Bible: Genesis 31-32
Jacob’s Flight from Laban
31:1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining, 1 “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich 2 at our father’s expense!” 3 31:2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed. 4
31:10 “Once 15 during breeding season I saw 16 in a dream that the male goats mating with 17 the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 31:11 In the dream the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ ‘Here I am!’ I replied. 31:12 Then he said, ‘Observe 18 that all the male goats mating with 19 the flock are streaked, speckled, or spotted, for I have observed all that Laban has done to you. 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, 20 where you anointed 21 the sacred stone and made a vow to me. 22 Now leave this land immediately 23 and return to your native land.’”
31:14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance 24 in our father’s house? 31:15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 25 the money paid for us! 26 31:16 Surely all the wealth that God snatched away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So now do everything God has told you.”
31:17 So Jacob immediately put his children and his wives on the camels. 27 31:18 He took 28 away all the livestock he had acquired in Paddan Aram and all his moveable property that he had accumulated. Then he set out toward the land of Canaan to return to his father Isaac. 29
31:19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 30 Rachel stole the household idols 31 that belonged to her father. 31:20 Jacob also deceived 32 Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving. 33 31:21 He left 34 with all he owned. He quickly crossed 35 the Euphrates River 36 and headed for 37 the hill country of Gilead.
31:22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left. 38 31:23 So he took his relatives 39 with him and pursued Jacob 40 for seven days. 41 He caught up with 42 him in the hill country of Gilead. 31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 43 “Be careful 44 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 45
31:25 Laban overtook Jacob, and when Jacob pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead, Laban and his relatives set up camp there too. 46 31:26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 47 and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 48 31:27 Why did you run away secretly 49 and deceive me? 50 Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps? 51 31:28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren 52 good-bye. You have acted foolishly! 31:29 I have 53 the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 54 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 55 31:30 Now I understand that 56 you have gone away 57 because you longed desperately 58 for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 59
31:31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!” 60 Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought 61 you might take your daughters away from me by force. 62 31:32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 63 In the presence of our relatives 64 identify whatever is yours and take it.” 65 (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 66
31:33 So Laban entered Jacob’s tent, and Leah’s tent, and the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find the idols. 67 Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 68 31:34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 69 and sat on them.) 70 Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 71 31:35 Rachel 72 said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 73 my lord. I cannot stand up 74 in your presence because I am having my period.” 75 So he searched thoroughly, 76 but did not find the idols.
31:36 Jacob became angry 77 and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban. 78 “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit? 79 31:37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you? 80 Set it here before my relatives and yours, 81 and let them settle the dispute between the two of us! 82
31:38 “I have been with you for the past twenty years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 31:39 Animals torn by wild beasts I never brought to you; I always absorbed the loss myself. 83 You always made me pay for every missing animal, 84 whether it was taken by day or at night. 31:40 I was consumed by scorching heat 85 during the day and by piercing cold 86 at night, and I went without sleep. 87 31:41 This was my lot 88 for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave 89 for you – fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, but you changed my wages ten times! 31:42 If the God of my father – the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears 90 – had not been with me, you would certainly have sent me away empty-handed! But God saw how I was oppressed and how hard I worked, 91 and he rebuked you last night.”
31:43 Laban replied 92 to Jacob, “These women 93 are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, 94 and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today 95 or the children to whom they have given birth? 31:44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement, 96 you and I, and it will be 97 proof that we have made peace.” 98
31:45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 31:46 Then he 99 said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile. 100 They ate there by the pile of stones. 31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, 101 but Jacob called it Galeed. 102
31:48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement 103 today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 31:49 It was also called Mizpah 104 because he said, “May the
31:51 “Here is this pile of stones and this pillar I have set up between me and you,” Laban said to Jacob. 110 31:52 “This pile of stones and the pillar are reminders that I will not pass beyond this pile to come to harm you and that you will not pass beyond this pile and this pillar to come to harm me. 111 31:53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 112 the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 113 31:54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice 114 on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat the meal. 115 They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.
Jacob Wrestles at Peniel
32:3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead 123 to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region 124 of Edom. 32:4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant 125 Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now. 32:5 I have oxen, donkeys, sheep, and male and female servants. I have sent 126 this message 127 to inform my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”
32:6 The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you and has four hundred men with him.” 32:7 Jacob was very afraid and upset. So he divided the people who were with him into two camps, as well as the flocks, herds, and camels. 32:8 “If Esau attacks one camp,” 128 he thought, 129 “then the other camp will be able to escape.” 130
32:9 Then Jacob prayed, 131 “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O
32:13 Jacob 147 stayed there that night. Then he sent 148 as a gift 149 to his brother Esau 32:14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 32:15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 32:16 He entrusted them to 150 his servants, who divided them into herds. 151 He told his servants, “Pass over before me, and keep some distance between one herd and the next.” 32:17 He instructed the servant leading the first herd, 152 “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? 153 Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 154 32:18 then you must say, 155 ‘They belong 156 to your servant Jacob. 157 They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. 158 In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’” 159
32:19 He also gave these instructions to the second and third servants, as well as all those who were following the herds, saying, “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 160 32:20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” 161 Jacob thought, 162 “I will first appease him 163 by sending a gift ahead of me. 164 After that I will meet him. 165 Perhaps he will accept me.” 166 32:21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him 167 while he spent that night in the camp. 168
32:22 During the night Jacob quickly took 169 his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons 170 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 171 32:23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 172 32:24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man 173 wrestled 174 with him until daybreak. 175 32:25 When the man 176 saw that he could not defeat Jacob, 177 he struck 178 the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
32:26 Then the man 179 said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” 180 “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, 181 “unless you bless me.” 182 32:27 The man asked him, 183 “What is your name?” 184 He answered, “Jacob.” 32:28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, 185 “but Israel, 186 because you have fought 187 with God and with men and have prevailed.”
32:29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” 188 “Why 189 do you ask my name?” the man replied. 190 Then he blessed 191 Jacob 192 there. 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, 193 explaining, 194 “Certainly 195 I have seen God face to face 196 and have survived.” 197
32:31 The sun rose 198 over him as he crossed over Penuel, 199 but 200 he was limping because of his hip. 32:32 That is why to this day 201 the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck 202 the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.