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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

Genesis 31:1-55

31  And he heard the talk of Laban’s sons, “Jacob has taken all father’s property, and out of father’s property he has made all this fortune.” 2  And Jacob saw Laban’s face and found he was not the same toward him as he had been. 3  And Jehovah said to Jacob “Go back to your fathers’ country, your birthplace, and I will be with you.” 4  And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the flocks out on the range, 5  and said to them “I see by your father’s face that he is not the same toward me as he was; but it was my father’s God who was with me, 6  and you know yourselves I worked with all my might for your father. 7  And your father trifled with me and changed my wages ten ways; but God did not give him success in doing me harm. 8  If he would say ‘Your pay shall be speckled ones’ all the animals bore speckled, and if he would say ‘Your pay shall be striped ones’ all the animals bore striped, 9  and Jehovah brought off your father’s stock and gave it to me. 10  And at the time the animals were in heat I raised my eyes and saw in a dream that the bucks that were covering the animals were striped, speckled, and dappled. 11  And the Angel of God said to me in the dream ‘Jacob,’ and I said ‘Here I am,’ 12  and he said ‘Raise your eyes and see all the bucks that are covering the animals striped, speckled, and dappled, because I have seen everything that Laban is doing to you. 13*  I am the Deity at Bethel where you anointed an obelisk, where you made a vow to me. Now up with you, go out of this country and back to your native country.”’ 14  And Rachel and Leah answered him “Have we any longer a share or estate in our father’s house? 15  do not we rank as strangers to him, when he has sold us and then eaten up the money for us? 16  for all the wealth God has brought off from our father belongs to us and our children. Now do just as God has told you.” 17  And Jacob went to work and loaded his children and wives on the camels, 18  and drove along all his stock and all his chattels that he had accumulated, his stock of cattle that he had accumulated in Paddan-Aram, to go to his father Isaac in Canaan. 19  And Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole the teraphim her father had. 20  And Jacob hoodwinked Laban the Syrian in that he did not tell him that he was leaving the country; 21  and he left, he and everything he had, and was up and across the River and heading for the highland of Gilead. 22  And Laban got word on the third day that Jacob had left the country; 23  and he took his brothers with him and pursued him seven days’ journey, and overtook him in the highland of Gilead. 24  And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream at night and said to him “Take care that you do not talk with Jacob, good talk or bad talk.” 25**  And Laban caught up with Jacob; and Jacob had pitched his tent on the mountain, and Laban pitched with his brothers on Mount Gilead. 26  And Laban said to Jacob “What have you done, hoodwinking me and driving my daughters off like slaves taken in war? 27  Why did you leave the country clandestinely and keep me in the dark, and not tell me and have me send you off with merrymaking and singing, with tambourine and lyre? 28*  and you have not given me a chance to kiss my children; you have gone and made a fool of yourself. 29  It is in my power to do you harm; but your father’s God said to me last night “Take care not to talk with Jacob, good talk or bad talk.’ 30  And then when you did go because you did yearn after your family, why did you steal my gods?” 31  And Jacob answered Laban “Because I was afraid, because I thought you might kidnap your daughters away from me. 32  Whomever you find your gods with, he shall not live; identify before our brothers what of yours is with me and take it to you”—and he did not know Rachel had stolen them. 33*  And Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s and into the two slave-women’s, and did not find anything. And he went out of Leah’s tent and into Rachel’s; 34  and Rachel had taken the teraphim and laid them in the camel-howdah and sat down on them, and Laban rummaged the whole tent and did not find anything. 35  And she said to her father “Do not take offense, sir, that I cannot get up on your account, because I am the way women are”; and he searched and did not find the teraphim. 36  And Jacob grew angry and upbraided Laban; and Jacob answered Laban “What is my crime, what is my wrongdoing, that you have been chasing me? 37  When you rummaged all my things, what of all your household’s things did you find? lay it here before my brothers and yours, and let them give their verdict between the two of us. 38  These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and goats did not miss their births and the rams of your flocks I never ate. 39  An animal that got killed I never brought to you; I took the blame for it, you came on me for it, day stealings and night stealings. 40  I have had the drought eating me up by day and the frost by night, and sleep flitting away from my eyes. 41  This makes twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your sheep and goats, and you changed my wages ten ways; 42  if I had not had my father’s God, Abraham’s God and Isaac’s Dread, you would have sent me away now empty-handed. God has seen my hard lot and what came of the toil of my hands, and given his verdict last night.” 43  And Laban answered Jacob “The girls are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the animals are my animals, and everything you see is mine; but what shall I do to my own daughters, to these now or to their children whom they shall bear? 44  Now come, let us give each other a pledge, you and I, and have it for a witness between us.” 45  And Jacob took a stone and reared it as an obelisk. 46*  And Jacob said to his brothers “Pile up stones”; and they took stones and made a cairn and ate there by the cairn; 47*  and Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed. 48  And Laban said “This cairn is a witness between you and me today”; that is why it is named “Galeed,” 49*  and “Mispah,” as he said “Jehovah look out between you and me, because we shall be out of each other’s sight. 50  If you ill-treat my daughters, or if you marry wives besides my daughters, there is no man between us; see, God is witness between you and me.” 51  And Laban said to Jacob “Here this cairn, and here the obelisk that I have set, is between you and me. 52**  This cairn is witness, and so is the obelisk, that I am never to pass this cairn toward you, nor you to pass this cairn and this obelisk toward me, for harm. 53*  The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor judge between us.” And Jacob swore by the Dread of his father Isaac. 54  And Jacob killed a sacrifice on the mountain and invited his brothers to a meal; and they ate a meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55*  And the first thing in the morning Laban kissed his children and blessed them and went off. And Laban went back to his own place,


31:13 Var. the Deity that appeared to you at Bethel
31:25 Conj. had pitched his tent on Mount Mispah
31:25 Conj. pitched his tent on Mount Gilead
31:28 That is, his daughters’ children.
31:33 Susp.
31:46 Var. and they piled up stones
31:47 These names mean Witness Cairn in the Syrian and Hebrew languages respectively
31:49 Or* Gilead
31:52 Lit. and the obelisk is witness
31:52 Var. not to pass by toward you
31:53 Or gods of Nahor
31:55 That is, his daughters’ children.