Jacob Leaves Secretly for Canaan
This chapter is overtly long so I will not say much in the manner of introduction except to mention that it is full of deception; Jacob deceiving his uncle/ father-in-law, Rachel deceiving the father, god being an accomplice in all the deception and an unbecoming behaviour of Laban of constantly reneging on their arrangements with the son in law in regards to wages.
31 Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this wealth.” 2 Jacob saw the attitude of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as formerly. 3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you[ god being complacent/ an accomplice in deception of Laban by Jake].” 4 So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field, 5 and said to them, “I see your father’s attitude, that it is not friendly toward me as formerly, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have served your father with all my strength. 7 Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times; however, God did not allow him to hurt me[why wouldn’t god just stop the cheating in the first place?]. 8 If he spoke thus, ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flock brought forth speckled; and if he spoke thus, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock brought forth striped. 9 Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me. 10 And it came about at the time when the flock were mating that I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which were mating were striped, speckled, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 He said, ‘Lift up now your eyes and see that all the male goats which are mating are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you[I want to wake from my dream and find I own a car]. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, leave this land, and return to the land of your birth.” 14 Rachel and Leah said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house? 15 Are we not reckoned by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also entirely consumed our purchase price[Interesting the daughters feel their father sold them for silver and has squandered all the proceeds]. 16 Surely all the wealth which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you[ And coupled with this feeling of being sold, they feel justified in following Jake and leaving with all the property].”
17 Then Jacob arose and put his children and his wives upon camels[have told you already camels haven’t been domesticated yet. Where are the slave girls? Are they not worthy of mention?]; 18 and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had gathered, his
acquired livestock which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 When Laban had gone to shear his flock, then Rachel stole the household idols that were her father’s. 20 And Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean[ in the Hebraic roots bible, Laban is a Syrian, what I want to know is when did members of Abe’s family become Syrians?] by not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he arose and crossed the Euphrates[in other versions, the scribes appear to not know the name of the river] River, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob
22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 then he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead [there are confusing accounts of this, ie CJB, states …….and spent the next seven days pursuing Ya‘akov, overtaking him in the hill-country of Gil‘ad. So has he covered a distance of seven days or has he been pursued for 7 days? And as a measure of distance, what is the equivalent of a day’s journey?]. 24 God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night and said to him, “Be careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad [ I think basically this means don’t talk to the dude! ].”
25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword[ Laban, have you asked your daughters if they feel enslaved? Or as the adage goes, daughters were to be seen not heard?]? 27 Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre; 28 and did not allow me to kiss my sons[ ok am confused, Jake has even taken Laban’s sons with him?] and my daughters ,your wives? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is in my power to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to speak either good or bad to Jacob [ Here Jake should heed the warning or he may get himself in trouble another time if god does not intervene, but am just asking is this not what Laban was prohibited to do or he doesn’t fear the god of Abe?].’ 30 Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal my gods [ ah so Laban kept his god( other scribes, probably the P source calls them idols) in the house?]?” 31 Then Jacob replied to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force [ what I never seem to understand in Abe’s family is their baseless fears! Jake has had the pleasure of making Laban’s daughters pregnant several times over, why would he want to take them back? If he didn’t want Jake to have them don’t you think he would have raised objections from the start?] . 32 The one with whom you find your gods shall not live [will they kill the guilty party here or how will this happen?]; in the presence of our kinsmen point out what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them [If this is god inspired, how is it we don’t see him coming out to reveal to Laban who is the culprit or he doesn’t. care enough that he, Laban, gets his gods back?]
33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two maids [here we have a different scribe from the previous chapter, he forgets the maids had names and for all intents qualify as Jake’s wives!], but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them. 35 She said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household idols [ cool liar we got here, how many times did she lie to Jake?].
36 Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and he said
Jacob said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Though you have felt through all my goods [he has not felt Rachel’s camel, so this is false. He should have suspended judgement], 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. 38 These twenty years[ Jake is a few years shy of 100, he was 77 when joined Laban’s family and has stayed 20 more. He outlived his welcome a long time ago. Now i need to know how their relationship was; was he head slave or was he supervisor] I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried [how did he stop this from happening?], nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself. You required it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 Thus I was: by day the heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes [ Those must have been 20 sleepless years, I thought architecture school was hard! This is definitely on another level. I wonder where did he get time for the action with the four wives he had if he had to be with the goats 24/7?]. 41 These 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 changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac [In other versions, it’s said the one Isaac fears, going to the same conclusion had made before that this god is specifically Abe’s god and anyone with contradictory evidence should show it!], had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night [Translated; if you have a problem with my stock, raise it up with most high, am blameless in this matter!].”
The Covenant of Mizpah
43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children[ am confused, whose children were they again?], and 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? 44 So now come, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between you and me[ what is the point of this covenant anyway plus it goes against what he was told in the dream. Jake is not about to return a single goat and is determined to go back from whence he had come].” 45 Then Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Now Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed [guys guys, something doesn’t add up. Both call it heap of witness albeit in different languages. Question here is, did they share a common language or is there a translator employed? One is speaking Aramaic– a language I don’t think was in use at the time, and another Hebrew? ]. 48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me this day [ help me understand something, can a witness be anything other than a sane adult human being? How do stones witness?].” Therefore it was named Galeed, 49 and Mizpah [they have totally lost me here! Where does Mizpah come from and what does it mean], for he said, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters [I think had been overtaken by events unless the slave girls who are mothers to his sons are not counted as wives], although no man is with us, see, God[Laban’s god is Adonai] is witness between you and me.” 51 Laban said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness,
and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53 The 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. 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his kinsmen to the meal; and they ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55 Early in the morning Laban arose, and kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place [he left as he had come, with nothing except kisses].