19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep,(A) Rachel stole her father’s household gods.(B) 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived(C) Laban the Aramean(D) by not telling him he was running away.(E) 21 So he fled(F) with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River,(G) and headed for the hill country of Gilead.(H)

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 On the third day(I) Laban was told that Jacob had fled.(J) 23 Taking his relatives(K) with him(L), he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.(M) 24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean(N) in a dream at night and said to him,(O) “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”(P)

25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead(Q) when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done?(R) You’ve deceived me,(S) and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.(T) 27 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me,(U) so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels(V) and harps?(W) 28 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye.(X) You have done a foolish thing. 29 I have the power to harm you;(Y) but last night the God of your father(Z) said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’(AA) 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household.(AB) But why did you steal(AC) my gods?(AD)

31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.(AE) 32 But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live.(AF) 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.(AG)

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent(AH) and into the tent of the two female servants,(AI) but he found nothing.(AJ) After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods(AK) and put them inside her camel’s saddle(AL) and was sitting on them. Laban searched(AM) 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;(AN) I’m having my period.(AO)” So he searched but could not find the household gods.(AP)

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

38 “I have been with you for twenty years now.(AV) Your sheep and goats have not miscarried,(AW) 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(AX) by day or night.(AY) 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.(AZ) 41 It was like this for the twenty years(BA) I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters(BB) and six years for your flocks,(BC) and you changed my wages(BD) ten times.(BE) 42 If the God of my father,(BF) the God of Abraham(BG) and the Fear of Isaac,(BH) had not been with me,(BI) you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands,(BJ) and last night he rebuked you.(BK)

43 Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks.(BL) 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,(BM) you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”(BN)

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

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

51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap,(BX) and here is this pillar(BY) I have set up between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness,(BZ) that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap(CA) and pillar to my side to harm me.(CB) 53 May the God of Abraham(CC) and the God of Nahor,(CD) the God of their father, judge between us.”(CE)

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

55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters(CJ) and blessed(CK) them. Then he left and returned home.[c](CL)

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

32 [d]Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God(CM) met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!”(CN) So he named that place Mahanaim.[e](CO)

Jacob sent messengers(CP) ahead of him to his brother Esau(CQ) in the land of Seir,(CR) the country of Edom.(CS) He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord(CT) Esau: ‘Your servant(CU) Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban(CV) and have remained there till now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants.(CW) Now I am sending this message to my lord,(CX) that I may find favor in your eyes.(CY)’”

When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”(CZ)

In great fear(DA) and distress(DB) Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,[f](DC) and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group,[g] the group[h] that is left may escape.”

Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham,(DD) God of my father Isaac,(DE) Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’(DF) 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness(DG) you have shown your servant. I had only my staff(DH) when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps.(DI) 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid(DJ) he will come and attack me,(DK) and also the mothers with their children.(DL) 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand(DM) of the sea, which cannot be counted.(DN)’”

13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift(DO) for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,(DP) 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.(DQ) 16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.”(DR)

17 He instructed the one in the lead: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?’ 18 then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant(DS) Jacob. They are a gift(DT) sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.’”

19 He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: “You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20 And be sure to say, ‘Your servant(DU) Jacob is coming behind us.’” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts(DV) I am sending on ahead;(DW) later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.”(DX) 21 So Jacob’s gifts(DY) went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons(DZ) and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.(EA) 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.(EB) 24 So Jacob was left alone,(EC) and a man(ED) wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip(EE) so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”(EF)

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,”(EG) he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name(EH) will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[i](EI) because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”(EJ)

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”(EK)

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?”(EL) Then he blessed(EM) him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[j] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face,(EN) and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[k](EO) and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip,(EP) because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.


  1. Genesis 31:47 The Aramaic Jegar Sahadutha and the Hebrew Galeed both mean witness heap.
  2. Genesis 31:49 Mizpah means watchtower.
  3. Genesis 31:55 In Hebrew texts this verse (31:55) is numbered 32:1.
  4. Genesis 32:1 In Hebrew texts 32:1-32 is numbered 32:2-33.
  5. Genesis 32:2 Mahanaim means two camps.
  6. Genesis 32:7 Or camps
  7. Genesis 32:8 Or camp
  8. Genesis 32:8 Or camp
  9. Genesis 32:28 Israel probably means he struggles with God.
  10. Genesis 32:30 Peniel means face of God.
  11. Genesis 32:31 Hebrew Penuel, a variant of Peniel

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