Jacob Leaves While Laban Is GoneThen Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that belonged to our father, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this wealth.” 2 And Jacob saw the face of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as formerly. 3 Then Yahweh said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kin, and I will be with you.” 4 So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field, 5 and he said to them, “I see your father’s face, that it is not friendly toward me as formerly, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You also know that I have served your father with all my power. 7 Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times; however, God did not allow him to harm me. 8 If he spoke thus, ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore speckled; and if he spoke thus, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. 9 Thus God has delivered your father’s livestock and given them to me. 10 Now it happened at the time when the flock were mating that I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which were mating were striped, speckled, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 He said, ‘Lift up now your eyes and see that all the male goats which are mating are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, leave this land, and return to the land of your kin.’” 14 Then Rachel and Leah said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house? 15 Are we not counted by him as foreigners? For he has sold us and has also entirely consumed our purchase price. 16 Surely all the riches which God has delivered over to us from our father belong to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you.” 17 Then Jacob arose and put his children and his wives upon camels; 18 and he drove away all his livestock and all his possessions which he had accumulated, his acquired livestock which he had accumulated in Paddan-aram, in order to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Now Laban had gone to shear his flock. Then Rachel stole the household idols that were her father’s. 20 And Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he arose and crossed the River and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob22 Then it was told to Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled; 23 so he took his relatives with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 And God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night and said to him, “Beware lest you speak to Jacob either good or bad.” 25 So Laban 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. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly and deceive me and not tell me—so that I might have sent you away with gladness and with songs, with tambourine and with lyre— 28 and not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have acted foolishly. 29 It is in my hand to do evil against you, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Beware of speaking either good or evil to Jacob.’ 30 So now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal my gods?” 31 Then Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, because I said, ‘Lest you take your daughters from me by force.’ 32 The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our relatives recognize what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself.” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. 33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two maidservants, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household idols. 36 Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and Jacob answered and said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Though you have felt through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Place it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may decide between us two. 38 These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself. You required it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 Thus I was: by day the heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 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 changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the dread of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered the decision last night.”
The Covenant at Mizpah43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these daughters of mine or to their children whom they have borne? 44 So now come, let us cut a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between you and me.” 45 Then Jacob took a stone and raised it up as a pillar. 46 And Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Then Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me this day.” Therefore it was named Galeed, 49 and Mizpah, for he said, “May Yahweh watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. 50 If you afflict my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.” 51 And Laban said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me for harm. 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the dread of his father Isaac. 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and called his relatives to eat a meal; and they ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55 And Laban arose early in the morning and kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place.