Jacob Runs Away From Laban
1Jacob heard what Laban’s sons were saying. “Jacob has taken everything our father owned,” they said. “He has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2Jacob noticed that Laban’s feelings toward him had changed.
3Then the Lord spoke to Jacob. He said, “Go back to your father’s land and to your relatives. I will be with you.”
4So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah. He told them to come out to the fields where his flocks were. 5He said to them, “I see that your father’s feelings toward me have changed. But the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength. 7But your father has cheated me. He has changed my pay ten times. In spite of everything that’s happened, God hasn’t let him harm me. 8Sometimes Laban would say, ‘The speckled ones will be your pay.’ Then all the flocks had little ones with speckles. At other times he would say, ‘The striped ones will be your pay.’ Then all the flocks had little ones with stripes. 9So God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me.
10“Once during the mating season I had a dream. In my dream I looked and saw male goats mating with the flock. The goats had stripes, speckles or spots. 11The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 12He said, ‘Look around you. See the male goats mating with the flock. All of them have stripes, speckles or spots. That’s because I have seen everything that Laban has been doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel. That is where you poured olive oil on a sacred stone. There you made a promise to me. Now leave this land. Go back to your own land.’ ”
14Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share of our father’s property? 15Doesn’t our father think of us as outsiders? First he sold us. Now he has used up what he was paid for us. 16All the wealth God took away from our father really belongs to us and our children. So do what God has told you to do.”
17Then Jacob put his children and wives on camels. 18He drove all his livestock ahead of him. He also took with him everything he had acquired in Paddan Aram. He left to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
19Laban had gone to clip the wool from his sheep. While he was gone, Rachel stole the statues of the family gods that belonged to her father. 20And that’s not all. Jacob tricked Laban, the Aramean. He didn’t tell him he was running away. 21So Jacob ran off with everything he had. He crossed the Euphrates River. And he headed for the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Chases Jacob
22On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had run away. 23He took his relatives with him and went after Jacob. Seven days later he caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24Then God came to Laban, the Aramean, in a dream at night. He said to him, “Be careful. Do not say anything to Jacob, whether it is good or bad.”
25Jacob had set up his tent in the hill country of Gilead. That’s where Laban caught up with him. Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You have tricked me. You have taken my daughters away like prisoners of war. 27Why did you run away in secret and trick me? Why didn’t you tell me? Then I could have sent you away happily. We could have sung to the music of tambourines and harps. 28You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. 29I have the power to harm you. But last night the God of your father spoke to me. He said, ‘Be careful. Do not say anything to Jacob, whether it is good or bad.’ 30Now you have run away. You longed to go back to your father’s home. But why did you have to steal the statues of my gods?”
31Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. 32But if you find anyone who has the statues of your gods, that person will not remain alive. While our relatives are watching, look for yourself. See if there’s anything of yours here with me. If you find anything belonging to you, take it.” But Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen the statues.
33So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and Leah’s tent. He went into the tent of their two female servants. But he didn’t find anything. After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent. 34Rachel was the one who had taken the statues of Laban’s family gods. She had put them inside her camel’s saddle. She was sitting on them. Laban searched the whole tent. But he didn’t find anything.
35Rachel said to her father, “I’m sorry, sir. I can’t get up for you right now. But don’t be angry with me. I’m having my monthly period.” So he searched everywhere but couldn’t find the statues of his gods.
36Jacob was very angry with Laban. “What is my crime?” he asked. “What have I done to you that you hunt me down like this? 37You have searched through all my things. What have you found that belongs to your family? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine. Let them decide between the two of us.
38“I’ve been with you for 20 years now. The little ones of your sheep and goats were not dead when they were born. I haven’t eaten rams from your flocks. 39I didn’t bring you animals torn apart by wild beasts. I made up for the loss myself. Also, you made me pay for anything stolen by day or night. 40And what was my life like? The heat burned me in the daytime. And it was so cold at night that I froze. I couldn’t sleep. 41That’s what it was like for the 20 years I was living with you. I worked for 14 years to marry your two daughters. I worked for six years to get my share of your flocks. You changed my pay ten times. 42But the God of my father was with me. He is the God of Abraham and the God Isaac worshiped. If he hadn’t been with me, you would surely have sent me away without anything to show for all my work. But God has seen my hard times. He has seen all the work my hands have done. So last night he warned you.”
43Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters. The children are my children. The flocks are my flocks. Everything you see is mine. But what can I do today about these daughters of mine? What can I do about the children they’ve had? 44Come now. Let’s make a formal agreement, you and I. Let it be a witness between us.”
45So Jacob set up a stone as a way to remember. 46He said to his relatives, “Get some stones.” So they took stones and put them in a pile. And they ate there by it. 47Laban named the pile of stones Jegar Sahadutha. Jacob named it Galeed.
48Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness between you and me today.” That’s why it was named Galeed. 49It was also called Mizpah. That’s because Laban said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50Don’t treat my daughters badly. Don’t get married to any women besides my daughters. There isn’t anyone here to see what we’re doing. But remember that God is a witness between you and me.”
51Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this pile of stones. And here is this stone I’ve set up. I’ve set them up between you and me. 52This pile is a witness. And this stone is a witness. They are witnesses that I won’t go past this pile to harm you. And they are witnesses that you won’t go past this pile and this stone to harm me. 53The God of Abraham and Nahor is also the God of their father. May their God decide which of us is right.”
So Jacob made a promise using the name of the God his father Isaac worshiped. 54He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country. And he invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.
55Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters. He gave them his blessing. Then he left and returned home.
Learn More About New International Reader’s Version
Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV®
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
1Now he heard the words of Labans sonnes, saying, Iaakob hath taken away all that was our fathers, and of our fathers goods hath he gotten all this honour. 2Also Iaakob beheld the countenance of Laban, that it was not towards him as in times past: 3And the Lord had said vnto Iaakob, Turne againe into the lande of thy fathers, and to thy kinred, and I wilbe with thee. 4Therefore Iaakob sent and called Rahel and Leah to the fielde vnto his flocke. 5Then sayde hee vnto them, I see your fathers countenance, that it is not towardes me as it was wont, and the God of my father hath bene with me. 6And yee knowe that I haue serued your father with all my might. 7But your father hath deceiued me, and changed my wages tenne times: but God suffred him not to hurt me. 8If he thus sayd, The spotted shall be thy wages, then all the sheepe bare spotted: and if he sayd thus, the party coloured shalbe thy rewarde, then bare all the sheepe particoloured. 9Thus hath God taken away your fathers substance, and giuen it me. 10For in ramming time I lifted vp mine eyes and saw in a dreame, and beholde, ye hee goates leaped vpon the shee goates, that were partie coloured with litle and great spots spotted. 11And the Angel of God sayde to mee in a dreame, Iaakob. And I answered, Lo, I am here. 12And he sayde, Lift vp nowe thine eyes, and see all the hee goates leaping vpon ye shee goates that are partie coloured, spotted with litle and great spots: for I haue seene all that Laban doeth vnto thee. 13I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anoyntedst the pillar, where thou vowedst a vowe vnto me. Nowe arise, get thee out of this countrey and returne vnto ye land where thou wast borne. 14Then answered Rahel and Leah, and sayde vnto him, Haue wee any more porcion and inheritance in our fathers house? 15Doeth not he count vs as strangers? for he hath solde vs, and hath eaten vp and consumed our money. 16Therefore all the riches, which God hath taken from our father, is ours and our childrens: nowe then whatsoeuer God hath saide vnto thee, doe it. 17Then Iaakob rose vp, and set his sonnes and his wiues vpon camels. 18And he caried away all his flockes, and al his substance which he had gotten, to wit, his riches, which he had gotten in Padan Aram, to goe to Izhak his father vnto the land of Canaan. 19Whe Laban was gone to shere his sheepe, Then Rahel stole her fathers idoles. 20Thus Iaakob stole away ye heart of Laban the Aramite: for he told him not that he fled. 21So fled he with all that he had, and he rose vp, and passed the riuer, and set his face towarde mount Gilead. 22And the third day after was it told Laban, that Iaakob fled. 23Then he tooke his brethren with him, and followed after him seuen dayes iourney, and ouertooke him at mount Gilead. 24And God came to Laban the Aramite in a dreame by night, and sayde vnto him, Take heede that thou speake not to Iaakob ought saue good. 25Then Laban ouertooke Iaakob, and Iaakob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban also with his brethren pitched vpon mount Gilead. 26Then Laban sayde to Iaakob, What hast thou done? thou hast euen stolen away mine heart and caried away my daughters as though they had bene taken captiues with the sworde. 27Wherfore diddest thou flie so secretly and steale away from me, and diddest not tel me, that I might haue sent thee foorth with mirth and with songs, with timbrel and with harpe? 28But thou hast not suffered me to kisse my sonnes and my daughters: nowe thou hast done foolishly in doing so. 29I am able to do you euill: but the God of your father spake vnto me yesternight, saying, Take heed that thou speake not to Iaakob ought saue good. 30Nowe though thou wentest thy way, because thou greatly longedst after thy fathers house, yet wherefore hast thou stollen my gods? 31Then Iaakob answered, and said to Laban, Because I was afraid, and thought that thou wouldest haue taken thy daughters from me. 32But with whome thou findest thy gods, let him not liue. Search thou before our brethre what I haue of thine, and take it to thee, (but Iaakob wist not that Rahel had stolen them) 33Then came Laban into Iaakobs tent, and into Leahs tent, and into the two maides tentes, but founde them not. So hee went out of Leahs tent, and entred into Rahels tent. 34(Nowe Rahel had taken the idoles, and put them in the camels litter and sate downe vpon them) and Laban searched al the tent, but found them not. 35Then said she to her father, My Lord, be not angrie that I cannot rise vp before thee: for the custome of women is vpon me: so he searched, but found not the idoles. 36The Iaakob was wroth, and chode with Laban: Iaakob also answered and sayd to Laban, What haue I trespassed? what haue I offended, that thou hast pursued after me? 37Seeing thou hast searched all my stuffe, what hast thou foud of all thine houshold stuffe? put it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may iudge betweene vs both. 38This twenty yere I haue bin with thee: thine ewes and thy goates haue not cast their yong, and the rammes of thy flocke haue I not eaten. 39Whatsoeuer was torne of beasts, I brought it not vnto thee, but made it good my selfe: of mine hand diddest thou require it, were it stollen by day or stollen by night. 40I was in the day consumed with heate, and with frost in the night, and my sleepe departed from mine eyes. 41Thus haue I bene twentie yeere in thine house, and serued thee fourteene yeeres for thy two daughters, and sixe yeeres for thy sheepe, and thou hast changed my wages tenne times. 42Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the feare of Izhak had bene with me, surely thou haddest sent me away nowe emptie: but God behelde my tribulation, and the labour of mine hads, and rebuked thee yester night. 43Then Laban answered, and saide vnto Iaakob, These daughters are my daughters, and these sonnes are my sonnes, and these sheepe are my sheepe, and all that thou seest, is mine, and what can I doe this day vnto these my daughters, or to their sonnes which they haue borne? 44Nowe therefore come and let vs make a couenant, I and thou, which may be a witnes betweene me and thee. 45Then tooke Iaakob a stone, and set it vp as a pillar: 46And Iaakob sayde vnto his brethren, Gather stones: who brought stones, and made an heape, and they did eate there vpon the heape. 47And Laban called it Iegar-sahadutha, and Iaakob called it Galeed. 48For Laban sayd, This heape is witnesse betweene me and thee this day: therefore he called the name of it Galeed. 49Also he called it Mizpah, because he said, The Lord looke betweene me and thee, when we shalbe departed one from another, 50If thou shalt vexe my daughters, or shalt take wiues beside my daughters: there is no man with vs, beholde, God is witnesse betweene me and thee. 51Moreouer Laban sayd to Iaakob, Beholde this heape, and behold the pillar, which I haue set betweene me and thee, 52This heape shall be witnesse, and the pillar shall be witnesse, that I will not come ouer this heape to thee, and that thou shalt not passe ouer this heape and this pillar vnto me for euill. 53The God of Abraham, and the God of Nabor, and the God of their father be iudge betweene vs: But Iaakob sware by the feare of his father Izhak. 54Then Iaakob did offer a sacrifice vpon the mount, and called his brethren to eate bread. and they did eate bread, and taried all night in the mount. 55And earely in the morning Laban rose vp and kissed his sonnes and his daughters, and blessed them, and Laban departing, went vnto his place againe.
Learn More About Geneva Bible