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said unto him: "I pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake." And he said: "Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it." And he said unto him: "Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me. For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the Lord hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?" And he said, "What shall I give thee?" And Jacob said: "Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock. I will pass through all thy flock today, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire. So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me." And Laban said, "Behold, I would it might be according to thy word."
And he removed that day the he goats that were ring-streaked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob:1 and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.
But Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the almond and plane-tree; and peeled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had peeled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstreaked, speckled, and spotted. And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstreaked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle. And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the
1 Laban's purpose was evidently to prevent Jacob's animals from breeding any more spotted ones in his flock.
rods. But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's and the stronger Jacob's. And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses. And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying: "Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory."
And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and behold, it was not toward him as before. And the Lord said unto Jacob: "Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee." And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, and said unto them: "I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered 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 ringstreaked shall be thy hire; then bare all cattle ringstreaked. Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. And 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 ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled. And the angel of God spake unto me in a 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 ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred."
And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him: "Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money. 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."
Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon 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 Padan-aram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land
of Canaan. Now Laban was gone to shear his sheep and Rachel stole the images that were her father's. And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead. And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the 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."
Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead. And Laban said to Jacob: "What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword? 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 songs, with tabret, and with harp, and hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Thou hast now done foolishly in so doing. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?"
And Jacob answered and said to Laban: "Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me. With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee." For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent,
1 images. Teraphim, or images popularly revered as a kind of household gods (somewhat as the Latin 'penates '), and as affording oracles. See also p. 243. 2 the river. Euphrates.
8 camel's furniture. The basket-seat with which a camel was saddled.
but found them not. And she said to her father: "Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee: for the custom of women is upon me." And he searched, but found not the images.
And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban : "What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, 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, 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 stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my 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 changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight."
And Laban answered and said unto Jacob: "These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have borne? Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee."
And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. And Jacob said unto his brethren, "Gather stones;" and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap. And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha : but Jacob called it Galeed.1 And Laban said; "This heap is a witness between me and thee this day." Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; and Mizpah; for he said: "The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. If thou shalt afflict my
1 Jegar-sahadutha is Aramaic, and Galeed, Hebrew, for 'Heap of Witness.' The incident was later regarded as a settlement of the boundary point between Aram or Syria and Israel. 2 Mizpah. Place of outlook.'
daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee."
And Laban said to Jacob: "Behold this heap, and behold 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 heap and this pillar unto me for harm. The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us."
And Jacob sware by the Fear of his father Isaac. Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount. And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.
And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, "This is God's host: " and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.1
Meeting of Jacob and Esau (Gen. xxxii. 3-xxxiii. 17). And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them, saying: "Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau: Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now and I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight."
And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying: "We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him." Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; and said: "If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape." And Jacob said: "O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for 1 Mahanaim. 'Companies.'