Genesis 31

Genesis 31

 
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32 But as for your household gods, let the person who has taken them die! If you find anything that belongs to you, I swear before all these relatives of ours, I will give it back without question." But Jacob didn't know that Rachel had taken them.

33 Laban went first into Jacob's tent to search there, then into Leah's, and then he searched the tents of the two concubines, but he didn't find the gods. Finally, he went into Rachel's tent.

34 Rachel had taken the household gods and had stuffed them into her camel saddle, and now she was sitting on them. So although Laban searched all the tents, he couldn't find them.

35 "Forgive my not getting up, Father," Rachel explained. "I'm having my monthly period." So despite his thorough search, Laban didn't find them.

36 Then Jacob became very angry. "What did you find?" he demanded of Laban. "What is my crime? You have chased me as though I were a criminal.

37 You have searched through everything I own. Now show me what you have found that belongs to you! Set it out here in front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them decide who is the real owner!

38 "Twenty years I have been with you, and all that time I cared for your sheep and goats so they produced healthy offspring. In all those years I never touched a single ram of yours for food.

39 If any were attacked and killed by wild animals, did I show them to you and ask you to reduce the count of your flock? No, I took the loss! You made me pay for every animal stolen from the flocks, whether the loss was my fault or not.

40 I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through cold and sleepless nights.

41 Yes, twenty years--fourteen of them earning your two daughters, and six years to get the flock. And you have reduced my wages ten times!

42 In fact, except for the grace of God--the God of my grandfather Abraham, the awe-inspiring God of my father, Isaac--you would have sent me off without a penny to my name. But God has seen your cruelty and my hard work. That is why he appeared to you last night and vindicated me."

43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, "These women are my daughters, and these children are my grandchildren, and these flocks and all that you have--all are mine. But what can I do now to my own daughters and grandchildren?

44 Come now, and we will make a peace treaty, you and I, and we will live by its terms."

45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a monument.

46 He also told his men to gather stones and pile them up in a heap. Jacob and Laban then sat down beside the pile of stones to share a meal.

47 They named it "Witness Pile," which is Jegar-sahadutha in Laban's language and Galeed* in Jacob's.1

48 "This pile of stones will stand as a witness to remind us of our agreement," Laban said.

49 This place was also called Mizpah,* for Laban said, "May the LORD keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this treaty when we are out of each other's sight.2

50 I won't know about it if you are harsh to my daughters or if you take other wives, but God will see it.

51 This heap of stones and this pillar

52 stand between us as a witness of our vows. I will not cross this line to harm you, and you will not cross it to harm me.

53 I call on the God of our ancestors--the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of my grandfather Nahor--to punish either one of us who harms the other." So Jacob took an oath before the awesome God of his father, Isaac, to respect the boundary line.

54 Then Jacob presented a sacrifice to God and invited everyone to a feast. Afterward they spent the night there in the hills.

55 Laban got up early the next morning, and he kissed his daughters and grandchildren and blessed them. Then he returned home.

Read Genesis 32


Notes:

1: Jegar-sahadutha means “witness pile” in Aramaic; Galeed means “witness pile” in Hebrew.

2: Mizpah means “watchtower.”


New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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