God’s Plan for Jacob
To start off this lesson, read these verses from the Taurat:
19 This is the story of Abraham’s son Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebecca, the daughter of Bethuel (an Aramean from Mesopotamia) and sister of Laban. 21 Because Rebecca had no children, Isaac prayed to the Lord for her. The Lord answered his prayer, and Rebecca became pregnant. 22 She was going to have twins, and before they were born, they struggled against each other in her womb. She said, “Why should something like this happen to me?” So she went to ask the Lord for an answer.
23 The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are within you;
You will give birth to two rival peoples.
One will be stronger than the other;
The older will serve the younger.”
24 The time came for her to give birth, and she had twin sons. 25 The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau. 26 The second one was born holding on tightly to the heel of Esau, so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilled hunter, a man who loved the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Isaac preferred Esau, because he enjoyed eating the animals Esau killed, but Rebecca preferred Jacob.
29 One day while Jacob was cooking some bean soup, Esau came in from hunting. He was hungry 30 and said to Jacob, “I’m starving; give me some of that red stuff.” (That is why he was named Edom.)
31 Jacob answered, “I will give it to you if you give me your rights as the first-born son.”
32 Esau said, “All right! I am about to die; what good will my rights do me?”
33 Jacob answered, “First make a vow that you will give me your rights.”
Esau made the vow and gave his rights to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave him some bread and some of the soup. He ate and drank and then got up and left. That was all Esau cared about his rights as the first-born son.
2 And this is the story of Jacob’s family.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, took care of the sheep and goats with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s concubines. He brought bad reports to his father about what his brothers were doing.
3 Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, because he had been born to him when he was old. He made a long robe with full sleeves for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them, they hated their brother so much that they would not speak to him in a friendly manner.
5 One time Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him even more. 6 He said, “Listen to the dream I had. 7 We were all in the field tying up sheaves of wheat, when my sheaf got up and stood up straight. Yours formed a circle around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 “Do you think you are going to be a king and rule over us?” his brothers asked. So they hated him even more because of his dreams and because of what he said about them.
9 Then Joseph had another dream and told his brothers, “I had another dream, in which I saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down to me.”
10 He also told the dream to his father, and his father scolded him: “What kind of a dream is that? Do you think that your mother, your brothers, and I are going to come and bow down to you?” 11 Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept thinking about the whole matter.
Now read this lesson and do the quiz at the end. The lesson explains what you have read in the Taurat.