Jacob Flees From Laban
1Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.
3Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
4So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. 5He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, 7yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. 8If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young. 9So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.
10“In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 12And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’ ”
14Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate? 15Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. 16Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.”
17Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, 18and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram,31:18 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
19When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. 21So he fled with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed for the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob
22On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
25Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war. 27Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps? 28You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. 29I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household. But why did you steal my gods?”
31Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. 32But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.
33So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent. 34Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel’s saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing.
35Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I’m having my period.” So he searched but could not find the household gods.
36Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged you that you hunt me down? 37Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.
38“I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. 40This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. 42If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.”
43Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks. All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne? 44Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”
45So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed.31:47 The Aramaic Jegar Sahadutha and the Hebrew Galeed both mean witness heap.
48Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 49It was also called Mizpah,31:49 Mizpah means watchtower. because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.”
51Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. 52This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me. 53May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.”
So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac. 54He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.
55Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.31:55 In Hebrew texts this verse (31:55) is numbered 32:1.
Yakobo Akimbia Kutoka Kwa Labani
1Yakobo akawasikia wana wa Labani wakisema, “Yakobo amechukua kila kitu kilichokuwa cha baba yetu naye amepata utajiri huu wote kutokana na vile vilivyokuwa mali ya baba yetu.” 2Yakobo akatambua kwamba moyo wa Labani kwake haukuwa kama ulivyokuwa mwanzo.
331:3 Mwa 32:9; 21:22Ndipo Bwana akamwambia Yakobo, “Rudi katika nchi ya baba zako na kwa watu wako, nami nitakuwa pamoja nawe.”
4Hivyo Yakobo akatuma ujumbe kwa Raheli na Lea waje machungani yalikokuwa makundi yake. 531:5 Mwa 21:22; 26:3Akawaambia, “Naona moyo wa baba yenu kwangu sivyo kama ulivyokuwa mwanzoni, lakini Mungu wa baba yangu amekuwa pamoja nami. 631:6 Mwa 30:29Mnajua kwamba nimemtumikia baba yenu kwa nguvu zangu zote, 731:7 Mwa 31:41hata hivyo baba yenu amenidanganya kwa kubadilisha ujira wangu mara kumi. Hata hivyo, Mungu hakumruhusu kunidhuru. 831:8 Mwa 30:32Kama alisema, ‘Wenye madoadoa watakuwa ujira wako,’ basi makundi yote yalizaa wenye madoadoa, kama alisema, ‘Wenye mistari watakuwa ujira wako,’ basi makundi yote yalizaa wenye mistari. 9Hivyo Mungu amechukua mifugo ya baba yenu na amenipa mimi.
10“Wakati fulani majira ya kuzaliana niliota ndoto ambayo niliinua macho na kuona kwamba wale mabeberu waliokuwa wakipanda kundi walikuwa wa mistari, madoadoa na mabakabaka. 11Malaika wa Mungu akaniambia katika ndoto, ‘Yakobo.’ Nikamjibu, ‘Mimi hapa.’ 1231:12 Kut 3:7Akasema, ‘Inua macho yako uone wale mabeberu wote wanaopanda kundi wana mistari, madoadoa au mabakabaka, kwa maana nimeona yale yote ambayo Labani amekuwa akikutendea. 1331:13 Mwa 28:10-22Mimi ndiye Mungu wa Betheli, ulikomiminia ile nguzo mafuta na pale mahali uliponiwekea nadhiri. Sasa ondoka katika nchi hii mara moja urudi katika nchi uliyozaliwa.’ ”
14Ndipo Raheli na Lea wakajibu, “Je bado tu tunalo fungu lolote katika urithi wa nyumba ya baba yetu? 1531:15 Mwa 29:20Je, yeye hatuhesabu sisi kama wageni? Sio kwamba ametuuza tu, bali ametumia hata na vile vilivyolipwa kwa ajili yetu. 16Hakika utajiri wote ambao Mungu ameuchukua kutoka kwa baba yetu ni mali yetu na watoto wetu. Hivyo fanya lolote lile Mungu alilokuambia.”
17Ndipo Yakobo akawapandisha watoto wake na wake zake juu ya ngamia, 1831:18 Mwa 35:27naye akawaswaga wanyama wote mbele yake pamoja na vitu vyote alivyokuwa amechuma huko Padan-Aramu kwenda kwa baba yake Isaki katika nchi ya Kanaani.
1931:19 Amu 17:5; Hos 3:4Labani alipokuwa amekwenda kukata kondoo wake manyoya, Raheli aliiba miungu ya nyumba ya baba yake. 2031:20 Mwa 27:36Zaidi ya hayo, Yakobo alimdanganya Labani Mwaramu kwa kutokumwambia kwamba anakimbia. 2131:21 Kut 2:15Hivyo akakimbia pamoja na vitu vyote alivyokuwa navyo na kuvuka Mto Frati akaelekea nchi ya vilima katika Gileadi.
Labani Amfuatilia Yakobo
2231:22 Mwa 30:36Siku ya tatu Labani akaambiwa kwamba Yakobo amekimbia. 2331:23 Kut 14:9Akiwachukua jamaa zake, akamfuatia Yakobo kwa siku saba na kumkuta kwenye nchi ya vilima katika Gileadi. 2431:24 Mwa 20:3; 24:50Ndipo Mungu akamjia Labani Mwaramu katika ndoto usiku na kumwambia, “Jihadhari usiseme neno lolote kwa Yakobo, liwe zuri au baya.”
2531:25 Mwa 31:21Yakobo alikuwa amepiga hema lake katika nchi ya vilima katika Gileadi wakati Labani alipomkuta, Labani na jamaa yake wakapiga kambi huko pia. 2631:26 1Sam 30:23Ndipo Labani akamwambia Yakobo, “Umefanya nini? Umenidanganya na umewachukua binti zangu kama mateka katika vita. 2731:27 Mwa 31:20Kwa nini ulikimbia kwa siri na kunidanganya? Kwa nini hukuniambia ili nikuage kwa furaha na nyimbo za matari na vinubi? 2831:28 Mwa 27:27Hata hukuniruhusu niwabusu wajukuu zangu na kuwaaga binti zangu. Umefanya kitu cha kipumbavu. 29Nina uwezo wa kukudhuru, lakini usiku uliopita Mungu wa baba yako alisema nami, akaniambia, ‘Jihadhari, usiseme neno lolote kwa Yakobo liwe zuri au baya.’ 3031:30 Mwa 31:19Sasa umeondoka kwa sababu umetamani kurudi nyumbani kwa baba yako. Lakini kwa nini umeiba miungu yangu?”
31Yakobo akamjibu Labani, “Niliogopa, kwa sababu nilifikiri ungeweza kuninyangʼanya binti zako kwa nguvu. 3231:32 Mwa 44:9Lakini kama ukimkuta yeyote aliye na miungu yako, hataishi. Mbele ya jamaa yetu, angalia mwenyewe uone kama kuna chochote chako hapa nilicho nacho, kama kipo, kichukue.” Basi Yakobo hakujua kwamba Raheli alikuwa ameiba hiyo miungu.
33Kwa hiyo Labani akaingia ndani ya hema la Yakobo na ndani ya hema la Lea na ndani ya hema la watumishi wawili wa kike, lakini hakukuta chochote. Baadaye alipotoka katika hema la Lea, akaingia hema la Raheli. 34Basi Raheli ndiye alikuwa amechukua ile miungu ya nyumbani kwao na kuiweka katika matandiko ya ngamia na kukalia. Labani akatafuta kila mahali kwenye hema lakini hakupata chochote.
3531:35 Law 19:3, 32Raheli akamwambia baba yake, “Usikasirike, bwana wangu kwa kuwa siwezi kusimama ukiwepo, niko katika hedhi.” Labani akatafuta lakini hakuweza kuipata miungu ya nyumbani kwake.
36Yakobo akakasirika na kumshutumu Labani, akisema, “Uhalifu wangu ni nini?” Akamuuliza Labani, “Ni dhambi gani niliyofanya hata unaniwinda? 3731:37 Mwa 31:23Sasa kwa kuwa umepekua vitu vyangu vyote umepata nini kilicho cha nyumbani mwako? Kiweke hapa mbele ya jamaa yako na yangu, nao waamue kati yetu sisi wawili.
38“Mpaka sasa nimekuwa pamoja nawe miaka ishirini. Kondoo wako na mbuzi wako hawajaharibu mimba, wala sijala kondoo dume kutoka makundi yako. 3931:39 Kut 22:13Sikukuletea mfugo aliyeraruliwa na wanyama pori, nilibeba hasara mimi mwenyewe. Tena ulinidai malipo kwa chochote kilichoibwa mchana au usiku. 40Hii ndiyo iliyokuwa hali yangu: Niliumia kwa joto la mchana na baridi usiku, pia usingizi ulinipa. 4131:41 Mwa 29:30; 31:7Ilikuwa hivi kwa miaka ile ishirini niliyokuwa nyumbani kwako. Nilikutumikia miaka ile kumi na minne kwa ajili ya binti zako wawili, miaka sita kwa ajili ya makundi yako, nawe ulibadilisha ujira wangu mara kumi. 4231:42 Mwa 31:53Kama Mungu wa baba yangu, Mungu wa Abrahamu na Hofu ya Isaki, hakuwa pamoja nami, hakika ungenifukuza mikono mitupu. Lakini Mungu ameona taabu yangu na kazi ngumu ya mikono yangu, naye usiku uliopita amekukemea.”
43Labani akamjibu Yakobo, “Wanawake hawa ni binti zangu, watoto hawa ni watoto wangu na makundi haya ni makundi yangu. Vyote unavyoviona ni vyangu. Lakini hata hivyo ninaweza kufanya nini kuhusu hawa binti zangu, au kuhusu watoto waliowazaa? 4431:44 Mwa 21:27Njoo sasa na tufanye agano, wewe na mimi, na liwe kama shahidi kati yetu.”
4531:45 Mwa 28:18Hivyo Yakobo akachukua jiwe, akalisimamisha kama nguzo. 4631:46 Mwa 31:48, 52Akawaambia jamaa yake, “Kusanyeni mawe.” Hivyo wakachukua mawe na kuyakusanya yakawa lundo, wakala chakula hapo karibu na hilo lundo. 4731:47 Mwa 21:30Labani akaliita Yegar-Sahadutha31:47 Yegar-Sahadutha maana yake ni Lundo la ushahidi kwa Kiaramu. na Yakobo akaliita Galeedi.31:47 Galeedi maana yake ni Lundo la ushahidi kwa Kiebrania.
4831:48 Mwa 31:46Labani akasema, “Lundo hili ni shahidi kati yako na mimi leo.” Ndiyo maana likaitwa Galeedi. 4931:49 Amu 11:29Pia liliitwa Mispa,31:49 Mispa maana yake Mnara wa ulinzi. kwa sababu alisema, “Bwana na aweke ulinzi kati yako na mimi wakati kila mmoja akiwa mbali na mwingine. 5031:50 Yer 29:23; 42:5Kama ukiwatenda mabaya binti zangu au ukioa wake wengine zaidi ya binti zangu, hata ingawa hakuna hata mmoja aliye pamoja nasi, kumbuka kwamba Mungu ni shahidi kati yako na mimi.”
5131:51 Mwa 28:18Pia Labani akamwambia Yakobo, “Hili ndilo lundo, na hii ndiyo nguzo niliyoisimamisha kati yako na mimi. 5231:52 Mwa 21:30Lundo hili ni shahidi na nguzo hii ni shahidi, kwamba sitavuka lundo hili kuja upande wako kukudhuru, nawe kwamba hutavuka lundo hili na nguzo hii kuja upande wangu kunidhuru. 5331:53 Mwa 16:5; 31:42Mungu wa Abrahamu na Mungu wa Nahori, Mungu wa baba zao, aamue kati yetu.”
Hivyo Yakobo akaapa kwa jina la Hofu ya baba yake Isaki. 54Yakobo akatoa dhabihu juu ya kilima na akawaalika jamaa zake kula chakula. Baada ya kula, wakalala huko.
55Kesho yake asubuhi na mapema, Labani akawabusu wajukuu zake, binti zake na kuwabariki. Kisha akaondoka, akarudi nyumbani.