31 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining, 1 “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich 2 at our father’s expense!” 3 2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed. 4
3 The Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers 5 and to your relatives. I will be with you.” 6 4 So Jacob sent a message for Rachel and Leah 7 to come to the field 8 where his flocks were. 9 5 There he said to them, “I can tell that your father’s attitude toward me has changed, 10 but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I’ve worked for your father as hard as I could, 11 7 but your father has humiliated 12 me and changed my wages ten times. But God has not permitted him to do me any harm. 8 If he said, 13 ‘The speckled animals 14 will be your wage,’ then the entire flock gave birth to speckled offspring. But if he said, ‘The streaked animals will be your wage,’ then the entire flock gave birth to streaked offspring. 9 In this way God has snatched away your father’s livestock and given them to me.
10 “Once 15 during breeding season I saw 16 in a dream that the male goats mating with 17 the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 11 In the dream the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ ‘Here I am!’ I replied. 12 Then he said, ‘Observe 18 that all the male goats mating with 19 the flock are streaked, speckled, or spotted, for I have observed all that Laban has done to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, 20 where you anointed 21 the sacred stone and made a vow to me. 22 Now leave this land immediately 23 and return to your native land.’”
14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance 24 in our father’s house? 15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 25 the money paid for us! 26 16 Surely all the wealth that God snatched away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So now do everything God has told you.”
17 So Jacob immediately put his children and his wives on the camels. 27 18 He took 28 away all the livestock he had acquired in Paddan Aram and all his moveable property that he had accumulated. Then he set out toward the land of Canaan to return to his father Isaac. 29
19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 30 Rachel stole the household idols 31 that belonged to her father. 20 Jacob also deceived 32 Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving. 33 21 He left 34 with all he owned. He quickly crossed 35 the Euphrates River 36 and headed for 37 the hill country of Gilead.
22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left. 38 23 So he took his relatives 39 with him and pursued Jacob 40 for seven days. 41 He caught up with 42 him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 43 “Be careful 44 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 45
25 Laban overtook Jacob, and when Jacob pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead, Laban and his relatives set up camp there too. 46 26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 47 and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 48 27 Why did you run away secretly 49 and deceive me? 50 Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps? 51 28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren 52 good-bye. You have acted foolishly! 29 I have 53 the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 54 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 55 30 Now I understand that 56 you have gone away 57 because you longed desperately 58 for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 59
31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!” 60 Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought 61 you might take your daughters away from me by force. 62 32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 63 In the presence of our relatives 64 identify whatever is yours and take it.” 65 (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 66
33 So Laban entered Jacob’s tent, and Leah’s tent, and the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find the idols. 67 Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 68 34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 69 and sat on them.) 70 Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 71 35 Rachel 72 said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 73 my lord. I cannot stand up 74 in your presence because I am having my period.” 75 So he searched thoroughly, 76 but did not find the idols.
36 Jacob became angry 77 and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban. 78 “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit? 79 37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you? 80 Set it here before my relatives and yours, 81 and let them settle the dispute between the two of us! 82
38 “I have been with you for the past twenty years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 Animals torn by wild beasts I never brought to you; I always absorbed the loss myself. 83 You always made me pay for every missing animal, 84 whether it was taken by day or at night. 40 I was consumed by scorching heat 85 during the day and by piercing cold 86 at night, and I went without sleep. 87 41 This was my lot 88 for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave 89 for you – fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, but you changed my wages ten times! 42 If the God of my father – the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears 90 – had not been with me, you would certainly have sent me away empty-handed! But God saw how I was oppressed and how hard I worked, 91 and he rebuked you last night.”
43 Laban replied 92 to Jacob, “These women 93 are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, 94 and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today 95 or the children to whom they have given birth? 44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement, 96 you and I, and it will be 97 proof that we have made peace.” 98
45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 46 Then he 99 said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile. 100 They ate there by the pile of stones. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, 101 but Jacob called it Galeed. 102
48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement 103 today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah 104 because he said, “May the Lord watch 105 between us 106 when we are out of sight of one another. 107 50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one else is with us, realize 108 that God is witness to your actions.” 109
51 “Here is this pile of stones and this pillar I have set up between me and you,” Laban said to Jacob. 110 52 “This pile of stones and the pillar are reminders that I will not pass beyond this pile to come to harm you and that you will not pass beyond this pile and this pillar to come to harm me. 111 53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 112 the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 113 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice 114 on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat the meal. 115 They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.
55 116 Early in the morning Laban kissed 117 his grandchildren 118 and his daughters goodbye and blessed them. Then Laban left and returned home. 119
32 So Jacob went on his way and the angels of God 1 met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, 2 “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim. 3
3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead 4 to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region 5 of Edom. 4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant 6 Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, sheep, and male and female servants. I have sent 7 this message 8 to inform my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”
6 The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you and has four hundred men with him.” 7 Jacob was very afraid and upset. So he divided the people who were with him into two camps, as well as the flocks, herds, and camels. 8 “If Esau attacks one camp,” 9 he thought, 10 “then the other camp will be able to escape.” 11
9 Then Jacob prayed, 12 “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord, you said 13 to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will make you prosper.’ 14 10 I am not worthy of all the faithful love 15 you have shown 16 your servant. With only my walking stick 17 I crossed the Jordan, 18 but now I have become two camps. 11 Rescue me, 19 I pray, from the hand 20 of my brother Esau, 21 for I am afraid he will come 22 and attack me, as well as the mothers with their children. 23 12 But you 24 said, ‘I will certainly make you prosper 25 and will make 26 your descendants like the sand on the seashore, too numerous to count.’” 27
13 Jacob 28 stayed there that night. Then he sent 29 as a gift 30 to his brother Esau 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He entrusted them to 31 his servants, who divided them into herds. 32 He told his servants, “Pass over before me, and keep some distance between one herd and the next.” 17 He instructed the servant leading the first herd, 33 “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? 34 Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 35 18 then you must say, 36 ‘They belong 37 to your servant Jacob. 38 They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. 39 In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’” 40
19 He also gave these instructions to the second and third servants, as well as all those who were following the herds, saying, “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 41 20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” 42 Jacob thought, 43 “I will first appease him 44 by sending a gift ahead of me. 45 After that I will meet him. 46 Perhaps he will accept me.” 47 21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him 48 while he spent that night in the camp. 49
22 During the night Jacob quickly took 50 his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons 51 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 52 23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 53 24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man 54 wrestled 55 with him until daybreak. 56 25 When the man 57 saw that he could not defeat Jacob, 58 he struck 59 the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
26 Then the man 60 said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” 61 “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, 62 “unless you bless me.” 63 27 The man asked him, 64 “What is your name?” 65 He answered, “Jacob.” 28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, 66 “but Israel, 67 because you have fought 68 with God and with men and have prevailed.”
29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” 69 “Why 70 do you ask my name?” the man replied. 71 Then he blessed 72 Jacob 73 there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, 74 explaining, 75 “Certainly 76 I have seen God face to face 77 and have survived.” 78
31 The sun rose 79 over him as he crossed over Penuel, 80 but 81 he was limping because of his hip. 32 That is why to this day 82 the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck 83 the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.
33 Jacob looked up 1 and saw that Esau was coming 2 along with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants. 2 He put the servants and their children in front, with Leah and her children behind them, and Rachel and Joseph behind them. 3 3 But Jacob 4 himself went on ahead of them, and he bowed toward the ground seven times as he approached 5 his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, hugged his neck, and kissed him. Then they both wept. 5 When Esau 6 looked up 7 and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob 8 replied, “The children whom God has graciously given 9 your servant.” 6 The female servants came forward with their children and bowed down. 10 7 Then Leah came forward with her children and they bowed down. Finally Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed down.
8 Esau 11 then asked, “What did you intend 12 by sending all these herds to meet me?” 13 Jacob 14 replied, “To find favor in your sight, my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother. Keep what belongs to you.” 10 “No, please take them,” Jacob said. 15 “If I have found favor in your sight, accept 16 my gift from my hand. Now that I have seen your face and you have accepted me, 17 it is as if I have seen the face of God. 18 11 Please take my present 19 that was brought to you, for God has been generous 20 to me and I have all I need.” 21 When Jacob urged him, he took it. 22
12 Then Esau 23 said, “Let’s be on our way! 24 I will go in front of you.” 13 But Jacob 25 said to him, “My lord knows that the children are young, 26 and that I have to look after the sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. 27 If they are driven too hard for even a single day, all the animals will die. 14 Let my lord go on ahead of his servant. I will travel more slowly, at the pace of the herds and the children, 28 until I come to my lord at Seir.”
15 So Esau said, “Let me leave some of my men with you.” 29 “Why do that?” Jacob replied. 30 “My lord has already been kind enough to me.” 31
16 So that same day Esau made his way back 32 to Seir. 17 But 33 Jacob traveled to Succoth 34 where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called 35 Succoth. 36
18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near 37 the city. 19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it 38 from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. 39 20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.” 40