The Bible's great love story
Genesis 21:1-8, 22:1-13, 24:1-28, 25:19-34, 27:1-40, 46
Isaac is Born - Genesis 21:1-8
1 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.
2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.
3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.
The Command to Sacrifice Isaac - Genesis 22:1-13
1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.
5 Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you."
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
8 Abraham said, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
12 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
Isaac Loves Rebekah - Genesis 24:1-24
1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac." 5 The servant said to him, "Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?" 6 Abraham said to him, "See to it that you do not take my son back there. 7 The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, 'To your descendants I will give this land,' he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there." 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter. 10 Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose, and went to Mesopota'mia, to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, grant me success today, I pray thee, and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the maiden to whom I shall say, 'Pray let down your jar that I may drink,' and who shall say, 'Drink, and I will water your camels' --let her be the one whom thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac. By this I shall know that thou hast shown steadfast love to my master." 15 Before he had done speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethu'el the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, came out with her water jar upon her shoulder. 16 The maiden was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known. She went down to the spring, and filled her jar, and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, "Pray give me a little water to drink from your jar." 18 She said, "Drink, my lord"; and she quickly let down her jar upon her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, "I will draw for your camels also, until they have done drinking." 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. 21 The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the LORD had prospered his journey or not. 22 When the camels had done drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, 23 and said, "Tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father's house for us to lodge in?" 24 She said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethu'el the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor."
Isaac's Sons, Esau and Jacob - Genesis 25:19-34
19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac,
20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.
25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.
26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents.
28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
The Blessing - Genesis 27
1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered.
2 Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death.
3 Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.
4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back,
6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau,
7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’
8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you:
9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.
10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”
11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin.
12 What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.”
13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”
14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it.
15 Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob.
16 She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins.
17 Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.
18 He went to his father and said, “My father.” “Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”
19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
20 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The Lord your God gave me success,” he replied.
21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.”
22 Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”
23 He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he proceeded to bless him.
24 “Are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “I am,” he replied.
25 Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.” Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank.
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”
27 So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed.
28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”
30 After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his father’s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting.
31 He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
32 His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” “I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”
33 Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!”
34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”
35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
36 Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”
37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”
38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.
39 His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.
40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”