Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples.
There he saw a well in the field, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large.
When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well's mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
Jacob asked the shepherds, "My brothers, where are you from?" "We're from Haran," they replied.
He said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?" "Yes, we know him," they answered.
Then Jacob asked them, "Is he well?" "Yes, he is," they said, "and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep."
"Look," he said, "the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture."
"We can't," they replied, "until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep."
While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess.
When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and Laban's sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle's sheep.
Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud.
He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.
As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things.
Then Laban said to him, "You are my own flesh and blood." After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month,
Laban said to him, "Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be."
Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful.
Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, "I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel."
Laban said, "It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me."
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her."
So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.
But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her.
And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant.
When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me?"
Laban replied, "It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.
Finish this daughter's bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work."
And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.
Laban gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.
Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.
Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon.
Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi.
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"
Jacob became angry with her and said, "Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?"
Then she said, "Here is Bilhah, my maidservant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and that through her I too can build a family."
So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her,
and she became pregnant and bore him a son.
Then Rachel said, "God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son." Because of this she named him Dan.
Rachel's servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
Then Rachel said, "I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won." So she named him Naphtali.
When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.
Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son.
Then Leah said, "What good fortune!" So she named him Gad.
Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.
Then Leah said, "How happy I am! The women will call me happy." So she named him Asher.
During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."
But she said to her, "Wasn't it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son's mandrakes too?" "Very well," Rachel said, "he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes."
So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. "You must sleep with me," she said. "I have hired you with my son's mandrakes." So he slept with her that night.
God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son.
Then Leah said, "God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband." So she named him Issachar.
Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son.
Then Leah said, "God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons." So she named him Zebulun.
Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb.
She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, "God has taken away my disgrace."
She named him Joseph, and said, "May the LORD add to me another son."
After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland.
Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I've done for you."
But Laban said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you."
He added, "Name your wages, and I will pay them."
Jacob said to him, "You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care.
The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?"
"What shall I give you?" he asked. "Don't give me anything," Jacob replied. "But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them:
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. They will be my wages.
And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen."
"Agreed," said Laban. "Let it be as you have said."
That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons.
Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban's flocks.
Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.
Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink,
they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.
Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban's animals.
Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches,
but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob.
In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.
Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
"I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.
But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."
Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?"
Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.
He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'
"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."'
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.
But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?"
The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?
It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.
I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk.
The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows.
But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!
Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.
From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.
They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
He said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does.
And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is.
Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?
"Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?
As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.
I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny."