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Genesis 31

31
Chapter 31
Jacob runs away from Laban
1Jacob heard that Laban's sons were complaining about him. They were saying, ‘Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father. He has taken things from our father and he has become rich himself.’
2And Jacob could see that Laban was not as nice to him as he had been before.
3Then the Lord said to Jacob, ‘Go back to the land where your father and grandfather lived. Go back to your relatives. I will be with you there.’ 4Jacob sent a message to Rachel and Leah. He said that they must come to the field where he was taking care of his animals. 5Jacob said to Rachel and Leah, ‘I see that your father is not as nice to me now, as he was before. But the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I have worked very hard for your father. I have worked as well as I can. 7But your father has cheated me many times. He has changed what I receive for my work at least 10 times. But God has not let him hurt me. 8Sometimes Laban said, “I will pay you with the animals that have different colours on their skin.” If he said that, all the animals gave birth to babies with different colours on their skins. Sometimes he said, “I will pay you with the animals that have marks on them.” Then all the animals would give birth to babies with marks on them. 9In this way God took away your father's animals, and he gave them to me.
10One night I had a dream. It was at the time when the animals were becoming pregnant. In the dream, I saw that the male goats had marks and different colours on their skin. 11The angel of God spoke to me in the dream. He said, “Jacob.” I replied, “Yes, here I am.” 12The angel said, “Look carefully. See all the male goats that are having sex with the female goats. They all have marks and different colours on their skin. I am helping you because I have seen the bad things that Laban has done to you. 13I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel. That is where you poured oil on the special stone and you made a promise to me. Now I am telling you to leave this land. Go back to the land where you were born.” ’
14When Jacob told that to Rachel and Leah, they replied, ‘Our father will not give us anything more when he dies. 15He now thinks of us as if we are foreign people. You worked hard for him so that we could become your wives. He has cheated us as well as you! 16So everything that God has taken away from our father really belongs to us, and to our children. So you must do everything that God has told you to do.’
17So Jacob put his children and wives on his camels. 18He put together all his animals, and everything that he had received in Paddan Aram. He took them with him to go to the land of Canaan. He left to go to back to his father Isaac. 19Before they left, Laban had gone to cut the wool from his sheep. While he was away from the house, Rachel took the idols that Laban worshipped in his house. #31:19 These idols were small gods that someone made from wood or metal. Laban worshipped these gods.
20Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean. He did not tell Laban that he was going away. 21Jacob went away quickly and he took all his things. He went across the Euphrates river. He went towards the hill country of Gilead.
22After three days, someone told Laban that Jacob had gone away. 23So Laban took his relatives with him and he followed Jacob. After seven days he found him in the hill country of Gilead. 24Then God appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night. God warned him, ‘Be careful what you say to Jacob. Do not say anything good or bad against him.’
25Jacob had put up his tent in the hill country of Gilead. That is where Laban found him. So Laban and his relatives also put up their tents in that place. 26Laban said to Jacob, ‘Why did you do that? You have deceived me. You have taken my daughters away as if you had caught them in a war. 27Why did you go away secretly? Yes, you have deceived me. You should have told me that you were leaving. Then I would have prepared a big meal. We would have been happy together, with songs and music. 28But you did not even let me say “goodbye” to my daughters or my grandchildren. What you have done is not right. 29I have the power to hurt you. But last night the God of your father appeared to me. He told me, “Be careful what you say to Jacob. Do not say anything good or bad against him.” 30I know that you want very much to return to your father's house. That is why you have left my home. But why did you take my idols?’
31Jacob replied, ‘I left secretly because I was afraid. I thought that you might fight me to take your daughters away from me. 32But if you find your idols with anyone here, that person must die. While our relatives watch, you may look for anything that belongs to you. If you find anything then take it.’
Jacob did not know that Rachel had taken her father's idols.
33So Laban went into Jacob's tent. Then he went into Leah's tent. He also went into the female servants' tent. But he did not find the idols. When he left Leah's tent, he went into Rachel's tent. 34Rachel had taken the idols and she had put them inside her camel's seat. Now she sat on them. Laban looked everywhere in Rachel's tent but he did not find the idols. 35Rachel said to him, ‘Do not be angry with me, sir. I cannot stand up in front of you. It is the time of my monthly blood loss.’ #31:35 In Old Testament times, when a woman had her monthly blood loss, she was unclean. And anything that she sat on was unclean. See Leviticus 15:20. So, Laban looked everywhere for the idols, but he did not find them.
36Then Jacob became angry and he quarrelled with Laban. He asked Laban, ‘What have I done wrong? What sin have I done against you so that you had to catch me? 37Now you have looked through everything that I have. Did you find anything that belongs to you? If you have found anything, put it here in the open. Then your relatives and my relatives can see it. Our relatives can decide which of us is right, you or me!’
38Jacob continued to say to Laban, ‘I have worked for you for 20 years. Your female sheep and goats have all safely given birth to young ones. I have not taken any of your male animals as food for myself. 39If wild animals attacked your sheep or goats, I did not show them to you. I myself paid you for them. If any animal was lost, in the day time or at night, you said that I must pay you for it. 40This is what it was like to work for you: I worked in the strong heat of the sun in the day. I had pain from the cold at night. I could not always sleep. 41It was like this for 20 years as I worked like a slave for you. I worked for 14 years to pay you for your two daughters. Then I worked for six years for your sheep and goats. You changed what you paid me at least 10 times! 42The God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac was with me. #31:42 The God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac are all names for God. God is very powerful and has authority over everything. If he had not helped me, then you would have sent me away with nothing. But God has seen what you have done to hurt me. He has seen how hard I have worked for you. So last night he told you that you had done wrong.’
43Laban replied to Jacob, ‘These women are my daughters. Their children are my grandchildren. The animals are my animals. Everything that you have with you here belongs to me. But there is nothing that I can do today about my daughters or about their children. 44So we should be friends. Let us make an agreement together. It will show that we have agreed to be friends.’
45So Jacob took a large stone and made it stand up in the ground. 46He said to his relatives, ‘Go and get some stones.’ So they brought some stones and they put them together on the ground. Then they all ate a meal together, near the heap of stones. #31:46 When people made a promise, they often ate a meal together.
47Laban called that place Jegar Sahadutha. Jacob called it Galeed. #31:47 Jegar Sahadutha are Aramaic words. Galeed is a Hebrew word. Both mean that the stones showed that people made an agreement there.
48Laban said, ‘These stones show that we have made an agreement today.’ That is why the place was called Galeed. 49The place was also called ‘Mizpah’. That was because Laban said, ‘May the Lord watch you and me when we are away from each other. 50Remember that God is watching you. If you do wrong to my daughters, God will see it. And if you marry any other women, remember this. God is watching you. Even if no one else sees you, God will know.’
51Laban also said, ‘I have put this special stone here, and the heap of stones near it. They stand there between your land and my land. 52I will not go past the stones to your side to hurt you. And you must not go past them to my side to hurt me. 53Let the God of Abraham, Nahor, and their ancestors decide if one of us is guilty.’
So Jacob made a promise in the name of the God that his father Isaac worshipped. 54He offered a sacrifice to God there in the hill country. He asked his relatives to eat a meal with him. After they had eaten, they stayed the night there.
55Early the next morning, Laban got up to return home. He kissed his grandchildren and his daughters. He said ‘goodbye’ and he blessed them. Then he left and he went back to his home. #31:55 Jacob ran away from Laban because he was afraid. But God had already told Jacob that he would be with him. Jacob should have trusted God to keep him safe.
31
1Now he heard the words of Labans sonnes, saying, Iaakob hath taken away all that was our fathers, and of our fathers goods hath he gotten all this honour. 2Also Iaakob beheld the countenance of Laban, that it was not towards him as in times past: 3And the Lord had said vnto Iaakob, Turne againe into the lande of thy fathers, and to thy kinred, and I wilbe with thee. 4Therefore Iaakob sent and called Rahel and Leah to the fielde vnto his flocke. 5Then sayde hee vnto them, I see your fathers countenance, that it is not towardes me as it was wont, and the God of my father hath bene with me. 6And yee knowe that I haue serued your father with all my might. 7But your father hath deceiued me, and changed my wages tenne times: but God suffred him not to hurt me. 8If he thus sayd, The spotted shall be thy wages, then all the sheepe bare spotted: and if he sayd thus, the party coloured shalbe thy rewarde, then bare all the sheepe particoloured. 9Thus hath God taken away your fathers substance, and giuen it me. 10For in ramming time I lifted vp mine eyes and saw in a dreame, and beholde, ye hee goates leaped vpon the shee goates, that were partie coloured with litle and great spots spotted. 11And the Angel of God sayde to mee in a dreame, Iaakob. And I answered, Lo, I am here. 12And he sayde, Lift vp nowe thine eyes, and see all the hee goates leaping vpon ye shee goates that are partie coloured, spotted with litle and great spots: for I haue seene all that Laban doeth vnto thee. 13I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anoyntedst the pillar, where thou vowedst a vowe vnto me. Nowe arise, get thee out of this countrey and returne vnto ye land where thou wast borne. 14Then answered Rahel and Leah, and sayde vnto him, Haue wee any more porcion and inheritance in our fathers house? 15Doeth not he count vs as strangers? for he hath solde vs, and hath eaten vp and consumed our money. 16Therefore all the riches, which God hath taken from our father, is ours and our childrens: nowe then whatsoeuer God hath saide vnto thee, doe it. 17Then Iaakob rose vp, and set his sonnes and his wiues vpon camels. 18And he caried away all his flockes, and al his substance which he had gotten, to wit, his riches, which he had gotten in Padan Aram, to goe to Izhak his father vnto the land of Canaan. 19Whe Laban was gone to shere his sheepe, Then Rahel stole her fathers idoles. 20Thus Iaakob stole away ye heart of Laban the Aramite: for he told him not that he fled. 21So fled he with all that he had, and he rose vp, and passed the riuer, and set his face towarde mount Gilead. 22And the third day after was it told Laban, that Iaakob fled. 23Then he tooke his brethren with him, and followed after him seuen dayes iourney, and ouertooke him at mount Gilead. 24And God came to Laban the Aramite in a dreame by night, and sayde vnto him, Take heede that thou speake not to Iaakob ought saue good. 25Then Laban ouertooke Iaakob, and Iaakob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban also with his brethren pitched vpon mount Gilead. 26Then Laban sayde to Iaakob, What hast thou done? thou hast euen stolen away mine heart and caried away my daughters as though they had bene taken captiues with the sworde. 27Wherfore diddest thou flie so secretly and steale away from me, and diddest not tel me, that I might haue sent thee foorth with mirth and with songs, with timbrel and with harpe? 28But thou hast not suffered me to kisse my sonnes and my daughters: nowe thou hast done foolishly in doing so. 29I am able to do you euill: but the God of your father spake vnto me yesternight, saying, Take heed that thou speake not to Iaakob ought saue good. 30Nowe though thou wentest thy way, because thou greatly longedst after thy fathers house, yet wherefore hast thou stollen my gods? 31Then Iaakob answered, and said to Laban, Because I was afraid, and thought that thou wouldest haue taken thy daughters from me. 32But with whome thou findest thy gods, let him not liue. Search thou before our brethre what I haue of thine, and take it to thee, (but Iaakob wist not that Rahel had stolen them) 33Then came Laban into Iaakobs tent, and into Leahs tent, and into the two maides tentes, but founde them not. So hee went out of Leahs tent, and entred into Rahels tent. 34(Nowe Rahel had taken the idoles, and put them in the camels litter and sate downe vpon them) and Laban searched al the tent, but found them not. 35Then said she to her father, My Lord, be not angrie that I cannot rise vp before thee: for the custome of women is vpon me: so he searched, but found not the idoles. 36The Iaakob was wroth, and chode with Laban: Iaakob also answered and sayd to Laban, What haue I trespassed? what haue I offended, that thou hast pursued after me? 37Seeing thou hast searched all my stuffe, what hast thou foud of all thine houshold stuffe? put it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may iudge betweene vs both. 38This twenty yere I haue bin with thee: thine ewes and thy goates haue not cast their yong, and the rammes of thy flocke haue I not eaten. 39Whatsoeuer was torne of beasts, I brought it not vnto thee, but made it good my selfe: of mine hand diddest thou require it, were it stollen by day or stollen by night. 40I was in the day consumed with heate, and with frost in the night, and my sleepe departed from mine eyes. 41Thus haue I bene twentie yeere in thine house, and serued thee fourteene yeeres for thy two daughters, and sixe yeeres for thy sheepe, and thou hast changed my wages tenne times. 42Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the feare of Izhak had bene with me, surely thou haddest sent me away nowe emptie: but God behelde my tribulation, and the labour of mine hads, and rebuked thee yester night. 43Then Laban answered, and saide vnto Iaakob, These daughters are my daughters, and these sonnes are my sonnes, and these sheepe are my sheepe, and all that thou seest, is mine, and what can I doe this day vnto these my daughters, or to their sonnes which they haue borne? 44Nowe therefore come and let vs make a couenant, I and thou, which may be a witnes betweene me and thee. 45Then tooke Iaakob a stone, and set it vp as a pillar: 46And Iaakob sayde vnto his brethren, Gather stones: who brought stones, and made an heape, and they did eate there vpon the heape. 47And Laban called it Iegar-sahadutha, and Iaakob called it Galeed. 48For Laban sayd, This heape is witnesse betweene me and thee this day: therefore he called the name of it Galeed. 49Also he called it Mizpah, because he said, The Lord looke betweene me and thee, when we shalbe departed one from another, 50If thou shalt vexe my daughters, or shalt take wiues beside my daughters: there is no man with vs, beholde, God is witnesse betweene me and thee. 51Moreouer Laban sayd to Iaakob, Beholde this heape, and behold the pillar, which I haue set betweene me and thee, 52This heape shall be witnesse, and the pillar shall be witnesse, that I will not come ouer this heape to thee, and that thou shalt not passe ouer this heape and this pillar vnto me for euill. 53The God of Abraham, and the God of Nabor, and the God of their father be iudge betweene vs: But Iaakob sware by the feare of his father Izhak. 54Then Iaakob did offer a sacrifice vpon the mount, and called his brethren to eate bread. and they did eate bread, and taried all night in the mount. 55And earely in the morning Laban rose vp and kissed his sonnes and his daughters, and blessed them, and Laban departing, went vnto his place againe.