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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 heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory.
2And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.#as before: Heb. as yesterday and the day before
3And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
4And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock,
5And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.
6And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.
7And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.
8If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked.
9Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.
10And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.#rams: or, he goats
11And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.
12And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.
13I am the God of Beth–el, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
14And Rachel and Leah 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 hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.
16For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.
17Then Jacob 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, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.
19And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.#images: Heb. teraphim
20And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.#unawares…: Heb. the heart of Laban
21So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.
22And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.
23And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.
24And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.#either…: Heb. from good to bad
25Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.
26And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?
27Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?#steal…: Heb. hast stolen me
28And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.
29It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
30And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?
31And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.
32With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
33And Laban went into Jacob'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 tent.
34Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.#searched: Heb. felt
35And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.
36And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?
37Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.#searched: Heb. felt
38This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.
39That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.
40Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
41Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.
42Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
43And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?
44Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
45And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
46And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
47And Laban called it Jegar–sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.#Jegar–sahadutha: that is, The heap of witness, Chaldee#Galeed: that is, The heap of witness, Heb.
48And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;
49And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.#Mizpah: that is, A beacon, or, watchtower
50If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.
51And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee;
52This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.
53The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.
54Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.#offered…: or, killed beasts
55And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.