33 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.
34 Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.
35 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.
36 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?
37 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.
38 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.
39 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.
40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
41 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.
42 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 labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
K.J.V. Bible Text
With Jacob’s permission, Laban searched Jacob’s tents for the stolen gods. He also searched Leah’s tent and the tent of the two female servants. Then he went to Rachel’s tent.
Rachel, as we know, had the gods in her possession; but she had hidden them in her camel’s saddle and was sitting on them. Rachel used, as the scripture says, the excuse that “the custom of women is upon me,” as her reason for remaining seated during the search. Laban searched everything else in the tent.
Of course the gods were not found.
Jacob allowed this search; but with the gods not found, he grew angry with Laban for hunting him down and accusing him of a crime although no stolen items could be found.
Jacob vented his anger at Laban, telling him he worked for him for twenty years for his wives and his animals and that he has been honest with him for all of that time. He described how hard he worked on hot days and cold nights.
Jacob told Laban that the God of Abraham had told him to leave and take his family because He knew that Laban would have sent him away empty-handed.
Jacob seems to me to have been a long-suffering man. He had lived under the thumb of his father-in-law for twenty years, working honorably and hard for his wages and taking from Laban only what was rightful. Laban seemed to care more for the profit Jacob earned for him than for the betterment of the lives of his daughters and grandchildren.
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