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Genesis 31 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Jacob Flees from Laban

Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:1 - Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has gained all this wealth.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:2 - And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:3 - Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:4 - So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:5 - and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:6 - You know that I have served your father with all my strength,
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:7 - yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:8 - If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:9 - Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:10 - In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:11 - Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:12 - And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:13 - I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:14 - Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house?
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:15 - Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:16 - All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:17 - So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:18 - He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:19 - Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father’s household gods.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:20 - And Jacob tricked[fn] Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:21 - He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the Euphrates,[fn] and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:22 - When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled,
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:23 - he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:24 - But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:25 - And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:26 - And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword?
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:27 - Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre?
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:28 - And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:29 - It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your[fn] father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:30 - And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house, but why did you steal my gods?”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:31 - Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:32 - Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:33 - So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:34 - Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:35 - And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:36 - Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me?
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:37 - For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:38 - These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:39 - What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:40 - There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:41 - These 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:42 - If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:43 - Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne?
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:44 - Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:45 - So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:46 - And Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:47 - Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha,[fn] but Jacob called it Galeed.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:48 - Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed,
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:49 - and Mizpah,[fn] for he said, “The LORD watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:50 - If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:51 - Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:52 - This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:53 - The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac,
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:54 - and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 31:55 - [fn] Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.
ESV Footnotes
Hebrew stole the heart of; also verses 26, 27
Hebrew the River
The Hebrew for your is plural here
Aramaic the heap of witness
Hebrew the heap of witness
Mizpah means watchpost
Ch 32:1 in Hebrew

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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