Genesis 31

Now he heard the words of Laban’s sons, who were saying, “That Jacob has taken away
All that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s, he’s built his great wealth of today.”
Jacob saw that Laban’s manner toward him was also no longer as kind as before.
Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers, your birthplace of yore.
I will be with you.” So Jacob sent and had Rachel and Leah called out to the field,
To his animals. And he said to them, “By your father’s face has his heart been revealed.
Now his manner toward me is not as in the past. But my father’s God has been with me.
You both know I’ve served your father with all my might, yet he cheats me and won’t pay my fee.
He has cheated me, constantly changing my wages, yet God won’t let him do me ill.
If he said, ‘Speckled ones shall be your wages,’ with speckled animals the flock would fill.
And if he said, ‘The striped ones shall be your wages,’ then the striped ones would make up the flock.
So you see, God has taken away from your father and given to me his livestock.

Once, when the animals were in heat, I had a dream. I lifted my eyes and I saw
That the he-goats which mated with the flock had stripes, spots, and speckles, from foot up to jaw.
And God’s messenger said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob!’ I said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said,
‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the he-goats which mate with the flock–speckled, striped, and spotted.
For I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where
You annointed the pillar, where you vowed a vow to Me. Now rise, and get out of here.
Leave this land, and return to your native land.’” Rachel and Leah both answered him, saying,
“Do we still have inheritence-share in our father’s house that would be reason for staying?
He regards us as outsiders, for he has sold us, and gobbled up our purchase price.
Indeed, all the wealth God took away from him and gave to you belongs to us, by right.
It’s for us and our children, so now, whatever God has told to you, Jacob, do so.”
So then Jacob rose, lifted his children and wives on the camels, and prepared to go.
Jacob led away all of his livestock, all of his wealth, and all the flocks he’d acquired
In the Aram-country, to come home to his father Isaac who in Canaan was mired.
Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep, while Rachel stole the household idols of her dad.
And Jacob kept Laban in the dark by not telling him that he was running like mad.
So he fled, with all that he had, he rose and crossed the Euphrates, heading to the hills.
He went toward the hill country of Gilead. On the third day, Laban learned of his ills.
He took his kinsmen with him and set after Jacob, pursuing him for seven days.
He caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead, but on that night, in sleep’s haze,
God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream, and said to him, “You must beware.
Do not speak to Jacob, good or ill.” When Laban finally caught up to Jacob, then there
Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountains; Laban was camped with his kin in Gilead.
Laban said to Jacob, “What did you mean by running away secretly from my pad?
You kept me in the dark, led my daughters away like captives; Why’d you flee secretly?
You didn’t tell me. For I would have sent you off with lyres and musical festivity,
And what’s more, you didn’t even allow me to give my grandchildren a nice goodbye kiss.
You have done foolishly! And it’s now in my power to injure you greatly for this.
But then yesterday night, the God of your father spoke to me, saying, ‘You must beware.
Do not speak to Jacob, good or ill.’ Okay, say you fled since you missed your father’s lair.
Tell me, why did you steal my gods?” Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Well, you see,
I was very afraid, for I thought that by force you would take back your daughters from me.
As for whomever you find with your gods, they shall not live. In your kin’s presence I swear it.
If you recognize anything of yours in my possession, take it, for I won’t bear it.”
Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. Laban then went into Jacob’s tent,
And into Leah’s tent, and the maidservants’ tents, but of his gods he found no fragment.
Then he went out of Leah’s tent and into Rachel’s, but Rachel was one step ahead,
She had taken the gods and put them underneath a camel’s cushion, where she rested.
Laban felt all around the tent, but did not find a thing, as they were ‘neath Rachel’s seat.
She said to her father, “Don’t let my lord be angry that I do not rise up to greet,
For the ways of women are upon me.” So he searched, but no household gods did he find.
Jacob then became upset and took up his grievance with Laban. Jacob spoke his mind.
He said to Laban, “What’s my offense? What’s my sin that made you pursue me with such speed,
That you’ve rummaged through all my things, feeling my wares. What of yours have you found with this deed?
Take whatever you’ve found and display it here so that your kinsmen and mine may consider it.
It has been twenty years now that I have served you, and my loyalty has been inveterate.
Your ewes and she-goats have not had miscarriages, the rams from your flock I have not eaten,
I have brought you none torn by beasts– I have made good the loss, from my own hand it was beaten.
Stolen by day or night, regardless. Oft, by day the heat would consume me, frost by night,
And sleep fled from my eyes. Twenty years in your house I have now lived like this, is that right?
I’ve served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six more years for the flock, we agree,
Yet you’ve changed my wages ten times over. Had not the God of my father been with me,
The God of Abraham and the Terror of Isaac, else you would have sent me off, broke.
But God saw my affliction, the toil of my hands, and last night He passed judgement and spoke.”

Laban answered Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children too.
All the animals are my own animals– All that you see, it is mine. This is true,
But to my daughters, what can I do to them now, or to children they’ve given birth to?
So now come, let us cut covenant, you and I, so there’s witness between me and you.”
Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar, and said to his kin, “Gather stones.”
They fetched stones and they made a mound. Then they ate by the mound, making the covenant known.
Laban named it “Yegar-sahaduta” (”Mound-Witness”), while Jacob had named it “Gal-ed”.
(Which also means “Mound-Witness”, but in Hebrew tongue, not in Aramaic.) Laban said,
“This mound is a witness between me and you this day.” That is why Gal-ed was so named,
And also “Mitzpah” (”Guardpost”), because he said, “May the Lord guard us from each other’s games.
If you should ever ill-treat my daughters, or take other wives–though no human is near,
God Himself is a witness between me and you.” And Laban then said to Jacob, “Here.
Here is this mound. Here is the pillar that I have sunk between me and you, as witness.
This mound is a witness, and the pillar is also one, that toward you I won’t transgress.
I will not cross past this mound to you, nor you cross this mound and pillar towards me, for ill.
May God of Abraham and the God of Nahor (their fathers’ God) judge between us still.”
Jacob swore by the Terror of his father Isaac, then sacrificed food on the height
Of the mountain, and called his kinsmen to eat bread, which they did, and up there spent the night.

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