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Genesis 31

31
Time to Leave—Jacob Runs Away
1One day Jacob heard Laban’s sons talking. They said, “Jacob has taken everything that our father owned. He has become rich—and he has taken all this wealth from our father.” 2Then Jacob noticed that Laban was not as friendly as he had been in the past. 3The Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to your own land where your ancestors lived. I will be with you.”
4So Jacob told Rachel and Leah to meet him in the field where he kept his flocks of sheep and goats. 5He said to them, “I have noticed that your father is not as friendly with me as he used to be. But the God of my father has been with me. 6You both know that I have worked as hard as I could for your father. 7But he cheated me. He has changed my pay ten times. But during all this time, God protected me from all of Laban’s tricks.
8“At one time Laban said, ‘You can keep all the goats with spots. This will be your pay.’ After he said this, all the animals gave birth to spotted goats, so they were all mine. But then Laban said, ‘I will keep the spotted goats. You can have all the striped goats. That will be your pay.’ After he said this, all the animals gave birth to striped goats. 9So God has taken the animals away from your father and has given them to me.
10“I had a dream during the time when the animals were mating. I saw that the only male goats that were mating were the ones with stripes and spots. 11The angel of God spoke to me in that dream. The angel said, ‘Jacob!’
“I answered, ‘Yes!’
12“The angel said, ‘Look, only the striped and spotted goats are mating. I am causing this to happen. I have seen all the wrong things Laban has been doing to you. I am doing this so that you can have all the new baby goats. 13I am the God who came to you at Bethel, and there you made an altar, poured olive oil on it, and made a promise to me. Now I want you to be ready to go back to the country where you were born.’”
14Rachel and Leah answered Jacob, “Our father has nothing to give us when he dies. 15He treated us like strangers. He sold us to you, and then he spent all the money that should have been ours. 16God took all this wealth from our father, and now it belongs to us and our children. So you should do whatever God told you to do.”
17So Jacob prepared for the trip. He put his children and his wives on camels. 18Then they began traveling back to the land of Canaan, where his father lived. All the flocks of animals that Jacob owned walked ahead of them. He carried everything with him that he had gotten while he lived in Paddan Aram.
19While Laban was gone to cut the wool from his sheep, Rachel went into his house and stole the false gods that belonged to her father.
20Jacob tricked Laban the Aramean. He did not tell Laban he was leaving. 21Jacob took his family and everything he owned and left quickly. They crossed the Euphrates River and traveled toward the hill country of Gilead.
22Three days later Laban learned that Jacob had run away. 23So he gathered his men together and began to chase Jacob. After seven days Laban found Jacob near the hill country of Gilead. 24That night God came to Laban in a dream and said, “Be careful! Be careful of every word you say to Jacob.”
The Search for the Stolen Gods
25The next morning Laban caught up with Jacob. Jacob had set up his camp on the mountain, so Laban and all his men set up their camp in the hill country of Gilead.
26Laban said to Jacob, “Why did you trick me? Why did you take my daughters like they were women you captured during war? 27Why did you run away without telling me? If you had told me, I would have given you a party. There would have been singing and dancing with music. 28You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You were very foolish to do this! 29I have the power to really hurt you. But last night the God of your father came to me in a dream. He warned me not to hurt you in any way. 30I know that you want to go back to your home. That is why you left. But why did you steal the gods from my house?”
31Jacob answered, “I left without telling you, because I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me. 32But I did not steal your gods. If you find anyone here with me who has taken your gods, they will be killed. Your men will be my witnesses. You can look for anything that belongs to you. Take anything that is yours.” (Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen Laban’s gods.)
33So Laban went and looked through Jacob’s camp. He looked in Jacob’s tent and then in Leah’s tent. Then he looked in the tent where the two slave women stayed, but he did not find the gods from his house. Then he went into Rachel’s tent. 34Rachel had hidden the gods inside her camel’s saddle, and she was sitting on them. Laban looked through the whole tent, but he did not find the gods.
35And Rachel said to her father, “Father, don’t be angry with me. I am not able to stand up before you. I am having my monthly time of bleeding.” So Laban looked through the camp, but he did not find the gods from his house.
36Then Jacob became very angry and said, “What wrong have I done? What law have I broken? What right do you have to chase me and stop me? 37You looked through everything I own and found nothing that belongs to you. If you found something, show it to me. Put it here where our men can see it. Let our men decide which one of us is right. 38I have worked 20 years for you. During all that time none of the baby sheep and goats died during birth. And I have not eaten any of the rams from your flocks. 39Any time a sheep was killed by wild animals, I always paid for the loss myself. I did not take the dead animal to you and say that it was not my fault. But I was robbed day and night. 40In the daytime the sun took away my strength, and at night sleep was taken from my eyes by the cold. 41I worked 20 years like a slave for you. For the first 14 years I worked to win your two daughters. The last six years I worked to earn your animals. And during that time you changed my pay ten times. 42But the God of my ancestors, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac,#31:42 Fear of Isaac A name for God. was with me. If God had not been with me, you would have sent me away with nothing. But he saw the trouble that I had and the work that I did, and last night God proved that I am right.”
Jacob and Laban’s Treaty
43Laban said to Jacob, “These women are my daughters. These children belong to me, and these animals are mine. Everything you see here belongs to me, but I can do nothing to keep my daughters and their children. 44So I am ready to make an agreement with you. We will set up a pile of stones to show that we have an agreement.”
45So Jacob found a large rock and put it there to show that he had made an agreement. 46He told his men to find some more rocks and to make a pile of rocks. Then they ate beside the pile of rocks. 47Laban named that place Yegar Sahadutha.#31:47 Yegar Sahadutha Aramaic words meaning “rock pile of the agreement.” But Jacob named that place Galeed.#31:47 Galeed Another name for Gilead. This Hebrew name means “rock pile of the agreement.”
48Laban said to Jacob, “This pile of rocks will help us both remember our agreement.” That is why Jacob called the place Galeed.
49Then Laban said, “Let the Lord watch over us while we are separated from each other.” So that place was also named Mizpah.#31:49 Mizpah This means “a place to watch from.”
50Then Laban said, “If you hurt my daughters, remember that God will punish you. If you marry other women, remember that God is watching. 51Here are the rocks that I have put between us, and here is the special rock to show that we made an agreement. 52This pile of rocks and this one special rock both help us to remember our agreement. I will never go past these rocks to fight against you, and you must never go on my side of these rocks to fight against me. 53May the God of Abraham, the God of Nahor, and the God of their ancestors judge us guilty if we break this agreement.”
Jacob’s father, Isaac, called God “Fear.” So Jacob used that name to make the promise. 54Then Jacob killed an animal and offered it as a sacrifice on the mountain. And he invited his men to come and share a meal. After they finished eating, they spent the night on the mountain. 55Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters goodbye. He blessed them and went 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.