14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?
15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.
16 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.
17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
18 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.
19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s.
20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.
21 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.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Earlier in Genesis, Chapter 31, Rachel and Leah had gone to the place where Jacob kept his flocks and he had told them their father’s attitude had changed toward him and that their brothers were saying that he had stolen his wealth from their father. Jacob also told them God had told him to take his family and his entire household and return to the land of his father.
In today’s reading we learn that the sisters understood that their father no longer had an inheritance for them and that he had used up all that Jacob had paid for them by working for Laban seven years for each of them. (Through his work Jacob accumulated much wealth for Laban.) They felt that all that Jacob had acquired on his own as wages while working for their father belonged to them and their children. They agreed that Jacob should do what God had instructed and leave their father’s land.
Jacob waited until Laban had gone to shear his sheep and then took all he had and fled across the Euphrates River. Before leaving, Rachel stole her father’s household gods.
I am struck by the fact that Rachel stole “household gods.” (The King James version refers to them as “images.”) This must mean that Laban did not follow the one true God as did Jacob, even though they were near relatives of one another.
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