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Genesis 31

31
Jacob Leaves Secretly for Canaan
1Now #Lit heJacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this #Lit glorywealth.” 2And Jacob saw the #Lit faceattitude of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as it had been before. 3Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” 4So Jacob sent word and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field, 5and said to them, “I see your father’s #Lit faceattitude, that it is not friendly toward me as it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I have served your father with all my strength. 7Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times; however, God did not allow him to do me harm. 8If he said this: ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flock delivered speckled; and if he said this: ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock delivered striped. 9So God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me. 10And it came about at the time when the flock was breeding that I raised my eyes and saw in a dream—and behold—the male goats that were #Lit leaping upon the flockmating were striped, speckled, or mottled. 11Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob’; and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12He said, ‘Now raise your eyes and see that all the male goats that are #Lit leaping upon the flockmating are striped, speckled, or mottled; for I have seen everything that Laban has been doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a memorial stone, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, #Lit Go out fromleave this land, and return to the land of your birth.’ ” 14Rachel and Leah said to him, “Do we still have any share or inheritance in our father’s house? 15Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also #I.e., enjoyed the benefit ofentirely consumed our #Lit moneypurchase price. 16Surely all the wealth which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has told you.”
17Then Jacob stood up and put his children and his wives on camels; 18and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had acquired, the livestock he possessed which he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19Laban had gone to shear his flock, and Rachel stole the #Heb teraphimhousehold idols that were her father’s. 20And Jacob #Lit stole the heart ofdeceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing. 21So he fled with all that he had; and he got up and crossed the Euphrates River, and set #Lit his faceout for the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob
22When Laban was informed on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24However, God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night and said to him, “#Lit Take heed to yourselfBe careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad.”
25And Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done #Lit and you have stolen my heartby deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27Why did you flee secretly and #Lit steal medeceive me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with tambourine and with lyre; 28and did not allow me to kiss my #Lit sonsgrandchildren and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly. 29It is in #Lit the power of my handmy power to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘#Lit Take heed to yourselfBe careful not to speak either good or bad to Jacob.’ 30Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal my gods?” 31Then Jacob replied to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our relatives #Lit recognizepoint out what is yours #Lit with meamong my belongings and take it for yourself.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
33So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two slave women, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34Now Rachel had taken the #Heb teraphimhousehold idols and put them in the camel’s saddlebag, and she sat on them. So Laban searched through all the tent, but did not find them. 35And she said to her father, “May my lord not be angry that I cannot stand in your presence, because the #I.e., menstruationway of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the #Heb teraphimhousehold idols.
36Then Jacob became angry and argued with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? 37Though you have searched through all my property, what have you found of all your household property? Set it here in front of my relatives and your relatives, so that they may decide between the two of us. 38For these twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. 39I did not even bring to you that which was torn by wild animals; I took the loss myself. You demanded it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40This is how I was: by day the #Or droughtheat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41For these twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times. 42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night.”
The Covenant of Mizpah
43Then Laban replied to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the #Lit sonschildren are my #Lit sonsgrandchildren, the flocks are my flocks, and everything that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these daughters of mine or to their children to whom they have given birth? 44So now come, let’s make a covenant, #Lit I and youyou and I, and it shall be a witness between #Lit me and youyou and me.” 45Then Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial stone. 46Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47Now Laban called it #I.e., the heap of witness, in AramJegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it #I.e., the heap of witness, in HebGaleed. 48Laban said, “This heap is a witness between #Lit me and youyou and me this day.” Therefore it was named Galeed, 49and #Lit the Mizpah; i.e., the watchtowerMizpah, for he said, “May the Lord keep watch between #Lit me and youyou and me when we are #Lit hiddenabsent one from the other. 50If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between #Lit me and youyou and me.” 51Laban also said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold the memorial stone which I have set between #Lit me and youyou and me. 52This heap is a witness, and the memorial stone is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this memorial stone to me, for harm. 53The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac. 54Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his relatives to #Lit eat breadthe meal; and they ate #Lit breadthe meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55#Ch 32:1 in HebThen early in the morning Laban got up, and kissed his #Lit sonsgrandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place.

Genesis 31

31
Jacob Leaves Secretly for Canaan
1Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying: “Jacob has taken away everything that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has acquired all this wealth and honor.” 2Jacob noticed [a change in] the #Lit face.attitude of Laban, and saw that it was not friendly toward him as before. 3Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your people, and I will be with you.” 4So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field, 5and he said to them, “I see [a change in] your father’s attitude, that he is not friendly toward me as [he was] before; but the God of my father [Isaac] has been with me. 6You know that I have served your father with all my strength. 7Yet your father has cheated me [as often as possible] and changed my wages ten times; but God did not allow him to hurt me. 8If he said, ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then the entire flock gave birth to speckled [young]; and if he said, ‘The streaked shall be your wages,’ then the entire flock gave birth to streaked [young]. 9Thus God has taken away the flocks of your father and given them to me. 10And it happened at the time when the flock conceived that I looked up and saw in a dream that the rams which mated [with the female goats] were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11And the #See note 16:7. Note especially Gen 31:13, where the Angel says, “I am the God of Bethel.”Angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ And I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12He said, ‘Look up and see, all the rams which are mating [with the flock] are streaked, speckled, and spotted; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar, and where you made a vow to Me; now stand up, leave this land, and return to the land of your birth.’ ” 14Rachel and Leah answered him, “Is there still any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15Are we not counted by him as foreigners? For he sold us [to you in marriage], and has also entirely used up our purchase price. 16Surely all the riches which God has taken from our father are ours and our children’s. Now then, whatever God has told you to do, do it.”
17Then Jacob stood [and took action] and put his children and his wives on camels; 18and he drove away all his livestock and [took along] all his property which he had acquired, the livestock he had obtained and accumulated in Paddan-aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. 19When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel [went inside the house and] stole her father’s #Possession of these pagan figurines implied or conferred a right of inheritance.household gods. 20And Jacob #Lit stole the heart of.deceived Laban the Aramean (Syrian) by not telling him that he intended to leave and he slipped away secretly. 21So he fled with everything that he had, and got up and crossed the river [Euphrates], and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead [east of the Jordan River].
Laban Pursues Jacob
22On the third day [after his departure] Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23So he took his relatives with him and pursued him for seven days, and they overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful that you do not speak to Jacob, either good or bad.”
25Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent on the hill, and Laban with his relatives camped on the same hill of Gilead. 26Then Laban said to Jacob, “What do you mean by deceiving me and leaving without my knowledge, and carrying off my daughters as if [they were] captives of the sword? 27Why did you run away secretly and deceive me and not tell me, so that [otherwise] I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with [music on the] tambourine and lyre? 28And why did you not allow me to kiss my #Lit sons.grandchildren and my daughters [goodbye]? Now you have done a foolish thing [in behaving like this]. 29It is in my power to harm you, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to speak to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30Now [I suppose] you felt you must go because you #Lit longed greatly.were homesick for your father’s house and family; but why did you steal my [household] #Laban was upset because possession of the father’s household gods played an important role in inheritance. In the region where Laban lived, a son-in-law who possessed the family gods could appear before a judge and make a claim to the estate of his father-in-law. Since Jacob’s possession of the household gods implied the right to inherit Laban’s wealth, one can understand why he followed Jacob to recover the idols.gods?” 31Jacob answered Laban, “[I left secretly] because I was afraid, for I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. 32The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our relatives [search my possessions and] point out whatever you find that belongs to you and take it.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the idols.
33So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. Then he came out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel’s saddlebag and sat on them. Laban searched through all her tent, but did not find them. 35So Rachel said to her father, “Do not be displeased, my lord, that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is on me and I am unwell.” He searched [further] but did not find the household idols.
36Then Jacob became angry and argued with Laban. And he said to Laban, “What is my fault? What is my sin that you pursued me like this? 37Although you have searched through all my possessions, what have you found of your household goods? Put it here before my relatives and your relatives, so that they may decide [who has done right] between the two of us. 38These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not lost their young, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. 39I did not bring you the torn carcasses [of the animals attacked by predators]; I [personally] took the loss. You required of me [to make good] everything that was stolen, whether it occurred by day or night. 40This was my situation: by day the heat consumed me and by night the cold, and #Lit sleep fled from my eyes.I could not sleep. 41These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for [my share of] your flocks, and you have #I.e. cheated me as often as possible.changed my wages ten times. 42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and [the Feared One] of Isaac, had not been with me, most certainly you would have sent me away now empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and humiliation and the [exhausting] labor of my hands, so He rendered judgment and rebuked you last night.”
The Covenant of Mizpah
43Laban answered Jacob, “These #Lit daughters.women [that you married] are my daughters, these children are my #Lit children.grandchildren, these flocks are [from] my flocks, and all that you see [here] is mine. But what can I do today to these my daughters or to their children to whom they have given birth? 44So come now, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between you and me.” 45So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a [memorial] pillar. 46Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a mound [of stones], and they ate [a ceremonial meal together] there on the mound [of stones]. 47Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha (stone monument of testimony in #The language of Laban, who was an Aramean (v 20). The two names chosen by Laban and Jacob were equivalent.Aramaic), but Jacob called it #Heb heap of witness.Galeed. 48Laban said, “This mound [of stones] is a witness [a reminder of the oath taken] today between you and me.” Therefore he [also] called the name Galeed, 49and Mizpah (#The stone mound evidently was tall enough to be considered a place from which one could see at a distance. The thought behind it was that the Lord would watch them when they could not watch each other, and He would see and deal with any mistreatment committed by either of them (see v 50).watchtower), for Laban said, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent from one another. 50If you should mistreat (humiliate, oppress) my daughters, or if you should take other wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us [as a witness], see and remember, God is witness between you and me.” 51Laban said to Jacob, “Look at this mound [of stones] and look at this pillar which I have set up between you and me. 52This mound is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this mound to harm you, and that you will not pass by this mound and this pillar to harm me. 53The God of Abraham [your father] and the God of Nahor [my father], and the #Here “god” is put in lowercase because Joshua later declared that Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, was an idolater, serving “other gods” (Josh 24:2). The wording of the Hebrew here indicates that Laban equated the God of Abraham and Nahor with the god of Terah. Whether Laban actually made no distinction in his mind between the true God and false gods, or simply committed an oversight, is not clear. Jacob evidently recognized the ambiguity in Laban’s statement as well, so to avoid any possibility of swearing allegiance to a false god, he swore his own oath by the God of Isaac.god [the image of worship] of their father [Terah, an idolater], judge between us.” But Jacob swore [only] by [the one true God] the Fear of his father Isaac. 54Then Jacob offered a sacrifice [to the Lord] on the mountain, and called his relatives to the meal; and they ate food and spent the night on the mountain. 55Early in the morning Laban got up and kissed his #Lit sons.grandchildren and his daughters [goodbye] and pronounced a blessing [asking God’s favor] on them. Then Laban left and returned home.