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Genesis 31

31
Jacob Flees from Laban
1Jacob heard that Laban's sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father. All his wealth has come from what our father owned.” 2He also saw that Laban was no longer as friendly as he had been earlier. 3Then the LORD said to him, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives. I will be with you.”
4So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to meet him in the field where his flocks were. 5He said to them, “I have noticed that your father is not as friendly towards me as he used to be; but my father's God has been with me. 6You both know that I have worked for your father with all my strength. 7Yet he has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not let him harm me. 8Whenever Laban said, ‘The speckled goats shall be your wages,’ all the flocks produced speckled young. When he said, ‘The striped goats shall be your wages,’ all the flocks produced striped young. 9God has taken flocks away from your father and given them to me.
10“During the breeding season I had a dream, and I saw that the male goats that were mating were striped, spotted, and speckled. 11The angel of God spoke to me in the dream and said, ‘Jacob!’ ‘Yes,’ I answered. 12‘Look,’ he continued, ‘all the male goats that are mating are striped, spotted, and speckled. I am making this happen because I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13#Gen 28.18–22I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel, where you dedicated a stone as a memorial by pouring olive oil on it and where you made a vow to me. Now get ready to go back to the land where you were born.’ ”
14Rachel and Leah answered Jacob, “There is nothing left for us to inherit from our father. 15He treats us like foreigners. He sold us, and now he has spent all the money he was paid for us. 16All this wealth which God has taken from our father belongs to us and to our children. Do whatever God has told you.”
17-18So Jacob got ready to go back to his father in the land of Canaan. He put his children and his wives on the camels, and drove all his flocks ahead of him, with everything that he had acquired in Mesopotamia. 19Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and during his absence Rachel stole the household gods that belonged to her father. 20Jacob deceived Laban by not letting him know that he was leaving. 21He took everything he owned and left in a hurry. He crossed the River Euphrates and started for the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob
22Three days later Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23He took his men with him and pursued Jacob for seven days until he caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24In a dream that night God came to Laban and said to him, “Be careful not to threaten Jacob in any way.” 25Jacob had set up his camp on a mountain, and Laban set up his camp with his relatives in the hill country of Gilead.
26Laban said to Jacob, “Why did you deceive me and carry off my daughters like women captured in war? 27Why did you deceive me and slip away without telling me? If you had told me, I would have sent you on your way with rejoicing and singing to the music of tambourines and harps. 28You did not even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. That was a foolish thing to do! 29I have the power to do you harm, but last night the God of your father warned me not to threaten you in any way. 30I know that you left because you were so anxious to get back home, but why did you steal my household gods?”
31Jacob answered, “I was afraid, because I thought that you might take your daughters away from me. 32But if you find that anyone here has your gods, he will be put to death. Here, with our men as witnesses, look for anything that belongs to you and take what is yours.” Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen Laban's gods.
33Laban went and searched Jacob's tent; then he went into Leah's tent, and the tent of the two slave women, but he did not find his gods. Then he went into Rachel's tent. 34Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in a camel's saddlebag and was sitting on them. Laban searched through the whole tent, but did not find them. 35Rachel said to her father, “Do not be angry with me, sir, but I am not able to stand up in your presence; I am having my monthly period.” Laban searched but did not find his household gods.
36Then Jacob lost his temper. “What crime have I committed?” he asked angrily. “What law have I broken that gives you the right to hunt me down? 37Now that you have searched through all my belongings, what household article have you found that belongs to you? Put it out here where your men and mine can see it, and let them decide which one of us is right. 38I have been with you now for twenty years; your sheep and your goats have not failed to reproduce, and I have not eaten any rams from your flocks. 39Whenever a sheep was killed by wild animals, I always bore the loss myself. I didn't take it to you to show that it was not my fault. You demanded that I make good anything that was stolen during the day or during the night. 40Many times I suffered from the heat during the day and from the cold at night. I was not able to sleep. 41It was like that for the whole twenty years I was with you. For fourteen years I worked to win your two daughters — and six years for your flocks. And even then, you changed my wages ten times. 42If the God of my fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac, had not been with me, you would have already sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my trouble and the work I have done, and last night he gave his judgement.”
The Agreement between Jacob and Laban
43Laban answered Jacob, “These young women are my daughters; their children belong to me, and these flocks are mine. In fact, everything you see here belongs to me. But since I can do nothing to keep my daughters and their children, 44I am ready to make an agreement with you. Let us make a pile of stones to remind us of our agreement.”
45So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial. 46He told his men to gather some rocks and pile them up. Then they ate a meal beside the pile of rocks. 47Laban named it Jegar Sahadutha,#31.47 Jegar Sahadutha: This name in Aramaic means “a pile to remind us”. while Jacob named it Galeed.#31.47 Galeed: This name in Hebrew means “a pile to remind us”. 48Laban said to Jacob, “This pile of rocks will be a reminder for both of us.” That is why that place was named Galeed. 49Laban also said, “May the LORD keep an eye on us while we are separated from each other.” So the place was also named Mizpah.#31.49 Mizpah: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “place from which to watch”. 50Laban went on, “If you ill-treat my daughters or if you marry other women, even though I don't know about it, remember that God is watching us. 51Here are the rocks that I have piled up between us, and here is the memorial stone. 52Both this pile and this memorial stone are reminders. I will never go beyond this pile to attack you, and you must never go beyond it or beyond this memorial stone to attack me. 53The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor#31.53 Abraham… Nahor: Abraham was Jacob's grandfather and Nahor was Laban's grandfather. will judge between us.” Then, in the name of the God whom his father Isaac worshipped, Jacob solemnly vowed to keep this promise. 54He killed an animal, which he offered as a sacrifice on the mountain, and he invited his men to the meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night on the mountain. 55Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters goodbye, and left to go back home.
31
1And he heareth the words of Laban's sons, saying, ‘Jacob hath taken all that our father hath; yea, from that which our father hath, he hath made all this honour;’
2and Jacob seeth the face of Laban, and lo, it is not with him as heretofore.
3And Jehovah saith unto Jacob, ‘Turn back unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred, and I am with thee.’
4And Jacob sendeth and calleth for Rachel and for Leah to the field unto his flock;
5and saith to them, ‘I am beholding your father's face — that it is not towards me as heretofore, and the God of my father hath been with me,
6and ye — ye have known that with all my power I have served your father,
7and your father hath played upon me, and hath changed my hire ten times; and God hath not suffered him to do evil with me.
8‘If he say thus: The speckled are thy hire, then bare all the flock speckled ones; and if he say thus: The ring-streaked are thy hire, then bare all the flock ring-streaked;
9and God taketh away the substance of your father, and doth give to me.
10‘And it cometh to pass at the time of the flock conceiving, that I lift up mine eyes and see in a dream, and lo, the he-goats, which are going up on the flock, [are] ring-streaked, speckled, and grisled;
11and the messenger of God saith unto me in the dream, Jacob, and I say, Here [am] I.
12‘And He saith, Lift up, I pray thee, thine eyes, and see — all the he-goats which are going up on the flock [are] ring-streaked, speckled, and grisled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to thee;
13I [am] the God of Bethel where thou hast anointed a standing pillar, where thou hast vowed a vow to me; now, arise, go out from this land, and turn back unto the land of thy birth.’
14And Rachel answereth — Leah also — and saith to him, ‘Have we yet a portion and inheritance in the house of our father?
15have we not been reckoned strangers to him? for he hath sold us, and he also utterly consumeth our money;
16for all the wealth which God hath taken away from our father, it [is] ours, and our children's; and now, all that God hath said unto thee — do.’
17And Jacob riseth, and lifteth up his sons and his wives on the camels,
18and leadeth all his cattle, and all his substance which he hath acquired, the cattle of his getting, which he hath acquired in Padan-Aram, to go unto Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan.
19And Laban hath gone to shear his flock, and Rachel stealeth the teraphim which her father hath;
20and Jacob deceiveth the heart of Laban the Aramaean, because he hath not declared to him that he is fleeing;
21and he fleeth, he and all that he hath, and riseth, and passeth over the River, and setteth his face [toward] the mount of Gilead.
22And it is told to Laban on the third day that Jacob hath fled,
23and he taketh his brethren with him, and pursueth after him a journey of seven days, and overtaketh him in the mount of Gilead.
24And God cometh in unto Laban the Aramaean in a dream of the night, and saith to him, ‘Take heed to thyself lest thou speak with Jacob from good unto evil.’
25And Laban overtaketh Jacob; and Jacob hath fixed his tent in the mount; and Laban with his brethren have fixed [theirs] in the mount of Gilead.
26And Laban saith to Jacob, ‘What hast thou done that thou dost deceive my heart, and lead away my daughters as captives of the sword?
27Why hast thou hidden thyself to flee, and deceivest me, and hast not declared to me, and I send thee away with joy and with songs, with tabret and with harp,
28and hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? — now thou hast acted foolishly in doing [so];
29my hand is to God to do evil with you, but the God of your father yesternight hath spoken unto me, saying, Take heed to thyself from speaking with Jacob from good unto evil.
30‘And now, thou hast certainly gone, because thou hast been very desirous for the house of thy father; why hast thou stolen my gods?’
31And Jacob answereth and saith to Laban, ‘Because I was afraid, for I said, Lest thou take violently away thy daughters from me;
32with whomsoever thou findest thy gods — he doth not live; before our brethren discern for thyself what [is] with me, and take to thyself:’ and Jacob hath not known that Rachel hath stolen them.
33And Laban goeth into the tent of Jacob, and into the tent of Leah, and into the tent of the two handmaidens, and hath not found; and he goeth out from the tent of Leah, and goeth into the tent of Rachel.
34And Rachel hath taken the teraphim, and putteth them in the furniture of the camel, and sitteth upon them; and Laban feeleth all the tent, and hath not found;
35and she saith unto her father, ‘Let it not be displeasing in the eyes of my lord that I am not able to rise at thy presence, for the way of women [is] on me;’ and he searcheth, and hath not found the teraphim.
36And it is displeasing to Jacob, and he striveth with Laban; and Jacob answereth and saith to Laban, ‘What [is] my transgression? what my sin, that thou hast burned after me?
37for thou hast felt all my vessels: what hast thou found of all the vessels of thy house? set here before my brethren, and thy brethren, and they decide between us both.
38‘These twenty years I [am] with thee: thy ewes and thy she-goats have not miscarried, and the rams of thy flock I have not eaten;
39the torn I have not brought in unto thee — I, I repay it — from my hand thou dost seek it; I have been deceived by day, and I have been deceived by night;
40I have been [thus]: in the day consumed me hath drought, and frost by night, and wander doth my sleep from mine eyes.
41‘This [is] to me twenty years in thy house: I have served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy flock; and thou changest my hire ten times;
42unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac, had been for me, surely now empty thou hadst sent me away; mine affliction and the labour of my hands hath God seen, and reproveth yesternight.’
43And Laban answereth and saith unto Jacob, ‘The daughters [are] my daughters, and the sons my sons, and the flock my flock, and all that thou art seeing [is] mine; and to my daughters — what do I to these to-day, or to their sons whom they have born?
44and now, come, let us make a covenant, I and thou, and it hath been for a witness between me and thee.’
45And Jacob taketh a stone, and lifteth it up [for] a standing pillar;
46and Jacob saith to his brethren, ‘Gather stones,’ and they take stones, and make a heap; and they eat there on the heap;
47and Laban calleth it Jegar-Sahadutha; and Jacob hath called it Galeed.
48And Laban saith, ‘This heap [is] witness between me and thee to-day;’ therefore hath he called its name Galeed;
49Mizpah also, for he said, ‘Jehovah doth watch between me and thee, for we are hidden one from another;
50if thou afflict my daughters, or take wives beside my daughters — there is no man with us — see, God [is] witness between me and thee.’
51And Laban saith to Jacob, ‘Lo, this heap, and lo, the standing pillar which I have cast between me and thee;
52this heap [is] witness, and the standing pillar [is] witness, that I do not pass over this heap unto thee, and that thou dost not pass over this heap and this standing pillar unto me — for evil;
53the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, doth judge between us — the God of their father,’ and Jacob sweareth by the Fear of his father Isaac.
54And Jacob sacrificeth a sacrifice in the mount, and calleth to his brethren to eat bread, and they eat bread, and lodge in the mount;
55and Laban riseth early in the morning, and kisseth his sons and his daughters, and blesseth them; and Laban goeth on, and turneth back to his place.