Genesis 31:1–32:32

Jacob Flees From Laban

31 Jacob heard that Laban’s sonss were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.”t And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.u

Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go backv to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”w

So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He said to them, “I see that your father’sx attitude toward me is not what it was before,y but the God of my father has been with me.z You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength,a yet your father has cheatedb me by changing my wagesc ten times.d However, God has not allowed him to harm me.e If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’f then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father’s livestockg and has given them to me.h

10 “In breeding season I once had a dreami in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11 The angel of Godj said to me in the dream,k ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’l 12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted,m for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.n 13 I am the God of Bethel,o where you anointed a pillarp and where you made a vowq to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.r’ ”

14 Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any shares in the inheritance of our father’s estate? 15 Does he not regard us as foreigners?t Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us.u 16 Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children.v So do whatever God has told you.”

17 Then Jacob put his children and his wivesw on camels,x 18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulatedy in Paddan Aram,a z to go to his father Isaaca in the land of Canaan.b

19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep,c Rachel stole her father’s household gods.d 20 Moreover, Jacob deceivede Laban the Arameanf by not telling him he was running away.g 21 So he fledh with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River,i and headed for the hill country of Gilead.j

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 On the third dayk Laban was told that Jacob had fled.l 23 Taking his relativesm with himn, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.o 24 Then God came to Laban the Arameanp in a dream at night and said to him,q “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”r

25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gileads when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done?t You’ve deceived me,u and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.v 27 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me,w so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrelsx and harps?y 28 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye.z You have done a foolish thing. 29 I have the power to harm you;a but last night the God of your fatherb said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’c 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household.d But why did you steale my gods?f

31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.g 32 But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live.h In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.i

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tentj and into the tent of the two female servants,k but he found nothing.l After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household godsm and put them inside her camel’s saddlen and was sitting on them. Laban searchedo through everything in the tent but found nothing.

35 Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence;p I’m having my period.q” So he searched but could not find the household gods.r

36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wrongeds you that you hunt me down?t 37 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household?u Put it here in front of your relativesv and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.w

38 “I have been with you for twenty years now.x Your sheep and goats have not miscarried,y nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolenz by day or night.a 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.b 41 It was like this for the twenty yearsc I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughtersd and six years for your flocks,e and you changed my wagesf ten times.g 42 If the God of my father,h the God of Abrahami and the Fear of Isaac,j had not been with me,k you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands,l and last night he rebuked you.m

43 Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks.n All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let’s make a covenant,o you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”p

45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.q 46 He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap,r and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed.b s

48 Laban said, “This heapt is a witness between you and me today.”u That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah,c v because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50 If you mistreatw my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witnessx between you and me.”y

51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap,z and here is this pillara I have set up between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness,b that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heapc and pillar to my side to harm me.d 53 May the God of Abrahame and the God of Nahor,f the God of their father, judge between us.”g

So Jacob took an oathh in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.i 54 He offered a sacrificej there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal.k After they had eaten, they spent the night there.

55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughtersl and blessedm them. Then he left and returned home.d n

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

32 a Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of Godo met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!”p So he named that place Mahanaim.b q

Jacob sent messengersr ahead of him to his brother Esaus in the land of Seir,t the country of Edom.u He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lordv Esau: ‘Your servantw Jacob says, I have been staying with Labanx and have remained there till now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants.y Now I am sending this message to my lord,z that I may find favor in your eyes.a’ ”

When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”b

In great fearc and distressd Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,c e and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group,d the groupe that is left may escape.”

Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham,f God of my father Isaac,g Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’h 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulnessi you have shown your servant. I had only my staffj when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps.k 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraidl he will come and attack me,m and also the mothers with their children.n 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sando of the sea, which cannot be counted.p’ ”

13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a giftq for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,r 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.s 16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.”t

17 He instructed the one in the lead: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?’ 18 then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servantu Jacob. They are a giftv sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.’ ”

19 He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: “You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20 And be sure to say, ‘Your servantw Jacob is coming behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these …

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