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Genesis 31:22-55 (New International Version)

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Laban Pursues Jacob

22 On the third day1 Laban was told that Jacob had fled.2 23 Taking his relatives3 with him4, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.5 24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean6 in a dream at night and said to him,7 "Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad."8 25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead9 when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done?10 You've deceived me,11 and you've carried off my daughters like captives in war.12 27 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn't you tell me,13 so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of tambourines14 and harps?15 28 You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters good-by.16 You have done a foolish thing. 29 I have the power to harm you;17 but last night the God of your father18 said to me, 'Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.'19 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father's house.20 But why did you steal21 my gods?22" 31 Jacob answered Laban, "I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.23 32 But if you find anyone who has your gods, he shall not live.24 In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.25 33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent26 and into the tent of the two maidservants,27 but he found nothing.28 After he came out of Leah's tent, he entered Rachel's tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods29 and put them inside her camel's saddle30 and was sitting on them. Laban searched31 through everything in the tent but found nothing. 35 Rachel said to her father, "Don't be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence;32 I'm having my period.33" So he searched but could not find the household gods.34 36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. "What is my crime?" he asked Laban. "What sin have I committed35 that you hunt me down?36 37 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household?37 Put it here in front of your relatives38 and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.39 38 "I have been with you for twenty years now.40 Your sheep and goats have not miscarried,41 nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen42 by day or night.43 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.44 41 It was like this for the twenty years45 I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters46 and six years for your flocks,47 and you changed my wages48 ten times.49 42 If the God of my father,50 the God of Abraham51 and the Fear of Isaac,52 had not been with me,53 you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands,54 and last night he rebuked you.55" 43 Laban answered Jacob, "The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks.56 All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let's make a covenant,57 you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us."58 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.59 46 He said to his relatives, "Gather some stones." So they took stones and piled them in a heap,60 and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha,a and Jacob called it Galeed.b61 48 Laban said, "This heap62 is a witness between you and me today."63 That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah,c64 because he said, "May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50 If you mistreat65 my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness66 between you and me."67 51 Laban also said to Jacob, "Here is this heap,68 and here is this pillar69 I have set up between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness,70 that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap71 and pillar to my side to harm me.72 53 May the God of Abraham73 and the God of Nahor,74 the God of their father, judge between us."75 So Jacob took an oath76 in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.77 54 He offered a sacrifice78 there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal.79 After they had eaten, they spent the night there. 55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters80 and blessed81 them. Then he left and returned home.82
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