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Yet Jacob was a good man, and one who loved God. He thought much of God's promises, and wished much for God's blessing. Jacob had faith in God. And God loved Jacob, and gave him the blessing of Abraham. But when Jacob's faith failed, and he did what was wrong, God punished him. He did not lose the blessing for that one sin, but he had to bear many hard trials for his punishment.
When those whom God loves do wrong, God punishes them, that they may repent and be forgiven. Sometimes wicked men seem to sin and not be punished. Their punishment is sad indeed. They will be punished for ever in the world to
WHEN Jacob had gone forth from the home of his father Isaac, he had a long way to go, to come to the land where Laban lived.
He journeyed on till he came to a place called Luz; and he rested there that night. And when the sun set, he took some stones, and put them for a pillow, and laid down to sleep. And Jacob dreamed a dream : and in his dream he saw a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending upon it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, “ I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth : and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and I will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land.”
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.” And he was afraid, and said, “How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”
And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and
he took the stone which he had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon it. He did this to make it holy to God. And Jacob called the name of the place Bethel.
Bethel means the house of God.
And Jacob vowed a vow. He said that he would serve God, who had promised to take care of him, and to bring him back to his father's house in peace. And of all that God should give him, he said that he would give the tenth part to God.
Jacob did come back at last, as God promised; but before he came back, he was obliged to live many years as a servant, away from his own home, and the land where his father dwelt.
Ascending, is going up.
JACOB'S SOJOURN WITH HIS UNCLE LABAN. Then Jacob went on his journey to Haran, where Laban his uncle lived.
And when he came to Haran, he saw a well, and near it were some shepherds with their flocks. They had brought their flocks there to give them water. And Jacob asked them if they knew Laban, and they said, “We know him; he is well; and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.” And Jacob saw Rachel, his uncle's daughter, coming with her sheep..
Then Jacob went and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, and watered Laban's flock for Rachel. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. And he told her that he was her cousin, Rebekah's son.
And she ran and told her father.
When Laban heard that Jacob, his sister's son, was come, he ran to meet him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Then Jacob lived with Laban.
Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. And Jacob loved Rachel. And Jacob said to Laban, “ I will serve thee seven years for Rachel, thy younger daughter.” And Laban said, that when Jacob had served him seven years, he would give Rachel to him to be his wife.
Jacob kept Laban's flocks, and fed them. “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had to her."
When the seven years were ended, Jacob asked Laban to give Rachel to him to be his wife, as he had promised. But Laban deceived Jacob, and gave
Leah to him instead. Jacob was very angry, when he found that it was Leah whom Laban had given him, and not Rachel whom he loved. But Jacob deserved to be deceived, because he had himself deceived his father Isaac, when he made him think that he was Esau.
Afterwards, Laban gave Rachel also to Jacob to be his wife, but he made him serve seven more years for her.
God then allowed men to have more than one wife.
Leah, Jacob's first wife, had many sons, and at last Rachel had a son also; his name was Joseph.
After Jacob had served Laban fourteen years