Genesis 31:30

30 I understand. You left because you were homesick. But why did you steal my household gods?"

Genesis 31:30 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 31:30

And now, [though] thou wouldest needs be gone
Or, "in going wouldest go" F9, was determined upon it, and in haste to do it: because thou sore longedst after thy father's house,
or "desiring didst desire it" F11; had a vehement desire for it, which Laban signifies he should not have opposed, if he had let him know his mind: but be it so that he had ever so great desire to leave him and return to his father's house, says he, [yet], wherefore, hast thou stolen my gods?
what reason had he for that? if he took away himself, his wives, his children, his goods, what business had he with his gods? he could not claim these as his, meaning the images or teraphim before mentioned, ( Genesis 31:19 ) ; by which it appears that Laban was some way or other guilty of idolatry in the use of these images; looking upon them as types, or representations of God, as Josephus F12 calls them, and worshipped God in them, or along with them and by them; for he could never think they were truly and really gods, that could not preserve themselves from being stolen away, and that must be a poor god that a man may be robbed of.


F9 (tklh Klh) "eundo ivisti", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius.
F11 (htpokn Pok) "desiderando desiderabis", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Piscator.
F12 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 19. sect. 9.

Genesis 31:30 In-Context

28 But you wouldn't permit me so much as a kiss for my daughters and grandchildren. It was a stupid thing for you to do.
29 If I had a mind to, I could destroy you right now, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, 'Be careful what you do to Jacob, whether good or bad.'
30 I understand. You left because you were homesick. But why did you steal my household gods?"
31 Jacob answered Laban, "I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me by brute force.
32 But as far as your gods are concerned, if you find that anybody here has them, that person dies. With all of us watching, look around. If you find anything here that belongs to you, take it." Jacob didn't know that Rachel had stolen the gods.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.