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Genesis 31

31
1And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob has taken away all that was our father's, and of what was our father's he has acquired all this glory. 2And Jacob saw the countenance of Laban, and behold, it was not toward him as previously. 3And Jehovah said to Jacob, Return into 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 fields to his flock, 5and said to them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as previously; but the God#GodHebrew: Elohim of my father has been with me. 6And you know that with all my power I have served your father. 7And your father has mocked me, and has changed my wages ten times; but God#GodHebrew: Elohim suffered him not to hurt me. 8If he said thus; The speckled shall be thy hire, then all the flocks bore speckled; and if he said thus: The ringstraked shall be thy hire, then all the flocks bore ringstraked. 9And God#GodHebrew: Elohim has taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. 10And it came to pass at the time of the ardour of the flocks, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and behold, the rams that leaped upon the flocks were ringstraked, speckled, and spotted. 11And the Angel of God#GodHebrew: Elohim said to me in a dream, Jacob! And I said, Here am I. 12And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see: all the rams that leap upon the flock are ringstraked, speckled, and spotted; for I have seen all that Laban does to thee. 13I am the ·God#GodHebrew: El of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, where thou vowedst a vow to me. Now arise, depart out of this land, and return to the land of thy kindred. 14And Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? 15Are we not reckoned of him strangers? for he has sold us, and has even constantly devoured our money. 16For all the wealth that God#GodHebrew: Elohim has taken from our father is ours and our children's; and now whatever God#GodHebrew: Elohim has said to thee do.
17And Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels, 18and carried away all his cattle, and all his property that he had acquired — the cattle of his possessions that he had acquired in Padan-Aram, to go to Isaac his father, into the land of Canaan. 19And Laban had gone to shear his sheep. And Rachel stole the teraphim that belonged to her father. 20And Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he did not tell him that he fled. 21And he fled with all that he had; and he rose up and passed over the river, and set his face toward mount Gilead. 22And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled. 23And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey, and overtook him on mount Gilead. 24And God#GodHebrew: Elohim came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said to him, Take care thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
25And Laban came up with Jacob; and Jacob had pitched his tent on the mountain; Laban also with his brethren pitched on mount Gilead. 26And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast deceived me, and hast carried away my daughters as captives of war? 27Why didst thou flee away covertly, and steal away from me, and didst not tell me, that I might have conducted thee with mirth and with songs, with tambour and with harp; 28and hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now thou hast acted foolishly. 29It would be in the power of my hand to do you hurt; but the God#GodHebrew: Elohim of your father spoke to me last night, saying, Take care that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. 30And now that thou must needs be gone, because thou greatly longedst after thy father's house, why hast thou stolen my gods? 31And Jacob answered and said to Laban, I was afraid; for I said, Lest thou shouldest take by force thy daughters from me. 32With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, he shall not live. Before our brethren discern what is thine with me, and take it to thee. But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. 33And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two handmaids' tents, and found nothing; and he went out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. 34Now Rachel had taken the teraphim and put them under the camel's saddle; and she sat upon them. And Laban explored all the tent, but found nothing. 35And she said to her father, Let it not be an occasion of anger in the eyes of my lord that I cannot rise up before thee, for it is with me after the manner of women. And he searched carefully, but did not find the teraphim.
36And Jacob was angry, and he disputed with Laban. And Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my fault, what my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? 37Whereas thou hast explored all my baggage, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, and let them decide between us both. 38These twenty years have I been with thee: thy ewes and thy she-goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock I have not eaten. 39What was torn I have not brought to thee; I had to bear the loss of it: of my hand hast thou required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40Thus it was with me: in the day the heat consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from mine eyes. 41I have been these twenty years in thy house: I have served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy flock; and thou hast changed my wages ten times. 42Had not the God#GodHebrew: Elohim of my father, the God#GodHebrew: Elohim of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, been with me, it is certain thou wouldest have sent me away now empty. God#GodHebrew: Elohim has looked upon my affliction and the labour of my hands, and has judged last night.
43And Laban answered and said to Jacob, The daughters are my daughters, and the sons are my sons, and the flock is my flock, and all that thou seest is mine; but as for my daughters, what can I do this day to them, or to their sons whom they have brought forth? 44And now, come, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be a witness between me and thee. 45And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46And Jacob said to his brethren, Gather stones. And they took stones, and made a heap, and ate there upon the heap. 47And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed. 48And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed, 49— and Mizpah; for he said, Let Jehovah watch between me and thee, when we shall be hidden one from another: 50if thou shouldest afflict my daughters, or if thou shouldest take wives besides my daughters, — no man is with us; see, God#GodHebrew: Elohim is witness between me and thee! 51And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold the pillar which I have set up between me and thee: 52let this heap be witness, and the pillar a witness, that neither I pass this heap to go to thee, nor thou pass this heap and this pillar to come to me, for harm. 53The God#GodHebrew: Elohim of Abraham, and the God#GodHebrew: Elohim of Nahor, the God#GodHebrew: Elohim of their father, judge between us! And Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac. 54And Jacob offered a sacrifice upon the mountain, and invited his brethren to eat bread: and they ate bread, and lodged on the mountain. 55And Laban rose early in the morning, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them; and Laban went and returned to his place.
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.