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Genesis 30:25–31:42

Jacob Prospers

25 Now it came about when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “aSend me away, that I may go to my own place and to my own country.

26 “Give me my wives and my children afor whom I have served you, and let me depart; for you yourself know my service which I have 1rendered you.”

27 But Laban said to him, “If now 1it pleases you, stay with me; I have divined athat the Lord has blessed me on your account.”

28 He 1continued, “aName me your wages, and I will give it.”

29 But he said to him, “aYou yourself know how I have served you and how your cattle have 1fared with me.

30 “For you had little before 1I came and it has 2increased to a multitude, and the Lord has blessed you 3wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household also?”

31 So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock:

32 let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every aspeckled and spotted sheep and every black 1one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages.

33 “So my 1honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my 2wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.”

34 Laban said, “1Good, let it be according to your word.”

35 So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the 1care of his sons.

36 And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 Then Jacob 1took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was 2in the rods.

38 He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they 1mated when they came to drink.

39 So the flocks 1mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted.

40 Jacob separated the lambs, and 1made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock.

41 Moreover, whenever the 1stronger of the flock 2were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, so that they might 3mate by the rods;

42 but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the 1stronger Jacob’s.

43 So athe man 1became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks and female and male servants and camels and donkeys.

Chapter 31

Jacob Leaves Secretly for Canaan

1 Now 1Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this 2wealth.”

2 Jacob saw the 1attitude of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as formerly.

3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “aReturn to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and bI will be with you.”

4 So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field,

5 and said to them, “aI see your father’s 1attitude, that it is not friendly toward me as formerly, but bthe God of my father has been with me.

6 aYou know that I have served your father with all my strength.

7 “Yet your father has acheated me and bchanged my wages ten times; however, cGod did not allow him to hurt me.

8 “If ahe spoke thus, ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flock brought forth speckled; and if he spoke thus, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock brought forth striped.

9 “Thus God has ataken away your father’s livestock and given them to me.

10 “And it came about at the time when the flock were 1mating that I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which were 2mating were striped, speckled, and mottled.

11 “Then athe angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’

12 “He said, ‘Lift up now your eyes and see that all the male goats which are 1mating are striped, speckled, and mottled; for aI have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.

13 ‘I am athe God of Bethel, where you banointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, 1leave this land, and creturn to the land of your birth.’ ”

14 Rachel and Leah said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house?

15 “Are we not reckoned by him as foreigners? For ahe has sold us, and has also 1entirely consumed 2our purchase price.

16 “Surely all the wealth which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you.”

17 Then Jacob arose and put his children and his wives upon camels;

18 and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had gathered, his acquired livestock which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, ato go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac.

19 When Laban had gone to shear his flock, then Rachel stole the 1ahousehold idols that were her father’s.

20 And Jacob 1deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing.

21 So he fled with all that he had; and he arose and crossed the Euphrates River, and set his face toward the hill country of aGilead.

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled,

23 then he took his 1kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead.

24 aGod came to Laban the Aramean in a bdream of the night and said to him, “1cBe careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad.”

25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his 1kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead.

26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done 1by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword?

27 “Why did you flee secretly and 1deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with atimbrel and with blyre;

28 and did not allow me ato kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly.

29 “It is in 1my power to do you harm, but athe God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘2bBe careful not to speak either good or bad to Jacob.’

30 “Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal amy gods?”

31 Then Jacob replied to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.

32 aThe one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our 1kinsmen 2point out what is yours 3among my belongings and take it for yourself.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent.

34 Now Rachel had taken the 1household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them.

35 She said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot arise before you, for the manner of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the 1bhousehold idols.

36 Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me?

37 “Though you have felt through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my 1kinsmen and your 1kinsmen, that they may decide between us two.

38 “These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks.

39 “That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself. You required it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night.

40 Thus I was: by day the 1heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes.

41 “These twenty years I have been in your house; aI served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you bchanged my wages ten times.

42 “If athe God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. bGod has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He crendered judgment last night.”

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