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Genesis 31

31
Jacob Flees from Laban
1But Jacob soon learned that Laban’s sons were grumbling about him. “Jacob has robbed our father of everything!” they said. “He has gained all his wealth at our father’s expense.” 2And Jacob began to notice a change in Laban’s attitude toward him.
3Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your father and grandfather and to your relatives there, and I will be with you.”
4So Jacob called Rachel and Leah out to the field where he was watching his flock. 5He said to them, “I have noticed that your father’s attitude toward me has changed. But the God of my father has been with me. 6You know how hard I have worked for your father, 7but he has cheated me, changing my wages ten times. But God has not allowed him to do me any harm. 8For if he said, ‘The speckled animals will be your wages,’ the whole flock began to produce speckled young. And when he changed his mind and said, ‘The striped animals will be your wages,’ then the whole flock produced striped young. 9In this way, God has taken your father’s animals and given them to me.
10“One time during the mating season, I had a dream and saw that the male goats mating with the females were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11Then in my dream, the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ And I replied, ‘Yes, here I am.’
12“The angel said, ‘Look up, and you will see that only the streaked, speckled, and spotted males are mating with the females of your flock. For I have seen how Laban has treated you. 13I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel,#31:13 As in Greek version and an Aramaic Targum; Hebrew reads the God of Bethel. the place where you anointed the pillar of stone and made your vow to me. Now get ready and leave this country and return to the land of your birth.’”
14Rachel and Leah responded, “That’s fine with us! We won’t inherit any of our father’s wealth anyway. 15He has reduced our rights to those of foreign women. And after he sold us, he wasted the money you paid him for us. 16All the wealth God has given you from our father legally belongs to us and our children. So go ahead and do whatever God has told you.”
17So Jacob put his wives and children on camels, 18and he drove all his livestock in front of him. He packed all the belongings he had acquired in Paddan-aram and set out for the land of Canaan, where his father, Isaac, lived. 19At the time they left, Laban was some distance away, shearing his sheep. Rachel stole her father’s household idols and took them with her. 20Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, for they set out secretly and never told Laban they were leaving. 21So Jacob took all his possessions with him and crossed the Euphrates River,#31:21 Hebrew the river. heading for the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob
22Three days later, Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23So he gathered a group of his relatives and set out in hot pursuit. He caught up with Jacob seven days later in the hill country of Gilead. 24But the previous night God had appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream and told him, “I’m warning you—leave Jacob alone!”
25Laban caught up with Jacob as he was camped in the hill country of Gilead, and he set up his camp not far from Jacob’s. 26“What do you mean by deceiving me like this?” Laban demanded. “How dare you drag my daughters away like prisoners of war? 27Why did you slip away secretly? Why did you deceive me? And why didn’t you say you wanted to leave? I would have given you a farewell feast, with singing and music, accompanied by tambourines and harps. 28Why didn’t you let me kiss my daughters and grandchildren and tell them good-bye? You have acted very foolishly! 29I could destroy you, but the God of your father appeared to me last night and warned me, ‘Leave Jacob alone!’ 30I can understand your feeling that you must go, and your intense longing for your father’s home. But why have you stolen my gods?”
31“I rushed away because I was afraid,” Jacob answered. “I thought you would take your daughters from me by force. 32But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die! And if you find anything else that belongs to you, identify it before all these relatives of ours, and I will give it back!” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the household idols.
33Laban went first into Jacob’s tent to search there, then into Leah’s, and then the tents of the two servant wives—but he found nothing. Finally, he went into Rachel’s tent. 34But Rachel had taken the household idols and hidden them in her camel saddle, and now she was sitting on them. When Laban had thoroughly searched her tent without finding them, 35she said to her father, “Please, sir, forgive me if I don’t get up for you. I’m having my monthly period.” So Laban continued his search, but he could not find the household idols.
36Then Jacob became very angry, and he challenged Laban. “What’s my crime?” he demanded. “What have I done wrong to make you chase after me as though I were a criminal? 37You have rummaged through everything I own. Now show me what you found that belongs to you! Set it out here in front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them judge between us!
38“For twenty years I have been with you, caring for your flocks. In all that time your sheep and goats never miscarried. In all those years I never used a single ram of yours for food. 39If any were attacked and killed by wild animals, I never showed you the carcass and asked you to reduce the count of your flock. No, I took the loss myself! You made me pay for every stolen animal, whether it was taken in broad daylight or in the dark of night.
40“I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through cold and sleepless nights. 41Yes, for twenty years I slaved in your house! I worked for fourteen years earning your two daughters, and then six more years for your flock. And you changed my wages ten times! 42In fact, if the God of my father had not been on my side—the God of Abraham and the fearsome God of Isaac#31:42 Or and the Fear of Isaac.—you would have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen your abuse and my hard work. That is why he appeared to you last night and rebuked you!”
Jacob’s Treaty with Laban
43Then Laban replied to Jacob, “These women are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, and these flocks are my flocks—in fact, everything you see is mine. But what can I do now about my daughters and their children? 44So come, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and it will be a witness to our commitment.”
45So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a monument. 46Then he told his family members, “Gather some stones.” So they gathered stones and piled them in a heap. Then Jacob and Laban sat down beside the pile of stones to eat a covenant meal. 47To commemorate the event, Laban called the place Jegar-sahadutha (which means “witness pile” in Aramaic), and Jacob called it Galeed (which means “witness pile” in Hebrew).
48Then Laban declared, “This pile of stones will stand as a witness to remind us of the covenant we have made today.” This explains why it was called Galeed—“Witness Pile.” 49But it was also called Mizpah (which means “watchtower”), for Laban said, “May the Lord keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this covenant when we are out of each other’s sight. 50If you mistreat my daughters or if you marry other wives, God will see it even if no one else does. He is a witness to this covenant between us.
51“See this pile of stones,” Laban continued, “and see this monument I have set between us. 52They stand between us as witnesses of our vows. I will never pass this pile of stones to harm you, and you must never pass these stones or this monument to harm me. 53I call on the God of our ancestors—the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of my grandfather Nahor—to serve as a judge between us.”
So Jacob took an oath before the fearsome God of his father, Isaac,#31:53 Or the Fear of his father, Isaac. to respect the boundary line. 54Then Jacob offered a sacrifice to God there on the mountain and invited everyone to a covenant feast. After they had eaten, they spent the night on the mountain.
55#31:55 Verse 31:55 is numbered 32:1 in Hebrew text.Laban got up early the next morning, and he kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.
31
1And he heard the words of Lavan’s sons, saying, Ya’akov has taken away all that [was] our father’s; and of [that] which [was] our father’s has he gotten all this glory.
2And Ya’akov beheld the Countenance (Face, appearance; show favor) of Lavan, and, behold, it [was] not toward him as before.
3And the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) said unto Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of), Return unto the land of youri fathers, and to youri family; and I will be with youi.
4And Ya’akov sent and called Rachel and Le’ah (weary; grieved) to the field unto his flock,
5And said unto them, I see youri father’s Countenance (Face, appearance; show favor), that it [is] not toward me as before; but the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of my father has been with me.
6And youf know that with all my power I have served youri father.
7And youri father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] suffered him not to hurt me.
8If he said in this way, The speckled shall be youri wages; then all the cattle bore speckled: and if he said in this way, The marked with circular stripes shall be youri hire; then bore all the cattle marked with circular stripes.
9In the following manner God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has taken away the cattle of youri father, and given [them] to me.
10Once, when the animals were mating, I had a dream: I looked up and there in front of me the male goats which mated with the females were streaked, speckled and mottled.
11And the angel of God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] spoke unto me in a dream, [saying], Ya’akov: And I said, Here [am] I.
12And he said, Lift up now youri eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle [are] marked with circular stripes, speckled, and grizzled: for I have seen all that Lavan does unto youi.
13I [am] the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Beit-El, where youi anointed the pillar, [and] where youi vowed a vow unto me: now arise, get youi out from this land, and return unto the land of youri family.
14And Rachel (ewe) and Le’ah (weary; grieved) answered and said unto him, [Is there] yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?
15Are we not counted of him strangers? for he has sold us, and has quite devoured also our money.
16For all the riches which God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has taken from our father, that [is] ours, and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has said unto youi, do.
17Then Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
18And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Paddan-aram (a place of height; field; plain), for to go to Yitz’chak [Laughter] his father in the land of Kena’an (merchant; trader; or that humbles and subdues).
19And Lavan went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that [were] her father’s.
20And Ya’akov stole away unawares to Lavan the Arami [Arami [exalted]], in that he told him not that he fled.
21So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river [Euphrates], and set his face [toward] the mount Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
22And it was told Lavan (to be white; white guy) on the third day that Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) was fled.
23And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
24And God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] came to Lavan (to be white; white guy) the Arami [Arami [exalted]] (level plain) in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that youi speak not to Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) either good or bad.
25Then Lavan overtook Ya’akov. Now Ya’akov had pitched his tent in the mount: and Lavan with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
26And Lavan said to Ya’akov, What have youi done, that youi have stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives [taken] with the sword?
27For what reason did youi flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and did not tell me, that I might have sent youi away with gladness, and with songs, with tambourine [a small drum], and with harp?
28And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? youi hast now done foolishly in [so] doing.
29It is in the power of my hand to do youi hurt: but the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of youri father spoke unto me last night, saying, Take youi heed that youi speak not to Ya’akov either good or bad.
30And now, [though] youi would needs be gone, because youi [have] sore longed after youri father’s house, [yet] For what reason hast youi stolen my gods?
31And Ya’akov answered and said to Lavan, Because I was afraid: for I said, Perhaps youi would take by force youri daughters from me.
32With whomsoever youi find youri gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern youi what [is] yoursi with me, and take [it] to youi. For Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) knew not that Rachel (ewe) had stolen them.
33And Lavan went into Ya’akov’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maidservants’ tents; but he found [them] not. Then went he out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s [ewe] (ewe) tent.
34Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Lavan (to be white; white guy) searched all the tent, but found [them] not.
35And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before youi; for the custom of women [is] upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.
36And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) was exceedingly angry [exceedingly angry], and expressed disapproval [scolded, reproached] with Lavan: and Ya’akov answered and said to Lavan, What [is] my trespass? what [is] my sin, that youi have so hotly pursued after me?
37Whereas youi have searched all my stuff, what have youi found of all youri household stuff? set [it] here before my brethren and youri brethren, that they may judge between us both.
38This twenty years [have] I [been] with youi; youri ewes and youri she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of youri flock have I not eaten.
39That which was torn [of beasts] I brought not unto youi; I bore the loss of it; of my hand did youi require it, [whether] stolen by day, or stolen by night.
40 [In the following manner] I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from my eyes.
41In the following manner have I been twenty years in youri house; I served youi fourteen years for youri two daughters, and six years for youri cattle: and youi hast changed my wages ten times.
42Except the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of my father, the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will], and the fear of Yitz’chak [Laughter], had been with me, surely youi had sent me away now empty. God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has seen my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked [youi] last night.
43And Lavan answered and said unto Ya’akov, [These] daughters [are] my daughters, and [these] children [are] my children, and [these] cattle [are] my cattle, and all that youi see [is] my: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?
44Now therefore come youi, let us make a covenant, I and youi; and let it be for a witness between me and youi.
45And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) took a stone, and set it up [for] a pillar.
46And Ya’akov said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
47And Lavan called it Y’gar-Sahaduta [pile of witness]: but Ya’akov called it Gal-’Ed [pile of witness].
48And Lavan said, This heap [is] a witness between me and youi this day. Therefore was the name of it called Gal-’Ed;
49And HaMitzpah; for he said, The Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) watch between me and youi, when we are absent one from another.
50If youi shall afflict my daughters, or if youi shall take [other] wives beside my daughters, no man [is] with us; see, God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] [is] witness between me and youi.
51And Lavan (to be white; white guy) said to Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of), Behold this heap, and behold [this] pillar, which I have cast between me and youi;
52This heap [be] witness, and [this] pillar [be] witness, that I will not pass over this heap to youi, and that youi shall not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.
53The God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will], and the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Nokhor (a snort, a snorting; charred, scorched), the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of their father, judge between us. And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) swore by the fear of his father Yitz’chak [Laughter].
54Then Ya’akov offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
55And early in the morning Lavan rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and Blessed (Favored by God; appy; prosperous) them: and Lavan (to be white; white guy) departed, and returned unto his place.