Jacob heard what Laban's sons were saying. "Jacob has taken everything our father owned," they said. "He has gained all of this wealth from what belonged to our father."
Jacob noticed that Laban's feelings toward him had changed.
Then the LORD spoke to Jacob. He said, "Go back to your father's land and to your relatives. I will be with you."
So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah. He told them to come out to the fields where his flocks were.
He said to them, "I see that your father's feelings toward me have changed. But the God of my father has been with me.
You know that I've worked for your father with all of my strength.
"But your father has cheated me. He has changed my pay ten times. In spite of everything that's happened, God hasn't let him harm me.
Sometimes Laban would say, 'The speckled ones will be your pay.' Then all the flocks had little ones with speckles. At other times he would say, 'The striped ones will be your pay.' Then all the flocks had little ones with stripes.
So God has taken away your father's livestock and given it to me.
"Once during the mating season I had a dream. In my dream I looked up and saw male goats mating with the flock. The goats had stripes, speckles or spots.
"The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.'
He said, 'Look up. See the male goats mating with the flock. All of them have stripes, speckles or spots. That is because I have seen everything that Laban has been doing to you.
" 'I am the God of Bethel. That is where you poured oil on a pillar. There you made a promise to me. Now leave this land. Go back to your own land.' "
Rachel and Leah replied, "Do we still have any share in our father's property?
Doesn't our father think of us as strangers? First he sold us. Now he has used up what he was paid for us.
All of the wealth God took away from our father really belongs to us and our children. So do what God has told you to do."
Then Jacob put his children and wives on camels.
He drove all of his livestock ahead of him. He also took with him everything he had gotten in Paddan Aram. He left to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
Laban had gone to clip the wool from his sheep. While he was gone, Rachel stole the statues of family gods that belonged to her father.
And that's not all. Jacob tricked Laban the Aramean. He didn't tell him he was running away.
So Jacob ran off with everything he had. He crossed the Euphrates River. And he headed for the hill country of Gilead.