YOḆELIM 37 (Jubilee 37)

1 And on the day that Yitsḥaq the father of Ya’aqoḇ and Ĕsaw died, the sons of Ĕsaw heard that Yitsḥaq had given the portion of the elder to his younger son Ya’aqoḇ and they were very wroth.

2 And they strove with their father, saying, “Why has your father given Ya’aqoḇ the portion of the elder and passed over you, although you are the elder and Ya’aqoḇ the younger?”

3 And he said to them, “Because I sold my birthright to Ya’aqoḇ for a small bowl of lentils. And on the day my father sent me to hunt and catch and bring him some that he should eat and baraḵ me, he came with deceit and brought my father food and drink, and my father baraḵ him and put me under his hand.

4 “And now our father has caused us to swear, he and I, that we shall not mutually devise evil, either against his brother, and that we shall continue in love and in peace each with his brother and not make our ways corrupt.”

5 And they said to him, “We shall not listen to you to make peace with him; for our strength is greater than his strength, and we are more powerful than he! We shall go against him and slay him, and destroy him and his sons. And if you shall not go with us, we shall do evil to you also.

6 “And now listen to us: let us send to Aram and Pelesheth and Mo’aḇ and Ammon, and let us choose for ourselves chosen men who are ardent for battle, and let us go against him and do battle with him, and let us destroy him from the earth before he grows strong.”

7 And their father said to them, “Do not go, and do not make battle with him lest you fall before him.”

8 And they said to him, “This too, is exactly your manner of doing from your youth until this day, and you are putting your neck under his yoke. We shall not listen to these words!”

9 And they sent to Aram, and to Aḏuram, to the friend of their father, and they hired along with them, one thousand fighting men, chosen men of battle.

10 And there came to them from Mo’aḇ and from the children of Ammon, those who were hired, one thousand chosen men; and from Pelesheth, one thousand chosen men of battle; and from Eḏom and from the Ḥorites one thousand chosen fighting men, and from the Kittim mighty men of battle.

11 And they said to their father, “Go out with them and lead them, or else we shall slay you.”

12 And he was filled with wrath and displeasure on seeing that his sons were forcing him to go before, to lead them against Ya’aqoḇ his brother.

13 But afterward he remembered all the evil which lay hidden in his heart against Ya’aqoḇ his brother; and he remembered not the oath which he had sworn to his father and to his mother that he would plan no evil all his days against Ya’aqoḇ his brother.

14 And notwithstanding all this,  Ya’aqoḇ did not know that they were coming against him to battle, but he was mourning for Lĕ’ah, his wife, until they approached very near to the tower with four thousand warriors and chosen men of battle.

15 And the men of Ḥeḇron sent to him saying, “See your brother has come against you, to fight you, with four thousand girded with the swords, and they carry shields and weapons!” For they loved Ya’aqoḇ more than Ĕsaw, so they told him; for Ya’aqoḇ was a more generous and kind man than Ĕsaw.

16 But Ya’aqoḇ would not believe until they came very near to the tower.

17 And he closed the gates of the tower; and he stood on the rampart and spoke to his brother Ĕsaw and said, “Noble is the comfort with which you have come to comfort me for my wife who has died. Is this the oath that you swore to your father, and again to your mother before they died? You have broken the oath, and on the moment that you swore to your father you were condemned.”

18 And then Ĕsaw answered and said to him, “Neither the children of men nor the beasts of the earth have any oath of righteousness which in swearing they have sworn forever. But every day they plan evil, one against another, and how each may slay his adversary and foe.

19 “And you hate me, my children and I forever. And there is no observing the tie of brotherhood with you!

20 “Hear these words which I declare to you: If the boar can change its skin and make its bristles as soft as wool, or if it can cause horns to sprout forth on its head like the horns of a stag or of a sheep, then shall I observe the tie of brotherhood with you.

21 “And if the wolves make peace with the lambs so as not to devour or do them violence, and if their hearts are towards them for good, then there shall be peace in my heart towards you.

22 “And if the lion becomes the friend of the ox and makes peace with him, and if he is bound under one yoke with him and ploughs with him, then shall I make peace with you.

23 “And when the raven becomes white as the stork, then know that I have loved you and shall make peace with you. You shall be rooted out, and your sons shall be rooted out, and there shall be no peace for you!”

24 And when Ya’aqoḇ saw that he was evilly disposed towards him with his heart, and with all his being so as to slay him, and that he had come leaping like the wild boar which comes upon the spear that pierces and kills it, and does not recoil from it;

25 then he spoke to his own and to his servants that they should attack him and all his companions.