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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
1And he heard the divrei Bnei Lavan, saying, Ya'akov hath taken away all that belonged to avinu; and of that which belonged to avinu hath he gotten all this kavod. 2And Ya'akov beheld the countenance of Lavan, and, hinei, it was not toward him as before. 3And Hashem said unto Ya'akov, Shuv el Eretz Avoteicha! And to thy moledet; and I will be with thee. 4And Ya'akov sent and called Rachel and Leah to the sadeh unto his tzon, 5And said unto them, I see penei avichen, that it is not toward me as before; but Elohei Avi is with me. 6And ye know that with all my koach I have served avichen. 7And avichen hath deceived me, and changed my sachar aseret monim but Elohim allowed him not to harm me. 8If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy sachar; then all the tzon bore speckled; and if he said thus, The streaked shall be thy sachar; then bore all the tzon streaked. 9Thus Elohim hath taken away the mikneh of your av, and given them to me. 10And it came to pass at the time that the tzon breed, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a chalom, and, hinei, the male goats mounting the tzon were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11And the Malach HaElohim spoke unto me in a chalom saying, Ya'akov: And I said, Hineni. 12And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the male goats leaping upon the tzon are streaked, speckled, and spotted; for I have seen all that Lavan doeth unto thee. 13I am HaEl Beit-El, where thou anointedst a matzevah (pillar), and where thou vowedst a neder (vow) unto Me: now arise, get thee out from HaAretz Hazot, and return unto thy eretz moledet. 14And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any chelek or nachalah for us in bais avinu? 15Are we not regarded by him nokhriyyot (foreigners, strangers)? For he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our kesef. 16For all the oisher Elohim hath taken from avinu, that belongs to us and baneinu; so then, whatsoever Elohim hath said unto thee, do. 17Then Ya'akov rose up, and set his banim and his nashim upon the gemalim; 18And he drove all his mikneh, and all his goods which he had gotten, the mikneh of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan Aram, for to go to Yitzchak aviv in Eretz Kena'an. 19And Lavan went to shear his tzon; and Rachel had stolen the terafim that belong to her av. 20Unawares to Lavan HaArami, Ya'akov stole away, in that he told him not that he was fleeing. 21So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the Nahar [i.e. the Euphrates], and set his face toward Har Gil'ad. 22And it was told Lavan on Yom HaShlishi that Ya'akov was fled. 23And he took his achim with him, and pursued after him derech shivat yamim; and they overtook him at Har Gil`ad. 24And Elohim came to Lavan HaArami in a chalom halailah, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Ya'akov either tov or rah. 25Then Lavan overtook Ya'akov. Now Ya'akov had pitched his ohel on the har; and Lavan with his achim encamped in Har Gil`ad. 26And Lavan said to Ya'akov, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my banot, like shevuyot (captives) taken with the cherev? 27Why didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with simchah, and with shirim (songs), with tof (timbrel, tambourine) and with kinnor (harp)? 28And hast not allowed me to kiss my banim (grandchildren) and my banot? Thou hast now done foolishly in so doing. 29It is in the power of my yad to do you rah; but Elohei Avichem spoke unto me emesh (last night), saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Ya'akov either tov or rah. 30And now, though thou had to go, because thou greatly longedst after bais avicha, yet why hast thou stolen elohai? 31And Ya'akov answered and said to Lavan, Because I was afraid; for I said, Thou wouldest take by force thy banot from me. 32With whomsoever thou findest eloheicha, let him not live; before acheinu discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Ya'akov knew not that Rachel had played the ganav with them. 33And Lavan went into the ohel Ya'akov, and into the ohel Leah and into the ohel shtei ha'amahot; but he found them not. Then went he out of the ohel Leah, and entered into the ohel Rachel. 34Now Rachel had taken the terafim, and put them in the saddle of the gamal, and sat upon them. And Lavan searched all the ohel, but found them not. 35And she said to her av, Let it not displease adoni that I cannot rise up in thy presence; for the derech nashim is upon me. And he searched but found not the terafim. 36And Ya'akov was in wrath, and upbraided Lavan: and Ya'akov answered and said to Lavan, What is my peysha? What is my chattat, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? 37Whereas thou hast searched through all that I own, what hast thou found of all thy kelei bais? Set it here before my achim and thy achim, that they may judge between us both. 38These esrim shanah have I been with thee; recheleicha (thy ewes) and thy female goats have not miscarried, and the rams of thy tzon have I not eaten. 39That which was terefah (torn of beasts) I brought not unto thee; I bore the loss of it; of my yad didst thou require it, whether stolen by yom, or stolen by lailah. 40Thus I was; in the yom the chorev (heat) consumed me, and the kerach (cold) by lailah; and my sheynah (sleep) departed from mine eyes. 41Thus have I been esrim shanah in thy bais; I served thee arba-esreh shanah for thy two banot, and shesh shanim for thy tzon: and thou hast changed my sachar aseret monim. 42Except Elohei Avi, Elohei Avraham, and the Pachad of Yitzchak had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty handed. Elohim hath seen mine oni and the toil of my palms, and rebuked thee emesh (last night). 43And Lavan answered and said unto Ya'akov, These banot are my banot, and these banim are my banim, and this tzon is my tzon, and all that thou seest is mine; yet what can I do today about these my banot, or about their banim which they have born? 44Now therefore come thou, let us cut a brit, I and thou; and let it be for an ed between me and thee. 45And Ya'akov took an even, and set it up for a matzevah (pillar). 46And Ya'akov said unto his achim, Gather avanim; and they took avanim, and made a gal (heap, mound); and they did eat there upon the gal. 47And Lavan called it Yegar Sahaduta; but Ya'akov called it Gale'ed ("Heap of Witness"). 48And Lavan said, This gal (heap, mound) is an ed (witness) between me and thee this day. Therefore was shmo called Gale'ed; 49And Mitzpah (Watch); for he said, Hashem watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50If thou shalt afflict my banot, or if thou shalt take nashim besides my banot, no man is with us; see, Elohim ed beini uveinecha (Elohim is witness between me and you). 51And Lavan said to Ya'akov, Hinei this gal (heap, mound), and hinei the matzevah (pillar), which I have cast between me and thee; 52This gal (heap, mound) be ed (witness), and this matzevah (pillar) be edah (witness), that for ra'ah I will not pass over this gal to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this gal and this matzevah unto me. 53The Elohei Avraham, and Elohei Nachor, Elohei Avihem judge between us. And Ya'akov swore by the Pachad Aviv Yitzchak. 54Then Ya'akov offered zavach upon the har, and called his achim to eat lechem; and they did eat lechem, and tarried all night on the har. 55And early in the boker (morning) Lavan rose up, and kissed his banim and his banot, and made on them a berakhah; and Lavan departed, and returned unto his makom.