This chapter is about Jacob fleeing from Laban & Laban pursuing Jacob. It’s an interesting read. I hope you enjoy!
Jacob overheard Laban’s sons saying that they thought Jacob had taken everything that Laban had. Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude had changed toward him. So God told Jacob to go back to “the land of his father.” So Jacob sent word to Rachel & Leah to go to the fields, where his flocks were. Jacob told them that Laban wasn’t acting the same way towards him anymore. That Rachel & Leah know how hard Jacob has worked for Laban. And that God has taken Laban’s livestock & gave them to Jacob. Jacob also asserts that Laban changes his wages 10 times.
Jacob then proceeds to tell Rachel & Leah that, while in the breeding season, he had a dream. He saw the male goats mating with the parts of the flock that were streaked, speckled, or spotted. An angel of God told Jacob, in the dream, to look at all the male goats mating with all of the streaked, speckled, or spotted because God has saw what Laban was doing to Jacob. The angel continued by pretty much speaking for God, but more like God speaking through the angel: “I’m the God of Bethel, where you anointed that pillar. And where you made a vow to me. Now go back to your homeland.”
Rachel & Leah start questioning Jacob. “Do we still get any of our dad’s inheritance? He (Laban) not only sold us to you, but he’s used up what he got for us. All the wealth that God has taken from our dad belongs to us & our children. So let’s do whatever God has told you to do.” Jacob packed EVERYTHING he owned, his entire family to go back to Canaan, where Isaac was at.
Now Laban went to shear his sheep. While he was out, Rachel stole her dad’s household gods. And Jacob didn’t tell Laban that they were leaving. So they fled, crossing the Euphrates. They headed for the hill country of Gilead.
3 days later, Laban finds out about Jacob & company leaving. Laban & some relatives go after them for 7 days. Laban & his posse finally catch up to Jacob & family. Then God does his dream visiting again. This time he comes to Laban. God tells Laban to be careful not to say anything good or bad to Jacob.
Jacob & crew had pitched their tents in the hill country in Gilead when Laban caught up to them. So Laban & his men camped there also. Laban says to Jacob, “What the heck? You just took off, didn’t tell anyone. Took my daughters & my grandkids, poof! I would’ve sent you off with some music, harps, singing, tambourines. I didn’t even to kiss my daughters & grandsons goodbye. I’ve got the power to do you harm. But God came to me last night & told me not say anything good or bad to you. You’ve gone off because you wanted to go back to your dad’s home. But why did you steal my gods?”
Jacob tells Laban that he was afraid because he thought Laban would take Leah & Rachel by force. Jacob also told Laban that if he found his gods, that person wouldn’t live & to go see for himself. Jacob didn’t know Rachel had stolen the gods. So Laban went into Jacob, Leah, & the 2 servants tents. He didn’t find anything. Then Laban went to Rachel’s tent. Rachel put the household gods (which are like what we would have today, I guess if you wanna say that. It was like little figurines of their gods.) inside a camel’s saddle & proceeded to sit on it. Laban searched Rachel’s tent & found nothing. Rachel told Laban that she couldn’t stand up though because she was on her period. (Yep, you read that correctly.)
So Jacob gets angry at Laban & puts him to task. Jacob tells Laban off, just lets him have it. Pretty much getting all his issues with Laban out in the open. Laban backs down & suggests a covenant/contract between them. So Jacob took a stone & set it up as a pillar. And then he had other stones gathered & put them in a heap. They ate there by the heap. Laban named the heap Jegar Sahadutha (which means witness heap) & Jacob called it Galeed (which means witness heap). It was also called Mizpah (which means watchtower). They agreed to not go passed the heap or the pillar to harm each other. So Jacob took an oath “in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.” Jacob offered a sacrifice there in the hill country. He invited his relatives to a meal. After they’d eaten, they spent the night there.
Early the next morning, Laban kissed his daughters & grandchildren. He blessed them. Then Laban left & returned home.