Genesis – Chapter 31: Jacob Flees From Laban

In Geneses Chapter 30 we learned about the birthing battle Rachel and Leah were having.  They were fighting to see who could give Jacob the greatest number of sons.  Jacob then decides to leave Laban and start his own house, but Laban is not going for this.  I understand Jacob wanting to leave as he’s worked for Laban for many years in order to marry Rachel and Leah.  When he leaves, he does so by tricking Laban with the breeding of goats and sheep.  Science, however, proves Jacob’s breeding techniques impossible.  Chapter 31 brings us Jacob fleeing from Laban.

“You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing the wages ten times.” – Genesis 31:6-7

I only remember the changes of wages twice, but regardless, Jacob has a point here.  By all accounts he has worked hard and met the deal he and Laban made.

“Then Rachel and Leah replied, ‘Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate?  Does he not regard us as foreigners?  Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us.’” – Genesis 31:14-15

The Bible makes it clear, through the words of Rachel and Leah, that women are nothing but property.  They were SOLD by their father to Jacob.  Either the words of the Bible are true, and the Bible condones women as property or the Bible is wrong, which makes you wonder what else in the Bible is wrong.  Regardless, the Bible has a morality problem in this chapter.

Jacob flees with his family and Laban pursues him.  Laban is upset that his household gods were stolen.  Rachel stole them, but Jacob does not know this.  Laban searches the tents, but can’t find the gods.  Rachel is sitting on them, but makes the excuse that she can’t stand since she’s on her period (v. 35).  A bit odd, but whatever.

“Jacob was angry and took Laban to task.  ‘What is my crime?’” – Genesis 31:36

Again, I have to side with Jacob.  Jacob really believes he’s done no crime since he is not aware of Rachel’s crime.  Jacob and Laban get together and make a truce of peace with each other.

Other than the verse on Rachel and Leah being sold, there’s not much I can complain about in this chapter.  Jacob’s actions seem justified, as do Laban’s.  The Bible isn’t a book of total nonsense, although much of it is.  There are chapters here and there that make sense, or at the very least, don’t deliver nonsense to the reader.  This is one of those chapters.

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 32:  Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau


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