New International Version

Genesis 31

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.” And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.

Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He 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. You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If 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. So 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. 11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And 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. 13 I 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.’”

14 Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate? 15 Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. 16 Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.”

17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram,[a] to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.

19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. 21 So he fled with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed for the hill country of Gilead.

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 Then 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.”

25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war. 27 Why 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? 28 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. 29 I 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.’ 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household. But why did you steal my gods?”

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

33 So 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. 34 Now 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.

35 Rachel 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.

36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged you that you hunt me down? 37 Now 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. 39 I 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. 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41 It 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. 42 If 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.”

43 Laban 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? 44 Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”

45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed.[b]

48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah,[c] because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50 If 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.”

51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. 52 This 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. 53 May 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. 54 He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.

55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.[d]

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 31:18 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  2. Genesis 31:47 The Aramaic Jegar Sahadutha and the Hebrew Galeed both mean witness heap.
  3. Genesis 31:49 Mizpah means watchtower.
  4. Genesis 31:55 In Hebrew texts this verse (31:55) is numbered 32:1.

Bibelen på hverdagsdansk

1 Mosebog 31

Jakob flygter fra Laban

1Men efterhånden blev Jakob klar over, at Labans sønner var ved at blive utilfredse. „Jakob har snydt os,” knurrede de. „Han er blevet rig på vores fars bekostning.” Han bemærkede også, at Labans holdning over for ham ikke var som før. Da sagde Herren til Jakob: „Vend tilbage til dit fædreland og din familie. Jeg vil være med dig.”

Jakob sendte så bud til Rakel og Lea om, at de skulle komme ud på marken, hvor han passede hjorden, så han kunne diskutere sagen med dem. „Jeg kan mærke på jeres far, at han har ændret holdning over for mig,” begyndte han. „Men mine fædres Gud har velsignet mig. I ved, hvor hårdt jeg har arbejdet for jeres far, men han har narret mig, brudt vores aftale og ændret min løn mindst ti gange. Alligevel har Gud bevaret mig, så jeres far ikke har kunnet gøre mig noget ondt. Når Laban lovede mig de brogede dyr, fødte hjorden broget afkom, og når han ændrede mening og lovede mig de stribede dyr, så blev lammene stribede. På den måde gjorde Gud mig rig på hans bekostning.”

10 „I parringstiden havde jeg en drøm,” fortsatte Jakob. „I drømmen så jeg, at alle bukkene, der parrede sig med gederne, var stribede, plettede eller brogede. 11 Da kaldte Guds engel på mig i drømmen.

‚Jakob!’ sagde han.

‚Ja,’ svarede jeg.

12 Så sagde englen: ‚Læg mærke til, at det kun er de stribede, plettede og brogede bukke, der parrer sig med gederne i din hjord. Jeg har nemlig set, hvordan Laban har behandlet dig. 13 Jeg er den Gud, du mødte ved Betel—det sted, hvor du salvede mindestenen med olivenolie og aflagde løftet om at tjene mig. Gør dig klar til at forlade dette sted og vende tilbage til det land, du kom fra.’ ”

14 Rakel og Lea svarede: „Ja, hvorfor ikke? Har vi måske nogen fremtid her? Far vil næppe lade os arve noget. 15 Han har behandlet os som fremmede kvinder, fordi han solgte os og selv brugte de penge, han fik for os. 16 Al den rigdom, som Gud har taget fra far og givet dig, tilhører faktisk os og vores børn. Gør du kun, som Gud har sagt, du skal gøre.”

17-21 Så mens Laban var væk hjemmefra nogle dage for at klippe sine får, satte Jakob sine børn og sine koner op på kamelerne og drog af sted. Han drev hjorden—alt det småkvæg, han havde samlet sig i Paddan-Aram—foran sig og begyndte tilbagerejsen til Kanaʼans land, hvor hans far, Isak, boede. Han drog af sted med alt, hvad han ejede, uden at Laban vidste noget om det, og satte over Eufratfloden på vej mod bjergområdet ved Gilead. Rakel tog endog sin fars husguder med sig!

22 Først to dage senere[a] fik Laban at vide, at Jakob var flygtet. 23 Han satte straks efter ham med nogle af sine mænd og indhentede ham efter syv dage i Gileads bjerge. 24 Om natten viste Gud sig i en drøm for aramæeren Laban og advarede ham: „Pas på, at du ikke siger så meget som ét ondt ord til Jakob!” 25 Jakob havde slået lejr i Gileads bjerge. Laban slog lejr i nærheden og opsøgte Jakob.

26 „Hvad ligner det at snige sig af sted på den måde?” begyndte Laban. „Mig har du narret, og mine døtre har du bortført, som om de var krigsfanger! 27 Du gav mig ingen chance for at holde et ordentligt afskedsgilde med sang og musik, og hvad dertil hører. 28 Du gav mig ikke lov til at kysse mine døtre og børnebørn farvel. Du har opført dig rigtig tarveligt! 29 Jeg kunne med lethed gøre det af med dig, men sidste nat viste din fars Gud sig for mig og sagde: ‚Pas på, hvad du siger til Jakob!’ 30 Jeg kan godt forstå, at du har hjemve og længes efter at tage tilbage til din familie. Men var det virkelig nødvendigt at stjæle mine husguder?”

31 „Jeg indrømmer, at jeg skyndte mig af sted,” svarede Jakob. „Jeg var bange for, at du ville tage dine døtre fra mig. 32 Hvad dine husguder angår, så skal den, som har taget dem, dø! Hvis du finder noget her, som tilhører dig, vil jeg omgående give dig det tilbage. Det skal disse mænd være vidner på!” Jakob vidste nemlig ikke, at Rakel havde stjålet husguderne.

33 Laban begyndte eftersøgningen i Jakobs telt. Så fortsatte han i Leas og i de to tjenestepigers telte—uden at finde noget. Til sidst kom han til Rakels telt. 34 Rakel havde taget husguderne og gemt dem i sin kamelsadel og sad nu oven på dem i sit telt. Derfor fandt Laban dem ikke, skønt han gennemsøgte teltet grundigt. 35 Rakel havde sagt til ham: „Undskyld mig, far, at jeg ikke rejser mig for dig, men jeg har min menstruation.” Laban fandt altså ikke sine husguder.

36 Så blev Jakob vred og konfronterede Laban. „Hvad fandt du så?” spurgte han. 37 „Hvorfor beskylder du mig for at have stjålet fra dig? Hvad har jeg begået, siden du jager mig, som om jeg var en forbryder? Nu da du har ledt overalt i min lejr, hvad har du så fundet, som tilhører dig? Læg det kun frem, så alle kan se, hvem af os, der har ret. Lad vores folk dømme os to imellem.” 38 Så fortsatte han: „I 20 år har jeg været hos dig og taget mig af dine får og geder, så de har fået levedygtigt afkom. I al den tid har jeg aldrig taget en eneste af dine væddere. 39 Og hvis nogle af dine får blev angrebet eller dræbt af rovdyr, kom jeg ikke bare og fortalte dig det. Nej, jeg tog selv tabet på mig og erstattede det. Du krævede endog erstatning for dyr, der blev stjålet—hvad enten det var min fejl eller ej. 40 Jeg arbejdede samvittighedsfuldt for dig i dagens hede og udholdt nattens kulde, og ofte fik jeg ikke lukket et øje. 41 I 20 lange år arbejdede jeg for dig—de 14 for at betale for dine to døtre, og de seks for at erhverve mig en hjord. Ti gange ændrede du mening for at snyde mig for min løn. 42 Hvis ikke min farfar Abrahams og min far Isaks vældige Gud havde været med mig, ville du såmænd have sendt mig af sted med tomme hænder! Men Gud har bemærket din ondskab og mit ærlige arbejde—og i nat advarede han dig.”

Jakobs pagt med Laban

43 Laban svarede Jakob: „Dine to koner er mine døtre, deres børn er mine børnebørn, og hjorden har du fra mig. Alt, hvad du har, har du fået af mig. Men hvad kan jeg gøre imod mine egne døtre og børnebørn? 44 Lad os slutte en fredspagt og bevidne det med en stenhøj.”

45 Så tog Jakob en sten og rejste den som et monument, 46 og han befalede sine mænd at samle flere sten og bygge en stenhøj. Derefter spiste de sammen ved stenhøjen. 47-48 Laban kaldte højen Jegar-Sahaduta,[b] Jakob kaldte den Galed.[c] „Den skal være et vidne imellem os, hvis en af os overskrider denne grænse,” sagde Laban. 49 „Den skal også kaldes Mitzpa,[d] for herefter skal Herren selv holde øje med os. 50 Selvom ingen andre ser det, hvis du behandler mine døtre dårligt eller tager andre koner, så ser Gud det!” 51-52 Laban fortsatte: „Denne stenhøj skal stå imellem os som et vidne om vores gensidige løfte: At vi ikke vil overskride denne grænse med onde hensigter. 53 Må vores forfædres Gud—din farfar Abrahams og min farfar Nakors Gud—straffe den af os, som bryder pagten.”

Så svor Jakob ved sin far Isaks mægtige Gud, at han ville overholde pagten, 54 hvorefter han ofrede til Gud og indbød sine mænd til et festmåltid. Efter måltidet overnattede de der i bjergene.

Footnotes

  1. 31,22 Hebraisk „på den tredje dag”, hvilket svarer til „to dage senere” på dansk.
  2. 31,47-48 Det betyder „vidnehøj” på aramæisk.
  3. 31,47-48 Det tilsvarende hebraiske ord.
  4. 31,49 På hebraisk ordspil med „holde øje med”. Mitzpa betyder vagttårn.