Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

A Midnight Wrestling Match

Jacob stayed a long time in the land of Haran, much longer than he had expected to stay. And in that land Jacob became rich. As wages for his work with Laban, Jacob took a share of the sheep, and oxen, and camels. And since Jacob was very wise and careful in his work, his share grew larger, until Jacob owned a great flock and much cattle. At last, after twenty years, Jacob decided to go back to the land of Canaan, and to his father Isaac, who was still living, though now very old and feeble.

Jacob did not tell his uncle Laban that he was going away; but while Laban was absent from home, Jacob gathered together his wives, and children, and all his sheep and cattle, and camels, and he stole away quietly. When Laban found that Jacob had left him, he was not at all pleased; for he wished Jacob still to care for the things that he owned, for Jacob managed them better than Laban himself, and God blessed everything that Jacob undertook. Then, too, Laban did not like to have his two daughters, the wives of Jacob, taken so far away from him.

So Laban and the men who were with him followed after Jacob; but that night God spoke to Lagan in a dream and said:

"Do no harm to Jacob, when you meet him."

Therefore, when Laban came to where Jacob was in his camp on Mount Gilead, on the east of the river Jordan, Laban spoke kindly to Jacob. And Jacob and Laban 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 Laban:

"I promise not to go past this heap of stones, and this pillar to do you any harm. The God of your grandfather, Nahor, and the God of my grandfather, Abraham, be the judge between us."

And Laban made the same promise to Jacob; and then he kissed his daughters, Jacob's two wives, and all of Jacob's children, and bade them good-by; and Laban went back to Haran, and Jacob went on to Canaan.

And Jacob gave two names to the heap of stones where they had made the covenant. One name was "Galeed," a word which means, "The heap of Witness." The other was "Mizpah," which means "Watch-tower." For Jacob said, "The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent from each other."

While Jacob was going back to Canaan, he heard news that filled him with fear. He heard that Esau, his brother, was coming to meet him, leading an army of four hundred men. He knew how angry Esau had been long before, and how he had threatened to kill him. And Jacob feared that Esau would now come upon him, and kill, not only Jacob himself, but his wives and his children. If Jacob had acted rightly toward his brother, he need not have feared Esau's coming; but he knew how he had wronged Esau, and he was terribly afraid to meet him.

That night Jacob 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 Jacob 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 Jabbok, while he stayed alone on the other side of the brook to pray again.

And while Jacob was alone, he felt that a man had taken hold of him, and Jacob wrestled with this strange man all the night. And the man was an angel from God. They wrestled so hard, that Jacob's thigh was strained in the struggle. And the angel said:

"Let me go, for the day is breaking."

And Jacob said:

"I will not let thee go until thou dost bless me." And the angel said:

"What is your name?"

And Jacob answered, "Jacob is my name."

Then the angel said:

"Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel, that is 'He who wrestles with God.' For you have wrestled with God and have won the victory."

Jacob's Dream


And the angel blessed him there. And the sun rose as the angel left him; and Jacob gave a name to that place. He called it Peniel, or Penuel, words which in the language that Jacob spoke mean "The Face of God." "For," said Jacob, "I have met God face to face." And after this Jacob was lame, for in the wrestle he had strained his thigh.

And as Jacob went across the brook Jabbok, early in the morning, he looked up, and there was Esau right before him. He bowed with his face to the ground, over and over again, as people do in those lands when they meet some one of higher rank than their own. But Esau ran to meet him, and placed his arms around his neck, and kissed him; and the two brothers wept together. Esau was kind and generous to forgive his brother all the wrong that he had done; and at first he would not receive Jacob's present, for he said: "I have enough, my brother." But Jacob 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 Shechem, in the middle of the land of Canaan, 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 Jacob's well.

After this Jacob had a new name, Israel, which means, as we have seen, "The one who wrestles with God." Sometimes he was called Jacob, and sometimes Israel. And all those who come from Israel, his descendants, were called Israelites.

After this Isaac died, very old, and was buried by his sons Jacob and Esau, in the cave at Hebron where Abraham and Sarah were buried already. Esau with his children and his cattle went away to a land on the southeast of Canaan, which was called Edom. And Jacob, or Israel, and his family lived in the land of Canaan dwelling in tents, and moving from place to place, where they could find good pasture, or grass upon which to feed their flocks.