The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Genesis
Meanwhile, Laban’s sons were complaining, Our father has been robbed of all his goods by Jacob, who has become rich at his expense.
Jacob was aware of this; he found, too, that Laban looked on him more coldly than hitherto.
But what moved him most was that the Lord had bidden him, Return to the land of thy fathers, to thy own kindred, and I will be with thee.
So he sent word to Rachel and Lia to meet him on the pasture-ground where he was feeding his flocks,
and said to them, I find that your father looks on me more coldly than hitherto; and all because the God of my father has prospered me.
You know well that I have worked for your father with all my might,
whereas he has defrauded me, altering, time and again, his bargain with me; it was only God’s mercy that prevented him doing me an injury.
As it was, whenever he said, The speckled beasts shall be thy wages, it was to speckled lambs that all my ewes gave birth; when he changed about, and said, Thou shalt have all the white lambs for thy pay, all my flocks bore white.
That is how God has taken away your father’s wealth and given it to me.
I had a dream at the time when my ewes were mating; as I looked round, I could see none but speckled and spotted and blotched rams coupling with the ewes.
And in my dream, an angel of God called me by name, and when I answered, I am here, at thy command,
he said, Look about thee, and mark well that all the sires coupling with the dams are speckled, spotted, or blotched; that is because I have taken good note of all Laban’s dealings with thee.
I am the God who dwells at Bethel, where thou didst anoint the stone, and didst take a vow to me. It is time for thee, now, to bestir thyself, to leave this country, and go back to the country of thy birth.
Why, answered Rachel and Lia, we have no reversion left to us in all our father’s wealth and possessions.
He has treated us as if we were no kindred of his, putting us up for sale, and keeping the price for himself.
And now, it seems, God has taken away our father’s wealth from him, and given it to us and to our children. Why then, do as the Lord has bidden thee.
Upon this, Jacob waited no longer; he mounted his children and wives on the camels, and set out on his journey;
taking with him all his possessions, his cattle and all the wealth he had gained in Mesopotamia; he would return to his father Isaac, and the land of Chanaan.
Meanwhile, in the absence of her father Laban, who had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole his household gods from him.
Jacob had given his father-in-law no warning of his flight,
and it was not till he and all that belonged to him had gone away, and crossed the Euphrates, and were making for the hills of Galaad,
that a message came to Laban, three days too late, Jacob has fled.
So now he took his kinsmen with him and gave chase; and he had been on the road seven days before he overtook him on the hills of Galaad.
Here, in his sleep, he had a vision of God warning him, Have a care thou dost not speak to Jacob harshly.
Jacob had already pitched his tent on the hills, and now Laban, coming up with his kinsmen in pursuit, encamped in these same hills of Galaad.
What meanest thou, he asked Jacob, by thus tricking me, and carrying off my daughters as if they were prisoners of war?
Why wouldst thou run away when my back was turned, instead of warning me of it, so that I could have sped thee on thy way with good cheer, with singing, and music of timbrel and harp?
But no, thou wouldst not even let me part from my own grandsons and daughters with a kiss. This was a rash act of thine, and see where it has brought thee.
Thou art in my power, and I could repay the injury if I would; but the God who protects thy father’s race warned me yesterday, Have a care thou dost not speak harshly to Jacob.
Thou wert hastening to return to thy own kindred? Thou wert longing for thy home? Tell me then, why hast thou carried away my household gods with thee?
To this Jacob answered, If I left thee unawares, it was because I was afraid thou wouldst rob me of thy daughters by violence.
But as for thy charge of theft, whoever is found with these gods of thine in his possession shall pay for it with his life. Make search in the presence of thy kinsmen and mine, and take away with thee all thou findest here that belongs to thee. Of Rachel’s carrying off the images, Jacob knew nothing.
So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and Lia’s, and the tents of both the serving-women, but found nothing. At last he came to Rachel’s tent;
and Rachel, who had quickly hidden the images among the harness of her camel, now sat down upon the harness. As her father looked in vain all through the tent,
she said, Forgive me, sir, if I do not rise to greet thee; the common lot of women has come upon me; and so the anxious search came to nothing.
And now Jacob broke out into angry reproaches against Laban. For what fault, what guilt of mine, hast thou so hotly pursued me,
and made this search of all my goods? What treasure hast thou found here, of all the treasures in thy house? Bring it out here, before my brethren and thine, and let them judge between us.
Was it for this that I spent twenty years in thy service? All that time, thy ewes and she-goats were never barren, no wether lamb of thine did I take for my own eating.
If wild beasts preyed on them, I made good the damage, instead of bringing it to shew thee; I must needs give account to thee of all that was lost by theft.
Burning heat by day, and biting frost at nights, till my eye-lids lost the power of sleep;
thus it was that I spent twenty years as a servant in thy household, fourteen years for thy daughters, and six for thy flocks; time and again thou didst alter thy bargain with me.
Why, if the God of my father Abraham, the God before whom Isaac trembles, had not prospered me, thou wouldst have sent me away penniless; as it is, God has taken account of my wretchedness, and the toil these hands have borne; that is why he gave thee, yesterday, his warning.
And Laban answered, These are my daughters, these boys are mine, as thy flocks, and all thou seest before thee, are mine; something I must do to protect my own daughters, my own grandchildren.
Come, let us make a covenant, which shall stand on record between us.
So Jacob took a stone, and set it up there as a monument;
he said, too, to his kinsmen, Bring stones here. And they gathered stones, and made them into a heap; and over that heap they took food together.
Laban called it the Cairn of Record, and Jacob called it the Witness-heap, each according to the usage of his own tongue.
Laban had said Let this heap bear record of our covenant to-day; that is how it came to be called Galaad, the Witness-heap.
Let the Lord keep watch, he said, and see justice done between us, when our ways have parted.✻
If thou dost treat these daughters of mine amiss, and bringest home other wives instead of them, there will be no one else to bear witness of what we have said, but God will bear witness; he is here to see us.
He said further to Jacob, Look at this heap, this stone which I have set up between us;✻
these shall be witnesses, heap and stone shall be there to accuse us, if I pass by them on my way to thee, or thou on thy way to me, with harmful intent.
May the God who is Abraham’s God and Nachor’s, the God of their common father✻ see justice done between us. Then Jacob swore by the God his father Isaac held in reverence,
and summoned his kinsmen, when sacrifice had been done on the hill, to take food there. So they took their meal, and remained there,
while Laban rose up at daybreak, kissed his grandsons and his two daughters, and blessed them, and went back to his home.
The Holy Bible