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Genesis 31 - NIV

Jacob Flees From Laban

1 Jacob 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.”

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

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

4 So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were.

5 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.

6 You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength,

7 yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me.

8 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.

9 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]


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

Sermons on Genesis 31 More sermons: Genesis 31

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Shared by: Larry Turner on Apr, 2016
Summary: Jacob was about to have three reunions. In the midst of then he gave us a model prayer.
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Making God "Iffy"
Shared by: Larry Turner on Apr, 2016
Summary: Jacob put conditions on God and made unnecessary vows when faith was all that was needed.
Ross Cochrane avatar
Shared by: Ross Cochrane on Feb, 2015
Summary: What would you do if you knew you were not in the place of your calling? What would you do if you were in Jacob’s shoes? How do you apply for that dream job?
Series: Genesis 31
Ross Cochrane avatar
Shared by: Ross Cochrane on Feb, 2015
Summary: Are they really ready to break free from their self-destructive cycle? Are you? If Jacob decides to act on what God has said what would it look like in their lives? What will it look like in yours?
Series: Genesis 31
Ross Cochrane avatar
Shared by: Ross Cochrane on Feb, 2015
Summary: It’s time to become a returnee and brave the journey to the land of promise. But is he prepared to lose his job to pursue his destiny? Are you?
Series: Genesis 31
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Shared by: Ross Cochrane on Feb, 2015
Summary: Who or what is the bully in your life standing between you and the promises of God? What charges does the devil use against you as you make your stand in the ring? What are you holding onto that attracts a spiritual battle like a red rag to a bull?
Series: Genesis 31
William R. Nabaza avatar
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Shared by: William R. Nabaza on Oct, 2014
Summary: To show that GOD does not want us to labor hard to earn money, but to labor hard for His Presence.
Scripture: Genesis 31:42
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 528
Manny Salva Cruz avatar
Being Watchful
Shared by: Manny Salva Cruz on Jun, 2014
Summary: Are you watchful, attentive and careful with the words you speak to others? In this message, we will learn from the life of Jacob on how to improve our Christian character for the better to be a good testimony to others.
John Shearhart avatar
Genesis 31:1-55
Shared by: John Shearhart on Nov, 2013
Summary: God sends Jacob away from Laban and proves He will take care of Him in every situation until the promise is fulfilled.
Scripture: Genesis 31:1-55
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 776
bala samson avatar
Shared by: bala samson on May, 2013
Summary: Did you know Chameleons shoot their tongue further than the length of their body to catch insects? In much the same way, people shoot out their tongue to bombard you with insults, curses, faults and false accusation.
Series: Chameleons!
Scripture: Genesis 31:1-5
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 388
Paul Barreca avatar
The Hard Way - Why God Uses Diffictul People in our Lives
Shared by: Paul Barreca on Feb, 2013
Summary: Today we want to remember that GOD uses difficult people to build our character, to make us stronger. Such people reveal hidden faults and deepen our trust in God
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Scripture: Genesis 31:1-1:48
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Michael Brady avatar
A winning team
Shared by: Michael Brady on Feb, 2012
Summary: This sermon is to encourage our Church family to work togther as a team
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Scripture: Genesis 31:4-7
Denomination: Church Of God
Views: 1,383
Grady Henley avatar
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Shared by: Grady Henley on Nov, 2011
Summary: Followers: Some Staying; Some Leaving
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Genesis 12:1-31:44
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 2,161
Edward Hardee avatar
Studies in Genesis: Chapter 31
Shared by: Edward Hardee on Oct, 2011
Summary: This is a study of the book of Genesis. Genesis and Revelation are two of the most disputed books in the Bible. The premise of this study is the foundation of creation.
Series: Genesis
Scripture: Genesis 31:1-54
Denomination: Church Of God
Views: 1,099
Greg Carr avatar
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Shared by: Greg Carr on Apr, 2011
Summary: Have you ever had enough? When is enough enough? This is a powerful message to get people to realize what is enough.
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Scripture: Genesis 31:36-44
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 2,241
C. Philip Green avatar
Hot Pursuit
Shared by: C. Philip Green on Feb, 2011
Summary: Find true security by trusting in the Lord, not a lie or an idol.
Scripture: Genesis 31:1-55
Denomination: Evangelical Free
Views: 824
Jerry Watts avatar
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Shared by: Jerry Watts on Jun, 2010
Summary: Just like God called Jacob back to Bethel, so should we hear and respond to return to our place of spiritual birth.
based on 5 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 31:13
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 6,667
Tom Owen avatar
Genesis 41
Shared by: Tom Owen on Aug, 2009
Summary: verse-by-verse
Series: Beginnings
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 30:25-31:55
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 755
Paul Clemente avatar
Forcing God's Blessings?
Shared by: Paul Clemente on Apr, 2009
Summary: Because we all want to be blessed, we can have a tendency to force a blessing, whether from God or from someone else, when God freely gives blessings!
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Genesis 31:25-32:32
Denomination: Evangelical Free
Views: 974
Paul Clemente avatar
Always Choose God's Grace
Shared by: Paul Clemente on Apr, 2009
Summary: Because God is a Gracious God, He will love every person, whether that person is like Jacob who was promised by God, or ordinary people like Leah, Rachel, and Laban; but every person can choose to separate from God’s blessings.
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 30:25-31:55
Denomination: Evangelical Free
Views: 718
Ed Vasicek avatar
A Bitter Goodbye
Shared by: Ed Vasicek on Jan, 2009
Summary: Life’s crossroads can be messy, but sometimes you cannot walk around the mud, but you must march right through it. Yet even [when we are] walking through the mud, God does not abandon His children.
based on 3 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 31:17-55
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 1,130
Ed Vasicek avatar
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Shared by: Ed Vasicek on Jan, 2009
Summary: Jacob lived a stressful life, and so do many of us. Yet we can escape some of the pressures of stress by following the Lord.
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Genesis 29:31-31:16
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 868
Joel Smith avatar
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Shared by: Joel Smith on Jan, 2009
Summary: God wants to shape your soul to be just like Jesus. Will you cooperate?
based on 3 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 29:1-31:55
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 955
Victor Yap avatar
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Shared by: Victor Yap on Dec, 2007
Summary: Jacob, Pt. 4 (Final)
based on 3 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 29:15-31:42
Denomination: Independent/Bible
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Robert Higgins avatar
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Shared by: Robert Higgins on Nov, 2007
Summary: Is God merely the means to an end for you? Is God the tool for your happiness? At this point in Jacob’s life, He is. He may be in your life as well. Until you are broken, brought low, brought to the end of yourself.
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 31:10-32:10
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 927
bethel a place of worship
Shared by: RUEL CAMIA on Oct, 2007
Summary: I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel, where you poured olive oil on a stone marker for a holy purpose and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land, and go back to the land of your relatives. (GW) And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up
based on 11 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 31:13
Views: 2,710
Johnny Carver avatar
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Shared by: Johnny Carver on Jul, 2007
Summary: There are great dangers in keeping things hidden in our life that gets between us and God and robs us of our success.
based on 12 ratings
Scripture: Genesis 31:25-42
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 1,354
Peter Loughman avatar
Sin: Separation Anxiety
Shared by: Peter Loughman on Oct, 2006
Summary: God will let unpleasant things happen in our life to move us on spiritually
based on 1 rating
Scripture: Genesis 31:1-32
Views: 615
Thomas Black avatar
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Shared by: Thomas Black on Apr, 2006
Summary: Getting used to the idea of not being liked is difficult if you happen to be a person that cares what people think. But as you know Sometimes, “When God Says GO the World Says NO.”
Series: Genesis
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Shared by: Thomas Black on Apr, 2006
Summary: We don’t need to offend unbeleivers because we follow Jesus. Let the Cross offend them, but not us.
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Scripture: Genesis 31:22-55
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