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Fearing For His Life -- He Departs from Laban
By Jacob not telling his father-in-law that he was leaving, the Scriptures tell us he was deceitful in that regard, when it came to the way he left Laban's household. So he fled with all that he had, and crossing the river, he headed for the hill country of Gilead.
(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 31:1-21)
In the last couple of articles we'd learned, that the "new business deal" that Jacob and Laban had made some six years before, in the long run, had turned out well for Jacob. And because of this new business arrangement (and what was required of it) -- Laban had begun this deal, by separating the sheep and goats, that were solid in color, away from the few, that were spotted and speckled.
And so therefore, Laban ended up placing most of his flocks, under the control of his sons.
Laban had thought, that by doing this, he would be able to force Jacob to basically start over from scratch -- when it came to the tending, and building of the flocks.
Now keep in mind, that Laban had done this, because Jacob's counter-offer, basically dealt with him receiving all the newly "spotted and speckled" lambs and kids (baby goats) -- that were born from out of the flock that he was tending to, as compensation for his shepherding services.
Laban thought, that if he could greatly reduce, and limit the size of the flocks that Jacob tended -- that it would also limited the chances, that the newly born amongst the flock would be "spotted or speckled?"
And since Jacob was getting paid for his services, by being able to keep the "spotted and speckled" as compensation -- in Laban's mind, the less that were born "spotted and speckled" the better.
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Laban's Household of Envy
Nonetheless, we've now come to the souring point that had developed between Jacob and Laban? For we find that Laban's sons were beginning to feel, like Jacob had out right deceived their father? And it would be for this reason, that they'd became envious and ill-natured towards Jacob. For they'd felt like Jacob had taken all the wealth, that had belonged to their father. And this is why we find them saying amongst themselves: "Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father."
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Jacob Increases -- Laban Doesn't?
But Laban's sons would be wrong in their allegations against Jacob? For upon closer observation, one would find, that Jacob did not take all the wealth that had belonged to their father. For we must remember, that Laban still had his flocks, that Jacob had built up for him over the past 14 years, before they had struck a new deal.
But the problem for Laban's sons, came when Jacob had eclipse Laban in wealth, during the past six years -- and this is what Laban's sons were upset about. For they'd saw how Jacob's flocks had grew tremendously during those past six years, and they weren't too happy that their father's flocks, had stayed stagnate during the same period of time. So again, it was these increases over the past six years, that Laban son's were upset over. For they'd felt like those increases, should had went to their father, and not Jacob.
But Laban knew that he was taking some kind of risk, by agreeing to this "new business deal" with Jacob. But he'd felt like the risk that he was taking was extremely small. And of course he thought, that things would probably go in his favor (like they always had). But Laban would learn the hard way, that although his risk was small (when it came to the new business deal) -- he would end up paying a heavy price for taking it.
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Hey Rachel -- What's up with your Dad?
And even though Laban knew he had made a mistake, by agreeing to the "new business deal" with Jacob -- this still wouldn't stop him from following the negative attitudes of his sons. And even though Laban wouldn't say much, he too, would demonstrate his jealously and anger, by treating Jacob differently. As a matter of fact, the change in Laban was so drastic, that Jacob would begin to take notice:
"I see that your father's attitude towards me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I've worked for your father with all of my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages often. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, 'The speckled ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, 'The streaked ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me." -- Genesis 31:5-9
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God Showed Me A Dream?
And it's at this time, that Jacob would then continue to tell them about the dream, that he had during the breeding season:
"In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating wit the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, "Here I am." And He said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.'" -- Genesis 31:10-13
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Rachel & Leah -- Hey You Know What? -- We Got Issues Too!
Now keep in mind, that Jacob wanted Rachel and Leah to know, that his prosperity was not necessarily by his own doing -- but it was by the hand of the Lord, that he is now a wealthy man. And after Rachel and Leah had heard all that Jacob had to say, they responded by saying:
"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. Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you." -- Genesis 31:14-16
And after Jacob had received the go ahead from Rachel and Leah, the Sacred Record reveals that Jacob had loaded his family unto camels. Next we find, that he would then drive his livestock ahead of him, along with all that he had accumulated in Paddan-Aram (which was a field that was located from within Syria). And it's also at this point, that Jacob would begin to make the journey back, to the household of his father Isaac -- who'd lived back in the land of Canaan.
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Jacob's Mistake - According to the Scriptures?
But know that the Sacred Record had revealed something else as well? For we would find, that before Jacob and his family had departed from Laban's household, we're also told -- that Rachel had stolen her father's household gods, while he was away shearing the sheep (more on this in the next article). However this may have been, we would also find, that Jacob would make a serious mistake as well: "Moreover Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away." -- (Genesis 31:20)
Now personally I believe that Jacob had every right to leave, and make his own way in the world. But it was the way that he'd left Laban's household, that would lead to him making a crucial mistake? For I want you to know -- that up to this point, Jacob had done and made all the right moves, during this 20 year ordeal with Laban. But by him not telling Laban that he was leaving, the Scared Record tell us he was deceitful in that regard (more on this in the next article).
Nonetheless, Jacob fled with all that he had, and after he'd crossed the river, he headed for the hill country of Gilead.
In the next Bible Study Online Article:
So how will Laban react to Jacob fleeing from his household? What about his daughter Rachel stealing his household gods in the process, how will that factor in? Will God step in?
May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support
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54) Jacob the Prosperous
55) <-CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE - PAGE->
56) Rachel the Thief
57) Jacob's Mistake of Deception
58) Laban the Pursuer
59) The Friendship Covenant
60) The Host of Angels
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62) Jacob & Esau - The Reconciliation
63) Dinah the Daughter of Israel
64) The Plot of Vengeance
65) The Forgotten Vow
66) The Season of Passing
67) The Descendants of Esau
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