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Genesis 31

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.
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.