31 1 Laban’s children murmur against Jacob. 3 God commandeth him to return to his country.  13, 14 The care of God for Jacob. 19 Rachel stealeth her father’s idols. 23 Laban followeth Jacob. 44 The covenant between Laban and Jacob.

Now he heard the [a]words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s, and of our father’s goods hath he gotten all this honor.

Also Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, [b]that it was not towards him as in times past:

And the Lord had said unto Jacob, Turn again into the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred, and I will be with thee.

Therefore Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock.

Then said he unto them, I see your father’s countenance, that it is not towards me [c]as it was wont, and the [d]God of my father hath been with me.

And ye know that I have served your father with all my might,

But your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages [e]ten times: but God suffered him not to hurt me.

If he thus said, The spotted shall be thy wages, then all the sheep bare spotted: and if he said thus, the parti-colored shall be thy reward, then bare all the sheep parti-colored.

Thus hath [f]God taken away your father’s [g]substance, and given it me.

10 ¶ For in ramming time I lifted up mine eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the he goats leaped upon the she goats, that were parti-colored with little and great spots spotted.

11 And the Angel of God said to me in a dream, Jacob. And I answered, Lo, I am here.

12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see all the he goats leaping upon the she goats that are parti-colored, spotted with little and great spots: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.

13 [h]I am the God of Bethel, where thou (A)anointedst the pillar, where thou vowedst a vow unto me. Now arise, get thee out of this country and return unto the land where thou wast born.

14 Then answered Rachel and Leah, and said unto him, Have we any more portion and inheritance in our father’s house?

15 Doth not he count us as strangers? for he hath [i]sold us, and hath eaten up and consumed our money.

16 Therefore all the riches, which God hath taken from our father, is ours and our children’s: now then whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do it.

17 ¶ Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels.

18 And he carried away all his flocks, and all his substance which he had gotten, to wit, his riches, which he had gotten in Padan Aram, to go to Isaac his father unto the land of Canaan.

19 When Laban was gone to sheer his sheep, then Rachel stole her father’s [j]idols.

20 Thus Jacob [k]stole away the heart of Laban the Aramite: for he told him not that he fled.

21 So fled he with all that he had, and he rose up, and passed the [l]river, and set his face toward mount Gilead.

22 And the third day after was it told Laban, that Jacob fled.

23 Then he took his [m]brethren with him and followed after him seven days journey, and [n]overtook him at mount Gilead.

24 And God came to Laban the Aramite in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob [o]ought save good.

25 ¶ Then Laban overtook Jacob, and Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban also with his brethren pitched upon mount Gilead.

26 Then Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done? [p]thou hast even stolen away mine heart and carried away my daughters as though they had been taken captives with the sword.

27 Wherefore diddest thou flee so secretly and steal away from me, and diddest not tell me, that I might have sent thee forth with mirth and with songs, with timbrell and with harp?

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

29 I am [q]able to do you evil: but the [r]God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob ought save good.

30 Now though thou wentest thy way, because thou greatly longedst after thy father’s house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?

31 Then Jacob answered, and said to Laban, Because I was afraid, and thought that thou wouldest have taken thy daughters from me.

32 But with whom thou findest thy gods, [s]let him not live. Search thou before our brethren what I have of thine, and take it to thee, (but Jacob wist not that Rachel had stolen them.)

33 Then came Laban into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maid’s tents, but found them not. So he went out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent.

34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols, and put them in the camel’s [t]litter and sat down upon them) and Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.

35 Then said she to her father, [u]My Lord, be not angry that I cannot rise up before thee: for the custom of women is upon me: so he searched, but found not the idols.

36 ¶ Then Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: Jacob also answered and said to Laban, What have I trespassed? what have I offended, that thou hast pursued after me?

37 Seeing thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thine household stuff? put it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge between us both.

38 This twenty years I have been with thee: thine ewes and thy goats have not [v]cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.

39 [w]Whatsoever was torn of beasts, I brought it not unto thee, but made it good myself: (B)of mine hand diddest thou require it, were it stolen by day, or stolen by night.

40 I was in the day consumed with heat, and with frost in the night, and my [x]sleep departed from mine eyes.

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

42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the [y]fear of Isaac had been with me, surely thou haddest sent me away now empty: but God beheld my tribulation, and the labor of mine hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.

43 Then Laban answered, and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these sons are my sons, and these sheep are my sheep, and all that thou seest, is mine, and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or to their sons which they have borne?

44 Now therefore [z]come let us make a covenant, I and thou, which may be a witness between me and thee.

45 Then took Jacob a stone, and set it up as a pillar:

46 And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones: who brought stones, and made a heap, and they did eat there upon the heap.

47 And Laban called it [aa]Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it [ab]Galeed.

48 For Laban said, This heap is witness between me and thee this day: therefore he called the name of it Galeed.

49 Also he called it [ac]Mizpah, because he said, The Lord [ad]look between me and he, when we shall be [ae]departed one from another.

50 If thou shalt vex my daughters, or shalt take [af]wives beside my daughters: there is no man with us, behold, God is witness between me and thee.

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

52 This heap shall be witness, and the pillar shall be witness, that I will not come over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me for evil.

53 The God of Abraham, and the God of [ag]Nahor, and the God of their father be judge between us: but Jacob sware by the [ah]fear of his father Isaac.

54 Then Jacob did offer a sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat [ai]bread, and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.

55 And early in the morning Laban rose up and kissed his sons, and his daughters, and [aj]blessed them, and Laban departing, went unto his place again.


  1. Genesis 31:1 The children uttered in words that which the father dissembled in heart, for the covetous think that whatsoever they cannot snatch, is plucked from them.
  2. Genesis 31:2 Hebrew, and lo, not be with him, as yesterday, and ere yesterday.
  3. Genesis 31:5 Hebrew, as yesterday and before yesterday.
  4. Genesis 31:5 The God whom my father worshipped.
  5. Genesis 31:7 Or, many times.
  6. Genesis 31:9 This declareth that the thing, which Jacob did before, was by God’s commandment, and not through deceit.
  7. Genesis 31:9 Or, cattle.
  8. Genesis 31:13 This Angel was Christ which appeared to Jacob in Bethel: and hereby appeareth he had taught his wives the fear of God: for he talketh as though they knew this thing.
  9. Genesis 31:15 For they were given to Jacob in recompence of his service, which was a kind of sale.
  10. Genesis 31:19 For so the word here signifieth, because Laban calleth them gods, verse 30.
  11. Genesis 31:20 Or, went away privily from Laban.
  12. Genesis 31:21 Or, Euphrates.
  13. Genesis 31:23 Or, kinsfolks and friends.
  14. Genesis 31:23 Or, joined with him.
  15. Genesis 31:24 Hebrew, from good to evil.
  16. Genesis 31:26 Or, conveyed thyself away privily.
  17. Genesis 31:29 Hebrew, power is in mine hand.
  18. Genesis 31:29 He was an Idolater, and therefore would not acknowledge the God of Jacob for his God.
  19. Genesis 31:32 Or, let him die.
  20. Genesis 31:34 Or, straw, or saddle.
  21. Genesis 31:35 Hebrew, let not anger be in the eyes of my Lord.
  22. Genesis 31:38 Or, been barren.
  23. Genesis 31:39 Hebrew, the torn, or taken by prey.
  24. Genesis 31:40 Or, I slept not.
  25. Genesis 31:42 That is, the God whom Isaac did fear, and reverence.
  26. Genesis 31:44 His conscience reproved him of his misbehavior toward Jacob, and therefore moved him to seek peace.
  27. Genesis 31:47 Or, the heap of witness.
  28. Genesis 31:47 The one named the place in the Syrian tongue, and the other in the Hebrew tongue.
  29. Genesis 31:49 Or, watch tower.
  30. Genesis 31:49 To punish the trespasser.
  31. Genesis 31:49 Or, hid.
  32. Genesis 31:50 Nature compelleth him to condemn that vice, whereunto through covetousness he forced Jacob.
  33. Genesis 31:53 Behold, how the idolaters mingle the true God with their feigned gods.
  34. Genesis 31:53 Meaning, by the true God whom Isaac worshipped.
  35. Genesis 31:54 Or, meat.
  36. Genesis 31:55 We see that there is ever some seed of the knowledge of God in the hearts of the wicked.

Jacob Flees From Laban

31 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons(A) were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.”(B) And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.(C)

Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back(D) to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”(E)

So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He said to them, “I see that your father’s(F) attitude toward me is not what it was before,(G) but the God of my father has been with me.(H) You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength,(I) yet your father has cheated(J) me by changing my wages(K) ten times.(L) However, God has not allowed him to harm me.(M) If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’(N) then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father’s livestock(O) and has given them to me.(P)

10 “In breeding season I once had a dream(Q) in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11 The angel of God(R) said to me in the dream,(S) ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’(T) 12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted,(U) for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.(V) 13 I am the God of Bethel,(W) where you anointed a pillar(X) and where you made a vow(Y) to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.(Z)’”

14 Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share(AA) in the inheritance of our father’s estate? 15 Does he not regard us as foreigners?(AB) Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us.(AC) 16 Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children.(AD) So do whatever God has told you.”

17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives(AE) on camels,(AF) 18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated(AG) in Paddan Aram,[a](AH) to go to his father Isaac(AI) in the land of Canaan.(AJ)

19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep,(AK) Rachel stole her father’s household gods.(AL) 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived(AM) Laban the Aramean(AN) by not telling him he was running away.(AO) 21 So he fled(AP) with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River,(AQ) and headed for the hill country of Gilead.(AR)

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 On the third day(AS) Laban was told that Jacob had fled.(AT) 23 Taking his relatives(AU) with him(AV), he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.(AW) 24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean(AX) in a dream at night and said to him,(AY) “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”(AZ)

25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead(BA) when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done?(BB) You’ve deceived me,(BC) and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.(BD) 27 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me,(BE) so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels(BF) and harps?(BG) 28 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye.(BH) You have done a foolish thing. 29 I have the power to harm you;(BI) but last night the God of your father(BJ) said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’(BK) 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household.(BL) But why did you steal(BM) my gods?(BN)

31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.(BO) 32 But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live.(BP) In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.(BQ)

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent(BR) and into the tent of the two female servants,(BS) but he found nothing.(BT) After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods(BU) and put them inside her camel’s saddle(BV) and was sitting on them. Laban searched(BW) through everything in the tent but found nothing.

35 Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence;(BX) I’m having my period.(BY)” So he searched but could not find the household gods.(BZ)

36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged(CA) you that you hunt me down?(CB) 37 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household?(CC) Put it here in front of your relatives(CD) and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.(CE)

38 “I have been with you for twenty years now.(CF) Your sheep and goats have not miscarried,(CG) nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen(CH) by day or night.(CI) 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.(CJ) 41 It was like this for the twenty years(CK) I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters(CL) and six years for your flocks,(CM) and you changed my wages(CN) ten times.(CO) 42 If the God of my father,(CP) the God of Abraham(CQ) and the Fear of Isaac,(CR) had not been with me,(CS) you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands,(CT) and last night he rebuked you.(CU)

43 Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks.(CV) All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let’s make a covenant,(CW) you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”(CX)

45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.(CY) 46 He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap,(CZ) and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed.[b](DA)

48 Laban said, “This heap(DB) is a witness between you and me today.”(DC) That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah,[c](DD) because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50 If you mistreat(DE) my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness(DF) between you and me.”(DG)

51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap,(DH) and here is this pillar(DI) I have set up between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness,(DJ) that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap(DK) and pillar to my side to harm me.(DL) 53 May the God of Abraham(DM) and the God of Nahor,(DN) the God of their father, judge between us.”(DO)

So Jacob took an oath(DP) in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.(DQ) 54 He offered a sacrifice(DR) there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal.(DS) After they had eaten, they spent the night there.

55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters(DT) and blessed(DU) them. Then he left and returned home.[d](DV)


  1. Genesis 31:18 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  2. Genesis 31:47 The Aramaic Jegar Sahadutha and the Hebrew Galeed both mean witness heap.
  3. Genesis 31:49 Mizpah means watchtower.
  4. Genesis 31:55 In Hebrew texts this verse (31:55) is numbered 32:1.