1¶ And he heard the words of the sons of Laban, saying, Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’s, he has gotten all this glory.
2And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.
3Also the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
4And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his sheep
5and said unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me.
6And ye know that with all my strength I have served your father.
7And your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me.
8If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the sheep bore speckled; and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then all the sheep bore ringstraked.
9Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me.
10And it came to pass at the time that the sheep conceived, that I lifted up my eyes and saw in dreams, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the females were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.
11And the angel of God spoke unto me in dreams, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.
12And he said, Lift up now thine eyes and see, all the rams which leap upon the sheep are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled; for I have seen all that Laban has done unto thee.
13I am the God of Bethel, where thou didst anoint the pillar and where thou didst vow a vow unto me. Now arise, go out from this land and return unto the land of thy nature.
14And Rachel and Leah 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 even devoured all our price.
16For all the riches which God has taken from our father, is ours and our son’s; now then, whatever God has said unto thee, do.
17¶ Then Jacob rose up and set his sons and his wives upon the camels;
18and he carried away all his livestock and all his goods which he had gotten, the livestock of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, to return unto Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.
19And Laban had gone to shear his sheep; and Rachel stole the idols of her father.
20And Jacob stole away the heart of Laban the Aramean, in that he did not tell him that he fled.
21So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up and passed the river and set his face toward Mount Gilead.
22And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled.
23Then he took his brethren with him and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in Mount Gilead.
24And God came to Laban the Aramean in dreams by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
25¶ Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount; and Laban with his brethren pitched in Mount Gilead.
26And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away my heart and carried away my daughters as captives taken with the sword?
27Why didst thou flee away secretly and steal away from me and didst not tell me that I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs with tambourine and with harp?
28And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.
29It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt, but the God of your father spoke unto me last night, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
30And now, that thou art leaving, because thy desire is after thy father’s house, yet why hast thou stolen my gods?
31And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid; for I said, Peradventure thou would take by force thy daughters from me.
32With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let them not live; before our brethren discern what is thine with me and take it to thee. For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
33And Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maidservants’ tents, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and came to Rachel’s tent.
34Now Rachel took the images and put them in a camel’s saddle and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent but did not find them.
35And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but did not find the images.
36¶ Then Jacob was wroth and contended with Laban, and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? What is my sin that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?
37Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren that they may judge between us both.
38These twenty years I have been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not aborted their young, and I have not eaten the rams of thy flock.
39That which was torn of beasts I did not bring unto thee; I bore the sin; thou didst require of my hand that which was stolen, whether by day or by night.
40By day the drought consumed me, and by night, the frost; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
41Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters and six years for thy flock; and thou hast changed my wages ten times.
42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, were not with me, surely thou would send me away now empty. God has seen my affliction and the work of my hands and rebuked thee last night.
43¶ And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these sons are my sons, and these sheep are my sheep, and all that thou seest is mine; and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their sons unto whom they have given birth?
44Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou, and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
45Then Jacob took a stone and set it up for a pillar.
46And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones and made a heap; and they ate there upon the heap.
47And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed.
48And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;
49and Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another.
50If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness between me and thee.
51And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have raised up between me and thee;
52 let this heap be witness and this pillar be witness that I will not pass over this heap against thee and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar against me, for harm.
53The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their fathers, judge between us. And Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac.
54Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount and called his brethren to eat bread; and they ate bread and slept in the mount.
55And early in the morning Laban rose up and kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them; and Laban departed and returned unto his place.
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1Jacob found out that Laban's sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father. All the wealth he has actually came from our father.” 2Jacob also noticed that Laban was treating him differently to the way he had before.
3The Lord told Jacob, “Go back to the country of your forefathers, to your family home. I will be with you.”
4Jacob sent for Rachel and Leah, telling them to come and meet him out in the fields where he was with his flock. 5“I've noticed that your father is treating me differently to the way he did before,” he told them. “But the God of my father will be with me. 6You both know very well how hard I worked for your father. 7But he's been cheating me—he's reduced my wages ten times! However, God hasn't let him hurt me. 8If he said, ‘You can have the speckled ones as your wages,’ then the whole flock had speckled young. If he said, ‘You can have the streaked ones as your wages,’ then the whole flock had streaked young. 9This is how God took your father's livestock and gave them to me. 10During the time the flock was breeding I had a dream where I saw that the male goats mating with the flock were all streaked, speckled, or spotted. 11Then in the dream the angel of the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘Jacob!’ I replied, ‘I'm here.’
12He told me, ‘Take a look and you'll see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I've been watching everything that Laban has been doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, where you poured olive oil on the stone pillar and made a solemn promise to me. Now get ready to leave this land and go back to your homeland.’”
14“There's nothing for us to inherit from our father's estate anyway,” Rachel and Leah replied. 15“He treats us like foreigners because he sold us to you, and now he's spent all that money. 16All the wealth that God has taken from him belongs to us and our children, so do whatever God has told you to do!”
17So Jacob got ready. He helped his children and his wives onto the camels, 18and drove all his livestock in front of him. He took with him all his possessions and livestock he'd gained during his time in Paddan-aram, and left to go back to his father in the country of Canaan.
19While Laban was away from home shearing his sheep, Rachel stole the household idols#31:19. “Household idols”: small figurines considered important and “lucky,” representative of pagan gods and consulted for making decisions. Often they were female figures, and associated with fertility. They also seem to be significant in determining issues of ownership of property and land, which is perhaps another reason why Rachel took them and why Laban was so keen to have them returned. that belonged to her father. 20Jacob also deceived Laban the Aramean by not informing him that he was going to run away. 21So Jacob left in a hurry with everything he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed towards the hill country of Gilead.
22Three days later Laban found out that Jacob had run away. 23Taking some of his relatives with him, he chased after Jacob and caught up with him seven days later in the hill country of Gilead. 24But during the night God came to Laban in a dream and told him, “Watch what you say to Jacob. Don't try to persuade him to come back, and don't threaten him either.”#31:24. “Don't try to get him to come back, and don't threaten him either”: literally, “from good to bad.” This idiomatic expression covered the range of possible approaches Laban might have been tempted to take, from trying to induce Jacob to return by offering some reward, to threatening him with force or some kind of penalty.
25Jacob had set up his tents in the hill country of Gilead when Laban caught up with him, so Laban and his relatives did the same. 26“Why did you deceive me like this?” Laban asked Jacob. “You carried off my daughters as if they were some prisoners captured by the sword! 27Why did you run away in secret, trying to trick me? Why didn't you come and tell me? I would have given you a good send-off, a celebration with singing and the music of tambourines and lyres. 28You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and daughters goodbye! You've really acted stupidly! 29I could really punish you badly, but the God of your father spoke to me last night and told me, ‘Watch what you say to Jacob. Don't try to persuade him to come back, and don't threaten him either.’ 30Clearly you wanted to leave and go back to your family home, but why did you have to steal my idols?”
31“I ran away because I was afraid,” Jacob explained to Laban. “I was worried that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32As for your idols, anyone you find who has them will die. You can search everything in the presence of our relatives, and if you find I have anything that belongs to you, you can take it.” (Jacob didn't know that Rachel had stolen the household idols.)
33Laban searched the tents of Jacob, Leah, and the two personal maids, but didn't find anything. He left Leah's tent and went into Rachel's tent. 34Rachel had put the household idols in a camel's saddlebag and was sitting on it. Laban carefully searched the whole tent but couldn't find them. 35She said to her father, “Sir, please don't get upset with me for not standing up in your presence, but I have my period.” He looked everywhere but didn't find the idols.
36Jacob got angry with Laban and confronted him, saying, “What crime am I guilty of? What wrong have I done to you that you've come hunting me down? 37You've searched through all my possessions. Did you find anything belonging to you? If you did, bring it out here before my relatives and yours so they can decide who's right!
38I've worked for you for these past twenty years. During that time none of your sheep and goats miscarried, and I haven't eaten a single ram from your flock. 39If any of them were killed by wild animals, I never even brought you the carcass to prove the loss—I bore the loss myself. But you on the other hand always made me compensate you for any animals that were stolen, whether at night or in broad daylight.
40Whether it was sweating in the heat of the day, or freezing in the cold of the night when I couldn't sleep, I went on working for you for twenty years in your home. 41I worked fourteen years for your two daughters, and six more years with your flocks. You reduced my wages ten times! 42If it weren't for the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the awesome God#31:42. “The awesome God”: literally “the Fear.” of Isaac, who took care of me, you would have dismissed me with nothing. But God saw my suffering, how hard I worked, and he condemned you last night.”
43Laban replied, “These are my daughters and these are my children and these are my flocks! In fact, everything you see here is mine! However, what can I do now about my daughters and their children? 44So let's make a solemn agreement between you and I, and it will be a witness to our mutual commitment.”
45Jacob took a stone and set it upright as a pillar. 46Then he told his relatives, “Go and collect some stones.” They all#31:46. “They all”: including both groups. made a pile of stones and then sat beside it to eat a meal. 47Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, while Jacob called it Galeed.#31:47. Both names mean “pile of stones,” the first in Aramaic, the second in Hebrew.
48Laban announced, “This pile of stone serves as a witness between me and you.” This is why it was called Galeed. 49It was also called Mizpah,#31:49. “Mizpah”: meaning “watchtower.” for as Laban said, “May the Lord keep a close eye on both of us when we're not together. 50If you treat my daughters badly or marry more wives in addition to them, God will see what you do even if no one else finds out!”
51Then Laban told Jacob, “Look at this pile of stones and this pillar that I have set up as a memorial of the agreement#31:51. “A memorial of the agreement”: supplied for clarity. between you and me. 52They also act as a witness to our solemn promises to each other: I will not come past them to attack you; and you will not come past them to attack me. 53May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor—the God of our forefathers—be the one to judge between us in any dispute.” Jacob in turn made his solemn promise in the name of the awesome God of his father Isaac.
54Then he offered a sacrifice on the mountain and invited all his relatives to eat a meal there. They spent the night on the mountain. 55Laban got up early in the morning and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters goodbye. He blessed them, and then left to go back home.
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Dr. Jonathan Gallagher. Released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Version 4.3. For corrections send email to email@example.com