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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
1And he heard the divrei Bnei Lavan, saying, Ya'akov hath taken away all that belonged to avinu; and of that which belonged to avinu hath he gotten all this kavod. 2And Ya'akov beheld the countenance of Lavan, and, hinei, it was not toward him as before. 3And Hashem said unto Ya'akov, Shuv el Eretz Avoteicha! And to thy moledet; and I will be with thee. 4And Ya'akov sent and called Rachel and Leah to the sadeh unto his tzon, 5And said unto them, I see penei avichen, that it is not toward me as before; but Elohei Avi is with me. 6And ye know that with all my koach I have served avichen. 7And avichen hath deceived me, and changed my sachar aseret monim but Elohim allowed him not to harm me. 8If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy sachar; then all the tzon bore speckled; and if he said thus, The streaked shall be thy sachar; then bore all the tzon streaked. 9Thus Elohim hath taken away the mikneh of your av, and given them to me. 10And it came to pass at the time that the tzon breed, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a chalom, and, hinei, the male goats mounting the tzon were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11And the Malach HaElohim spoke unto me in a chalom saying, Ya'akov: And I said, Hineni. 12And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the male goats leaping upon the tzon are streaked, speckled, and spotted; for I have seen all that Lavan doeth unto thee. 13I am HaEl Beit-El, where thou anointedst a matzevah (pillar), and where thou vowedst a neder (vow) unto Me: now arise, get thee out from HaAretz Hazot, and return unto thy eretz moledet. 14And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any chelek or nachalah for us in bais avinu? 15Are we not regarded by him nokhriyyot (foreigners, strangers)? For he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our kesef. 16For all the oisher Elohim hath taken from avinu, that belongs to us and baneinu; so then, whatsoever Elohim hath said unto thee, do. 17Then Ya'akov rose up, and set his banim and his nashim upon the gemalim; 18And he drove all his mikneh, and all his goods which he had gotten, the mikneh of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan Aram, for to go to Yitzchak aviv in Eretz Kena'an. 19And Lavan went to shear his tzon; and Rachel had stolen the terafim that belong to her av. 20Unawares to Lavan HaArami, Ya'akov stole away, in that he told him not that he was fleeing. 21So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the Nahar [i.e. the Euphrates], and set his face toward Har Gil'ad. 22And it was told Lavan on Yom HaShlishi that Ya'akov was fled. 23And he took his achim with him, and pursued after him derech shivat yamim; and they overtook him at Har Gil`ad. 24And Elohim came to Lavan HaArami in a chalom halailah, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Ya'akov either tov or rah. 25Then Lavan overtook Ya'akov. Now Ya'akov had pitched his ohel on the har; and Lavan with his achim encamped in Har Gil`ad. 26And Lavan said to Ya'akov, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my banot, like shevuyot (captives) taken with the cherev? 27Why didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with simchah, and with shirim (songs), with tof (timbrel, tambourine) and with kinnor (harp)? 28And hast not allowed me to kiss my banim (grandchildren) and my banot? Thou hast now done foolishly in so doing. 29It is in the power of my yad to do you rah; but Elohei Avichem spoke unto me emesh (last night), saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Ya'akov either tov or rah. 30And now, though thou had to go, because thou greatly longedst after bais avicha, yet why hast thou stolen elohai? 31And Ya'akov answered and said to Lavan, Because I was afraid; for I said, Thou wouldest take by force thy banot from me. 32With whomsoever thou findest eloheicha, let him not live; before acheinu discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Ya'akov knew not that Rachel had played the ganav with them. 33And Lavan went into the ohel Ya'akov, and into the ohel Leah and into the ohel shtei ha'amahot; but he found them not. Then went he out of the ohel Leah, and entered into the ohel Rachel. 34Now Rachel had taken the terafim, and put them in the saddle of the gamal, and sat upon them. And Lavan searched all the ohel, but found them not. 35And she said to her av, Let it not displease adoni that I cannot rise up in thy presence; for the derech nashim is upon me. And he searched but found not the terafim. 36And Ya'akov was in wrath, and upbraided Lavan: and Ya'akov answered and said to Lavan, What is my peysha? What is my chattat, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? 37Whereas thou hast searched through all that I own, what hast thou found of all thy kelei bais? Set it here before my achim and thy achim, that they may judge between us both. 38These esrim shanah have I been with thee; recheleicha (thy ewes) and thy female goats have not miscarried, and the rams of thy tzon have I not eaten. 39That which was terefah (torn of beasts) I brought not unto thee; I bore the loss of it; of my yad didst thou require it, whether stolen by yom, or stolen by lailah. 40Thus I was; in the yom the chorev (heat) consumed me, and the kerach (cold) by lailah; and my sheynah (sleep) departed from mine eyes. 41Thus have I been esrim shanah in thy bais; I served thee arba-esreh shanah for thy two banot, and shesh shanim for thy tzon: and thou hast changed my sachar aseret monim. 42Except Elohei Avi, Elohei Avraham, and the Pachad of Yitzchak had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty handed. Elohim hath seen mine oni and the toil of my palms, and rebuked thee emesh (last night). 43And Lavan answered and said unto Ya'akov, These banot are my banot, and these banim are my banim, and this tzon is my tzon, and all that thou seest is mine; yet what can I do today about these my banot, or about their banim which they have born? 44Now therefore come thou, let us cut a brit, I and thou; and let it be for an ed between me and thee. 45And Ya'akov took an even, and set it up for a matzevah (pillar). 46And Ya'akov said unto his achim, Gather avanim; and they took avanim, and made a gal (heap, mound); and they did eat there upon the gal. 47And Lavan called it Yegar Sahaduta; but Ya'akov called it Gale'ed ("Heap of Witness"). 48And Lavan said, This gal (heap, mound) is an ed (witness) between me and thee this day. Therefore was shmo called Gale'ed; 49And Mitzpah (Watch); for he said, Hashem watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50If thou shalt afflict my banot, or if thou shalt take nashim besides my banot, no man is with us; see, Elohim ed beini uveinecha (Elohim is witness between me and you). 51And Lavan said to Ya'akov, Hinei this gal (heap, mound), and hinei the matzevah (pillar), which I have cast between me and thee; 52This gal (heap, mound) be ed (witness), and this matzevah (pillar) be edah (witness), that for ra'ah I will not pass over this gal to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this gal and this matzevah unto me. 53The Elohei Avraham, and Elohei Nachor, Elohei Avihem judge between us. And Ya'akov swore by the Pachad Aviv Yitzchak. 54Then Ya'akov offered zavach upon the har, and called his achim to eat lechem; and they did eat lechem, and tarried all night on the har. 55And early in the boker (morning) Lavan rose up, and kissed his banim and his banot, and made on them a berakhah; and Lavan departed, and returned unto his makom.