Genesis 31 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Jacob Runs Away
31 One day Jacob heard Laban’s sons talking. They said, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned, and ·in this way he has become rich [L he has gotten all this wealth from our father].” 2 Then Jacob ·noticed [saw] that Laban was not as friendly as he had been before. 3 The Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land ·where your ancestors lived [L of your fathers and your birthplace], and I will be with you [C indicating Jacob’s covenant with God].”
4 So Jacob ·told [L sent for] Rachel and Leah to meet him in the field where he kept his flocks. 5 He said to them, “I have seen that your father is not as friendly with me as he used to be, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You both know that I have ·worked [served] ·as hard as I could [L with all my power/strength] for your father, 7 but he ·cheated [mocked; deceived] me and changed my ·pay [wages] ten times. But God has not allowed your father to harm me. 8 When Laban said, ‘You can have all the speckled animals as your ·pay [wages],’ all the animals gave birth to speckled young ones. But when he said, ‘You can have all the streaked animals as your ·pay [wages],’ all the flocks gave birth to streaked babies [30:37–43]. 9 So God has taken the ·animals [livestock] away from your father and has given them to me.
10 “I had a dream during the season when the flocks were ·mating [L in heat]. I saw that the only male goats who were ·mating [mounting; L going up] were streaked, speckled, or spotted. 11 The ·angel [messenger] of God [16:7] spoke to me in that dream and said, ‘Jacob!’ I answered, ‘Yes!’ 12 The ·angel [messenger] said, ‘·Look [L Raise up your eyes and see]! Only the streaked, speckled, or spotted male goats are ·mating [mounting; L going up]. I have seen all ·the wrong things [L that which] Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God ·who appeared to you at [L of] Bethel, where you ·poured olive oil on [anointed] the ·stone you set up on end [pillar; 28:18–19] and where you made a ·promise [vow] to me. Now I want you to leave ·here [L this land] and go back to the land where you were born.’ ”
14 Rachel and Leah answered Jacob, “·Our father has nothing to give us when he dies [L Is there any lot/portion or inheritance still in our father’s house?]. 15 He has ·treated [considered] us like ·strangers [or foreigners]. He sold us to you, and ·then he spent all of the money you paid for us [L devoured the money]. 16 God took all this wealth from our father, and now it belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you to do.”
17 So Jacob [L rose up and] put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and they began their journey back to Isaac, his father, in the land of Canaan. All the flocks of animals that Jacob owned walked ahead of them. He carried ·everything [all the property] with him that he had gotten while he lived in ·northwestern Mesopotamia [L Paddan-aram].
19 While Laban was gone to ·cut the wool from [shear] his sheep, Rachel stole the ·idols [L teraphim; C probably his household gods] that belonged to ·him [L her father]. 20 And Jacob ·tricked [deceived; L stole the heart of] Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was ·leaving [fleeing]. 21 ·Jacob and his family [L He and all that was his] ·left quickly [fled], crossed the ·Euphrates River [L River; C the northern Euphrates separated Mesopotamia from Syria], and traveled toward the mountains of Gilead [C the northernmost part of Palestine].
22 Three days later ·Laban learned [L it was told/reported to Laban] that Jacob had ·run away [fled], 23 so he ·gathered [L took] his ·relatives [L brothers] and began to ·chase [pursue] him. After seven days Laban ·found [caught up with] him in the mountains of Gilead. 24 That night God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream and said, “Be careful! Do not say anything to Jacob, good or bad.”
The Search for the Stolen Idols
25 So Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had ·made his camp [L pitched his tent] in the mountains, so Laban and his ·relatives [L brothers] ·set up their camp [pitched] in the mountains of Gilead. 26 Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You ·cheated me [deceived me; L stole my heart] and ·took [L carried away] my daughters as if you had captured them ·in a war [L with a sword]. 27 Why did you ·run away secretly [sneak off] and ·trick [deceive; L steal from] me? Why didn’t you tell me? Then I could have sent you away with joy and singing and with the music of tambourines and ·harps [lyres]. 28 You did not even let me kiss my ·grandchildren [L sons] and my daughters good-bye. You were very foolish to do this! 29 I have the power to harm you, but last night the God of your father spoke to me and warned me not to say anything to you, good or bad. 30 I know you want to go back to ·your home [L the house of your father], but why did you steal my ·idols [L gods; 31:19]?”
31 Jacob answered [L and said to] Laban, “I left without telling you, because I was afraid you would ·take [forcibly remove] your daughters away from me. 32 If you find anyone here who has taken your ·idols [gods], that person will ·be killed [L not live]! ·Your [L Our] ·relatives [L brothers] will be my witnesses. You may look for anything that belongs to you and take anything that is yours.” (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen Laban’s idols.)
33 So Laban ·looked [L went] in Jacob’s tent, in Leah’s tent, and in the tent where the two slave women stayed, but he did not find his idols. When he left Leah’s tent, he went into Rachel’s tent. 34 Rachel had hidden the ·idols [teraphim; 31:19] inside her camel’s saddle and was sitting on them. Although Laban looked through the whole tent, he did not find them.
35 Rachel said to her father, “Father, don’t be angry with me. I am not able to stand up before you because ·I am having my monthly period [L the way of women is on me].” So Laban ·looked through the camp [L searched], but he did not find ·his idols [L the teraphim].
36 Then Jacob became very angry and accused Laban and said, “What ·wrong have I done [is my offense]? What ·law have I broken [L is my sin] to cause you to ·chase [hotly pursue] me? 37 You have ·looked [felt] through everything I own, but you have found nothing that belongs to you. If you have found anything, show it to everyone. Put it in front of your ·relatives [L brothers] and my ·relatives [L brothers], and let them ·decide which one of us is right [judge between us]. 38 I have ·worked for [L been with] you now for twenty years. During all that time none of the ·lambs [ewes] and kids ·died during birth [miscarried], and I have not eaten any of the ·male sheep [rams] from your flocks. 39 Any time an animal was killed by wild beasts, I did not bring it to you, but made up for the loss myself. You made me pay for any animal that was stolen during the day or night. 40 In the daytime the ·sun [heat] ·took away my strength [L consumed me], and at night I was cold and ·could not sleep [L sleep fled from my eyes]. 41 I [L was in your house and] worked like a slave for you for twenty years—the first fourteen to get your two daughters and the last six to earn your flocks. During that time you changed my ·pay [wages] ten times. 42 But the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the ·God [L Fear; C a title for God; Prov. 1:7] of Isaac, was with me. Otherwise, you would have sent me away with nothing. But he saw the ·trouble [affliction] I had and the hard work I did, and last night he ·corrected [admonished; reproved] you.”
Jacob and Laban’s Treaty
43 Laban said to Jacob, “·These girls [L The daughters] are my daughters. ·Their children belong to me [L The sons are my sons], and ·these flocks are mine [L the flocks are my flocks]. Everything you see here belongs to me, but ·I can do nothing to keep [L what can I do about…?] my daughters and their children. 44 ·Let us make [L Come, let us cut] ·an agreement [a covenant/treaty; 6:18], and let ·us set up a pile of stones to remind us of it [L it be a witness between us].”
45 So Jacob took a large rock and set it ·up on its end [L as a pillar]. 46 ·He [L Jacob] told his ·relatives [L brothers] to gather rocks, so they took the rocks and ·piled them up [made a pile/mound/heap]; then they ·ate [feasted] beside the pile [C treaties were often celebrated by a feast]. 47 Laban named that place in his language A Pile to Remind Us [Jegar-sahadutha; C he spoke Aramaic], and Jacob called the place Galeed [C the Hebrew version of the Aramaic name].
48 Laban said to Jacob, “This ·pile of rocks [mound; heap] will ·remind us of the agreement [L be a witness] between us.” That is why the place was called ·A Pile to Remind Us [Galeed]. 49 It was also called Mizpah [C sounds like “watch” in Hebrew], because Laban said, “Let the Lord watch over us while we are ·separated [absent] from each other. 50 Remember that God is our witness even if no one else is around us. He will know if you ·harm [abuse] my daughters or ·marry [take] other women. 51 Here is the ·pile of rocks [mound; heap] that I have ·put [thrown up] between us and here is the ·rock I set up on end [pillar]. 52 This ·pile of rocks [mound; heap] and this ·rock set on end [pillar] will ·remind us of our agreement [L be a witness]. I will never go past this ·pile [mound; heap] to hurt you, and you must never come to my side of them to hurt me. 53 Let the God of Abraham, who is the God of Nahor and the God of their ·ancestors [fathers], ·punish either of us if we break this agreement [L judge between us].”
So Jacob made a promise ·in the name of the God whom his father Isaac worshiped [L by the fear of his father Isaac]. 54 Then Jacob ·killed an animal and offered it as [L offered] a sacrifice on the mountain, and he invited his ·relatives [L brothers] to share in the meal [31:46]. After they finished eating, they spent the night on the mountain. 55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his ·grandchildren [L sons] and his daughters and blessed them, and then he left to return ·home [L to his place].
Click the button below to continue.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the King James Study Bible. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.