of the water. Then he forced the Israelites to drink it.
21 “What did this people do to you,” Moses asked Aaron, “that you have led them into so great a sin?”
22 “Do not be enraged, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know that the people are intent on evil. 23 They told me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him!’
24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, let him take it off,’ and they gave it to me. And when I threw it into the fire, out came this calf!”
25 Moses saw that the people were out of control, for Aaron had let them run wild and become a laughingstock c to their enemies. 26 So Moses stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.”
And all the Levites gathered around him.
27 He told them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each of you men is to fasten his sword to his side, go back and forth through the camp from gate to gate, and slay his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’ ”
28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people fell dead.
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. Now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
31 So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made gods of gold for themselves. 32 Yet now, if You would only forgive their sin.... But if not, please blot me out of the book that You have written.”
33 The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I described. Behold, My angel shall go before you. But on the day I settle accounts, I will punish them for their sin.”
35 And the LORD sent a plague on the people because of what they had done with the calf that Aaron had made.
The Command to Leave Sinai
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of the land of Egypt, and go to the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 And I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3 Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise, I might destroy you on the way.”
4 When the people heard these bad tidings, they went into mourning, and no one put on any of his jewelry. 5 For the LORD had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I should go with you for a single moment, I would destroy you. Now take off your jewelry, and I will decide what to do with you.’ ”
The Tent of Meeting
7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it at a distance outside the camp. He called it the Tent of Meeting, and anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. 8 Then, whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would stand at the entrances to their own tents and watch Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance, and the LORD would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they would stand up and worship, each one at the entrance to his own tent.
11 Thus the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young assistant Joshua son of Nun would not leave the tent.
The Promise of God’s Presence
12 Then Moses said to the LORD, “Look, You have been telling me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have found favor in My sight.’ 13 Now if indeed I have found favor in Your sight, please let me know Your ways, that I may know You and find favor in Your sight. Remember that this nation is Your people.”
14 And the LORD answered, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 “If Your Presence does not go with us,” Moses replied, “do not lead us up from here. 16 For how then can it be known that Your people and I have found favor in Your sight, unless You go with us? How else will we be distinguished from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17 So the LORD said to Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Please show me Your glory.”
19 “I will cause all My goodness to pass before you,” the LORD replied, “and I will proclaim My name—the LORD—in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” b
20 But He added, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.”
21 The LORD continued, “There is a place near Me where you are to stand upon a rock, 22 and when My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.”
New Stone Tablets
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the originals, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and come up on Mount Sinai to present yourself before Me on the mountaintop. 3 No one may go up with you; in fact, no one may be seen anywhere on the mountain—not even the flocks or herds may graze in front of the mountain.”
4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the originals. He rose early in the morning, and taking the two stone tablets in his hands, he went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him.
“The LORD, the LORD God,
is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger,
abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness,
forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.
Yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished;
He will visit the iniquity of the fathers
on their children and grandchildren
to the third and fourth generations.”
8 Moses immediately bowed down to the ground and worshiped. 9 “O Lord,” he said, “if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, my Lord, please go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our iniquity and sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”
The LORD Renews the Covenant
(2 Corinthians 3:7–18)
10 And the LORD said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will perform wonders that have never been done in any nation in all the world. All the people among whom you live will see the LORD’s work, for it is an awesome thing that I am doing with you.
11 Observe what I command you this day. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 12 Be careful not to make a treaty b with the inhabitants of the land you are entering, lest they become a snare in your midst. 13 Rather, you must tear down their altars, smash their sacred stones, and chop down their Asherah poles. 14 For you must not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
15 Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you, and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 And when you take some of their daughters as brides for your sons, their daughters will prostitute themselves to their gods and cause your sons to do the same.
17 You shall make no molten gods for yourselves.
18 You are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. c For seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, d you are to eat unleavened bread as I commanded you. For in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.
19 The first offspring of every womb belongs to Me, including all the firstborn males among your livestock, whether cattle or sheep. 20 You must redeem the firstborn of a donkey with a lamb; but if you do not redeem it, you are to break its neck. You must redeem all the firstborn of your sons. No one shall appear before Me empty-handed.
21 Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even in the seasons of plowing and harvesting, you must rest.
22 And you are to celebrate the Feast of Weeks e with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering f at the turn of the year. 23 Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. 24 For I will drive out the nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God.
25 Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to Me along with anything leavened, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning.
26 Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
27 The LORD also said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.”
29 And when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was unaware that his face had become radiant from speaking with the LORD. 30 Aaron and all the Israelites looked at Moses, and behold, his face was radiant. And they were afraid to approach him.
31 But Moses called out to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke to them. 32 And after this all the Israelites came near, and Moses commanded them to do everything that the LORD had told him on Mount Sinai.
33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would remove the veil until he came out. And when he came out, he would tell the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 and the Israelites would see that the face of Moses was radiant. So Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
7 a Hebrew to thousands
12 b Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant .
18 c That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten; see Exodus 12:14–20.
18 d Abib was the first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April; twice in this verse.
22 e That is, Shavuot, the late spring feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is also known as the Feast of Harvest (see Exodus 23:16) or the Feast of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1).
22 f That is, Sukkot, the autumn feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is later called the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths or Shelters ).
28 g Hebrew the Ten Words
1 Then Moses assembled the whole congregation of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do: 2 For six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of complete rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on that day must be put to death. 3 Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”
Offerings for the Tabernacle
4 Moses also told the whole congregation of Israel, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Let everyone whose heart is willing bring an offering to the LORD:
gold, silver, and bronze;
6 blue, purple, and scarlet yarn;
fine linen and goat hair;
8 olive oil for the light;
spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;
9 and onyx stones and gemstones to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
The Skilled Craftsmen
10 Let every skilled craftsman among you come and make everything that the LORD has commanded:
11 the tabernacle with its tent and covering, its clasps and frames, its crossbars, posts, and bases;
12 the ark with its poles and mercy seat, and the veil to shield it;
13 the table with its poles, all its utensils, and the Bread of the Presence;
14 the lampstand for light with its accessories and lamps and oil for the light;
15 the altar of incense with its poles;
the anointing oil and fragrant incense;
the curtain for the doorway at the entrance to the tabernacle;
16 the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grate, its poles, and all its utensils;
the basin with its stand;
17 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases, and the curtain for the gate of the courtyard;
18 the tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the courtyard, along with their ropes;
19 and the woven garments for ministering in the holy place—both the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests.”
The People Offer Gifts
20 Then the whole congregation of Israel withdrew from the presence of Moses. 21 And everyone whose heart stirred him and whose spirit prompted him came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its services, and for the holy garments.
22 So all who had willing hearts, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings, rings and necklaces, and all kinds of gold jewelry. And they all presented their gold as a wave offering to the LORD.
23 Everyone who had blue, purple, or scarlet yarn, or fine linen, goat hair, ram skins dyed red, or articles of fine leather, brought them. 24 And all who could present an offering of silver or bronze brought it as a contribution to the LORD. Also, everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the service brought it.
29 So all the men and women of the Israelites whose hearts prompted them brought a freewill offering to the LORD for all the work that the LORD through Moses had commanded them to do.
Bezalel and Oholiab
30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship, 32 to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, 33 to cut gemstones for settings, and to carve wood, so that he may be a master of every artistic craft.
34 And the LORD has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and as weavers—as artistic designers of every kind of craft.
7 a Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals; also in verse 23
The People Bring More than Enough
1 “So Bezalel, Oholiab, and every skilled person are to carry out everything commanded by the LORD, who has given them skill and ability to know how to perform all the work of constructing the sanctuary.”
2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel, Oholiab, and every skilled person whom the LORD had gifted—everyone whose heart stirred him to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the contributions that the Israelites had brought to carry out the service of constructing the sanctuary.
Meanwhile, the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning, 4 so that all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work 5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD has commanded us to do.”
6 After Moses had given an order, they sent a proclamation throughout the camp: “No man or woman should make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 since what they already had was more than enough to perform all the work.
The Ten Curtains for the Tabernacle
8 All the skilled craftsmen among the workmen made the ten curtains for the tabernacle. They were made of finely spun linen, as well as blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, with cherubim skillfully worked into them. 9 Each curtain was twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide; a all the curtains were the same size. 10 And he joined five of the curtains together, and the other five he joined as well.
11 He made loops of blue material on the edge of the end curtain in the first set, and also on the end curtain in the second set. 12 He made fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the second set, so that the loops lined up opposite one another. 13 He also made fifty gold clasps to join the curtains together, so that the tabernacle was a unit.
The Eleven Curtains of Goat Hair
14 He then made curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle—eleven curtains in all. 15 Each of the eleven curtains was the same size—thirty cubits long and four cubits wide. b 16 He joined five of the curtains into one set and the other six into another. 17 He made fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in the first set, and fifty loops along the edge of the corresponding curtain in the second set. 18 He also made fifty bronze clasps to join the tent together as a unit.
The Frames and Bases
20 Next, he constructed upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. 21 Each frame was ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. d 22 Two tenons e were connected to each other for each frame. He made all the frames of the tabernacle in this way.
27 He made six frames for the rear of the tabernacle, the west side, 28 and two frames for the two back corners of the tabernacle, 29 coupled together from bottom to top and fitted into a single ring. He made both corners in this way. 30 So there were eight frames and sixteen silver bases—two under each frame.
33 He made the central crossbar to run through the center of the frames, from one end to the other. 34 And he overlaid the frames with gold and made gold rings to hold the crossbars. He also overlaid the crossbars with gold.
35 Next, he made the veil of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen, with cherubim skillfully worked into it.
36 He also made four posts of acacia wood for it and overlaid them with gold, along with gold hooks; and he cast four silver bases for the posts.
The Curtain for the Entrance
He overlaid the tops of the posts and their bands with gold, and their five bases were bronze.
9 a Each of the ten curtains was approximately 42 feet long and 6 feet wide (12.8 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
15 b Each of the eleven curtains was approximately 45 feet long and 6 feet wide (13.7 meters long and 1.8 meters wide).
19 c Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
21 d Each frame was approximately 15 feet long and 2.25 feet wide (4.6 meters long and 68.6 centimeters wide).
22 e That is, projecting pieces of wood made for insertion into another piece; similarly in verse 24.
Constructing the Ark
1 Bezalel went on to construct the ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. a 2 He overlaid it with pure gold, both inside and out, and made a gold molding around it. 3 And he cast four gold rings for its four feet, two rings on one side and two on the other. 4 Then he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. 5 He inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark in order to carry it.
The Mercy Seat
6 He constructed a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. b 7 He made two cherubim of hammered gold at the ends of the mercy seat, 8 one cherub on one end and one on the other, all made from one piece of gold. 9 And the cherubim had wings that spread upward, overshadowing the mercy seat. The cherubim faced each other, looking toward the mercy seat.
The Table of Showbread
(Exodus 25:23–30; Leviticus 24:5–9)
10 He also made the table of acacia wood two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. c 11 He overlaid it with pure gold and made a gold molding around it. 12 And he made a rim around it a handbreadth wide d and put a gold molding on the rim.
13 He cast four gold rings for the table and fastened them to the four corners at its four legs. 14 The rings were placed close to the rim, to serve as holders for the poles used to carry the table. 15 He made the poles of acacia wood for carrying the table and overlaid them with gold.
16 He also made the utensils for the table out of pure gold: its plates and dishes, as well as its bowls and pitchers for pouring drink offerings.
(Exodus 25:31–40; Numbers 8:1–4)
17 Then he made the lampstand out of pure hammered gold, all of one piece: its base and shaft, its cups, and its buds and petals. 18 Six branches extended from the sides, three on one side and three on the other. 19 There were three cups shaped like almond blossoms on the first branch, each with buds and petals, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches that extended from the lampstand.
20 And on the lampstand were four cups shaped like almond blossoms with buds and petals. 21 A bud was under the first pair of branches that extended from the lampstand, a bud under the second pair, and a bud under the third pair. 22 The buds and branches were all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
The Altar of Incense
25 He made the altar of incense out of acacia wood. It was square, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high. f Its horns were of one piece. 26 And he overlaid with pure gold the top and all the sides and horns. Then he made a molding of gold around it.
29 He also made the sacred anointing oil and the pure, fragrant incense, the work of a perfumer.
1 a The ark was approximately 3.75 feet long, 2.25 feet wide, and 2.25 feet high (114.3 centimeters long, 68.6 centimeters wide, and 68.6 centimeters high).
6 b The mercy seat was approximately 3.75 feet long and 2.25 feet wide (114.3 centimeters long and 68.6 centimeters wide).
10 c The table was approximately 3 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and 2.25 feet high (91.4 centimeters long, 45.7 centimeters wide, and 68.6 centimeters high).
12 d A handbreadth is approximately 2.9 inches or 7.4 centimeters.
24 e A talent is approximately 75.4 pounds or 34.2 kilograms of gold.
25 f The altar was approximately 1.5 feet in length and width, and 3 feet high (45.7 centimeters in length and width, and 91.4 centimeters high).
The Bronze Altar
1 Bezalel constructed a the altar of burnt offering from acacia wood. It was square, five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high. b 2 He made a horn at each of its four corners, so that the horns and altar were of one piece, and he overlaid the altar with bronze.
5 At the four corners of the bronze grate he cast four rings as holders for the poles. 6 And he made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with bronze. 7 Then he inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar for carrying it. He made the altar with boards so that it was hollow.
The Bronze Basin
8 Next he made the bronze basin and its stand from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
9 Then he constructed the courtyard. The south side of the courtyard was a hundred cubits long c and had curtains of finely spun linen, 10 with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases, and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 11 The north side was also a hundred cubits long, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases. The hooks and bands of the posts were silver. 12 The west side was fifty cubits long d and had curtains, with ten posts and ten bases. The hooks and bands of the posts were silver. 13 And the east side, toward the sunrise, was also fifty cubits long.
14 The curtains on one side of the entrance were fifteen cubits long, e with three posts and three bases. 15 And the curtains on the other side were also fifteen cubits long, with three posts and three bases as well. 16 All the curtains around the courtyard were made of finely spun linen. 17 The bases for the posts were bronze, the hooks and bands were silver, and the plating for the tops of the posts was silver. So all the posts of the courtyard were banded with silver.
18 The curtain for the entrance to the courtyard was embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely spun linen. It was twenty cubits long f and, like the curtains of the courtyard, five cubits high, g 19 with four posts and four bronze bases. Their hooks were silver, as well as the bands and the plating of their tops. 20 All the tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the surrounding courtyard were bronze.
An Inventory of Materials
(Ezra 2:68–70;Nehemiah 7:70–73)
21 This is the inventory for the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the Testimony, as recorded at Moses’ command by the Levites under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest. 22 Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything that the LORD had commanded Moses. 23 With him was Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, designer, and embroiderer in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen.
25 The silver from those numbered among the congregation totaled 100 talents and 1,775 shekels, i according to the sanctuary shekel— 26 a beka per person, that is, half a shekel, j according to the sanctuary shekel, from everyone twenty years of age or older who had crossed over to be numbered, a total of 603,550 men.
29 The bronze from the wave offering totaled 70 talents and 2,400 shekels. m 30 He used it to make the bases for the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the bronze altar and its bronze grating, all the utensils for the altar, 31 the bases for the surrounding courtyard and its gate, and all the tent pegs for the tabernacle and its surrounding courtyard.
1 a Literally He constructed
1 b The altar was approximately 7.5 feet in length and width, and 4.5 feet high (2.3 meters in length and width, and 1.4 meters high).
9 c 100 cubits is approximately 150 feet or 45.7 meters.
12 d 50 cubits is approximately 75 feet or 22.9 meters.
14 e 15 cubits is approximately 22.5 feet or 6.9 meters.
18 f 20 cubits is approximately 30 feet or 9.1 meters.
18 g 5 cubits is approximately 7.5 feet or 2.3 meters.
24 h The total weight of the gold was approximately 1.1 tons or 1 metric ton.
25 i The total weight of the silver was approximately 3.79 tons or 3.44 metric tons.
26 j A beka is half a shekel, or approximately 0.2 ounces or 5.7 grams.
27 k 100 talents is approximately 3.77 tons or 3.42 metric tons of silver.
28 l 1,775 shekels is approximately 44.6 pounds or 20.2 kilograms of silver.
29 m The total weight of the bronze was approximately 2.67 tons or 2.42 metric tons.
1 From the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn they made specially woven garments for ministry in the sanctuary, as well as the holy garments for Aaron, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
2 Bezalel made a the ephod of finely spun linen embroidered with gold, and with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. 3 They hammered out thin sheets of gold and cut threads from them to interweave with the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen—the work of a skilled craftsman. 4 They made shoulder pieces for the ephod, which were attached at two of its corners, so it could be fastened. 5 And the skillfully woven waistband of the ephod was of one piece with the ephod, of the same workmanship—with gold, with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and with finely spun linen, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
6 They mounted the onyx stones in gold filigree settings, engraved like a seal with the names of the sons of Israel. 7 Then they fastened them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
8 He made the breastpiece with the same workmanship as the ephod, with gold, with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and with finely spun linen. 9 It was square when folded over double, a span long and a span wide. b
The first row had a ruby, a topaz, and an emerald;
11 the second row had a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond;
12 the third row had a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
13 and the fourth row had a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.
These stones were mounted in gold filigree settings.
14 The twelve stones corresponded to the names of the sons of Israel. Each stone was engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
15 For the breastpiece they made braided chains like cords of pure gold. 16 They also made two gold filigree settings and two gold rings, and fastened the two rings to the two corners of the breastpiece. 17 Then they fastened the two gold chains to the two gold rings at the corners of the breastpiece, 18 and they fastened the other ends of the two chains to the two filigree settings, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front.
19 They made two more gold rings and attached them to the other two corners of the breastpiece, on the inside edge next to the ephod.
20 They made two additional gold rings and attached them to the bottom of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, on its front, near the seam just above its woven waistband. 21 Then they tied the rings of the breastpiece to the rings of the ephod with a cord of blue yarn, so that the breastpiece was above the waistband of the ephod and would not swing out from the ephod, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Additional Priestly Garments
22 They made the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, the work of a weaver, 23 with an opening in the center of the robe like that of a garment, d with a collar around the opening so that it would not tear.
24 They made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and finely spun linen on the lower hem of the robe. 25 They also made bells of pure gold and attached them around the hem between the pomegranates, 26 alternating the bells and pomegranates around the lower hem of the robe to be worn for ministry, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
27 For Aaron and his sons they made tunics of fine linen, the work of a weaver, 28 as well as the turban of fine linen, the ornate headbands and undergarments of finely spun linen, 29 and the sash of finely spun linen, embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
30 They also made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and they engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal:
HOLY TO THE LORD. e
31 Then they fastened to it a blue cord to mount it on the turban, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Moses Approves the Work
32 So all the work for the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, was completed. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
33 Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses:
the tent with all its furnishings, its clasps, its frames, its crossbars, and its posts and bases;
36 the table with all its utensils and the Bread of the Presence;
37 the pure gold lampstand with its row of lamps and all its utensils, as well as the oil for the light;
38 the gold altar, the anointing oil, the fragrant incense, and the curtain for the entrance to the tent;
39 the bronze altar with its bronze grating, its poles, and all its utensils;
the basin with its stand;
40 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases;
the curtain for the gate of the courtyard, its ropes and tent pegs, and all the equipment for the service of the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting;
41 and the woven garments for ministering in the sanctuary, both the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests.
42 The Israelites had done all the work just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 43 And Moses inspected all the work and saw that they had accomplished it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them.
2 a Literally He made
9 b The breastpiece, when folded over, was approximately 9 inches or 22.9 centimeters in both length and width.
10 c The precise identification of some of these gemstones is uncertain.
23 d The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; possibly a coat of mail .
30 e That is, the LORD
34 f Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals
35 g That is, the ark of the covenant
Setting Up the Tabernacle
(Acts 7:44–47; Hebrews 9:1–10)
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “On the first day of the first month you are to set up the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting. 3 Put the ark of the Testimony a in it and screen off the ark with the veil. 4 Then bring in the table and set out its arrangement; bring in the lampstand as well, and set up its lamps.
5 Place the gold altar of incense in front of the ark of the Testimony, and hang the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. 6 Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting. 7 And place the basin between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it.
8 Set up the surrounding courtyard and hang the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard.
9 Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it along with all its furnishings, and it shall be holy. 10 Anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it shall be most holy. 11 Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them.
12 Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. 13 And you are to clothe Aaron with the holy garments, anoint him, and consecrate him, so that he may serve Me as a priest. 14 Bring his sons forward and clothe them with tunics. 15 Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so that they may also serve Me as priests. Their anointing will qualify them for a permanent priesthood throughout their generations.”
18 When Moses set up the tabernacle, he laid its bases, positioned its frames, inserted its crossbars, and set up its posts. 19 Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering over the tent, just as the LORD had commanded him.
20 Moses took the Testimony and placed it in the ark, attaching the poles to the ark;and he set the mercy seat atop the ark. 21 Then he brought the ark into the tabernacle, put up the veil for the screen, and shielded off the ark of the Testimony, just as the LORD had commanded him.
26 Moses placed the gold altar in the Tent of Meeting, in front of the veil, 27 and he burned fragrant incense on it, just as the LORD had commanded him. 28 Then he put up the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. 29 He placed the altar of burnt offering near the entrance to the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering, just as the LORD had commanded him.
30 He placed the basin between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water in it for washing; 31 and from it Moses, Aaron, and his sons washed their hands and feet. 32 They washed whenever they entered the Tent of Meeting or approached the altar, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
33 And Moses set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and the altar, and he hung the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard. So Moses finished the work.
The Cloud and the Glory
34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was unable to enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
36 Whenever the cloud was lifted from above the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out through all the stages of their journey. 37 If the cloud was not lifted, they would not set out until the day it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel through all their journeys.
3 a That is, the ark of the covenant ; also in verses 5 and 21
Laws for Burnt Offerings
1 Then the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When any of you brings an offering to the LORD, you may bring as your offering an animal from the herd or the flock.
3 If one’s offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to present an unblemished male. He must bring it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for its acceptance before the LORD. 4 He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, so it can be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.
5 And he shall slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons the priests are to present the blood and sprinkle it on all sides of the altar at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 6 Next, he is to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces.
7 The sons of Aaron the priest shall put a fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 Then Aaron’s sons the priests are to arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, atop the burning wood on the altar. 9 The entrails and legs must be washed with water, and the priest shall burn all of it on the altar as a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.
10 If, however, one’s offering is a burnt offering from the flock—from the sheep or goats—he is to present an unblemished male. 11 He shall slaughter it on the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons the priests are to sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides. 12 He is to cut the animal into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and fat, atop the burning wood that is on the altar. 13 The entrails and legs must be washed with water, and the priest shall bring all of it and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.
14 If, instead, one’s offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, he is to present a turtledove or a young pigeon. 15 Then the priest shall bring it to the altar, twist off its head, and burn it on the altar; its blood should be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 And he is to remove the crop with its contents a and throw it to the east side of the altar, in the place for ashes. 17 He shall tear it open by its wings, without dividing the bird completely. And the priest is to burn it on the altar atop the burning wood. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.
16 a Or the crop and feathers
Laws for Grain Offerings
1 “When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, his offering must consist of fine flour. He is to pour olive oil on it, put frankincense on it, 2 and bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the frankincense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 3 The remainder of the grain offering shall belong to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings made by fire to the LORD.
4 Now if you bring an offering of grain baked in an oven, it must consist of fine flour, either unleavened cakes mixed with oil or unleavened wafers coated with oil.
8 When you bring to the LORD the grain offering made in any of these ways, it is to be presented to the priest, and he shall take it to the altar. 9 The priest is to remove the memorial portion from the grain offering and burn it on the altar as an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 10 But the remainder of the grain offering shall belong to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings made by fire to the LORD.
11 No grain offering that you present to the LORD may be made with leaven, for you are not to burn any leaven or honey as an offering made by fire to the LORD. 12 You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. 13 And you shall season each of your grain offerings with salt. You must not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offering; you are to add salt to each of your offerings.
14 If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, you shall offer crushed heads of new grain roasted on the fire. 15 And you are to put oil and frankincense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 The priest shall then burn the memorial portion of the crushed grain and the oil, together with all its frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the LORD.
5 a That is, a shallow pan for baking or frying
7 b That is, a deep pan or stew pan
Laws for Peace Offerings
1 “If one’s offering is a peace offering and he offers an animal from the herd, whether male or female, he must present it without blemish before the LORD. 2 He is to lay his hand on the head of the offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood on all sides of the altar.
3 From the peace offering he is to bring an offering made by fire to the LORD: the fat that covers the entrails, all the fat that is on them, 4 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he is to remove with the kidneys. 5 Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar atop the burnt offering that is on the burning wood, as an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.
6 If, however, one’s peace offering to the LORD is from the flock, he must present a male or female without blemish.
7 If he is presenting a lamb for his offering, he must present it before the LORD. 8 He is to lay his hand on the head of his offering and slaughter it in front of the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle its blood on all sides of the altar.
9 And from the peace offering he shall bring an offering made by fire to the LORD consisting of its fat: the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the fat that covers the entrails, all the fat that is on them, 10 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he is to remove with the kidneys. 11 Then the priest is to burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
12 If one’s offering is a goat, he is to present it before the LORD. 13 He must lay his hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle its blood on all sides of the altar.
14 And from his offering he shall present an offering made by fire to the LORD: the fat that covers the entrails, all the fat that is on them, 15 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he is to remove with the kidneys. 16 Then the priest is to burn the food on the altar as an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the LORD’s.
17 This is a permanent statute for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.”
Laws for Sin Offerings
(Leviticus 5:1–13; Leviticus 6:24–30)
3 If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the LORD a young bull without blemish as a sin offering a for the sin he has committed. 4 He must bring the bull to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and slaughter it before the LORD. 5 Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and bring it into the Tent of Meeting. 6 The priest is to dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the LORD, in front of the veil of the sanctuary. 7 The priest must then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. And he is to pour out the rest of the bull’s blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 8 Then he shall remove all the fat from the bull of the sin offering—the fat that covers the entrails, all the fat that is on them, 9 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he is to remove with the kidneys— 10 just as the fat is removed from the ox of the peace offering. Then the priest shall burn them on the altar of burnt offering. 11 But the hide of the bull and all its flesh, with its head and legs and its entrails and dung— 12 all the rest of the bull—he must take outside the camp to a ceremonially clean place where the ashes are poured out, and there he must burn it on a wood fire on the ash heap.
13 Now if the whole congregation of Israel strays unintentionally and the matter escapes the notice of the assembly so that they violate any of the LORD’s commandments and incur guilt by doing what is forbidden, 14 when they become aware of the sin they have committed, then the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the Tent of Meeting. 15 The elders of the congregation are to lay their hands on the bull’s head before the LORD, and it shall be slaughtered before the LORD. 16 Then the anointed priest is to bring some of the bull’s blood into the Tent of Meeting, 17 and he is to dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD in front of the veil. 18 He is also to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting, and he must pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 19 And he is to remove all the fat from it and burn it on the altar. 20 He shall offer this bull just as he did the bull for the sin offering; in this way the priest will make atonement on their behalf, and they will be forgiven. 21 Then he is to take the bull outside the camp and burn it, just as he burned the first bull. It is the sin offering for the assembly.
22 When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is prohibited by any of the commandments of the LORD his God, he incurs guilt. 23 When he becomes aware of the sin he has committed, he must bring an unblemished male goat as his offering. 24 He is to lay his hand on the head of the goat and slaughter it at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered before the LORD. It is a sin offering. 25 Then the priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 26 He must burn all its fat on the altar, like the fat of the peace offerings; thus the priest will make atonement for that man’s sin, and he will be forgiven.
27 And if one of the common people sins unintentionally and does what is prohibited by any of the LORD’s commandments, he incurs guilt. 28 When he becomes aware of the sin he has committed, he must bring an unblemished female goat as his offering for that sin. 29 He is to lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place of the burnt offering. 30 Then the priest is to take some of its blood with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 31 Then he is to remove all the fat, just as it is removed from the peace offering, and the priest is to burn it on the altar as a pleasing aroma to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.
32 If, however, he brings a lamb as a sin offering, he must bring an unblemished female. 33 And he is to lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it as a sin offering at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered. 34 Then the priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour out the rest of its blood at the base of the altar. 35 And he shall remove all the fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the peace offerings, and he shall burn it on the altar along with the offerings made by fire to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.
3 a Or purification offering ; here and throughout Leviticus
Sins Requiring a Sin Offering
(Leviticus 4:1–35; Leviticus 6:24–30)
1 “If someone sins by failing to testify when he hears a public charge about something he has witnessed, whether he has seen it or learned of it, he shall bear the iniquity.
2 Or if a person touches anything unclean—whether the carcass of any unclean wild animal or livestock or crawling creature—even if he is unaware of it, he is unclean and guilty.
3 Or if he touches human uncleanness—anything by which one becomes unclean—even if he is unaware of it, when he realizes it, he is guilty.
4 Or if someone swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do anything good or evil—in whatever matter a man may rashly pronounce an oath—even if he is unaware of it, when he realizes it, he is guilty in the matter.
5 If someone incurs guilt in one of these ways, he must confess the sin he has committed, 6 and he must bring his guilt offering to the LORD for the sin he has committed: a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering. And the priest will make atonement for him concerning his sin.
7 If, however, he cannot afford a lamb, he may bring to the LORD as restitution for his sin two turtledoves or two young pigeons—one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. 8 He is to bring them to the priest, who shall first present the one for the sin offering. He is to twist its head at the front of its neck without severing it; 9 then he is to sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, while the rest of the blood is drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10 And the priest must prepare the second bird as a burnt offering according to the ordinance. In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.
11 But if he cannot afford two turtledoves or two young pigeons, he may bring a tenth of an ephah of fine flour a as a sin offering. He must not put olive oil or frankincense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 He is to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful from it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar atop the offerings made by fire to the LORD; it is a sin offering. 13 In this way the priest will make atonement for him for any of these sins he has committed, and he will be forgiven. The remainder will belong to the priest, like the grain offering.”
Laws for Guilt Offerings
(Leviticus 6:1–7; Leviticus 7:1–10)
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, 15 “If someone acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against any of the LORD’s holy things, he must bring his guilt offering to the LORD: an unblemished ram from the flock, of proper value b in silver shekels according to the sanctuary shekel; c it is a guilt offering. 16 Regarding any holy thing he has harmed, he must make restitution by adding a fifth of its value to it and giving it to the priest, who will make atonement on his behalf with the ram as a guilt offering, and he will be forgiven.
17 If someone sins and violates any of the LORD’s commandments even though he was unaware, he is guilty and shall bear his punishment. 18 He is to bring to the priest an unblemished ram of proper value from the flock as a guilt offering. Then the priest will make atonement on his behalf for the wrong he has committed in ignorance, and he will be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; he was certainly guilty d before the LORD.”
11 a A tenth of an ephah is approximately 2 dry quarts or 2.2 liters (probably about 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kilograms of flour).
15 b Or flock or its equivalence
15 c A shekel is approximately 0.4 ounces or 11.4 grams of silver.
19 d Or he has paid full compensation
Sins Requiring a Guilt Offering
(Leviticus 5:14–19; Leviticus 7:1–10)
1 And the LORD said to Moses, 2 “If someone sins and acts unfaithfully against the LORD by deceiving his neighbor in regard to a deposit or security entrusted to him or stolen, or if he extorts his neighbor 3 or finds lost property and lies about it and swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that a man might commit— 4 once he has sinned and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or the deposit entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, 5 or anything else about which he has sworn falsely.
He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value, and pay it to the owner on the day he acknowledges his guilt. 6 Then he must bring to the priest his guilt offering to the LORD: an unblemished ram of proper value from the flock. 7 In this way the priest will make atonement for him before the LORD, and he will be forgiven for anything he may have done to incur guilt.”
The Burnt Offering
8 Then the LORD said to Moses, 9 “Command Aaron and his sons that this is the law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the hearth of the altar all night, until morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.
10 And the priest shall put on his linen robe and linen undergarments, and he shall remove from the altar the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed and place them beside it. 11 Then he must take off his garments, put on other clothes, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a ceremonially clean place.
12 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning; it must not be extinguished. Every morning the priest is to add wood to the fire, arrange the burnt offering on it, and burn the fat portions of the peace offerings on it. 13 The fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it must not be extinguished.
The Grain Offering
14 Now this is the law of the grain offering: Aaron’s sons shall present it before the LORD in front of the altar. 15 The priest is to remove a handful of fine flour and olive oil, together with all the frankincense from the grain offering, and burn the memorial portion on the altar as a pleasing aroma to the LORD.
16 Aaron and his sons are to eat the remainder. It must be eaten without leaven in a holy place; they are to eat it in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting. 17 It must not be baked with leaven; I have assigned it as their portion of My offerings made by fire. It is most holy, like the sin offering and the guilt offering. 18 Any male among the sons of Aaron may eat it. This is a permanent portion from the offerings made by fire to the LORD for the generations to come. Anything that touches them will become holy.”
19 Then the LORD said to Moses, 20 “This is the offering that Aaron and his sons must present to the LORD on the day he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah of fine flour a as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening. 21 It shall be prepared with oil on a griddle; b you are to bring it well-kneaded and present it as a grain offering broken c in pieces, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 22 The priest, who is one of Aaron’s sons and will be anointed to take his place, is to prepare it. As a permanent portion for the LORD, it must be burned completely. 23 Every grain offering for a priest shall be burned completely; it is not to be eaten.”
The Sin Offering
(Leviticus 4:1–35; Leviticus 5:1–13)
24 And the LORD said to Moses, 25 “Tell Aaron and his sons that this is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, the sin offering shall be slaughtered before the LORD; it is most holy. 26 The priest who offers it shall eat it; it must be eaten in a holy place, in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting. 27 Anything that touches its flesh will become holy, and if any of the blood is spattered on a garment, you must wash it in a holy place.
28 The clay pot in which the sin offering is boiled must be broken; if it is boiled in a bronze pot, the pot must be scoured and rinsed with water. 29 Any male among the priests may eat it; it is most holy. 30 But no sin offering may be eaten if its blood has been brought into the Tent of Meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place; it must be burned.
20 a A tenth of an ephah is approximately 2 dry quarts or 2.2 liters (probably about 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kilograms of flour).
21 b That is, a shallow pan for baking or frying
21 c Or baked
The Guilt Offering
(Leviticus 5:14–19; Leviticus 6:1–7)
1 “Now this is the law of the guilt offering, which is most holy: 2 The guilt offering must be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and the priest shall sprinkle its blood on all sides of the altar. 3 And all the fat from it shall be offered: the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, 4 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is to be removed with the kidneys. 5 The priest shall burn them on the altar as an offering made by fire to the LORD; it is a guilt offering. 6 Every male among the priests may eat of it. It must be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy.
7 The guilt offering is like the sin offering; the same law applies to both. It belongs to the priest who makes atonement with it. 8 As for the priest who presents a burnt offering for anyone, the hide of that offering belongs to him. 9 Likewise, every grain offering that is baked in an oven or cooked in a pan a or on a griddle b belongs to the priest who presents it, 10 and every grain offering, whether dry or mixed with oil, belongs equally to all the sons of Aaron.
The Peace Offering
11 Now this is the law of the peace offering that one may present to the LORD: 12 If he offers it in thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with olive oil, unleavened wafers coated with oil, and well-kneaded cakes of fine flour mixed with oil.
13 Along with his peace offering of thanksgiving he is to present an offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14 From the cakes he must present one portion of each offering as a contribution to the LORD. It belongs to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offering. 15 The meat of the sacrifice of his peace offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the day he offers it; none of it may be left until morning.
16 If, however, the sacrifice he offers is a vow or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day he presents his sacrifice, but the remainder may be eaten on the next day. 17 But any meat of the sacrifice remaining until the third day must be burned up. 18 If any of the meat from his peace offering is eaten on the third day, it will not be accepted. It will not be credited to the one who presented it; it shall be an abomination, and the one who eats of it shall bear his iniquity.
19 Meat that touches anything unclean must not be eaten; it is to be burned up. As for any other meat, anyone who is ceremonially clean may eat it. 20 But if anyone who is unclean eats meat from the peace offering that belongs to the LORD, that person must be cut off from his people. 21 If one touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, an unclean animal, or any unclean, detestable thing, and then eats any of the meat of the peace offering that belongs to the LORD, that person must be cut off from his people.”
Fat and Blood Forbidden
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, 23 “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘You are not to eat any of the fat of an ox, a sheep, or a goat. 24 The fat of an animal found dead or mauled by wild beasts may be used for any other purpose, but you must not eat it.
25 If anyone eats the fat of an animal from which an offering made by fire may be presented to the LORD, the one who eats it must be cut off from his people. 26 You must not eat the blood of any bird or animal in any of your dwellings. 27 If anyone eats blood, that person must be cut off from his people.’ ”
The Priests’ Portion
28 Then the LORD said to Moses, 29 “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘Anyone who presents a peace offering to the LORD must bring it as his sacrifice to the LORD. 30 With his own hands he is to bring the offerings made by fire to the LORD; he shall bring the fat, together with the breast, and wave the breast as a wave offering before the LORD.
31 The priest is to burn the fat on the altar, but the breast belongs to Aaron and his sons. 32 And you are to give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution from your peace offering. 33 The son of Aaron who presents the blood and fat of the peace offering shall have the right thigh as a portion.
34 I have taken from the sons of Israel the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution of their peace offerings, and I have given them to Aaron the priest and his sons as a permanent portion from the sons of Israel.’ ”
35 This is the portion of the offerings made by fire to the LORD for Aaron and his sons since the day they were presented to serve the LORD as priests. 36 On the day they were anointed, the LORD commanded that this be given them by the sons of Israel. It is a permanent portion for the generations to come.
37 This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the ordination offering, and the peace offering, 38 which the LORD gave Moses on Mount Sinai on the day He commanded the Israelites to present their offerings to the LORD in the Wilderness of Sinai.
9 a That is, a deep pan or stew pan
9 b That is, a shallow pan for baking or frying
Moses Consecrates Aaron and His Sons
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Take Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull of the sin offering, the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread, 3 and assemble the whole congregation at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.”
6 Then Moses presented Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. 7 He put the tunic on Aaron, tied the sash around him, clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod on him. He tied the woven band of the ephod around him and fastened it to him. 8 Then he put the breastpiece on him and placed the Urim and Thummim a in the breastpiece. 9 Moses also put the turban on Aaron’s head and set the gold plate, the holy diadem, on the front of the turban, as the LORD had commanded him.
10 Next, Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it;and so he consecrated them. 11 He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them.
12 He also poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13 Then Moses presented Aaron’s sons, put tunics on them, wrapped sashes around them, and tied headbands on them, just as the LORD had commanded him.
The Priests’ Sin Offering
14 Moses then brought the bull near for the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 15 Moses slaughtered the bull, took some of the blood, and applied it with his finger to all four horns of the altar, purifying the altar. He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it so that atonement could be made on it.
16 Moses also took all the fat that was on the entrails, the lobe of the liver, and both kidneys and their fat, and burned it all on the altar. 17 But the bull with its hide, flesh, and dung he burned outside the camp, as the LORD had commanded him.
The Priests’ Burnt Offering
18 Then Moses presented the ram for the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 19 Moses slaughtered the ram and sprinkled the blood on all sides of the altar. 20 He cut the ram into pieces and burned the head, the pieces, and the fat. 21 He washed the entrails and legs with water and burned the entire ram on the altar as a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
The Ram of Ordination
22 After that, Moses presented the other ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 23 Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on Aaron’s right earlobe, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 24 Moses also presented Aaron’s sons and put some of the blood on their right earlobes, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Then he sprinkled the blood on all sides of the altar.
25 And Moses took the fat—the fat tail, all the fat that was on the entrails, the lobe of the liver, and both kidneys with their fat—as well as the right thigh. 26 And from the basket of unleavened bread that was before the LORD, he took one cake of unleavened bread, one cake of bread made with oil, and one wafer, and he placed them on the fat portions and on the right thigh. 27 He put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons and waved them before the LORD as a wave offering.
28 Then Moses took these from their hands and burned them on the altar with the burnt offering. This was an ordination offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD. 29 He also took the breast—Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination—and waved it before the LORD as a wave offering, as the LORD had commanded him.
30 Next, Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood that was on the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments, and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments, as well as Aaron’s sons and their garments.
31 And Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “Boil the meat at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and eat it there with the bread that is in the basket of ordination offerings, as I commanded, saying, ‘Aaron and his sons are to eat it.’ 32 Then you must burn up the remainder of the meat and bread.
33 You must not go outside the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are complete; for it will take seven days to ordain you. 34 What has been done today has been commanded by the LORD in order to make atonement on your behalf. 35 You must remain at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days and keep the LORD’s charge so that you will not die, for this is what I have been commanded.”
36 So Aaron and his sons did everything the LORD had commanded through Moses.
8 a Literally Lights and Perfections
Aaron’s First Offerings
1 On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2 He said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and present them before the LORD. 3 Then speak to the Israelites and say, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb—both a year old and without blemish—for a burnt offering, 4 an ox a and a ram for a peace offering to sacrifice before the LORD, and a grain offering mixed with oil. For today the LORD will appear to you.’ ”
5 So they took what Moses had commanded to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the whole congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. 6 And Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.”
7 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Approach the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering to make atonement for yourself and for the people. And sacrifice the people’s offering to make atonement for them, as the LORD has commanded.”
8 So Aaron approached the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself. 9 The sons of Aaron brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and applied it to the horns of the altar. And he poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 10 On the altar he burned the fat, the kidneys, and the lobe of the liver from the sin offering, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 11 But he burned up the flesh and the hide outside the camp.
12 Then Aaron slaughtered the burnt offering. His sons brought him the blood, and he sprinkled it on all sides of the altar. 13 They brought him the burnt offering piece by piece, including the head, and he burned them on the altar. 14 He washed the entrails and the legs and burned them atop the burnt offering on the altar.
15 Aaron then presented the people’s offering. He took the male goat for the people’s sin offering, slaughtered it, and offered it for sin like the first one.
16 He presented the burnt offering and offered it according to the ordinance.
17 Next he presented the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning’s burnt offering.
18 Then he slaughtered the ox and the ram as the people’s peace offering. His sons brought him the blood, and he sprinkled it on all sides of the altar.
19 They also brought the fat portions from the ox and the ram—the fat tail, the fat covering the entrails, the kidneys, and the lobe of the liver— 20 and placed these on the breasts. Aaron burned the fat portions on the altar, 21 but he waved the breasts and the right thigh as a wave offering before the LORD, as Moses had commanded.
22 Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having made the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offering, he stepped down.
23 Moses and Aaron then entered the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.
4 a Or a bull or a cow ; also in verses 18 and 19
The Sin of Nadab and Abihu
1 Now Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense, and offered unauthorized a fire before the LORD, contrary to His command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died in the presence of the LORD.
3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD meant when He said:
‘To those who come near Me
I will show My holiness,
and in the sight of all the people
I will reveal My glory.’ ”
4 Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, b sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come here; carry the bodies of your cousins outside the camp, away from the front of the sanctuary.” 5 So they came forward and carried them, still in their tunics, outside the camp, as Moses had directed.
6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not let your hair become disheveled c and do not tear your garments, or else you will die, and the LORD will be angry with the whole congregation. But your brothers, the whole house of Israel, may mourn on account of the fire that the LORD has ignited. 7 You shall not go outside the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, or you will die, for the LORD’s anointing oil is on you.”
So they did as Moses instructed.
Restrictions for Priests
8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, 9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or strong drink when you enter the Tent of Meeting, or else you will die; this is a permanent statute for the generations to come. 10 You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the clean and the unclean, 11 so that you may teach the Israelites all the statutes that the LORD has given them through Moses.”
12 And Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take the grain offering that remains from the offerings made by fire to the LORD and eat it without leaven beside the altar, because it is most holy. 13 You shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your share and your sons’ share of the offerings made by fire to the LORD; for this is what I have been commanded.
14 And you and your sons and daughters may eat the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution in a ceremonially clean place, because these portions have been assigned to you and your children from the peace offerings of the sons of Israel. 15 They are to bring the thigh of the contribution and the breast of the wave offering, together with the fat portions of the offerings made by fire, to wave as a wave offering before the LORD. It will belong permanently to you and your children, as the LORD has commanded.”
16 Later, Moses searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it had been burned up. He was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, and asked, 17 “Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the holy place? For it is most holy; it was given to you to take away the guilt of the congregation by making atonement for them before the LORD. 18 Since its blood was not brought inside the holy place, you should have eaten it in the sanctuary area, as I commanded.”
19 But Aaron replied to Moses, “Behold, this very day they presented their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD. Since these things have happened to me, if I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been acceptable in the sight of the LORD?”
20 And when Moses heard this explanation, he was satisfied.
Clean and Unclean Animals
(Deuteronomy 14:1–21; Acts 10:9–16)
1 The LORD spoke again to Moses and Aaron, telling them, 2 “Say to the Israelites, ‘Of all the beasts of the earth, these ones you may eat: 3 You may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud.
The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.
6 The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.
7 And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.
8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.
9 Of all the creatures that live in the water, whether in the seas or in the streams, you may eat anything with fins and scales.
10 But the following among all the teeming life and creatures in the water are detestable to you: everything in the seas or streams that does not have fins and scales. 11 They shall be an abomination to you; you must not eat their meat, and you must detest their carcasses. 12 Everything in the water that does not have fins and scales shall be detestable to you.
13 Additionally, you are to detest the following birds, and they must not be eaten because they are detestable:
the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture,
14 the kite, any kind of falcon,
15 any kind of raven,
17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,
18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,
19 the stork, any kind of heron,
the hoopoe, and the bat.
20 All flying insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you. 21 However, you may eat the following kinds of flying insects that walk on all fours: those having jointed legs above their feet for hopping on the ground. 22 Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket, or grasshopper. 23 All other flying insects that have four legs are detestable to you.
24 These creatures will make you unclean. Whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean until evening, 25 and whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean until evening.
27 All the four-footed animals that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean until evening, 28 and anyone who picks up a carcass must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean until evening. They are unclean for you.
29 The following creatures that move along the ground are unclean for you: the mole, the mouse, any kind of great lizard, 30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the common lizard, the skink, and the chameleon.
31 These animals are unclean for you among all the crawling creatures. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening. 32 When one of them dies and falls on something, that article becomes unclean; any article of wood, clothing, leather, sackcloth, or any implement used for work must be rinsed with water and will remain unclean until evening; then it will be clean. 33 If any of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean; you must break the pot. 34 Any food coming into contact with water from that pot will be unclean, and any drink in such a container will be unclean.
35 Anything upon which one of their carcasses falls will be unclean. If it is an oven or cooking pot, it must be smashed; it is unclean and will remain unclean for you. 36 Nevertheless, a spring or cistern containing water will remain clean, but one who touches a carcass in it will be unclean. 37 If a carcass falls on any seed for sowing, the seed is clean; 38 but if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.
39 If an animal that you may eat dies, anyone who touches the carcass will be unclean until evening. 40 Whoever eats from the carcass must wash his clothes and will be unclean until evening, and anyone who picks up the carcass must wash his clothes and will be unclean until evening.
41 Every creature that moves along the ground is detestable; it must not be eaten. 42 Do not eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it crawls on its belly or walks on four or more feet; for such creatures are detestable.
43 Do not defile yourselves by any crawling creature; do not become unclean or defiled by them. 44 For I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, because I am holy. e You must not defile yourselves by any creature that crawls along the ground. 45 For I am the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt so that I would be your God;therefore be holy, because I am holy.
46 This is the law regarding animals, birds, all living creatures that move in the water, and all creatures that crawl along the ground. 47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between animals that may be eaten and those that may not.’ ”
4 a The precise identification of some of the birds and animals in this chapter is uncertain.
5 b Or The coney or The hyrax
16 c Literally the daughter of the ostrich or the daughter of the owl
26 d Literally a split hoof not completely divided
44 e Here and in verse 45; cited in 1 Peter 1:16
Purification after Childbirth
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites, ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be unclean for seven days, as she is during the days of her menstruation. 3 And on the eighth day the flesh of the boy’s foreskin is to be circumcised.
4 The woman shall continue in purification from her bleeding for thirty-three days. She must not touch anything sacred or go into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are complete.
5 If, however, she gives birth to a daughter, the woman will be unclean for two weeks as she is during her menstruation. Then she must continue in purification from her bleeding for sixty-six days.
6 When the days of her purification are complete, whether for a son or for a daughter, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. 7 And the priest will present them before the LORD and make atonement for her; and she shall be ceremonially cleansed from her flow of blood. This is the law for a woman giving birth, whether to a male or to a female.
8 But if she cannot afford a lamb, she shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, a one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. Then the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’ ”
Laws about Skin Diseases
1 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 “When someone has a swelling or rash or bright spot on his skin that could become an infectious skin disease, a he must be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons who is a priest.
3 The priest is to examine the infection on his skin, and if the hair in the infection has turned white and the sore appears to be deeper than the skin, it is a skin disease. After the priest examines him, he must pronounce him unclean.
4 If, however, the spot on his skin is white and does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest shall isolate the infected person for seven days. 5 On the seventh day the priest is to reexamine him, and if he sees that the infection is unchanged and has not spread on the skin, the priest must isolate him for another seven days. 6 The priest will examine him again on the seventh day, and if the sore has faded and has not spread on the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is a rash. The person must wash his clothes and be clean.
7 But if the rash spreads further on his skin after he has shown himself to the priest for his cleansing, he must present himself again to the priest. 8 The priest will reexamine him, and if the rash has spread on the skin, the priest must pronounce him unclean; he has a skin disease.
9 When anyone develops a skin disease, he must be brought to the priest. 10 The priest will examine him, and if there is a white swelling on the skin that has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in the swelling, 11 it is a chronic skin disease and the priest must pronounce him unclean. He need not isolate him, for he is unclean.
12 But if the skin disease breaks out all over his skin so that it covers all the skin of the infected person from head to foot, as far as the priest can see, 13 the priest shall examine him, and if the disease has covered his entire body, he is to pronounce the infected person clean. Since it has all turned white, he is clean.
14 But whenever raw flesh appears on someone, he will be unclean. 15 When the priest sees the raw flesh, he must pronounce him unclean. The raw flesh is unclean; it is a skin disease. 16 But if the raw flesh changes and turns white, he must go to the priest. 17 The priest will reexamine him, and if the infection has turned white, the priest is to pronounce the infected person clean; then he is clean.
18 When a boil appears on someone’s skin and it heals, 19 and a white swelling or a reddish-white spot develops where the boil was, he must present himself to the priest. 20 The priest shall examine it, and if it appears to be beneath the skin and the hair in it has turned white, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a diseased infection that has broken out in the boil.
21 But when the priest examines it, if there is no white hair in it, and it is not beneath the skin and has faded, the priest shall isolate him for seven days. 22 If it spreads any further on the skin, the priest must pronounce him unclean; it is an infection. 23 But if the spot remains unchanged and does not spread, it is only the scar from the boil, and the priest shall pronounce him clean.
24 When there is a burn on someone’s skin and the raw area of the burn becomes reddish-white or white, 25 the priest must examine it. If the hair in the spot has turned white and the spot appears to be deeper than the skin, it is a disease that has broken out in the burn. The priest must pronounce him unclean; it is a diseased infection.
26 But if the priest examines it and there is no white hair in the spot, and it is not beneath the skin but has faded, the priest shall isolate him for seven days. 27 On the seventh day the priest is to reexamine him, and if it has spread further on the skin, the priest must pronounce him unclean; it is a diseased infection. 28 But if the spot is unchanged and has not spread on the skin but has faded, it is a swelling from the burn, and the priest is to pronounce him clean; for it is only the scar from the burn.
29 If a man or woman has an infection on the head or chin, 30 the priest shall examine the infection, and if it appears to be deeper than the skin and the hair in it is yellow and thin, the priest must pronounce him unclean; it is a scaly outbreak, an infectious disease of the head or chin.
31 But if the priest examines the scaly infection and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and there is no black hair in it, the priest shall isolate the infected person for seven days. 32 On the seventh day the priest is to reexamine the infection, and if the scaly outbreak has not spread and there is no yellow hair in it, and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, 33 then the person must shave himself except for the scaly area. Then the priest shall isolate him for another seven days. 34 On the seventh day the priest shall examine the scaly outbreak, and if it has not spread on the skin and does not appear to be deeper than the skin, the priest is to pronounce him clean. He must wash his clothes, and he will be clean.
35 If, however, the scaly outbreak spreads further on the skin after his cleansing, 36 the priest is to examine him, and if the scaly outbreak has spread on the skin, the priest need not look for yellow hair; the person is unclean.
37 If, however, in his sight the scaly outbreak is unchanged and black hair has grown in it, then it has healed. He is clean, and the priest is to pronounce him clean.
40 Now if a man loses his hair and is bald, he is still clean. 41 Or if his hairline recedes and he is bald on his forehead, he is still clean. 42 But if there is a reddish-white sore on the bald head or forehead, it is an infectious disease breaking out on it. 43 The priest is to examine him, and if the swelling of the infection on his bald head or forehead is reddish-white like a skin disease, 44 the man is diseased; he is unclean. The priest must pronounce him unclean because of the infection on his head.
45 A diseased person must wear torn clothes and let his hair hang loose, b and he must cover his mouth and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ 46 As long as he has the infection, he remains unclean. He must live alone in a place outside the camp.
Laws about Mildew
47 If any fabric is contaminated with mildew c—any wool or linen garment, 48 any weave or knit of linen or wool, or any article of leather— 49 and if the mark in the fabric, leather, weave, knit, or leather article is green or red, then it is contaminated with mildew and must be shown to the priest. 50 And the priest is to examine the mildew and isolate the contaminated fabric for seven days.
51 On the seventh day the priest shall reexamine it, and if the mildew has spread in the fabric, weave, knit, or leather, then regardless of how it is used, it is a harmful mildew; the article is unclean. 52 He is to burn the fabric, weave, or knit, whether the contaminated item is wool or linen or leather. Since the mildew is harmful, the article must be burned up.
53 But when the priest reexamines it, if the mildew has not spread in the fabric, weave, knit, or leather article, 54 the priest is to order the contaminated article to be washed and isolated for another seven days. 55 After it has been washed, the priest is to reexamine it, and if the mildewed article has not changed in appearance, it is unclean. Even though the mildew has not spread, you must burn it, whether the rot is on the front or back.
56 If the priest examines it and the mildew has faded after it has been washed, he must cut the contaminated section out of the fabric, leather, weave, or knit. 57 But if it reappears in the fabric, weave, or knit, or on any leather article, it is spreading. You must burn the contaminated article.
58 If the mildew disappears from the fabric, weave, or knit, or any leather article after washing, then it is to be washed again, and it will be clean.
59 This is the law concerning a mildew contamination in wool or linen fabric, weave, or knit, or any leather article, for pronouncing it clean or unclean.”
2 a Forms of the Hebrew tzaraath , traditionally translated as leprosy , were used for various skin diseases; here and throughout verses 3–46.
45 b Or uncover his head
47 c Forms of the Hebrew tzaraath , traditionally translated as leprosy regarding skin diseases, are translated as mildew regarding blemishes on garments, utensils, or buildings; here and throughout the remainder of this chapter.
Cleansing from Skin Diseases
(Matthew 8:1–4; Mark 1:40–45; Luke 5:12–16)
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “This is the law for the one afflicted with a skin disease a on the day of his cleansing, when he is brought to the priest. 3 The priest is to go outside the camp to examine him, and if the skin disease of the afflicted person has healed, 4 the priest shall order that two live clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop be brought for the one to be cleansed.
5 Then the priest shall command that one of the birds be slaughtered over fresh water b in a clay pot. 6 And he is to take the live bird together with the cedar wood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop, and dip them into the blood of the bird that was slaughtered over the fresh water. 7 Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the skin disease. Then he shall pronounce him clean and release the live bird into the open field.
8 The one being cleansed must wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and bathe with water; then he will be ceremonially clean. Afterward, he may enter the camp, but he must remain outside his tent for seven days. 9 On the seventh day he must shave off all his hair—his head, his beard, his eyebrows, and the rest of his hair. He must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water, and he will be clean.
10 On the eighth day he is to bring two unblemished male lambs, an unblemished ewe lamb a year old, a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour c mixed with olive oil, and one log of olive oil. d 11 The priest who performs the cleansing shall present the one to be cleansed, together with these offerings, before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
12 Then the priest is to take one of the male lambs and present it as a guilt offering, along with the log of olive oil; and he must wave them as a wave offering before the LORD. 13 Then he is to slaughter the lamb in the sanctuary area where the sin offering and burnt offering are slaughtered. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; it is most holy.
14 The priest is to take some of the blood from the guilt offering and put it on the right earlobe of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 15 Then the priest shall take some of the log of olive oil, pour it into his left palm, 16 dip his right forefinger into the oil in his left palm, and sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD. 17 And the priest is to put some of the oil remaining in his palm on the right earlobe of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering.
18 The rest of the oil in his palm, the priest is to put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement for him before the LORD. 19 Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering 20 and offer it on the altar, with the grain offering, to make atonement for him, and he will be clean.
21 If, however, the person is poor and cannot afford these offerings, he is to take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved to make atonement for him, along with a tenth of an ephah of fine flour e mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, a log of olive oil, 22 and two turtledoves or two young pigeons, whichever he can afford, one to be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering.
23 On the eighth day he is to bring them for his cleansing to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD. 24 The priest shall take the lamb for the guilt offering, along with the log of olive oil, and wave them as a wave offering before the LORD.
25 And after he slaughters the lamb for the guilt offering, the priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the right earlobe of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 26 Then the priest is to pour some of the oil into his left palm 27 and sprinkle with his right forefinger some of the oil in his left palm seven times before the LORD. 28 The priest shall also put some of the oil in his palm on the right earlobe of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot—on the same places as the blood of the guilt offering.
29 The rest of the oil in his palm, the priest is to put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement for him before the LORD. 30 Then he must sacrifice the turtledoves or young pigeons, whichever he can afford, 31 one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, f together with the grain offering. In this way the priest will make atonement before the LORD for the one to be cleansed.
32 This is the law for someone who has a skin disease and cannot afford the cost of his cleansing.”
Signs of Home Contamination
33 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 34 “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a contamination of mildew g into a house in that land, 35 the owner of the house shall come and tell the priest, ‘Something like mildew has appeared in my house.’
36 The priest must order that the house be cleared before he enters it to examine the mildew, so that nothing in the house will become unclean. After this, the priest shall go in to inspect the house.
37 He is to examine the house, and if the mildew on the walls consists of green or red depressions that appear to be beneath the surface of the wall, 38 the priest shall go outside the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days.
39 On the seventh day the priest is to return and inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, 40 he must order that the contaminated stones be pulled out and thrown into an unclean place outside the city. 41 And he shall have the inside of the house scraped completely and the plaster that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the city.
42 So different stones must be obtained to replace the contaminated ones, as well as additional mortar to replaster the house.
If the mildew has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew;the house is unclean. 45 It must be torn down with its stones, its timbers, and all its plaster, and taken outside the city to an unclean place. 46 Anyone who enters the house during any of the days that it is closed up will be unclean until evening. 47 And anyone who sleeps in the house or eats in it must wash his clothes.
Cleansing a Home
48 If, however, the priest comes and inspects it, and the mildew has not spread after the house has been replastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the mildew is gone.
51 Then he shall take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn, and the live bird, dip them in the blood of the slaughtered bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 And he shall cleanse the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet yarn.
53 Finally, he is to release the live bird into the open fields outside the city. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.
54 This is the law for any infectious skin disease, for a scaly outbreak, 55 for mildew in clothing or in a house, 56 and for a swelling, rash, or spot, 57 to determine when something is clean or unclean. This is the law regarding skin diseases and mildew. h”
2 a Forms of the Hebrew tzaraath , traditionally translated as leprosy , were used for various skin diseases; also in verses 3, 7, 32, 54, and 57.
5 b Or flowing water or living water ; here and in verses 6, 50, 51, and 52
10 c Three-tenths of an ephah is approximately 6 dry quarts or 6.6 liters (probably about 7.6 pounds or 3.5 kilograms of flour).
10 d Or one log of oil ; that is, approximately 0.33 quarts or 0.31 liters; also in verses 12, 15, 21, and 24
21 e A tenth of an ephah is approximately 2 dry quarts or 2.2 liters (probably about 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kilograms of flour).
31 f LXX and Syriac; Hebrew includes as he is able to afford,
34 g Forms of the Hebrew tzaraath , traditionally translated as leprosy regarding skin diseases, are translated as mildew regarding blemishes on garments, utensils, or buildings; here and throughout the remainder of this chapter.
57 h The Hebrew translated here as skin diseases and mildew is one singular term; see the footnotes for verses 2 and 34.
The Uncleanness of Men
1 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 “Say to the Israelites, ‘When any man has a bodily discharge, the discharge is unclean. 3 This uncleanness is from his discharge, whether his body allows the discharge to flow or blocks it. So his discharge will bring about uncleanness.
4 Any bed on which the man with the discharge lies will be unclean, and any furniture on which he sits will be unclean. 5 Anyone who touches his bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening. 6 Whoever sits on furniture on which the man with the discharge was sitting must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening.
7 Whoever touches the body of the man with a discharge must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening. 8 If the man with the discharge spits on one who is clean, that person must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening.
9 Any saddle on which the man with the discharge rides will be unclean. 10 Whoever touches anything that was under him will be unclean until evening, and whoever carries such things must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening.
11 If the man with the discharge touches anyone without first rinsing his hands with water, the one who was touched must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening. 12 Any clay pot that the man with the discharge touches must be broken, and any wooden utensil must be rinsed with water.
The Cleansing of Men
13 When the man has been cleansed from his discharge, he must count off seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe himself in fresh water, a and he shall be clean. 14 On the eighth day he is to take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, come before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and give them to the priest. 15 The priest is to sacrifice them, one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for the man before the LORD because of his discharge.
16 When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean until evening. 17 Any clothing or leather on which there is an emission of semen must be washed with water, and it will remain unclean until evening. 18 If a man lies with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both must bathe with water, and they will remain unclean until evening.
The Uncleanness of Women
19 When a woman has a discharge consisting of blood from her body, she will be unclean due to her menstruation for seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening. 20 Anything on which she lies or sits during her menstruation will be unclean, 21 and anyone who touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening.
22 Whoever touches any furniture on which she was sitting must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening. 23 And whether it is a bed or furniture on which she was sitting, whoever touches it will be unclean until evening.
24 If a man lies with her and her menstrual flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days, and any bed on which he lies will become unclean.
25 When a woman has a discharge of her blood for many days at a time other than her menstrual period, or if it continues beyond her period, she will be unclean all the days of her unclean discharge, just as she is during the days of her menstruation. 26 Any bed on which she lies or any furniture on which she sits during the days of her discharge will be unclean, like her bed during her menstrual period. 27 Anyone who touches these things will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening.
The Cleansing of Women
28 When a woman is cleansed of her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she is to take two turtledoves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her before the LORD for her unclean discharge.
31 You must keep the children of Israel separate from their uncleanness, so that they do not die by defiling My tabernacle, which is among them.
32 This is the law of him who has a discharge, of the man who has an emission of semen whereby he is unclean, 33 of a woman in her menstrual period, of any male or female who has a discharge, and of a man who lies with an unclean woman.’ ”
13 a Or flowing water or living water
The Day of Atonement
(Leviticus 23:26–32;Numbers 29:7–11)
1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of two of Aaron’s sons when they approached the presence of the LORD. 2 And the LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to enter freely into the Most Holy Place a behind the veil in front of the mercy seat b on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.
3 This is how Aaron is to enter the Holy Place: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He is to wear the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments. He must tie a linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are holy garments, and he must bathe himself with water before he wears them. 5 And he shall take from the congregation of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering.
6 Aaron is to present the bull for his sin offering and make atonement for himself and his household. 7 Then he shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
8 After Aaron casts lots for the two goats, one for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat, c 9 he shall present the goat chosen by lot for the LORD and sacrifice it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement by sending it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.
11 When Aaron presents the bull for his sin offering and makes atonement for himself and his household, he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering. 12 Then he must take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense, and take them inside the veil. 13 He is to put the incense on the fire before the LORD, and the cloud of incense will cover the mercy seat above the Testimony, d so that he will not die. 14 And he is to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the east side of the mercy seat; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the mercy seat.
15 Aaron shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and bring its blood behind the veil, and with its blood he must do as he did with the bull’s blood: He is to sprinkle it against the mercy seat and in front of it.
16 So he shall make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the impurities and rebellious acts of the Israelites in regard to all their sins. He is to do the same for the Tent of Meeting which abides among them, because it is surrounded by their impurities. 17 No one may be in the Tent of Meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Most Holy Place until he leaves, after he has made atonement for himself, his household, and the whole assembly of Israel.
18 Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it. He is to take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on all the horns of the altar. 19 He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse it and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites.
20 When Aaron has finished purifying the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, he is to bring forward the live goat. 21 Then he is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities and rebellious acts of the Israelites in regard to all their sins. He is to put them on the goat’s head and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man appointed for the task. 22 The goat will carry on itself all their iniquities into a solitary place, and the man will release it into the wilderness.
23 Then Aaron is to enter the Tent of Meeting, take off the linen garments he put on before entering the Most Holy Place, and leave them there. 24 He is to bathe himself with water in a holy place and put on his own clothes. Then he must go out and sacrifice his burnt offering and the people’s burnt offering to make atonement for himself and for the people. 25 He is also to burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar.
26 The man who released the goat as the scapegoat must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterward he may reenter the camp.
27 The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to make atonement, must be taken outside the camp; and their hides, flesh, and dung must be burned up. 28 The one who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water, and afterward he may reenter the camp.
29 This is to be a permanent statute for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month, you shall humble yourselves e and not do any work—whether the native or the foreigner who resides among you— 30 because on this day atonement will be made for you to cleanse you, and you will be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31 It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, that you may humble yourselves; it is a permanent statute.
32 The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest shall make atonement. He will put on the sacred linen garments 33 and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, f the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, and for the priests and all the people of the assembly. 34 This is to be a permanent statute for you, to make atonement once a year for the Israelites because of all their sins.”
And all this was done as the LORD had commanded Moses.
2 a Or the Holy Place ; also in verses 16, 17, 20, 23, and 27
2 b Or atonement cover ; here and throughout this chapter
8 c Literally the other to Azazel ; similarly twice in verse 10 and once in verse 26
13 d The Testimony refers to the stone tablets in the ark of the covenant inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
29 e Or afflict your souls or deny yourselves ; also in verse 31
33 f Or the Holy Sanctuary
The Place of Sacrifice
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to Aaron, his sons, and all the Israelites and tell them this is what the LORD has commanded: 3 ‘Anyone from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox, a a lamb, or a goat in the camp or outside of it 4 instead of bringing it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting to present it as an offering to the LORD before His tabernacle—that man shall incur bloodguilt. He has shed blood and must be cut off from among his people.
5 For this reason the Israelites will bring to the LORD the sacrifices they have been offering in the open fields. They are to bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and offer them as sacrifices of peace to the LORD. 6 The priest will then sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and burn the fat as a pleasing aroma to the LORD.
8 Tell them that if anyone from the house of Israel or any foreigner living among them offers a burnt offering or a sacrifice 9 but does not bring it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting to sacrifice it to the LORD, that man must be cut off from his people.
Laws against Eating Blood
10 If anyone from the house of Israel or a foreigner living among them eats any blood, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life c of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for your souls upon the altar; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, ‘None of you may eat blood, nor may any foreigner living among you eat blood.’
13 And if any Israelite or foreigner living among them hunts down a wild animal or bird that may be eaten, he must drain its blood and cover it with dirt. 14 For the life of all flesh is its blood. Therefore I have told the Israelites, ‘You must not eat the blood of any living thing, because the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it must be cut off.’
15 And any person, whether native or foreigner, who eats anything found dead or mauled by wild beasts must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean until evening; then he will be clean. 16 But if he does not wash his clothes and bathe himself, then he shall bear his iniquity.”
3 a Or a bull or a cow
7 b Or goat idols
11 c Literally the soul ; also in verse 14
Unlawful Sexual Relations
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them:I am the LORD your God. 3 You must not follow the practices of the land of Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not follow the practices of the land of Canaan, into which I am bringing you. You must not walk in their customs.
4 You are to practice My judgments and keep My statutes by walking in them. I am the LORD your God. 5 Keep My statutes and My judgments, for the man who does these things will live by them. a I am the LORD.
7 You must not expose the nakedness of your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual relations with her.
8 You must not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; it would dishonor your father.
9 You must not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.
10 You must not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, for that would shame your family.
11 You must not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.
12 You must not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.
13 You must not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s close relative.
14 You must not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations with her; she is your aunt.
15 You must not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; you are not to have sexual relations with her.
16 You must not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would shame your brother.
17 You must not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. You are not to marry her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter and have sexual relations with her. They are close relatives; it is depraved.
18 You must not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is still alive.
19 You must not approach a woman to have sexual relations with her during her menstrual period.
20 You must not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife and thus defile yourself with her.
22 You must not lie with a man as with a woman; that is an abomination.
23 You must not lie carnally with any animal, thus defiling yourself with it; a woman must not stand before an animal to mate with it; that is a perversion.