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Genesis 31

31
Jacob Runs from Laban
1Jacob heard that Laban's sons were complaining, “Jacob is now a rich man, and he got everything he owns from our father.” 2Jacob also noticed that Laban was not as friendly as he had been before. 3One day the Lord said, “Jacob, go back to your relatives in the land of your ancestors, and I will be with you.”
4Jacob sent for Rachel and Leah to meet him in the pasture where he kept his sheep, 5and he told them:
Your father isn't as friendly with me as he used to be, but the God my ancestors worshiped has been on my side. 6You know that I have worked hard for your father 7and that he keeps cheating me by changing my wages time after time. But God has protected me. 8When your father said the speckled sheep would be my wages, all of them were speckled. And when he said the spotted ones would be mine, all of them were spotted. 9That's how God has taken sheep and goats from your father and given them to me.
10Once, when the flocks were mating, I dreamed that all the rams were either spotted or speckled. 11Then God's angel called me by name. I answered, 12and he said, “Notice that all the rams are either spotted or speckled. I know everything Laban is doing to you, 13#Gn 28.18-22. and I am the God you worshiped at Bethel,#31.13 you … Bethel: Or “who appeared to you at Bethel.” when you poured olive oil on a rock and made a promise to me. Leave here at once and return to the land where you were born.”
14Rachel and Leah said to Jacob:
There's nothing left for us to inherit from our father. 15He treats us like foreigners and has even cheated us out of the bride price#31.15 bride price: Usually the husband-to-be paid a bride price to the father of the bride. But Jacob didn't pay Laban a bride price for either Rachel or Leah. Instead he was tricked into working 14 years to get the bride he loved. So there was no money for either of Laban's daughters. that should have been ours. 16So do whatever God tells you to do. Even the property God took from our father and gave to you really belongs to us and our children.
17Then Jacob, his wives, and his children got on camels and left 18northern Syria#31.18 northern Syria: See the note at 24.10. for the home of his father Isaac in Canaan. Jacob took along all his flocks, herds, and other property.
19Before Rachel left, she stole the household idols#31.19 household idols: These were thought to protect the household from danger. It is also possible that the person who had them would inherit the family property. while Laban was out shearing his sheep.
20Jacob tricked Laban the Aramean#31.20 the Aramean: Meaning someone from northern Syria (see the note at 24.10). by not saying that he intended to leave. 21When Jacob crossed the Euphrates River and headed for the hill country of Gilead, he took with him everything he owned.
Laban Catches Up with Jacob
22Three days later Laban found out that Jacob had gone. 23So he took some of his relatives along and chased after Jacob for seven days, before catching up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24But God appeared to Laban in a dream that night and warned, “Don't say a word to Jacob. Don't make a threat or a promise.”
25Jacob had set up camp in the hill country of Gilead, when Laban and his relatives came and set up camp in another part of the hill country. Laban went to Jacob 26and said:
Look what you've done! You've tricked me and run off with my daughters like a kidnapper. 27Why did you sneak away without telling me? I would have given you a going-away party with singing and with music on tambourines and harps. 28You didn't even give me a chance to kiss my own grandchildren and daughters goodbye. That was really foolish. 29I could easily hurt you, but the God your father worshiped has warned me not to make any threats or promises.
30I can understand why you were eager to return to your father, but why did you have to steal my idols?
31Jacob answered, “I left secretly because I was afraid you would take your daughters from me by force. 32If you find that any one of us has taken your idols, I'll have that person killed. Let your relatives be witnesses. Show me what belongs to you, and you can take it back.” Jacob did not realize that Rachel had stolen the household idols.
33Laban searched the tents of Jacob, Leah, and the two servant women,#31.33 two servant women: Bilhah and Zilpah (see 30.4,9). but did not find the idols. Then he went to Rachel's tent. 34She had already hidden them in the cushion she used as a saddle and was sitting on it. Laban searched everywhere and did not find them. 35Rachel said, “Father, please don't be angry with me for not getting up; I'm having my period.” Laban kept on searching, but still did not find the idols.
36Jacob became very angry and said to Laban:
What have I done wrong? Have I committed some crime? Is that why you hunted me down? 37After searching through everything I have, did you find anything of yours? If so, put it here, where your relatives and mine can see it. Then we can decide what to do.
38In all the 20 years that I've worked for you, not one of your sheep or goats has had a miscarriage, and I've never eaten even one of your rams. 39If a wild animal killed one of your sheep or goats, I paid for it myself. In fact, you demanded the full price, whether the animal was killed during the day or at night.#31.39 you demanded … night: A shepherd was not responsible for sheep and goats killed by wild animals, if the shepherd could supply proof of how they were killed. 40I sweated every day, and I couldn't sleep at night because of the cold.
41I had to work 14 of these 20 long years to earn your two daughters and another 6 years to buy your sheep and goats. During that time you kept changing my wages. 42If the fearsome God#31.42 fearsome God: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. worshiped by Abraham and my father Isaac had not been on my side, you would have sent me away without a thing. But God saw my hard work, and he knew the trouble I was in, so he helped me. Then last night he told you how wrong you were.
Jacob and Laban Make an Agreement
43Laban said to Jacob, “Leah and Rachel are my daughters, and their children belong to me. All these sheep you are taking are really mine too. In fact, everything you have belongs to me. But there is nothing I can do to keep my daughters and their children. 44So I am ready to make an agreement with you, and we will pile up some large rocks here to remind us of the agreement.”
45After Jacob had set up a large rock, 46he told his men to get some more rocks and pile them up next to it. Then Jacob and Laban ate a meal together beside the rocks. 47Laban named the pile of rocks Jegar Sahadutha.#31.47 Jegar Sahadutha: In Aramaic “Jegar Sahadutha” means “a pile of rocks to remind us.” But Jacob named it Galeed.#31.47 Galeed: In Hebrew “Galeed” means “a pile of rocks to remind us.” 48Laban said to Jacob, “This pile of rocks will remind us of our agreement.” That's why the place was named Galeed. 49Laban also said, “This pile of rocks means that the Lord will watch us both while we are apart from each other.” So the place was also named Mizpah.#31.49 Mizpah: In Hebrew “Mizpah” sounds like “a place from which to watch.”
50Then Laban said:
If you mistreat my daughters or marry other women, I may not know about it, but remember, God is watching us! 51-52Both this pile of rocks and this large rock have been set up between us as a reminder. I must never go past them to attack you, and you must never come past them to attack me. 53My father Nahor, your grandfather Abraham, and their ancestors all worshiped the same God, and he will make sure that we each keep the agreement.
Then Jacob made a promise in the name of the fearsome God#31.53 fearsome God: See the note at 31.42. his father Isaac had worshiped. 54Jacob killed an animal and offered it as a sacrifice there on the mountain, and he invited his men to eat with him. After the meal they spent the night on the mountain. 55Early the next morning, Laban kissed his daughters and his grandchildren goodbye, then he left to go back home.
31
1And he heard the words of Lavan’s sons, saying, Ya’akov has taken away all that [was] our father’s; and of [that] which [was] our father’s has he gotten all this glory.
2And Ya’akov beheld the Countenance (Face, appearance; show favor) of Lavan, and, behold, it [was] not toward him as before.
3And the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) said unto Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of), Return unto the land of youri fathers, and to youri family; and I will be with youi.
4And Ya’akov sent and called Rachel and Le’ah (weary; grieved) to the field unto his flock,
5And said unto them, I see youri father’s Countenance (Face, appearance; show favor), that it [is] not toward me as before; but the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of my father has been with me.
6And youf know that with all my power I have served youri father.
7And youri father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] suffered him not to hurt me.
8If he said in this way, The speckled shall be youri wages; then all the cattle bore speckled: and if he said in this way, The marked with circular stripes shall be youri hire; then bore all the cattle marked with circular stripes.
9In the following manner God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has taken away the cattle of youri father, and given [them] to me.
10Once, when the animals were mating, I had a dream: I looked up and there in front of me the male goats which mated with the females were streaked, speckled and mottled.
11And the angel of God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] spoke unto me in a dream, [saying], Ya’akov: And I said, Here [am] I.
12And he said, Lift up now youri eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle [are] marked with circular stripes, speckled, and grizzled: for I have seen all that Lavan does unto youi.
13I [am] the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Beit-El, where youi anointed the pillar, [and] where youi vowed a vow unto me: now arise, get youi out from this land, and return unto the land of youri family.
14And Rachel (ewe) and Le’ah (weary; grieved) answered and said unto him, [Is there] yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?
15Are we not counted of him strangers? for he has sold us, and has quite devoured also our money.
16For all the riches which God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has taken from our father, that [is] ours, and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has said unto youi, do.
17Then Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
18And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Paddan-aram (a place of height; field; plain), for to go to Yitz’chak [Laughter] his father in the land of Kena’an (merchant; trader; or that humbles and subdues).
19And Lavan went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that [were] her father’s.
20And Ya’akov stole away unawares to Lavan the Arami [Arami [exalted]], in that he told him not that he fled.
21So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river [Euphrates], and set his face [toward] the mount Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
22And it was told Lavan (to be white; white guy) on the third day that Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) was fled.
23And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
24And God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] came to Lavan (to be white; white guy) the Arami [Arami [exalted]] (level plain) in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that youi speak not to Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) either good or bad.
25Then Lavan overtook Ya’akov. Now Ya’akov had pitched his tent in the mount: and Lavan with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
26And Lavan said to Ya’akov, What have youi done, that youi have stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives [taken] with the sword?
27For what reason did youi flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and did not tell me, that I might have sent youi away with gladness, and with songs, with tambourine [a small drum], and with harp?
28And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? youi hast now done foolishly in [so] doing.
29It is in the power of my hand to do youi hurt: but the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of youri father spoke unto me last night, saying, Take youi heed that youi speak not to Ya’akov either good or bad.
30And now, [though] youi would needs be gone, because youi [have] sore longed after youri father’s house, [yet] For what reason hast youi stolen my gods?
31And Ya’akov answered and said to Lavan, Because I was afraid: for I said, Perhaps youi would take by force youri daughters from me.
32With whomsoever youi find youri gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern youi what [is] yoursi with me, and take [it] to youi. For Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) knew not that Rachel (ewe) had stolen them.
33And Lavan went into Ya’akov’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maidservants’ tents; but he found [them] not. Then went he out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s [ewe] (ewe) tent.
34Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Lavan (to be white; white guy) searched all the tent, but found [them] not.
35And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before youi; for the custom of women [is] upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.
36And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) was exceedingly angry [exceedingly angry], and expressed disapproval [scolded, reproached] with Lavan: and Ya’akov answered and said to Lavan, What [is] my trespass? what [is] my sin, that youi have so hotly pursued after me?
37Whereas youi have searched all my stuff, what have youi found of all youri household stuff? set [it] here before my brethren and youri brethren, that they may judge between us both.
38This twenty years [have] I [been] with youi; youri ewes and youri she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of youri flock have I not eaten.
39That which was torn [of beasts] I brought not unto youi; I bore the loss of it; of my hand did youi require it, [whether] stolen by day, or stolen by night.
40 [In the following manner] I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from my eyes.
41In the following manner have I been twenty years in youri house; I served youi fourteen years for youri two daughters, and six years for youri cattle: and youi hast changed my wages ten times.
42Except the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of my father, the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will], and the fear of Yitz’chak [Laughter], had been with me, surely youi had sent me away now empty. God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has seen my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked [youi] last night.
43And Lavan answered and said unto Ya’akov, [These] daughters [are] my daughters, and [these] children [are] my children, and [these] cattle [are] my cattle, and all that youi see [is] my: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?
44Now therefore come youi, let us make a covenant, I and youi; and let it be for a witness between me and youi.
45And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) took a stone, and set it up [for] a pillar.
46And Ya’akov said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
47And Lavan called it Y’gar-Sahaduta [pile of witness]: but Ya’akov called it Gal-’Ed [pile of witness].
48And Lavan said, This heap [is] a witness between me and youi this day. Therefore was the name of it called Gal-’Ed;
49And HaMitzpah; for he said, The Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) watch between me and youi, when we are absent one from another.
50If youi shall afflict my daughters, or if youi shall take [other] wives beside my daughters, no man [is] with us; see, God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] [is] witness between me and youi.
51And Lavan (to be white; white guy) said to Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of), Behold this heap, and behold [this] pillar, which I have cast between me and youi;
52This heap [be] witness, and [this] pillar [be] witness, that I will not pass over this heap to youi, and that youi shall not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.
53The God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will], and the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Nokhor (a snort, a snorting; charred, scorched), the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of their father, judge between us. And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) swore by the fear of his father Yitz’chak [Laughter].
54Then Ya’akov offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
55And early in the morning Lavan rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and Blessed (Favored by God; appy; prosperous) them: and Lavan (to be white; white guy) departed, and returned unto his place.