Story Fourteen

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 4
JĀ́ COB stayed a long time in the land of Hā́ ran, much longer than he had expected to stay. And in that land Jā́ cob became rich. As wages for his work with Lā́ ban, Jā́ cob took a share of the sheep, and oxen; and camels. And since Jā́ cob was very wise and careful in his work, his share grew larger, until Jā́ cob owned a great flock and much cattle. At last, after twenty years, Jā́ cob decided to go back to the land of Cā́ năan, and to his father Ī́ s̞aac, who was still living, though now very old and feeble.
Jā́ cob did not tell his uncle Lā́ ban that he was going away; but while Lā́ ban was absent from home, Jā́ cob gathered together his wives, and children, and all his sheep and cattle, and camels, and he stole away quietly. When Lā́ ban found that Jā́ cob had left him, he was not at all pleased; for he wished Jā́ cob still to care for the things that he owned, for Jā́ cob managed them better than Lā́ ban himself, and God blessed everything that Jā́ cob undertook. Then, too, Lā́ ban did not like to have his two daughters, the wives of Jā́ cob, taken so far away from him.
So Lā́ ban and the men who were with him followed after Jā́ cob; but that night God spoke to Lā́ ban in a dream and said: "Do no harm to Jā́ cob, when you meet him.”
Therefore, when Lā́ ban came to where Jā́ cob was in his camp on Mount Ḡĭĺ e-ăd, on the east of the river Jordan, Lā́ ban spoke kindly to Jā́ cob. And Jā́ cob and Lā́ ban made a covenant, that is a promise between them: They piled up a heap of stones, and on it they set up a large rock like a pillar; and beside the heap of stones they ate a meal together; and Jacob said to Lā́ ban:
"I promise not to go past this heap of stones, and this pillar to do you any harm. The God of your grandfather, Nā́hôr, and the God of my grandfather, Ā́ bră-hăm, be the judge between us." And Lā́ ban made the same promise to Jā́ cob; and then he kissed his daughters, Jā́ cob's two wives, and all of Jā́ cob's children, and bade them good-by; and Lā́ ban went back to Hā́ ran, and Jā́ cob went on to Cā́ năan.
And Jā́ cob gave two names to the heap of stones where they had made the covenant. One name was "Găĺ e-ĕd," a word which means, "The heap of Witness." The other was "Mĭź peh," which means "Watch-tower." For Jā́ cob said, "The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent from each other.”
While Jā́ cob was going back to Cā́ năan, he heard news that filled him with fear. He heard that Ḗ sa̤u, his brother, was coming to meet him, leading an army of four hundred men. He knew how angry Ḗ sa̤u had been long before, and how he had threatened to kill him. And Jā́ cob feared that Ḗ sa̤u would now come upon him, and kill, not only Jā́ cob himself, but his wives and his children. If Jā́ cob had acted rightly toward his brother, he need not have feared Ḗ sa̤u's coming; but he knew how he had wronged Ḗ sa̤u, and he was terribly afraid to meet him.
That night Jā́ cob divided his company into two parts; so that if one part were taken the other part might escape. And he sent onward before him, as a present to his brother, a great drove of oxen and cows, and sheep and goats, and camels and asses; hoping that by the present his brother might be made more kind toward him. And then Jā́ cob prayed earnestly to the Lord God to help him.
After that he sent all his family across a brook that was in his path, called the brook Jăb́ bŏk, while he stayed alone on the other, side of the brook to pray again.
And while Jā́ cob was alone, he felt that a man had taken hold of him, and Jā́ cob wrestled with this strange man all the night. And the man was an angel from God. They wrestled so hard, that Jā́ cob's thigh was strained in the struggle. And the angel said: "Let me go, for the day is breaking.”
And Jā́ cob said: "I will not let thee go until thou dost bless me." And the angel said:
"What is your name?”
And Jā́ cob answered, "Jā́ cob is my name.”
Then the angel said:
Your name shall no more be called Jā́ cob, but Īś ra-el, that is 'He who wrestles with God.' For you have wrestled with God and have won the victory.”
And the angel blessed him there. And the sun rose as the angel left him; and Jā́ cob gave a name to that place. He called it Pē̇-nī́ el, or Pē̇-nū́ el, words which in the language that Jā́ cob spoke mean "The Face of God." "For," said Jā́ cob, "I have met God face to face." And after this Jā́ cob was lame, for in the wrestle he had strained his thigh.
And as Jā́ cob went across the brook Jăb́ bŏk, early in the morning, he looked up, and there was Ḗ sa̤u right before him. He bowed with his face to the ground, over and over again, as people do in those lands when they meet someone of higher rank than their own. But Ḗ sa̤u ran to meet him, and placed his arms around his neck, and kissed him; and the two brothers wept together. Ḗ sa̤u was kind and generous to forgive his brother all the wrong that he had done; and at first he would not receive Jā́ cob's present, for he said: "I have enough, my brother." But Jā́ cob urged him, until at last he took the present. And so the quarrel was ended, and the two brothers were at peace.
Jacob came to Shḗ chem, in the middle of the land of Cā́ năan, and there he set up his tents; and at the foot of the mountain, although there were streams of water all around, he dug his own well, great and deep; the well where Jesus sat and talked with a woman many ages after that time; and the well that may be still seen. Even now the traveler who visits that place may drink water from Jā́ cob's well.
After this Jā́ cob had a new name, Ĭś̝ ra-el, which means, as we have seen, "The one who wrestles with God." Sometimes he was called Jā́ cob, and sometimes Ĭś̝ ra-el. And all those who come from Ĭś̝ ra-el, his descendants, were called Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes.
After this Isaac died, very old, and was buried by his sons Jā́ cob and Ḗ sa̤u, in the cave at Hḗ bron where Ā́ bră-ham and Sā́ rah were buried already. Ḗsa̤u with his children and his cattle went away to a land on the southeast of Cā́ năan, which was called Ḗ dom. And Jā́ cob, or Ĭś̝ ra-el, and his family lived in the land of Cā́ năan, dwelling in tents, and moving from place to place, where they could find good pasture, or grass upon which to feed their flocks.
Lesson 6. Jacob.
(Tell Stories 13 and 14.)
1. Who was Jacob? The younger son of Isaac.
2. What did Jacob see in a dream at night, when he was going far from his home? A ladder from earth to heaven with angels on it.
3. Whom did Jacob see standing at the top of the ladder? The Lord God.
4. What did God say to Jacob at that time? "I am with thee and will keep thee.”
5. What promise did Jacob make after he saw the heavenly ladder and heard the voice of God? "The Lord shall be my God.”
6. What other name was given to Jacob many years afterward? The name of Israel.
7. What does the name Israel mean? The prince of God.
8. How many sons did Jacob or Israel have? Twelve.
9. What people came from Jacob or Israel? The children of Israel or Israelites.
10. What are the Israelites called in the Bible? The people of God it. Why are they called "the people of God"? Because they prayed to God, when other people were praying to idols.