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.”

The Covenant of Mizpah

43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and athe flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these my daughters or to their children whom they have borne?

44 “So now come, let us amake a covenant, 1you and I, and blet it be a witness between 2you and me.”

45 Then Jacob took aa stone and set it up as a pillar.

46 Jacob said to his 1kinsmen, “Gather stones.” So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap.

47 Now Laban acalled it 1Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it 2Galeed.

48 Laban said, “aThis heap is a witness between 1you and me this day.” Therefore it was named Galeed,

49 and 1aMizpah, for he said, “May the Lord watch between 2you and me when we are 3absent one from the other.

50 “If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, see, aGod is witness between 1you and me.”

51 Laban said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between 1you and me.

52 “This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm.

53 “aThe God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, bjudge between us.” So Jacob swore by cthe fear of his father Isaac.

54 Then Jacob aoffered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his 1kinsmen to 2the meal; and they ate 3the meal and spent the night on the mountain.

55 1Early in the morning Laban arose, and akissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place.


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