ESV — Daily Reading Bible: Day 17
Old Testament
Genesis 31

Psalm 17

New Testament
Matthew 20

Jacob Flees from Laban

31 Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth.” And Jacob saw athat Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, b“Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”

So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, c“I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father dhas been with me. eYou know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ften times. But God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, g‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has htaken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. 10 In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 12 And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for iI have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, jwhere you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now karise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’” 14 Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there lany portion or inheritance left to us in our father's house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For mhe has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. 16 All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

17 So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in nPaddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's ohousehold gods. 20 And Jacob tricked1 Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee. 21 He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the pEuphrates,2 and qset his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean rin a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, seither good or bad.”

25 And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have ttricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly tand trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? 28 And why did you not permit me uto kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is vin my power to do you harm. But the wGod of your3 father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, xeither good or bad.’ 30 And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but why did you ysteal my gods?” 31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 zAnyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot arise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.

36 Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and byour kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. cFrom my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. dI served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and eyou have changed my wages ten times. 42 fIf the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the gFear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. hGod saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and irebuked you last night.”

43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? 44 Come now, jlet us make a covenant, you and I. kAnd let it be a witness between you and me.” 45 So Jacob ltook a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 And Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha,4 but Jacob called it Galeed.5 48 Laban said, m“This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed, 49 nand Mizpah,6 for he said, “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another's sight. 50 If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, oGod is witness between you and me.”

51 Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52 pThis heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm. 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the qFear of his father Isaac, 54 and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called rhis kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.

55 7 Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed shis grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.


[1] 31:20 Hebrew stole the heart of; also verses 26, 27
[2] 31:21 Hebrew the River
[3] 31:29 The Hebrew for your is plural here
[4] 31:47 Aramaic the heap of witness
[5] 31:47 Hebrew the heap of witness
[6] 31:49 Mizpah means watchpost
[7] 31:55 Ch 32:1 in Hebrew

In the Shadow of Your Wings

A fPrayer of David.

17  Hear a just cause, O Lord; gattend to my cry!

Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!

From your presence hlet my vindication come!

Let your eyes behold the right!

You have itried my heart, you have jvisited me by knight,

you have ltested me, and you will find nothing;

I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.

With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips

I have avoided the ways of the violent.

My steps have mheld fast to your paths;

my feet have not slipped.

I ncall upon you, for you will answer me, O God;

oincline your ear to me; hear my words.

pWondrously show1 your steadfast love,

O Savior of those who seek refuge

from qtheir adversaries at your right hand.

Keep me as rthe apple of your eye;

hide me in sthe shadow of your wings,

from the wicked who do me violence,

my deadly enemies who tsurround me.

10  uThey close their hearts to pity;

with their mouths they vspeak arrogantly.

11  They have now surrounded our wsteps;

they set their eyes to xcast us to the ground.

12  He is like a lion eager to tear,

as a young lion ylurking in ambush.

13  Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!

Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,

14  from men by your hand, O Lord,

from zmen of the world whose aportion is in this life.2

You fill their womb with treasure;3

they are satisfied with bchildren,

and they leave their abundance to their infants.

15  As for me, I shall cbehold your face in righteousness;

when I dawake, I shall be esatisfied with your likeness.


[1] 17:7 Or Distinguish me by
[2] 17:14 Or from men whose portion in life is of the world
[3] 17:14 Or As for your treasured ones, you fill their womb

Laborers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius1 a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And gabout the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And hwhen evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his iforeman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and jthe scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, k‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take lwhat belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 mAm I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or ndo you begrudge my generosity?’2 16 So othe last will be first, and the first last.”

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

17 pAnd as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, qwe are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will rcondemn him to death 19 and sdeliver him over to the Gentiles tto be mocked and flogged and ucrucified, and he will be raised on vthe third day.”

A Mother's Request

20 wThen xthe mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and ykneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine zare to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, ain your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, b“You do not know what you are asking. Are you able cto drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, d“You will drink emy cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, fbut it is for those for whom it has been gprepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, h“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles ilord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 jIt shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,3 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,4 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but kto serve, and lto give his life as a ransom for mmany.”

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

29 nAnd as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord,5 have mercy on us, oSon of David!” 31 The crowd prebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.


[1] 20:2 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
[2] 20:15 Or is your eye bad because I am good?
[3] 20:26 Greek diakonos
[4] 20:27 Or bondservant, or servant (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)
[5] 20:30 Some manuscripts omit Lord