The Message

Genesis 31

11-2 Jacob learned that Laban’s sons were talking behind his back: “Jacob has used our father’s wealth to make himself rich at our father’s expense.” At the same time, Jacob noticed that Laban had changed toward him. He wasn’t treating him the same.

That’s when God said to Jacob, “Go back home where you were born. I’ll go with you.”

4-9 So Jacob sent word for Rachel and Leah to meet him out in the field where his flocks were. He said, “I notice that your father has changed toward me; he doesn’t treat me the same as before. But the God of my father hasn’t changed; he’s still with me. You know how hard I’ve worked for your father. Still, your father has cheated me over and over, changing my wages time and again. But God never let him really hurt me. If he said, ‘Your wages will consist of speckled animals’ the whole flock would start having speckled lambs and kids. And if he said, ‘From now on your wages will be streaked animals’ the whole flock would have streaked ones. Over and over God used your father’s livestock to reward me.

10-11 “Once, while the flocks were mating, I had a dream and saw the billy goats, all of them streaked, speckled, and mottled, mounting their mates. In the dream an angel of God called out to me, ‘Jacob!’

“I said, ‘Yes?’

12-13 “He said, ‘Watch closely. Notice that all the goats in the flock that are mating are streaked, speckled, and mottled. I know what Laban’s been doing to you. I’m the God of Bethel where you consecrated a pillar and made a vow to me. Now be on your way, get out of this place, go home to your birthplace.’”

14-16 Rachel and Leah said, “Has he treated us any better? Aren’t we treated worse than outsiders? All he wanted was the money he got from selling us, and he’s spent all that. Any wealth that God has seen fit to return to us from our father is justly ours and our children’s. Go ahead. Do what God told you.”

17-18 Jacob did it. He put his children and his wives on camels and gathered all his livestock and everything he had gotten, everything acquired in Paddan Aram, to go back home to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.

19-21 Laban was off shearing sheep. Rachel stole her father’s household gods. And Jacob had concealed his plans so well that Laban the Aramean had no idea what was going on—he was totally in the dark. Jacob got away with everything he had and was soon across the Euphrates headed for the hill country of Gilead.

22-24 Three days later, Laban got the news: “Jacob’s run off.” Laban rounded up his relatives and chased after him. Seven days later they caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. That night God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream and said, “Be careful what you do to Jacob, whether good or bad.”

25 When Laban reached him, Jacob’s tents were pitched in the Gilead mountains; Laban pitched his tents there, too.

26-30 “What do you mean,” said Laban, “by keeping me in the dark and sneaking off, hauling my daughters off like prisoners of war? Why did you run off like a thief in the night? Why didn’t you tell me? Why, I would have sent you off with a great celebration—music, timbrels, flutes! 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. 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.’ I understand. You left because you were homesick. But why did you steal my household gods?”

31-32 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me by brute force. 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.

33-35 Laban went through Jacob’s tent, Leah’s tent, and the tents of the two maids but didn’t find them. He went from Leah’s tent to Rachel’s. But Rachel had taken the household gods, put them inside a camel cushion, and was sitting on them. When Laban had gone through the tent, searching high and low without finding a thing, Rachel said to her father, “Don’t think I’m being disrespectful, my master, that I can’t stand before you, but I’m having my period.” So even though he turned the place upside down in his search, he didn’t find the household gods.

36-37 Now it was Jacob’s turn to get angry. He lit into Laban: “So what’s my crime, what wrong have I done you that you badger me like this? You’ve ransacked the place. Have you turned up a single thing that’s yours? Let’s see it—display the evidence. Our two families can be the jury and decide between us.

38-42 “In the twenty years I’ve worked for you, ewes and she-goats never miscarried. I never feasted on the rams from your flock. I never brought you a torn carcass killed by wild animals but that I paid for it out of my own pocket—actually, you made me pay whether it was my fault or not. I was out in all kinds of weather, from torrid heat to freezing cold, putting in many a sleepless night. For twenty years I’ve done this: I slaved away fourteen years for your two daughters and another six years for your flock and you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not stuck with me, you would have sent me off penniless. But God saw the fix I was in and how hard I had worked and last night rendered his verdict.”

43-44 Laban defended himself: “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flock is my flock—everything you see is mine. But what can I do about my daughters or for the children they’ve had? So let’s settle things between us, make a covenant—God will be the witness between us.”

45 Jacob took a stone and set it upright as a pillar.

46-47 Jacob called his family around, “Get stones!” They gathered stones and heaped them up and then ate there beside the pile of stones. Laban named it in Aramaic, Yegar-sahadutha (Witness Monument); Jacob echoed the naming in Hebrew, Galeed (Witness Monument).

48-50 Laban said, “This monument of stones will be a witness, beginning now, between you and me.” (That’s why it is called Galeed—Witness Monument.) It is also called Mizpah (Watchtower) because Laban said, “God keep watch between you and me when we are out of each other’s sight. If you mistreat my daughters or take other wives when there’s no one around to see you, God will see you and stand witness between us.”

51-53 Laban continued to Jacob, “This monument of stones and this stone pillar that I have set up is a witness, a witness that I won’t cross this line to hurt you and you won’t cross this line to hurt me. The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor (the God of their ancestor) will keep things straight between us.”

53-55 Jacob promised, swearing by the Fear, the God of his father Isaac. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and worshiped, calling in all his family members to the meal. They ate and slept that night on the mountain. Laban got up early the next morning, kissed his grandchildren and his daughters, blessed them, and then set off for home.

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

创世记 31


1雅各听见拉班的儿子们说:“雅各夺去了我们父亲的一切!他的财富都是从我们父亲那里得来的。” 雅各发觉拉班对他的态度不如从前了。 这时,耶和华对雅各说:“回到你的家乡和亲族那里吧!我必与你同在。” 于是,雅各就派人把拉结和利亚叫到放羊的地方, 对她们说:“我感到你们父亲对我不如从前了,但我父亲的上帝常与我同在。 你们知道我是怎样尽心尽力地替你们父亲工作, 他却欺骗我,把我的工酬更改了十次。然而,上帝不让他苦待我。 如果他说把有斑点的羊给我当酬劳,羊群生的就都是有斑点的;如果他说把有条纹的给我,羊群生的就都是有条纹的。 上帝就这样把你们父亲的牲畜夺过来给了我。

10 “在羊群交配的季节,我梦见所有和母羊交配的公羊都是有条纹或有斑点的。 11 在梦中,上帝的天使叫我,我说,‘仆人在。’ 12 他说,‘拉班对你的所作所为,我都看见了。现在你留心看看,与母羊交配的公羊都是有条纹或有斑点的。 13 我就是你在伯特利遇见的上帝。你在那里用油浇过柱子,向我许过愿。现在,你要动身离开这里,回到你的家乡。’”

14 拉结和利亚说:“父亲的家产没有我们的份儿, 15 我们早就被当作外人了,他卖了我们,把我们的身价全部吞了。 16 上帝从我们父亲那里夺过来的一切财产,本来就属于我们和我们的儿女。现在你只管照上帝的吩咐做吧!”

17 雅各便起来让儿女和妻子都骑上骆驼, 18 带着他在巴旦·亚兰得到的所有牲畜和财物,启程去迦南的父亲以撒那里。 19 那时拉班正在外面剪羊毛,拉结偷了父亲的家庭神像。 20 雅各不辞而别,背着亚兰人拉班偷偷地跑了。 21 他带着所有的一切渡过幼发拉底河,逃往基列山区。


22 到了第三天,拉班才知道雅各逃走了。 23 于是,他带着族人去追赶,追了七天,在基列山区追上了雅各。 24 当天晚上,上帝在梦中对亚兰人拉班说:“你要当心,不可对雅各多说什么。”

25 拉班追上了雅各,那时雅各在基列山搭起帐篷,拉班和他的族人也在那里搭起帐篷。 26 拉班对雅各说:“你做的是什么?你欺瞒我,把我的女儿像战俘一样带走。 27 你为什么要偷偷地溜走?你为什么不告诉我,我好击鼓、弹琴、唱歌欢送你? 28 你甚至不让我亲吻外孙和女儿,与他们道别,你这样做真愚蠢。 29 我有能力伤害你,但你父亲的上帝昨夜对我说,‘你要小心,不可对雅各多说什么。’ 30 你思家心切,一定要走,但你为什么要偷走我的神像呢?”

31 雅各对拉班说:“我逃跑是因为害怕你会夺回你的女儿。 32 至于你的神像,你在谁身上搜出来,谁就是该死的。你可以当着众弟兄的面察看,如果在我这里有什么物件是你的,你只管拿走。”雅各不知道拉结偷走了神像。

33 拉班进入雅各、利亚和两个婢女的帐篷搜查,却搜不出什么。拉班离开利亚的帐篷进入拉结的帐篷, 34 那时拉结已经把神像藏在骆驼的鞍座里,自己坐在上面。拉班搜遍了整个帐篷什么也找不到。 35 拉结对父亲说:“父亲,请别生气,我有月事在身,不便起来。”结果,拉班搜来搜去找不到神像。

36 雅各发怒,斥责拉班说:“我做错了什么、犯了什么罪以致你对我穷追不舍? 37 你搜遍我所有的东西,搜到了什么?现在就当着众弟兄的面拿出来,让他们评评理吧! 38 我在你家这二十年,你的母绵羊、母山羊没有掉过胎,我也没有吃过你公羊的肉。 39 我没有把被野兽撕裂的羊带来给你,而是自己赔上。无论在白昼或黑夜被偷去的,你都要我赔偿。 40 我白天受尽烈日煎熬,晚上饱尝夜露寒霜,不得好睡。 41 这二十年来,我为了你的两个女儿,替你工作了十四年,又用了六年才从你那里得到这些羊,你把我的工钱更改了十次。 42 如果不是我父亲以撒敬畏的上帝,就是亚伯拉罕的上帝与我同在,你肯定会让我两手空空地回家。但上帝看见了我的难处和劳苦,所以在昨夜责备了你。”


43 拉班回答说:“女儿是我的,这些孩子是我的,羊群也是我的,你的一切都是我的,我又怎会伤害我的女儿和她们的孩子呢? 44 来吧,你我立约为证。” 45 于是,雅各拿来一块石头,立作柱子, 46 又吩咐族人去收集石头。他们把石头堆成一堆,在旁边吃喝。 47 拉班称那石堆为伊迦尔·撒哈杜他[a],雅各却称那石堆为迦累得[b]

48 拉班说:“今日,这石堆是你我之间的凭证。”因此,那地方名叫迦累得, 49 又叫米斯巴,因为拉班说:“我们分手以后,愿上帝亲自鉴察我们。 50 倘若你虐待我的女儿,或在她们以外另娶妻子,即使没人知道,也有上帝在你我之间做见证。”

51 拉班又说:“看我在你我之间立的这石堆和石柱。 52 这石堆和石柱都是凭证,我一定不会越过石堆去害你,你也不可越过石堆和石柱来害我。 53 愿亚伯拉罕和拿鹤的上帝,就是他们父亲的上帝,在你我之间判断是非。”雅各便在他父亲以撒敬畏的上帝面前起誓, 54 又在山上献祭,请众弟兄吃饭。饭后,他们一同在山上过夜。

55 拉班清早起来,亲吻外孙和女儿,给他们祝福,然后回家去了。

Notas al pie

  1. 31:47 伊迦尔·撒哈杜他”意思是“做见证的石堆”。
  2. 31:47 迦累得”意思是“以石堆为证”。