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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 words of Lavan’s sons, saying, Ya’akov has taken away all that [was] our father’s; and of [that] which [was] our father’s has he gotten all this glory.
2And Ya’akov beheld the Countenance (Face, appearance; show favor) of Lavan, and, behold, it [was] not toward him as before.
3And the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) said unto Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of), Return unto the land of youri fathers, and to youri family; and I will be with youi.
4And Ya’akov sent and called Rachel and Le’ah (weary; grieved) to the field unto his flock,
5And said unto them, I see youri father’s Countenance (Face, appearance; show favor), that it [is] not toward me as before; but the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of my father has been with me.
6And youf know that with all my power I have served youri father.
7And youri father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] suffered him not to hurt me.
8If he said in this way, The speckled shall be youri wages; then all the cattle bore speckled: and if he said in this way, The marked with circular stripes shall be youri hire; then bore all the cattle marked with circular stripes.
9In the following manner God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has taken away the cattle of youri father, and given [them] to me.
10Once, when the animals were mating, I had a dream: I looked up and there in front of me the male goats which mated with the females were streaked, speckled and mottled.
11And the angel of God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] spoke unto me in a dream, [saying], Ya’akov: And I said, Here [am] I.
12And he said, Lift up now youri eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle [are] marked with circular stripes, speckled, and grizzled: for I have seen all that Lavan does unto youi.
13I [am] the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Beit-El, where youi anointed the pillar, [and] where youi vowed a vow unto me: now arise, get youi out from this land, and return unto the land of youri family.
14And Rachel (ewe) and Le’ah (weary; grieved) answered and said unto him, [Is there] yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?
15Are we not counted of him strangers? for he has sold us, and has quite devoured also our money.
16For all the riches which God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has taken from our father, that [is] ours, and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has said unto youi, do.
17Then Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
18And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Paddan-aram (a place of height; field; plain), for to go to Yitz’chak [Laughter] his father in the land of Kena’an (merchant; trader; or that humbles and subdues).
19And Lavan went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that [were] her father’s.
20And Ya’akov stole away unawares to Lavan the Arami [Arami [exalted]], in that he told him not that he fled.
21So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river [Euphrates], and set his face [toward] the mount Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
22And it was told Lavan (to be white; white guy) on the third day that Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) was fled.
23And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
24And God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] came to Lavan (to be white; white guy) the Arami [Arami [exalted]] (level plain) in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that youi speak not to Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) either good or bad.
25Then Lavan overtook Ya’akov. Now Ya’akov had pitched his tent in the mount: and Lavan with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gil’ad (hill of testimony or mound of witness).
26And Lavan said to Ya’akov, What have youi done, that youi have stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives [taken] with the sword?
27For what reason did youi flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and did not tell me, that I might have sent youi away with gladness, and with songs, with tambourine [a small drum], and with harp?
28And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? youi hast now done foolishly in [so] doing.
29It is in the power of my hand to do youi hurt: but the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of youri father spoke unto me last night, saying, Take youi heed that youi speak not to Ya’akov either good or bad.
30And now, [though] youi would needs be gone, because youi [have] sore longed after youri father’s house, [yet] For what reason hast youi stolen my gods?
31And Ya’akov answered and said to Lavan, Because I was afraid: for I said, Perhaps youi would take by force youri daughters from me.
32With whomsoever youi find youri gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern youi what [is] yoursi with me, and take [it] to youi. For Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) knew not that Rachel (ewe) had stolen them.
33And Lavan went into Ya’akov’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maidservants’ tents; but he found [them] not. Then went he out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s [ewe] (ewe) tent.
34Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Lavan (to be white; white guy) searched all the tent, but found [them] not.
35And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before youi; for the custom of women [is] upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.
36And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) was exceedingly angry [exceedingly angry], and expressed disapproval [scolded, reproached] with Lavan: and Ya’akov answered and said to Lavan, What [is] my trespass? what [is] my sin, that youi have so hotly pursued after me?
37Whereas youi have searched all my stuff, what have youi found of all youri household stuff? set [it] here before my brethren and youri brethren, that they may judge between us both.
38This twenty years [have] I [been] with youi; youri ewes and youri she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of youri flock have I not eaten.
39That which was torn [of beasts] I brought not unto youi; I bore the loss of it; of my hand did youi require it, [whether] stolen by day, or stolen by night.
40 [In the following manner] I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from my eyes.
41In the following manner have I been twenty years in youri house; I served youi fourteen years for youri two daughters, and six years for youri cattle: and youi hast changed my wages ten times.
42Except the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of my father, the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will], and the fear of Yitz’chak [Laughter], had been with me, surely youi had sent me away now empty. God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] has seen my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked [youi] last night.
43And Lavan answered and said unto Ya’akov, [These] daughters [are] my daughters, and [these] children [are] my children, and [these] cattle [are] my cattle, and all that youi see [is] my: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?
44Now therefore come youi, let us make a covenant, I and youi; and let it be for a witness between me and youi.
45And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) took a stone, and set it up [for] a pillar.
46And Ya’akov said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
47And Lavan called it Y’gar-Sahaduta [pile of witness]: but Ya’akov called it Gal-’Ed [pile of witness].
48And Lavan said, This heap [is] a witness between me and youi this day. Therefore was the name of it called Gal-’Ed;
49And HaMitzpah; for he said, The Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) watch between me and youi, when we are absent one from another.
50If youi shall afflict my daughters, or if youi shall take [other] wives beside my daughters, no man [is] with us; see, God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] [is] witness between me and youi.
51And Lavan (to be white; white guy) said to Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of), Behold this heap, and behold [this] pillar, which I have cast between me and youi;
52This heap [be] witness, and [this] pillar [be] witness, that I will not pass over this heap to youi, and that youi shall not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.
53The God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will], and the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of Nokhor (a snort, a snorting; charred, scorched), the God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] of their father, judge between us. And Ya’akov (he who holds onto the heel of) swore by the fear of his father Yitz’chak [Laughter].
54Then Ya’akov offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
55And early in the morning Lavan rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and Blessed (Favored by God; appy; prosperous) them: and Lavan (to be white; white guy) departed, and returned unto his place.