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Genesis 31

31
Jacob Separates from Laban
1Now Jacob heard what Laban’s sons were saying: “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s and has built this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2And Jacob saw from Laban’s face that his attitude toward him was not the same.
3Then the Lord said to him, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.” # Gn 28:15; 32:10
4Jacob had Rachel and Leah called to the field where his flocks were. 5He said to them, “I can see from your father’s face that his attitude toward me is not the same, but the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I’ve worked hard # Lit worked with all my strength for your father # Gn 30:29 7and that he has cheated me and changed my wages 10 times. But God has not let him harm me. 8If he said, ‘The spotted sheep will be your wages,’ then all the sheep were born spotted. If he said, ‘The streaked sheep will be your wages,’ then all the sheep were born streaked. # Gn 30:32 9God has taken away your father’s herds and given them to me.
10“When the flocks were breeding, I saw in a dream that the streaked, spotted, and speckled males were mating with the females. 11In that dream the Angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob! ’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12And He said, ‘Look up and see: all the males that are mating with the flocks are streaked, spotted, and speckled, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. # Gn 30:37-40; Ex 3:7 13I am the God of Bethel, where you poured oil on the stone marker and made a solemn vow to Me. # Gn 28:18-19 Get up, leave this land, and return to your native land.’ ”
14Then Rachel and Leah answered him, “Do we have any portion or inheritance in our father’s household? 15Are we not regarded by him as outsiders? For he has sold us # Gn 29:19-30 and has certainly spent our money. 16In fact, all the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So do whatever God has said to you.”
17Then Jacob got up and put his children and wives on the camels. 18He took all the livestock and possessions he had acquired in Paddan-aram, and he drove his herds to go to the land of his father Isaac in Canaan. 19When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols. # Jdg 17:5; 1Sm 15:23; 19:13; Ezk 21:21; Hs 3:4; Zch 10:2 20And Jacob deceived # Lit And he stole the heart of Laban the Aramean, not telling him that he was fleeing. 21He fled with all his possessions, crossed the Euphrates, and headed for # Lit and set his face to the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Overtakes Jacob
22On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23So he took his relatives with him, pursued Jacob for seven days, and overtook him at Mount Gilead. 24But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night. “Watch yourself! ” God warned him. “Don’t say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.” # Gn 24:50; 31:29; 2Sm 13:22
25When Laban overtook Jacob, Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban and his brothers also pitched their tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You have deceived me and taken my daughters away like prisoners of war! 27Why did you secretly flee from me, deceive me, and not tell me? I would have sent you away with joy and singing, with tambourines and lyres, 28but you didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters. You have acted foolishly. 29I could do you great harm, but last night the God of your father said to me: ‘Watch yourself. Don’t say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30Now you have gone off because you long for your father — but why have you stolen my gods? ” # Gn 31:19; Jos 24:2; Jdg 18:24
31Jacob answered, “I was afraid, for I thought you would take your daughters from me by force. 32If you find your gods with anyone here, he will not live! # Gn 44:9 Before our relatives, point out anything that is yours and take it.” Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the idols.
33So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, then Leah’s tent, and then the tents of the two female slaves, but he found nothing. Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 34Now Rachel had taken Laban’s household idols, put them in the saddlebag of the camel, and sat on them. Laban searched the whole tent but found nothing.
35She said to her father, “Sir, don’t be angry that I cannot stand up in your presence; # Lv 19:32 I am having my period.” So Laban searched, but could not find the household idols.
Jacob’s Covenant with Laban
36Then Jacob became incensed and brought charges against Laban. “What is my crime? ” he said to Laban. “What is my sin, that you have pursued me? 37You’ve searched all my possessions! Have you found anything of yours? Put it here before my relatives and yours, and let them decide between the two of us. 38I’ve been with you these 20 years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams from your flock. 39I did not bring you any of the flock torn by wild beasts; I myself bore the loss. You demanded payment from me for what was stolen by day or by night. 40There I was — the heat consumed me by day and the frost by night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41For 20 years I have worked in your household — 14 years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks # Gn 29:27,30 — and you have changed my wages 10 times! 42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, certainly now you would have sent me off empty-handed. But God has seen my affliction and my hard work, # Lit and the work of my hands and He issued His verdict last night.”
43Then Laban answered Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters; the sons, my sons; and the flocks, my flocks! Everything you see is mine! But what can I do today for these daughters of mine or for the children they have borne? 44Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I. # Gn 21:27,32; 26:28 Let it be a witness between the two of us.”
45So Jacob picked out a stone and set it up as a marker. # Jos 24:26-27 46Then Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a mound, then ate there by the mound. 47Laban named the mound Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob named it Galeed. # Jegar-sahadutha is Aram, and Galeed is Hb; both names = Mound of Witness
48Then Laban said, “This mound is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore the place was called Galeed 49and also Mizpah, # = Watchtower # Jdg 11:29; 1Sm 7:5-6 for he said, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are out of each other’s sight. 50If you mistreat my daughters or take other wives, though no one is with us, understand that God will be a witness between you and me.” # Jdg 11:10; 1Sm 12:5; Jb 16:19; Jr 42:5; Mc 1:2 51Laban also said to Jacob, “Look at this mound and the marker I have set up between you and me. 52This mound is a witness and the marker is a witness that I will not pass beyond this mound to you, and you will not pass beyond this mound and this marker to do me harm. 53The God of Abraham, and the gods # Jos 24:2 of Nahor — the gods of their father # Two Hb mss, LXX omit the gods of their father — will judge between us.” And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac. 54Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat a meal. So they ate a meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55 # Gn 32:1 in HbLaban got up early in the morning, kissed his grandchildren and daughters, and blessed them. Then Laban left to return home.
31
Jacob Flees from Laban
1Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has gained all this wealth.” 2And Jacob saw #ch. 4:5that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. 3Then the Lord said to Jacob, #ver. 13; ch. 28:15; 32:9“Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”
4So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was 5and said to them, #ver. 2 “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father #ver. 3has been with me. 6#ver. 38-40; ch. 30:29You know that I have served your father with all my strength, 7yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages #ver. 41; [Num. 14:22; Neh. 4:12; Job 19:3; Zech. 8:23]ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. 8If he said, #ch. 30:32‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. 9Thus God has #ver. 1taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. 10In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 12And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for #[Ex. 3:7]I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, #See ch. 28:18-22 where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now #ver. 3; ch. 32:9arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’” 14Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there #[2 Sam. 20:1; 1 Kgs. 12:16]any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house? 15Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For #ch. 30:26; See ch. 29:15-20, 27he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. 16All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”
17So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in #ch. 25:20; 28:2, 6, 7Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father’s #ver. 30, 34; [Judg. 17:5; 1 Sam. 15:23; 19:13; Ezek. 21:21; Hos. 3:4; Zech. 10:2]household gods. 20And Jacob tricked#31:20 Hebrew stole the heart of; also verses 26, 27 Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee. 21He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the #Ex. 23:31; Ps. 72:8 Euphrates,#31:21 Hebrew the River and #2 Kgs. 12:17; Luke 9:51set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.
22When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. 24But God came to Laban the Aramean #See ch. 20:3 in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, #ch. 24:50; Num. 24:13; 2 Sam. 13:22either good or bad.”
25And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have #ver. 20tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27Why did you flee secretly #[See ver. 26 above]and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? 28And why did you not permit me #ver. 55; Ruth 1:9, 14; 1 Kgs. 19:20; Acts 20:37to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. 29It is #Deut. 28:32; Neh. 5:5 (Heb.); Prov. 3:27; Mic. 2:1 in my power to do you harm. But the #ver. 42, 53; ch. 28:13 God of your#31:29 The Hebrew for your is plural here father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, #ver. 24either good or bad.’ 30And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house, but why did you #ver. 19; Judg. 18:24steal my gods?” 31Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32#[ch. 44:9]Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
33So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 34Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot #[Lev. 19:32]rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.
36Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and #ver. 54your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. #[Ex. 22:12]From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41These twenty years I have been in your house. #ch. 29:27, 28 I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and #ver. 7you have changed my wages ten times. 42#Ps. 124:1, 2 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the #ver. 53 Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. #See ch. 29:32 God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and #ver. 29rebuked you last night.”
43Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? 44Come now, #ch. 26:28 let us make a covenant, you and I. #Josh. 24:27And let it be a witness between you and me.” 45So Jacob #ch. 28:18took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46And Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha,#31:47 Aramaic the heap of witness but Jacob called it Galeed.#31:47 Hebrew the heap of witness 48Laban said, #ver. 44“This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed, 49#Judg. 11:29, 34and Mizpah,#31:49 Mizpah means watchpost for he said, “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. 50If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, #Judg. 11:10; 1 Sam. 12:5; Jer. 42:5; Mic. 1:2; [Job 16:19]God is witness between you and me.”
51Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52#ver. 43, 44This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm. 53The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the #ver. 42Fear of his father Isaac, 54and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called #ver. 37his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.
55 # 31:55 Ch 32:1 in Hebrew Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed #ver. 28, 43his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.