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Genesis 31

31
1And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’s hath he gotten all this glory. 2And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as beforetime. 3And Jehovah said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee. 4And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 5and said unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as beforetime; but the God of my father hath been with me. 6And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 7And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. 8If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the flock bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstreaked shall be thy wages; then bare all the flock ringstreaked. 9Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. 10And it came to pass at the time that the flock conceive, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were ringstreaked, speckled, and grizzled. 11And the angel of God said unto me in the dream, Jacob: and I said, Here am I. 12And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see: all the he-goats which leap upon the flock are ringstreaked, speckled, and grizzled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 13I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst a pillar, where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy nativity. 14And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15Are we not accounted by him as foreigners? for he hath sold us, and hath also quite devoured our money. 16For all the riches which God hath taken away from our father, that is ours and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.
17Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon the camels; 18and he carried away all his cattle, and all his substance which he had gathered, the cattle of his getting, which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to Isaac his father unto the land of Canaan. 19Now Laban was gone to shear his sheep: and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s. 20And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, 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, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.
22And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. 23And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and he overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. 24And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream of the night, and said unto him, Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. 25And Laban came up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain: and Laban with his brethren encamped in the mountain of Gilead. 26And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters as captives of the sword? 27Wherefore didst thou flee secretly, and steal away from me, and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp; 28and didst not suffer me to kiss my sons and my daughters? now hast thou done foolishly. 29It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. 30And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father’s house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? 31And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Lest thou shouldest take thy daughters from me by force. 32With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, he shall not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
33And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two maid-servants; but he found them not. And he went out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. 34Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, and put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat upon them. And Laban felt about all the tent, but found them not. 35And she said to her father, Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise up before thee; for the manner of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the teraphim.
36And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast hotly pursued after me? 37Whereas thou hast felt about all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us two. 38These twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she-goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flocks have I not eaten. 39That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from mine eyes. 41These twenty years have I been in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy flock: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. 42Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now hadst thou sent me away empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
43And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children whom they have borne? 44And now come, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee. 45And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made a heap: and they did eat there by the heap. 47And Laban called it Jegar-saha-dutha: but Jacob called it Galeed. 48And Laban said, This heap is witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed: 49and Mizpah, for he said, Jehovah watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50If thou shalt afflict my daughters, and if thou shalt take wives besides my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee. 51And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold the pillar, which I have set betwixt me and thee. 52This heap be witness, and the pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. 53The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the Fear of his father Isaac. 54And Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mountain. 55And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.
31
Jacob’s Second and Third Encounters with God
1Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father and has gained all his wealth from him.” 2He also noticed that Laban did not appear as friendly to him as before.
3Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your ancestors and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
4So Jacob sent a message to Rachel and Leah to come out to the open country where his flocks were. 5He said to them, “I have seen that your father isn’t as friendly to me as he was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I have worked as hard as I could for your father. 7Your father has cheated me. He has changed my wages 10 times. But God hasn’t let him harm me. 8Whenever he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ all the flocks gave birth to speckled young. And whenever he said, ‘The striped ones will be your wages,’ all the flocks gave birth to striped young. 9So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.
10“During the mating season I had a dream: I looked up and saw that the male goats which were mating were striped, speckled, or spotted. 11In the dream the Messenger of God called to me, ‘Jacob!’ And I answered, ‘Yes, here I am.’ 12He said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats which are mating are striped, speckled, or spotted, because I have seen everything that Laban is doing to you. 13I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel,#31:13 Greek; Masoretic Text “the God at Bethel.” where you poured olive oil on a stone marker for a holy purpose and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land, and go back to the land of your relatives.’ ”
14Rachel and Leah answered him, “Is there anything left in our father’s household for us to inherit? 15Doesn’t he think of us as foreigners? Not only did he sell us, but he has used up the money that was paid for us. 16Certainly, all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. Now do whatever God has told you.”
Laban and Jacob Make Peace
17Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels. 18He drove all his livestock ahead of him and took all the possessions that he had accumulated. He took his own livestock that he had accumulated in Paddan Aram and went back to his father Isaac in Canaan.
19When Laban went to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s idols. 20Jacob also tricked Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was leaving. 21So he left in a hurry with all that belonged to him. He crossed the Euphrates River and went toward the mountains of Gilead.
22Two days later Laban was told that Jacob had left in a hurry. 23He and his relatives pursued Jacob for seven days. Laban caught up with him in the mountains of Gilead.
24God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything at all to Jacob.”
25When Laban finally caught up with Jacob, Jacob had put up his tents in the mountains. So Laban and his relatives put up their tents in the mountains of Gilead. 26Then Laban asked Jacob, “What have you done by tricking me? You’ve carried off my daughters like prisoners of war. 27Why did you leave secretly and trick me? You didn’t even tell me you were leaving. I would have sent you on your way rejoicing, with songs accompanied by tambourines and lyres. 28You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters. You’ve done a foolish thing. 29I have the power to harm you. Last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything at all to Jacob.’ 30Now you have left for your father’s home because you were so homesick. But why did you steal my gods?”
31Jacob answered Laban, “I left because I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. 32If you find your gods, the one who has them will not be allowed to live. In the presence of our relatives, search as much as you want through what I have, and take what is yours.” (Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen the gods.)
33So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two slaves. But he found nothing. He came out of Leah’s tent and went into Rachel’s tent. 34Rachel had taken the idols and had put them in her camel’s saddle-bag and was sitting on them. Laban rummaged through the whole tent but found nothing.
35Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, Father, but I can’t get up to greet you; I’m having my period.” So even though Laban had made a thorough search, he didn’t find the idols.
36Then Jacob became angry and confronted Laban. “What is my crime?” Jacob demanded of Laban. “What is my offense that you have come chasing after me? 37Now that you’ve rummaged through all my things, did you find anything from your house? Put it here in front of all our relatives. Let them decide which one of us is right.
38“I’ve been with you for 20 years. Your sheep and goats never miscarried, and I never ate any rams from your flocks. 39I never brought you any of the flock that was killed by wild animals. I paid for the loss myself. That’s what you demanded of me when any of the flock was stolen during the day or at night. 40The scorching heat during the day and the cold at night wore me down, and I lost a lot of sleep. 41I’ve been with your household 20 years now. I worked for you 14 years for your two daughters and 6 years for your flocks, and you changed my wages 10 times. 42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac,#31:42 Or “Protection of Isaac.” had not been with me, you would have sent me away empty-handed by now. God has seen my misery and hard work, and last night he made it right.”
43Then Laban answered Jacob, “These are my daughters, my grandchildren, and my flocks. Everything you see is mine! Yet, what can I do today for my daughters or for their children? 44Now, let’s make an agreement and let it stand as a witness between you and me.”
45Jacob took a stone and set it up as a marker. 46Then Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” They took stones, put them into a pile, and ate there by the pile of stones. 47⌞In his language⌟ Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha [Witness Pile], but Jacob called it Galeed.#31:47 Galeed is the Hebrew equivalent of the Aramaic words Jegar Sahadutha.
48Laban said, “This pile of stones stands as a witness between you and me today.” This is why it was named Galeed 49and also Mizpah [Watchtower], because he said, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we’re unable to see each other. 50If you mistreat my daughters or marry other women behind my back, remember that God stands as a witness between you and me.”
51Laban said to Jacob, “Here is the pile of stones, and here is the marker that I have set up between you and me. 52This pile of stones and this marker stand as witnesses that I will not go past the pile of stones to harm you, and that you will not go past the pile of stones or marker to harm me. 53May the God of Abraham and Nahor—the God of their father—judge between us.”
So Jacob swore this oath by the Fear of his father Isaac 54and offered a sacrifice on the mountain. He invited his relatives to eat the meal with him. They ate with him and spent the night on the mountain.#31:54 Genesis 31:55 in English Bibles is Genesis 32:1 in the Hebrew Bible.
55Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban left and went back home.