Genesis 31

Jacob runs away from Laban
31:1-21

31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory.

Jacob heard Laban's sons say,
Jacob has taken away everything our father owns.

31:2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.

And Jacob noticed that Laban seemed angry toward him.

31:3 And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.

God said to Jacob,
Return to your home in Canaan. I'll be with you.

31:4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock,

31:5 And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.

Jacob called Rachel and Leah, and said to them,

Your father is mad at me. But my father's God is with me.

31:6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.

31:7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.

31:8 If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked.

I served your father with all my power, but he deceived me, changing my wages ten times.

31:9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.

31:10 And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.

God took away your father's cattle and gave them to me. [1]

31:11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.

31:12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.

31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.

An angel came to me in a dream, saying,

"All the rams that have sex are streaked, speckled, and grisled.

Because I have seen all that Laban did to you.

I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you vowed a vow to me.

Now go. Get out of this land and retrun to the land of your family."
Dreams: Jacob's Sheep

31:14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?

31:15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.

31:16 For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.

Rachel and Leah responed in unison,

Don't we get to inherit anything from our father?

Are we strangers to him, or what?

He sold us and has devoured our money.

All the riches God took from our father and gave to you is now ours and our childrens.

So do whatever God told you to do.

31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;

31:18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.

Jacob set his wives [2] on camels [3] and left for Canaan, with all of the cattle and stuff that he took from Laban.

Is polygamy OK?
What the Bible says about polygamy

31:19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.

31:20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.

31:21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.

Rachel stole her father's images.
Is it wrong to steal?

And they all ran away from Laban, without telling him or saying goodbye.

Laban catches up to Jacob
31:22-43

31:22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.

31:23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.

31:24 And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

Three days after Jacob and his family had left, Laban found out about it. He chased after them and caught up with them seven days later.

During the chase, God came to Laban in a dream, saying,

Don't say anything, good or bad, to Jacob.
Dreams: God's Warning to Laban

31:25 Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.

When Laban overtook Jacob, he said to him,

31:26 And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

Why'd you run away with my daughters without telling me about it?

31:27 Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?

I'd have thrown a going away party, if I knew you were leaving.

31:28 And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.

I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to them!

31:29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

31:30 And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?

I could punish you for what you have done, but I won't since your father's God visited me in a dream last night, saying, "Don't say anything good or bad to Jacob."

But why did you steal my gods?

31:31 And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.

Jacob replied to Laban,

Because I was afraid you'd take your daughters from me.

31:32 With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.

But go ahead and search for your gods.

If you find them, whoever took them will die.

(Jacob didn't know that Rachel had stolen them.)

31:33 And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.

31:34 Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.

So Laban seaches for the stolen images, looking in Jacob's. Leah's, Bilhah's, and Zilpah's tents.

And finally he looked in Rachel's tent.

31:35 And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched but found not the images.

When Laban entered her tent, Rachel, who was sitting on a box containing the images, said,

I can't stand up right now because I am menstruating. [4]

So Laban searched, but didn't find the images.

31:36 And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?

Jacob was angry, and said to Laban,

What have I done wrong? Why are you chasing after me?

31:37 Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.

You've searched all my stuff and have found nothing.

31:38 This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.

31:39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.

31:40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.

31:41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.

For twenty years I've served you:

Fourteen years for your daughters and six years for your cattle.

I took care of your animals for you, enduring drought, frost, and sleepless nights.

And you've changed my wages ten times.

31:42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.

Even God told you last night not to bother me.

31:43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?

Laban answered,

These are my daughters, my children, and my cattle.

Everything you see is mine.

Laban and Jacob reach an agreement.
(And set up a heap of stones as a witness.)
(31:44-55)

31:44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.

31:45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.

31:46 And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.

31:47 And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.

Laban suggests that they come to an agreement, and set up a heap of stones as a witness.

So Jacob took a stone and made a pillar, and all the people gathered stones to make a heap.

31:48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;

31:49 And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.

Laban said,

This heap is a witness.

31:50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.

If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take any other wives, God is a witness between me and you.

31:51 And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee:

31:52 This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.

Laban said,

Behold this heap.

This heap be witness.

I won't pass over this heap to you, and you won't pass over this heap to me.

31:53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.

Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.

Is swearing OK?

31:54 Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.

Jacob offered a sacrifice.

31:55 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.

The next morning, Laban kissed his daughters and grandkids, and left for home.