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Berĕshith (Genesis) 31

31
1And he heard the words of Laḇan’s sons, saying, “Ya‛aqoḇ has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this wealth.”
2And Ya‛aqoḇ would look at the face of Laḇan and see that it was not toward him as before.
3And יהוה said to Ya‛aqoḇ, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives. And I am with you.”
4And Ya‛aqoḇ sent and called Raḥĕl and Lĕ’ah to the field, to his flock,
5and said to them, “I see your father’s face, that it is not toward me as before, but the Elohim of my father has been with me.
6“And you know that I have served your father with all my strength.
7“Yet your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but Elohim did not allow him to do evil to me.
8“When he said this, ‘The speckled are your wages,’ then all the flocks bore speckled. And when he said this, ‘The streaked are your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked.
9“So Elohim has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me.
10“And it came to be, at the time when the flocks conceived, that I lifted my eyes and looked in a dream and saw the rams which leaped upon the flocks were streaked, speckled, and mottled.
11And the Messenger of Elohim spoke to me in a dream, saying, ‘Ya‛aqoḇ.’ And I said, ‘Here I am.’ ”
12“And He said, ‘Lift your eyes now and see, all the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laḇan is doing to you.
13I am the Ěl of Bĕyth Ěl, where you anointed the standing column and where you made a vow to Me. Now rise up, get out of this land, and return to the land of your relatives.’ ”
14And Raḥĕl and Lĕ’ah answered and said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house?
15“Are we not reckoned by him as strangers? For he has sold us, and also entirely consumed our silver.
16“For all the wealth which Elohim has taken from our father is ours and our children’s. Now then, do whatever Elohim has told you.”
17So Ya‛aqoḇ rose and put his sons and his wives on camels,
18and he drove off all his livestock and all his possessions which he had acquired, his property of the livestock which he had acquired in Paddan Aram, to go to his father Yitsḥaq in the land of Kena‛an.
19And when Laḇan had gone to shear his sheep, Raḥĕl stole the house idols that were her father’s.
20And Ya‛aqoḇ deceived Laḇan the Aramean, because he did not inform him that he was about to flee.
21And he fled with all that he had. And he rose up and passed over the river, and headed toward the mountains of Gil‛aḏ.
22And on the third day Laḇan was told that Ya‛aqoḇ had fled.
23Then he took his brothers with him and pursued him for seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the mountains of Gil‛aḏ.
24But in a dream by night Elohim came to Laḇan the Aramean, and said to him, “Guard yourself, that you do not speak to Ya‛aqoḇ either good or evil.”
25Then Laḇan overtook Ya‛aqoḇ. Now Ya‛aqoḇ had pitched his tent in the mountains, and Laḇan with his brothers pitched in the mountains of Gil‛aḏ.
26And Laḇan said to Ya‛aqoḇ, “What have you done, that you have deceived me, and driven my daughters off like captives taken with the sword?
27“Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and not inform me, and I would have sent you away with joy and songs, with tambourine and lyre?
28And you did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters. Now you have been foolish to do this.
29“It is in the power of my hand to do evil to you, but the Elohim of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Guard yourself, that you do not speak to Ya‛aqoḇ either good or evil.’
30“And now you have gone because you greatly long for your father’s house, but why did you steal my mighty ones?”
31And Ya‛aqoḇ answered and said to Laḇan, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Lest you tear your daughters away from me.’
32With whomever you find your mighty ones, do not let him live. In the presence of our brothers, see for yourself what is with me and take it with you. For Ya‛aqoḇ did not know that Raḥĕl had stolen them.
33And Laḇan went into Ya‛aqoḇ’s tent, and into Lĕ’ah’s tent, and into the tents of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he came out of Lĕ’ah’s tent and entered Raḥĕl’s tent.
34Now Raḥĕl had taken the house idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And Laḇan searched all about the tent but did not find them.
35And she said to her father, “Let it not displease my master that I am unable to rise before you, for the way of women is with me.” And he searched but did not find the house idols.
36And Ya‛aqoḇ was wroth and contended with Laḇan, and Ya‛aqoḇ answered and said to Laḇan, “What is my transgression? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me?
37“Now that you have searched all my goods what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my brothers and your brothers, and let them decide between the two of us!
38“These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried their young, and I have not eaten the rams of your sheep.
39“That which was torn by beasts I did not bring to you, I myself bore the loss of it. You required it from my hand, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.
40"Thus I was! By day the heat consumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes.
41“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 have changed my wages ten times.
42“Unless the Elohim of my father, the Elohim of Aḇraham and the Fear of Yitsḥaq, had been with me, you would now have sent me away empty-handed. Elohim has seen my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rendered judgment last night.”
43And Laḇan answered and said to Ya‛aqoḇ, “These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and this flock is my flock, and all that you see is mine. But what shall I do today to these, my daughters or to their children whom they have borne?
44And now, come, let us make a covenant, you and I, and it shall be a witness between you and me.
45So Ya‛aqoḇ took a stone and set it up as a standing column.
46And Ya‛aqoḇ said to his brothers, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there on the heap.
47And Laḇan called it Yeḡar Sahaḏutha, but Ya‛aqoḇ called it Gal‛ĕḏ.
48And Laḇan said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” That is why its name was called Gal‛ĕḏ,
49also Mitspah, because he said, “Let יהוה watch between you and me when we are out of each other’s sight.
50If you afflict my daughters, or if you take other wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us; see, Elohim is witness between you and me!
51And Laḇan said to Ya‛aqoḇ, “See this heap and see this standing column, which I have placed between you and me.
52“This heap is a witness, and this standing column is a witness, that I do not pass beyond this heap to you, and you do not pass beyond this heap and this standing column to me, for evil.
53“The Elohim of Aḇraham, the Elohim of Naḥor, and the Elohim of their father rightly rule between us!” And Ya‛aqoḇ swore by the Fear of his father Yitsḥaq.
54And Ya‛aqoḇ slaughtered a slaughtering on the mountain, and called his brothers to eat bread. And they ate bread and spent the night on the mountain.
55And Laḇan rose up early in the morning, and kissed his sons and daughters and blessed them. And Laḇan left and returned to 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.