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me as before ; but the God of my father, whom he worshipped,
and with whom my forefathers were in covenant, hath been with 6 me, to bid me depart. And ye know that with all my power I
have served your father, as became a faithful servant to do. 7 And your father hath deceived me, and dealt very unjustly by
me, for he hath changed my wages ten times ; but God suf 8 fered him not to hurt me. If he said thus, The speckled
shall be thy wages ; then all the cattle bare speckled : and if
he said thus, The ring streaked shall be thy hire ; then bare 9 all the cattle ring streaked. Thus God hath taken away the
cattle of your father, and given [them to me; it was no
fraud of mine, but the hand of God, what he showed me in a vis 10 ion. And, or For, it came to pass at the time that the cattle
conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold the rams which leaped upon the cattle [were] ring streaked, speckled, and grisled; whereby I was taught
that the breeding of the cattle in that manner was by the provi. 11 dence of God. And the angel of God-spake unto me, in a 12 dream, [saying,] Jacob : And I said, Here [am] I. And
he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which
leap upon the cattle [are) ring streaked, speckled, and grisled : 13 for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I [am] the • God of Bethel, who appeared unto thee there, where thou
anointedst the pillar, [and] where thou vowedst a vow unto
me : now, arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto 14 the land of thy kindred. And Rachel and Leah answered
and said unto him, (Is there] yet any portion or inheritance, 15 any hope of benefit, for us in our father's house ? Are we not
counted of him strangers ? dealt with as strangers, rather than children? for he hath sold us to thee for fourteen years' service, and hath quite devoured also our money, wholly converted
that to his own usc, which in equity was due to us for our por16 tions, and for our husband's service, For all the riches
which God hath taken from our father, that [is] ours, and our children's : now then, whatsoever God hath said unto
thee, do, and we consent to go with thee. 17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon 18 camels ; And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods
which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had . gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land
of Canaan. This Jucob had a right to do, for he took only what were his own. And he contrived to do it while Laban went to
shear his sheep, and was therefore at a distance : and Rachel 20 had stolen the images that[were] her father's.* And Jacob stole
• The Teraphim or household gods, like the Lares and Penates of the Romans ; prob. ably little images in the shape of men, to whom these idolatrous people prayrd, and of whom they asked counsel about secret things. Rachel perhaps had still a superstitious re. gard for these; or she :night fear that her father, by consulting them, would bind which way they were gone ; or it might be to sonvince him of his folly, that she took them away.
away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not
that he fled ; he went without his knowledge, consent, or good 21 will. So he fled with all that he had ; and he rose up, and
passed over the river Euphrates, and set his face [toward] the
mount Gilead, which joins to mount Lebanon. 22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fed. 23 And he took his brethren with him, collected all his servants
and relations, and pursued after him seven days' journey, intending to strip him of every thing, and perhap18 make him a
slave during his whole life ; and they overtook him in the 24 mount Gilead. And God came to Laban the Syrian in a
dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou
speak not to Jacob either good or bad, neither threatenings nor 25 reproaches. Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had
pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban and his brethren 26 pitched in the mount of Gilead. And Laban said to Jacob,
What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares unto me, and carried away my daughters, as captives (taken] with the sword ? He speaks as if they had been taken away by
force, whereas it appears from v, 16, they were willing to go, 27 it was therefore a slanderous accusation. Wherefore didst thou
flee away secretly, and steal away from me, and didst not tell
me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with 28 songs, with tabret, and with harp ? And hast not suffered me • to kiss my sons and my daughters? He pretends love, but ha
tred was in his heart, and Jacob knew him well : thou hast now 29 done foolishly in (so] doing. It is in the power of my hand
to do you hurt, and it was his intention to do it : but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take
thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. 30 And now, (though) thou wouldst needs be gone, because thou
sore longedst after thy father's house, [yet] wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? Precious gods, that could be stolen!
And Jacob, protesting his innocence in that and in every other particular, answered his slanderous suggestions, and said to Laban, Because I was afraid : for I said, Peradrenture thou
wouldst take by force thy daughters from me: therefore I 32 went secretly away : but With whomsoever thou findest thy
gods, let him not live : before our brethren discern thou what
sis] thine with me, and take [it] to thee. For Jacob knew 33 not that Rachel had stolen them. And Laban went into
Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maid ser
vants' tents ; but he found (them) not. Then went he out 34 of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. Now Rachel
had taken the images, and put them in the camels' furniture,
and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but 35 found [them) not. And she said to her father, Let it not dis
please my lord that I cannot with decency rise up before thee in my present situation ; for the custom of women [is] upon me. And be searched, but found not the images.
36 And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban ; it was notv
his turn to expostulate, and he does it in a very wise, spirited, and admirable manner : and Jacob answered and said to La
ban, What [is] my trespass ? what [is] my sin, that thou 37 hast so hotly pursued after me? Whereas thou hast search
ed all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household
stuff? set [it] here before my brethren and thy brethren, 38 that they may judge betwixt us both. This twenty years
[have] I [been) with thee ; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young partly by reason of my care and diligence
in ordering them, but principally from God's blessing upon thee 39 for my sakc, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That
which was torn (of beasts] I brought not unto thee; I bare
the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, (whether] 40 stolen by day, or stolen by night. [Thus] I was ; in the day
the drought consumed me, and the frost by night ; and my 41 sleep departed from mine eyes. Thus have I been twenty
years in thy house ; I served thee fourteen years for thy two
daughters, and six years for thy cattle : and thou hast chang42 ed my wages ten times. * Except the God of my father, the
God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, the God whom Isaac worshipped with reverence and fear, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. But God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked [thee)
yesternight. 43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, [These] daugh
ters (are) my daughters, and [these] children (are] my chil dren, and [these] cattle (are] my cattle, and all that thou seest [is] mine : surely this was false ; but he endeavoured to put on the appearance of tenderness, and said, What can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which
they have borne ? how should I be able to go about to hurt them, 44. seeing they are my own flesh and blood ? Now therefore come
thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou ; and let it be for a 45 witness between me and thee. And Jacob consented and took
a stone, or a heap of stones, and set it up (for] a pillar, as a 46 monument of the covenant. And Jacob said unto his brethren,
Gather stones ; and they took stones, and made an heap ; and 47 they did eat there upon the heap. And Laban called it Je48 garsahadutha : but Jacob called it Galeed.t And Laban said,
This heap [is] a witness, a memorial, which may be alleged in
afler times as a witness between me and thee this day. There49 fore was the name of it called Galeed ; And Mizpah ; that is,
• Dr. Kennicott suproses that Jacob lived in Haran forty years, viz. fourteen years in Laban's house, a covenant servant for Rachel and Leah; twenty years in Laban's neighbourhood, as a friend; and six years in Labain's house, a covenant servant for cattle. Remarks, p. 27-33.
+ Both these words Fogarsahadatha and Geleed, are of the same signification, that is, She hesp of witwis; only Laban spake in the Syrian and Jacob in the Hebrew tongue.
a beacon, or watch tower, for he said, The LORD watch be
tween me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50 Now this was the covenant ; If thou shalt afflict my daugh
ters, or if thou shalt take (other) wives beside my daughters,
no man [is] with us ; see, God [is] witness betwixt me and 81 thee. And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold 52. (this) pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee; This heap
[be] witness, and [this] pillar [be] witness, that I will not pass
over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this 53 heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. The God of Abraham
thy father, and the God of Nahor my father, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father
Isaac, the God whom Isaac feared, and before whom he walked. 54 Then Jacob killed beasts and offered sacrifice upon the mount,
and called his brethren to eat bread ; and they did eat bread, 55 and tarried all night in the mount. And early in the morn
ing Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them, wished them all happiness and prosperity : and Laban departed, and returned unto his place. Thus God overruled his cruel designs, and they parted in peace.
V THAT a happy thing is it to have God's blessing !
The earth is the Lord', and the fulness thereof; the beasts of the forest are his, and the cattle on a thousand hills ; he is the great God of nature and providence. He can make rich, note withstanding the oppression of the wicked; when men deal cunningly he is above them ; he can easily controul the spirits of men, and turn foes into friends; and make all those affairs terminate well, that appear dark and gloomy. Worldly prosperity and success is agreeable when the hand of God is seen in it: it is his blessing that maketh rich and happy.
2. Here is a good lesson for servants and masters. Servants may see what they should be, and masters what they should not be. Jacob was a faithful servant, and minded his master's business amidst heat and cold. Thus servants should take as much care of their masters' goods as if they were their own. Jacob was content with his homely fare, with what his master allowed him, without plundering from the flock : a good example to servants, to be content with their provisions, and not take what they know is not designed for them. Amidst all his hardships, and the unkind and unjust treatment he met with from Laban, he was careful of every thing : so ought all servants to be. Masters may here see what they should not be : they should not be hard and unreasonable ; but give good and faithful servants encouragement and suitable rewards : they should not be made to suffer, as Jacob was, for what they cannot help. They should, as Paul oba
serves, give servants what is just and equal ; and servants should show all good fidelity.
3. Let us remember God, as the God of our fathers. When entering into covenant with God or man, this should be an engagement to us to be faithful, “It is our fathers' God by whom we swear." His kindness, and care, and fidelity to them, are encouragements to us, and should excite us to fear him, to walk before him all the days of our life, and to exalt and honour him by our fidelity,
4. Let us maintain a constant regard to the omniscience of God, to secure us in our duty to our fellow creatures : so both Laban and Jacob did. We all stand related to the same God, and therefore should love as brethren, show a peaceful and candid spirit, be willing to agree when differences arise. God is witness between us ; he sees and knows whether we are faithful to our promise, or not ; that we do not go beyond or defraud one another. Let us therefore set the Lord altvays before us, and sanctify him in our hearts, as Isaac and Jacob did, and make him our fear ; then shall we be quiet from the fear of evil, and be preserved from wicked and unreasonable men.
Jacob being now on his return to Canaan, we are here informed of
some remarkable providences which he met with in his way.
A N D Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met
A him, in some visible and glorious appearance, to comfort 2 him against the danger by Esau. And when Jacob saw them,
he said, on account of their number, order, and power, and their attendance on the divine presence, This [is] God's host : and he called the name of that place Mahazaim, that is, two hosta or camps ; probably one before and the other behind him ; but
they soon disappeared, which much discouraged him. 3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother
unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom; not as if the whole of Edom was Esau's, but to Seir, a part of it which he
had probably conquered, according to the blessing of his father, 4 (ch. xxvii. 40.) By thy sword shalt thou live. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau ; he uses this respectful term to mollify his resentment ;
Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, 5 and stayed there until now, as a stranger and an exile : And
am now returning home, but not to be a burden 10 my relations, for I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and men servants, and woo men servants : and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.