5 Feb. Genesis 31:25-55

5 Feb. Jacob and Laban come to an agreement

"Three days later Laban learned that Jacob had run away, so he gathered his relatives and began to chase him. After seven days Laban found him in the mountains of Gilead..."

"Laban said to Jacob, 'What have you done? You cheated me and took my daughters as if you had captured them in a war... Why didn't you tell me? Then I could have sent you away with joy and singing and with the music of tambourines and harps.'..."

"I have the power to harm you, but last night the God of your father spoke to me and warned me not to say anything to you, good or bad. I know you want to go back to your home, but why did you steal my idols?'"

"Jacob answered Laban, 'I left without telling you because I was afraid you would take your daughters away from me. If you find anyone here who has taken your idols, that person will be killed!... You may look for anything that belongs to you and take anything that is yours.' (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen Laban's idols.)"

"So Laban looked in Jacob's tent, in Leah's tent, and in the tent where the two slave women stayed, but he did not find his idols. When he left Leah's tent, he went into Rachel's tent. Rachel had hidden the idols inside her camel's saddle and was sitting on them..."

"Rachel said to her father, 'Father, don't be angry with me. I am not able to stand up before you because I am having my monthly period.' So Laban looked through the camp, but he did not find his idols."

"Then Jacob became very angry and said, 'What wrong have I done? What law have I broken to cause you to chase me?... I worked like a slave for you for 20 years - the first fourteen to get your two daughters and the last six to earn your flocks. During that time you changed my pay ten times.'"

"'But the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, was with me. Otherwise, you would have sent me away with nothing. But he saw the trouble I had and the hard work I did, and last night he corrected you.'"

"Laban said to Jacob, 'These girls are my daughters. Their children belong to me, and these flocks are mine. Everything you see here belongs to me, but I can do nothing to keep my daughters and their children. Let us make an agreement, and let us set up a pile of stones to remind us of it.'"

"So Jacob took a large rock and set it up on its end. He told his relatives to gather rocks, so they took the rocks and piled them up... Laban said to Jacob, 'This pile of rocks will remind us of the agreement between us.'... "

"Then Jacob killed an animal and offered it as a sacrifice on the mountain, and he invited his relatives to share in the meal. After they finished eating, they spent the night on the mountain."

"Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them, and then he left to return home."

          (Genesis 31:25-55)



Three days after Jacob had left, Laban discovered that his daughters had disappeared and his precious family idols were missing. So he pursued Jacob and caught up with him in the hills of Gilead.

Laban couldn't find his household gods in Jacob's tents. (Rachel, who had stolen them, lied to her father in order to conceal them). So he agreed to settle with Jacob.

Laban and Jacob made a covenant agreement. Then they piled stones in a heap as a reminder of their agreement. Laban called the place 'Jegar Sahadutha' (Aramaic, meaning ‘A pile (of stones) to remind us’), while Jacob called it 'Galeed' (Hebrew for ‘A pile (of stones) to remind us’). The place was also called Mizpah (Hebrew, meaning ‘A watchtower’) as Laban said, “Let the LORD watch over us” (Genesis 31:49).

Laban returned home to Haran, while Jacob, with his wives and sons, set off for Canaan.

The photo (by יאיר דב ) shows the Jordan Valley and the Hills of Gilead.

You can read more @ The Bible Journey | Jacob cheats Esau and flees to Mesopotamia

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