31 1JACOB HEARD Laban’s sons complaining, Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s; he has acquired all this wealth and honor from what belonged to our father. 2And Jacob noticed that Laban looked at him less favorably than before. 3Then the Lord said to Jacob, Return to the land of your fathers and to your people, and I will be with you. 4So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field to his flock, 5And he said to them, I see how your father looks at me, that he is not [friendly] toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I have served your father with all my might and power. 7But your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me. 8If he said, The speckled shall be your wages, then all the flock bore speckled; and if he said, The streaked shall be your hire, then all the flock bore streaked. 9Thus God has taken away the flocks of your father and given them to me. 10And I had a [L]dream at the time the flock conceived. I looked up and saw that the rams which mated with the she-goats were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11And the [M]Angel of God said to me in the dream, Jacob. And I said, Here am I. 12And He said, Look up and see, all the rams which mate with the flock are streaked, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban does to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you vowed a vow to Me. Now arise, get out from this land and return to your native land. 14And Rachel and Leah answered him, Is there any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15Are we not counted by him as strangers? For he sold us and has also quite devoured our money [the price you paid for us]. 16For all the riches which God has taken from our father are ours and our children’s. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do it. 17Then Jacob rose up and set his sons and his wives upon the camels; 18And he drove away all his livestock and all his gain which he had gotten, the livestock he had obtained and accumulated in Padan-aram, to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan. 19Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep [possibly to the feast of sheepshearing], and Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20And Jacob outwitted Laban the Syrian [Aramean] in that he did not tell him that he [intended] to flee and slip away secretly. 21So he fled with all that he had, and arose and crossed the river [Euphrates] and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead. 22But on the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23So he took his kinsmen with him and pursued after [Jacob] for seven days, and they overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24But God came to Laban the Syrian [Aramean] in a dream by night and said to him, Be careful that you do not speak from good to bad to Jacob [peaceably, then violently]. 25Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent on the hill, and Laban coming with his kinsmen pitched [his tents] on the same hill of Gilead. 26And Laban said to Jacob, What do you mean stealing away and leaving like this without my knowing it, and carrying off my daughters as if captives of the sword? 27Why did you flee secretly and cheat me and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with joy and gladness and with singing, with tambourine and lyre? 28And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons [grandchildren] and my daughters good-bye? Now you have done foolishly [in behaving like this]. 29It is in my power to do you harm; but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, Be careful that you do not speak from good to bad to Jacob [peaceably, then violently]. 30And now you felt you must go because you were homesick for your father’s house, but why did you steal my [household] [N]gods? 31Jacob answered Laban, Because I was afraid; for I thought, Suppose you would take your daughters from me by force. 32The one with whom you find those gods of yours, let him not live. Here before our kinsmen [search my possessions and] take whatever you find that belongs to you. For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen [the images]. 33So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. Then he went from Leah’s tent into Rachel’s tent. 34Now Rachel had taken the images (gods) and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban searched and felt through all the tent, but did not find them. 35And [Rachel] said to her father, Do not be displeased, my lord, that I cannot rise up before you, for the period of women is upon me and I am unwell. And he searched, but did not find the gods. 36Then Jacob became angry and reproached and argued with Laban. And Jacob said to Laban, What is my fault? What is my sin, that you so hotly pursued me? 37Although you have searched and felt through all my household possessions, what have you found of all your household goods? Put it here before my brethren and yours, that they may judge and decide between us. 38These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your she-goats have not lost their young, and the rams of your flock have not been eaten by me. 39I did not bring you [the carcasses of the animals] torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss of it; you required of me [to make good] all that was stolen, whether it occurred by day or by night. 40This was [my lot]; by day the heat consumed me and by night the cold, and I could not sleep. 41I have been twenty years in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks; and you have changed my wages ten times. 42And if the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Dread [lest he should fall] and Fear [lest he offend] of Isaac, had not been with me, surely you would have sent me away now empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and humiliation and the [wearying] labor of my hands and rebuked you last night. 43Laban answered Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, these children are my children, these flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do today to these my daughters or to their children whom they have borne? 44So come now, let us make a covenant or league, you and I, and let it be for a witness between you and me. 45So Jacob set up a stone for a pillar or monument. 46And Jacob said to his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones and made a heap, and they ate [together] there upon the heap. 47Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha [witness heap, in Aramaic ], but Jacob called it Galeed [[O]witness heap, in Hebrew. ] 48Laban said, This heap is a witness today between you and me. Therefore it was named Galeed. 49And [the pillar or monument was called] Mizpah [watchpost], for he [Laban] said, May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent and hidden one from another. 50If you should afflict, humiliate, or lower [divorce] my daughters, or if you should take other wives beside my daughters, although no man is with us [to witness], see (remember), God is witness between you and me. 51And Laban said to Jacob, See this heap and this pillar, which I have set up between you and me. 52This heap is a witness and this pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you, and that you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, and the god [the object of worship] of their father [Terah, an idolator], judge between us. But Jacob swore [only] by [the one true God] the Dread and Fear of his father Isaac. 54Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and called his brethren to eat food; and they ate food and lingered all night on the mountain. 55And early in the morning Laban rose up and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and pronounced a blessing [asking God’s favor] on them. Then Laban departed and returned to his home.
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