1Jacob learned that Laban's sons were saying, 'Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father;it is at our father's expense that he has acquired al this wealth,' 2and Jacob also saw that Laban's manner towards him was not as it had been in the past. 3Yahweh said to Jacob, 'Go back to the land of your ancestors, where you were born, and I shal bewith you.' 4So Jacob had Rachel and Leah cal ed to the fields where his flocks were, 5and he said to them, 'I can see that your father's manner towards me is not as it was in the past, butthe God of my father has been with me. 6You yourselves know that I have worked for your father with al my might, 7and that your father has tricked me, changing my wages ten times over, and yet God has not al owedhim to harm me. 8Whenever he said, "The spotted ones will be your wages," all the animals produced spotted young;whenever he said, "The striped ones wil be your wages," al the animals produced striped young. 9Thus God has reclaimed your father's livestock and given it to me. 10Once, when the animals were on heat, I suddenly saw in a dream that the he-goats covering thefemales were striped or spotted or piebald. 11In the dream the angel of God cal ed to me, "Jacob!" I said, "Here I am." 12He said, "Now take note: al the he-goats covering the females are striped or spotted or piebald -- forI too have noted all the things that Laban has been doing to you, 13I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel, where you poured oil on a pillar and made a vow tome. On your feet, then, leave this country and return to the land of your birth." ' 14In answer Rachel and Leah said to him, 'Are we stil likely to inherit anything from our father's estate? 15Does he not think of us as outsiders now? For not only has he sold us, but he has completelyswal owed up the money he got for us. 16Al the wealth that God has reclaimed from our father belonged to us and our children in any case.So do whatever God has told you.' 17Forthwith, Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, 18and drove off all his livestock -- with al the possessions he had acquired, the livestock belonging tohim which he had acquired in Paddan-Aram -- to go to his father Isaac in Canaan. 19Laban was away, shearing his sheep; Rachel in the meanwhile had appropriated the household idolsbelonging to her father, 20and Jacob had outwitted Laban the Aramaean so that he would not be forewarned of his flight. 21Thus he got away with all he had. He was soon across the River and heading for Mount Gilead. 22Three days later Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23Taking his brothers with him, he pursued him for seven days and overtook him at Mount Gilead. 24But God appeared to Laban the Aramaean in a dream that night and said to him, 'On no account sayanything whatever to Jacob.' 25Laban caught up with Jacob, who had pitched his tent in the hil s; and Laban pitched camp on MountGilead. 26Laban said to Jacob, 'What do you mean by outwitting me and then carrying off my daughters likeprisoners of war? 27Why did you flee in secret, stealing away without letting me know, so that I could send you on yourway rejoicing, with songs and the music of tambourines and harps? 28You did not even let me kiss my sons and daughters. You have behaved like a fool. 29It is in my power to harm you, but the God of your father said to me last night, "On no account sayanything whatever to Jacob." 30Now it may be you real y went because you had such a longing for your father's house, but why didyou steal my gods?' 31Jacob answered Laban, 'I was afraid, thinking you were going to snatch your daughters from me. 32But whoever is found in possession of your gods shall not remain alive. In the presence of ourbrothers, examine for yourself what I have, and take what is yours.' Now Jacob did not know that Rachel hadappropriated them. 33Laban went into Jacob's tent, and then into Leah's tent and the tent of the two slave-girls, but hefound nothing. He came out of Leah's tent and went into Rachel's. 34Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them inside a camel cushion, and was sitting onthem. Laban went through everything in the tent but found nothing. 35Then Rachel said to her father, 'Do not look angry, my lord, because I cannot rise in your presence,for I am as women are from time to time.' Laban searched but did not find the idols. 36Then Jacob lost his temper and took Laban to task. And Jacob said to Laban, 'What is my offence,what is my crime, for you to have hounded me like this? 37You have gone through al my belongings; have you found anything belonging to your household?Produce it here in the presence of my brothers and yours, and let them decide between the two of us. 38In al the twenty years I was under you, your ewes and your she-goats never miscarried, and I neverate rams from your flock. 39Those mauled I never brought back to you, but bore the loss myself. You demanded compensationfrom me, whether the animal was stolen in daylight or at night. 40In the daytime the heat devoured me, and frost at night; I never had a good night's sleep. 41It was like this for the twenty years I spent in your household. Fourteen years I slaved for you for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, since you changed my wages ten times over. 42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Kinsman of Isaac, had not been with me, you wouldhave sent me away empty-handed. But God saw my plight and my labours, and last night he deliveredjudgement.' 43Laban replied to Jacob, 'These daughters are my daughters and these children are my children, thislivestock is my livestock: everything you see belongs to me. But what can I do today about my daughters here orabout the children they have borne? 44So come, let us make a pact, you and me . . . , and let that serve as a witness between us.' 45Jacob then took a stone and set it up as a memorial. 46Jacob said to his kinsmen, 'Col ect some stones,' and gathering some stones they made a cairn.They had a meal there, on the cairn, and 47Laban cal ed it Jegar-Sahadutha while Jacob called it Galeed. 48Laban said, 'May this cairn be a witness between us today.' That is why he named it Galeed, 49and also Mizpah, because he said, 'Let Yahweh act as watchman between us when we are nolonger in sight of each other. 50If you il -treat my daughters or marry other women besides my daughters, even though no one bewith us, remember: God is witness between us.' 51Then Laban said to Jacob, 'Here is this cairn I have thrown up between us, and here the pil ar. 52This cairn is a witness, and the pil ar is a witness, that I am not to cross to your side of this cairn andyou are not to cross to my side of this cairn and pillar, with hostile intent. 53May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor judge between us.' Then Jacob swore by theKinsman of his father Isaac. 54He offered a sacrifice on the mountain and invited his kinsmen to the meal. They ate the meal, andpassed the night on the mountain.
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