Jacob Flees with Family and Flocks
1Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, "Jacob has taken all that was our father's; and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth." 2And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. 3Then the Lord said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you." 4So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was, 5and said to them, "I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I have served your father with all my strength; 7yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not permit him to harm me. 8If he said, 'The spotted shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, 'The striped shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore striped. 9Thus God has taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. 10In the mating season of the flock I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream that the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am!' 12And he said, 'Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that leap upon the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go forth from this land, and return to the land of your birth.' " 14Then Rachel and Leah answered him, "Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father's house? 15Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has been using up the money given for us. 16All the property which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children; now then, whatever God has said to you, do."
17So Jacob arose, and set his sons and his wives on camels; 18and he drove away all his cattle, all his livestock which he had gained, the cattle in his possession which he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's household gods. 20And Jacob outwitted Laban the Arame'an, in that he did not tell him that he intended to flee. 21He fled with all that he had, and arose and crossed the Euphra'tes, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Overtakes Jacob
22When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. 24But God came to Laban the Arame'an in a dream by night, and said to him, "Take heed that you say not a word to Jacob, either good or bad."
25And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen encamped in the hill country of Gilead. 26And Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have cheated me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27Why did you flee secretly, and cheat me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? 28And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. 29It is in my power to do you harm; but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, 'Take heed that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.' 30And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but why did you steal my gods?" 31Jacob answered Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32Any one with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
33So 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. And he went out of Leah's tent, and entered Rachel's. 34Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle, and sat upon them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35And she said to her father, "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me." So he searched, but did not find the household gods.
36Then Jacob became angry, and upbraided Laban; Jacob said to Laban, "What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37Although you have felt through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your she-goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39That which was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself; of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40Thus I was; by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41These 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 have changed my wages ten times. 42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night."
Laban and Jacob Make a Covenant
43Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne? 44Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be a witness between you and me." 45So Jacob took a stone, and set it up as a pillar. 46And Jacob said to his kinsmen, "Gather stones," and they took stones, and made a heap; and they ate there by the heap. 47Laban called it Je'gar-sahadu'tha:a but Jacob called it Galeed.b 48Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me today." Therefore he named it Galeed, 49and the pillarc Mizpah,d for he said, "The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent one from the other. 50If you ill-treat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, remember, God is witness between you and me."
51Then Laban said to Jacob, "See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us." So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, 54and Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and called his kinsmen to eat bread; and they ate bread and tarried all night on the mountain.
55eEarly in the morning Laban arose, and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them; then he departed and returned home.