Jacob’s Flocks Increase
25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.
26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.
27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.
28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.
30 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?
31 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.
32 I will pass through all thy flock to day, 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.
33 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.
34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.
35 And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked 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.
36 And he set three days’ journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
K.J.V. Bible Text
After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob wanted to take his wives and children and return to his homeland, but Laban knew that much of his prosperity was due to Jacob’s hard work and he did not want him to go.
Jacob understands this as well and now he wants to be able to work for himself so that he can also prosper.
Laban sought a way to keep Jacob with him longer and the two agreed that Jacob could work for the wage of the spotted, speckled and dark animals in Laban’s herds. Laban, however, was treacherous to Jacob and immediately removed all the speckled, spotted and dark animals and put them under the care of his sons so that Jacob could not take possession of them.
After doing this, Laban went a three days journey away so that Jacob could not approach him about the treacherous deed.
You will recall, that this is not the first time Laban has cheated Jacob. In the beginning, he requested that Jacob work seven years for his daughter Rachel and then substituted his other daughter Leah in the marriage bed, causing Jacob to have to work an extra seven years to also have Rachel.
His treatment of Jacob has already affected both his daughters as well as the young man who has worked so hard for him.
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