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Genesis 31

31
1-2Jacob learned that Laban’s sons were talking behind his back: “Jacob has used our father’s wealth to make himself rich at our father’s expense.” At the same time, Jacob noticed that Laban had changed toward him. He wasn’t treating him the same.
3That’s when God said to Jacob, “Go back home where you were born. I’ll go with you.”
4-9So Jacob sent word for Rachel and Leah to meet him out in the field where his flocks were. He said, “I notice that your father has changed toward me; he doesn’t treat me the same as before. But the God of my father hasn’t changed; he’s still with me. You know how hard I’ve worked for your father. Still, your father has cheated me over and over, changing my wages time and again. But God never let him really hurt me. If he said, ‘Your wages will consist of speckled animals’ the whole flock would start having speckled lambs and kids. And if he said, ‘From now on your wages will be streaked animals’ the whole flock would have streaked ones. Over and over God used your father’s livestock to reward me.
10-11“Once, while the flocks were mating, I had a dream and saw the billy goats, all of them streaked, speckled, and mottled, mounting their mates. In the dream an angel of God called out to me, ‘Jacob!’
“I said, ‘Yes?’
12-13“He said, ‘Watch closely. Notice that all the goats in the flock that are mating are streaked, speckled, and mottled. I know what Laban’s been doing to you. I’m the God of Bethel where you consecrated a pillar and made a vow to me. Now be on your way, get out of this place, go home to your birthplace.’”
14-16Rachel and Leah said, “Has he treated us any better? Aren’t we treated worse than outsiders? All he wanted was the money he got from selling us, and he’s spent all that. Any wealth that God has seen fit to return to us from our father is justly ours and our children’s. Go ahead. Do what God told you.”
17-18Jacob did it. He put his children and his wives on camels and gathered all his livestock and everything he had gotten, everything acquired in Paddan Aram, to go back home to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
19-21Laban was off shearing sheep. Rachel stole her father’s household gods. And Jacob had concealed his plans so well that Laban the Aramean had no idea what was going on—he was totally in the dark. Jacob got away with everything he had and was soon across the Euphrates headed for the hill country of Gilead.
22-24Three days later, Laban got the news: “Jacob’s run off.” Laban rounded up his relatives and chased after him. Seven days later they caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. That night God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream and said, “Be careful what you do to Jacob, whether good or bad.”
25When Laban reached him, Jacob’s tents were pitched in the Gilead mountains; Laban pitched his tents there, too.
26-30“What do you mean,” said Laban, “by keeping me in the dark and sneaking off, hauling my daughters off like prisoners of war? Why did you run off like a thief in the night? Why didn’t you tell me? Why, I would have sent you off with a great celebration—music, timbrels, flutes! But you wouldn’t permit me so much as a kiss for my daughters and grandchildren. It was a stupid thing for you to do. If I had a mind to, I could destroy you right now, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, ‘Be careful what you do to Jacob, whether good or bad.’ I understand. You left because you were homesick. But why did you steal my household gods?”
31-32Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me by brute force. But as far as your gods are concerned, if you find that anybody here has them, that person dies. With all of us watching, look around. If you find anything here that belongs to you, take it.” Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen the gods.
33-35Laban went through Jacob’s tent, Leah’s tent, and the tents of the two maids but didn’t find them. He went from Leah’s tent to Rachel’s. But Rachel had taken the household gods, put them inside a camel cushion, and was sitting on them. When Laban had gone through the tent, searching high and low without finding a thing, Rachel said to her father, “Don’t think I’m being disrespectful, my master, that I can’t stand before you, but I’m having my period.” So even though he turned the place upside down in his search, he didn’t find the household gods.
36-37Now it was Jacob’s turn to get angry. He lit into Laban: “So what’s my crime, what wrong have I done you that you badger me like this? You’ve ransacked the place. Have you turned up a single thing that’s yours? Let’s see it—display the evidence. Our two families can be the jury and decide between us.
38-42“In the twenty years I’ve worked for you, ewes and she-goats never miscarried. I never feasted on the rams from your flock. I never brought you a torn carcass killed by wild animals but that I paid for it out of my own pocket—actually, you made me pay whether it was my fault or not. I was out in all kinds of weather, from torrid heat to freezing cold, putting in many a sleepless night. For twenty years I’ve done this: I slaved away fourteen years for your two daughters and another six years for your flock and you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not stuck with me, you would have sent me off penniless. But God saw the fix I was in and how hard I had worked and last night rendered his verdict.”
43-44Laban defended himself: “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flock is my flock—everything you see is mine. But what can I do about my daughters or for the children they’ve had? So let’s settle things between us, make a covenant—God will be the witness between us.”
45Jacob took a stone and set it upright as a pillar.
46-47Jacob called his family around, “Get stones!” They gathered stones and heaped them up and then ate there beside the pile of stones. Laban named it in Aramaic, Yegar-sahadutha (Witness Monument); Jacob echoed the naming in Hebrew, Galeed (Witness Monument).
48-50Laban said, “This monument of stones will be a witness, beginning now, between you and me.” (That’s why it is called Galeed—Witness Monument.) It is also called Mizpah (Watchtower) because Laban said, “God keep watch between you and me when we are out of each other’s sight. If you mistreat my daughters or take other wives when there’s no one around to see you, God will see you and stand witness between us.”
51-53Laban continued to Jacob, “This monument of stones and this stone pillar that I have set up is a witness, a witness that I won’t cross this line to hurt you and you won’t cross this line to hurt me. The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor (the God of their ancestor) will keep things straight between us.”
53-55Jacob promised, swearing by the Fear, the God of his father Isaac. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and worshiped, calling in all his family members to the meal. They ate and slept that night on the mountain. Laban got up early the next morning, kissed his grandchildren and his daughters, blessed them, and then set off for home.
31
1But after that he heard the words of the sons of Laban, saying: Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's, and being enriched by his substance is become great.
2And perceiving also that Laban's countenance was not towards him as yesterday and the other day,
3Especially the Lord saying to him: Return into the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred, and I will be with thee.
4He sent, and called Rachel and Lia, into the field, where he fed the flocks,
5And said to them: I see your father's countenance is not towards me as yesterday and the other day: but the God of my father hath been with me.
6And you know that I have served your father to the utmost of my power.
7Yea, your father also hath over-reached me, and hath changed my wages ten times: and yet God hath not suffered him to hurt me.
8If at any time he said: The speckled shall be thy wages: all the sheep brought forth speckled. But when he said on the contrary: Thou shalt take all the white ones for thy wages: All the flocks brought forth white ones.
9And God hath taken your father's substance, and given it to me.
10For after that time came of the ewes conceiving, I lifted up my eyes, and saw in my sleep that the males which leaped upon the females were of divers colours, and spotted, and speckled.
11And the angel of God said to me in my sleep: Jacob? And I answered: Here I am.
12And he said: Lift up thy eyes, and see that all the males leaping upon the females, are of divers colours, spotted, and speckled. For I have seen all that Laban hath done to thee.
13I am the God of Bethel, where thou didst anoint the stone, and make a vow to me. Now therefore arise, and go out of this land, and return into thy native country.
14And Rachel and Lia answered: Have we any thing left among the goods and inheritance of our father's house?
15Hath he not counted us as strangers and sold us, and eaten up the price of us?
16But God hath taken our father's riches, and delivered them to us, and to our children: wherefore do all that God hath commanded thee.
17Then Jacob rose up, and having set his children and wives upon camels, went his way.
18And he took all his substance, and flocks, and whatsoever he had gotten in Mesopotamia: and went forward to Isaac his father to the land of Chanaan.
19At that time Laban was gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole away her father's idols.
20And Jacob would not confess to his father-in-law that he was flying away.
21And when he was gone, together with all that belonged to him, and having passed the river, was going on towards mount Galaad,
22It was told Laban on the third day that Jacob fled.
23And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days; and overtook him in the mount of Galaad.
24And he saw in a dream God saying to him: Take heed thou speak not any thing harshly against Jacob.
25Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain: and when he with his brethren had overtaken him, he pitched his tent in the same mount of Galaad.
26And he said to Jacob: Why hast thou done thus, to carry away, without my knowledge, my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?
27Why wouldst thou run away privately and not acquaint me, that I might have brought thee on the way with joy, and with songs, and with timbrels, and with harps?
28Thou hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and daughters: thou hast done foolishly: and now, indeed,
29It is in my power to return thee evil: but the God of your father said to me yesterday: Take heed thou speak not any thing harshly against Jacob.
30Suppose thou didst desire to go to thy friends, and hadst a longing after thy father's house: why hast thou stolen away my gods?
31Jacob answered: That I departed unknown to thee, it was for fear lest thou wouldst take away thy daughters by force.
32But whereas thou chargest me with theft: with whomsoever thou shalt find thy gods, let him be slain before our brethren. Search, and if thou find any of thy things with me, take them away. Now when he said this, he knew not that Rachel had stolen the idols.
33So Laban went into the tent of Jacob, and of Lia, and of both the handmaids, and found them not. And when he was entered into Rachel's tent,
34She in haste hid the idols under the camel's furniture, and sat upon them: and when he had searched all the tent, and found nothing,
35She said: Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise up before thee, because it has now happened to me, according to the custom of women. So his careful search was in vain.
36And Jacob being angry, said in a chiding manner: For what fault of mine, and for what offence on my part hast thou so hotly pursued me,
37And searched all my household stuff? What hast thou found of all the substance of thy house? Lay it here before my brethren, and thy brethren, and let them judge between me and thee.
38Have I therefore been with thee twenty years? Thy ewes and goats were not barren, the rams of thy flocks I did not eat.
39Neither did I shew thee that which the beast had torn. I made good all the damage: whatsoever was lost by theft, thou didst exact it of me.
40Day and night was I parched with heat, and with frost; and sleep departed from my eyes.
41And in this manner have I served thee in thy house twenty years; fourteen for thy daughters, and six for thy flocks: thou hast changed also my wages ten times.
42Unless the God of my father Abraham, and the fear of Isaac had stood by me, peradventure now thou hadst sent me away naked: God beheld my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesterday.
43Laban answered him: The daughters are mine and the children, and thy flocks, and all things that thou seest are mine: what can I do to my children, and grandchildren?
44Come therefore, let us enter into a league: that it may be for a testimony between me and thee.
45And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a title.
46And he said to his brethren: Bring hither stones. And they gathering stones together, made a heap, and they ate upon it.
47And Laban called it, The witness heap: and Jacob, The hillock of testimony: each of them according to the propriety of his language.
48And Laban said: This heap shall be a witness between me and thee this day; and therefore the name thereof was called Galaad, that is, The witness heap.
49The Lord behold and judge between us when we shall be gone one from the other,
50If thou afflict my daughters, and if thou bring in other wives over them: None is witness of our speech but God, who is present and beholdeth.
51And he said again to Jacob: Behold, this heap, and the stone which I have set up between me and thee,
52Shall be a witness: this heap, I say, and the stone, be they for a testimony, if either I shall pass beyond it going towards thee, or thou shalt pass beyond it, thinking harm to me.
53The God of Abraham, and the God of Nachor, the God of their father, judge between us. And jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac.
54And after he had offered sacrifices in the mountain, he called his brethren to eat bread. And when they had eaten, they lodged there:
55But Laban arose in the night, and kissed his sons, and daughters, and blessed them: and returned to his place.