Genesis 31
New Heart English Bible
1He heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob has taken away all that was our father?s. From that which was our father?s he has gained all this wealth." 2Jacob saw the expression on Laban?s face, and look, it was not as it had been. 3The LORD said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers, and to your relatives, and I will be with you." 4Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field where his flock was, 5and said to them, "I see the expression on your father?s face, that it is not what it was before. But the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I have served your father with all of my strength. 7Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me. 8If he said this, 'The speckled will be your wages,' then all the flock bore speckled. If he said this, 'The streaked will be your wages,' then all the flock bore streaked. 9Thus God has taken away your father?s livestock and given them to me. 10And it came about at the time when the flocks were breeding I looked up and saw in a dream, and look, the male goats which leaped on the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am.' 12He said, 'Now lift up your eyes, and look, all the male goats which leap on the flock are streaked, speckled, and spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has done to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a standing-stone, where you made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your birth.'" 14Rachel and Leah answered him, "Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? 15Aren?t we regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has used up what was paid for us. 16For all the wealth which God has taken away from our father, that is ours and our children?s. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do."

17Then Jacob got up and put his sons and his wives on the camels, 18and he took away all his livestock and all his property which he had aquired, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan. 19Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole the idols that belonged to her father. 20Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he intended to flee. 21So he fled with everything that he had, and he arose and crossed the River, and set out toward the hill country of Gilead.

22Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. 23He took his relatives with him, and pursued after him for seven days, and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night, and said to him, "Be careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad."

25Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his relatives camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done? You have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives taken in war? 27Why did you flee in secret and deceive me, and not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with joy and singing, with a tambourine and with a lyre. 28And you did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly. 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 to Jacob either good or bad.' 30Now you have indeed gone away, because you longed greatly for your father?s house. But why have you stolen my gods?" 31Jacob answered Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.' 32Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, identify what I have that is yours, and take it with you. "For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33Laban went into Jacob's tent, into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he did not find them. He went out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. 34Now Rachel had taken the idols, put them in the camel?s saddle, and sat on them. Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 35She said to her father, "Do not let my lord be angry that I can?t get up for you; for I am having my period. "He searched, but did not find the idols.

36Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, "What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued after me? 37Now that you have serached around in all my stuff, did you find anything from all of your household's belongings? Put it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between the two of us. 38These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried their young, and I haven?t eaten the rams of your flocks. 39That which was torn by animals I did not bring to you. I bore its loss. You demanded payment from me whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40I was consumed by the heat during the day and by the frost at night, and sleepless nights. 41These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the one whom Isaac fears, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my harsh treatment and my hard work, and rebuked you last night."

43Laban answered Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine: and what can I do this day to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne? 44So now, come, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between the two of us. "And he said to him, "Look, there is no one with us; see, God is witness between me and you." 45Jacob took a stone, and set it up as a standing-stone. 46Jacob said to his relatives, "Gather stones."So they took stones and made a mound. They ate there by the mound. 47Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. 48Laban said, "This mound is a witness between me and you today." Therefore it was named Galeed 49and Mizpah, for he said, "God watch between me and you, when we are absent one from another. 50If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us; see, God is witness between me and you." 51Laban said to Jacob, "See this mound, and see the standing-stone, which I have set between me and you. 52May this mound be a witness, and the standing-stone be a witness, that I will not pass over this mound to you, and that you will not pass over this mound and this standing-stone to me, to do harm. 53The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, judge between us. "Then Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac. 54Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his relatives to eat the meal. They ate the meal and stayed all night on the mountain. 55Early in the morning, Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. Laban departed and returned to his place.

New Heart English Bible
Edited by Wayne A. Mitchell.
Public Domain 2008-2023

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