VAYETSE (AND HE WENT OUT)
Jacob’s Ladder From Heaven
10 Then Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He happened upon a certain place and spent the night there, for the sun had set. So he took one of the stones from the place and put it by his head and lay down in that place. 12 He dreamed: All of a sudden, there was a stairway set up on the earth and its top reaching to the heavens—and behold, angels of God going up and down on it! 13 Surprisingly, Adonai was standing on top of it[a] and He said, “I am Adonai, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your seed. 14 Your seed will be as the dust of the land, and you will burst forth to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed—and in your seed. 15 Behold, I am with you, and I will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land, for I will not forsake you until I have done what I promised you.”
16 Jacob woke up from his sleep and said, “Undoubtedly, Adonai is in this place—and I was unaware.” 17 So he was afraid and said, “How fearsome this place is! This is none other than the House of God—this must be the gate of heaven!”
18 Early in the morning Jacob got up and took the stone, which he had placed by his head, and set it up as a memorial stone and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Beth-El (though originally the city’s name was Luz). 20 Then Jacob made a vow saying, “If God will be with me and watch over me on this way that I am going, and provide me food to eat and clothes to wear, 21 and I return in shalom to my father’s house, then Adonai will be my God. 22 So this stone which I set up as a memorial stone will become God’s House, and of everything You provide me I will definitely give a tenth of it to You.”
Jacob Loves Rachel
29 Then Jacob lifted up his feet and went to the land of the peoples of the east. 2 When he looked, suddenly, there was a well in the field, and there were three herds of sheep resting by it. (For from that well they would water the flocks. The stone on the mouth of the well was large. 3 When all the herds gathered there, they would roll away the stone from the mouth of the well and water the flocks, and put the stone back to its place over the mouth of the well.)
4 Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
“We’re from Haran,” they said.
5 So he said to them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s son?”
They said, “We know.”
6 He said to them, “Is he well?”
“Well,” they said. “Look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the flock.”
7 He said, “Since it’s still the middle of the day, it’s not time for the livestock to be gathered. Water the flock and let them go and graze.”
8 But they said, “We can’t, not until all the flocks are gathered and the stone is rolled away from the mouth of the well—then we water the flock.”
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with the flock that belonged to her father (for she was a shepherdess). 10 Now when Jacob saw Rachel (the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother), Jacob stepped forward and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered the flock of Laban, his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. 12 Then Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. So she ran and told her father.
13 Now when Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him, hugged and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Then he told Laban all these things. 14 Laban said to him, “Surely you are my own bone and flesh.” And he stayed with him for a month.
15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you, my relative, serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?”
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel, so he said, “Let me serve you for seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”
19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than I give her to another man! Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob worked for Rachel seven years, yet in his eyes it was like a few days, because of his love for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are completed, so I may go to her.” 22 So Laban gathered all the men of the place and he prepared a feast. 23 When it was evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him, and he went to her. 24 Laban also gave her Zilpah his female servant to his daughter Leah as a female servant.
25 So when it was morning, behold there she was, Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you’ve done to me? Wasn’t it for Rachel that I worked with you? So why have you deceived me?”
26 But Laban said, “It’s not done so in our place—to give the younger before the first-born. 27 Complete the bridal week for this one. Then we’ll also give you this other—for work that you’ll do with me—another seven years more.”
28 So Jacob did; he also completed this one’s bridal week. Then he gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban also gave his daughter Rachel his female servant Bilhah, to be a servant for her.
30 Jacob also went to Rachel and indeed loved Rachel more than Leah. So he served with him for yet another seven years.
Rivalry Continues With Wives
31 Now Adonai saw that Leah was unloved, so he opened her womb; but Rachel was unable to conceive. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son and named him Reuben because she said, “For Adonai has seen my affliction. Surely now my husband will love me.” 33 Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to a son, and said, “For Adonai heard that I am hated, so He’s given me this one also,” and she named him Simeon. 34 Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will join himself to me because I’ve given birth to three sons for him.” For this reason he was named Levi. 35 Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to a son and said, “This time I praise Adonai.” For this reason she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
30 When Rachel saw that she bore no children for Jacob, Rachel was jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me sons—if there are none, I’ll die!”
2 But Jacob became furious with Rachel and said, “Am I, instead of God, the one who withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
3 So she said, “Here’s my maid-servant Bilhah. Go to her and let her give birth on my knees, so that from her I may also build a family.” 4 Then she gave her maid-servant Bilhah to him for a wife, and Jacob went to her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6 So Rachel said, “God has judged my cause and also heard my voice—and given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan. 7 Then Rachel’s female servant became pregnant again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 8 So Rachel said, “I’ve surely wrestled greatly with my sister—also I’ve won.” So she named him Naphtali.
9 Now Leah saw that she stopped having children, so she took Zilpah her female servant and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Zilpah, Leah’s female servant, gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” So she named him Gad. 12 Then Zilpah, Leah’s female servant, gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 13 Leah said, “How happy am I, for daughters have called me happy.” So she named him Asher.
14 Now during the days of the wheat harvest, Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and he brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”[b]
15 But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough that you took my husband away? You’d also take away my son’s mandrakes?”
So Rachel said, “That being so, let him lie with you tonight, in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 So when Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and she said, “You must come to me. For I’ve actually hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that very night. 17 Moreover, God heard Leah, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18 Leah said, “God gave me my reward[c] because I gave my female servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19 Then Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20 Leah said, “God has presented me a good gift. This time my husband will honor me for I’ve borne six sons for him.” So she named him Zebulun. 21 Afterwards she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23 Then she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. So she said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24 She named him Joseph saying, “May Adonai add another son for me.”
Jacob Outwits Laban
25 Now it was after Rachel gave birth to Joseph that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away so that I can go to my place and to my land. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I’ve served you, and let me go. For you yourself know my labor—that I’ve served you.”
27 But Laban said to him, “If I’ve found favor in your eyes—I’ve looked for good omens, and Adonai has blessed me because of you.” 28 Moreover he said, “Name your own price and I’ll pay it.”
29 Then he said to him, “You yourself know how I’ve served you and how your livestock fared with me. 30 For you had very little before I came, and it has been busting at the seams in abundance. So Adonai blessed you with my every step. So now, when am I myself going to make something for my household also?”
31 Then he said, “What can I pay you?”
Jacob said, “You don’t need to pay me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will shepherd your flock again and watch it: 32 let me pass through your flock today, removing every colorfully spotted lamb from there and every dark-colored lamb among the sheep as well as the colorfully spotted among the goats—and that will be my salary. 33 So tomorrow my honesty will testify on my behalf when you come to check on my salary you agreed to. Every one that isn’t colorfully spotted among the goats or dark-colored among the sheep with me, it is stolen.”
34 So Laban said, “All right! May it be according to your word.” 35 On that day he removed the colorfully striped and colorful billy goats as well as all the colorfully spotted goats—everyone with white on it—and every dark-colored one among the lambs, and he put them in the hand of his sons. 36 Then he put a three-day’s journey between them and Jacob, while Jacob was shepherding Laban’s remaining flocks.
37 But Jacob took fresh white poplar, almond, and plane tree branches, peeled away white stripped sections on them, exposing the white of the branches. 38 Then he set the branches he had peeled in front of the flocks in the drinking troughs and watering channels where the flocks come to drink. Since they were in heat when they came to drink, 39 the flocks mated near the branches, and the flocks gave birth to striped, spotted and colorful ones. 40 Now Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped ones as well as all the dark-colored ones among Laban’s flocks. Then he set aside the herds for himself and did not put them with Laban’s flocks. 41 Whenever the strong flocks mated, Jacob put the branches in the watering troughs before the eyes of the flocks, to have them mate near the branches. 42 But when the flocks were sickly, he did not put the branches down—so the sickly ones became Laban’s and the stronger ones became Jacob’s. 43 And the man grew exceedingly prosperous and had numerous flocks, along with female and male servants, camels and donkeys.
Jacob Secretly Leaves Laban
31 Now Jacob heard the words Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything that belongs to our father, and from what belongs to our father he has made all these riches.” 2 Then Jacob saw Laban’s face, and he noticed that his expression wasn’t the same as it was just a day or two before. 3 Then Adonai said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
4 So Jacob sent and called for Rachel and Leah to come to the field, to his flock. 5 He said to them, “I can see by your father’s face that his expression isn’t the same as it was just a day or two ago. But the God of my father has been with me. 6 Now you yourselves know that I’ve served your father with all my strength. 7 Yet your father has fooled around with me and has changed my salary ten times—but God hasn’t allowed him to harm me. 8 If he would say, ‘the spotted ones will be your salary,’ then the flocks would give birth to spotted ones. Or if he would say, ‘the striped ones will be your salary,’ then all the flocks would give birth to striped ones. 9 So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me. 10 Now it happened when the flocks were in heat that I lifted up my eyes and saw, in a dream, behold, the males going up to the flocks were striped, spotted and speckled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Hineni.’ 12 He said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see that all the males going up to the flocks are striped, spotted and speckled. For I have seen everything Laban has done to you. 13 I am the God of Beth-El where you anointed a memorial stone, where you made a vow to Me. Get up now and leave this land, and return to the land of your relatives.’”
14 Then Rachel answered along with Leah and they said to him, “Is there still a portion and inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15 Aren’t we considered foreigners to him? For he has sold us and has also completely used up our bridal price. 16 For all the riches that God has taken away from our father is for us and for our children. So now, everything God said to you, do it!”
17 Then Jacob got up and put his children and wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock and all his possessions that he had acquired—the livestock in his possession that he acquired in Paddan-aram—to go to his father Isaac, to the land of Canaan.
19 But while Laban went to shear his flocks, Rachel stole the idols that belonged to her father, 20 while Jacob stole the heart from Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 He himself fled with everything that belonged to him, and he got up and crossed the River, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Confronts Jacob and Makes Covenant
22 When Laban was told on the third day after Jacob had fled, 23 he took his relatives with him and pursued him a seven days’ journey. Then he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Watch yourself—lest you say anything to Jacob, good or bad.”
25 So Laban caught up to Jacob. (Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, so Laban and his brothers pitched their tents in the hill country of Gilead as well). 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you’ve stolen my heart and have driven my daughters away like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you secretly flee away, and steal from me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and with songs, with tambourines and with lyres? 28 And you didn’t even let me kiss my sons and daughters!
“Now, you’ve behaved foolishly. 29 It is in the power of my hand to do evil with you, but yesterday the God of your fathers spoke to me, saying, ‘Watch yourself—lest you say anything to Jacob, good or bad.’ 30 So now, when you up and left because you really missed your father’s house, why did you steal my gods?”
31 In response, Jacob said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought, ‘Suppose you snatch your daughters away from me.’ 32 Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In front of our relatives, identify whatever is yours that is with me, and take it back.” (But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.)
33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two maids, but he found nothing. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols, put them in the camel’s saddlebag and sat on them.) So Laban felt around the entire tent but did not find them. 35 She said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for I am having the way of women.” So he searched but did not find the idols.
36 Then Jacob got angry and argued with Laban. Jacob answered and said to Laban, “What’s my crime? What’s my sin that you’ve hotly pursued me? 37 For you’ve felt through all my things. What did you find? Any of your household things? Put them here, in front of my relatives and yours—so they can decide between the two of us. 38 These past twenty years I’ve been with you, your ewes and female goats have never miscarried, and I’ve never eaten the rams of your flock. 39 I didn’t bring you animals torn by wild beasts. I myself would bear the loss. You would require it from my hand, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 I was consumed by heat during the day, consumed by frost during the night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 This is how it’s been for me twenty years in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flocks—and you changed my salary ten times! 42 Had I not had the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, you would have sent me away empty-handed now. But God saw my misery and the toil of my hands and last night He became the Judge.”
43 In response Laban said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, and the sons are my sons, and the flocks are my flocks. Everything you see is mine. But what can I do for these, my daughters, today, or for their sons to whom they’ve given birth? 44 So now, come, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between you and me.”
45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar, 46 and Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they took the stones and made a pile. Then they ate there on the pile. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha and Jacob called it Gal-ed. 48 And Laban said, “This pile is a witness between me and you today.” That is why its name is Gal-ed, 49 or Mizpah, for he said, “Let Adonai keep watch between you and me when we are out of one another’s sight. 50 If you mistreat my daughters, and if you take wives besides my daughters, though no one is with us, look! God is the witness between you and me.”
51 Laban said further to Jacob, “Behold, this pile, and this pillar which I’ve set up between you and me: 52 this pile serves as a witness, that I won’t pass by this pillar to go to you, and that you won’t pass by this pile and this pillar to go to me—with evil intent. 53 May the God of Abraham and the gods of Nahor, the gods of their father, judge between us.”
Jacob also made an oath by the fear of his father Isaac. 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and he invited his relatives to eat bread. So they ate bread and spent the night on the mountain.
32 Early in the morning Laban got up, kissed his grandchildren and daughters and blessed them. Then Laban left and returned to his place. 2 While Jacob left on his way, the angels of God met him.
7 So My people are bent on turning from Me.
Although they are being called upwards,
none will rise up.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I surrender you, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I set you as Zeboim?
My heart is turning over within Me.
My compassions are kindled.
9 I will not vent My fierce anger.
I will not again destroy Ephraim.
For I am God—not a man—
the Holy One in the midst of you,
and I will not come in fury.”
10 They will walk after Adonai.
He will roar like a lion.
Indeed, He will roar
and the children will come trembling from the west.
11 “They will come trembling
like a bird out of Egypt,
like a dove out of the land of Assyria,
and I will settle them in their houses.”
It is a declaration of Adonai.
Ephraim Multiplies Lies
12 “Ephraim surrounded Me with lies[a]
and the house of Israel with deceit.”
Though Judah roams restlessly with God,
yet he is faithful with holy things.[b]
2 Ephraim is grazing on wind
and pursuing the east wind.
All day he multiplies lies and ruin:
making[c] a pact with Assyria,
while carrying oil to Egypt.
3 Adonai also has a dispute with Judah:
He will punish Jacob for his ways,
repaying him for his deeds.
4 In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel,
and in his vigor he strove with God.
5 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won;
he wept and sought his favor.
At Bethel he will find us,
and there He will speak with us.
6 Even Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot—
Adonai is His memorial-Name.
7 So you should return to your God,
keep covenant loyalty and justice,
and wait for your God continually.
8 A merchant loves to extort,
with deceptive balances in his hand.
9 Now Ephraim has said:
“How rich I have become! I found wealth by myself.
I won’t be guilty of any sin with any of my property.”
10 “Yet I have been Adonai your God,
since the land of Egypt.
I will yet again make you dwell in tents,
as in the days of the moed.
11 I also spoke through the prophets
and I multiplied visions.
Now through the prophets
I will make parables.
12 Since Gilead is full of iniquity,
they are utterly worthless.
In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls—
even their altars will become heaps of rocks
along the furrows of My field.”
13 Now Jacob fled to the field of Aram,
when Israel served for a wife—
yes, he kept watch for a wife.
14 So by a prophet Adonai brought Israel up out of Egypt,
and by a prophet he was kept.
15 Ephraim has provoked bitter anger,
so his bloodguilt will remain on him—
his Lord will repay him for his contempt.
No Other Savior
13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling.
He exalted himself in Israel,
but he became guilty through Baal, and died.
2 But now, they sin more and more.
They made themselves molten images,
idols skillfully made from their silver,
all of them the work of the craftsmen.
They say about them:
“Let those who sacrifice kiss the calves.”
3 Therefore they will be like morning clouds,
like dew passing away early,
like chaff blown from the threshing-floor,
or like smoke from a chimney.
4 “Yet I have been Adonai your God
since the land of Egypt.
You should know no God but Me,
and there is no Savior apart from Me.[d]
5 I Myself knew you in the wilderness,
in a land of terrible drought.
6 While they were fed, they were satisfied.
Filled, their hearts became haughty.
Therefore they forgot Me.
7 So I became like a lion to them—
like a leopard lying in wait by the way.
8 I will meet them like a bear robbed of her cubs,
and I will tear open their chests.
There I will devour them like a lioness.
A beast of the field will rip them to shreds.
9 It has corrupted you, O Israel,
for you are against Me—against your Helper!
10 Where then is your king?
So, will he save you in all your cities?
Or your judges, to whom you said:
‘Give me a king and princes!’
11 I give you a king in My anger,
and take him away in My wrath.
12 Ephraim is bound by iniquity;
his sin is treasured up.
13 Pains of birth come on him.
He is not a wise son.
When the time comes,
he should not delay at the opening of the womb.
14 Should I ransom them from the hand of Sheol?
Should I redeem them from death?
O death, where are your plagues?
O Sheol, where is your sting?[e]
Comfort is hidden from My eyes.”
15 Because he is the son of kinsmen,
he should have been fruitful.
An east wind will come—the wind from Adonai,
coming up from the wilderness.
His spring will become dry,
and his fountain will dry up.
He will plunder the treasury
of every precious vessel.
Salvation Like Dew for Israel
14 Samaria will bear her guilt,[f]
for she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword,
their infants dashed to pieces,
their pregnant women ripped open.
2 Return O Israel, to Adonai your God,
for you have stumbled in your iniquity.
3 Take words with you and return to Adonai.
Say to Him: “Take away all iniquity,
and accept what is good,
so we may repay with offerings[g] of our lips:
4 ‘Assyria will not save us.
We will not ride on horses,
and we will never again say, “Our god,”
to the work of our hands,
for with You, orphans find mercy.’”
5 “I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
for My anger will turn away from him.
6 I will be like dew for Israel.
He will blossom like a lily,
and thrust out his roots like Lebanon.
7 His tender shoots will spread out.
His beauty will be like an olive tree
and his fragrance will be like Lebanon.
8 Those dwelling in his shadow will return.
They will grow grain and bud like a vine.
His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.
9 Ephraim: “What more are idols to me?
I have responded and observed Him.
I will be like a luxuriant cypress tree.
From me will be found Your fruit.”
John’s Witness to Israel’s Leaders
19 This is John’s testimony, when the Judean leaders sent kohanim and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He openly admitted and did not deny; he admitted, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 “What then? Are you Elijah?” they asked him.
“I am not,” said John.
“Are you the Prophet?”
“No,” he answered.
22 So they said to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said, “I am ‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of Adonai,”’[a] as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those sent were from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “If you’re not the Messiah, Elijah, or the Prophet, why then are you immersing?”
26 “I immerse in water,” John answered. “Among you stands One you do not know, 27 coming after me, whose sandals I’m not worthy to untie.” 28 These things happened in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was immersing.
Behold, the Lamb of God
29 The next day, John sees Yeshua coming to him and says, “Behold, the Lamb[b] of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the One about whom I told you, ‘He who comes after me is above me, because He was before me.’ 31 I didn’t know Him, but I came immersing with water so that He might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I have seen the Ruach coming down like a dove out of heaven, and it remained on Him. 33 I did not know Him; but the One who sent me to immerse in water said to me, ‘The One on whom you see the Ruach coming down and remaining, this is the One who immerses in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is Ben-Elohim.”[c]
Yeshua’s First Disciples
35 Again the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples 36 and watched Yeshua walking by. He said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Yeshua.
38 Yeshua turned around and saw them following. He said to them, “What are you looking for?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is translated Teacher), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come and see,” Yeshua tells them. So they came and saw where He was staying, and they spent that day with Him. It was about the tenth hour.[d]
40 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John speak and followed Yeshua. 41 First he finds his own brother Simon and tells him, “We’ve found the Messiah!” (which is translated Anointed One).
42 Andrew brought Simon to Yeshua. Yeshua looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You shall be called Kefa (which is translated Peter).”
Disciples Offer Witness
43 The next day, Yeshua decided to go to the Galilee. He finds Philip and says to him, “Follow Me!” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip finds Nathanael and tells him, “We’ve found the One that Moses in the Torah, and also the prophets, wrote about—Yeshua of Natzeret, the son of Joseph!”
46 “Natzeret!” Nathanael answered. “Can anything good come from there?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Yeshua saw Nathanael coming toward Him. He said, “Look, a true Israelite! There’s nothing false in him.”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do you know me?”
Yeshua answered, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 “Rabbi,” Nathanael answered, “You are Ben-Elohim! You are the King of Israel!”[e]
50 “Because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree, you believe?” Yeshua replied to him. “You will see greater things than that!” 51 And He said, “Amen, amen I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man!”[f]
Yeshua’s Cousin Beheaded
14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Yeshua. 2 He said to his servants, “This is John the Immerser—he has risen from the dead! Because of this, these powers are at work in Him.” 3 For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, 4 because John had been telling him, “It is not permitted for you to have her.” [a] 5 Although Herod wanted to kill John, he feared the crowd because they considered John a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday celebration came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, 7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Immerser, here on a platter!” 9 The king became sorrowful; but because of his oaths and those reclining with him, he commanded it to be given. 10 And he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came forth and took the body and buried it. Then they went and reported to Yeshua.
Feeding Hungry Followers
13 Now when Yeshua heard this, He went away from there privately by boat to an isolated place. But when the crowds heard, they followed Him on foot from the towns. 14 As Yeshua came ashore, He saw a large crowd and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. 15 When it became evening, the disciples came to Him, saying, “This place is isolated, and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Yeshua said to them, “They don’t need to leave—you give them something to eat.”
17 “We have nothing here except five loaves and two fish,” they said to Him.
18 “Bring them here to Me,” He said.
19 Ordering the crowd to recline on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish; and looking up to heaven, He offered the bracha. After breaking the loaves, He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets full of broken pieces left over. 21 Now those eating were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Testing Peter’s Faith to Walk on Water
22 Right away, Yeshua made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the hillside by Himself to pray. And when evening came, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already a long way[b] from land, tossed around by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25 Now in the fourth watch[c] of the night, Yeshua came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It’s a ghost!” And they cried out with fear.
27 But immediately, Yeshua spoke to them, saying, “Take courage! I am. Don’t be afraid.”
28 Answering, Peter said to Him, “Master, if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 And He said, “Come!”
And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water to go to Yeshua. 30 But seeing the wind, he became terrified. And beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Master, save me!”
31 Immediately Yeshua reached out His hand and grabbed him. And He said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You really are Ben-Elohim!”[d]
34 After they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Yeshua, they sent word into all the surrounding region. And they brought to Him all those who were in bad shape 36 and kept begging Him that they might just touch the tzitzit of His garment—and all who touched it were cured.
Religious Leaders Quiz Yeshua
15 Then some Pharisees and Torah scholars came to Yeshua from Jerusalem. They said, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not do the ritual handwashing when they eat bread.”
3 And answering, He said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[e] and ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ [f] 5 But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever you might have gained from me is a gift to God,” [g] 6 he need not honor his father.’ On account of your tradition, you made void the word of God. 7 Hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying,
8 ‘This people honors Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”[h]
10 Then Yeshua called the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand. 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that makes the man unholy; but what comes out of the mouth, this makes the man unholy.”[i]
12 Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this saying?”
13 But He replied, “Every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Leave them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 “Are you also still lacking understanding?” Yeshua said. 17 “Don’t you grasp that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and then is ejected into the sewer? 18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and those things make the man unholy. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, and slander. [j] 20 These are the things that make the man unholy; but to eat with unwashed hands does not make the man unholy.”
A Reward for a Humble Woman
21 Now Yeshua left from there and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that district came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, O Master, Ben-David! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon.”
23 But He did not answer her a word. And when His disciples came, they were urging Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.”
24 But He responded, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 So she came and got down on her knees before Him, saying, “Master, help me!”
26 And answering, He said, “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
27 But she said, “Yes, Master, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then answering, Yeshua said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed in that very hour.
29 After Yeshua left there, He went along the Sea of Galilee. Then He went up on a mountainside and was sitting there. 30 And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them the lame, blind, disabled, mute, and many others. And they laid them at His feet, and He healed them. 31 So the crowd marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the disabled made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing.[k] And they praised the God of Israel.
Feeding More Hungry Followers
32 Yeshua called His disciples and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they’ve stayed with Me for three days now and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, because they might pass out on the way.”
33 The disciples said to Him, “Where in this wasteland is enough bread to satisfy such a large crowd?”
34 Yeshua said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
“Seven,” they said, “and a few small fish.”
35 After directing the crowd to recline on the ground, 36 He took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks, He broke them. And He began giving them to the disciples, and the disciples to the crowds. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up the broken pieces left over—seven baskets full. 38 And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And after sending away the crowds, Yeshua got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.