In a word, Athenians are by nature incapable of either living a quiet life themselves, or of allowing anyone else to do so. — Thucydides

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




Isaac

While Abraham was old, he had said unto the eldest servant of his house, "Promise me now that thou shalt not take as a wife for my son one of the daughters of the people of Canaan. But thou shalt go unto my own country and my own people, and choose from amongst them a wife for my son Isaac."

And the servant said unto him, "If now the woman whom I choose will not be willing to follow me unto this land, must I then bring thy son again into the land from whence thou camest?"

Abraham said unto him, "Thou shalt not take my son thither. But the Lord God of heaven who led me to this land, and has promised to give this land to my children, he shall send his angel with thee. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, thou canst do no more: thou hast kept thy promise. Only bring not my son thither." Then the servant promised.

And the servant took ten camels, and set out and came to the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia. And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening. And at that time the women go to the well to draw water.

And the servant said, "O Lord God, I pray thee help me this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham! Behold, I stand here by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water. Let it now come to pass that the damsel who shall say unto me, 'Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also'; when I shall say to her, 'Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink ': let this be she whom thou hast chosen as a wife for thy servant Isaac."

And it came to pass before he had done speaking that, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And she was the daughter of Bethuel, and Bethuel was the son of Abraham's brother Nahor.

Rebekah was very fair to look upon: and she went down to the well and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her and said, "Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water from thy pitcher."

And Rebekah said, "Drink, my lord": and she hasted, and set down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, "I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking." Then she emptied her pitcher into the trough for the camels, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. And the man said nothing, but wondered whether God had heard him and sent him what he sought.

When the camels had done drinking, the man took a gold earring and two bracelets and gave them to Rebekah, and said, "Whose daughter art thou? Tell me, I pray thee, is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?"

And Rebekah said, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor, and we have food enough, and room for you to lodge in."

Then the man said, "Blessed be God, who is good to my master Abraham, and has led me to the house of my master's brethren."

Then Rebekah ran, and told her mother and her brother Laban these things; and Laban ran out unto the man unto the well, and said, "Come in, for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels." And the man came into the house, and Laban gave him straw and food for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the men's feet that were with him. And food was set before him.

But the man said, "I will not eat until I have told thee what I have come for. I am Abraham's servant. The Lord hath made my master great, and hath given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and man-servants and maid-servants, and camels and asses. And Abraham my master hath given all that he hath to his son Isaac. My master made me promise, saying, 'Thou shalt not take a wife for my son out of the land of Canaan in which I dwell, but thou shalt go into the land from whence I came, and unto my father's house, and take a wife unto my son.' Then I said unto my master, 'But if the woman will not follow me?' And he said unto me, 'The Lord who has been with me, will send his angel to direct thee.' So I came this day unto the well, and said, '0 Lord God of my master Abraham, behold I stand at the well of water. Let it be that when a damsel cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water out of thy pitcher to drink, and she say, Drink, and I will also draw for thy camels; let that be the woman whom the Lord has chosen for my master's son.' And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder, and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said unto her, 'Let me drink, I pray thee.' And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also': so I drank, and she made the camels drink also. Then I asked her, 'Whose daughter art thou?' and she said, 'The daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor.' Therefore I bowed my head and worshipped the Lord, and thanked the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way, to take Rebekah unto his son. Now tell me if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master: and if not, tell me."

Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, "We can say nothing; this is the Lord's doing. Behold, Rebekah is before thee; take her and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife."

And it came to pass that when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, and bowed himself to the earth. Then he brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he also gave to her brother and to her mother precious things.

And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night. And they rose up in the morning, and the servant said, "Send me away unto my master."

But Rebekah's brother and her mother said, "Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten: after that she shall go."

But he said unto them, "Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath given me what I sought: send me away, that I may go to my master."

So they said, "We will call the damsel and ask her." And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, "Wilt thou go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."

And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men. And the servant took Rebekah and went his way. And Rebekah and her damsels rode upon camels, and followed the man.

Now Isaac went out to pray in the field at eventide. And he lifted up his eyes, and behold, the camels were coming.

And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she alighted from off the camel, for she had said unto the servant, "What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?" And the servant had said, "This is my master."

Then the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother's tent, and she became his wife, and he loved her.

Now it came to pass that Rebekah had sons, and they were twins. The name of the first-born was Esau, and the name of the younger was Jacob. And the boys grew; and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man who lived in the fields. But Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.

Now Isaac their father loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

And Jacob made pottage; and Esau came from the field, and he was faint.

And Esau said to Jacob, "Feed me, I pray thee, with that same pottage, for I am faint."

And Jacob said, "Sell me this day thy birthright."

And Esau said, "Behold, I am at the point to die, and what profit shall this birthright do to me?" And he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils: and he did eat and drink, and rose up and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

And it came to pass that when Isaac was old and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau, his eldest son, and said unto him, "My son."

And Esau said unto him, "Behold, here I am."

And Isaac said, "Behold now I am old, I know not how soon I may die. Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field and hunt, and make me savoury meat, such as I love, that I may eat. Then will I bless thee before I die."

And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her younger son, saying, "Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 'Bring me venison and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before I die.' Now therefore, my son, obey my voice, and do that which I command thee. Go now to the flock, and fetch me thence two good kids, and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth. And thou shalt bring it to thy father that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death."

And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. If my father feel me, I shall seem to him a deceiver, and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing."

But his mother said, "Only obey my voice, and go and fetch me the kids."

And Jacob went and fetched them, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made the savoury meat that his father loved.

And Rebekah took raiment of her eldest son Esau, which was with her in the house, and put it upon Jacob, her younger son. And she put the skins of the kids upon his hands, and upon the smooth part of his neck, and Rebekah gave the savoury meat, and the bread she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

And he came unto his father, and said, "My father." And his father said, "Here am I; who art thou, my son?"

And Jacob said unto his father, "I am Esau, thy first-born. I have done as thou hadest me. Arise, I pray thee, and eat of my venison, that thou mayest bless me."

Jacob and Isaac
AND JACOB SAID UNTO HIS FATHER, 'I AM ESAU.'


And Isaac said to his son, "How is it thou halt found it so quickly, my son?"

Jacob said, "It is because the Lord thy God helped me."

Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near, I pray, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be in truth my son Esau or not."

And Jacob went near unto Isaac, his father; and Isaac felt him, and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau."

Then Isaac said again, "Art thou my very son Esau?"

And Jacob said, "I am."

So Isaac said, "Bring the venison near to me." And Jacob brought it near, and Isaac did eat.

Then his father said unto Jacob, "Come near now and kiss me, my son.

And Jacob came near and kissed his father, and Isaac smelled his raiment, for it smelled of the field; and Isaac blessed Jacob.

And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was gone out from the presence of his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

Esau also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto him, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's venison, that he may bless him."

And Isaac his father said unto him, "Who art thou?"

He said, I am thy son, thy first-born, Esau."

Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, "Who? Where is he who has already brought me venison? For I have eaten before thou camest, and blessed him who brought it, yea, and he shall be blessed."

When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, "Bless me, even me also, O my father!"

And Isaac said, "Thy brother came, and hath taken away thy blessing."

Esau said unto his father, "Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

Then Isaac blessed Esau also. But Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father had blessed him.

And Esau said, "When my father is dead, then will I slay my brother Jacob."

When Rebekah heard the words of Esau, she sent and called Jacob, her younger son, and said unto him, "Behold, thy brother Esau desireth to kill thee. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice and arise, and flee thou to Laban my brother, and tarry with him, till Esau's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him. Then will I send and fetch thee again:

And Rebekah said to Isaac, "Let us send away Jacob our son, to find a wife for himself among the daughters of Laban my brother: And they sent Jacob away.

Then Isaac died, and was buried.